Find the Best Wood Deck Stain: Top-Rated Products for All Needs 4.7/5 (392)

The Best Deck Stains for 2022

With more than 20 years of experience in the deck restoration business, we have tried nearly every brand of deck stain and deck sealant on the market. We have talked to thousands of wood and deck restoration contractors, homeowners, and project managers about their projects to find out which deck stain products work and which do not.

We’ve also done our own hands-on testing of popular exterior wood and deck stains and compiled our ratings and reviews here to help you find the best deck stain for your 2022 home improvement projects.

Questions About the Best Stain for Your Deck?

Want personalized help? Just answer some deck restoration questions and then post your questions below in the comments and we’ll be glad to guide you toward the best deck stain and sealer.

Best Deck Stain Armstrong Clark

Armstrong Clark Semi-Trans Rustic Brown

Best Deck Stain Oil-Based: TWP 100 Pro Series Semi-Transparent

TWP 100 Deck Stain RatingsTWP 100 Pro Series semi-transparent stain penetrates well into the wood, fades lightly in color, and holds up to wear and tear. We like that when it’s time to redo the wood in 2-3 years, the TWP outdoor stain can be cleaned and re-applied or removed with ease. This makes the reapplication process much easier. TWP 100 Pro Series patio stain is only allowed in 35 states and cannot be used in Canada.

  • Stain Type: Penetrating semi-transparent, oil-based, full-curing exterior wood stain
  • Consumer Star Ratings: 4.5/5 (40)
  • DeckStainHelp.com Rating: 8.69/10
  • Website Link: TWP 100 Series
  • Wood and Deck Stain Photos: TWP 100 Series Photo Album

Best Deck Stain Water-Based: Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Deck Stain

Restore A Deck Wood Stain ReviewRestore-A-Deck semi-transparent deck stain can be applied to dry or damp wood. Applying this stain to damp wood gives you the ability to prep and stain on the same day, saving you a tremendous amount of time. This Restore-A-Deck wood stain is an advanced, water-based, semi-transparent stain formulation designed to penetrate deep into wood pores for maximum protection and longevity. It’s compliant with regulations in all U.S. states and Canada.

Best Solid Color Deck Stain: Restore-A-Deck Solid Color Wood & Deck Stain

Restore A Deck Solid Color Stain ReviewRestore-A-Deck solid-color stain is our go-to solid-color/opaque deck stain for 2022 because of its ease of use, five pre-mixed solid colors (the only solid stain on the market that comes pre-mixed), and the ability to prep and stain on the same day, which adds extra convenience. It uses the latest advances in wood stain technology to seal and protect the wood by penetrating deep into the grain, shielding your deck from UV and water damage which is responsible for the growth of mold and mildew. It’s also compliant with regulations in all U.S. states and Canada.

Best-Applying Deck Stain: Armstrong-Clark Wood Stain

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain RatingArmstrong-Clark Wood Stain has consistently been a well-performing deck stain product. We really like how it penetrates deep into the wood grain and applies easily. Reapplication is simple with a good deck cleaner for the prep. It’s compliant with regulations in all U.S. states and Canada.

  • Stain Type: Penetrating transparent, semi-transparent, semi-solid oil-based, paraffin and curing oil blend, full-curing exterior wood stain
  • Consumer Star Ratings: 4.4/5 (59)
  • DeckStainHelp.com Rating: 8.5/10
  • Website Link: Armstrong Clark Stains
  • Wood and Deck Stain Photos: Armstrong Clark Stain Photo Album

Best Semi-Solid Wood Deck Stain: TWP Pro Series Semi-Solid Stain

TWP Semi-Solid StainThe TWP brand of stains is one of our most commonly used wood stain brands, as we have applied it to more than 10,000 decks over the past 25+ years as wood restoration contractors. What we like best about the TWP semi-solid stain is that it’s easy to apply, it’s easy to prep and reapply when the time comes, and it holds color very well, even under UV light. TWP semi-solid stain is only allowed in 35 states and cannot be used in Canada.

Best Wood Preservative Deck Stain: TWP 1500 Series Semi-Transparent Stain

TWP 1500 Series RatingTWP 1500 Series exterior deck stain is one of our top choices for the best outdoor wood stain because it does a great job of protecting the wood from rot and severe weather. TWP 1500 Series stain is the only deck stain on the market that is registered as a “wood preservative” with the EPA. As contractors, we really like stains that penetrate deep into the wood and can be reapplied without sanding. TWP 1500 Series patio stain fits this and more by adding excellent UV and mold protection. Maintaining TWP stain every 2-3 years is easy. TWP 1500 Series stain is compliant for all U.S. states but not Canada.

  • Stain Type: Penetrating semi-transparent, oil-based, full-curing, EPA-registered exterior wood stain
  • Consumer Star Ratings: 4.6/5 (28)
  • DeckStainHelp.com Rating: 8.5/10
  • Website Link: TWP 1500 Series
  • Wood and Deck Stain Photos: TWP 1500 Series Photo Album

Best Deck Stain for Mildew: Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain

Defy Extreme Stain ReviewDefy Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain penetrates into the wood grain extremely well for a water-based stain, resulting in a non-filming coating that is not prone to peeling or wear from traffic. We use the Defy Extreme on about 30-50 deck restorations every year in the Midwest and it is one of the best outdoor wood stain options on the market to prevent mildew. Compliant for all US states and Canada.

