Defy Extreme Stain Review 2022 4.1/5 (22)

This post was updated on January 13, 2022

Defy Extreme Stain Review

Defy Extreme Stain Review

Defy Extreme Wood Stain Review 2022

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 stain 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 help to reflect harsh UV rays like 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.

Defy Wood Stain Photos

Defy Extreme Stain Video Review

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

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Bill in CT
Bill in CT
3 months ago

Hi, I have a house with western red cedar siding. The walls are clapboard and the gable ends are cedar shake. When I installed the clapboard I installed it rough side out, as I liked the look but now in retrospect I realize it probably holds a lot of pollen and other mold/mildew causing particles in those nooks and crannies.

I built the house in 2009 and I stained it with Cabot pacific redwood oil based stain. 3 out of 4 sides have not been re-stained, only the side that faces west and receives sun has been re-stained approx 5 years ago with the same product. The house has darkened considerably (it looks brown) and I would like to get it back to a cedar tone and use a cedar color stain instead of the redwood color used previously.

My thought is to sand to bare wood with 80 grit paper on my random orbit palm sander then brush on the new product. I’m looking at the defy extreme in cedar tone. I have had black mold/mildew issues on the shady sides and it seems this product will help. Also I have seen you mention it helps prevent darkening of the wood as others do not.

Anyhow my questions are:
1- once I sand, do I need any treatment before staining?
2- since this is “old” wood, do I use the wet on wet method?

Anything else you are aware of and would like to mention?

This is a large project and would like to enjoy the results for many years to come.

Thanks,
Bill in CT

Bill in CT
Bill in CT
3 months ago

What product do you recommend to strip the old oil base Cabot? Is the stripper a spray on with a pump sprayer, let sit then pressure wash off?
I have not looked at the restore a deck product line but I sure will.

Bill in CT
Bill in CT
3 months ago

Ok I believe I will strip with RAD stripper + 2 additives, then RAD Brightener, then RAD semi transparent color to be determined. I do like how the stain can be applied to damp surfaces, 2-4hrs after doing the stripper/Brightener. Also it seems the rad prevents darkening and mildew better than the Defy.

As I’ve been researching the last couple hrs since my last post here it seems like for sidewalls one coat is enough? The wet on wet method is more for horizontal surfaces like deck boards? How do you feel about that?

Bill in CT
Bill in CT
3 months ago

Ok thanks for the responses. I will try the wet/wet method in a inconspicuous area to see if it takes it or not.

Bill in CT
Bill in CT
3 months ago

Pictures of siding for reference

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Sms
Sms
7 months ago

After applying the Defy stain there is Uneven color on the deck floor that has old and new wood. Will it eventually blend as the wood weathers?

Aubrey
Aubrey
8 months ago

I have a pergola that is western red cedar. Should I use Defy Extreme or Defy Extreme Hardwoods? The defystain.com mentions using Hardwoods for cedar.

Tamara Schroeder
Tamara Schroeder
1 year ago

We used a tongue and groove pine for our siding on our new house, siding was installed last year and was coated with Sherwin Williams Super Deck sealer after install. Very disappointed to have black marks in my siding and need to do something about it this year. What are our best options to seal it to prevent this from happeningagain? Likely even after cleaning I assume there will likely be some staining I won’t be able to remove so looking at a semi transparent stain/sealer. The Defy products seam like a great option, thoughts for this application?

Tammy Schroeder
Tammy Schroeder
1 year ago

Ok, thank you for the response. The Super deck didn’t darken the wood, but it didn’t seal it and it allowed our heavily weathered side to mildew (get black spots). How often does the Defy Extreme need to be re-done? When it needs to be re-done does the old have to be stripped and brightened each time? Thank you

Russ
Russ
1 year ago

Would it hurt to. Sand my screen doors and outside walls before ??

Jim Raymond
Jim Raymond
2 years ago

Instructions for applying defy water based, semi transparent deck stain to a newly installed pine deck with wood that’s been pressure treated 4-6 months ago. Time between first and second coats.

