Defy Extreme Wood Stain Review 4.3/5 (15)

This post was updated on January 18, 2022

Defy Extreme Wood Stain Review 2022

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

Welcome to DeckStainHelp.com, the Internet’s first stop for exterior wood deck restoration topics. Our customers who have used Defy Extreme wood stain continue to be satisfied by the appearance and longevity of their deck stain projects year after year. If you have used Defy Extreme wood deck stain, we welcome your input, so feel free to leave a comment below with pictures of your completed projects if you have them.


Defy Extreme Stain Review

Defy Extreme Stain Review

Important Note:  This is our Updated 2nd Review of Defy Extreme Wood Stain. Our first review of the Defy Extreme Stain was started in 2009 and completed in 2011.  See Here for First Review: Defy Extreme Stain Review

DEFY Extreme Wood Stain is a synthetic-resin, semi-transparent wood stain formulated using state-of-the-art Nano-Technology to create a level of durability that has simply not been available in a wood stain finish in the past. Extreme Wood Stain is the newest member of the DEFY line of wood products and its most innovative high-performance product yet.

*Note: Defy Extreme is replacing the Defy Epoxy after 2014. The main difference between the two is that Extreme contains zinc oxide nanoparticles. According to the manufacturer, this gives added UV protection and mold prevention.

Defy Extreme Deck Stain Ratings (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8

Defy Extreme Stain is a semi-transparent stain that seems closer to a transparent in that it does not mask the wood grain but rather highlights the natural tones. We used the Light Walnut color for our test deck. The Light Walnut is not a brown color but rather a reddish-brown color. The customer was happy with the appearance but if you are looking for a brown, then try their newer Butternut.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 9

The Defy Extreme offers excellent resistance to UV fading. Testing over the two years showed very little color loss on the vertical railings. The horizontal flooring should have very good color retention as well. The Extreme contains zinc oxide nanoparticles. These particles seem to offer an additional layer of UV filtering.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 7.5

For a semi-transparent water-based decking stain, the Defy Extreme is excellent at diving deep into the wood grain. We have used and seen numerous water-based acrylic stains and the Defy Extreme penetrates the wood grain better than the others. Very close to the penetration abilities of an oil-based stain. Some wearing around table chairs and wood knots were noticeable otherwise, the stain was very intact.

Take note that we do not use the Defy Extreme on brand new wood. If you want to use it on your new deck, it is best to wait a few months. The Extreme will penetrate better if you do.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7.5

Defy Extreme costs about $44 per gallon. This is a price increase from our first test but is in line with other stains $ increases. For the two coats applied with a wet on wet application, we covered close to 125 sq. feet per gallon. We used 3 gallons for 350 sq. feet of deck and railings.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10

We had no mold on the deck in the sun or shaded areas. The Defy Extreme Stain is a water-based stain that contains zinc oxide. A search online of “zinc oxide” shows that it is commonly used as an anti-fungal product in paints and other consumer products. This is also in line with water-based stains in general as they do not contain “oils” that may feed the growth of mold.

Ease of Application: 8

Easy to apply for a water-based stain. Most likely due to its penetration ability. When we apply the Extreme we like to move fast to avoid potential overlapping. We like to apply a light coat to the floor first with a sprayer, wait about 30 minutes then apply a second coat with a pad applicator on a pole. We can do the entire floor on a 350 sq. foot deck in an hour or less.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 10

The Extreme Stain does not darken in color at all.

The Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

Prepping for this deck of a light cleaning with a deck cleaner and pressure washing. Once the deck was dry, we applied two coats to just the horizontal areas. The verticals did not need another coat as they had little to no color loss.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.5

Defy Extreme is an excellent product and outperforms any other water-based deck stains that we have used or seen on customers’ decks. Deep penetrating abilities and better than average color retention. Slightly costlier than other stains and can wear some in heavier traffic areas.

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Google Search Defy Extreme Stain
Cost: $48.99 per Gallon, $239.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Cedar Tone, Natural Pine, Light Walnut, Clear, 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
Cleanup: Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Saver Systems

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: Cedar decking
Deck Square Footage: 350 Square feet
UV Exposure: 50% Full Sun, 50% Shade. South East Exposure.
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Light Walnut

Defy Wood Stain Photos

*All products tested and results are from our experience as wood restoration contractors. 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.


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Trish
Trish
2 years ago

We are putting up a pergola and want to stain the wood. It is Hemlock. Is there any prep that needs to be done before staining? I would like a dark brown color, does this stain come in darker colors?

Mike_NJ_Drummer
Mike_NJ_Drummer
3 years ago

I have sanded all mold/mildew & cleaned the wood deck. Can I apply Defy Extreme Solid stain over the existing solid water based stain?
Does this stain seal the wood also?

