The Best Deck Stains for 2023
See our Deck Stain Facts section with over 150 simple Q&A articles that answer all the questions that you have regarding deck staining.Click to Read More
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 2023 home improvement projects.
Best Deck Stain
Best Deck Stain
Best Solid Color
Best Applying Wood Deck Stain
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 Oil-Based: TWP 100 Pro Series Semi-Transparent
TWP 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 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.
- Stain Type: Penetrating semi-transparent exterior wood stain, water-based, full-curing, damp or dry wood application
- Consumer Star Ratings: 4.7/5 (45)
- DeckStainHelp.com Rating: 8.625/10
- Website Link: Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain
- Wood and Deck Stain Photos: Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain Photo Album
Best Solid Color Deck Stain: Restore-A-Deck Solid Color Wood & Deck Stain
Restore-A-Deck solid-color stain is our go-to solid-color/opaque deck stain for 2023 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.
- Stain Type: Solid-color (opaque) exterior wood stain, water-based
- Consumer Star Ratings: 4.8/5 (8)
- DeckStainHelp.com Rating: 8.68/10
- Website Link: Restore-A-Deck Solid Stain
- Wood and Deck Stain Photos: Restore-A-Deck Solid Stain Photo Album
Best-Applying Deck Stain: Armstrong-Clark Wood Stain
Armstrong-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
The 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.
- Stain Type: Penetrating semi-solid, oil-based, full-curing exterior wood stain
- Consumer Star Ratings: 4.9/5 (6)
- DeckStainHelp.com Rating: 8.50/10
- Website Link: TWP Pro Series Semi-Solid
- Wood and Deck Stain Photos: TWP Semi-Solid Photo Album
Best Wood Preservative Deck Stain: TWP 1500 Series Semi-Transparent Stain
TWP 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 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
Homeowners 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.
- Stain Type: Solid Color Deck Resurfacer, water-based exterior wood stain
- Consumer Star Ratings: 4.9/5 (69)
- Website Link: Gulf Synthetics Deck Revive
- Wood and Deck Stain Photos: Gulf Synthetics Photo Album
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:
- 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).
- Water, snow, and ice will cause damage to the wood by breaking down the exposed cell structure.
- Freezing and thawing tend to expand and contract the wood, weakening the stain’s bond with the wood cells.
- Mold, mildew, and algae will leave the wood unsightly/dirty and can cause rotting.
- High-traffic areas will wear faster.
- The previous stain used may have been of inferior quality or applied poorly.
- 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:
- 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 of stain did you use last time?
Let’s look at an example deck:
- Deck Location: Michigan
- Sun/Shade: Full sun in the morning, shade in the afternoon
- Wood Type: Cedar
- Mold/Mildew? No
- How Did the Last Stain Fail? Dried blotchy and peeled after the first winter
- 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:
- TWP 100 Series
- Armstrong-Clark Deck and Wood Stain
- Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain
- Defy Extreme Wood Stain
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
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
Just finishing a large wrap around pressure treated pine deck using lumber from Lowes. This deck is located in Virginia.Worked slowly by myself since November of last year. This deck receives alot of sun and it’s very windy most of the year. Trying to determine when this deck should be stained and looking for the best available stain in our local area. Suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you
Please read this about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
This is a covered boat dock on fresh water.
In which state is your deck located? Arkansas
How much sun/shade does your deck get? Lots of sun from 12 to 7 pm, Jun to Oct
What type of wood is your deck made of? pressure-treated lumber, aged 9 months
Do you have mold or mildew issues? some mildew on walkway closest to shore
Why/how did the previous stain fail? tried light pressure wash to remove pollen stains (huge problem here in the spring) and took all the stain off
What type of stain did you use last time? professional painter sprayed low-VOC penetrating semi-transparent stain…not sure which brand. (new painter will brush; not spray)
Try the Restore A Deck Wood stains or the TWP Semi-solid stains for the best UV protection.
