This post was updated on January 18, 2023
Best Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
See our Deck Stain Facts section with over 150 simple Q&A articles that answer all the questions that you have regarding deck staining, cleaning, and prep.
We have been using deck stains now for 25+ years and reviewing them on DeckStainHelp.com since 2012. Our favorite stains have always been penetrating semi-transparent stains as they last for 2-3 years, do not peel, and can be cleaned and reapplied without the heavy lifting of power sanding and insurance scrapping.
Here is a list of our Top 5 semi-transparent penetrating wood and deck stains.
The 5 Best Semi-Transparent Deck Stains are
- TWP 100 Series Semi-Transparent Stain
- Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain
- Armstrong Clark Semi-Transparent Stain
- TWP 1500 Series Semi-Transparent Stain
- Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Stain
See below for more information on each brand.
Penetrating semi-transparent deck stains allow the wood grain to show, and if they truly soak into the wood grain, reapplying is much easier down the road. One issue is that not all semi-transparent stains are penetrating but rather film on top of the wood like paint. Stains that film on top of the wood will have a tendency to peel and will be harder to re-coat or remove down the road.
Note: Our Top 5 semi-transparent stains are all penetrating when prepped properly and applied properly. Do not skip the prep steps or over-apply as this will lead to failure of the deck stain at a much faster rate!
1. Restore-A-Deck – Best Semi-Transparent Deck Stain and Sealer
Where To Find On Google: Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain
Pros: Damp Wood Application – It can be applied the same day as the prep. Penetrating Semi-Transparent Water-Based. Easy water clean-up. Allowed in all 50 States and Canada. Excellent mildew resistance. Able to clean and recoat as needed for maintenance.
Cons: Only 5 colors.
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.625
See Review Article Here: Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Review
How To Restore Your Deck All in One Day – DeckStainHelp.com
2. TWP 100 Pro Series – Best Oil-Based Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
Where To Find On Google: TWP 100 Pro Series
Pros: Penetrating Semi-Transparent Oil-Based. Full Curing EPA Registered Stain. 10 semi-transparent colors. Easy to apply. Excellent mildew resistance. Clean and re-coat as needed for maintenance.
Cons: Only Available in 35 States. See TWP 1500 for Low VOC version.
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.69
See Review Article Here: TWP 100 Series Review
3. Armstrong Clark – Easiest to Apply Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
Where To Find On Google: Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid
Pros: Very easy to apply. Paraffin and Curing Oil Blend. Full Curing Stain. Allowed in all 50 States and Canada. Able to clean and re-coat as needed for maintenance.
Cons: It can take a few days or longer to fully cure.
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.5
See Review Article Here: Armstrong Clark Stain Review
4. TWP 1500 Series – Best VOC Compliant Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
Where To Find On Google: TWP 1500 Series
Pros: Complaint in all 50 States. Penetrating Semi-Transparent Oil-Based. Full Curing EPA Registered Stain. EPA Registered Wood Preservative. Able to clean and re-coat as needed for maintenance.
Cons: Takes longer to dry than the TWP 100 Series
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.5
See Review Article Here: TWP 1500 Series Review
5. Defy Extreme Stain – Best Water-Based Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
Where To Find On Google: Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Stain
Pros: Penetrating Semi-Transparent Water-Based. Nano-technology for deep penetrating. Zinc oxide prevents mildew better than most brands. Allowed in all 50 States and Canada. Able to clean and re-coat as needed for maintenance.
Cons: It can be harder to apply than other brands.
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.47
See Review Article Here: Defy Extreme Stain Review
Best Semi-Transparent Deck Stain Photos
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Do you have questions as to what brand of semi-transparent stain you should use on your deck?
Please ask below, we are here to help!
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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.
Hello, I previously stained my deck with Defy “extreme” semi transparent 3 years ago. It’s a good stain but I saw their new Ultra and had just bought some of it. I also bought RAD cleaner/brightener. I’ve since noticed on deck restore sites like yours that the Defy Ultra is not being recommended and I’m still within the return window. Would you recommend changing to the Defy extreme or switching to the Restore a Deck stain? It’s pressure treated wood a few years old. Thanks
Personally, we would suggest sticking with what you know works. The Defy Ultra is new and we have not had enough experience or feedback on it. Stick with the Defy Extreme or if you want to try something new, use the Restore A Deck.