Thanks

Kelly Wiederrecht
Kelly Wiederrecht
4 years ago

Our fence was stained with SW waterborne Deckscapes stain. We were not happy with the stain. We have stripped and brightened the fence with Defy stripper and brightener but not all the stain came off. We were thinking of switching to Defy Extreme Stain but does all stain have to be removed before restaining? If so maybe we should just restain with the SW Deckscapes??

Dan Termer
Dan Termer
5 years ago

We are building a new home in the Sierras at 5000ft elevation and siding the entire house in cedar. We are considering whether to use the Defy Original Synthetic or the Defy Extreme. The only difference I see on the data sheets is "nano particles" in the Extreme that are not in the Original. Is that the only difference and what would you recommend? This is new cedar so I assume we would have to clean the wood first, correct? Thanks!

Dan Termer
Dan Termer
5 years ago

Thanks! Appreciate the feedback!

Peter Marshall
Peter Marshall
5 years ago

Oil based Sikkens SRD Cedartone was used on three decks, two west facing and one east facing in Lake Tahoe, California, 6500' elevation. Initial appearance was excellent (just as in Sikkens' rating) but showing lots of wear on the bigger west facing deck that gets 4-8 hours of sun. Mildew has developed on the east facing deck that gets 4-6 hours of sun and then, lots of shade. New construction. Decks stained in Nov 15.

Would you suggest Defy Extreme because it's water based and less prone to mildew or TWP 1500? Would TWP go on better because it is oil base going on Sikkens oil base? Of course, I would strip and brighten decks first. How difficult is it to strip the oil based Sikkens stain? Could Sikkens' poor performance be due to application of too new a deck? If so, would you advise re-staining with Sikkens?

randy
randy
5 years ago

also, some told me by watering the new deck down twice a day and letting it dry it would help the decking dry out quicker by helping to pull out oils inside the wood. true or false?

Tim
Tim
6 years ago

Would Defy Extreme be a good choice on a new pressure treated pine deck? After waiting the necessary time for the wood to dry out of course.

Alice
Alice
6 years ago

Live in Piedmont section of North Carolina, near water, humid in summer, snow and ice once or twice a year, and a lot of Oak Trees. We have a pressure treated pine covered side deck that gets little to no sun, mold and mildew noticed. Been there about 1 1/2 years. We will be building a connected back open deck with the same materials. It will get noon and afternoon full sun. We know we will have to wait 9 months before staining the addition, but are ready to stain the one that is already built. We want to stain them with the same stain brand, type and color since they will be connected. Due to the differences in conditions, we are worried about using one type of stain on both. What would work for us?

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

We recently bought a log cabin in the Sierras with a redwood deck. The cabin is at 5600' elevation so gets snow as well as rain. I believe the deck was treated at some time in the past, not sure when, with a Perma-Chink product called Lifeline Deck Sealer, which I believe is a water-based product. I have been planning to sand the deck, mainly to smooth out the board surfaces, which have been degraded by the weather (though boards are still intact). My question regards sanding vs stripping. I see very little discussion of sanding on this site. Does sanding with an orbital sander do everything that would be done by a stripper, or do I still need to use a stripper after sanding? If sanding replaces stripping, should I still clean the boards with a cleaner before sanding and use a brightener afterwards? I am considering DEFY Extreme for stain. Opinion?

Jeremy
Jeremy
6 years ago

Hi there!

We are having a cedar pergola and fence installed in Ohio on the north side of our house. We get cold winters and hot and humid summers. I want something to preserve the look of cedar, but wanted to protect from fading to gray. I was leaning towards the Defy in natural or natural pine. However, I saw that another post from Ohio had a recommendation of Kimberly Clark. I am also looking for recommendation, but was also wondering what the benefits of each product are? Thank you!

Jeremy
Jeremy
6 years ago

Thank you for the suggestion. Do I still need to use the cleaner and brightener even though it is new wood?

Lisa
Lisa
6 years ago

I have just a very small project. A bench. I bought it at a small antique store. A flat bench, 2 x 5 ft. Just plain and rustic. I am not sure of the wood but it is heavy for me as a woman. The grain resembles oak. It stays in the sun and rain so I sanded it with 60, then again with 120 sandpaper to remove the last of the old finish. I am so overwhelmed with all the stain choices. I should have to reapply to the top only for a couple of years as the legs and supports look good. Is sanding enough for this project. I don't want to invest in cleaners and brighteners for such a small project. Of your recommendations, I have found the "Flood CWF Oil Wood Stain for abt $35. Should I spend that much. I do want the wood to have some transparent color instead of letting it turn gray. Can you give your recommendations. Thx. I am on a budget.