Hello, we built a brand new pavilion out of wood that we had made from Ash. It has dried over a year and we sanded it. We want to do a semi transparent cedar color. We live in hot sunny SC. It gets sun all day. What’s the best kind for full sun that has less fading, resistant to mildew?
Restore A Deck Stain in Cedar color or TWP 1501 Cedartone.
Trying to figure out best semi-transparent stain to use on new screen porch. Posts are cedar, the inside of roof will be tongue and groove pine. I think the screen panels will be pressure treated wood. Deck is Trex but want good quality products for the porch.
Is this all brand new wood? If so, see this: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Try the Restore A Deck Semi-Transparent after wait and prep.
I used behr deck over on my deck and it peeled badly, should I sand the deck and what can I stain it with after
To fix you will need to power sand it all off. Once fully removed, you can use any of the brands on the list above.
I could use some sealer help. I live in Kansas. The deck is partially covered. The uncovered portion has some morning early afternoon sun. This is a hardwood deck. I don’t remember the wood, perhaps acacia? I don’t think it has mold mildew. At least once per year I usually sand the outside portion down and reseal. I use penofin for hardwood. As you can see from pictures it has a lot of dark on the outside portion. Last year it did not even look good just after sealed. Inside portion holds up relatively well and looks fairly good but fades near outside portion. I typically only treat covered portionevery couple years. Thanks for your insight.
You will need to strip and brighten for prep. Use the Restore A Deck Stripper/Brightener kits. After, stain with a hardwood stain. See here for what to use: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/ipe-exotic-hardwood-stain-review/
I am making 4 fairly intricate gates with a Chinese chippendale pattern. They are made from Western Red Cedar and are still raw, freshly milled format. I live in Montana so they will get -20° and snow as well as 98° blazing sun. Looking for a natural toned finish that isn’t crazy on maintenance.
See here about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Need help to fix.
We are in Western New York State
Sun most of day in the summer
Pool deck was raw Fur or Spruce when we moved here in 2018
Mildicide was used by company hired to do the work in 2020
Product they used in 2020 was Sikkens Prolux Cedar color.
Flat surfaces peeled up after one winter.
How can we fix this?
Need pictures for prep advice and help. Post in comments.
Well, deck has a lot of snow on it right now. I’ll take photos come Spring.
Okay, just let us know so we can help.
Some snow melted off pool deck today. All the flat surfaces have peeling.
All of the old stain does need to come off and that will require both stripping and sanding to get it all off. Use the Restore A Deck Stripper with both additives to remove as much as possible.
Sand the rest off. Brighen all when done. Stain with a penetrating stain after:
Stain/sealer suggestion would be much appreciated!
Charleston, South Carolina
Lots of Sun (think that’s why the last stain faded (greyed)
Have washed off mold/mildew, planning to apply a brightener prior to staining
No prior stain used
Try Restore A Deck Stain in semi-transparent or TWP Semi-Solid Stain colors.
Thank you for the speedy reply and helpful information!
I live in Birmingham, Alabama and have a newly installed wooden fence. Fence is made of pressure treated pine. Treated fence with a mildewcide as recommended by fence contractor. I would like to stain and seal the fence with a water base transparent stain and sealer combination. Fence has been installed less than a month and was treated with mildewcide about 2 weeks ago. What product do you suggest.
Look at the Restore A Deck Wood stains for this.
Best stain recommendtion for Cedar Backyard Fence, Phoenix, AZ full sun and heat with partial shade. No mold or mildew some water lines from prior irrigation. Fail – fading, peeling and shows previous water line – Thompsons Water Seal Color Acorn. I would also like to use my newely purchased Wagner Spray gun to complete. Do all stains requiring prepping or sanding on existing fence and if not which would you recommend? Thank you
You will need to remove the old stain first. Reply back with pics for prep help. Once prepped, try Restore A Deck Stains or Armstrong Clark Wood Stains.