We are going to have a new cedar fence installed and want to apply the best semi transparent stain in a color that is more brown than redwood color. What brand of stain would you recommend? We want the longest lasting color, minimal greying and as much water repellent properties as possible.
See here about new wood first: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
As for brown colors, try:
Restore A Deck Dark Walnut
TWP Dark Oak
Armstrong Clark Rustic Brown
What is best for Redwood flooring on porch that is covered. Is being sanded and prepped for finish
TWP Stains or Restore A Deck Stains.
I would love to hear your views on the defy extreme vs. the defy ultra (satin sheen). I like the look of the ultra, but I see that the defy extreme is the best. I have a deck that is almost ready to stain in Oregon. Want to use Defy 100%
Use the Extreme. We do not have enough experience yet with the Ultra. Also, we are hesitant with andy deck stains that leave a shine as they tend to peel over time.
I appreciate the post. I’m about to stain decks at a beach home in Florida. In the past, we’ve just done a couple of coats of Thompsons (no need to make fun of me…I know that was stupid), but now we’re looking to replace it with a semi-transparent that will last longer. I don’t know what (or if) the previous homeowner used on the decks, but they are 15 years old and in pretty good shape (we’ve replaced a couple of boards).
Should we go with Restore a Deck or the TWP100? I want it to last as long as possible.
Try the TWP Semi-solids for longer UV protection: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/twp-semi-solid-pro-series-wood-and-deck-stain-review/
Make sure to prep well first.
I am restoring an outside and an inside deck in central western Maine.
There was nothing done to these decks in about 20 years. They are pressure treated wood. The outside deck is in tough condition, the inside (screened) porch is in fair to good condition. I’m currently cleaning the outside entry deck with a 50/50 mix of simple green / water. After scrubbing and scraping. Whatever preservative was used is long gone! I may sand the outside deck to insure I have a good surface before coating.
I’m looking at using the TWP 1500. Is there a better choice?
No. The TWP 1500 would be a great choice.
Thanks, I still have a fair amount of scraping of the surface to do. It will look so much better when done.
This is the western mountains of Maine.
How late in the season can I treat it?
I obviously need to get down to clear wood and let it dry.
What is my minimum night time temperature and for (approximately) how many days of drying time?
Temps need to be above 50 for most stain brands. As for drying and curing, all brands differ.
We had a deck built onto our porch last summer, I am currently sanding the paint from the old porch and want to stain all of it. I might have waited too long, as the new deck wood is starting to turn an ash gray and black mold spots are starting to appear. My questions are: 1, how can I get the paint out from in between the boards on the old porch? See attached photo. 2, will pressure washing the newer part of the deck be enough before staining? 3, I love that redwood semi transparent water based. Will that be a good choice or should I be looking at oil based? One thing I read says water based is better, the next says oil based. I am very confused about which I should use and why.
1. You can’t.
2. Use a deck cleaner and brightener while pressure washing.
3. Yes it would be a good choice. Both bases are good as long you are using a top brand.
Thank you for the help.
Hello! I’m hoping you can give me some feedback. I had a deck stained a few weeks before these pictures were taken. All the marks that are visible in the pix do not come off with sweeping or washing. I also tried Simple Green with a deck brush, and when it dries, all these marks return.
Can you guess why this happened or what it is? I appreciate your best educated guess(es)! Thanks!
You over-applied the stain and now it is having curing issues. Because of this, all dirt and grime are sticking to the surface. There is not an easy way to fix it outside of removing all and starting over. Also, using a better stain brand would help.
Hi! Thank you so much! I assume “over-applied” means too much was put on? Removing is done by sanding, right? (Sorry to be such a novice). What’s the best brand you’d recommend for a deck that is (1) exposed to the elements/uncovered, and (2) has soil around it with clay in it (which I would hope wouldn’t matter, but this is the excuse the worker who stained my deck is giving me –he’s blaming it on the clay content of the soil that then sticks to the deck). I am looking for something that won’t show dirt (lol) because this is a vacation rental. In other words, I’m less concerned about color/asthetic than I am about it being low-maintenance and easy to clean so it looks normal.
