Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain Review 4/5 (54)

by Deck Stain Help
Ready Seal Stain Review

Ready Seal Stain Review

Update 2019: Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain Review

We would love to hear from you if you have used the Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain on your wood or deck. Please post a rating in the Consumer Star Ratings below. Consumer reviews below in the comment section have shown mixed results when using the Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain.

If you have any pictures of your experience with Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain, you can add them in the comment area with a detailed description.


Ready Seal® Stain and Sealer for Wood is a Professional Grade wood stain. Ready Seal® Wood Stains may be used on fences, decks, arbors, gazebos, log cabins, and any other outdoor wood project. Developed for contractors, Ready Seal is now available to homeowners. Ready Seal will not run or drip and will always apply evenly. It is a unique blend of paraffin oil, quality resins, finely ground trans-oxide pigments and algaecide.

Ready Seal® Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 7

– The Ready Seal® had a nice even application on the wood. The Gold color enhanced the older pine decking similar to as if wet with water. We did notice that the stain color faded significantly after a few days.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 3

– There was no color left after two years. Very poor at preventing UV graying.

Picture of Ready Seal losing all color after 14 months. Picture from DeckStainPro.com

Ready Seal Stain Fail at 14 Months

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

– Ready Seal® penetrates extremely deep into the wood. It does not peel.

Ready Seal Gold

Ready Seal Gold

Cost Per Square Foot: 5

– Coverage for the Ready Seal® is not very good. We got only about 75 square feet per gallon and needed to apply 2 coats. The Ready Seal® is less than many stains per gallon but you need much more stain than normal. The stain absorbs so well into the wood that you get very poor coverage. We needed 10 gallons to properly cover our 600-foot test deck with two coats of stain.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 7

– Containing primarily paraffin oil which does not promote mold growth, Ready Seal® shows promise. 30% of the decking floor was covered in green algae, though.

Ease of Application: 9

– We agree with the manufacturer’s claims here. Ready Seal® is goof proof in that it will dry evenly and will not run or drip. When we looked at the deck 24 hours later, the finish was perfectly even. 3 days later though it had faded significantly.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9

– No darkening was noticeable. Ready Seal® fades in color instead. Better for reapplication.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

– Easy to reapply. Just clean/brighten the wood to prep. No need to use a stain stripper.

Overall Score Ready Seal® Stain at 2 Year Period: 7.125

– Ready Seal® contains paraffin oil which is a non-drying oil. This means that it does not cure or seal the surface of the wood but dives deep into the wood cellular structure. The positives to Paraffinic stains are:

  • Extreme ease of application
  • Deep penetration into the wood
  • Even coverage

The negative is the poor UV protection and proper sealing of the surface. If you want a stain that is easy to apply then Ready Seal® might be a good choice for you. Just remember you will need to redo every 9-18 months if you want to retain the color.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Ready Seal® Stain
Cost: $34.99 per Gallon, $159.99 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: 8-year-old Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 600
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Gold

*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.


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

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Toni
Toni

Just posting a review, and I agree 100% with your review. Ready seal is very easy to apply and is very forgiving. It looks great after application, but in full sun, it only lasted about 6 months before needing to be reapplied. It completely fades.

74740438-3DE8-47D4-ACE9-ABBEF3D60821.jpeg
Mel
Mel

I stain a cedar table base with Ready Stain & Sealer in “Dark Walnut”. However the color was a more golden brown color. Can I use a darker Ready Stain & Sealer “Mahogany” over the existing stain? Im looking to darken the Wood and give it a red tint.

S Thomas
S Thomas

I’ve got 3 gallons left of a 5 gallon pail. Can the stain/sealer be saved? If so, what is the best way to store and at what temperatures?

TOM CASEY
TOM CASEY

Should I apply a second coat with this product on the first application?

Andrew
Andrew

I have previously used transparent Behr products on our deck, but cannot completely remove the Behr product from all the crevices of some redwood shingles that we have as a part of the railing. What can I do if I want to make the switch to using Ready Seal, because I am worried that the new coats may not be absorbed through the Behr product that lingers.