Bonnie
Bonnie
6 years ago

Georgia,sun in afternoon,mildew,pressure treated pine. Previously used Cabot semi transparent. Blotchy and dull.

Jahosaphet
Jahosaphet
6 years ago

I built a PT deck last November. I'm thinking May/June with Defy. Will the all in one cleaner/brighteners work? Do I really need a pressure washer when the deck is so new? If I reapply ever 2-3 years, do I have to strip and clean every time?

I was thinking; The whole (12'x14'') deck cost $800 with footings, anchor brkts., 6×6 posts, 38' of guardrail and less than 2 days to build. At $150-$200 in stain every 2 years I could just rebuild the deck in under 10 years. Probably less time than would be spent on staining and cleaning too. Maybe leave the frame and upgrade to composite.

Mark
Mark
6 years ago

I have a new screened porch floor that is tongue-in-groove Perennial Wood (aceylated southern yellow pine). I would like to stain it so that I can still see the grain and make it look good with (not necessarily exactly match) the living room floor which is red oak with a natural stain on it. For semi-transparent, the Perennial Wood website recommends all-acrylic latex stain. I'm thinking they're saying not a oil-base. What would you recommend? Would Defy Extreme be a good option? Thanks.

Kevin Shea
Kevin Shea
6 years ago

I have a fairly large multi-level cedar 6 year old deck Approx 40 X 35. I Prepped the deck with all the DEFY cleaners and brighteners and power washed as prescribed. The 4 year old finish was gone and deck was sun bleached grey. I applied two coats of DEFY Hardwood stain in May 2014 and have to do it again as 50% of the horizontal finish has peeled or worn off. The original stain I used was Cabot's Australian oil based. I am more than a little hesitant about using DEFY again as I was not pleased with the results. Do you have a recommendation for a different product to use that will have better results.
Thank You

BobRad
BobRad
6 years ago

I'm unhappy with the durability of Penofin Hardwood on my Merbau deck. I'd like to switch to Defy if that would work over the Penofin. I plan to clean and brighten the deck first, of course. What color comes closest to the Merbau's normal color? I'd prefer clear if its available. Please assure me that this stuff will not peel off in time…

William
6 years ago

Our house is about 9 years old — we acquired it 5 years ago. We do not have a deck, but the screen porch with interior wood ceiling and the porches around the house which have tall wood posts and wood ceilings were previously preserved with spar urethane every other year. The interior of the screen porch looks like it has a semi-transparent redwood-colored stain that has lasted 5 years, but is now molding. This year the posts outside are molding badly and the last coat of urethane is peeling away — it’s peelings are foggy/clear.

Do we need to strip or sand the spar urethane or stain inside the screen porch or will it be enough to power-wash using cleaner and brightener? Would you recommend Defy Extreme for the wood on the porches. We love the natural wood look, but the Sherwin Williams expert recommends that we should clean, prime, and paint all the wood. How long do you think the Defy would last in an interior screen porch space and on vertical surfaces like the posts? Thanks.

acguy25
acguy25
6 years ago

I have a wood deck in Marathon, FL that gets constant sun exposure. There is Thompsons sealer on the deck now. (not working very well.) I want to upgrade the product I use this time. Would this be the best product for that type of job? Any other steps to make sure the new product goes down and the Thompsons does not hinder the application? Thanks

ajmay
ajmay
6 years ago

I am in Canada and want to stain my Cedar deck with a Defy product. I would have thought the Deck Stain for Hardwood would be best since it is designed for Cedar but your review of Extreme Wood Stain (done on Cedar) rates higher. I'm not sure which way to go – should I use Defy Extreme Wood Stain or Defy Deck Stain for Hardwoods?

Linda
Linda
6 years ago

This stuff does not work. Don't waste your money. Put it on in the fall with all prep done, by spring it was peeling off.

Keith
Keith
6 years ago
Reply to  Linda

Was this a new deck or previously stained? I have a 2 year old cedar deck and need to stain it. Thanks

Joe
Joe
7 years ago

I am planning to paint/stain an old deck, which I have cleaned and brightened. The deck is in reasonably good shape, considering it's age. Any recommendations for product?

John
John
7 years ago

Should I wait to stain a new kiln dried after treatment pine deck? If so, how long? Should I use the restore-a-deck kit before staining?

Dan
Dan
7 years ago

Do I need to tape off my Vinyl siding for this stain? Or will it wipe right off? sorry if that is a stupid question.