  • Stain Type: Penetrating semi-transparent, water-based exterior wood stain
  • Consumer Star Ratings: 4.1/5 (54)
  • DeckStainHelp.com Rating: 8.47/10
  • Website Link: Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Best Deck-Resurface Coating: Gulf Synthetics Deck Revive

Gulf Synthetics Deck Revive ReviewHomeowners are always looking for an alternative to a deck replacement. When wood is neglected, it can be expensive to have it restored or replaced. If you’re looking for a deck resurfacing Stain, keep in mind that most users have had an unpleasant experience with products from Home Depot and Lowe’s. Reviews and user experiences with the majority of these products have been overwhelmingly negative. However, comments about Gulf Synthetics Deck Revive have been favorable.

Deck Stain Facts: Frequently Sought Answers

Often, when we’re helping people choose the best deck stain and sealer, we hear a lot of the same questions. Here are some facts and words of advice about exterior wood stain that can help answer these questions:

  • No exterior deck stain will last five or more years. A good-quality stain will last two or maybe three years on a deck floor (horizontal) and typically twice as long on railings and vertical surfaces.
  • Penetrating stains will have less chance of peeling, as they soak into the wood grain rather than settling as a film on top of the wood grain when fully cured.
  • Penetrating deck stains are easier to maintain by cleaning the deck and reapplying the stain after two to three years.
  • 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.
  • Not all deck stains are penetrating. Some brands may claim that they are, but it may not be the case when you apply it to your exterior space. Always do extra research to ensure that the stain you purchase is penetrating.
  • Semi-transparent, transparent, and semi-solid stains will show the grain of the wood to some extent. Solid stains, deck resurfacing coatings, and paints will not.
  • 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 means better UV protection.
  • Deck stain types include oil-based or water-based, filming or penetrating, and either transparent, semi-transparent, semi-solid, or solid (opaque). Deck resurfacing products are also an option.
  • Oil-based stains can still be used in all states and Canada as long as they comply with local VOC regulations.
  • When switching brands of deck stain, it’s always best to remove the old coating first. Do this by using a deck stain stripper and/or sanding.
  • Always apply a wood brightener after prepping with a stain stripper or wood deck cleaner to neutralize the pH.
  • New decks that have been installed less than a year before treatment have different needs than a deck that is more than a year old. New decks need to be prepped and usually cannot be stained right away.
  • Always prep your deck for the outdoor stain you use to ensure a long-lasting finish.

What Is the Best Deck Stain for You? How to Choose the Right Deck Stain Product

There is no one best exterior wood stain for decks and patios 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 may not fare as well in the snowy Midwest states. VOC (volatile organic compound) laws vary in different places as well, and this may limit what is available in your state or country. For example, TWP 100 Pro Series stain cannot be used in 17 states and Canada because its VOC content is above the legal limits in those places.

To understand which patio stain to choose, start by considering why your last coat of deck stain may have failed:

  1. UV rays from the sun will damage wood, resulting in the degradation of the wood’s 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. Freezing and thawing tend to expand and contract the wood, weakening the stain’s bond with the wood cells.
  4. Mold, mildew, and algae will leave the wood unsightly/dirty and can cause rotting.
  5. High-traffic areas will wear faster.
  6. The previous stain used may have been of inferior quality or applied poorly.
  7. The wood may not have been prepped properly prior to application. Bad prep is the number one reason stains prematurely fail!

Once we figure out the primary reasons for failure, then we can look at what stains would be better for your deck or exterior wood. Here are the questions that will guide your choice:

  1. In which state is your deck located?
  2. How much sun/shade does your deck get?
  3. What type of wood is your deck made of?
  4. Do you have mold or mildew issues?
  5. Why/how did the previous stain fail?
  6. What type of stain did you use last time?

Let’s look at an example deck:

  1. Deck Location: Michigan
  2. Sun/Shade: Full sun in the morning, shade in the afternoon
  3. Wood Type: Cedar
  4. Mold/Mildew? No
  5. How Did the Last Stain Fail? Dried blotchy and peeled after the first winter
  6. Which Stain Was It? Behr Premium Semi-Transparent

Michigan currently has a VOC limit of 550, so all types of exterior deck stains are available. If you live in Canada, on the East Coast, or in California, then you may have different options. We would suggest a penetrating 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:

Let Us Help You Find the Best Wood Stain for You

Our experts are here to help you find the best wood deck stain for your situation! Just post a comment below with answers to these questions.

  • In which state is your deck located?
  • How much sun/shade does your deck get?
  • What type of wood is your deck made of?
  • Do you have mold or mildew issues?
  • Why/how did the previous stain fail?
  • What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time?

If you can, please add a picture or two of your deck’s current condition. We’ll do our best to suggest the best wood deck sealer and stain for your needs.

