Cabot Wood Deck Stain Review 3.1/5 (53)

by Deck Stain Help
Cabot Wood Deck Stains

Cabot Wood Deck Stains

Updated February 2020

Cabot Australian Timber Oil Review 2020

Cabot Wood and Deck Stains offer 3-way protection for exterior wood and decking. This offers maximum durability from water damage while penetrating deep into the wood. Containing linseed oil and Trans-oxides, Cabot Stains will reflect UV damage giving long-lasting protection. Cabot traditionally has been one of the leaders in the exterior wood restoration industry.

For the test deck and review, we choose to use Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil in the Natural tone.

Cabot Australian Timber Oil Wood Deck Stain Rating (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 7

– The Natural Tone of the Cabot Stain did a remarkable job of restoring the wood colors in our pine deck. The stain did not penetrate into the wood as expected and had shiny spots throughout the flooring.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 6

-The Cabot Deck Stain showed 60% color retention after 2 years. The Natural tint faded in color significantly on the flooring. We expected better results from the Cabot Australian Timber Oil.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 7.5

-On 25% of the decking surface, the Cabot Stain was completely gone after two years. It seemed that the winter did substantial damage to the stain as there was heavy wearing.

Cost Per Square Foot: 8

– We only needed one gallon of the Cabot’s to cover the 200 square feet. This equates to $.23 a square foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 6

– After 2 years there was a decent amount of mold growing on about 30% of the deck. In addition, there was algae growth under the railings and around the perimeter of the house.

Ease of Application: 8.5

– The Australian Timber Oil did not apply as easily as we would like. The finish spread very well as far as coverage but we had difficulty with getting the stain to absorb evenly into the wood. We used a stain pad applicator and applied evenly but the Cabot dried tacky and sticky in several areas.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 7.5

– Darkening of the stain had occurred where the stain was still attached to the wood. Mostly due to dirt and mold.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 7

– We would suggest a heavy stripping followed by a wood brightening to restore the Cabot Stain. We suggest stain removal since the stain had worn in places and there was mold/algae. This would be the best way to prep for another coat of stain.

Overall Score Cabot Wood Deck Stain at 2 Year Period: 7.19

– The Cabot Australian Timber Oil had an average score compared to other stains that we tested. We expected more from Cabot when it comes to preventing mold and algae. In addition, the UV resistance scored low. Not a bad stain but not the best either. A good option if you are limited to buying from a big box store. There are better decking stains online.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Select Hardware Stores or Online
Cost: $49.99 per Gallon, $245.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent
Available Colors: Amberwood, Honey Teak, Mahogany Flame, Natural
Application Temperature: 45-90 F
Coats Required: 1-2 Coats
Coverage Per Gallon: 200-300 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 24 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in All 50 States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Cabot

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: Pine
Deck Square Footage: 200
UV Exposure: Mostly Sun with southern exposure
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Natural

*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.


Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

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Mary Ramsden
Mary Ramsden

I want to apply the solid color oil deck stain (brown) to the exterior of a new Cedar cat house and would like to know if it is lead free and would it be toxic to outdoor pets or people? Please respond ASAP!

Pissed consumer
Pissed consumer

Tried semi solid and solid stains by Cabot. Glad we bought samples. It didn’t dry evenly but looks even till it starts drying, then to late. Ragging suggested if you use their stain. I personally think its garbage. The Valspar looks great and costs less.

Jim English
Jim English

I just applied two coats of cabot gold to my tongue and groove pine porch floor. I followed manufacturer’s recommendations for prepping, application, and coverage. It still seems a little “greyish” around the knots. I’m wondering if I can apply a third coat?

Mike Wilde
Mike Wilde

This review is in regards to the natural tone product ,applied the the product in accordance with the prep and all others requirements. This is a 35 year old front porch victorian out of the elements porch. Used one gallon , it has now been almost two weeks since the application it’s sticky as you walk on it. Called Cabot today 7/11.2019 told them of the issue there recommendation was to go buy a a jug of simple green to clean the deck !WHAT! a joke! OH YEA! call the simple green company and ask how to use it. Not what I expected and to say it didn’t absorb the product what a joke a 35 year old deck cleaned and prep per ther instructions not to mention a deck that has never had a product put on it that was a joke! This is a poor product BUYER BEWARE!

Steve mast
Steve mast

Cabot stain is a terrible product. I applied on my new redwood deck and after 2 years, I had to sand down deck to remove massive peeling. It caused a lot of work. I am a contractor and I will do my best to pass along this information to all customers.