Yes. Sand is probably the best way to remove this. It is a stain issue, not a soil issue.
The other option if you do not want to stain is to clean and cover all with a solid stain. Maybe a lighter or gray color so the dirt does not stand out?
Hi Scott, thanks for all the information that you share! I would like to buy a prebuilt studio built in WA state, and install it in my backyard in LA. It has a douglas fir wood siding, and I would like that the shop paints it with a semi transparent wood stain that could last 2-3 years before re-applying a maintenance coat. Which one would you recommend? It will get a lot of sun. FYI: a neighbor installed a similar product and I see that the wood shrank and you can see unpainted wood.(please see picture attached).
He used Olympic Elite Solid.
PS: The siding is 1×6 T&G Douglas Fir.
You should not prestain new wood. See this for tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Thank you. Actually, it’s not a prestain. It would be the ultimate exterior finishing…
After reading the link you shared, I think I should wait at least 2-3 months before staining the wood.
Hello! I just had my porch replaced and now I need to treat the bare wood. The porch has a little protection from rain, but is west facing so gets lots of sun. Ideally, I only want a very light stain to enhance the wood color. Recommendations? Thanks! Your site is very informative!
See here as it cannot be done yet: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Your recommendation please as to best product for interior bathroom wall. Cedar veneer T&G, Rainier Plank from Defiance, Gig Harbor WA.
Restore A Deck Wood stains.
We are removing Behr semi transparent deck stain from a large deck. It never held up well, and peels off even sticks to your feet.We have used Behr stripping and brightening products to remove the stain. Can we use another brand semi transparent stain, Defy, for example? It is pressure treated
Yes, as long as you have removed the Behr you can switch.
I have twelve hundred square feet of pressure treated decking. It is in upstate New York on the water and takes the full sun, wind, and rain. It is 32 years old but looks great because I have kept up with maintaining it. Since New York banned oil based stains, it seems I only get 2 years out of water based semi transparent stains before they start to show wear. I have used quality stains such as Olympic, CWF and PPG products. Do you have any suggestions what semi transparent stain I might use that would last longer? I would like to get at least 3 or 4 years durability before restaining. Also, in preparation I use a deck wash and then pressure wash. With your expertise, could you tell me the name of the best deck wash.
Thank you for your help!
New York didn’t ban oil-based stains. You can still use oil-based stains in NY as long as they are 250 VOC compliant. TWP 1500 and Armstrong Clark are both oil-based and can be used there.
No stain will last 3-4 years on a deck. 2-3 is the max you will get with a high quality stain. If you want to switch stain brands and bases, you have to remove your old coatings fully. Post some pics if you want advice with this.
Thank you so much for the information!
Just installed 80′ of Con-heart Redwood fencing and sanded an older 80′ same redwood fencing. Trying to figure out stain. Last time I used an oil base stain and fence became an ugly gray after 4 years or so. Im in So Cal, heat and barely any rain. I want to preserve the look of the grain and knots of the wood, so Im thinking semi-transparent. Whats the main diff between water base and oil base? When I have to restain in the future, do I have to sand wood again if I use a water base? Does one tend to last longer? Also, 1 neighbor may not stain his side of the fence, will that affect my side? Thank you! Product recommendation please. 😊
Try Restore A Deck Semi-Transparent Stain. It will do great for this fence in CA. The neighbor should stain his side as well to preserve the wood.
The deck is a year old
I live In Missouri. The deck is 16×24 flooring and frame is yellawood with cedar posts and skirting. Wondering what is the best type of semi transparent stain to use? Water or oil based as this deck is in full sun. Thanks for the advice.
Look at Restore A Deck if you want water-based: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain-review/
TWP 100 Series if oil-based: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/twp-100-pro-series-wood-and-deck-stain-review/
i applied Thompson solid stain on my deck in May 2021-now May 2022 it is virtually washed out. I applied the same solid stain in 2018 and it lasted about 3 yrs. it’s water based. should I apply a semi-transparent stain now.? the deck looks awful
You cannot apply a semi-transparent stain over a solid stain. You would have to sand it off first.
Is sanding my only option? Are any of the restoration deck resurfacing products an alternative?
