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Defy Extreme Stain Review 4.3/5 (16)

Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Defy Extreme Deck Stain RatingDefy Extreme Stain was introduced in 2008 as the newest member of the Defy Stain family. Defy Extreme Deck Stain in a penetrating water-based stain that does not film on the wood. Defy Extreme contains synthetic epoxy resins that “harden” the wood pores below the surface.
Utilizing nano-technology, Defy Extreme is one of the best stains on the market when it comes to preventing UV graying.

*Note: Defy Extreme Wood Stain is an improved version of the Defy Epoxy Fortified Wood Stain. Containing the same ingredients but with the added UV protection of the zinc oxide nano particles .

Defy Extreme Deck Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8.5

– Defy Extreme Stain had a rich look to the wood. Natural grain was highlighted evenly throughout. The Defy Extreme did not mask the grain like other water based wood stains. Penetration of the stain into the wood was excellent. The Cedartone color was slightly on the “orange” side but acceptable for a cedar deck stain color.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 9

– One of the best in the industry. Testing over a 2 year period showed little to no color fade. The zinc oxide nano particles seemed to help drastically with the Ultra Violet radiation that turns the wood gray.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

– Better than average wear and tear. High traffic areas show some wearing but overall tested
extremely well. No noticeable peeling.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

– Defy Extreme costs about $40 per gallon. For two coats we got about 100 square feet per gallon. We used 8 gallons for the 750 square foot deck translating to a per square foot price of $.43 a foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10

– Defy Extreme Stain is a water-based stain that does not promote mold growth in the stain. Very small amount of algae was noticeable but was only in a shaded area and was on top of the stain. More of an issue with the decks location not the stain itself.

Ease of Application: 7.5

– Fairly easy to apply. One issue we noticed was that it can dry very fast when in direct sunlight and on a hot day. Easy cleanup with water.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9

– Stain changed very little in color after the 2 year period. No noticeable darkening.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8.5

– No noticeable darkening, deep penetration, and little wearing make the Defy Extreme Stain an easy product to reapply when needed. Mild wood cleaning with the Defy Wood Cleaner and Defy Wood Brightener is what you would need to use to prep.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.47

– Defy Extreme is an excellent product and easily outperforms the majority of stains on the market. When it comes to water-based “Eco-Friendly” stains, Defy Extreme is our top choice. Defy Extreme performed in the top three of all stains tested when it comes to preventing UV graying on a horizontal surface. On vertical surfaces such as railings, the Extreme had no color change.

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Google Search Defy Extreme Stain
Defy Stain Facebook Page: Defy Exterior Stains
Cost: $44 per Gallon, $216 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Cedartone, Natural Pine, Light Walnut, 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
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: 750 Square feet
UV Exposure: 90% Full Sun, 10% Shade. South facing.
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 inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

Please Rate This Product. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

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333 responses to “Defy Extreme Stain Review”

  1. DeFlipSide says:

    Thanks for all your research. I put in a new cedar deck about 13-14 months ago and I'm getting set to apply the DEFY Extreme semi-transparent based on your reviews (including cleaning and brightening). However, I noticed that the new wood has many long gouges thanks to some poorly-made deck furniture we used last year. Will the stain highlight these marks? If so, do I need to sand or what? Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Craig M says:

    Similar to the Canadian above, I also found ease of application very difficult. I live in Boston area and followed all the cleaning/brightening steps for preparing my weathered pressure treated lumber deck. I thought the staining would be a joy. Yesterday I did only the rails, and it took all day. I agree with the comment that "It is just like painting with water: drippy, runny, ultra fast drying" and we were working on a cloudy day with no direct sunlight, so drying shouldn't have been a problem. Because it has no viscosity at all, it doesn't seem to cling to a paintbrush at all. Not only is it difficult and slow to apply, you have to rush to apply the second coat in 20 minutes per the instructions, so you can only do very small sections and must keep track of exactly what you did already. The whole process had me wondering if I was doing something wrong, using the wrong tools and brushes, etc.

    Any advice or suggestions? Will applying the stain to the floorboards be much easier, I wonder?

    • We do not use brushes with Defy. Use a stain pad applicator. Look for Shurline brand at your local store. Floors are much easier!!