Jed
Jed

Yes I agree, same thing do not use this product

Mary Hall
Mary Hall

I plan to use product for privacy fence. I bought Cabot at Lowe’s 10 yrs ago; when I went back 3 yrs ago they had switched to another brand, which I didn’t like as well. I don’t a deck but I do own privacy fence; I found no problem with graying or mold. My husband or son painted so I can’t tell you how well it applied;I know that there were 2 spray n go canisters that were used.

Bill Hawkins
Bill Hawkins

Review for Cabot Solid Acrylic Deck Stain. Rebuilt 700 square foot deck with replacing about 3/4 of the boards with new PT and then completely stripping and sanding the older boards in summer of 2018. Uses Cabot new redwood solid color ( water borne). Waited about 60 days for the PYT to dry and stained in July of last year. Its been about a year and the stain is still beautiful. NO PEELING, NO CHALKING. I live in NH and winters are rough here with lots of moisture. I swear some of the bad reviews of this stain are from people that although they said they prepped and stained correctly they actually didn’t…. Put the stain down with a 4 inch brush which took some time on such a large deck but I think that you really need to use a brush. I highly recommend this stain. Also I swear that some of the overly positive reviews from the other brands here are written by their own organization.. Just Saying. Cabot is a great stain.

Marie Timmer
Marie Timmer

we used Cabot wood tone deck and siding stain 3000natural and are wondering if we should apply another coat next year. We applied the first one in 2018

jerry
jerry

I used TWP to stain my deck. It held the color but not water resistant after the 1st year. What can I put on it to be water resistant?

Tom Murphy
Tom Murphy

I live in Northern, Illinois and have a cedar deck. I replaced all f my decking and let it “weather” for a year before applying a stain. I really shopped around for a good product and was advised by Lowes, that for my area and the finish I wanted, they recommended Cabot Australian Timber Oil. I contacted Cabot and they told me the procedure to follow. Well, I purchased 2 gallons of the product, cleaned deck, per instructions and let dry completely. I applied the stain, and as it dried, it looked like a million bucks. Looks were deceiving. This was May of 2018. Here it is, mid April 2019 and my deck looks terrible (wish I could attach photos). I just contacted cabot and was advised they would send me a refund, with proof of purchase. Now, let me ask you. How many people keep a receipt that long? Then they went on to tell me, that was about the life expectancy of the product. My advice: STEER CLEAR OF THIS TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE PRODUCT!!!

MegP
MegP

I absolutely agree. I will never touch a Cabot product again. OR a Sherwin Wms (since they now own Cabot) I loved SW for years. Until I suddenly didn’t, when I accidentally encountered their woter-borne semi-trans stain. My FIRST disaster (which ended in replacing the deck) (time had come. 20 yrs old)
New deck I had a shop apply Cabot semi-transparent alkyd stain to my new air dried in a ‘spa-drying’ shop. CVG cedar. It was a disaster that I am still dealing with a year later. Cabot rep came out and just shrugged and said ‘I don ‘t know”. The shop said they followed normal coating procedure -drying green wood for 2 wks at 80º before coating.. long story, Wine Valley Siding (the shop that coated it) told me to take it up with the lumber broker. I knew I was screwed. It appeared that it was a mill-glaze issue. The lumber vender steered me away from sanding,. (Thanks LS Cedar, Vashon Island.)I am happy to have found this site. I have just pressure washed the crap off my deck, what was left. Now trying to determine the next step. Sand? Brighten? G&T seems to be the only way to go. I hope my photos get posted!
Misery loves company. So happy to have found this site!

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Carol
Carol

We did our deck 2 years ago, 2 coats with australian timber oil, 1st year water beaded up, was beautiful. 2nd year, not too bad, faded slightly but still beads water. This year going to wash/reapply.
Did not have any pealing, some scratches from furniture, some green mold from rain, but otherwise I think it held up good and is easy to use.
Just wondering, how much prep I need to do before reapply? Just wash or strip???

Barb
Barb

We used Cabot on our boathouse deck and within 30 days mold started showyup. Our deck looks terrible. All molded. I’m sick about it!!! How can we get this #%%!!! Off??? We have ruined our boathouse. 😥

Taylor
Taylor

I applied 2 coats of Cabot semi solid to my dry boathouse deck 2 months ago Now, I have mold everywhere rain has contacted the deck. What can I do?

Jane
Jane

Is Cabot SPF 48 product still available? Any experience putting another product on top of it? We have mostly Golden Tan on redwood decks.

Andre
Andre

Available at ACE Hardware. Checked 3/2/2019.