Yes, if you want to remove it fully for a semi-transparent. Another option is to not sand but remove the loose and peeling stain and then go over the intact stain with another solid stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Can I use an old base solid color stain over Thompson water based solid color stain? Should I?
Use a water-based solid stain again not oil.
I have a brand new western red cedar arbor with swing from Canada.
Since it is brand new, do I need any preparation before staining? Do I need to wait for sometime? Thank you.
See this for tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
We live in Colorado. We have a redwood deck built around 1998. Penafin transparent stain was always used to stain until about 6 years ago when a painter recommended Cabot’s semi solid which was was a terrible choice. We had the deck sanded down to bare wood and stained 3 years ago with Superdeck oil based transparent stain. It was the Duckback original formula sold at ACE Hardware before Sherwin Williams bought and changed the formula . I can no longer get what I used 3 years ago and what Sherwin Williams has is water based. It’s time to stain again and I am at a loss as to what stain to use on our deck. I don’t want semi transparent and I don’t want to have to sand down to the bare wood. I called the Penafin company and they said I can’t use Penafin with out sanding down to the bare wood again. What do you recommend that I use and where do I find it? We have a north facing deck that can get a lot of snow in the winter and little sun. It does get a good amount of sun in the summer. Thank you for your help. Barbara
Prep with the Restore A Deck Stripper and Brightener Kits: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/restore-a-deck-injectable-deck-stain-stripper-review/
and stain with TWP 1500 Series or Armstrong Clark Stains.
Is the stripper necessary and why?
The previous coating has to be removed when switching brands of stain. It is easy to strip the old Super Deck.
If I use the deck stripper and brightened can I then use the Penafin or does Penafin require sanding the deck because of their formula?
You can use Penofin if you want but we would advise against it. Penofin has major issues with turning black in color.
Where do you find TWP or Srmstrong in Denver
20-year-old redwood deck in Colorado mountains. Just sanded it down to bare wood (looks like a million bucks right now) and am looking for something semi-transparent to show off the grain. Thanks!
TWP 1500 Series or Armstrong Clark Stains.
I didn’t mention that it was in the full sun 3/4 of the day and just gets hammered with uv. Would the TWP or Armstrong still be your recommendation, and if so, which of one would you go with? Thanks so much!
It will not matter between the two brands if you want semi-transparent. They will last about the same. For better UV, then go with a semi-solid color
Hi, Love your site! We live in East Texas with lots of humidity. We have a deck that was built last May and a porch that was built in 2017. Neither have been stained. We have a dark grey house and are probably going with the Defy brand of stain after reading your article and we want to use water based stain. What color would you recommend for a SW gauntlet grey colored house?
We are very nervous about this staining project and need help.
Use the RAD Stain in the gray that they offer. Prep is key to longevity.
We live in Canada. Full sun deck. What is the best Cedar deck stain you would recommend. Easy to apply. UV protectant. Longer life span.
TWP 200 Series or Armstrong Clark Stain.
I hope you can help given your experience even though my question relates to a stain for wood installed indoors. I live in Long Island, NY. I’m installing a new wood ceiling in master bathroom which has a shower. We had planned to stain (with a penetrating stain) & seal all four sides of PINE tongue and groove planks with polyurethane. But we’ve learned the heat from shower steam reaches 120 degrees or more, and will very likely cause the polyurethane to bubble up / peal (yes, even though the bathroom is properly ventilated). If we just stain the PINE (NOT also apply poly sealer), shower steam would eventually cause the pine to warp, rot and collect mildew as moisture will get into unsealed PINE. To avoid this problem, and to avoid having to sand the PINE and reapply new poly every 6-12 months (when it bubbles / peals), we’ve decided to install CEDAR tongue and groove planks (4x the cost of pine) on the ceiling and apply 1-2 coats of a penetrating stain or penetrating stain & sealer, hoping the CEDAR’s natural ability to resist moisture, mildew and rot, when combined with the protection of stain, will hold up well and allow us to (simply??) reapply stain every few years to the CEDAR planks (to the one side of CEDAR we will see after installation).
1. Is there a stain, or stain & sealer product / brand you suggest for CEDAR that is designed, or should hold up well, to hot shower steam? If not, do you know of an additive I can add to gallon of stain or stain & sealer to help it better hold up to hot steam?
