Defy Epoxy Stain Review 2013 4.1/5 (2)

by Deck Stain Help
Defy Epoxy Wood Stain

Defy Epoxy Wood Stain

Discontinued and Replaced with Defy Extreme Stain

Important Note: This is Our 2nd Review of Defy Epoxy Fortified Wood Stain. Our first review of the Defy Epoxy Stain was started in 2007 and completed in 2009.  See Here for First Review: Defy Epoxy Stain Review

Defy Epoxy Wood Stain is a specially formulated semi-transparent exterior wood stain that helps resist water damage, UV fading, and fungi. Its VOC compliant epoxy resin penetrates wood pores to lock out moisture and provide excellent protection from the elements.

Defy Stains are one of the few water-based stains that actually seem to penetrate into the wood properly. This allows for better wearing.

Defy Epoxy Wood Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8

– Defy Epoxy in Cedartone is a rich caramel color. Typical of most cedar stain colors, the Defy Epoxy highlighted the wood grain with a golden/orangish tone. It was a little more on the orange side than other brands. We personally like their Natural Pine color better but used the Cedartone at the customer’s request.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

– UV discoloration after 2 years had faded at about 20% of the original color. The color actually looked better (less orange) then it did when first applied.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

– We noticed a little wearing of the deck in the high traffic areas and around the table. The majority of the deck had the stain intact.

Defy Epoxy in Cedartone

Defy Epoxy in Cedartone

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

– We paid $180 for the 5-gallon pail of Defy Epoxy. Two coats of stain were applied to the floor and 1 coat to the railings. We used all 5 gallons for the 450-foot deck. $.40 a square foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 9

– No mold or mildew. Small amounts of green algae were on top of the stain, under the benches.

Ease of Application: 7

– Defy stains are water-based penetrating stains. In general, we find that most water-based stains are more difficult to apply as they dry very fast. We personally did not have any issues but be careful of hot days in full sun as you may get some overlaps. Spread rate is mediocre but penetration is excellent. The stain absorbs into the wood very easily.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9

– Defy Epoxy does not darken but fades in color.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

– Since the majority of the stain was intact and it penetrated so well into the wood, reapplication would consist of a cleaning to remove the dirt and algae. This would be sufficient to apply another coat of stain.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 8

– The rating of the Defy Epoxy went down .2 of a point since our first test. Not a significant difference. We still believe that Defy continues to make excellent water-based stains. What makes their stains different than other water-based stains is the ability to actually absorb into the wood properly. Most of the water-based stains that we have used or worked on did not penetrate well or at all, filming on top of the wood. This caused product peeling and difficulty in removal.

Defy continues to be our go-to water-based stains.

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Google Search Defy Stain
Cost: $38.99 per Gallon, $188.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Cedartone, Natural Pine, Light Walnut
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats. “Wet on Wet”
Coverage Per Gallon: 100-200 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 2-4 Hours
Cleanup: Soap and Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Saver Systems

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: August 2010 – 2012
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine Deck
Deck Square Footage: 450 Square feet
UV Exposure: 80% sun during the day
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 

*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.

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I am new at this because my late husband took care of the decks and now I need some advice. I live In SC and I 've noticed my decks are starting to splinter. Not sure what type of sealant I should use. 2 decks r in Sun all afternoon but fro t deck is covered and only sees morning sun. Do I have to use 2different types of sealers


i'm in the northwest foothills – very wet and rainy but hot and dry in the summer. brand new cedar deck installed one month ago. should i let it age longer before applying? i've heard up to one year? last time i applied water based stain to new cedar it peeled off within the first year.


Just got my samples of Defy Exotic and like these colors. Does this stain resist the water and bead up like some of the other stains do. I don't see anything on this in the ratings.


Well my husband just powerwashed the deck and it removed almost 100% of the old stain we put on 5 years ago. So wHat do I need to do before I apply the Defy stain. Do I still need to clean it?


I am older and want to stain the deck with something that will last. I have ordered some samples of Defy Epoxy. Will this be easy to apply after I use the stripped and brightener on the deck. Is this the best choice for redoing a deck about 5 years old up in Washington state? I have tried several samples of TWP but do not like their colors.


where can I buy Defy stains in Mass?
My application is a deck in Norton MA that was built in summer of 2012 and has been stained 2 times since then. Most of the stain on floor is peeled off and there is a little more remaining on floor under or near railings. That is in the peeling process as well.
Area is sunny most of the day. Not sure why it peeled. Cabot oil based stain was used last time the client stained it. I think it may have peeled due to staining new cedar too soon and/or staining a second coat after first coat dried. Please advise.

James Foerch
James Foerch

I applied Defy to new wolmenized pine 3 years ago. The first winter the stain flaked off the exposed portions of the deck and a second coat would not sink in. Now I am planning to strip the deck and start over.


Defy has a newer blend called Extreme that uses the newer 'nano technology'…essentially the same concept as what's in your sun screen lotion only chopped into trillions (?) of pieces per square inch. I'd be inclined to use this is starting anew. Use the Epoxy Fortified when recoating Epoxy Fortified.
Regards, Scotty


I am in the process of stripping the stain off my cedar deck and railings. Deck is 3 years old, with only 1 application of stain the first year. I used Olympic maximun semi-transparent stain. If I can not reach all the areas with the current stain, will be ok to apply Defy Epoxy Fortified Wood Stain? I live in MA, so I assume I will have to order this product.