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Gloria Kasper
Gloria Kasper

can I apply a new coat of Cabot 19400 (water clean up) over the exciting 3400 ( mineral spirits cleanup)?

No name
No name

I stained my deck with cabot oil based semi transparent stain 4 weeks ago. I wish I had made another choice! Application was difficult. It did NOT apply evenly and I have streaks everywhere. Now white streaks are appearing. I would not use this oil based stain again. Totally disappointed and would not recommend it!

Tom Murphy
Tom Murphy

IT IS PURE JUNK!!!

MegP
MegP

Terrible stuff.

Ginny Jamieson
Ginny Jamieson

Is Cabot Gold Exterior Stain acrylic based?

RGray
RGray

I had my all wood deck built in May 2017. The contractor used Cabot Stain. By August, at least 1/2 of the deck stain had faded. Fall 2017, I noticed a powdery mildew/algae on the Perogala beams. It could be brushed off but that’s not the point. I contacted my contractor and they agreed to come back in the future to sand the deck and then apply new stain. By Spring 2018, there was very little of the original stain left after 10 months. My deck has low traffic – just me. Memorial Weekend, my contractor sanded the deck down and applied new stain. Approximately 10 days later, my grandson spilled his Slushee drink on the deck. It stained and discolored it immediately. VERY disappointed with this brand of stain. Most probably by Spring 2019, the deck will need to be sanded and stained again. But I will not be using Cabot Stain. Very disappointed with this brand and would not recommend it to anyone.

paul devincenti paint contractor
paul devincenti paint contractor

did you use the oil based clear ?..I dont trust the hybrid oil water based products from any company. It must clean up with mineral spirits

RGray
RGray

Everyone seems to have the same opinion….. this is NOT a great product. Peeling, fading, mold/algae, you name it. My deck was built in May 2017. By August, most of the stain had faded or worn through, even with light traffic/wear/deck use of one person…ME. I was not pleased and told the contractor several times. It didn’t weather well through the winter. Update: deck stain sanded off by contractor May 2018. New stain reapplied. It looks nice but I’m skeptical. My grandson spilled his frozen slushee and it lifted the stain color. I now have faded orange splatter on new deck stain. It does not repel water well either. I expect the deck will need to be remanded bin 2019 and restained. I will not buy Cabot again.

Deborah A Winland
Deborah A Winland

We are very up set about our Cabot deck start n. We used the latex and did exactly as we were told. We did it last July and now half of it ha peeled off the floor off the deck. The railings are pretty good as for the rest we are going to have to power wash it and it will peel the rest off.. we don’t know what to do because it’s was very expensive. The deck had never been stained before . We even used the deck cleaner before we ever started . Could you please give us an idea what to do. Thanks Deborah Winland

benjaminfrank
benjaminfrank

Has any one used this product for an indoor project?

benjaminfrank
benjaminfrank

We are using Cabot’s outdoor semi-deck stain on finished birch plywood. We have used a pre-stain and after that dried, we will apply your stain. Do you wiped the stain down after applying it or leave it till it is dried. Also, what kind of a finish would you recommend?

mike aalbers
mike aalbers

Is Cobot products OK to use on garden planter. I’m concerned of health issues fof the product. thanks

Denis Duchesneau
Denis Duchesneau

Could you please confirm me if Cabot Serie 7600 is good to apply on a cedar already paint with old generation of Opaque Olympic stain 100% oil base?

Linda
Linda

worst deck stain ever . my deck is huge spent hours staining it. Used 5 gallons of stain at least and after the winter it came off and looks horrible. Thought i would try a more expensive brand and this is what i have a mess!!!!!!!

Laurie
Laurie

same thing happened to us!!!

luann
luann

same thing happened to us also. I contacted the company and didn’t get anywhere with them. The didn’t even listen.

MegP
MegP

I’d like to see more pics. Posting mine. There should be a class action.

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Mike
Mike

I’m restaining a deck in New Mexico. 100% sun and very dry. The owners have always used Cabot Solid Acrylic, but it seems to peel within a year or two. What would be the best alternative that won’t peel so quickly? I have sanded off all the old peeling stain and prepped the deck. Thanks for the help!

T Dovell
T Dovell

Screened porch deck, 8 yrs old. Applied Cabot stain 3 months after it was built. That last 4 years, 2 yrs ago put new Cabot stain on after prepping the deck. The new low VOC product failed within 1 yr. Planning on stripping, brightening, and usingTWP this spring. Advice, do not use the Cabot low VOC stain unless you plan on redoing every 6 months to a year!