Luca
Luca
7 years ago

I'm looking to restain a deck that surrounds a pool. Climate is cold winters, hot summers. Currently need to strip failing stain, sand and brighten. What would be best option for around the pool? Looking at driftwood colour in either Armstrong or Defy. Is one better than the other for this application? Has to be easy on bare feet as well.

Luca
Luca
7 years ago

I'm north of the border. Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Luca
Luca
7 years ago

I'm in Canada. Toronto, Ontario.
Any tips or suggestions on how to tackle the stain removal, sand, brighten around the pool, without making a mess of the pool?

Luca
Luca
7 years ago

Sorry, but what will help to reduce the mess around the pool during deck prep? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

MicKay
MicKay
7 years ago

If I power sand a cedar deck what it the grit I should use and do I still have to use a brightener after sanding?

Paul Koch
Paul Koch
7 years ago

Hi! After 12 years of accumulated and peeling layers of stain, my PTP deck planking was so bad that I removed them (unscrewed) and decided to expose/use the underside.
In preparation, I have scraped the edges, sanded the underside with 60 grit belt sander, followed by 80 grit palm (random orbital) sander, and am drying out any residual moisture by laying them out on my driveway during all sunny days (about one week by now). Some are warping severely… others are staying fairly flat.
I think the good ones are ready for re-installing and staining.
My question is this: Must I use cleaner/brightner and make them wet again??? I would prefer to wipe the new surface with something that won't wet the fresh wood but will clean off any residual sanding dust –before applying an oil-base stain like TWP 100. Thanks for your advice. PRK.

Egan
Egan
7 years ago

I'm looking at using defy extreme to stain my new cedar bevel siding. I'm thinking I'll stain all the bored front and back prior to siding the house. With the cedar being kiln dried and having a rough finish will the stain absorb well enough without much prep? I imagine I'll be giving it a second coat in a year or so anyway. I just wanted to ask about prep. Thanks – Egan

Jerry
Jerry
7 years ago

I have about 1000 sq ft of decking that needs to be stained. It was stained with an Olympic oil based stain 2.5 years ago by the previous owner. There is very little graying but some mold. Would twp 100 or armstrong or other stain be a good choice for the restaining?

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

We have a redwood deck that we just sanded down, power washed and cleaned with deck brightener. Thinking about the Defy Extreme, what other prep or wait time should we consider before applying? We live in heavy snow country so constant snow load in the winter and dry in the summer. This is for a commercial application so as heavy duty as possible.

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

Do you recommend Defy Extreme, Defy Hardwood or TWP 100 for our application? Checking on the SP grit right now…

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

And is 80 grit rough enough to go ahead and stain once the weather is good?

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

That's what we did. Is it alright to wait a few weeks after using the cleaner & brightener to stain or do we need to re brighten a few days before?

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

Sanded with 60 grit, scraped and powerwashed to remove the Rustoleum Restore then finished with 80 grit, deck wash and brightener.

Daniel
Daniel
7 years ago

Lasted about 8 months on a new black walnut deck. looked fine in the fall but I spring 85% of the finish was gone. sorely disappointed.

PhilC
PhilC
7 years ago

So disappointed. I used Defy Extreme on my new cedar deck posts and rails last October and it has failed miserably. I bought all new cedar rails and posts, stored them in my heated shop for several weeks before sanding all of them to ensure a nice clean surface and open pores, vacuumed all the dust off, and applied two coats of Extreme (per instructions) to every single one of them, again in my heated shop. I installed the posts and rails mid-Oct and now, 6 months later, the exposed surfaces have all gone "white" from exposure over the winter. I live in Eastern Washington close to the Idaho border, and we had a mild winter this year with very little snow. I had hoped to get 2 or more years out of the stain, but it appears I'll have to re-do my rails and posts as soon as temperatures moderate and the spring rains end. What went wrong?

PhilC
PhilC
7 years ago

I used clear because I wanted to retain the natural look of the cedar. I'd appreciate advice because I still want the natural look for my cedar posts and rails when I re-do them.

PhilC
PhilC
7 years ago

Mine didn't even make it a season. Directions on can state, "New cedar should be cleaned and stained as quickly as possible to avoid damage from the sun and rain." This is exactly what I did, and made sure the wood (clear cedar, not redwood) was, "clean, porous, and dry" (per cleaning instructions on can). This is why I sanded and vacuumed the wood surface prior to application, to ensure pores were open so they would absorb stain. I followed instructions on the can to the letter. A tinted stain will hide the natural appearance of my cedar which is why I opted for the clear stain. Apparently, Defy was not the right choice. 🙁

James
James
7 years ago

We are replacing the wood on our dock that was neglected by the previous owners. I am looking at using the TWP 100 or Defy Extreme in a Cedar tone. The wood I plan to use is KDAT .06 pressure treated pine. Since the wood has already been dried to optimal moisture levels, is it ok to stain immediately using these stains? Thanks

Patrick
Patrick
7 years ago

Forgot to add – I'm in a new house with a 14" x 25" wood deck that is about 3.5 months old. Should I wait until Spring to stain or go with it right now?