We are building a new cabin with a deck. This cabin will be near water, but in the woods. What would be the best stain for protection and maintenance. It will be situated in Oklahoma and it will be built with the deck facing North East. It will be built with pressure treated pine wood. What stain will you recommend?
See here for new wood tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=15465&action=edit
do you have a phone number I can call? Do you ship to hawaii or have a dealer here in hawaii?
This website does not ship products.
I live in central Florida. The dock is on the lake which receives direct sunlight during the day. I previously used Sherwin Williams semi transparent deck stain, water based. The wood is yella treated wood. The wood chipped and was mildew. I applied this stain app. 2 years ago. I’m looking for a better stain.
Post some pics for prep help. Once the old stain is removed, try the Restore A Deck Stains or TWP 100 Series.
I live in Houston and I’m looking for the best product to seal new cedar posts that I just installed for my outdoor patio. I’d like to start with something as transparent as possible to preserve the natural look of the cedar. I’m considering pure tung oil as a starting point. Thoughts? I saw
See this about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Tung oil is useless as it will not give any UV protection from graying or mildew. Need a tinted stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/will-a-clear-sealer-prevent-graying-on-deck/
Hi – looking to stain new cedar tongue and groove siding in a black or charcoal. The house is in east Tennessee. Thinking the TWP charcoal, but what about the seal-once products? Thanks!
We tried Seal Once a couple of years ago and did not like it at all. Does not apply well and it did not last very long. Peeled.
Hi, looking for a stain recommendation.
I’m in Pennsylvania (but within very easy driving distance of West Virginia if there’s something I can buy there but not here).
I have a covered porch that gets some sun, maybe half of sun up hours, but not much direct sun.
The floor is locust t&g that I had custom cut. Has been installed for about 6 months.
This flooring is new, as it replaced a rough painted porch. As such, I don’t really have a good history, but I definitely want to avoid mildew. I also want to avoid solid, and dark colors and maintain a natural look. Definitely want to stay translucent or semi.
I have run samples of Permachink Deck Defense (too orange even for their lightest deck formula), PPG proluxe natural (very strong brown color for a “natural”, I kind of wonder about their Rye color but no current access to it or anything lighter at all), and Cabot timber oil natural (liked this color by far the best, but didn’t like the iffy reviews on that product here on your site).
So if I don’t sound entirely too picky, hit me with a suggestion!! Thanks.
You need a hardwood stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/ipe-exotic-hardwood-stain-review/
Best to test some samples from respective brands on above link.
I have a Mahogany porch outside covered porch floor that faces due south I used Mesma stain on before and I have removed it all and I need of a new preservative stain
i love the beauty of the Mahogany natural what would yourrecommend. I live in Massachusetts with cold winters and it gets a lot of wind across it that dries it out quickly too. I would appreciate any help you could recommend.
You need a hardwood stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/ipe-exotic-hardwood-stain-review/
Loo at Armstrong Clark or Restore A Deck Stains.
Didn’t even notice there was a separate forum! Whoops. Ordered samples of RAD. Hopefully I like their natural. Thanks.
Natural would like a clean wet look.
Hi, I have a 30-year-old wooden swing I’d like to preserve and coat with a semi-transparent stain. Full Florida sun. I know I need to strip it and brighten.
1. Would a AC semi-transparent darker stain, like redwood or darker, or the TWP 1500 series semi-transparent like dark oak, cause color transfer on clothing? I have been happy with AC on my 20-year old deck, but I am leaning towards TWP because it is a wood preservative.
2. What stain would you recommend?
Less chance of the stain rubbing off on clothes with the TWP Stains. Use that.
Hi, Scott! Your website is so helpful. We just bought this home. It has a pressure-treated pine deck that is 1 1/2 years old and has never been stained or sealed. It is covered by the roof, but exposed on three sides. It is located in Georgia, facing south, with 7-9 hours of direct sun. Some of the rails and horizontal surfaces have started graying and there is some spotty mildew. My husband is replacing some of the cap rails bc they were warping. He thinks semi-transparent, oil-based stain is the most protective and long-lasting. He wants to apply it with his paint sprayer. What do you recommend? Thank you so much!