Thanks for any tips.

Andrew
Andrew

My deck (mahogany/redwood color) is weathered, and has many small cracks and splits. Unfortunately, before i know this site, i have applied wood filler (dap plastic wood) to fill those cracks. Now my deck has a beige colored filler scattered on tje mahogany/redwood colored deck. It seems that the ready seal is semi transparent? Would 2 coats of ready seal still make the beige area noticeable? Would you rather suggest using solid stain?

Andrew
Andrew

I now own a 25 year old home with 25 year old magogany/redwood colored deck, which now has so many small cracks and splits. Unfortunately , before i recognize ready seal, i applied beige colored wood filler (dap plastic wood) in sealing the cracks and splits. Now, would two coats of ready seal on the deck hide, at least more or less, bright colored filler marks? Or would you recommend using other solid stains?

Dayle
Dayle

no

James
James

Our builder delivered new green (wet) cedar to our home, but it also rained on the wood for two hours that day, and then he built our fence with the very wet pickets. He returned just 36 hours later and stained with Ready Seal dark walnut. Of course the stain job is completely uneven and four different colors, but the worst part is that all of the defects in the wood turned very dark brown – black and the fence looks horrible; I suspect this is because the tannins never had a chance to dry and cure before being soaked with oil stain, but do you have a reference that I can read to understand this better, and at this point what can / should we do?

Hugh Coatwood
Hugh Coatwood

Ready sesl gets loads of love from verified purchasers. This fact influenced my purchase decision.

steve fung
steve fung

Does Ready Seal works well for walking deck that already had an old coating that was from more than 10 years ago? Any recommendation? Thanks.

Jason M.
Jason M.

I've used 20 + gallons of this stain on decks over the past 5+ years and have found the Ready to hold up very well. I have also used Defy (older mix) and Ready Seal applied easier and lasted longer on a full sun deck in Maryland area. I do think the overall review score on this site seems low and believe the UV rating should be higher. The ease of reapplication is also a major plus. Stains seem to only last 2-3 years on most full sun decks, but this stain has outperformed others in my experience. Overall I would rank this as the best possible stain for the money, and given other aspects of a good quality stain. As others noted, you can also 5 gal. at Home Depot right to your house with free shipping.

Michael
Michael

I am very familiar with the Ready Seal products and wouldn't use anything else. The Texas heat/sun can be relentless, but Ready Seal has held up beautifully on the fences around here for years. I agree with those who say that the darker colors will have a longer "staying power" than the lighter shades, so your review of the Gold color is a little misleading about the brand as a whole. Pecan is the most popular color choice in our area. Some other key points that some are not mentioning– the age of the wood, the type of wood, and the condition of the wood can all affect how any stain works. Experienced contractors will know this, but DIY homeowners may not. If you are applying stain on a brand new fence or deck, it won't last as long as an older fence because of the porosity of the wood. Older wood is more porous and will absorb more stain. That is just the nature of wood– it can take months or years for it to open up completely. So after that first application on a new fence, you may have to re-stain after a couple years, but beyond that, you should be getting years longer life. Also, if an older fence or deck is grey and oxidized, or if it has been previously stained or sealed with another product, there are some easy but necessary steps to prep the wood. Power washing is not always sufficient. Sanding not always recommended. And if there is any moisture left in the wood at all after cleaning or rain, the stain won't absorb properly. You absolutely have to let it dry sufficiently before applying any product (should be less than 15% – you can get a moisture meter cheap at HD to be sure). I've found very helpful information just by calling the company (Ready Seal) to describe the condition of a particular project and to get their advice on the best way to prep. I personally recommend Ready Seal to all our customers. I think it's an excellent product and was pumped to find it available at my Home Depot last year.

brian
brian

Is the information on this site applicable to staining wood on Log homes?

Glen
Glen

Readyseal Is the best stain I've ever used will always use it. itlasts The longest and goes on the easiest it is uniform with great color

Kendall
Kendall

Ready Seal is easy to apply but does not last very long. We do many decks in PA and tried the Ready Seal a few years ago. Color fading was significant after one year, but that was not the biggest complaint we received. Our customers really did not like the oily residue that would rub off on clothes after the first week or two of applying. I guess this would be the nature of having the paraffin oil as it does not dry at all. We stopped using it because of this.