Choosing the Best Wood Deck Stain: A Video Guide


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Jamie Todd
Jamie Todd
1 day ago

In which state is your deck located? California (Southern) – about 1 mile from the beach
How much sun/shade does your deck get? It faces West and receives direct sun for 1/2 to 2/3’s of the day
What type of wood is your deck made of? Redwood
Do you have mold or mildew issues? Not on the deck, but there are signs of mold around the exterior door casings.
Why/how did the previous stain fail? We used Green’s Clear, which should have been clear when dried but it turned the deck green/mustard color. Then sanded floor and put down Thompson’s Water Seal, which turned the color gray/mustard, as currently shown.
What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time? Green’s Clear followed by Thompson’s Water Seal.
Lookng for best recommendation – thinking semi-transparent stain. Would prefer water based, but open to oil based (harder to get in California)

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Jamie Todd
Jamie Todd
23 hours ago

Hi Scott – unfortunately I do not see Restore-a-deck offer the semi-transparent product in the redwood stain, which is what I need because my deck wood is redwood. Any other recommendations? What do you think of Ready Seal if I went with an oil based stain/sealer? Thanks!

Bill Myers
Bill Myers
2 days ago
  • In which state is your deck located? New York
  • How much sun/shade does your deck get? It is a shaded front porch facing North. Very little direct sun.
  • What type of wood is your deck made of? Brand new mahogany
  • Do you have mold or mildew issues? mold tends to grow on Northern facing structures around here, no previous mold issues on old painted deck.
  • Why/how did the previous stain fail? Old deck was painted. Replaced with new mahgoany.
  • What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time?
  • Lookng for best recommendation – thinking a transparent stain or oil.
Tim
Tim
4 days ago

I’m in eastern Canada

The deck is typical pressure treated spruce and gets about 5 hours of full sun

No mold, no rot

Normal wear and tear in higher traffic areas. This is now irrelevant as I pressure washed what would come off and used 40 grit discs for the rest and to disappear the water pressure damage. I realize that could be too course but wanted to go back over it with 80 grit. 25 yr old deck in very good shape down to the wood. Any recommended next steps and can I go with oil stain? Hoping to go semi trans in a walnut dark variety to match lower section to be done another time.

I found an old can, it was a hybrid Canadian tire product called Rez alkyd and water. I believe that was the last brand used.

I would appreciate any thoughts and criticisms.
Thank you.

Stephen E Van Holde
Stephen E Van Holde
4 days ago

In which state is your deck located? WASHINGTON

How much sun/shade does your deck get? MOST OF IT GETS FULL SUN JUNE TO MID-OCTOBER; CLOUDY SKIES AND RAIN MID-OCTOBER TO MAY

What type of wood is your deck made of? FIR

Do you have mold or mildew issues? SOME GREEN MOLD IN SHADY AREAS; NO MOLD IN FULL SUN AREAS

Why/how did the previous stain fail? FLAKING AND PEELING IN FULL SUN / HIGH TRAFFIC AREAS; GREEN MOLD ON TOP OF SHADY / LOW TRAFFIC AREAS

What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time? VALSPAR ONE-COAT EXTERIOR STAIN AND SEAL SEMI-TRANSPARENT

David Van Winkle
David Van Winkle
5 days ago

Hoping that you can help me choose the best stain or sealer for a table I am making. Here are my answers to your questions.

In which state is your deck located?
Newport Beach, CA. About 1/2 mile from the beach

How much sun/shade does your deck get?
Direct sunlight except when entertaining when they nay be protected by umbrellas or other temporary cover.

What type of wood is your deck made of?
New construction out of Doulas Fir.

Do you have mold or mildew issues?
Yes. Typical to have a marine layer linger in the winter and summer until 1 or 2 in the afternoon. That said, we generally have low humidity and we don’t get much rain.

Why/how did the previous stain fail?
N/A

What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time
N/A

Beth Sammons
Beth Sammons
6 days ago

What’s the best preservative/stain for plastic decking material?

Where: Portland, Oregon
Sun/shade: Both. AM sun for full deck, AM and PM sun for parts not shaded by house.
Decking material is NOT wood. The deck is Eon; it’s 100% plastic. Eon went bankrupt in 2009.
No mold or mildew, but fading as expected since it’s 20 years old.
Previous stain: Behr Premium Waterproofing Stain & Sealer used 8-10 years ago.

I’ve been reading reviews, but they focus on wood. What are your recommendations for this odd-ball deck?
Thanks!

Kelly
Kelly
7 days ago

My deck and fence are brand new and made from KDAT wood. We installed it two weeks ago and get conflicting advice on when to stain. The distributor ( Culpeper Wood ) and most people online says to stain immediately but a few say to wait 1 to 3 months. If I wait does it do damage to the fresh wood? What is the best product to use to stain it and still see the wood grain- oil or water based? I’m looking for a light teak color. My deck gets full sun and I am in Richmond, Va. . What if I decide not to stain it at all – is this bad for the wood? Thank so much for any advice you can offer- your site is VERY informative!

Wayne
Wayne
8 days ago

I am looking for a non slip non skid additive to put in my penetrating, semi transparent, TWP, cedar tone stain. Seattle area, lots of trees, cedar deck 100%, not failing. Some parts shaded or full sun, all day. I have some boards, stained, with green algae, vinegar cleans that off. We will see how long vinegar works for.

Beth Cook
Beth Cook
9 days ago

Vancouver, WA.
south facing sunny deck with Timberpro stain that fails every 2 years. last treated in 2019. looking to change to something different.
wood is Port Orford cedar.
no mold/mildew issues.
bids we’ve gotten have been to use either sherwin williams superdeck solid stain or benjamin moore semi-transparent tinted (e.g., mahogany).
one person said they would pressure wash then sand then spray stain but roll after. another said no pressure wash first, just sand then stain.
thoughts on approaches or recommended products welcome.