For prep, use a deck cleaner and then a wood brightener. For the stain, try TWP 100 Series or Armstrong Clark Stains. No need to spray as this will be messy being it is up in the air, etc.
Thank you so much for that great advice. We will buy those products. Our neighbor suggested adding a pesticide like NBS 30 or CPF-2D to an oil-based stain before applying it to kill/deter carpenter bees from eating the deck. We have a ton of those pesky creatures in Georgia. What do you think about this? Thank you so much for saving the decks of the world!
It does not hurt to add them. We have used the NBS 30 and Bug Juice additives in the past.
I have a 3-year-old deck made of pressure treated pine. I sealed it once just over a year ago with Thompson’s water seal. I need to re-seal or stain it and provide some UV protection.
For prep, remove the Thompsons with the Restore A Deck Stripper/Brightener Kit. Stain with the Restore A Deck Stain or the TWP 100 Series.
I have a new western Cedar 3 rail fence i would love to keep its red color and keep it from graying. i but have seen some stains that look painted not natural
Use a semi-transparent stain like TWP 1500 Series or Restore A Deck Wood Stains. They will enhance the grain of the wood but it will not look painted.
Hi Scott. Really appreciate the informative website you’ve created.
I have a new pressure treated pine fence that was installed 2 months ago. It’s 6′ x 300′ so total of 3,600 sq ft. I initially was looking at PPG Proluxe SRD due to word of mouth reputation but it seems like the formula was changed a few years ago and it’s not as good of a product anymore.
Other options I’m considering are based on your website: Defy Extreme, RAD stain, and TWP 100. Looking for semi-transparent in all brands. I live in NC and a good portion of the fence receives 4-6 hours of shade a day.
My primary criteria are: ease of application, color durability/length of time between maintenance coats, mildew resistance, and price. Do you recommend any of these three options over another? Are there other brands I should consider?
Thanks in advance.
Where are you located?
I’m in central North Carolina
Try Restore A Deck if you want water-based or TWP 100 Series if you prefer oil-based.
Thank you, Scott. Any performance advantages to oil vs water based?
Not really as they are both excellent but read this for tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/water-based-vs-oil-based-deck-stains/
Could either of these products be applied now (2 month old fence) or does the wood need to age a few more months?
Smooth wood or rough cut? If smooth, wait until Spring to prep and stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
I have a 6 month old redwood fence in Sacramento, CA. I’m looking for a dark gray or black color that will still show some natural wood grains
Try Black Walnut in the TWP 1500 Series from TWPstain.com
Just moved to North Carolina from Colorado and wanted to know the best light gray transparent stain for a high humid environment?
Try TWP Semi-solid stain or Armstrong Clark in Driftwood gray.
Just put clear sealant on my deck in Michigan. It rained 18hrs later, was not suppose to. Unfortunately deck did not bead up what do I do now. This has not happen before.
Rain will not wash away a sealer after 18 hours so there is most likely something wrong with the sealer you used or how it was applied. BTW, clear sealers are essentially useless. You need a semi-transparent stain.
I’ve got a brand new pine deck and the most important thing to me is choosing a sealant that will make the wood last as long as possible. I am not as interested in a stain or color. What product penetrates the wood the best? Thank you.
Clear = zero UV protection from graying: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/will-a-clear-sealer-prevent-graying-on-deck/
Also, see here about new wood as you cannot stain or seal it yet: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Thank you for the quick response. Ok, yeah, I will use at least a semi-transparent deck stain. That being said, what product penetrates the deepest?
Look at the TWP Stains or Armstrong Clark Stains.
I want to stain my cedar mailbox post. It’s a year old.. it has begun to weather, but not too much. I bought TWP total wood protectant TWP pro-series cedar tone. I sanded my post lightly in a few areas. How many coats should I use, and how much time do I wait between coats?
