Defy Extreme Stain Review 2020 4.1/5 (17)

by Deck Stain Help
Defy Extreme Stain Review

Defy Extreme Stain Review

Updated February 2020

Defy Extreme Wood Stain Review 2020

This is an updated review of our original Defy Extreme Wood Stain.  See Here for First Review: Defy Extreme Stain Review

Note: Defy Extreme Stain had a label change in 2019.

Defy Extreme Stain Description

Defy Extreme Wood and Deck stains are one of our top choices for water-based deck stains. It has superior UV resistance and has the ability to penetrate into the wood grain almost as well as an oil-based semi-transparent. The mold and mildew protection is superior to 90% of all other semi-transparent stains due to the nanoparticles of zinc oxide.

In 2008 Defy unveiled the Defy Extreme Stain, which quickly became the most popular stains in the Defy stain line. As a water-based stain formula, Defy Extreme penetrates wood surfaces and does not form a film. Defy Extreme Stain utilizes synthetic resins and nano-particles that harden the cellular structure of the wood pores and helps reflect harsh UV rays like a sunscreen to prevent fading and graying.

Defy Extreme Deck Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8.5

– The initial appearance was a warm rich finish with even natural grain highlights. We were impressed that Defy Extreme Deck Stain did not conceal the wood grain like other water-based stains. Wood surface penetration was outstanding. The Cedartone test color revealed a hint of orange but was tolerable and almost expected for a cedar deck stain tone.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 9

– Defy Extreme Deck Stain was hands down one of the best we have ever tested at stopping UV graying at the 2-year mark. The formula’s zinc oxide nano-particle additive appeared to help tremendously with UV radiation. Very little wood fading or graying was detected.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

–Our 2-year check of wearing was better than average. Some high traffic areas showed minor wear and tear but overall Defy Extreme held up well.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

– For the 2 coats used on the test deck, we got a spread rate of 100 square feet per gallon. We needed 6 gallons of stain for our 600 square foot deck. At around $45 per gallon for Defy Extreme Wood Stain, it came to .45 cents per square foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10

– As a professional-grade water-based stain, Defy Extreme does not encourage stain fungal or mildew growth. A slight area of green algae was detected in a shaded area of the deck but seemed to only be on top of the stained surface. This seemed to be more of an issue of the deck’s location than with the actual stain.

Ease of Application: 8

– Defy Extreme Stain in our opinion was user-friendly and easy to apply. One concern we had was with drying too quickly when applied in direct sunlight during the heat of the day. Defy Extreme was easy to clean up with soap and water.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9

– As expected due to very little graying and fungal growth Defy Extreme scored well in color shifting. There was no apparent shifting or darkening at the 2-year inspection.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8.5

– Because of very little color shifting and the product penetrating so well Defy Extreme Wood Stain would be easy to recoat. We would suggest a light cleaning using Defy Wood Cleaner and Wood Brightener prior to reapplying.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.5

– Defy Extreme Stain is an outstanding exterior wood stain and effortlessly outperformed other water-based wood stains we have tested. In terms of water-based, eco-friendly wood stains, our new top recommendation is Defy Extreme. Scoring in the top 3 of all stains tested as far as UV graying prevention, Defy Extreme Stain is an easy choice. Defy Extreme gave us a beautiful professional finish that held up to UV radiation for 2 years and outlasted most other stains on the market.

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Defy Extreme Stain
Defy Stain Facebook Page: Defy Exterior Stains
Cost: $45 per Gallon, $223 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Cedartone, Natural Pine, Light Walnut, Clear, Butternut, Redwood, Driftwood Gray
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
Cleanup: Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Saver Systems

Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 600 Square feet
UV Exposure: 80% Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Cedartone
*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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Robin Cantrell
Robin Cantrell

I am purchasing polyurethane viga tails for a SW style home we are building. Do you think this product would work? The manufacturers of the viga tails recommendation was to use a water based exterior stain with a water based sealer. I was hoping maybe this deck stain would work.

Garry Masters
Garry Masters

What is difference between Defy and the product called #1 that is made by the same company?

D. Chance
D. Chance

Is one coat of Defy Extreme enough on a 10 year old cedar fence that has been prepped to the original wood?
I love the results of the two coats of Natural Pine stain on our deck.

Lois
Lois

We last stained our cedar sided house with Thompson’s water seal deck & house semi transparent oil based stain in2008. On the shaded areas there was a lot of black what I think would be mildew. We used arm and hammer oxiclean to clean the siding. Also scrubbed some and used a power washer. Wow, what a difference that made. My question is now that it’s power washed can we use defy extreme semi transparent stain to restrain it now? I don’t want to see mildew ever again. Thanks.

