The Best Deck Stains 2020? 4.7/5 (294)

by Deck Stain Help
The Best Deck Stains

Armstrong Clark in Rustic Brown

Update The Best Deck Stains 2020

Please read our Best Deck Stain article and post any questions you have in the comment area below. Our newly enhanced website now offers the ability to upload and post pictures of your exterior wood or deck. This will help us determine the proper prep and overall condition of your deck, leading to better performance.

This is an updated version of our most popular article What is the Best Deck Stain? We have had over 18,500 Q&A questions for the first article, helping consumers find the best wood and deck stain for their deck and specific environment.

The point of this article and is to offer guidance in choosing a quality deck stain that works well and will not create larger issues down the road when it is time to reapply. We have updated our original article by including answers to some of the most popular questions that we receive.

Here are some of the more popular answers to the most common questions:

  1. No deck stain will last 5+ years. A good quality stain will last 2 or maybe 3 years on a deck floor (horizontal) and typically twice as long on railings, siding, etc. (verticals).
  2. Penetrating stains will have less chance of peeling as they soak into the wood grain and do not film on top of the wood grain when fully cured.
  3. Penetrating deck stains are easier to maintain by cleaning and reapplying after 2-3 years.
  4. Filming Deck Stains that dry on top of the wood can be harder to remove and/or reapply as they are more prone to peeling, wear, flaking, etc.
  5. Not all Deck Stains are penetrating. Even when they claim otherwise.
  6. Semi-transparent, Transparent, and Semi-Solids will show the grain of the wood to some extent. Solid stains, Deck Resurface Coatings, and Paints will not.
  7. Clear sealers without any pigment/color will not prevent UV graying. Lighter Pigmented stains that are Transparent, Semi-Transparent, or Semi-solid will have less UV protection than Darker Pigmented stains in the same transparency. More color/tint = better UV protection.
  8. Deck Stains are either Oil-Based or Water-Based. Filming or penetrating. Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, Solid (opaque) Stains or a Deck Resurface Coating. See here for more info on Deck Stain Types.
  9. Oil-based stains can still be used in all States and Canada as long as they are compliant to local VOC regulations.
  10. When switching brands of deck stain it is always best to remove the old coating first. Do this by using a Deck Stain Stripper and/or sanding.
  11. Always apply a Wood Brightener after prepping with a Stain Stripper or Wood Deck Cleaner to neutralize the caustic.
  12. New Decks (less than a year) are treated differently than older decks (more than 1 year). New decks need to be prepped and usually cannot be stained right away. See this about Staining New Decks.
  13. Prep, Prep, Prep = increased longevity of a stain.

What is the Best Deck Stain For My Deck?

This is the top question by far that we have gotten on Unfortunately, there is not a “best” deck stain out there that will outperform every other stain, every single time.

A better way to approach this common question is to ask, “what is the best stain for my deck and its environment?” A wood deck stain that performs well in humid South Carolina does not mean it will perform well in the snowy Midwest states. VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Laws come into effect for different parts of the country as well. This may limit what is available in your state or country. For example, TWP 100 cannot be used in 17 states and Canada that have a low VOC content of 250.

To understand a deck stain and its potential longevity, we should first look at why deck stains fail:

  1. UV rays from the sun will damage the wood resulting in degradation of the wood cellular structure. This will break down the stain while causing the wood to oxidize (turn gray).
  2. Water, snow, and ice will cause damage to the wood by breaking down the exposed cell structure.
  3. Freeze/thaw will expand and contract the wood resulting in the stain “bond” with the wood cells to fail.
  4. Mold, mildew, and algae will leave the wood unsightly/dirty and can result in rotting.
  5. High traffic areas will wear faster.
  6. The previous stain used was of low quality or applied poorly.
  7. The Stain was not applied properly or the wood was not prepped properly prior to application. Bad prep is the number one reason stains prematurely fail!

Once we figure out the main reasons for failure, then we should research what stains would better for your deck or exterior wood.