2. Is my use of tongue and groove CEDAR planks and 1-2 coats of stain or stain & sealer (on all four sides prior to installation on ceiling) a sound plan, or do you have any other suggestions of wood to use (other than IPE or Teak…too expensive)?
3. When the CEDAR starts to gray and needs another coat of stain or stain & sealer (hopefully in at least a few years), will I need to cause a mess in my bathroom by applying a Brightener / Cleaner before another coat is applied? Or, since the CEDAR will be indoors and (in theory) significantly cleaner than if outdoors, I will be able to (get away with) just brush on another coat of stain or stain & sealer in a few years?
Thanks so much! David
Sorry, but we do not know of any exterior stain products that will work inside for a bathroom. I think you will have issues with mildew and mold growth.
WE LIVE IN WISCONSIN.GOT A NEW DECK WITH PRESSURE TREATED WOOD LAST YEAR AROUND A POOL.NEED TO INSTALL UPPER DECK NEXT YEAR. HAVE ALWAYS USED OIL SEMI-TRANSPARENT.WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND TO USE AS A STAIN AND SEALER.
TWP 100 Series or Armstrong Clark Stains.
We live in New York. We got new deck done with pressure treated wood in first week of August,2021. Our question is: should we stain the deck in first week of October or it is better to wait till next spring? Our concern is that our deck would not have protection during the winter / snow months.
Next Spring. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
What is best stain/sealer for Cypress siding? Siding is planed and shiplapped. I want a Redwood or Mahagony stain with high UV protection. Should both sides be sealed, and oil or water base? Thanks
No reason to stain both sides and make sure to weather and prep if new wood. Stain with Armstrong Clark or TWP Stains.
Should underside be sealed
Our deck was stained with semi transparent Sherwin-Williams waterborne superdeck three years ago, overall no peeling but there is beginning to be some wear. We want to protect and if possible restore some of the color. Can you reapply semi transparent over the top of the existing stain, or better to use a clear sealer instead?
You can never apply a clear sealer over a deck stain and you cannot apply a different semi-transparent stain over the SW without full removal.
oops, too late – we pressure washed then applied a light coat of SW stain over top of the original. Will see if it peels. Really appreciate all the good info on your site but was left wondering: besides periodic cleaning, is there any way to *maintain* a deck stained with semi-transparent stain other than to remove/restain – sounds like no?
Penetrating semi-transparent stains like the ones above that we suggest can be cleaned and reapplied as needed.
What would be the best stain for a log home in Missouri? We have used an oil-based product called WOODGuard HoneyBase; but seems to leave a dripping stain after it rains.
Try TWP 1500 Series. Make sure to strip off the Woodguard first.
Thank you. Does the TWP 1500 series have a similar honeybase color? (light orangish yellow)
Which color do you recommend?
I just built a cedar front porch. I stained it in March 2021 with Shermin Williams Super Deck modified-oil formula Transparent Stain in Natural. One coat as per instructions. This porch gets full sun for 8 hours a day. 5 months later (August) it has faded considerably and has areas where it looks like the stain was not absorbed at all. I would like to restain it with something that has the most UV protection with a darker tint, but still want the natural look of the cedar to show through. What do you suggest? And would I have to remove that first coat of Super Deck before re-staining?
Yes, you will need to strip and brighten for prep. Try the Restore A Deck Stain in Natural or TWP in Honeytone colors.
Do you have a review or knowledge of rodda’s rural manor stain?
We do not.
I have a 10 year old pressure treated deck and the initial application (1 year after it was built) was with a solid stain. The solid stain did not hold up well and had to be removed and reapplied every year. I just had the deck professionally sanded and it looks great! I’m now ready to apply a semi-transparent natural or cedar stain and am considering a few options. Any suggestions?
Clean and brighten the wood for final prep. Stain with Restore A Deck Stains or TWP 100 Series.
We have been in our home for three years. The front porch was I believe painted just before we moved in. Pictures are attached. What is the best way to put a semi transparent stain on and what is the best product. There is a green film on the edges near the railing.
Using the Restore a Deck products, strip and brighten the wood for prep. Stain with the Restore A Deck Stain or the Armstrong Clark Stains.