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John Vandergrift
John Vandergrift
9 days ago

Looking for guidance on stain/prep.

1. State: Seattle metro area.
2. Sun/Shade: Early afternoon sun, shaded other times. Lots of Big Leaf Maple as well as 3 large Douglas Firs and 1 large Western Red Cedar near the deck.
3. Type of wood: Mostly pressure-treated fir, some boards are clear cedar on this multi-level deck. About 60% of the deck wood was replaced 2 years ago; that wood has not been stained but has been “weathering”.
4. Mold/Mildew Issues: Very little; mostly dirt and weathering.
5. Why did previous stain fail?: Inadequate prep. Last staining was 5 years ago–power washed (with my 2000 psi electric power washer) and sanded but did not use cleaner/stripper/brightener.
6. Valspar solid redwood stain that was sprayed-on with a Wagner airless sprayer.

I’m planning to use a solid stain again–probably easier than trying to sand all of the older stain off. My deck is 955 sq-ft with a railing and 159 spindles. There’s an upper level (with the clear cedar deck boards–all the rest of the wood is pressure-treated fir), a staircase, and a terraced lower portion.

What are your recommendations?

Thanks!

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Laura H Bezdan
Laura H Bezdan
11 days ago

Hi! Thank you for being available to answer questions.

In which state is your deck located? – Farmville, Virginia – piedmont region (almost mountains)
How much sun/shade does your deck get? – LOTS of sun – HOT in summer – no protection (will build roof next year)
What type of wood is your deck made of? – 4 year old regular pressure treated pine decking boards – never been treated – freshly power washed and sanded – ready…
Do you have mold or mildew issues? – Not really, although it is misty every morning up there…
Why/how did the previous stain fail? – No previous stain – would like something penetrating – then well sealed….
What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time? – none –
Mainly concerned with the deck floor – rails and pickets are not an issue –
Considering a tri-toned – dark posts, medium floor and maybe white pickets…
Definitely want penetrating to re-nourish the wood – and a good sealer to protect – pigments to protect UV, and a mildewcide….
I’ve looked into the following products: Opinion and insights needed….
Penofin – Ultra – Penetrating for treated wood – Marine oil finish – stain and sealer
(they use Brazilian Rosewood Oil)
Cabot – Australian Timber Oil – sounds good, but… not sure trusting the sealing aspect over time
(need to understand the different oils – pros and cons)
Seikkens –
Readi-Seal – used on front – performed well – may looks at again for the back deck…
TW(?)…gets good reviews, not familiar with –
Seal Once Nano Penetrating Stain and Sealer by U-C Coatings – sounds good….?
Flood – seems popular…
Behr products – ….? They did good for my concrete stain….
Then there’s the Lowes products ….Valspar – ? – available, affordable…

I want this to be right – and last – as I will not be able to take care of it – It’s my 80 year old mother’s house, an hour or so away from where I live – and after working on the renovations for almost 2 years, this is the last / finishing touch – to this labor of love to which the whole town has been watching – so my creative and quality reputation is on the line….

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Laura H Bezdan
Laura H Bezdan
10 days ago

Thank you so much!!!

Fuzzy
Fuzzy
11 days ago

In which state is your deck located? – Utah County Utah

How much sun/shade does your deck get? – Full sun all day (northern facing with no protection)

What type of wood is your deck made of? Redwood

Do you have mold or mildew issues? NO

Why/how did the previous stain fail? Brand new deck nothing has been applied yet.

What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time? N/A

Will be next to pool, can you recommend a grip additive or grip enhancer?

Jeanette McClure
Jeanette McClure
12 days ago

Sorry, forgot to add pictures.

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Jeanette McClure
Jeanette McClure
12 days ago

Seattle, about a mile from Puget Sound. ~2/3 of the deck receives intense sun for about 4-5 hours/day (too hot to walk barefoot on) and partially shaded by trees the other hours of the day; the other 1/3 is partially to mostly shaded by trees throughout the day.

The deck is “treated wood”, probably pine. The deck was built in 2005 and was originally painted with solid stain when built and has been painted at least 3 times since with Sherwin-Williams Deckscape solid stain, The last time being 2 years ago.

The solid stain has held up well (no peeling) but the big problem has been with mildew/mold particularly in the shaded area. We cannot remove the black stains (see pics). We’ve tried power washing, bleach, various wood cleaners, oxalic acid, etc. which have not worked. So, we’ve just repainted. It usually takes about 2 years for the black stains to reappear. I recently found out that we may just be encapsulating any spores that remain, leaving them free to re-populate.

We are tired of this cycle and are wondering what is the best going-forward approach. Should we sand the deck or strip the stain or both; re-coat with a semi-transparent stain or a solid stain to solve the mold problem? And is there a change we should make to our maintenance routine – other than what we do to try to get rid of the black stains, we power wash the deck each spring.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Barry Tolchin
Barry Tolchin
12 days ago

I lived in Central
OH and my deck gets sun all day. Previously used Behr Deck Over and plan to sand it off and just go with a stain. No mildew problems but I don’t know what kind of wood. Deck over started peeling within a few months.

