Defy Hardwood Stain Review 2019 4.6/5 (5)

by Deck Stain Help

Update for 2019: Defy Hardwood Stain Review

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

Welcome to Deckstainhelp.com, your number one source for deck staining tips and latest industry news on the internet. This year in 2019 those who use Defy Hardwood wood stain continued to be satisfied with the quality and longevity of their deck stain projects. We encourage discussion on our site, so feel free to leave a comment below.


Defy Hardwood Stain Reviews

Defy Hardwood Stain Reviews

Defy Hardwood Stain RatingsImportant Note: This is our 2nd Review of Defy Deck Stain for Hardwoods. Our first review of the Defy Hardwood Stain was started in 2010 and completed in 2011.

See Here for First Review: Defy Hardwood Stain Review

DEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods is formulated with smaller resins that penetrate hardwoods, or oily softwoods better. If you’re looking for the best stain for cedar decks in a water-based product, then look no further. DEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods is a synthetic, semi-transparent deck sealer specifically formulated for use on Teak, IPE, Mahogany, Tigerwood, and other exotic hardwoods.

Defy Hardwood Stain should also be considered for oil-rich woods such as Cedar and Redwood, offering better penetration for these wood types.

Important Note: Testing for Exotic Hardwood Deck Stains

Exotic hardwoods such as IPE are extremely dense and difficult to penetrate. These wood types, when stained will always fade faster than other woods such as Cedar, Redwood, and Pine. Testing will be changed to 1 year instead of 2 years for exotic hardwoods.

Defy Stain for Hardwood Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8

For the IPE wood, the customer wanted a reddish brown color to enhance the grain. Best color for this is the Light Walnut. The Defy Hardwood did an excellent job of enhancing the grain. It did not film or “cover” the wood grain showing 100% of the natural color tones.

Preventing UV Graying at 1 Year Mark: 7

For Exotic wood stains, we only test for 1 year. The Defy Hardwood Stain retained about 70% of the original color after the full year. It had faded but no graying of the IPE was visible.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 7.5

The Defy Hardwood does a very good job of penetrating exotic woods. No filming was noticed when completed and the wearing was acceptable after the year. There was some visible wearing on the steps.

Make sure that if you use the Defy Hardwood on IPE that you apply only one coat. Too much stain and it will not absorb leading to an increased chance of wear/tear. We learned this from past experience when treating exotic hardwoods.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

Defy Stain costs about $40 per gallon. We used a little over 2 gallons of the light walnut color on our 400 square feet of IPE. Coverage for the Defy Hardwood is less than other exotic wood stains.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 9

No mold or mildew on the flooring surface or decking railings. A small amount was visible on the stairs.

Ease of Application: 8

Defy Hardwood penetrates IPE extremely well without any filming on the surface of the wood. Coverage per square foot is less than an oil-based stain but similar to other water-based wood stains.  We followed the manufacturer’s advice and used a truck brush for application. It was a little messy but it did apply evenly to the surface. One coat to the floors took less than 30 minutes.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 10

Defy Hardwood Stain did not darken in color.

The Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

The procedure for reapplication consisted of a light cleaning with their Defy Wood Cleaner. Once dried after a few days, we reapplied one coat. We did not have any issues with the maintenance coat adhering to the first coat.

Since the Defy Hardwood Stain had faded evenly without any peeling or darkening, it would be easy to apply a wood cleaner to prep the wood. Re-coating should not be an issue since the stain had penetrated into the wood.

Overall Score Defy Hardwood Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.06

This is the second time we have tested the Defy Stain for Hardwoods and the results were similar to the first. It fades lightly through the year and can be reapplied without sanding or chemical stripping. For IPE wood this is essential for annual maintenance.

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Google Search Defy Hardwood Stain
Defy Stain Facebook Page: Defy Exterior Stains
Cost: $39.99 per Gallon, $189.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Cedar Tone, Natural Pine, Light Walnut
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats. “Wet on Wet” for Cedar, 1-2 coats for Exotic Hardwoods
Coverage Per Gallon: 100-150 sq. ft Cedar, 200-300 for Exotic Hardwoods
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: IPE decking
Deck Square Footage: 400 Square feet
UV Exposure: Full Sun, South East Exposure.
How Many Years Tested: 1 Year
Stain Color Used: 
Light Walnut


*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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Rich
Rich