Can I use Defy Stripper and Defy Brightener and then Restore-A-Deck Stain?
Not sure if Restore A Deck will warranty the stain if you do this but it should be okay.
I am building a fence with rough-sawn redwood. I am refacing a cinder block wall so will not be able to stain the back side once installed. I’ve had the lumber in my garage for 2 weeks can I stain it beforehand? Southern California-temperate climate. Any suggestions?
Since it is rough sawn, yes. Use TWP 150 Series or Armstrong Clark.
I live in Jenks Oklahoma. I am in the process of stripping my deck. It has silkens oil base transparent stain. I have a 15 year old Red Wood deck in good shape. The size is 17’ by 20’.
Spring is always raining here.
What is your best suggestion for Stain.
I want transparent and a light color.
I am using DEFY wood cleaner to strip and DEFY brighter.
Confused on a wood stain.
I am 68 years old. This is a big project for me alone. Help.
FYI, Defy Wood cleaner will not strip off a stain like Sikkens. You would need a stripper. For the stain, try the Restore A Deck Stain or the Armstrong Clark Stain.
Hello from Charlotte NC. We recently moved into a home with a deck that was previously stained in a semitransparent SW product. The product is wearing through, some treads are showing weathering. Also in a very damp environment so we have mildew. Is it true that I can not use semitransparent again? It is the lightest application of stain, in a gray color that shows the natural grain of the wood. (pressure treated wood) Looking for clear guidance on the proper process to prep, restain and seal this deck before it gets worse. It’s mostly stairs and a small landing.
Post pictures for prep help. The current stain will need to come off.
Hello from Ontario, Canada
Looking for stain recommendations.
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun in afternoon, Shade in morning
Wood Type: Pressure Treated
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: No stain failure, 2 Year old deck, not stained
Previous Coating? None – Looking for Semi-Transparent Stain
TWP 200 Series or Restore A Deck Wood Stains.
Good day, I’ve recently built a pergola and a deck/treehouse, using native western red cedar logs, both living and standing-dead in addition to milled pine. I stripped bark from the living cedar logs and used as is(posts mostly). I want to use a clear sealant/stain in able to see the cedar patterns. I was leaning toward ‘Ready Seal’. What can you recommend? Thank you for your time and cooperation this issue.
Ready Seal does not last and rubs off. See here for new wood stain tips and suggestions: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
I have an older deck that is in good condition. It appears to have been stained previously with a solid color and then the color appears to have been removed (I can see small areas of remaining stain in various locations).
I wanted to clean/refinish it with semi-transparent stain but have been told that since the deck is older, it would be a problem (color wouldn’t be consistent and given the random stain spots, it would look splotchy).
Therefore, are my only two choices a solid stain again or a clear sealer? If so, I’d prefer not to use a solid stain for aesthetic reasons. Any cost-effective tips on making the deck look as good as possible while protecting it with a sealer or other product?
Send some pictures of current condition for help.
We stain large amounts of fence board and cedar siding
We currently use ready seal because of how easy and goof proof it is
Is there any other products on the market that I can roll on and stack wet before installing, like I do ready seal?
You are giving up a lot when using RS as it just does not last. It never cures or dries. Basically, it is just paraffin oil (a non-drying oil) with some pigment in it. This causes rub off on clothes and fading 2-3 times faster than the top brands. But if you are prestaining then you are very limited as the full curing stains will not stain well for brand new wood unless it is rough sawn cut.
What is your preference, oil or water based and why? For reference, I have a pressure treated deck I built several months ago and am finally getting around to the staining. Currently has no finish.
It is not a matter if one base is better than the others. It is more about the brand itself. All the ones we rated above work extremely well when you prep and apply correctly.
See here for new wood tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
I built a new cedar deck in 2017. In 2018, I stained it for first time using Ready Seal semi transparent stain. It has faded badly and I will restain in 2021. I am considering TWP 1500. Can I just clean deck and apply the TWP 1500? Do I need to use some other product first? The deck gets full sun in summer near Chicago.
Strip and then brighten for prep. Use the Restore A Deck Kits.
