Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain Review 2022 3.7/5 (48)

This post was updated on April 5, 2022

2022 Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain Review

Welcome to Deckstainhelp.com, your number one source for deck staining tips and the latest industry news on the internet in 2022. Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain continues to follow the same premature fading patterns as years before. Leave us a comment if you’ve used Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain.


Ready Seal Stain Review

Ready Seal Stain Review

Note: This is our 2nd Review of Ready Seal Stains

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: 4

– At our 2-year test mark, there was about 50% color retention.

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

Ready Seal Stain Fail at 14 Months

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.

Ready Seal Deck Stain Customer Photo Issues

Product Information:
Cost: $40.99 per Gallon, $189.99 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 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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Dave
Dave
3 years ago

I have a 2 year old deck and had it stained with Ready Seal 16 months ago. I’m not happy with it as it has faded and also still seems a bit oily when walked on though not much.
I would like to try TWP this time. We had the deck cleaned using low pressure a month ago and it looks great. Is it OK to us TWP now or need I power wash it?

Ray and Juli Flores
Ray and Juli Flores
3 years ago

We used this product last summer. Easy to apply, disappointed in longevity , no resistance to water after only 9mos. Will not use again. Need something that will give us more then 1yr.

KrisP
KrisP
5 years ago

I bought the Ready Seal at Home Depot last Spring. Looked great for a month but lost color rapidly. It will need another coat this year. Should I stay with the Ready Seal or switch to a product that will give me longer life? It was very easy to apply to my deck that was 2 years old at the time. How do I prep if going to a different stain?

KrisP
KrisP
5 years ago

Thank you for the reply. I am considering the Defy Extreme Stain going forward.

Igo
Igo
1 day ago

Restaining a slightly beat up porch in Minnesota and contractor really pushing ReadySeal semi transparent, almost in a suspicious way. Any recommendation for what to use on porch that is in rough shape in a few places and gets a lot of moisture (Minnesota’s melting snow)?

Dan
Dan
2 months ago

Since the oil does not dry, can I use this for my raised garden beds?

L manser
L manser
9 months ago

Why does it look like little fibers on just treated deck,contractor said it is wood pulp & will brush off,color very uneven

Robert B
Robert B
10 months ago

For a cedar ceiling do you need 1 coat or 2?

shawn lewis
shawn lewis
11 months ago

is this slippery

Morgan
Morgan
11 months ago

This website has been SO helpful in answering all of our many questions. THANK YOU. We just ordered our stain and will leave pictures/reviews on your page once complete 🙂

Jeanne Robinson
Jeanne Robinson
11 months ago
  1. I have a new cedar tongue and groove ceiling in an outside pavilion. They do not sell TWP, Armstrong or Defy in Northwest Indiana. What stain should I use. I can get Ready Seal, Flood, Olympic, Sherwin Williams etc.
Heather Freiburger
Heather Freiburger
1 year ago

I stained my fence with Ready Seal about 4 years ago. I wasn’t aware of the fading reviews at the time, but it’s definitely done that in spades (I had used a light color as well). Because of the paraffin aspect though, the situation seems to just be that it has faded light; there is not any sort of flaking. I am going to restain it, most likely with a water based like RAD or Defy Extreme in a darker brown semi-transparent (though I’m open to oil if that makes a difference). I’ve read questions about whether power washing would be enough, and the advice was still to strip the fence. My concern though, is this is a city backyard situation, and my neighbor on the other side of the fence has his side stained as well. I obviously don’t want to ruin his side, and it also seems like a lot to put the already dry and pretty naked wood through. Any advice?

wendy
wendy
1 year ago

we just built a new red wood deck for above ground pool. looking just to seal the wood. any recommendations?