After years of frustrating use of oil-based stains on my IPE deck, Defy Deck Stain for Hardwoods has proven to be dang close to a miracle. I have used Messmers, Australian Timber Oil, Penofin and several others. Despite rigorous prep, none of them lasted, all of them blackened and needed to be chemically stripped every two years. Mind you, I painted houses for several years so proper prep is a process well-known to me. None of the oil-based stains lasted. Defy is so user-friendly. I had chemically stripped the Messmers in July of last year. Defy was easy to apply and looked great. I scrubbed the deck with Oxyclean in October and put on another coat of Defy to get through the winter. It came through looking great. This past week, I scrubbed the deck again and touched up with Defy in heavy-traffic parts of the deck. It looks fantastic. No more chemical stripping, ever. Defy is water-based so it is very easy to apply and clean up. You do need to be careful with application as it will dry VERY quickly in direct sun/on a hot deck. All in all, I wish I had known about this product when the deck was built in 2006.

Chris
Chris

Does ipe need to be stained on all sides before installing?

Jonathan S Woodman
Jonathan S Woodman

A customer of mine has an outdoor shower on the shady side of his house that sees little if any sunlight. The enclosure and floor are untreated Ipe. There is a lot of green algae and some mildew. The floor gets very slippery. After washing with an algae and mildew cleaner I need treat the Ipe so that water sheets off so the structure dries and algae doesn’t grow. Would Defy Extreme be a good choice for this project, or is there something better? Thanks!

Mandy ding
Mandy ding

Hello: great web site, very informative.
I am living in Canada. I am planning to install a ceder pergola. I wanted to stain the wood before the installation. I know the wood has been in the store over the winter. Can I prep and stain instead of stain after installation. If so, what brand would you suggest? Is defy extreme water base a first choice? Thanks

Dan
Dan

Your site is fantastic. Like so many others, I wished I would have found it sooner, although I have stumbled upon many of your basic teachings by years of mistakes as well as trial and error. I am planning on replacing my Cedar deck next Spring with Cumaru (probably won’t prep and stain until the following Spring to allow wood to season). I am in Michigan and although parts of my deck are exposed to direct sunlight at times during the day, much of the area is shaded by trees. The surrounding trees also drop a fair amount of organic matter on the deck throughout the year. Defy is very much in the running, but I am also considering Ipe oil, Mesmers, and Armstrong. I have a few questions.
1) Given the conditions I describe, which product do you think is best suited?
2) Of the Defy and Armstong, are there color shades more or less likely to show staining from surrounding trees?
3) For application and wear issues, which tops the list?

Steve
Steve

I have a new, clear cedar deck, and want to use a water-based stain. Would the Defy Hardwood or the Defy Extreme be more appropriate?

Julia
Julia

Would this be a good product for my new (in March) cedar fence in Seattle? West facing, full sun in summer. Lots of rain as well. I’m looking for semi-transparent, lower maintenance, cedar color (not orange). Thank you!

Tom
Tom

Does this require a wet on wet application, or is it a one coat application not requiring wet on wet.

Steve
Steve

Hi,
I’m planning to use Defy for Hardwoods on my mahogany deck. I sanded, cleaned and brightened it. Your review says to only use one coat on hardwoods, but the the product info says 1-2 coats on exotic hardwoods. What to you recommend for mahogany?
Thanks.

Cheri
Cheri

We have a deck made of larch wood. The deck is 2 years old and the lumber yard applied a clear coat protective finish which didn’t last long. The wood has grayed and where the metal spindles connect into the wood it has turned blackish. What would be the best cleaner/restorer? What would be the best sealer to use? I would like to use a water based sealer. Would the Defy for Hardwoods be best? I like the review of the RAD Wood stain as it can be applied damp and would prefer to use that if it would work well on the larch. Thank you!

Erik Rose
Erik Rose

Hi I’m looking for a stain to put on trailer deck- hardwood I think. Going to be pressure wash trailer so need to protect from bleach chemical and other chemicals. Also planning on going over with plywood for extra protection. Thoughts or suggestions? Thanks

merilee
merilee

great forum! i have old greyed out redwood decking(which i love) and brand new port orford cedar decking (very hard and looks like pine) in napa. i really want to stain them to look the same color. i like the review of the defy hardwood stain. how can i get the old decks and the new decks to look similar? they aren't right next to each other so it doesn't have to be a perfect match, but i do want them to look cohesive. sincerely, merilee

jose
jose

I'm having a new IPE deck been built next to a pool over a concrete subfloor with good drainage. Should I seal each board on all 4 sides before installation? Then after its installed should I use the brightener and seal the top again?