Jeff
Jeff

So basically, you've got a 3-4 year old review about a product that isn't even made anymore (Ready Seal Gold), and you're basing your evaluation off that? I have no connection with the company nor do I care which stains are rated highly, but the point is your review is too old to be valid any more, yet it doesn't mention anywhere the date of the review, nor what has changed with the product. It certainly doesn't cost $27.99, and it definitely doesn't come in the colors this review claims it does. I believe, like another poster said, that the Gold finish, specifically, didn't contain UV protection. So while you claim you were trying to compare apples to apples, you definitely weren't. Time for an update, or even a retest?

MaryBeth
MaryBeth

Very disappointed in this stain. Very expensive & does not cover with one coat. Fades quickly if fence is in the sun.
Color varies significantly from can to can. Will never use again.

john
john

"Ready Seal Stain and Sealer for Wood is an oil based semitransparent stain and sealer in one. It is a unique blend of oils, quality resins, and finely ground transoxide pigments that penetrate deeply into wood to protect and preserve it from the elements."

all brands say this, and the "oils" are subject to change and also unlisted. i personally would not rely on rumor and assume the product contains no natural oils that mold likes to eat. you'd have to keep it clean, like (%99 to %100 of products i can find that are not synthetic; like urethan)

Raysa
Raysa

I have 125 feet of new cedar wood fence to stain front and back, how many gallons of Ready Seal do I need to buy. I will be using a sprayer. Thanks

Randy Oberg
Randy Oberg

I have used Ready Seal for the past 3 years and I believe I have finally found the stain I will be using forever. I have a 500 square foot cedar deck built in 2008 which I first used Cabot and I was not pleased with the results. In 2011 I stripped the deck and applied Behr solid stain. The be Behr stain is junk do not use this stain ever! In 2013 I tried 3 gallons of Ready Seal for the floor just to try it out. It worked wonderful. I will never use another stain. Buy it you will love it.

Jim Scandle
Jim Scandle

I have used this product four times at our beach home and it in the past 13 years and it has held up well and provided the protection I expected. Will use again and would recommend it.

Mark
Mark

This Product is the best on the market Goof Proof no laps runs or streaks and it shows the wood grain looks beautiful. I have used it several times on different jobs decks, fences, cedar homes, and logs homes. The light colors don't last as long because they don't provide as much UV blocking. Light colors 2-3 year, Dark colors 7-8 years. I prefer a medium to dark color. I have use it on my own personal things like a 20 year old Redwood deck that I stain ever four years with Ready Seal, I use the Redwood color it looks like new. I also have a 20 year old fence that I stain ever seven years it too looks like new. How many fences have you hear of lasting 20 years I think that says it all.

H Rushing
H Rushing

My deck was 10 feet from the water's edge on North Padre Island, Corpus Christi TX. About every 5yrs I would power wash and refinish with Ready Seal using their dark transparent stain. Many compliments by those living on the Island. With stood the hot South TX sun and salt air/ salt moisture. Found no other seal to compare. Worked well on long privacy fences,sprayed banisters/rails, fences and used roller/brush on deck, applying 3 coats each, using much less with each coat. I gave 5 star on all questions as the deck mellowed over a 5yr period. Much better than other products.

Tom Howard
Tom Howard

The stain does apply easily, civerage is good but be aware it does dry darker than you might anticipate. I have a shaded deck so I can't really judge how well the stain holds up in direct sunlight. I do vey much like the surface of the wood on bare feet, very smooth. If asked to rcommend it I would but i would be cautious about using it in areas that receive a great deal of direct sunlight.

Jonathan
Jonathan

READY SEAL is actually a really good product but you have to know some things about it, choose the correct color and use ample amounts where the sun is going to hit.
Basically, we've found (after using it on hundreds of decks) that the darker the color, the more UV protection. This may not be much of a surprise! However, using "Redwood" color on pressure treated pine or other similarly dense woods, we can easily get 2 full years of UV protection and still have a beautiful looking wood color.