Used Minwax penetrating stain and Minwax Melmsman Spar Urethane on my porch beams and deck but it is really losing it’s color and peeling rapidly. Can I use one of the Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Deck Stain and Sealer on my porch? Also, I know that I will have to get rid of the peeling problem but will the Restore-A-Deck penetrate with the existing stain still engrained in the wood?
No, you have to sand off the Minwax first before switching to a proper deck and wood stain.
Are you saying that I need to remove the entire layer of wood that has been stained or that I need to remove just the layer of Spar Urethane on the wood?
All. Stained and the Urethane will need to be removed 100%
We live in Missouri and in the process of having our front porch rebuilt with smooth western cedar flooring, posts, and railing. The floor is done and the contractor said the wood is dry and he suggested we stain or seal it right away. We had always heard we need to wait. Can your please give us advice?
He is wrong. You cannot stain it right away: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Im lookong to keep the new fresh pinkesh look to my new Ceder adarondak chairs. What would you recommend. I know fir UV protection it will need some pigment. Iv looked at valspar 4 season and a few others at lowes and home depot… what are your thoughts about the best “clear” ssealer with UV protection.
The is no such thing as a clear sealer with UV protection. Must be tinted and then or tint you have the longer the UV protection. Best to use one of the semi-transparent stains above.
I’ve been reading articles posted on this website over the last couple of weeks, thank you for all of the information, very helpful.
My question: I am trying to track down the best semi-transparent grey stain for our redwood fence, to match the color/trim of our home, but I feel like I am going in circles. I’ve narrowed the search down to two:
1) RAD, Cottage Grey: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain/restore-a-deck-wood-stain-5-gallon/flypage.tpl.html
2) Armstrong Clark, Driftwood Grey: https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/armstrong-clark-stain-5-gallon
Others in the running include: Wood Defender Fence Stain (Charcoal Grey) and Defy Extreme (Driftwood grey)
While I realize you have the top deck 5 stains listed in this article, I am wondering if this list changes for fences.
Thank you in advance!
No changes for fences but the good news is that vertical wood will last 2-3 times longer than decking before a reapplication is needed. Either RAD or AC would work very well.
Thank you for responding so quickly!
christian, which did you end up using and how did it turn out? do you have photos?
Hi have a question if I have a deck stained 3 years ago that has faded some spots still show color other spots you can see the wood can I give it a new coat of the same stain or do I have to strip all of it. Thanks
Pictures and what stain brand and type of stain?
Flood CWF-U.V. semi transparent
We would strip and brighten it. That way the new coating is even when applied.
Flood CWF-U.V. semi transparent
First, let me say what a WONDERFUL Site you have! I have found it to be The Most Informative on Stains & Sealers. Thank you for the time you spend on sharing your knowledge & experience.
We live on a Lake in Central Mississippi.
Very Hot, Dry & Humid Summers, Wet & Cold Winters w/a lot of North Wind off the lake.
Our deck and Boat Ramp is Fully exposed, Penna-treated Pine. The House is Western Cedar Lap Siding, Full Sun.
The siding however, turns dark, almost black when untreated. Is this due to mildew ?
It cleans up beautifully to a light blond/orange tone which we would like to keep as close to the natural look as possible.
We just recently purchased the house and Neither the Deck nor Siding, Which are both approximately 8yrs old, have ever been treated.
Question 1- Best Clear Sealer or Transparent stain for Deck?
Question 2 – Best Semi-Transparent Stain for the House Siding?
Thank you for your suggestions.
A Grateful Southern Gal,
1. Clear coatings will not work to protect from UV graying. Has to be a stinted stain and semi-transparent are best.
2. TWP 100 Series or Armstrong Clark would work well.
We live in Central/Northern Virginia & have replaced all of the horizontal boards on our deck. We plan to use an Armstrong Clark stain for those after about 3 months.
We want to paint the spindles white – they are not new & are currently stained dark brown. What is the best thing to use to make the spindles white? Would we look for a solid stain?
Yes, solid stain. See this for tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/advantages-to-having-a-two-toned-deck/
Your list of top-rated deck stains is much different than the list published by Consumer Reports, and a local deck-staining business strongly recommends the Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck product. Why the big differences in these ratings?
See this: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/2016-consumer-reports-deck-stain-ratings/
And SW stains are poor as well. Many issues with the SuperDeck turning black: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/superdeck-stain-review/