Best Stain For Full Sun Decks 2024  4.7/5 (36)

This post was updated on February 28, 2024

Best Stain For Full Sun Decks in 2024

DeckStainHelp.com has become the Internet’s go-to site for all things exterior wood surface restoration-related. New this year is Restore-A-Deck in a day, which was not mentioned in the article below for its ability to withstand the elements when your deck is in full sun. We encourage customer interaction on our site, so feel free to leave a comment.


best deck stain for full sunOne of the biggest elements in the lifespan of a deck is sun exposure. When a deck is exposed to full sun, it can have a damaging effect that can shorten the life of the wood. Harmful UV rays break down the wood fibers and cause discoloration, graying, and fading. When a deck becomes severely sun-damaged the decking boards can warp, crack, and split causing dangerous splinters and a very unappealing look. In extreme cases, UV damage is irreversible and cannot be repaired.

The best stain for full sun decks is one that has a heavily pigmented formula that acts as a sunscreen and blocks damaging UV radiation. Most of the stains that are best for full sun decks will penetrate deeply into the wood pores. For example, Defy Extreme is an excellent waterborne product that uses nanoparticle technology and heavy resins to help reflect harmful sun rays.

TWP Stains also offers several different stains that protect against sun damage. They offer many different colors but as with any stain, the darker the color (more pigment) the more sun protection it will provide. If your full sun deck has already suffered from a certain amount of sun damage then Armstrong Clark makes an outstanding wood stain that will replace the lost natural oils in the wood. These nondrying conditioning oils separate from the drying side of the formula and penetrate deep into the wood fibers to rejuvenate the wood. The Armstrong Clark or TWP Semi-Solid Pro-Series in a semi-solid color will give the best UV protection of any of the stains that still show the wood grain.

Deck stain Photos Semi-Solid Colors

Best Deck Stain for Full Sun

When choosing the best stain for full sun decks you must also consider the type of wood you are staining. Certain stains are better for different types of wood. For example, Defy Hardwoods would be a great choice for a full sun deck made of cedar, redwood, mahogany, or other difficult penetrating woods. Armstrong Clark in Mahogany or Amber colors are also great options for these types of wood. Any of these brands may be the best stain for full sun decks just depending on the situation.

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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
#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.

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Jacob
Jacob
14 days ago

Looking for suggestions on a stain that will complement the tones of our home and be natural looking. Also wanting something that is heat resistant that would allow walking on it barefoot.

Last edited 14 days ago by Jacob
Jacob
Jacob
13 days ago

Tried twice to attach pictures and it allows me to select a photo to upload but then doesn’t show up.

Last edited 13 days ago by Jacob
Dan Hume
Dan Hume
9 months ago

We need to refinish a deck and cabin at high altitude (10K with high daily UV index). Advice on prepping and best to protect wood

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Gary
Gary
9 months ago

I have full sun deck made of Pt decking … what is best to protect it

Brad Otremba
Brad Otremba
10 months ago

We live in the Twin Cities metro and our deck faces the west with full sun starting around 1100-800. We just replaced our old deck, which was all cedar and stained with Penofin stain, which basically was junk. We replaced the deck with cedar railings and cedar toned treated lumber. Looking for the best stain combo for use on the cedar railings and the cedar toned treated deck lumber. Neighbor talked about Cabot’s Australian oil, unknown if it’s the same or better than Penofin. We understand that the harsh all day sun and very cold Mn winters aren’t deck friendly, but we do what we can. Seeking your advice for the best overall solution for the two different types of wood under the same conditions. Thank you

Anja
Anja
10 months ago

Which colour is the TWP Semi-Solid Stain that you show on the deck pictures? Does it work well with Fir? Thank you.

Janet
Janet
10 months ago

Hi! What would work best for a deck made of Douglas fir. It has no stain currently. Would I need to prep it with wood conditioner? What would work best for this type of wood? I am trying to keep it a natural oak color

Andy
Andy
11 months ago

What would be the best stain for a 4yr old pressure treated wood deck in Chicago that gets full sun, all day in the summer. It was originally professionally stained but now wanting to do it myself.