Steve Leachman
Steve Leachman
1 year ago

Why only one coat on new pine?

Kathy Bassick
Kathy Bassick
2 years ago

Still have a question regarding refinishing an IPE wood deck:

Used FLOOD CWF Hardwoods color “cedar” for past 3 years. Now it’s discontinued and PPG telling me to use CWF–Oil in the cedar color. The IPE manufacturer says oil based products hasten mold and I have experienced this in the past when using Penofin so switched to water based.

Defy Extreme for Hardwoods is water based and comes in color “Cedar.” But, it probably won’t match FLOOD’s cedar color? What to do?

Please help! Do I have to sand everything off to move to the Extreme Product? Or, if I opt to move to FLOOD’s oil product can that go over the existing product which is water based?

Kathy Bassick
Kathy Bassick
2 years ago

No, still had the question on whether I can switch from water based FLOOD to oil; based FLOOD and what prep that would involve?

Kathy
Kathy
2 years ago

Is sanding off the old finish required?

Kathy Bassick
Kathy Bassick
2 years ago

EFC-38 and Citralic sufficient in place of sanding?

Kathy Bassick
Kathy Bassick
2 years ago

Has anyone tested the Defy Extreme Wood Stain on IPE?

Kathy Bassick
Kathy Bassick
2 years ago

Has anyone used it on IPE? I have usedFLOOD CWF Hardwoods, color “Cedar” which this year I discover is discontinued so now what do I do? Will I have to sand off the entire finish before applying a new product because I have no idea of this “cedar” will match the FLOOD CWF cedar?

Kathy Bassick
Kathy Bassick
2 years ago

I was using CWF for Hardwoods for past three years (sealing every year) and now PPG has discontinued and are telling me to move to CWF–Oil in same color. I was advised not to use oil because it hastens mold and I’ve experienced this. What can I use now? How to color match? Am I stuck resending everything off and starting square one?

Tavia
Tavia
2 years ago

This deck is about 20 years old and was made good and strong. The previous owner but Behr paint on it and said it peeled every year so they gave up on it. All they ever did was change the boards when needed with pressure treated wood.. So now that I have stripped all the old paint off and sanded everything down. I need to stain and waterproof it but I’m not sure what to use. What would you recommend?

Laurie
Laurie
2 years ago

I have a deck with pretreated cedar wood . We have never stained it yet and it was put up about 6-7 years ago. It is in good shape -just needs cleaned and lightly sanded perhaps . What brand and type of stain do you recommend to bring out the natural cedar colour . Thanks

Robin Cantrell
Robin Cantrell
2 years ago

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.

D. Chance
D. Chance
2 years ago

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.

D. Chance
D. Chance
2 years ago

Is there a good one coat stain that is comparable to Defi Extreme?

Lois
Lois
2 years ago

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
3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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

Brad Bellinger
Brad Bellinger
3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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)

Jimmy Works
Jimmy Works
4 years ago

Thank you. Now that you mentioned it I noticed tha peeling once before.

Dana Taylor
Dana Taylor
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

Can I use Defy Extreme Stain on a composite deck?

S.G.
S.G.
4 years ago

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

S.G.
S.G.
4 years ago

Thanks I am just trying to figure out how much trouble it will be should I decide to switch brands down the road. I appreciate your responses.

1. Will using a stripper solvent be sufficient to remove the previous coating for either brand?
2. Is removing the old coating still necessary if applying a different oil based stain over ready seal?
3. How abou if applying a different water based stain over Defy.

S.G.
S.G.
4 years ago

Thanks again!

Donna Newport
Donna Newport
4 years ago

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

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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.

Donna Newport
Donna Newport
4 years ago

Please clarify a bit further. My 5 year old deck has been treated with Thompson Clear Water Sealant in years past, with NO stain ever applied. Before using a higher quality product like Defy, do I have to strip the Thompson sealant off? If so, can this be done adequately with a pressure washer? Lastly, what is your brand recommendation if I want to apply semi-transparent or transparent stain via sprayer?

James
James
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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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