Jonna M.
Jonna M.
13 days ago

I live in central Texas, the house and decks are 3 yrs old
The house & decks are in full sun except the deck flooring that has ceilings
The beams and post are cedar and the rails and deck flooring are pine
The cedar post look dry with some spliting and look like they need a second coat
The deck walk way and the walkway cedar post show fading and post show some stain loss just starting
The flooring looks good but slight fading. The cedar beams and cedar post and pine rails look really dry and porous. No mildew or mold.
They have one coat of ProLux SRD oil base color Dark Oak 3 yrs old.
The painter is coming this week to power wash. We has discussed a repeat with same product or with ProLux semi hybrid. I am totally confused. I am 75 yrs old. The products your mention or half the price of the ProLux. Can I switch to a less expensive product without issues? Can I switch to a different color or a semi solid color? Do I need to stay with oil base? I have deck in the front and the back and cedar beams and post in front & the back. Is power washing suffcient? It just looks faded and very dry especially the large corner post. I really need some help. My painter is expecting me to tell him what I prefer.
I do not want to create any more expense than necessary but want to do this correctly so this will last as long as possible. Thank you!

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Jonna M.
Jonna M.
12 days ago

To remove this oil base ProLux SRD stain, what steps are necessary exactly? Is power washing enough? After removing it and going to a better stain does it matter if I go to oil base or water based? semi solid or solid or hybrid?

John Tubergen
John Tubergen
13 days ago

I have a north facing cedar deck in southern Michigan. It is nine yeas old and has been stained twice (vertical surfaces only once). It is time to restain. I used OneTime wood sealer previously. It has held up well. But I would like to try something else this time. OneTime only cures in ultraviolet. And it takes FOREVER where the deck meets the north wall of the house. OneTime is marketed as a penetrating stain.

So a few questions:

1 – Can I just use a cleaner if I use a penetrating stain? The penetrating stains are promoted for their ability to be restained without the need to strip in between. I know the color will be a blend of the old and new, but am prepared to live with that.

2 – If I have to strip how can I protect the concrete patio under the deck on our walkout ranch from getting stained?

Thanks for any feedback

John Tubergen
John Tubergen
12 days ago

What about cedar shingle siding on the house walls below the deck? Will they be damaged by the stripping “residue”?

When stripping the vertical surfaces is there something that will help keep the stripper from running off?

Is sanding to bare wood as good as stripping?

Jojo
Jojo
14 days ago

I have a mahogany large deck that gets a lot of wear and tear fro the weather what is the best coating to use without changing the color.

Cedric binns
Cedric binns
15 days ago
  1. I just had my deck redone and I need a good deck stain reasonably priced and lasting,I live in michigan
Rick
Rick
15 days ago

Thank you in advance for your help!

I finished building a deck in Austin, TX about a month ago. I used pressure treated lumber from Home Depot– I’m guessing pine. The deck gets full sun in the morning and early afternoon, with shade in the late afternoon/early evening. I haven’t had any mold/mildew issues on the deck or older things like the porch. I don’t want it to look terrible, but I’m much more interested in extending the life of the deck than I am in bringing out the beauty of the cheapest pressure treated lumber I could find. Thanks!

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Frank
Frank
16 days ago

Great site and helpful info! I’m about to tear out an old cedar deck install a new cedar deck in Seattle. If I plan on doing a deep clean and brighten each summer, is it possible to apply only one coat of TWP clear oil each year and have it be protective? Or, are two coats necessary on a yearly basis? On my previous deck, I think two coats of the bad water based stain I used was too much.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago

Thanks. I’m hoping a yearly approach will keep it looking better and in the long run easier to maintain.

Scott
Scott
16 days ago

ANSWERS TO YOUR SIX QUESTIONS: 1. In which state is your deck located? INDIANA 2. How much sun/shade does your deck get? Almost completely shaded, filtered sun almost all day 3. What type of wood is your deck made of? Part of it is treated lumber that was down about eight to ten years before the first application of semi-transparent stain (PPG Paramount) and the rest is cedar that was down about 22 months before the first application of semi-transparent stain (PPG Paramount) 4. Do you have mold or mildew issues? No 5. Why/how did the previous stain fail? Massive peeling on the horizontal surfaces after about 10 to 14 months after application (it’s been about 19 months since it was applied right now, as of 07/2022). 6. What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time? PPG Paramount Semi-Transparent stain. Trying to figure out how to proceed. I’ve been in communication with PPG and they are willing to send me $335 for stain and the stripper to try and re-do, but also must sign a waiver and release form, since they seem to know there’s a “PPG issue”. I’ve described in great detail and sent photos to them and they still cannot provide any rationale or reasoning as to why it has failed so badly and so quickly. I initially powerwashed with a cleaner and let it all dry for several days before application of the stain. The different sections of the deck, stairs, and “bridge” had been in place and weathered/leached out for two to ten years, as noted above. Based on your guide, I’d like to use the TWP-100 Pro but since I’m in Indiana, I apparently cannot. The second choice looks to be the Restore-A-Deck semi-transparent product, but not sure what to use and how to prep the deck, given all of the peeling that has happened. Also, given that we used “Rustic Cedar” color – would like to be able to at least come close to matching, since the balusters and posts (the vertical surfaces) are still holding up OK and don’t intend to re-do those at this point. I compiled the following steps, based on several back-and-forth emails with PPG and sent them back via email to the PPG rep, but still waiting to hear back from her to confirm or tweak these steps: 1) Clean/power wash the wood using a wood cleaner; 2) Strip the wood, using the stripper that PPG recommended; 3) Sand the wood in the direction of the grain with a belt sander and 60-80 grit sandpaper; 4) Wash it down again to get rid of the sawdust/etc.; 5) Let it dry for a couple of days(????); 6) Apply the new product/finish and back-brush the rolled areas to work the stain in; 7) Put a second thin coat on the high traffic areas within 4 to 72 hours of the first coat??? Obviously, these would entail a LOT of work, but I also don’t want to… Read more »