Tim
Tim

Used readyseal on cedar pool deck. Horrible for this application. Figured since it penetrated it would have some durability. Currently looking for an oil penetrating stain for cedar that will not peel and last longer than the swimming season in NY.

Charles
Charles

I used ready seal 3 years ago on a new deck after 6 months of aging, I used the dark walnut, it has held up very well, I have found that it needs to be applied heavily on the. First coating, then reapplied after 48 hrs. It is easily applied , I think some people apply like a paint. It all about your application, have been very satisfied, am about to reapply again.

Diane
Diane

How did you apply your ready seal? Did you spray or paint with a brush? If sprayed, did you use hand pump type sprayer or electric sprayer?

Charles Porter III
Charles Porter III

Personally, I have had the best results with a two inch paint brush. It allows you to thoroughly apply the product, and coat cracks and crevices, etc.

Charles Porter III
Charles Porter III

Another detail, is to thoroughly stir the product before use. The color pigmment tends to settle at the bottom of the can, so it really should be stirred with a stir stick once every hour, to maintain a uniform color while using the product.

Charles
Charles

Preventing UV graying at two year mark, a score of 1? I built a cedar fence in 2008, stained it with Ready Seal, Redwood, using a pump up sprayer and a thin nap roller, and I attest to you that it still looks beautiful, over five and a half years later. I have noticed, with the product, that it really should be applied pretty heavy, so that the wood can thoroughly soak it in, otherwise it will in fact appear too light in color, whichever color being used.

Dorothy Guderian
Dorothy Guderian

Where can I purchase TWC stain in Austin, TX?

Diane
Diane

You can order it on-line at Home depot. I live close to Austin, in Lago Visa TX area. UPS delivered it. It was cheaper than their website. No charge for delivery for me.

Tyoung
Tyoung

Kelly Moore Paints, 3 locations and Jeremy is knowledgeable about the product.

Lucille Ettore
Lucille Ettore

I just started putting Ready Seal on my 21 year old cedar deck. Second time (first in 2008 a contractor did it) It should get a "20" for ease of application! I am a 65 year old grandmom and I love this stuff enough to order it from Texas and get it in New Jersey. I did not want to switch to TWP because I LOVE the natural cedar color.

Mike
Mike

I have a cedar fence in TX that I coated with Ready Seal, 3 years ago when it was new and it needs to be recoated. Should I stick with Ready Seal since it lasted 3 years or do you recommend TWC or AC as an alternative since they are more highly rated for UV protection? Also, how does the prep differ based on the product I choose? THX

markinaustin
markinaustin

I plan to use red pigment to deepen the color of the Ready Seal dark red. I have tried this on test pieces of pressure treated and I have achieved the color my wife wants – a truly reddish stain. I found the pigment at a woodworking store. A very small quantity of pigment will recolor 5 gal.

I have 500 sq. ft. of relatively new pressurized pine – it will have been under TX sun for two months when I clean it and then stain it.

I will let you know how this works out over the next year and I will have photos available.

The pigment is called "Mixol"..

Jean
Jean

Well I can attest that Ready Seal in Medium Red does not hold its color for very long in Utah sun. I've been very disappointed with the product for this reason. It's frustrating when you go through the whole process and within a couple of week it's all faded again. I'd like to give TWP a try instead. Can I clean and brighten, then apply TWP over a deck that has been previously stained with Ready Seal?

Michael
Michael

The Ready Seal Gold **specifically** states that it has no UV protection.

It is no surprise at all that the UV resistance was low. Only the Gold and Clear have no anti-UV properties. The 3 browns and the Cedar do have anti-UV compounds.

Ready Seal is one of the highest rated stains. You might want to try another shade of stain in fairness to your customers.

Jim
Jim

Ready Seal's Gold, Cedar and "light" red and brown are not the best for UV resistance. Stay with the Medium or Dark and you won't have much of an issue with fading.