Ready Seal® Wood Stain is considered a professional grade exterior wood stain. Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain is suggested for use on all exterior wood surfaces such as decks, fences, arbors, gazebos, wood siding, roofs, and log homes. Ready Seal was originally designed for contractors but is now available to homeowners through some Home Depot stores in the southern part of the country. Ready Seal Stain is a drip and run free resulting in an even finish. The formula is a special blend of paraffin oil, resins, trans-oxide pigments, and algaecides.
Ready Seal® Stain Scores (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8
– Ready Seal lived up to their claim and resulted in a nice even finish. The cedar deck we tested definitely looked more enhanced with the Natural Cedar color we applied. With that said, the color did fade quite a bit after several days as the paraffin oils continue to penetrate into the wood grain. We also do not like how the finish stays oily for several days after application or until it fully penetrates into the wood grain.
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 5
– At our 2-year test mark, there was about 50% color retention.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9
– Little to no peeling or wearing was visible due to Ready Seal penetrating well and not forming a film on top of the wood surface.
Cost Per Square Foot: 6
– Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain had an extremely poor coverage rate. We had to apply 2 coats and only experienced around 8- square feet per gallon. Ready Seal cost is below average but much more stain is needed. It took 7-8 gallons of Ready Seal Deck Stain to 2-coat our 600 square foot deck.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 8
– Ready Seal had a good chance of not promoting mold growth because it contains paraffin oil. We did not notice any algae but about 20% of the deck floor suffered from black mildew spots. A light cleaning would remove the mildew for reapplication.
Ease of Application: 8
– We experienced what the manufacturer claims to be an ease of application. Ready Seal is virtually goof proof and dries to an even finish with no runs or drips. Coverage rate is not that good, hence the reason for the 8 score. The overall color was good, it does fade significantly after 3 days, however.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 10
– Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain did not darken at all after 2 years. Instead, Ready Seal fades in color to a more natural finish, which is at better for recoating.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 8
– Another decent score here due to no darkening. No need for a stain stripper. A good wood cleaner and brightener is all that is needed to prep the wood for a recoat of Ready Seal.
Overall Score Ready Seal® Stain at 2 Year Period: 7.75
–Ready Seal Wood Stain contains the non-drying oil paraffin, which dives into the wood fibers and does not cure on the surface. There are many positives to paraffin stains such as user-friendly application and an even finish. The negatives are poorer UV resistance and coverage rates with an oily finish that can stay on top of the surface. This can be tracked inside the house, several days after application. For an easy to apply even finish Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain is a great choice. It may be necessary however to reapply every 12-18 months due to color loss.
Note: There are numerous deck restoration contractors who love Ready Seal and numerous who do not. We are on the side who are not fans. It is a better than average stain though that has gone mainstream into stores. We gave this product a better rating the 2nd time around testing. We like it but do not love it based on some of the issues we saw. We personally would rather use TWP or Armstrong Clark if looking at a semi-transparent stain that is oil based since they cure fully and have better UV protection after 2 years.
Cost: $33.99 per Gallon, $149.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Paraffin Oil Based Transparent
Available Colors: Gold, Natural Cedar, Light Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Medium Red, Dark Red
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1-2 Coats
Coverage Per Gallon: 75-100 sq. ft per gallon as tested
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 48-72 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in All 50 States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Ready Seal® Stain
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: Cedar
Deck Square Footage: 600
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used:Natural Cedar
*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.