In our example deck, we will ask 5 questions. Based on these answers (Answers are in Red) we will narrow the choices to 2-3 stain brands:

Example Deck Questions and Answers:

  1. Deck Location State: Michigan
  2. Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun in Am, Shade in Afternoon
  3. Wood Type: Cedar
  4. Mold or Mildew Issues: No
  5. The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Dried Blotchy and Peeled after first Winter.
  6. Previous Coating? If so brand name and type of stain (Transparent, Semi-transparent, Semi-solid, Solid Stain): Behr Premium Semi-Transparent

Michigan is currently a high 550 VOC state, so all decking stains are currently available. If you reside in Canada, East Coast States, or California, then you may have different options. We would suggest a penetrating stain semi-transparent or semi-solid stain that does well with UV protection and fades evenly over time. Making future reapplication easier.

Based on these questions and answers we would suggest one of these stains:

Ask in the Comment Section Below. Make Sure to Include Answers to the 5 Questions.

Feel free to ask what are “the best deck stains for my deck”? Just post a comment below and make sure to include the answer to the 6 questions.

Adding a picture or two of the current condition will help!

Feel free to include any additional information that would be useful!

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Oceanfront walkway in NC. Full sun. I have to replace the boards every 3-4 years due to cracking/weathering. Need a good protective stain or sealer. Have typically used various clear sealers like Ace or Thompsons. Don’t seem to last long. Not concerned with graying. Mildew / mold can be an issue. I gather from the articles I should go to a water based, penetrating stain for maximum protection. Yes?

Lilly Stein
Lilly Stein

Not only do we have wooden cattle fencing that needs staining but also we are putting a new front porch decking in front of our Log Cabin (which has Weatherall product on the cabin). We were thinking of going with a Deck Weatherall product for protecting and staining. What do you think of the Weatherall Products for decking?
Look forward to hearing your response. Thank You


What would you put on wood fence (criss crossed -cattle fencing) that is just at a year old? Nothing has been put on it yet. I live in Oneida, Tn. which is in the Cumberland Plateau area.


I live in Austin TX. The deck is in full sun. I think the wood is cumara. I just bought the house and the previous owner had used one of the TWP stains but I’m not sure which one. It is starting to turn gray in areas. It has been stained in the past, probably semi transparent. Deck is on the east side of the house. I’m not sure what to do with it now.


I live across the street from the Folly River on the backside of a small coastal island called Folly Beach just 12 miles South of Charleston, S.C. I am four blocks back from the ocean. My house faces northeast and is exposed in winter months to strong salt air winds coming off the river and in the summer months to the hot, humid summer sun. Last year I had shutters built out of 1st quality treated pine for the underside of the house for added privacy. They have been installed now for one year. I wanted the pine to cure for a year before I stained them. I noticed they are starting to get some mildew on them. Not a lot, but some. The front of the house gets morning and mid-afternoon sun. I’m attaching several pics for you to see what I am talking about. What I am trying to achieve is the look and feel of the West Indies. That type of tropical vibe. The front door is a finished solid Mahogony door. I want to match the finish of the shutters as closely as I can to the front door finish. My first question 1.) Is one year long enough to wait before staining? 2.) What brand would you recommend I use to stain the shutters, the front steps, and pilings? I would ideally like something that will last a long time and easy to touch up or redo when needed without having to sand everything. Something suitable for this type of coastal southern climate. 3.) Is it possible to get a satin to semi-gloss finish from stains alone? Any recommendations and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Shutter 3.jpg
Shutter 1.jpg

Deck Location State: Texas, San Antonio
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun in AM, Shade in Afternoon
Wood Type: Cedar
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Previous owner painted deck which has since peeled.
Previous Coating? None, we flipped the boards to reveal like-new cedar.

Thank you!!


Deck Location State: Long Island, NY (3 blocks from ocean)
Full Sun in Am, Shade in Afternoon
Wood Type: Pressure Treated Lumber
Mold or Mildew Issues: Yes but minimal
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Never used any
Previous Coating? N/A
Deck is 6 yrs old, built over red brick patio, less than a foot off the ground, pressure wash every other year. Prefer a dark brown with no red tint.
First photo is after pressure washing. Second photo is before pressure washing.
Also would like to know…once I stain the deck and redo it a year or 2 later, can I apply after only cleaning it or must it be stripped/brightened/conditioned if using the same product?
Thank you!

deck power washed 2019.jpg

Deck Location State: Georgia
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: full sun – mid morning to late afternoon
Wood Type: pressure treated pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain failure? Never stained
Previous Coating? None

Deck is 1.5 years old. Will be pressure washed and sanded before staining.