Make sure to clean and brighten for prep. Apply 2 coats wet on wet.
Hi! We have a new pressure treated pine outdoor shower in St. Petersburg FL we are looking to stain. Any ideas on what we should use would be appreciated!
Use Restore A Deck Stains or TWP 100 Series after proper weathering and prep. See here about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
Hi, just finished half of my deck, done in cedar. (see attached pic) Its been done in stages but the majority has been done for over a month. I live near Chicago and want to clean and stain before the winter hits. Would like to keep the color close to its natural cedar state. Suggestions? Size is 18 x 12 feet at its widest
Stain and prep in the Spring. See here: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
You cannot do it now.
My connection dropped before I could post a picture, and now I can’t find the post. Sorry for the trouble. Awaiting the email and then I will post a picture.
Live in North Carolina and have a deck that was previously coated with Olympic Maximum. I have pressure washed and replaced some of the boards in the deck. Looking for suggestion about what to put on now. Was planning to use a big box store resurfacer until I saw your reviews. Your expertise would be greatly appreciated.
You have a solid stain on there no so you will need a solid stain again: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
See this for prep: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-to-reapply-a-solid-color-deck-stain/
Live in sw colorao. Redwood that has constant sun. Penofin has been used in the past but it darkens. We have sanded the deck and ready for a finish.
Will a oil based semi transparent be best for resist fading or darkening or do you have another recommendation? We currently have a short window = the next 5 days to to this due to temperate and no rain
See our prior reply to your other post.
Hi Scott, Thank you for your answer, but I can’t the prior reply.
How do I find it? Thank you
Hi. We’re looking for a semi-transparent stain for our deck. Info as follows: built Dec 2019, has never been stained/painted, located in far western KY (McCracken Cty) which is humid, built on east side of house, constructed of treated decking boards (possibly yellow pine but I am not certain), no current mold or mildew issues, has been recently washed and sanded. We have two boards that weep sap during hot weather and are wondering if they need to be replaced (photo included). Thank you for your assistance.
Prep well with the Restore A Deck Prep kits and stain with the Restore A Deck Stains or Armstrong Clark Stains.
I live in Nevada and would like to see what you recommend. I want a semi-transparent stain that can withstand some sprinkler overspray and a good amount of sun. Tried repositioning the sprinklers but it’s hard to get them off the top of the deck entirely. Previous Cabot stain has come off on much of the deck and would like to redo it with something better. Deck was built earlier this year but is now lightly weathered Douglas fir. No mildew or mold.
Remove all the Cabot first and then try TWP stains or Restore A Deck Stains.
Massachusetts. East facing, but tucked in a corner so shaded from the south and covered in one area by the door. Ipe. Installed 9 years ago – not treated at all. Has weathered variably due to sun/weather exposure I expect – some more protected areas still retain some original color, others are fully grey. Some cracking in a couple of the grey areas. A few very small spots of pale green algae (or mold?). I have read so many different things!!: wash (with/without bleach products); maybe sand the surface (more than 80/less than 80 grit)? And then the stain/oil, but which one?! Help! 🙂 Thank you!
Clean and brighen the wood while pressure washing for prep. Choose one of these stains after: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/ipe-exotic-hardwood-stain-review/
Thanks! That’s what we are going to try, with the AC I think. But given the weather here I think we won’t be able to do it until the spring. Thanks again though! Your site really helped me weed through it all and come up with a plan!
I live in Maine and have Meranti Posts and Railings installed in 2016. They were sanded (poorly) and stained once since. This area has a few hours of sun a day and the portions that have highest UV exposure have done the worst. The wood has split and does have some mold/mildew issues. See two pictures (first post has not been sanded, the second one has.) Unfortunately I don’t know what that contractor used previously for stain.