Sue Uram
Sue Uram

I’ve had Sikkens on my wood deck for years, if I sand it completely, can I use Defy to coat it now?

Robert Odell
Robert Odell

Where can I find a retailer in or around Moncton, NB?

Brad Bellinger
Brad Bellinger

How many coats of Defy stain should I use for a pressure treated deck that is about a year old and has never previously been stained?

Greg Diaferio
Greg Diaferio

Hello, I’m pretty new at this… I’ll be staining my deck for the first time. When the application says “wet on wet”, what exactly does this mean?

Lanier
Lanier

Defy deck stain instructions state not to apply it in direct sunlight. Does this mean that the wood stain should not experience any sunlight until the product dries? I have read multiple comments in this forum about the impact of sunlight to the product and would like for someone to clarify this for me?

Jim
Jim

What’s the process of the restore a deck product? I have an older weathered deck that was previously stained with solid Olympic. Total garbage. Should I sand first? Then use the stripper and brightener? Or vice versa?

Dawn
Dawn

After reading this website throroughly last year, I decided on Defy Deck Stain for a 5 year old PT deck that had not ever been previously stained (and don’t know about cleaned, as we only owned home 2 years). We used the recommended “Restore A Deck” two step (cleaner, and brightner). It comes in a powder, so super handy & doesn’t take up space to store it. Was easy enough to use, used as directed (sprayed on w/gallon sprayer), etc. This cleaned & brightened our deck, I was VERY surprised how clean and bright it looked. (never used a pressure washer, as this is NOT suggested).
We stained the deck a full week later, and it was dry, no rain, optimal temps, etc. We used the Defy stain. It is very thick, and I used a brush on the entire deck. It went on smooth, even, and penetrated nicely. Was very pleased with the results. HOWEVER, on the portion of the deck that receives sun 2/3rds of the day, the horizontal surfaces (deck boards), did not fair well. They were showing signs of the stain as disappearing, or removed, like it was “missed” (I applied two coats as directed on the boards). This was unacceptable for the price I paid for that stain. All vertical areas were fine, and still are a year later, but not a good stain for the deck boards. My Cabot semi-transparent faired MUCH better on another deck I have, and that lasted 3 years on the deck boards without showing any wear, and that deck receives longer full sun than the deck where I used Defy.

Perhaps I will try a different stain, Cutek extreme or Sansin Dec Enviro Stain. OR, cabot timber oil or semi-transparent……

The Restore A Deck is highly recommended, though. You have to do an extra step with this because it comes in powder form, so you have to mix it, but it’s super handy, is in powder, so you can buy it, mix what you need, and save the rest for a later date, won’t take up any space in garage cuz it’s not a can. It was very easy to use, and produced the best results of any cleaner and brightener I’ve ever used.

Lucy
Lucy

With this product, should we use 1 coat or 2 coats for rough sewn “new” wood? It’s Redwood. Thanks!

Kevin
Kevin

I have a two level deck thats around 1,800 sq ft plus railings made of cedar with knots. It is 16 years old and has been cleaned and stained every 2-3 years. I prep first by power washing, then apply deck cleaner then a brightner. I have used both water and oil based over the years. The last two applications I used DEFY epoxy type and had trouble getting the second wet coat to absorb as there is no shade on the deck. The stain was tacky for the entire summer and peeling and the wear was worse than any product I have used before. Also worth mentioning is the vertical portions (railings and step risers) still look great.I have some rotting on the boards ( 15 -12 footers )and am replacing them in the infected areas. Do I have to wait till next season to stain so they can weather? Next, I am not a fan of the 2nd wet coat due to sun exposure I have.What brand and type of stain would you recommend this time around.
Thank You in advance
Kevin

Tom
Tom

I noticed the websites for Defy and TWP are practically identical. They must be the same company as the contact addresses are the same. They are both highly rated on this site, but is one brand superior over the other or are they simply the same product with different packaging? What gives?

Bubba
Bubba

HI –
I just used Defy wood cleaner and brightener on my 7 month old redwood fence in preparation for using defy wood stain. The fence is drying now and looks completely “washed out” or gray without hardly any color. Almost like it was bleached. Is this normal and will the stain bring back the redwood color? The attached pic shows the fence area on the left that was cleaned/brightened and on the right is untreated. Thanks for your help in advance.

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Jason McGibbon
Jason McGibbon

I have a red cedar deck thats three years old and was initially stained with thompsons water seal which has now almost completely worn off. If i sand the deck down would this be considered ‘new wood’ and have to be left to weather before applying more stain? I want to sand as opposed to strip/clean because quite a few of the boards are rough and my toddlers are getting slivers. Thoughts? Thanks.