      • Craig M says:

        Thanks for the speedy response! You don't use brushes at all with Defy? Even on the rails and verticals? A video on their site shows the stain going onto the rails easily with a paintbrush but was not my experience at all. I had 100+ thin, close-together verticals to paint. If I was to do it again, should I have used a tiny stain pad?

        I hope the floors go much smoother!

        • We never use brushes. Stain pads are better in our opinion. We use large floor pads for the decking that range form 12-18\” and smaller ones for the verticals parts. Usually about 6\” in length.

          Honestly for rails we spray them all quickly with a pump sprayer then immediately back brush with pads. We can do 50 feet of railing in 30-45 minutes this way. We do tarp the floors so catch over-spray.

  3. Doug says:

    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida_Full shade_Pressure treated pine_Mold: yes Mildew: yes_Several layers of oil based transparent stain have built up in areas and did not obsorb into the wood in areas of less traffic.

  4. Nancy says:

    I have a 15 year old deck in north Louisiana that has never been treated. It faces west with shade in the morning and partial sun in the afternoon. The deck is pressure treated pine and has lots of wear from grandkids, friends, their dogs and our dogs. Part of the deck had mold and mildew to the point of being slippery. My husband just power cleaned it with bleach and water to remove the slippery and stained areas. It has more grain to it now. Some of the screws are protruding slightly…not good for bare feet. He will not love the idea of sanding but it may need it. From what I have read on your informative site I feel that Defy Extreme Stain in Natural Pine may be the stain of choice. What would you suggest that we do from this point. Ease of application is important due to our age. We are on a lake and humidity is a problem. Thanks for any advice you can give us.

  5. amcarter3 says:

    Has anyone applied the DEFY Extreme Wood Stain with its "state of the art Nano-Technology" to Red Cedar? I'm in the middle of re-doing our Red Cedar railing. I have always used DEFY's Hardwood Stain before. However, we no longer have a DEFY dealer in our area. A neighbor offered me some DEFY Extreme Wood Stain to use. But, it is not specifically formulated to work with hard/oily wood like Red Cedar. I'd prefer to use it since it is supposed to weather better, but am concerned it won't work as well. Any thoughts?

  6. mike says:

    I just used DEFY Extreme on my abaco deck, it look very ugly after the rain got freeze, unfreeze, and dry. I have yellow spots all over my deck. Anyone has the same problem? The yellow spots look like the DEFY Extreme got peel off, it can be scrape off with a lot of effort and the surface looks very bad. Is there a way to get the yellow spots off without scraping? I tried normal household dish detergent but no help.

  7. andy says:

    I am going to be installing new decking on my deck. I am going to use douglas fir. Do I have to wait 4 plus months to treat it? I was going to stain them before I put them on so I could get stain on the sides of the boards and the ends. I live in Washington state out towards the coast and we don't get a lot of days without rain for the deck to dry properly.

  8. david churchley says:

    thinking of staining our cedar siding on our home. we live on the Oregon coast. haven't seen much info on cedar siding. it is 12 years old. what should I use?
    im 73 and don't want to do it again in the future. water repellency is our main concern. sun graying would a concern also.

    • The Defy Extreme works great on siding and should last 4-8 years or longer depending on exposure to the UV rays. Prep is key. Make sure it is clean and free of old coatings before applying a new stain.

  9. Bill says:

    Started chilling within 6 months. Does not stand up to northwest winters.

  10. Rebecca M. says:

    A couple tips:

    You have to treat the stain like paint. Shake or stir it up thoroughly each time before applying. Use a smaller container to carry if you get the 5-gallon pail. I found application to be very easy with a paint brush and would not use a roller. Go all the way down one row of boards and then go down the same row again immediately.

    All the prep can be a real pain, but you have to do it the first time to get good results. If you strip the wood first, balance out the pH before applying the stain. If you have spots of paint, gray wood, or rough boards, sand everything. If you try to paint a wall that isn’t prepped properly, paint isn’t going to magically cover the imperfections; same with the stain.

    I used a hand sander on the entire deck and it took forever, but I don’t have to sand again and certainly don’t have to strip anything. You can’t just go back and paint over worn out and peeling paint, you have to get it off first. It will be an even bigger mess in the end and you won’t be enjoying the beautiful color of your deck’s wood in the meantime.