After the prep, use one of the stains: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/ipe-exotic-hardwood-stain-review/
Tennessee south facing deck that was installed two years ago with no previous treatment. Vacation cabin so looking for a quality stain with durability and ease of reapplication. House color is gray so would like to compliment this aspect.
Try the TWP 100 Series or the Armstrong Clark Stains.
Looking for best stain – solid. Mostly covered deck but stairs (2) and short stretch (12×5?) are uncovered and had mold/mildew.
In which state is your deck located? Massachusetts
How much sun/shade does your deck get? Limited sun in AM.
What type of wood is your deck made of? Not sure but I think PTP.
Do you have mold or mildew issues? Yes
Why/how did the previous stain fail? Worn or mold/mildew.
What type and brand (if known) of stain did you use last time? No idea.
Deck is 5-6 years old (original).
See here for solid stain reviews: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
I have a new treated pine deck (about 275 sq ft) which was completed on May 2nd this year. I would like to have the railings and risers white, and the deck floor and treads, grey. Can you stain both the floor and the railings or should the railings be painted and deck stained? Is there a product that has a white stain for the railings? Also, is it best to use a semi-transparent or semi-solid stain? Finally, is Restore-a-Deck a good product for a new deck?
See this article and it will answer your questions: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/why-have-a-two-toned-deck/
Northern WI. 2 yr old bare treated pine. A dock over water facing west with lots of sun exposure. Slight graying, but in good condition. Algae/mildew where dock meets shore and in small areas in boathouse shadows. Looking for recommendations for stain.
For prep, use the Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kits. Stain with Restore A Deck Stains or Armstrong Clark Stains.
Armstrong oil or water based for either Semi T or semi S stain?
Armstrong Clark is only oil based.
CAN we even buy TWP or Armstrong Clark anywhere in Oregon? I can’t find it.
Check with their site or buy online at http://www.twpstain.com
Hi Scott – thank you so much for this website. I live in Maryland and had a pressure treated pine fence installed about six months ago. It doesn’t get full sun but the summers here are very humid. I’d like to put either a transparent or semi-transparent stain and sealer on it that won’t hide the look of the wood. I’m also not sure if a water based or oil based stain would be best. Do you have a couple of stains that you can recommend? There are a lot of Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams stores in my area but I don’t see any of their stains on your ‘go-to’ list. Thanks for your help.
Try TWP 1500 Series if wanting oil-based or Restore A Deck Stains if water-based. Both are excellent.
Thank you Scott. It looks like TWP is not available in Maryland. Do you have a second best oils based stain that you prefer?
Use the TWP 1500 Series. It is allowed in MD.
I finally found it. Thank you.
Pressure treated lumber. Washington State. Transparent Stain showing wear on steps as well as around outer edges. Close to Puget Sound.
Pics for prep help?
Most of the pressure treated pine deck is 2 years old , and has never been treated. The covered walkway is 30 years old and is stained dark brown. It is in good shape. A few sixteen foot boards were replaced about a year ago, and are are not in direct sunlight. I think that a need a solid stain in order to achieve a uniform color.
For solid stains, see here: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Hi, I would like your suggestion for a stain on my deck. Some of the deck is very good, other parts are rotted where weather contacted it regularly. Thinking about painting the railings and staining the deck. We live in Oregon. Deck receives full sun most of the day. It has a clear cover or roof. The wood is old, pressure-treated wood, don’t know what it is. Fir, maybe. No obvious mold or mildew, except for the rotten boards. It previously had a Behr deck-over type paint on it which had started peeling and bubbling where the deck was getting continually wet all winter long. Please advise. I have already striped, sanded and cleaned the wood, just need to stain/seal it and fix bad boards.
Did you remove 100% of the old coatings?
there are small spots here and there with paint, still scraping/sanding it off. Also, between the boards, there is some paint still there. Still scraping. Did the photos show up that I attached?
I did attach photos are you seeing them? Also, can I use bondo to patch the holes? I’ve used mixmax wood filler, but boy, this is getting expensive.