Update 2018: This is an updated Review of our original Defy Extreme Wood Stain. See Here for First Review: Defy Extreme Stain Review
Summary: Defy Extreme Wood and Deck stain is one of our top choice 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 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 formulas 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.
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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
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 inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.