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Scott
Scott
12 days ago

Thanks, for the quick reply and point-by-point responses, Scott!

So given the description/background and what you see in those photos, do you think stripping & sanding + brightner has the best chance to salvage this mess (vs. power washing/cleaning or any other combination/process)??

And following those above steps and using the oil-based TWP 1500 Series product would give the best chance of success?

And lastly – I suppose I should go ahead and sign the release and take the money that PPG is offering, assuming I’m not going to get any further relief, beyond the product replacement cost that they’re offering and nothing for our time & effort and all of the work of re-doing this?

Scott
Scott
11 days ago

Thanks!! Appreciate the advice.

Lynda McCarthy
Lynda McCarthy
17 days ago

Upstate NY
Full Sun
Pressure treated Pine not previously stained only a year old
Hello, we are looking for a semi transparent stain and sealer that has a mahogany tone, that can stand up to our extreme winter weather.

Paul L
Paul L
17 days ago

Oregon
Filtered sun/mostly shade, light traffic
Cedar
Applied SW Superdeck Oil semi-trans over well-prepared deck with new and old boards. The crew did a lousy job, left bubbles and dribbles all over, and the contractor has agreed to strip and redo the deck (the rails are fine). I’m not impressed with Superdeck and need a good oil-based transparent (or a more transparent semi-transparent if that makes sense).

Barb B
Barb B
21 days ago

Do I need to use the same stain stripper and wood brightener

Barb B
Barb B
20 days ago

Thank you!

Maria
Maria
22 days ago

California
Morning sun
Redwood
Minor mold, mildew
previous stain peeled off, possibly due to applying too soon after installation
arborcoat, non penetrating was used previously
deck has been stripped and brightened with Cabot brand products
I want a transparent, penetrating/oil based stain that shows the beautiful redwood

Wes
Wes
22 days ago

Five year old deck, Seattle area. Part gets fair amount of sun, part near the house is always in shade. Cedar decking and rails. Adjacent Douglas fir leaves pitch and black spots that I assume are mildew. In shady areas, finish is solid, but has turned too yellow for our taste. In sunny areas, finish has become patchy, especially after pressure washing and there are some underlying darker areas. Deck has been twice sealed using Olympic Maximum clear.

Because we want to change products, I am in the process of sanding the deck using 60 grit to remove the current finish.

Photo 1 is shady area, photo 2 is sunny area, photo 3 is after sanding. Photos 2 and 3 are not that gray. To my naked eye, they seem natural colored with a bit of graying.

Currently thinking a semi-transparent stain, either natural or cedar color would be better than clear.

Recommendations would be much appreciated. Want to make a good choice to allow simply using another coat in the future. Thanks in advance.

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Wes
Wes
21 days ago

Thanks for that.

Stripper/brightener would be easier. I suspect there will be some sanding to be done here and there.

Would you recommend the RAD stripper additives, or might I get by without?

I hear oil-based tends to last longer, so I’m leaning toward the TWP 1500.

I’ve seen recommendations for one coat and a wipe, or two coats wet on wet. Is two coat necessary, or might one be sufficient?

By the way, what does “wet on wet” mean?

Tom
Tom
23 days ago

We’d like to get your feedback regarding our 15-year-old deck in Bellingham Washington. Here are the answers to your questions:
1 – 15-years-old
2 – Three years ago our house painter applied Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Solid Stain – he said it was best to use the solid because the wood was cracking, but that stain has peeled – badly – see photo #1.
3 – We are trying to decide what to do next. We have tried to remove the old stain with Benjamin Moore REMOVE, but it took three coats and there is still some stain that will not “remove.” see photo #2. We’ve also used Behr Stripper, and it did better, but still left paint that will not come off – see photo #3.
4 – The stain before the BM Solid was Sherwin Williams transparent
5 – There are no mold or mildew problems
6 – From what we can determine, the cracks in the decking allowed water to get under the solid stain and make it blister and then peel.

Our Questions:
Should we switch to the stripper you recommend?

What is the best product going forward after we strip and brighten? Do we have to use a solid stain since it is unlikely that we will be able to remove every speck of the old stain even with sanding. Do you recommend a “re-surfacer” for older wood?

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your input!!

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Betsy
Betsy
23 days ago

My railings are in Seattle, Washington, a short walk to Puget Sound. Huge evergreen trees to the south. Moderate summer sun. Lots of shade and rain half the year. Lots of pollen from big trees. 

Railings posts and tops are clear cedar. Most sections are 15 years old. The horizontal surfaces tend to become dirty looking and hard to clean.