What is the best deck stain for me?

1. Deck Location State: So California
2. Full Sun all day
3. Wood Type: red pine
4. Mold or Mildew Issues: No
5. The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Drying out.
6. Previous Coating? Can’t remember but it was oil penetrating


Any advice for a new Black Locust deck in New Haven, CT? Full shade, no known mildew issues. I can’t find much online for black locust but it is a sustainable hardwood and locally sourced. Thanks!


Deck Location State: Coastal South Carolina
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: full shade – covered by gable roof
Wood Type: KDAT – yellawood pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: new deck
Previous Coating? N/A

Henry Petrosian
Henry Petrosian

1.Deck Location State: Wichita Falls, TX (North Texas)
2.Full Sun; Summer (2-3 months 95-100+ degrees) and Winter
3.Wood Type: Pressure treated yellow pine from Lowes
4.Mold or Mildew Issues: Will be cleaned and pressure washed
5.The reason for Previous Stain Failure: No previous stain. Waited for pressure treat to dry

Debra Cochran
Debra Cochran

I’m in North West-Central Maryland. I have a wrap around front porch deck. I don’t remember what was put on it the first time, about 10 years ago. It is Mahogany. It was beautiful, but the front gets sun all day. I stripped it, and used a cleaner and brightener. I have to get this protected RIGHT AWAY. I need to know how long I have to wait after a rain, and if rain is predicted in the next 2 or 3 days after I stain it is that ok?
I want to put down an oil based semi-transparent stain. I cannot decide between Armstrong Clark (maybe Chestnut?) and DeckWise Ipe Oil. Ipe Oil has a brownish tint it says. Armstrong.Clark has different tints. I do not have time to get a sample to test the color. I want to see the wood grain, and have a warm, darkish (not too dark) finish. No one shows colors on Mahogany wood with stain on them. If I use Chestnut with the Armstrong, will it totally change the Mahogany wood color? Wood I be safe to just go with the Ipe Oil so I don’t have to deal with all the color choices?
Also, Armstrong Clark is not available around here – it might be quicker to get the Deckwise Ipe Oil, even though I have to get it online also. Is the Deckwise Ipe Oil a good comparable to Armstrong Clark?
The other question is, I was reading for several stains to put it on with a staining pad, so I just got one. Then, I think it was the Ipe Oil that suggested a roller ! Which one would really be better?
I need to put some “Through the Roof” on a few places that drip through my “clay barrel” look – tin roof onto the porch deck. I am more worried about getting the deck protected. In fact, I had a hard, blowing rain that left water stains on the deck (I even covered it with plastic, but the rain got underneath). Right before I stain, I have to sand the water stain lines out. Did I read an orbital sander is better for this than rectangle? Both are electric.
Please answer quickly as I have to hurry and get this done !!
Thank you. This is a great site !

S Miketo
S Miketo

1. Ohio
2. full shade
3. pine
4. no
5. new wood planks
6. none

S Miketo
S Miketo

might have missed it but the boards are plain pine, not pressure treated on a covered shade porch. The article sent dealt with pressure treated pine….

S Miketo
S Miketo

Sorry, I meant unpainted, unstained, store bought boards, not ” new” timber.

S Miketo
S Miketo

So, stain for unpainted, untreated pine tounge and groove would be..?

Uchenna Emeagwali
Uchenna Emeagwali

I have a cedar deck and I live in Long Island New York. What is the best type of stain I should use for my deck. The carpenter who built the deck suggested Arborcoat but I see the Benjamin Moore brand didn’t get good reviews. Please help


Deck Location State: Kansas
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun in Am, Shade in Afternoon.
Wood Type: Cedar
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: New deck, 1 year since construction
Previous Coating? None, treated lumber one year old


Need help with a stain for a new cedar bench near the ocean in Southern Florida. Full sun. Will be used for a place to sit while rinsing sand from feet and shells.