Nancy Husted
Nancy Husted

I bought Cabot oil based stain from my local Menards to stain my deck, railing and lattice work. I looked at the color samples on the brochure and picked Foothills which is a brownish color. I bought it, my painter got 1/4 of the deck started before I looked at it and it was BLUE/GRAY color, no where near brownish. It was too late to stop, take it back and have my painter redo the 1/4 of the deck he completed so I took the can back to Menards, after almost arguing with the floor help that the ONLY way I can pick a color is by the sample color brochure, they decided to refund all 3 gallons of stain. I contacted Cabot explaining the issue and we are now negotiating what they will reimburse me for the labor and power washing to redo the deck in the RIGHT color next spring. Cabot tried to tell me that Menards had “old color brochures” so it wasn’t their fault. I explained that I blame their local REP for not making sure the most up to date brochures were in a store selling that kind of volume, otherwise why have any color samples if what you pick could be the complete opposite of what you get. We WILL NOT be using Cabot Wood Deck stain, we will buy Olympic.

Julie
Julie

I originally used the old version of this stain on my mahogany deck. It was beautiful. Last year, when we needed to redo /reapply, I could only find the new kind..the water based one. I did put it on over the oil based stain, and it was fine. Now, I want/need to do the deck again. My question now is: Can I put the oil version (which is now available!) OVER the water based which is over the oil?!?!?! Thanks for any help!

Jack Hutchins
Jack Hutchins

Can the timber oil application be applied utilizing a spray gun. May application is being applied out door carvings?

Lucille Holt
Lucille Holt

How well does the Cabot Gold stain hold ? We have about 900sqft to stain and we looked the sunlit walnut. My husband likes the satin finish. I don’t know how well the shine will last. We also looked at Olympic Elite advanced in chestnut brown. Help please!

Denise
Denise

I have used Cabot deck stain for many years but now it appears to be peeling off in sheets. It’s very disappointing that this product is behaving in this way and am wondering what the best way is to remove it and re-stain. All recommendations are welcome. Was seriously thinking of having all of the top boards replaced.

Greg Meier
Greg Meier

I never post bad product reviews, but after just applying my third coat of Cabot’s Acrylic Solid Deck stain in one year, I feel I need to caution other potential customers.I have always thought Cabot was the best stain out there and I didn’t hesitate to buy their “Cape Cod Gray “stain to stain my PT 5/4″ X 6” decking.I wanted solid to cover the imperfections in the decking.After 5 months I had to apply again-it was peeling off in sheets!.And this year I had to stain again.I guess we will have to save up and buy cellular decking !

Nancy
Nancy

I switched from Cabot’s to Sherwin Williams for horizontal deck boards. I use only oil based stain and like the semi-transparent to show the wood grain. Acrylic stain has easy brush cleanup but I think the product is inferior to oil stain.

Brenfa
Brenfa

We have streaking on our deck after we rolled it on. We did our deck three days ago with the Australian timber oil in honey teak

Jeremy
Jeremy

I am looking to stain some wooden patio furniture I bought from Ikea last year. It came in with a water-based brown stain, and am looking to stain it black. It looks like the Cabot semi-transparent would be a good option, but I wanted to check with others before I go through the trouble of stripping. I also know that some oil-based stains never truly “dry” and are not recommended for furniture. Any help or suggestions would be great! Thanks in advance.

Frances
Frances

I want to put a protection on my Deck and sides but keep the natural colour of the wood. A friend suggested using Cabot 19200 natural as they love it and have been doing theirs every year and are very pleased. Mine is a brand new deck and I want it to look exactly as it does now but protected. Would you suggest this paint?

Francis Vislavsky
Francis Vislavsky

This stain sucks!! Don’t buy it.

Anthony Raby
Anthony Raby

Is the Australian timber oil considered a sealer as well

Frank Dawedeit
Frank Dawedeit

I put this product on my proposal because of the name recognition. Product was like water , applied very poorly and looked like crap. I immediately returned to the supplier and went right to Home Depot and bought Behr. VERY DISAPPOINTED AND DISSATISFIED.

guest
guest

Should have bought Sikkens. Sikkens lasted for 5 years on a split rail fence. Behr didn't even last through the summer. Intense sun year round. Heavy wet snow during winter.

Rebecca
Rebecca

I agree. Pours like water, applies poorly, looks awful. So disappointed. Applied this to a deck we had rebuilt last year. It’ll do for this year, but we’ll sure go to another brand next year. This just is not the stain for us. Besides, it was not cheap at $37 a gallon. Do we ever feel like dummies! HATE IT!!!