  11. Rebecca M. says:

    I did a lot of research after buying a home in North Texas with a worn out painted deck. I didn't want to completely redo the deck every few years (strip and sand), and Defy Extreme seemed the best option. That first time, I stripped the deck of that horrible paint, sanded the whole thing down, and applied Defy Extreme. We have a big deck so it was time consuming, but the stain went on very easily and the color (light walnut) was beautiful when done. This was all completed in November 2012.

    It is now March 2015 and I am buying my second pail of Defy Extreme. The deck has worn out as I anticipated thanks to the Texas sun and heavy rain, but there is no peeling and still enough color that it doesn't look terrible. There is no graying, but I can tell the wood is accepting too much water when it rains. From everything I read, I expected 2 years of good use and that is what I got.

    I am SO happy I don't have to strip or sand again! All I have to do is a quick rinse (with Dawn was recommended) and break out the paint brush again. I plan to continue using Defy Extreme for as long as it is available (and will probably cry if it ever disappears). 🙂

  12. Jaime Krish says:

    We have a cedar deck that is 5 years old that we power washed last summer but did not reapply anything at that time. It looks like the power washing stripped down to the wood. We want to use Defy Extreme this spring and are wondering what we need to do to prep. Do we need to use the Defy cleaner and the brightener at this point? We are hoping to just use the brightener after a general cleaning of the wood.

  13. Devon Connor says:

    When using a sprayer and pads to apply defy extreme, what is the best way to get the groves in between the boards, spray and angle pad into groove and back brush. Or cut in the grooves with brush, spray and then back brush the horizontal boards?

  14. Monica Roseberry says:

    I have a brand new rough sawn redwood fence that looks great, and I want to preserve the color. I live in Clayton, California, where it occasionally gets a light freeze in winter up to 108 degrees in summer.

    I want to protect the wood now, but I'm seeing that TWP and Defy both recommend waiting. Is there any brand that is great that I can use now, or should I just wait?

  15. Heather George says:

    Can Defy Extreme Stain be purchased in Toronto, Ontario. If so, where?

  16. Tom M says:

    I just had 5 gallons of semi-transparent delivered, they don't sell it around her. , It's not as dark as I thought it would be. Is there a type of tint I can use to darken it?

  17. Paul Thompson says:

    I reside north of Toronto, Ontario and have an untreated cedar deck that faces west, is subject to considerable snowfall and requires treating. It is in good condition and I would like a recommendation as per a suitable deck stain. I have read positive comments concerning Defy Extreme, but I am not sure if I can purchase it here in Canada. Also, in light of our unsympathetic climate should I consider a penetrating stain for hardwood instead?

    Thanks kindly, Paul

  18. Louella says:

    Ugh so many comments of stains. Will this work on cedar decking we just put down Ok to weather in Ohio climate? I see I can purchase in Dublin Ohio?

  19. richard zapf says:

    where can i buy this product in st cloud mn? dick

  20. Gary says:

    I'm living at Toronto as well, just purchased 5 gallon from US online store and shipped to Niagara falls US side storage, will pick up this weekend and work on my cedar deck in 2 weeks. Believe this product is perfect stain/sealer for cedar deck based on all kinds of reviews.

  21. EStain says:

    Have a cedar deck and thinking of using Defy Extreme on it. Previously used Armstrong-Clark, which looked nice initially going on. However, because of the deck's location and me being in hot and humid mid-Atlantic (with also some snow in winter), my complaint with AC is that it turned black in places after one season. Thinking of Defy because more mildew-resistance. But, worry is that it will be more difficult to apply maintenance coats and–after several years–strip, because it is water-based, not an oil. How easy is it to maintain, and can it be stripped as easily as AC and TWP?

    • That\’s to bad with the AC. We do not see it turn black in our area. Maybe your environment? Defy is the best penetrating water based we have used but it is still not quite as good as an oil. Close though. Is it as easy to maintain? Yes but only of you do not over apply. Issue is that is easier to over apply a water based stain then an oil. If you follow the directions and make sure it is prepped well first and you make sure all of the Defy penetrates into the wood grain then there really is no difference between Defy or the TWP, AC or any oil based stain as far as wearing and reapplying.

  22. Jose Amador says:

    Have any ratings for the new "SuperDeck" by Sherwin Williams?

  23. pat says:

    what is the maximum amount of time to stain after cleaning and brightening? it looks like rain in our forcast for the next week. can we clean and brighten now and stain in a week or wait ?

