Can Deck Stain Be Used Indoors? 4.5/5 (2)

This post was updated on February 28, 2024

Will Deck Stains Work Inside?

No, they cannot be used indoors. Exterior wood and deck stains are designed for outside use only. The chemical makeup is much different than an interior stain like Varathane or Minwax wood stains. Exterior wood and deck stains contain additional ingredients not found in interior stains, such as trans oxide and acrylic pigments, water repellent properties, and mildewcides. Exterior deck stains will not penetrate as deep into the wood grain as interior stains and cannot be top-coated with polyurethanes or varnishes. Adding a top coat over an exterior wood or deck stain will result in peeling.

More Info on Indoor Deck Stain

Have a Deck Stain question? Ask in the comments below.

For more info, 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.

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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
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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Eileen V
Eileen V
5 months ago

We used exterior semi-transparent deck stain on an interior wood floor, not realizing that the strong fumes would be dangerous to health and would persist. It’s been a month and the fumes have not dissipated. The area is now unusable. What is the best fix? I read that painting over with a clear sealer or paint is not recommended, because they won’t so not adhere to a deck stain and will result in peeling. What shoudl we fix this? Can we just sand it off? Or do we need to use a chemical stripper first to more thoroughly remove it?

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