Dusty
Dusty

I applied Defy for Hardwoods last month. I used the cedar color which turns out to be actually ugly ORANGE on white cedar. It also is sticky in places. I suspect that the two solid weeks of rain beginning the day after application might be part of why.
My question: I want to recoat it in the spring with a different, darker color of Defy. Can I get by with prep that is only cleaning? Could I lightly sand the sticky spots if still sticky before recoating in the spring? I spent a lot of time stripping this deck and don't want to restrip next year if I can avoid it. Thanks

Frank
Frank

I stripped my deck with defy stripper and most of the stain came out but there are numerous spots especially around the knots in the wood. It was a lot of work. I used a powerwasher to get it off . What do I do now with all the spots which are now actually darker than the stain was.

Jose
Jose

I have a Mahogany deck that was stained with a Cabot wood stain that did not perform well. I have stripped and neutralized and am ready to stain. Most recommendations for a hardwood stain on this site are split between Defy Hardwood and Armstrong. Are there conditions under which Defy or Armstrong would perform better that the other? My house is in SE Pennsylvania, is totally surrounded by woods (and therefore enjoys a damper atmosphere), and enjoys mostly sunny, but partly shade conditions. Would the damper atmosphere cause me to lean toward water-based Defy?

Zac
Zac

I've just expanded an ipe deck which was about 7 years old, adding about 50 sq ft of area to the deck. I've pressure washed the whole deck so it seems to be quite ready to take the stain. My question is whether or not I need a sealer. My neighbors (who have the same decking, as it was the same builder originally) said that they had a contractor come who "added some stain to the sealant" which he applied. Without sounding like an idiot, is the Defy all I would need to apply to my freshly-cleaned decking?

amcarter3
amcarter3

We've been using Defy Deck Stain for Hardwoods for 7 years on our red cedar deck. This deck gets pounded pretty hard with long days of direct sun in the summer and a lot of cold / wet / snowy days in the winter (Pacific NW near Puget Sound). It holds up better than described in the test results in this review. No peeling; just slow, very gradual fading. A few areas show mild weathering, but no mildew at all (and our area is notorious for mildew and mold).

We get more than 1 year out of the first coat on the horizontal surfaces and a 2nd year+ by first applying Defy Wood Cleaner before re-coating. We have no issues at all with re-coating (as long as you only apply one coat). Most vertical surfaces hardly need touching up even after 3 years. Of all deck stain products we have used over the last 25 years in two homes, Defy is the unquestionably the best. Just be sure to follow the instructions exactly.

saskiadavis
saskiadavis

thank you for this encouragement. I can now feel good about going forward with it for my Seattle deck of cedar that will be covered.

How long had your deck been drying before application of the cleaner and brightener?

AMCarter3
AMCarter3

Sorry about taking so long to get back to you. I wasn't aware of your reply / question. I've never used DEFY Cleaner. I use their Stain Stripper and Brightener before re-doing the stain. The Stripper can be used at any time and the deck should be slightly wet. It is important to apply the Brightener immediately after the stripper so the stripping chemicals get fully neutralized before allowing the wood to dry. And, use plenty of water to eliminate the Brightener after it does its work.

Heidi
Heidi

Could you tell me what color hardwood stain you have been using for your cedar? I'm trying to decide between the pine and the light walnut for a new cedar deck. Thanks in advance!

EricS
EricS

I want to create a 2-tone pergola deck. Pine is on the floor and I think I like the color of Defy Light Walnut for that. The pergola on top is cedar and I'm leaning towards the butternut color since it is darker. Since butternut isn't available in the Hardwoods color would the regular Defy Extreme be ok for the cedar? Or should I use the Defy Hardwood for the pergola and settle for Light Walnut? I know the cedar will be darker so it will automatically give it a little bit of a two tone look, but with walnut and butternut the contrast would probably look better.

I absolutely do not want any peeling as I've spent almost a week sanding the entire thing back to bare wood due to a previous peeling paint (Behr)

Deb
Deb

Yes just one coat – is the stores recommendation to sand and put on another coat feathering it a good idea – they said not to power wash it. Note – the peeling is down to the very surface so you can now see the bare cedar wherever it peeled.

Deb
Deb

We used Defy for hardwood light walnut last year – we had a very rough winter and this spring after the snow melted there are numerous places on the deck that are peeling. We checked with the store we purchased the product – their advice to us is to lightly sand using 80 grain and put another coat on the floor feathering it – the railings are just fine. They said they believed the Cedarwood which was about nine months old at the time must not have been dried out enough to properly absorb the stain and that could be why we have so much peeling. I would be interested in your thoughts on this.