  24. Donna says:

    I need to restain my front deck and back landing. I had previously used Deck Scapes (water based), tinted to match house color. What would you recommend for a tinted solid colored (light colored beige) stain, water based? We are in Seattle area, so lots of rain, but not lots of sun.

  25. Dusty says:

    Several weeks ago I stripped, cleaned and brightened my white cedar deck and applied Defy for Hardwoods, two coats, wet on wet, being careful to avoid sunshine or over application. BUT now it is sticky/tacky in spots. How can I eliminate the sticky? Could I recoat without stripping? would I need to wait until next year?

    • Never seen the Defy be tacky. It is a full curing stain so it should not. Was it tacky since day one or later on? You may have over applied. Defy is supposed to penetrate into the wood and not leave a shine or film. Does it look shiny in spots? Adding more stain will make it worse so you might need to address the issue next Spring.

  26. Matt G says:

    I used the Defy Extreme Stain in the natural pine color 2 years ago. I bought a 5 gallon drum and have about 1 1/2 gallons remaining. Can I use it for another project or does it expire after a certain time period?

    Also, does the crystal clear color appear milky white prior to application?


  27. Joseph McCormick says:

    Where is the closest retail store to get your product,I live in Dallas, Georgia

  28. Mark says:

    I live in st croix us virgin islands . Deck is around pool and exposed to the tropical extreme sun. Pine deck being built now.thinking about using the clear, will it hold up to the extreme uv rays? Can it be tinted? Mark

  29. Steve Horn says:

    I just applied this product one day ago and followed the directions on the label. The second coat (which is applied 15 to 20 minutes after the first) beaded up and when it dried left blobs of pigment on the wood. I did a little touch-up the next day, and where the sun was hitting the deck, the stain was a little sticky (it had dried over 16 hours before I walked on it). So far, I'm not too impressed with this stuff.

  30. Ron says:

    A pressure treated 5/quarter deck that was never treated with anything. Is going on five years old. On lake Michigan bluff elevated all the way around with plenty of air movement below. Badly! molded and mildew. UV concerns are not my first but MOLD and moisture are. I used deck wash at the strongest mix and power washed to remove the black mold fungi etc. The wood is Not damaged from power washing (which I have done) but has the tell tell signs of heavy washing ( fibers raised on surface in many areas). In your opinion will this impede the Defy from getting max absorption? It seems to me to sand will only seal the surface up a little again and impede it. Also will it have an adverse effect on the apperance unless these fibers are removed? Appreciate yours thoughts

  31. rachel says:

    I am thinking about using Defy on the interior wood of my log home, which is pine. How important is it to protect interior wood from UV light and fading? We've got walls of windows in the house.

    What kind of Defy should I use? You can apparently use Defy Extreme indoors, but they also make an interior stain as well, but it is transparent and therefore doesn't protect against fading. Thank you! Great website!

  32. Ernie says:

    Live in Tampa Bay Florida. Where I purchase DEFY products?

  33. James says:

    Will this product serve well to stain the exterior walls of a log home? The home is located in SE Alabama.

  34. Christine says:

    We used Defy Extreme on a new cedar deck last year early summer. We used Restore-A-Deck first. We used one coat of stain (as per the label directions). Come Spring should we be doing another coat or using any other products. Stain still looks good.

    Thank you for your help,
    Christine (Toronto)

  35. Gerald says:

    I applied two coats to my Redwood deck, following the manufacturer's directions. I wanted to apply a third but didn't because I immediately saw it started to bead, unlike coats one and two. It looked good for a short time but soon started to fade under the Utah sun. After one winter, covered in snow, the surface flaked and what was left was a bleached finish that I tried to sand by hand but eventually had to use a belt sander. Now that I'm back to a pretty redwood "finish" I will apply something other than this pain in the posterior product. I purchased this because I wanted to avoid an oil based finish but it looks like TWP will be in my future.

    • Gerald, sorry if flaked on you. Defy Extreme is a penetrating stain. If it flaked then it did not penetrate into the wood grain. Remember with the next stain that you apply, more is not better. The stain will work better if it fully soaks into the wood grain. Drying on top of the wood can create premature product failure, especially in a cold weather state.