Last used Armstrong Clark 2 years ago and have now pressure washed everything with 30 second cleaner and have sanded off most top horizontal surfaces. Just bought Penofin pro-tech stripped to try.

Considering using Penofin or TWP stain this time. I even considered applying a marine spar finish to top railings, but I don’t know how that would work with rest of railings using a different finish. Also considering stripping/sanding balusters and applying new finish to entire railings… and hope to stick with that brand for continued maintenance.

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Betsy
Betsy
21 days ago

Thank you. And to be clear… We are staining the railings, not the deck (the deck is Ipe and we have let it go gray). The railings are cedar and the top surfaces tend to get dirty and darkened over the year.

If we go with TWP, what sort of cleaner should we periodically use to remove pollen/mildew and not compromise the stain?

Nick
Nick
25 days ago

I was looking to make a deck from wood pallets (in Virginia). I wanted something that would protect the pallets for as long as possible. I don’t care about the look or ease of application. The pallets will be on cinder blocks so they are not directly on the ground. I am planning to use pressure treated fence boards to be the floor of the deck. What would your recommend for the longest protection possible because once I put the fence boards down I will not be able to re apply protectant on the pallets. Thanks for all that you do!

Pam whitfill
Pam whitfill
27 days ago

Lobe this site !! My new deck (Jan.22) in Kentucky , all day sun minus about 4 hrs in the am. Not covered. I want to stain floor and top rails and support posts. And paint ther barestera I think like the first pic the second is my deck.

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Dawn Chastain
Dawn Chastain
28 days ago

Hello, we live in Denver Colorado area and have a mahogony plank deck that is half covered and half exposed. The deck is 18 years old. We had always been using a Sikkens SRD Cetol Transparent stain on it hat always gave it a very glossy finish that we really loved even though the can said Matte on it. We always just powerwashed it and applied the stain every year or 2. Well, this exact stain has changed, been reformulated/rebranded or whatever and even though it is still described as Kikkens SRD Cetol Transparent Matte the new stuff goes on VERY dull and sheen doesn’t look anything like we had. Any recommendations on a good quality product that will give us a glossy look?

Aaron Rhoten
Aaron Rhoten
28 days ago

Greetings, I have a 20+ year deck on the front of my house in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. It is fairly high altitude (6300′) very low humidity environment. It is east facing and gets lots of morning sun and afternoon shade. Definitely some UV as Lake Tahoe is sunny 270 days per year. Most of the deck is covered by a roof however part of it is not and in the winter the part of the deck that is not gets icy from snow melt from my roof running onto the deck and reforming ice. It stays that way for a few months out of the year.

The floor of the deck is redwood. The railings are pine. My wife and I have fully stripped and rough sanded it (50 grit) to remove the 20+ years of prior staining. There are no mold issues. The prior stains have failed due to peeling. The last product we used was Sherwyn Williams Solid Color Alkyd Stain. It lasted less than a year in the area where the ice forms.

Would you be able to recommend a product that will last a couple of years and is easy to prep and restain when the time comes. I am trying to get my maintenance time down to less than two days every couple of years and to not have to remove everything like I did this time. The stain on my house is the solid Sherwyn Williams on cedar shake siding-milk chocolate brown. We would like to roughly match the deck color with the siding and have a neutral tone like a grey on the railings.

I have attached some pictures however part of the deck was shaded. if you need more let me know.

Regards,
AR

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Aaron Rhoten
Aaron Rhoten
27 days ago

Thank You

Aaron Rhoten
Aaron Rhoten
20 days ago

What are the downsides to using TWP 100 instead of TWP 1500 given my objective as described above? It has a color variation we are interested in as we wish to use two tones. one for the deck and one for the rails.

Aaron Rhoten
Aaron Rhoten
19 days ago

Thank You

Tamar Maserjian
Tamar Maserjian
1 month ago

Hello, after viewing your video on the best deck stains, I would like to know which one would be best for my deck. It’s only been stained once 8 yrs ago in 2014. It was built
summer of 2008. It’s Pressure treated wood. We waited 6 yrs to stain it after it was built. I just pressure washed it 2 weeks ago and now I am looking for the best stain that lasts the longest and preserves the wood. Its still in great shape but with all the rain we’ve been having it had a lot of mold and mildew. Can you please let me know which stain would be the best – I would like something to fill the cracks in as well. And a semi transparent look with a natural to medium color. I live in upstate NY about an hour from NYC…and also how many coats and is water based or oil based better… also would I need a seal coating? Thanks hope to hear from you soon!

Tamar Maserjian
Tamar Maserjian
1 month ago

what about TWP

Tom Freure
Tom Freure
1 month ago

Happy to find your website. Lots of great information! Can you suggest a stain/sealant for me.

Located in Southern Ontario Canada, deck is Sierra Brown Pressure treated wood, shade in morning, full sun exposure in afternoon and evening, surrounding a pool. Installed for 2 years. Looking to protect wood and provide a darker ‘wet’ appearance. Some tendency for mildew as I live in a high moisture valley. Full snow covered in winter.