Wendy
Wendy
1 year ago

Even if I’m just weather sealing the wood not staining

Wendy
Wendy
1 year ago

How long should I wait it’s it’s been a month

Kimi
Kimi
1 year ago

I’m new to the staining world and have no idea where to start! I’ll be staining 3 porch posts that are cedar. What type of stain would you recommend that a beginner won’t have issues with?

Carissa
Carissa
10 months ago

To go along with the above question… is it necessary to use a wood brightener after sanding, and before staining??

Jane
Jane
1 year ago

It has been longer than 45 minutes since applying stain. Can you reapply stain after a day or two?

Leann
Leann
1 year ago

How does product hold up on new roughcut siding? We are hoping to match the existing structure.(photo) How do we restain in future? Can we simply respray?

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LeAnn
LeAnn
1 year ago

Which would be your top 3?

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

My fencing etc was coated nearly 3 years ago with Johnstone’s wood stain satin . Now needs to be redecorated.
Are there any of your products that can be applied over the existing which is oil based ?

Catherine lester
Catherine lester
1 year ago

very happy with the product so far, I applied to all sides of walnut tongue and groove boards on a 2nd floor porch, now I will apply a 2nd coat to the surface now the floor is down.
question…. do I need to do any prep before re applying in 2 years?

Toni
Toni
2 years ago

I am using defy stripper and a stiff bristle push broom and a power washer to try to strip Ready Seal off my deck. Although Ready Seal had mostly faded, a thick waxy, tarry substance can’t seem to be power washed off my deck. It’s goopy but and the deck seems stripped only to have that goop dry back on. Do I just need to keep brushing it away and power washing or do you have any suggestions? It’s very difficult to describe. Did I not use enough stripper? or would a different brand of stripper work better?

ready seal tar.JPG
Toni
Toni
2 years ago

I’m restripping it with a hose attached to a stiff bristle push broom then applying the brightener.

Toni
Toni
2 years ago

Here are photos after stripping and brightening my cedar deck. It looks blotchy. Will the stain come out blotchy if I apply it over this? If so, what should I do? I don’t know what caused this.

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Toni
Toni
2 years ago

Thank you!

Malcolm Eric Bolsover
Malcolm Eric Bolsover
2 years ago

Can you do maintenance coats with this stain as in every couple of years wash with water & dish soap then reapply ? Thanks

Malcolm Eric Bolsover
Malcolm Eric Bolsover
2 years ago

Thank you

Sherry
Sherry
3 years ago

My deck is approximately 10 years old. Pressure treated wood, pine I believe. The last stain was 6 years ago. Both times it was stained with Olympic Maximum Honey Gold. The deck is covered. Last year most it was screened in. All except steps. So I have new wood and old wood to stain. The new wood is a result of support for the screen. I used a pressure washer without any chemicals on stairs and deck. On the spindles I used Valspar all in one Wood Prep. Two questions. 1. What is best stain to use? 2. Choices locally are slim. Lowes quit selling Olympic. And sells Cabot and Valspar. I haven’t checked the smaller building materials stores in town. Is Cabot Gold or Timberoil compatible?

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Greg
Greg
3 years ago

I have a relatively new deck (just over 4 years old) made of Trex. While mostly composite, the deck railings (vertical and horizontal) and some other framing are cedar. At about 1 1/2 years after the deck was built, I stained the cedar parts with Ready Seal after prepping with sodium percarbonate and a wood brightener (oxalic acid). The original prep I did was not great, there was still some graying, some fuzzies from the scrubbing/prep, etc…but the RS stain did provide a decent coating even with some of the unevenness. Looking back, I probably should have waited to do the staining because from what I’ve read and recent guidance provided to me from Ready Seal, new cedar should not be prepped and stained until 3 to 6 years after installed as it gives the wood time to properly age and absorb the stain.