Deck Location State: North Carolina
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun in Am, Shade in Afternoon
Wood Type: pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: This is a new deck
Previous Coating? NA we want to put a solid color on the deck, did not have to replace support post, so new deck boards, pickets and rails.

What is best stain(solid) to use?


Would like to know the best oil for my Horizontally installed 3/4 by 4 and 3/4 by 6 Ipe Fence .
Not a Deck – It’s a fence.
Location State: New York, Queens, near New York City
1/2 Full Sun in PM, 1/2 Partial Shade
Wood Type: Ipe
Mold or Mildew Issues: New install, so no history
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: New install, so no history
Previous Coating? None, mill finished with eased edges


Hi my husband stained our deck this July with Thompson stain. Our stairs are worn off and where our table sits. Did we put it on to light. It was completely dry and never got rained on for 3 days.

Jo Ann Winnette
Jo Ann Winnette

What deck stain is best for my new deck in central Al.?


What is best stain for my deck/environment?
1. Located in New York State
2. Shade in morning, sun in afternoon
3. Pressure treated wood
4. Maybe some mildew/ mold issues (some greenish tinge and some black specks or darkening)- this is a new deck built 2 years ago. It has been sitting without any stain or protective coatings.
5 and 6. No previous stain failures or stains.

Erik Olson
Erik Olson

Dear DeckStainHelp,

Wow. What a valuable service you provide. Thank you. Here are my answers to your key deck questions. I’ll add a little context after that.

Deck Location State: Illinois (far northern)
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full sun in the morning, partial-becoming-full shade in the afternoon
Wood Type: Pressure-treated lumber
Mold or Mildew Issues: Not significantly, but if we haven’t restained by the fourth year, yes, we see some green, especially this last time after using Defy Extreme.
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Never really seemed to form a water barrier, and the color started fading within a year. Though we prepped by using a stripper, then sanded, and then cleaner/brightener, perhaps that process didn’t remove enough of the previous penetrants? [Previously we used semi-transparent products from Thompson (late 1990s), Behr (next decade), Sikkens (early 2010s), Defy Extreme (2015). Another possibility is that we got a surprise sprinkling just after we had laid down the Defy Extreme, and though we quickly covered it with a tarp, maybe that was enough to foil the process.
Previous Coating? Defy Extreme Natural Pine

The deck was here and in untreated condition when we bought the home 21 years ago, so we’re guessing the deck is 30-35 years old. For the most part since buying the home we have restained the deck on three-year cycles, though this last time it has dragged out to four years.

Note that the attached photos were taken yesterday, about three months after I did a quick pressure wash to get rid of the gray and green. One shows much closer to the original color; this patch is normally covered by our deck bin. Another shows some of the traces of color from a previous stain that was really stubborn about coming off.

We’re running out of days this fall that will be both above 50 degrees and without precipitation. So we’re guessing we may have to wait until spring. But that’s also when we’re taking photos to list our home for sale. So though our first priority is to do it well for the next home owners, all else being equal we’d like to have this completed before the end of April.

Based on what we’ve read on your site, we’re a little torn about the product, too. Perhaps we should stick with Defy Extreme since that’s what we used last time. Or perhaps we should rotate to Restore-a-Deck because it’s also water-based and can be applied to damp wood (may help solve one of our two timing problems, temps and rain). Or perhaps we should rotate to Armstrong Clark, which elsewhere on this site you say is a good choice for older decks.

Your guidance? And again, many thanks!

Ed Luther
Ed Luther

Hello I live in Michigan I had a new pressure treated deck put on in the spring. Is it okay to wait till this spring to stain it for the first time? Thank you

Christine S. Smith
Christine S. Smith

We are having a new pergola and deck installed. What finish would you recommend?
1) location: Western Colorado elevation 5000’
2) west exposure: shade in early am…full sun at noon and in afternoon
3)wood: new redwood
4) no mildew or mold. Annual precipitation-8”
6) new redwood

Mo R.
Mo R.

