Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain is the leading “crystal clear” deck stain finish on the market today. Defy Extreme Clear uses light stabilizing nano particles of zinc oxide, which is the same product used in sunscreen. The zinc oxide particles reflect and filter UV radiation to help eliminate wood discoloring, graying and fading. Our field test of Defy Extreme Clear Stain was on a wooden fence. A deck surface may have slightly different results.
*Important: Defy Extreme Clear is an untinted version of the Defy Extreme Stain. Customarily clear wood stains lack sun blocking pigments and do not prevent UV graying as well as tinted wood stains.
Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain Scores (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 10
– The wood appearance was not altered after the Defy Extreme Clear finish dried. The stain applies to the wood a milky white color but dries clear without altering or enhancing the wood’s appearance. Defy Extreme Clear also does not film on top of the wood.
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 3
–At our usual 2-year test mark the wood deck we coated had retained 30% of the original natural wood color. There was graying on the southern exposed areas. We suggest using Defy Extreme Stain if improved UV protection is wanted or reapply the Extreme Clear annually.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 10
–Defy Clear Stain showed zero signs of wear on the vertical surface of the deck surface.
Cost Per Square Foot: 7
–It took 5 gallons of Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain to apply 2 coats to our 500 square foot test deck. With Defy Extreme Clear costing $44 a gallon on average, the cost of our test was slightly high.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10
– No mold or mildew was growing on or in the Defy Extreme Clear. Defy Extreme Clear deservingly scored high here due to no signs of fungal growth on or in the stain finish. This was pleasing compared to other stains we have tested.
Ease of Application: 8
–Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain is very thin almost like water and applied well using an airless sprayer. The initial coat penetrated almost immediately upon application while the following coat took slightly longer. We did have to back brush a few drips here and there but we did not notice any overlap marks anywhere.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9
–At our 2-year check of the stain’s color no visible darkening was present.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 7
–For maintenance of Defy Extreme Stain we suggest a thorough cleaning using a wood cleaner to remove any graying followed by an application of wood brightener to lighten the wood up even more. There is no need to use a stain stripper with Defy Clear because the fading was even and no heavy peeling was apparent.
Overall Score Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain at 2 Year Period: 8
–Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain is a good choice for those wanting a natural wood appearance. It is clear however that Defy Extreme Stain in one of the colored tints seems to prevent UV fading and graying 2 to 3 times longer than Defy Clear. Nevertheless, if you are in the market for a crystal clear wood stain that you do not mind recoating every 12-18 months then Defy Extreme Clear Stain is a great product in our opinion.
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Cost: $45 per Gallon, $221 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Crystal Clear – Water Based
Available Colors: Clear
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats. “Wet on Wet”
Coverage Per Gallon: 100-150 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 2-4 Hours
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Saver Systems
Test Fence Stats:
Wood Type: Cedar Deck
Fence Square Footage: 500 Square feet
UV Exposure: 50% Full Sun, 50% Shade. South facing.
How Many Years Tested: 2 Seasons
Stain Color Used: Clear
*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.