Patrick
Patrick
7 years ago

What stain do you recommend for Central Virginia? I was thinking this Defy stain. I like that it isn't oil based.

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

I am leaning towards Defy for a new redwood deck on Southern CA on the coats, aged 3 months already. Your site says numerous times that this is a "wet on wet" application. How exactly is that accomplished; do you just walk on the first coat before its dry and apply the second coat – seems kind of messy to me if that's how its done? Please explain more about the "wet on wet" technique and which application tools seem to work best. Thanks.

James Mathews
James Mathews
7 years ago

On a new mahogany porch what brand on stain would you recommend

PatM
PatM
7 years ago

We are in the process of adding an addition to our cedar sided cottage, which is 22 years old. The original siding is stained with Sherwin Williams Semi-Alkyd, Semi-transparent Wood Preservative Stain, which worked great. Due to re-formulation, we can't get it anymore. After checking the specs of the highly recommended stains listed on this site, we've found that these stains : can only be used on new wood, can only be used on new wood that has been allowed to dry to the point of grey, requires that the old stain be completely stripped before application, and/or is not available within 50 miles of our Wisconsin location. Obviously, we need a stain that will work on both new and previously stained cedar. So frustrating! Can anyone please help?

Mountaineer
Mountaineer
7 years ago

I am installing a tongue and groove porch (covered), sloped at 3/16" using 100+ yr old white oak reclaimed and milled. Is Deck extreme a good choice for protection?

John
John
7 years ago

Hi, do you have any reviews on "Pittsburgh, Sun Proof" semi- or Opaque Stains ? am interested also in "Armstrong Clark" oil stains, but seems there are no dealers in Michigan. have a 580 sq.ft. deck all ready to stain . Your top reviews say "TWP" , Armstrong Clark, or Defy extreme are BETTER when others. thanks for your quick response to my other questions…

John
John
7 years ago

Have you any infomation on Ready Seal, made in Texas i believe, they say its a professional grade oil based semi-transparent stain and sealer in one. Goof proof no laps runs , Durable no cracking, flaking or peeling. Easy upkeep,clean, dry and Re-apply, no sanding no stripping. Sounds good to me, have a 580 sq. ft. deck that i just striped and cleaned, it faces the West, i live in southern Michigan. Anyone know or used this product? Deck is 5 years old, used Australin timber oil on it the frist time, liked, but didnt hold up well to foot trafic…

alan
alan
7 years ago

i'm interested in getting the light walnut stain from defy and seen some pics online.

would you say this is a fair example of the light walnut color from defy extreme?

in your experience are people happy with this color? I stripped the old solid redwood color off so I don't want red, this looks like a nice brown.

I realize it will look different on different woods, I have a cedar deck that's all prepped and sanded. it would take me 2 weeks to get samples then order the color and my deck has already been sanded and prepped for 3 weeks. is it okay to be like this for 5 weeks? no rain in the foreseeable future but that can change here in Seattle, I also just really want to finish this project and would take your expert advice on if this is a nice color or not.

alan
alan
7 years ago

I got samples from twp 100 rustic – would you know if its more or less red than that?

Leslie
Leslie
7 years ago

Hi. I am now totally confused on the "oil based vs. water based" stain question after all the research I've done online. In another post I made, y'all said the TWP 1500 would do well. But now I'm thinking I need to go with a water based stain (like the Defy Extreme in particular). I live in the Texas gulf coast area – meaning hot and humid. My deck is over 20 years old. I don't think I mentioned in my previous post, but the deck faces north, and some areas are total sun exposed, and some are total shade (where some mold is growing). I have no idea whether to use an oil based stain or a water based stain. My contractor is pushing for the water based because he says it penetrates better. But my research is telling me (mostly) that the oil based penetrates better. Oil or water for my deck? For oil I was going to go with TWP 1500, and for water I was thinking Defy Extreme. But I've now spent about 3 days on this. And my husband is absolutely no help at all. PLEASE HELP ME!!!

judy
judy
7 years ago

Hi, I just had a new pine deck built in Texas. This Defy Extreme sounds like the thing to use. However, you said to wait a few months. About how many months? Or what should I look for. The deck builder said to wait two or three months to seal it until the green is gone in the boards. What's your advice?