-East Tennessee…
-Pressure treated pine
-Morning sun, full afternoon sun, evening shade
-Had minor mildew after winters, pressure washed in spring
-13 year old deck with 2 previous applications of Behr Premium Semi Transparent stain. Have stripped the old, peeling stain, and neutralized the wood.
-Want to go with a solid stain in a different color this time. Any brand suggestions? Behr again?
Thank you smile

Mo R.
Mo R.

Where to buy these? Are they only sold online? Also, how to know what the colors look like?


California…east of SanFrancosco Bay (Walnut Creek)
New redwood-no knots!! 990 square feet
Full sun
No mildew-no product failure
Issue: new deck, finished with Behr transparent penetrating stain; now to have additional coat as seems to get dirty; guy cleaned but now grain raised& “run patterns” down side of deck and on flat seating areas. I feel like the fabulous deck I had is destroyed!! Help!!


19 year old deck stained originally with Flood UV. Deck has been under 3 huge maple trees until a few months ago. Now deck will have full SSE exposure. I have stripped deck, planed and sanded all pickets and rails, and all other surfaces sanded. Deck looks new. 24×12 with 6×6 landing, and standard picket railing. Any recommendations on what to use? Cant be TWP 100 I am in MD. Guesstimate on how many gals?


Hello i just had a new deck built in the spring. I need to stain it for the first time.
It is located in Michigan.
It is in the shade about 90% of the time as it is in the woods
It is pressure treated pine


I will be laying fir 1×4 boards on a south facing covered (but open) porch in southern MN. I’m hoping for the old fashioned porch floor look. The boards have been kiln-dried. Should I stain/seal right away? should I seal both sides of the boards? which stain has more paraffin in it- TWP or Armstrong Clark?

S McNeely
S McNeely

We have a new 2 month old pressure treated pine deck in a Philadelphia PA. There is sun for a few hours a day, then shade. Can you recommend how long we should wait to stain the deck and the best penetrating stain in gray?

B Taylor
B Taylor

I have a deck and dock located near Atlanta, GA that are each 4 years old. The decks were initially stained with Australian Timber Oil neutral stain by Cabot. The stain faded within a year and we cleaned and stained with Cabot oil-based stain. Both are transparent stain.

They both get partial sun in the morning and full sun in the afternoon.

The wood is pressure treated pine.

What is the best product to use? And which application method is recommended? I plan to strip and brighten with RAD with both additives offered.

Also, how soon can the wood be stained after cleaning? Does it have to be completely dry?

Thank you so much.

Bill White
Bill White

What would be the best stain?
Location: Northern Virginia
Sun: Full from 10 to 4
Wood: Pressure treated pine
Mildew: No, but part of the deck is less than 2 feet off the ground.
Reason previous stain failed: Time (it’s been 9 years since treatment)
Previous coating: Olympic Maximum Waterproofing Sealant
Deck is about 30 years old.


New house near Madison, Wisconsin. I am looking for advice on what to use to stain (or paint?) the stairs in my garage. The stairs are untreated pine. They lead from the garage to the basement. They will get wet, snow and water. They are not exposed to the sun. They have not been treated with anything up to this point. I would just need to clean them for surface dirt and apply the stain. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.


Deck Location State: Iowa (North Central)
Full Sun in mornings, shaded by mid-afternoon
Wood Type: Cedar
Mold or Mildew Issues: Yes
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: new deck
Previous Coating? None, new deck

Installed in summer 2018


Deck location state: South Dakota
Primarily Partial sun/shade, full sun for short time
Mold or mildew issues:No
Previously had solid red on it which was in intact when we bought home and then in a month it was chipping everywhere as it appeared it had not been prepped properly.
Stripped, brightened, and sanded. Wood in excellent condition, looks like a newer deck likely in past 5 years.

Justin G
Justin G

Deck Location State: Southern California (Los Angeles), inland.
Full Sun, southern exposure with no shade.
Wood Type: Meranti
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: turned (almost) black, then faded, looks dirty, lost water repelling properties
Previous Coating? If so brand name and type of stain (Transparent, Semi-transparent, Semi-solid, Solid Stain): Penofin transparent (ipe color), hardwood formula.

