This post was updated on January 19, 2022
Defy Extreme Wood and Deck Stain Review
Note: Defy Extreme Stain had a label change in 2019.
We find that the Defy Extreme Wood Stain to be one of the best performing water-based deck stains on the market. The zinc oxide nano-particles do double duty in preventing UV fading and preventing mold or mildew growth. The Defy Extreme penetrates into the wood grain extremely well for a water-based stain, resulting in a non-filming coating that is not prone to peeling or wear from traffic. We personally use the Defy Extreme on about 50+ deck restorations every year in the Midwest and is one of our go-to brands.
Defy Extreme Stain was introduced in 2008 as the newest member of the Defy Stain family. Defy Extreme Deck Stain is 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 nanoparticles.
Defy Extreme Deck Stain Ratings (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. The 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 nanoparticles seemed to help drastically with the UltraViolet 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. A 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.
Help or Questions? Defy Extreme Stain
Cost: $49 per Gallon, $239 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Cedartone, Natural Pine, Light Walnut, Clear, Redwood, Butternut, 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: 750 Square feet
UV Exposure: 90% Full Sun, 10% Shade. South facing.
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.
Defy Wood Stain Photos
DEFY Extreme, Deck Stain: 12 Months Weathering and 14 Month Update
Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.