This post was updated on January 30, 2023
Consumer Reports Deck Stain Ratings for 2023
We here at Deckstainhelp.com remain committed to being your source for industry insights and trends for the perfect deck stain project execution. See below for information on consumer report insights in 2023. We want to hear from you. Leave us a comment below.
The Consumer Reports is the publication of the Consumer’s Union. Many consumers use the publication when making a buying decision. After all, it publishes the ratings of other consumers who have bought the same products. So it would seem a logical place to gather buying information right? Well maybe not. The Consumer Reports publication has long been accused of biased ratings.
This is especially true in the car industry. You can find countless articles of Consumer Reports being falsely suggestive in some of their ratings. Unfair testing and biased ratings seem to be common. More than a dozen large companies, from car manufacturers to electronic companies have sued Consumer Reports over the years. It almost seems like, for whatever reason, they tend to sway the results of tests and ratings.
The same can be said for deck stains. Most of the Consumer Reports claim Behr as the number one stain followed by Thompsons Water Seal. But ironically most any professional in the deck staining industry will tell you these stains are inferior and they do not use them. Behr has been in many lawsuits with homeowners over the premature failure of their deck stains. In fact, Consumers’ own “user ratings” show that homeowners who have used Behr Stains gave it a 1 Star out of 5!
Both of these deck stain brands are sold at the big box stores, which would suggest these are the most common brands of stain consumers buy. But this doesn’t necessarily mean these stains are the best. We have tested both of these brands and many other stains. Our results for Behr Deck Stain or Thompsons Water Seal are definitely not at the top of our list. We are happy to share those results with our readers. See our deck stain reviews for more information.
See here for a more in-depth article on Consumers Reports Deck Ratings
Deck Stain Help & Questions
- Stained Board
- Best Way to Apply Deck Stain
- Clear Wood Sealer
- Can You Stain Pressure Treated Wood Right Away
- Do You Have to Put a Clear Coat Over Stain
- Can You Spray Stain On a Deck
- When to Stain a Deck
- Deck Stain Drying Time
- Sealing Rough Cut Lumber
- Home Depot Outdoor Stain
- How Long Does Stain Need to Dry Before Rain
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.
Looking for a sta in for a 3 year old cedar deck. Last year , we sanded and stained the untreated deck with Behr oil based clear transparent which made the cedar look yellow. Not much left on the deck surface this year. Just the railing posts are still yellow
Strip and brighten for prep with Restore A Deck Kits:
Stain with Restore A Deck stains, TWP Wood stains, or one of these stains:
I am about to stain 5000 sqft of 1×12 pine for use as board and batten siding on a shop building in southern Ontario Canada. I am looking for the best options for a solid or semi solid stain to use. The line is kiln dried and machine finished so it has some texture on the exposed face but less than rough cut lumber.
Armstrong Clark in a semi-solid stain. For solid stains, look at one of these: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
What is the top two solid stains? My decks are weathered & filled nail holes with Bondo & put one coat of kills primer on & need to know the 2 top latex solid color stain? Help!!
Top solid stains are here: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Is Cabot’s the best stain for a new pressure treated pine wood fence compared to seal once stain sealer
Neither are good. Use one of these brands for new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/staining-a-new-deck/
What are the ratings and reviews for SEAL ONCE
NANO POLY stain for decks?
It is advertised to last 6 years?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Seal-Once is a gimmick coating that “claims” to help the wood from rot and decay by stabilizing the inside of the wood. There is no actually proof it does this and the warranty does not cover UV fading or graying. That is the main reason you will have to redo every 2-3 yeats no matter what.
What is the best finish for a covered porch cypress wood ceiling? Looking for a satin finish with mahogany transparent tint..
Look at the Armstrong Clark stains. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/tag/armstrong-clark-deck-stains/
is rustoleum rock solid a good long lasting shovel friendly stain
No, it is a very poor stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/rust-oleum-rock-solid-in-a-day-review/
I have sanded the old finish off my deck. Do I still need to pre treat before RE staining?
Clean and brighten for final prep.