  36. Sonny says:

    Defy Extreme is the best water based stain on the market! It is the only water based deck stain that actually penetrates into the wood grain. Does not dry like a paint, on top of the wood. You do have to be careful to not over apply and it does dry faster than oil based stains. Never apply in the full sun and high heat, it will 'flash" dry on you. I have been using it on decks for the past 4 years. Typically reapplying every 2 years to the flooring. Vertical railings and posts still looks great after 2 years.

  37. Cathy says:

    Hello, we used the Defy Extreme in Natural Pine 3 years ago on our Pergola and Deck. It performed well, but we want to go a darker color. How do we prep the wood for this? We are looking for a brown color. Light Walnut?

  38. Michael Carton says:

    I washed and brightened properly and the wood dried. It sucked up the stain VERY well. Unfortunately, I was running low and put it on a little thin in some places. Can I apply more stain a few days later after the defy has dried?

  39. Brian Marsh says:

    Defy Extreme seems to be a good stain, and was awesome for the first summer. First winter was harsh being cold and a lot of snow, so the following summer was showing a significant wear on the areas on path to the pool from the patio doors and to the BBQ. All of the deck has lost its super water repelling of the first summer. Now approaching the third summer it looks like I will need to redo the Deck as pathways are bare lumber, with un-walked areas still looking like they did after initial staining. Water repelling is so-so on theses areas.

    Question is do I have to strip the entire deck and reapply?

  40. Christine says:

    We used Defy Extreme on a new cedar deck last year early summer. We used Restore-A-Deck first. We used one coat of stain (as per the label directions). Now that the snow is melted there are some areas on the flat surface where there is no stain. Should we use the the cleaner and brightener again and then restain the flat surface? Do we need to sand at all?

    Thank you for your help,
    Christine (Toronto)

  41. John NJ says:

    What stain could you you recommend for NJ the deck is dry in full sun, 10 years ago stained with Cabot Decking Stains which I think was oi based. They don't sell oil anymore here.

  42. Al says:

    I can't find your Defy extreme Stain anywhere in San Diego. I've called all suppliers and none of them have heard about your product or carry it. Please advise where I can get samples.

  43. Jay says:

    I stained my deck floor boards with Defy Extreme this morning. Wood is 6 yrs old, never been treated. Pressured washed, brightened before staining. Started early B4 heat/sun got to it. It's very thin, went through pump sprayer just fine. Closely followed over the sprayed area with a roof brush on a broom handle. The wood was so dry it soaked in the stain immediately, so it wasn't possible to move it around much. Overlapping can be a problem, so be very careful about that. Applied one coat. Plan to do second coat next summer. Overall, I'm real happy with the Defy Extreme Butternut. The color is fantastic, a nice light brown that looks very natural. No red! No orange! I don't know what's in this stuff, but if it sticks to the wood like it sticks to skin, it should be alright. I'm very very glad to have learned about this product here at Deck Stain Help. Thanks!

  44. Bill S says:

    I had Defy Extreme (Cedar Tone) professionally applied in a single coat to a new deck and fence of PTP ( about 2800 sqft of surface area in total including both horizontal and vertical surfaces) – after 8 months of aging including a Nova Scotia winter. The painting company would only do a standard power wash (bleach/rinse) for surface prep as they had no experience with the Defy cleaning and brightening products and also said the labor costs would be prohibitive . I had bought the wood cleaner and wood brightener, so I applied those per manufacturers specs to a small – 30 sqft patch in order to check for differences. The project took over 50 labor hours in total and used less than 10 gallons in total (about right for the 150ft per gallon for 2 coats mfg spec). The finish was unevenly absorbed by the wood – but the overall appearance is very striking and water bead up on the horizontal surface is fantastic so far. I can see very little difference in product absorption on the area I used the cleaner-brightener versus the simple power washed areas. The plan is to add a second coat next year and then, hopefully be good and sealed for the 2-3 years advertised by the mfg spec. Overall – very happy with the product and the result so far – will check back next year.

  45. Amit P says:

    I have an older type composite deck– will this product work well? The deck has some areas that do not look very clean even after using deck cleaners and power wash cannot be used without significant risk of damage.

  46. Jeff Fenter says:

    Best stain I ever purchased…loved it!

  47. Anastasia says:

    Hi. Can I use this on the Extreme Cedar tone old Douglass fir? I know it's a soft wood. I don't know what to use.

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take in consideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.