This post was updated on May 7, 2023
What is the Best Deck Sealer in 2023?
What is the Best Deck Sealers for my exterior wood is a popular question here on DeckStainHelp.com. Deck Sealers typically come in two different types. A Clear Sealer and a lightly pigmented Transparent Deck Sealer. Both types are penetrating and will fully soak into the wood.
In this article about the Best Deck Sealers, we will break down the major difference between the two different types and offer our advice as to what is the best brand for each.
Best Clear Deck Sealer
Clear deck sealers are not the same as a deck stain. A true deck sealer is clear with no color. They are used to protect the wood by weathering proofing from water. They will offer little to no UV protection, as the tint or color of a deck stain is your UV protection from graying. They have limited protection from mildew and mold. They will need to be reapplied every 3-12 months.
Defy Extreme Clear
Best Wood Deck Sealer
Where To Find On Google: Defy Extreme Clear
Pros: Penetrating Clear Sealer. Nano-technology for deep penetrating. Zinc oxide prevents mildew and graying of the wood much better than other Deck Sealers. Lasts longer than any other Clear Deck Sealer on the market. Allowed in all 50 States and Canada.
Cons: Still needs to be reapplied every 12 months but this is much longer than other clear sealers.
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.125
See Review Article Here: Defy Extreme Clear Review
Best Transparent Deck Sealer
Lightly tinted transparent deck sealers have close to 30-40% solid content. They offer a very small amount of color enhancement to the deck. They have moderately low UV protection from graying and will water repel water for a period of time. Typically will need to be reapplied every 9-18 months in most cases.
Armstrong Clark Transparent Stain
Best Transparent Wood Deck Sealer
Where To Find: Armstrong Clark Transparent Sealer
Pros: Easy to apply. Enhances the natural grain of the wood. Armstrong Clark is one of our top 3 brands of deck stains and sealers to use on our customers’ decks in the Midwest. Very easy to reapply as needed. Just clean, let dry, and apply another coat.
Cons: Moderate mildew protection for wet climates. Typically not an issue but we have seen a few cases.
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.5
See Review Article Here: Armstrong Clark Stain Review
Questions about the Best Deck Sealer?
Please ask below, we are here to help!
Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
Just had our deck stained with Defy semi transparent stain in Walnut. But now 3 months later, the water is not beading up like it did when first done. Anything I can do to remedy this ?
No, and that is normal. High-quality deck stains are not designed to bead water but shed water as they are breathable. 100% sealing your wood leads to issues like dry rot.
Ok. Great info. Thanks
HI, I just stained a newish pressure treated softwood deck (I now know I should have waited…) and would like to seal it over the stain – what should I use? My other question is similar – I have rough oak planters I tinted with 3 to 1 water/stain mix and I’d like to seal them too but have no idea what to use. I would need something completely clear so as not to alter the existing tone of the deck and planters. Any advice would be so appreciated – thanks.
You can never seal over a deck stain, it will peel.
best clear stain or coating for refinished cedar deck. Wa. state….
Need to know!!!!
Clear will offer no UV protection from graying. You need a stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/the-5-best-deck-stain-reviews-and-ratings/
I put a transparent deck sealer over my new deck (pine) after cleaning it with pressure washer. It now completely repeals the water but retains any dirt, even after using hose to spray off. What have I done wrong?
Used the wrong brand most likley. Probably need to strip and start over with something better. Also, see here about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/staining-a-new-deck/
We stained our deck with grey Cabot stain and sealer 3 months ago on a new deck that had aged over the winter. We applied one coat and let it dry only 3 hrs. The deck is already full of brown spots from dog paw prints…..
We are going to power wash and restain the deck using the same product. Is this the right thing to do?
If we let it dry longer, will we be able to wash off the dog paws prints in the future
Use a deck cleaner while pressure washing. Recoat. You can do this now or in Spring.