Installed in summer 2018

The Kreg edge fasteners used also failed, causing some cupping. I had to remove those and top screw. planing on sanding again. The penofin looked great for a month, then it started turning dark and splotchy. Now it is just faded and dull.


Deck Location – southern Kentucky
Mainly sun with shade late afternoon
Wood – decking 20 years old
Little trouble with mildew; mild mold under railings
Used Armstrong Clark 2016, fading. Used the brown. 2-5 gal.containers
What do you suggest for next summer?


Deck Location State: West Virginia
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun for most of the deck most of the day.
Wood Type: Pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: No stain applied, deck is approximately 3 months old. Applied Eco Wood Woodtreatment.
Previous Coating? I put on Eco-Wood as a treatment in the hopes that I would not have to stain, but I am not sure that will work so I am looking to put on a stain. It will probably have to be semi-transparent/semi-solid as the Eco-Wood speeds up the greying process of regular wood.


Deck Location State: iowa
half in sun, half shade most of daY
Wood Type: Cedar
Mold or Mildew Issues: Had some after not treating deck for about 5 years. Power washed and used clear+brightener and it is gone.
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Untreated for about 5 years
Previous Coating? Unknown, home purchased 5 years ago, appears to have been a semi transparent stain that faded since home purchase, not peeled or cracked

Erin Gantt
Erin Gantt

1. West Virginia
2. Half of deck and siding-Extreme mountaintop sun all day
*Remaining deck and siding – Partial shade all day
3. Pressure Treated Pine Deck, Cedar siding
4. Yes – blackish and greenish (partial shade side)
5. Extreme sun exposure cracked wood – Dried blotchy coverage and peeled after first year.
6. Builder grade, Semi-Transparent

We have 3,200 sf. of cedar siding and 350 sf of pressure treated pine decking. The entire deck and half the home are exposed to extreme sun. We built the home three years ago and re-stained the deck last year (really needed it). This year, it’ll need a retouch as the wood seems very dry, some bowing, does not repel water, and the stain color has dulled.

The sun exposed lapped cedar siding has dried, cracked, shrunk, and turned gray in some areas. The stain has dried, peeled off and/or worn away. I re-caulked last year, it has dried up, shrunk, fallen out and has left large gaps between the window/door frames and siding. Silicone caulk, used for windows and base of house butted to deck, remains intact but separates from the wood like long rubbery worms.

We’re just about to start staining our siding-for the first time after purchase and re-staining our deck. Based on reading your site articles and responses, and further internet research, we purchased Defy deck cleaner and brightener and plan to buy Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent stain.

Can you recommend a stain that will give us the protection we need and act as a deterrent to carpenter bees and ants, as well as termites. Also, would like to know what caulk I can get with enough elasticity and adherence to last as long as the stain. Any tips for maintaining my wood would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!


Excellent website…very informative.

Built a new fence out of very dry reclaimed redwood & cedar in the Tahoe area of the Sierras and put PPG Proluxe (Sikkens) Cetol SRD RE Transparent Matte oil based Dark Oak wood finish 1.5 years ago and it still looks great. We decided to use the same product except in the Natural color on a new redwood deck we built about a year ago near the coast (5 miles) in central CA ….waited 2 months for the wood to dry and applied the PPG Proluxe Cetol SRD RE Transparent Matte oil based Natural.
Now we are getting what we are thinking are black mildew spotting on most but not all of the deck…esp. on the horizontals that are in the sun.

1. Felton,California
2. Full sun, partial and shade
3 Redwood
4. Yes mold/mildew
5. black spotting and black discoloration
6. PPG Proluxe (Sikkens) Cetol SRD RE Transparent Matte oil based Natural wood finish

Tried pressure washing and most of the black comes off
* Is then product defective or me?
* Steps to redo the deck?

Thanks so much for your time, energy and very useful website.