Jimmy Works
Jimmy Works

I have a treated pine deck 40% covered with a roof, 60% in the sun. Part of the deck is only 2 yrs old, the remainder 7 yrs old. I’ve been using Sherwin Williams SuperDeck semi-transparent (oil-based). The sun area, of course, gets weathered a lot while the covered area holds up well.

I have a couple of questions:
(1) I’ve heard that solid colors hold up better in the sun than semi-transparent. Does Defy Extreme offer solid colors?
(2) I’ve heard that water based stains are less likely to attract mildew, so I’m considering going to your Defy Extreme. If I use Defy Extreme will I have to strip off the existing stain (which has been on the wood 2 years)

Dana Taylor
Dana Taylor

I had my deck pressure washed and stained with Penofin blue label about 8 months ago. It has attracted dirt and green algae like a magnet and worst of all, where the deck got the most sun exposure, it turned the deck black. I applied deck cleaners and I pressure washed the main deck and was left with a black strip where the deck got the most sun. It won’t come out. How do I get rid of it? I’m thinking about applying Defy extreme in a darker shade. Should I apply on top of the black stain? Or is there something that will remove the black? I’d love to go with a semi transparent stain as opposed to just paint the deck solid. I’m in Oregon, south of Portland. Thank you

Jon B
Jon B

I stained my deck with this product in September 2017 after leaving my new deck weather for a little more than a year and following proper cleaning and brightening before applying stain… I am now noticing that in some small spots that the stain has completely worn off…hopefully this is visible in photo. It doesn’t look at this moment its peeling as the board is smooth to the touch but wondering if this is fixable.

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Trent
Trent

I have a new Alaska Yellow Cedar deck that is partially in the shade in rainy Northwestern Washington state near the Canadian border. I tore down the 20 year old pressure-treated deck that was in the exact same location. The oil-based stain used on the old deck had a lot of dark mold issues. AYC is supposed to be pretty rot resistant, but it’s still going to be wet and in the shade a lot. Do you think Defy would be a good product for this deck?

Thank you

Ashley Geer
Ashley Geer

Is Defy Extreme stain a semi-transparent? Is it OK to use on T1-11 siding? Can the stain be applied immediately have installation or do we need to wait until the siding is weathered? Thank you!

Linda Gibson
Linda Gibson

I want to buy defy extreme wood stain for my deck and fence I bought a house and it is a year old but I do not have no how to apply it on a fence can you give a suggestion

Helen
Helen

Can I use Defy Extreme Stain on a composite deck?

S.G.
S.G.

Hi, how easy/difficult would it be to apply readyseal over defy extreme the next time around, or the other way around?

Donna Newport
Donna Newport

Can a 3rd coat of Defy be applied if within 10 days of first 2 coats?

Mike
Mike

Trying to figure out amount I need to stain a new deck. It says 6 gallons did 2 coats on a 600 SF deck at 100SF per gallon. Wouldn’t 2 coats require 12 gallons at that rate?

Are you stating only 1coat on a new deck and reapply in a year or so? Know of any local stores in Ohio that sell this? Would hate to run out mid project. Thanks!

Donna Newport
Donna Newport

How does the Defy Extreme Wood Stain compare to Defy Water-Repellent Wood Stain for a deck that is 3/4ths covered? I started to order the former, and then realized there is a Water-Repellent formulation available. Please advise.

Donna Newport
Donna Newport

Can I use Defy semi-transparent stain on deck that had Thompson Water Sealant applied 18 months ago — hoping I can clean and apply Defy without doing any sanding.

James
James

I am currently in the process of building cedar shutters for our home. I’m debating between the Defy Extreme, because of its mold preventing properties ( as it will not be easy for me to clean and reapply once hung), and the Woodrich Timber oil because of its ability to go on new wood. I am wondering, can I use the Defy Extreme on new wood, or will I need to remove the mill glaze before hand? Does the Timber Oil hold up against mold issues? Not really looking forward to prepping 18 shutters before hand.
I have usd TWP on our cedar fence and do have some mold issues, although it seems that it is only on the surface and cleans off easily. Again, it will be difficult to clean the shutters once they are hung and would like something long lasting.
Thanks for any suggestions!

Dan
Dan

I recently bought a house and would like to stain the deck. It has been stained before but I am not sure what was used and I am not sure what type of stain I can now use. Attached are two pictures of my deck. One is a picture when dry and one when wet. From these pictures, can you tell me what type of stains that I can use?