Brand new red cedar deck just installed . We have been using behr natural cedartone for years . Started with semi transparent then went to solid as i was replacing so many boards it looked horrible . Hated the solid. Stripped and sanded the deck again and went back to semi trans. Now we like the new board look , no more color. What do you recommend
No color in your stain means zero UV protection from graying. It must be tinted. See here about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
I have a pressure treated stained wood deck and want to put a new coating on it. It is weathered and many boards have cracks. Do the newer deck coatings, such as anvil or rustoleum Rock Solid perform well? I want something tat will fill the imperfections and last many years.
See this for tips on deck resurface type coatings: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/tag/deck-resurfacer-stains/
I am prepping s 15-by-15 cedar deck in northwest (Calgary, Canada) in 50-70F temp. I start with Power Wash, and SuperDeck stain remover and brighten with Revive. I have not been diluting the stain remover, just putting it on with a stain brush and then after 15 minutes, scrubbing with bristle brush and then hosing and repeating the process. Takes 2 or 3 scrubbings and stain brushes curl up and become useless after single sessiion. The Revive looks yellow and powdery after ‘brightening’ and the deck doesn’t look anywhere as good as our fence which was built at same time, and treated only with power-washing each summer and a coat of SuperDeck stain. Both are 17-yr-old. Any insights?
Use a pressure washer. Apply stripper, wait 15 minutes and pressure wash off. Repeat until done. Use a wood brightener for all when done.
What product do you recommend for a Florida 11 years old deck, pine, that was never stained or painted? The house is 20 feet from the ocean, there is black and green mold here in abundance, and of course, humidity.
Mark, for the stain, try the Restore-A-Deck Stain or TWO 100 Series. Make sure to prep first. Use the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner/Brightener Kits.
Any recommendations for the wet pacific northwest.
Try the Restore A Deck Wood stain or the TWP 100 Series.
DEFY HARDWOOD STAIN ON WHITE CEDAR DECK—-PEELED 50% in two yearsm, despite thorough preparation. Is this site owned by or connected to DEFY?
No this site is not owned by Defy stains.
We have been using the Defy deck stains on our customers decks (we are contractors) for many years. Never have peeling issues. Defy is a penetrating stain. If it soaks in then it will not peel. In your case if it peeled, then it was most likley over applied or not prepped correctly.
I live in the Midwest and used TWP semi transparent walnut after letting a new cedar deck age properly and following prep to a T two years ago. In the fall I removed deck furniture and the deck saw snow in a steady/even blanketing (as usual) that winter. In the spring the deck looked terrible. The TWP was flaking and chipping everywhere after just one season. I’m shocked at all the positive reviews based on my experiwnce and would NOT RECOMMEND TWP.
I sanded the entire deck and ended up re-doing it with semi transparent walnut color Ready Seal. 1 year later the deck still looks great. I had to touch a few areas from dog scratches but otherwise looks terrific and went on like butter. I highly recommend ready seal and would stay away from TWP based on my personal experiwnce. I am not affiliated with ready seal, nor did I get anything to leave a review. I was just so frustrated with my twp expeeeiwnce and was shocked by how well ready seal worked that I’m sharing my experience. I’ve used Cabot, Olympic, Pittsburgh, Wolmans etc and ready seal outdid them all. Just sharing because maintaining a deck can be one of the most frustrating homeowner experiences. Would be curious if anyone else has used RS and your experience.
Similarly, I can’t understand why DEFY gets such raves on this site.
need stain recommendation for decks ( used arbor coat last time and have peeling decks) decks face west- ultra sun, live on a lake. want shine to my decks as well. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!
You cannot have a shine on a deck. It will peel and blister, creating a huge mess to fix.
Your first issue will be to remove the Arbor coat. It does not strip off well or at all. You will most likely need to power sand to remove. Once removed, use a penetrating semi-transparent stain like TWP.
What would you suggest for northern Illinois full sun most of the day with pressure treated wood and no mold issues at all.
What are the best deck stains for my deck? 1. Ohio 2. Full sun after 11AM 3. Pressure Treated Wood. 4. Some mold and mildew. 5. Deck was never stained before and is 20 years old. We have pressure washed it, and need to know whst products to use.
Armstrong Clark in a semi-solid color.
By the way, for the best deck stain in the Minneapolis area, use Cabot Australian Timber Oil. I am re-staining my deck after this product (a very similar Cabot product) held up for nearly 7 years. The only drawback was the wood was a little moldy on areas of much shade.