Lynn Cothran
Lynn Cothran

Hey there, we are located in Memphis, TN. Our deck is in mostly full shade in the summer and no shade in the winter. Wood type is pressure treated pine, 15+ years old. Definitely have mold and mildew issues. Previous stain used was Behr Semi-transparent weather proofing all-in-one wood stain & sealer that did not penetrate into the wood but looked more like paint. It started to peel in some areas within one year.

Nan C
Nan C


Our deck is in Omaha,NE
Gets sun from early afternoon to evening
Some mold/mildew (try to keep snow off, but can sit for a few days when deep)
Deck is 17 years (‘newer’ half is 10 years) with a few replacement pieces
Past stains haven’t lasted past a year.
Have used semi-transparent almost every year and thinking of going to semi-solid so don’t have to do again next year

What would you recommend? Choices at Lowes and HD are pretty limited…

B Taylor
B Taylor


My deck is in north Georgia, near Atlanta.

Shade in the morning, Full Sun in Afternoon
Wood Type: Pressure treated pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: Yes

The reason for Previous Stain Failure: 2 year old deck was not properly prepped by contractor before spraying on stain. The appearance was splotchy. I added a second coat which looked great initially. Now there appears to be mold underneath the stain.

Previous Coating? Two coats of Cabot wood toned deck and siding stain in Natural (Transparent)

I plan to use the Restore-a-Deck stripper and brightened and adding both additives.

Which brand of stain do you recommend?

Thank you.


I live in Southeast Wisconsin and our cedar deck is one year old. Previous stain was a semi-transparent Cabet stain that peeled horribly after the winter. We just power washed the stain off and it’s raining. But this coming week we should have 4-5 days of sun. We are looking for a semi-transparent stain which is easy to apply and will stand up to our weather for at least 2 years (fingers crossed).
Deck location-Lake Geneva, WI
Full sun until 4-5pm in the summer
Wood is milled cedar
NO mildew or mold
Just sun and snow damage on the vertical surface.


Hi, looking for recommendations on which stain, when to do it, and what other prep I need to do.

Deck Location State: Anacortes, WA
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun in Am, Shade in Afternoon
Wood Type: Western Red Cedar 5/4″ x 6″ decking, cedar posts, cedar 2×6 rails
Mold or Mildew Issues: Not sure, there are weird black mildew-like spots showing up already, I’ve heard they could be tannins coming out. Wood has seen both rain and sun since installation. Also little specks from my roof shingles have fallen onto it, and I’ve heard these stains could be oxidizing metal. No idea if shingles have metal.
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Brand new deck, less than 2 months old
Previous Coating? If so brand name and type of stain: No previous coatings.

Definitely disappointed there’s already “staining” happening, not even sure what it is. My plan was to rent a floor sander and hit the whole deck, then seal/stain it. I would also like to use two colors to highlight the picture frame or border design; one darker and one more natural cedar. Not opposed to cleaner and/or brightener if that’s called for with new wood.

Looking forward to your input!

Chad Lewis
Chad Lewis

Deck Location State: Dallas, TX
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: Full Sun in Am, Shade in Afternoon
Wood Type: Pressure treated pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: No
The reason for Previous Stain Failure: Negelect/too many years since last cleaning/restain. Have only been in house for a year, unsure of when previous owner last cleaned/stained.
Previous Coating? If so brand name and type of stain: Unsure what previous owner used, believe it to be Behr Premium Semi-Transparent.


Deck location: Grand Junction, Colorado (near desert conditions)
South facing deck with full sun from morning through mid-late afternoon, then shade
New redwood (3 weeks old), the wood is very dry and seems to accept stain well on the samples we’ve prepared
No mold or mildew
We replaced the old, rotting deck by building a new deck a foot higher to bring it up to floor level of house
No stain on the wood now. We washed it with Behr All-in-One Wood Cleaner yesterday.


Deck Location State: Michigan
mostly shade, prone to mold and mildew
Wood Type: pressure treated pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: yes
staining for the first time, have power washed and cleaned many times. replaced two boards last week and want to get a stain on this week. Looking into TWP and Restore a deck after reading on your site. Wondering what would be the best for us to use