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Sara
Sara

I have a 1 yr old cedar deck in Minnesota that gets full southern exposure with no shade. It was covered with 1 coat of Cabot satin Spar Varnish (we didn’t know any better at the time) prior to installation last year and the clear finish is now peeling and the boards are an ugly gray. I hope to get the beauty of the cedar back again! I want to refinish the deck with a stain that will enhance the cedar’s natural beauty and NOT gray. Debating between Defy Extreme and TWP 100 series…any suggestions on how to get the gray away and which stain would give me the richest cedar color and protect from graying given my sun/cold exposure? Also, recommendations on the best products to use for getting rid of the Cabot varnish and prepping for the stain? Thanks

Steve B
Steve B

Wasn’t able to do a second coat at initial time of application. It’s going to rain a few days before I’ll get the chance. Do I need to go through the same cleaning / brightening process, or since we’re only talking about a week or two am I good to just clean off debris and apply?

Louise Richardson
Louise Richardson

My first comment is it’s not as east to put down as they claim. a roller didn’t do much. I ended up using a brush between all the cracks and dents and most of the wood. . I had cleaned my 3 year old deck, and used all products Behr recommended on the can and pressure washed it and let it dry for two days. and got all the advice from home depot and followed it to the letter. I did the two coat and it came out sooo nice looking. in summer it was too hot for my Chihuahuas to walk on in the direct sun. I put carpets where they would walk to the grass. my BIGGEST disappointment was a year later when all the weather changed. peeling, everywhere. what a mess. I think the only fix is to take all the boards up and replace them or turn them over. It did look so nice that first summer but didn’t make the second summer.

brun0306
brun0306

I just cleaned, brightened, and stained my 10 year old deck with defy cleaner, brightener, and extreme stain (redwood). I did two coats (wet on wet) pretty quickly in the late evening (I have twin infants at home so time do house projects is limited) and didn’t get good coverage on some areas once the stain dried and i was able to look at the deck with proper lightening.

Can i go over those lighter areas that didn’t good coverage with a 3rd coat 4-5 days later? Just want to double check and not do something that could make it worse. I’m just not very happy with the look of some lighter spots, so hoping to remedy without too much effort.

Gary
Gary

I have a new PT 14’x20′ deck. I have let it dry out for a year and I have sanded it with 60grit and cleaned it with Behr Deck Cleaner and now I am ready to stain it. I live in Western MA so it will get sun and snow. Half the deck is covered by a pergola with a roof. So, I am very frustrated in my research in trying to find a good deck stain for my deck. What is your recommendation for a new PT deck? Oil or water base?
Thanks gary

GlenBill
GlenBill

Hi Gary,
I am frustrated too with the stain market. Consumer Reports has failed to test many stains, especially any online only products. I live in eastern NYS, near Albany and have an old PT deck and natural cedar verticals. The deck is beat. I used Cabot stain 2X on a previous house deck…first time great, second time, terrible. They had to switch to the low VOC and I was forced to buy a water-borne oil product.

What did you decide to do? I’m torn between going with an unknown online stain product such as TWP or Defy and going to a local hardware store and getting what everyone else buys. I’m also torn between buying TWP (oil) and Defy (latex). My experience with latex is negative- within ONE year I had worn areas that showed through to the bare wood on the deck surface!

Thanks.

Bob
Bob

I stripped and neutralized deck. Powerwashed after both applications.. Not good enough so Sanded it.. 100% of the old stain(s) are off. Bare wood. Do I do 1 or 2 coats? And…. how long after sanding can I wait… very hot weather in the forecast. Wood is high quality western red cedar.

Melissa
Melissa

I see two conflicting statements about how many coats to use. We have just finished building our flat deck by a pool. We would like to use the Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Stain and Defy says 2 coats. However I’ve read somewhere on your site that one coat that soaks in well is enough to prevent it coating the top like paint. Any clarification you can give me would be helpful! Thanks!

Donna McCallum
Donna McCallum

We followed Defy’s instructions for wet on we application. The stain coated the top like paint and washed off over the winter. We are going to strip and use TWP, which in my experience never had these issues. We live in the Pacific Northwest. I’m not sure where you live, but by a pool makes me think that it would be much the same result as in our rainy climate. Good luck with your decision.

Cathy
Cathy

Where can I buy Defy Extreme Stain in Birmingham AL?

Al L.
Al L.

I am replacing old painted white cedar fence panels with new ones. Can I use an airless sprayer to apply? Also, how long should I wait and what prep do I need to do before applying Defy Extreme?

KrisP
KrisP

I used Ready Seal last year and was considering switching to the Defy Extreme for longer UV protection. Is the Defy similar to the Ready Seal in that it shows the wood and does not cover it like a paint? I would like a brown color for my deck in Texas.. Thanks