Now 2 ½ years later I’m ready to prep and stain again; the railings are weathering more (some more graying, mold, algae, etc…). I called Ready Seal customer service and the emphatic guidance was to clean, prep the cedar with a bleach/water solution; that the previous method of sodium percarbonate and wood brightener won’t give the best result. My question is would I be making a mistake by cleaning with a bleach solution as it might irreparably damage the wood even though it would clean and remove the graying. I’m also worried the bleach/water solution could damage the Trex with discoloration, etc… The Ready Seal representative acknowledged this is a legitimate worry and that I should put a tarp over the Trex portions. It seems like from this site that maybe I should use one of the prep agents like Restore-A-Deck which probably wouldn’t risk damaging the Trex composite but give good results. Also, I’m wondering if I should move on from Ready Seal since I’ll be stripping and brightening the railings again and try one of your more highly recommended stains which won’t have to be reapplied as much. Thanks in advance for any guidance!

Ray and Juli Flores
Ray and Juli Flores
3 years ago

What would you recommend for application over this product.

Josh
Josh
3 years ago

What is the best stain for a covered deck 8months old no previous stain it’s a new deck . No sun except for on the steps and partially the handrails. Most of your higher rating stains are not available in my area so really all I had to choose from is Lowe’s and Home Depot location is TN Thanks

Josh
Josh
3 years ago

Well looks like RS is being discontinued in Home Depot and Lowe’s. What’s the next best choice?

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

I’ve only had it on for 2 months so can’t comment on wear. I will say it really did a nice job on my badly weathered 22 year old deck. Really looks far better than I would have expected. As stated the coverage was poor. It took 6 gallons to do just the flooring and railings around an 18’ above ground pool with 2 coats. Mine was very dry though so really soaked it up. I will be definitely buying more.

Lkr
Lkr
3 years ago

How many years before the ReadySeal needs to be re-applied

rockinvet
rockinvet
4 years ago

Ready seal is thinner stain so for initial application dry wood soaks it up. Application was easy. But, it made my old deck look like it was stained for the first time after stripping off old big box deck sealer. Second application was a breeze two years later. Used about 8 gallons first application to include lattice work below deck. Second application two years later required only two gallons and the lattice still looked good. Well worth it. Maintenance is a breeze. Deck is 12 x 20

Roxanna Angelica Contreras
Roxanna Angelica Contreras
4 years ago

Ready Seal is an amazing stain product. I had a new cedar fence built after hurricane Harvey. I had an area of about 18 feet that had an opening in my backyard. We do not realize the privacy and secure feeling of a fence being enclosed until it is knocked down. I got an estimate of $800 to stain the two thirds of my new fence. I had already spent over $4000 …..decided yo do it myself. I have a severe ankle injury that needs to be replaced. That goes to show that anyone can do the job . Ready Seal glides on smooth and is so easy to spread evenly. I applied two coats and achieved fab results. I chose natural cedar the color is bold and perfect. While I was staining my fence I had so many neighbors stop and take pictures of the can. So many begged for the brand and color……..Ready Seal worth every penny for the fabulous color , most importantly the feeling of not worrying about my fence. Thank you Ready Seal……..RAC

Fred Higgenbottom
Fred Higgenbottom
4 years ago

Living in an area of the country (Western NC) where the days of summer are almost guaranteed to be hot and muggy with afternoon showers , I like the fact that it can be applied on both slightly damp wood as well as in direct sunlight and on days of hot weather. I also liked its high speed goof proof (garden sprayer) application which requires no aback brushing or wet on wet applications to get a smooth finish.

But the biggest downers for me are that Ready Seal doesn’t bead water (its surface tension disperses it) and the product must be reapplied every 18 to 24 months making it one of the most expensive professional deck staining options available. The high sealer cost is offset somewhat by no requirements for stripping or sanding my deck in order to reapply stain. It requires only a good deck wash application to prepare it for staining.

Kip
Kip
5 years ago

I used the Ready Seal and it look good when done. The review is correct though that most of the color was lost by the next season. Suggestion on how I can make it last longer? Does adding more coats when redoing make it hold the color better?

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