Darci
Darci

I put on my first coat of cabot gold and then the weather got cold. What if I can't get my second coat on before winter. Is my deck gonna be ok or will I have to start over next summer?

Richard Beasley
Richard Beasley

Do not apply if temperatures drop below 50 degrees within 48 hours after applying. I have been a painting contractor since 1985 and still all I know is, you must read the lable.

Carl
Carl

Applied in the spring a nice thick coat. Four months later it looks like it needs another coat. For the money I spent I am very dissatisfied. This a is brand-new deck with brand-new wood

Brandon Rickett
Brandon Rickett

What kind of wood? And location?

Virginia Cregier
Virginia Cregier

I agree,mine didnt last either , will NEVER buy this Cabots brand ever again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 Usually buy Woodsman but they were out of my color……….Lasttime my Woodsman lasted 5 yrs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve Schwalbach
Steve Schwalbach

Australian Oil is the best stain I have ever used in the past 30 years by far ! Not the water base…I have not tried that

Henri
Henri

I love the Cabot Oil Mahogany Flame on my deck turn out amazing when applied correctly.It's been 1 yr and the deck looks like the first day I stain it.

Brian Fredette
Brian Fredette

I use this product on Brazilian Mahogany. Well, I used to use it. The original formula before the VOC formula was fantastic.
The product would last 2+ years up here in the Northeast. The new formula is absolutely horrible. I stained the deck in April 2016 and it is now July 2016 and it needs to be done again.
Do now buy this new formula. Stay clear it is garbage!

suzanne
suzanne

I used Honey Teak formula last winter on one yr old.deck. half of the deck peeled off over the winter. This summer I sanded, cleaned, brightened. I just applied the Honey Teak again. It looks aweful. I will never use this product again. I wish I had read this site before using it again. I thought of every reason why it didn't take last year, i.e., the weather, proper prepping before staining etc. Now I know it's the product. I just spent a ton of time & money, and it looks aweful.

Richard Beasley
Richard Beasley

Read your labels, do not apply if temperatures drop below 50° as in degrees Fahrenheit or with in "/(48 hours)of application. You didn't get penetration because it was to cold at some point during the curing process, or the wood was to damp because of dew. Also it should be applied with a lambs wool pad, this meters the amount applied because the product is thin and the wool is very absorbent.

Mark
Mark

As I read these comments it appears that people do not understand why these formulas change. Cabot Mahogany flame is hands down the best stain I have ever used in it's original formula. Unfortunately in the Northeast with the exception of Vermont all the way down to Virginia, that formula was outlawed around 2014. The new formula which is called low VOC (volatile organic compounds) is what many people are complaining about. This new formula looks milky when you open the cab as to oily like the old formula. I personally still use the old formula by buying it in other states and bringing it in. However, you have to call Cabot if you do that because some stores such as Ace hardware only sell the low VOC formula in all of their stores regardless of their location. Anyway, just my two cents.

Richard Beasley
Richard Beasley

Thanks for your input its worth more than two cents

gene edwards
gene edwards

expensive, but that was not a problem, liked when first put on, but disappointed after the first winter. had to reapply, last time for cabot. liked the product, wished we were happier. thanks

Layton
Layton

The stain was applied using the directions on the cleaner and stain, during the summer my deck looked fine. We had a mild winter, little snow fall, when the snow melted the stain was bubbled and when the spring rain came the stain began bubbling, Now I am forced to sand over 300 square feet of deck and use a better product.

I HIGH RECOMMEND USING ANOTHER PRODUCT

Eldena Armstrong
Eldena Armstrong

Went to Home Depot and after long conversation about what look I wanted they talked me into Cabot stain. I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED with the results. It looks more like brown paint then stain. We had sanded the old stain off and used a pad to put the stain on as recommended. I really wanted the wood to show through and not cover it completely. NOT HAPPY!!

john tucker
john tucker

I would never buy this product again. after one year it started peeling. I had rent a floor sander ($100) and spend an entire day sanding.

Brent
Brent

I just purchased Cabot Acrylic solid color stain to better match my house. I have completely sanded all paint off of my deck, and it is very clean. Is this a good product to use for this application? Also do I need to seal this when I am done? If so, what kind of sealant would you prefer?

Austin
Austin

I applied the Australian timber oil 2 years ago. I applied stripper and it took a layer off but there is still some on it that I can't even get off with a power washer. I want to use a more solid style stain to cover up and not such a transparent one like the timber oil. If I strip and brighten can I apply a more solid stain even if there is residual on the deck? I've tried twice and it's as clean as it's going to get it seems like anyway.