Amy
Amy
11 months ago

Hi,

We had our 400+ sq ft deck replaced with pressure treated pine in 2020. Our deck gets full sun all day long. We have used Penofin for Hardwood Oil Stain in Transparent Natural Tone. It looks nice initially but then gets gray and dark rather quickly. It has been prepped with their cleaner/brightener and stained twice now and ready for another coat. Assuming this may not be the best stain for our situation? Do you have any recommendations that would not require annual staining? We do prefer something on the lighter side and do not want a solid stain. Would a water sealant be any help or is that just asking for peeling? If we switch stains, will that require completely removing the stain by stripping or will a cleaner/brighter be enough? Regret not going with composite.

Thanks!

misty hampton
misty hampton
11 months ago

Is a full coverage deck stain available that stays cool to touch and doesn’t burn the bottoms of feet?

Keith
Keith
11 months ago

Hello,

Looking for a good stain/seal that can hold up to the elements. I purchased Valspar semi transparent cedar tone and it looked great for a few months. I ended up re applying a year later only to get the same results.

I have a south facing deck with no shade. I live in MO where we get every type of weather and temps from 105 degrees to below zero. I think my biggest issue is the sun. Ready to find something real that I can enjoy for awhile and that’s easy to re apply as needed.

Thanks for the help!

Keith
Keith
11 months ago

Thanks! I have actually sanded most of my deck down over the past week, so no luck on getting a good photo of the deck as it is. I don’t have immediate access to a power washer so I sanded the Valspar off.

Are you recommending a semi-transparent here? (I see the TWP 100 series is) I was looking at the semi-solids but if they have a tendency to peel then I am all for the semi-transparent. I like the look better on the semi transparent as well.

Chad
Chad
11 months ago

How do solid stains handle direct sunlight? We get triple digits in the summer and the porch is in direct sun. I am looking to use Sharkskin from Rodda. hybrid waterborne technology – cross-linking Acrylic & Urethane resins with Linseed oil to provide the ultimate in weather protection and scuff & mar resistance from foot traffic.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

Is the formula for California that much different for most exterior deck stains. I have noticed as environmental regulations changed in our state that the lifespan of the stain seems to have been greatly reduced. I have heard that is the reason. Any truth to that?

Rita C
Rita C
1 year ago

I live in sunny warm California I have a fence in full sun for most of the day. What sun protectant sealer/stain would work the best. We get warm to 120 degree weather during the summer to freezing temps in the winter.

Linda Dotson
Linda Dotson
1 year ago

I live I. Pahrump NV. Looking for a wood stain that will hold up in extreme heat and freezing in the winter. Thank you

Linda Dotson
Linda Dotson
1 year ago

Thank you!

J Natas
J Natas
1 year ago

I live in GA and having wood columns put up in front of main door. Moderate direct sunlight. What type of stain do you recommend? Thank you for your help!

J Natas
J Natas
1 year ago

Thank you so much!

Jen
Jen
1 year ago

I live in southwest Virginia. We have a large tiered deck. The deck gets full afternoon to evening sun (11:00ish AM to 6:00ishPM) and summers are hot, winters are wet, cold, snow, ice. We replaced the upper deck in 2019 due to mold rotted wood and cracks but have not been able to stain it yet (thanks, CoVid). We’d like a long-standing stain – we’re open to any semi or solid as long it’s the best UV protection and longest wear on horizontal surfaces). Also mold is a concern (had to replace the old deck due to mold-rotted wood). – I used a Behr water + oil based combo previously and wonder if that caused it to rot so quickly. Within a few years the wood started to rot. I ah e concerns about an oil based stain due to previous experience and I’ve thought about Defy since it’s water based but unsure of how long it will remain and which product. Would also like a recommendation for a cleaner to prep before staining and how to remove possible minor fuzzies since it’s been a few years. Thank you! Jen

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Dave
Dave
1 year ago

Have a large mangaris wood deck in So Cal… gets a lot of sun and grays quickly. I’ve used Penofin in the past but it doesn’t seem to last long. Any suggestions?