Damon
Damon
1 month ago

Florida new redwood pressure treated 2×6 deck with a messy canopy of crepe myrtle trees mostly shaded with some sun 20×28 deck. Being replaced from cabots Australian timber oil failure. Mold and algae can build up from tree droppings any suggestions on semi transparent stain and sealer thanks

MSM
MSM
1 month ago

I’ve got a 25 year old deck in Northern Michigan that I’ve used Australian Timber oil on. I agree it’s not what it used to be-didn’t penetrate as well and had peeling on wood I replaced (after waiting 1 year after to seal).

it’s been 3 years since last application and ready for reseal with something else.

Can I do RAD full strip and change to water soluble? Would it be better to keep with oil base and if so do can I skip the stripping step?

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MSM
MSM
26 days ago

Suggestion for best stain? It’s PTPine. Water soluble or oil?

Marilyn Kemper
Marilyn Kemper
1 month ago

Springfield, Missouri. East side of house in sun all morning with gradual shade progressing in the afternoon. We have periods of very wet weather and periods of very dry weather. Newer deck of untreated Yellawood, installed about 18 months ago. Cleaned it in May with Wolman’s cleaner/brightener (now by Rustoleum). Mildew had grown on rails and spindles. I know I will need to prep again before I stain it. My priority is something that will protect as long as possible. Prefer water-based but not sure whether semi-transparent or solid would be better.

Used Sherwin-Williams semi-transparent water-based on former pressure-treated wood deck. Looked great initially but poor performance over 1-2 years.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

I live in Ohio. had a new deck built….want to apply a top rated water sealer not stain as I want to preserve the natural wood grain….so many choices here so much reading….whats the best suggestion for my need?

Cathy
Cathy
1 month ago

I live in Ohio, deck in sun, yes to mildew. Previously used Behr deckover which chipped, one board rotten ( pine). Stripped all deckover off with diamabrush, which was a lifesaver. Advice would be greatly appreciated. Don’t ever want another mess like this again.. Thinking semi transparent

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Cathy
Cathy
1 month ago

Thank you

gary
gary
1 month ago

I have a wooden deck that is over 30 years old. The wood is slightly rough and is splitting some. I cannot replace it now. I used One Time Wood about 10 years ago and it held up surprisingly well. My deck is under massive maple trees and gets very little direct sunlight. I live just southeast of Cleveland Ohio. There is no mold or mildew. I will be pressure washing the deck this summer. What would be a good product for my deck? Thanks

Brad
Brad
1 month ago

I purchased a home in the Midwest in Southern Indiana. The previous owner put a deck paint on the treated lumbar deck boards. Since the purchase the high traffic areas have flaked and so I decided to pressure wash and repaint. Well, most of the paint came off. There are still spots that stayed adhered pretty well and of course the deck sides and posts are still painted (not pressure washed). I am curious if there is an application I can put over the bare lumbar as well as the small paint spots that are still remaining? I was thinking I could burnwith a weed burner, removing the stick on paint and giving the wood a cool looking finish then applying a sealant. Possibly using a black or dark stain/sealer over the deck as is? Even going to the extreme of stripping the top boards of the deck with a diamond tipped angle grinder head that I’ve seen advertised. I know I can repaint but would rather try and find something that would last more than a season before flaking from foot traffic. Thanks for any advice.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

I have an old deck 40 years + I would like a Semi-Solid Stain I live in Salt lake city

Annie
Annie
1 month ago

Eugene Oregon. So lots of rain except in summer. Yes to mold and mildew.
Cedar, 5 years old.
Never stained or sealed. Just washed annually with oxiclean or pressure washed.
Deck gets more shade than sun.

Joanne Peters
Joanne Peters
1 month ago

Central New York, South facing covered porch, pressure treated lumber on log home. Exposed to afternoon sun, halfway toward house. After a couple years the stain, opaque, is peeling and looks awful. Would love a penetrating stain that doesn’t peel. Also, our dog makes grand entrances and it shows!

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Brian Fitzgerald
Brian Fitzgerald
1 month ago

Hello Scott – I live in Connecticut and have a 30 year old pressure treated deck which appears to have been treated several times, most currently (I’ve learned) with a Cabot Semi Transparent Oil stain about a year ago. That stain appears to have failed (faded), resulting in my pressure washing the deck, followed by use of the Thompson 3 in 1 brightener. The results of that effort were good, though certain boards appear slightly darker than others (due to shade I assume) with some displaying green patches which I believe to be algae. I assume sanding to be required at this point followed by an application of stain. Would you agree with this approach and if so, which type of stain (oil or water based) and brand would you suggest? Thank you, Scott!

Brian Fitzgerald
Brian Fitzgerald
1 month ago

Thanks Scott for your prompt reply. The leftmost image reflects the sunnyside of the deck, the middle image the shady side (with algae) and the final image reflects the current state of the railings. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!

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Brian Fitzgerald
Brian Fitzgerald
1 month ago

Thank you Scott for your help! Will pursue your direction….

Brian Fitzgerald
Brian Fitzgerald
30 days ago

Hi Scott – Just completed the Stripping and Brightening process on my 30 year old pressure treated deck as you recommended – what an amazing difference – the wood looks brand new! One question however .. there a couple of stubborn spots on the deck where the old stain simply won’t come off. Should I sand those off, then apply the RAD Semi Transparent Cedar stain (I see in prior posts that this stain may appear darker on older wood and could possibly cover the trouble spots I mentioned). What would you suggest? Thanks, Scott for your ongoing assistance!