Jackie Levja
Jackie Levja
2 years ago

I live in Colorado and have a cedar deck that is exposed to full sun at a higher elevation and a very dry climate. We have tried TWP and Armstrong stains. Both require annual treatment. The wood on the deck is cracking and cupping slightly. Is there a better stain to try to help add moisture into the wood?

Last edited 2 years ago by Jackie Levja
John Tulchin
John Tulchin
2 years ago

I am working on an ipe deck with full sun exposure at a property in the Caribbean. The deck was originally finished with Cabots Australian Timber Oil. Almost immediately the stain was showing surface scratches presumably because of poor penetration of the dense ipe material. There is also considerable fading. We’re considering Messemers and Armstrong. Which product will give the best scratch resistance and also the longest UV protection while enhancing the natural beauty of the ipe?

John Tulchin
John Tulchin
2 years ago

Thank you. Based on your experience will it perform better than the Amber Cabot Australian Timber Oil that was used previously as far as UV and scratching?

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john tulchin
john tulchin
2 years ago

Based on your experience will Armstrong Clark amber significantly out perform Cabots Australian Timber Oil Amber with regard to UV protection/fading and also surface scratching? We don’t have easy access to Armstrong Products in our area but I can ship it in if it is notably superior

John Tulchin
John Tulchin
2 years ago

Thanks for the help. I had planned on annual recoating. Based on the initial treatment, the Cabots product will require semi-annual. I will switch to Armstrong if the expectation is that it will perform better, and assuming I can get it.

Diane strauss
Diane strauss
2 years ago

I live in Florida and have mostly full sun and extreme heat. We just built a dock with treated wood. What would be better to use? Clear stain or semi colour stain?.. And which one would last the longest?

Szilvia Beylik
Szilvia Beylik
2 years ago

Found this article while searching for wood stains for a new oak front door. I live in Southern California and the sun mercilessly beats down on this door. Everyone tells me I should paint it but I want to preserve the wood grain look. I’m guessing there really isn’t much difference between staining a door vs a deck, so I figured I’ll ask; what stain would hold up best with heavy sun exposure on a front door?
Thank you!

Szilvia Beylik
Szilvia Beylik
2 years ago

I know. But it seems deck stains are designed to withstand extreme sun, and that’s what my door is getting. Regular stains don’t advertise withstanding extreme weather conditions. So while it’s a bit of an out of the box thinking, is there a reason why I shouldn’t use a deck stain for my door?

Jeanne Keeler
Jeanne Keeler
2 years ago

We are in Georgia and have a large full sun 12 year old pine deck. It has been stained with Behr water based stain 2 or 3 times. We need to stain this year and want to use a better product that lasts longer. The big question, is there a product that we would not have to strip the old stain? Thank you.

Michael Boucher
Michael Boucher
2 years ago

First of all you’re a TERRIFIC resource. Question – new deck, full sun in GA so very hot during summer, going to use TWP semi solid. Do you recommend adding a small amount of sealant like poly/helmsman to the mix for further protection or is that asking for trouble like peeling down the road from summer heat? Thank you very much.

Michael Boucher
Michael Boucher
2 years ago

Thank you! I’ve seen people suggest that online and YouTube and that was my worry. Appreciate the prompt response.

Sandra Wood Forand
Sandra Wood Forand
2 years ago

What product should I use to re-cover wooden railings in direct sun year round that are badly peeled after first transparent stain and then solid stain? The vertical posts are holding the solid stain fine, but the horizontal surfaces peel badly.

Sandra Wood Forand
Sandra Wood Forand
2 years ago

Here’s the peeling solid stain on drying wood two years after application.

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Sandra Wood Forand
Sandra Wood Forand
2 years ago

Thanks very much.

Buck
Buck
2 years ago

Looking for the best stain to hold up to full sun and a lot of sand. My deck is 20′ away from white sugar sand beach in N Michigan, it faces SE so sees a TON of sun, and I just can’t seem to find a stain that will hold up against the sand and foot traffic. Looking for advice. Thanks in advance!