Thompson’s Deck Stain Review 2/5 (27)

This post was updated on May 2, 2022




We would love to hear from you if you have used THOMPSONS WATERSEAL STAIN & SEALER. Please post a rating in the Consumer Star Ratings below. Thompson’s WaterSeal has clearly not been a consumer favorite with deck stains or sealers. Mainly as it does not offer any UV protection and it grays in a few months. The Transparent and Semi-Transparent versions are prone to premature peeling and wearing after about 1 year.

Thompsons has 4 different labels for the same stain. They change the name based on the store that carries it but it is the exact same product.





If you have any pictures of your experience with the THOMPSONS WATERSEAL STAIN & SEALER you can add them in the comment area with a detailed description.


THOMPSONS WATERSEAL STAIN & SEALER provides ultimate protection from water and sun damage. This innovative, pre-mixed formula is quick and easy to apply with a two-hour dry time and soap and water cleanup. Signature Series All In One Stain and Sealer provides long-lasting, durable protection in just one coat.

Thompsons Deck Stain


Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 7

– THOMPSONS WATERSEAL STAIN & SEALER looks like thin paint when applied. Very blotchy appearance and it did not cover evenly, every brushstroke and roller mark showed. Water did bead on top of the finish and did not absorb into the wood.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 5

– As far as we can tell, THOMPSONS WATERSEAL STAIN & SEALER does not prevent UV graying very well. This is a huge disappointment at less than 6 months it started to fail. Not only is there visible flaking but the coating is washing off in areas that are not flaking. There is quite a bit of mold where the coating has come off.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 5

– THOMPSONS WATERSEAL STAIN & SEALER does not soak into the wood but dries on top like a paint. Less than 6 months it started to fail. Not only is there visible flaking but the coating is washing off in areas that are not flaking.

Cost Per Square Foot: 8

– THOMPSONS STAIN & SEALER is a very inexpensive product to purchase. Unfortunately the saying “you get what you pay for” applies here as the Thompsons Deck Stains does not even last a year.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 3

– After 2 years most of the deck was covered in black mold. It seems that the oils used in THOMPSONS STAIN & SEALER feed and promote the growth of mold spores in the areas where it had failed.

Ease of Application: 5

– Very blotchy appearance and it did not cover evenly, every brushstroke and roller mark showed.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 7

– We would say that Thompson’s® darkens in color since there was a good amount of mold growing in the finish.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 4

– A heavy stripping will be needed to remove the failing stain that is left as you will need to switch to a better brand of stain.

Overall Score THOMPSONS STAIN & SEALER at 2 Year Period: 5.75

– Overall THOMPSONS STAIN & SEALER wood finish is a disappointment. Checkout out the consumer reviews from Thompsons, Lowes, Walmart, and Menards websites. You will read and see that this product does not work well and has consistent issues with failure.

Thompson’s Deck Stain Photo Issues


Product Information:

Cost: $24.99 per Gallon
Stain Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent
Available Colors: 4 Colors: Autumn Brown, Natural Cedar, Honey Gold, Timber Brown
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1 coat for most scenarios
Coverage Per Gallon: 150-200 Square Feet as Tested
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 48 Hours
Cleanup: Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
Manufacturer: Thompson’s

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine Deck
Deck Square Footage: 400 Square feet
UV Exposure: Full sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Natural Cedar

*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

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

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Lynwood Henson
Lynwood Henson
1 month ago

I used Thompsons Deck stain and Sealant on my new deck. After one year it looks horrible, fading and peeling. Never again. $3500.00 dollar deck has to be redone, what a waste of money and time on this product.

Paul Sullivan
Paul Sullivan
1 year ago

New deck 14×18 foot, preparing for gazebo installation on it. Used Thompsons signature series (transparent stain/sealer Timber Brown). Second biggest mistake in my life. First biggest mistake was buying it at 20.00+ per gallon. New wood deck, let it dry out for about a week. Rented floor (deck) sander and sanded deck. Used Thompsons above (see before and after photos). Thompsons, what happened to quality. Why has your quality fallen by the wayside like others. Your company used to be the “Go To” to get good high quality sealer….Now I’ve got to hire a professional crew to come out and remove the hundreds of dollars worth of stain and work that I did. I can’t afford to take off work to fix this. I don’t understand….do you not realize just how much wood (treated wood/lumber) cost today??? Let me give you a hint, they don’t give it away. All lumber and 6X6 timber, bolts, screws, nails, sander rental……I’ve got well over 1500.00 in materials not to mention the wasted money on the stain. All of this so my handicapped wife can enjoy being outside in the shade. Now it’s going to be a long time off before I can get this rectified.

Before Thompsons.jpg
After Thompsons.jpg
If Thompson’s wood sealer is no good what is the b
If Thompson’s wood sealer is no good what is the b
2 months ago

If Thompson’s wood sealer is no good what is the best product for decks and fences

Dick Pryse
Dick Pryse
9 months ago

4 years ago I applied Thompsons water seal and stain(transparent)Maple Brown. There’s not much of the transparent left after 4 years and I plan on sanding and power washing whatever is left on the deck.
Can I apply Thompsons water seal and stain(semi-transparent)Maple Brown, over Thompsons water seal and stain(transparent)Maple Brown?  

Lee Cromer
Lee Cromer
1 year ago

I bought this stain July 2020 after waiting a full year to stain it. This is the worse product ever, the color looked like Redwood not brown like the picture, didn’t soak into the wood laid on top like paint and it started peeling off in strips at around 6 months. I got my money back but now my deck looks awful and I’ll have to power wash it to remove this crap. Do not buy!!

1 year ago

I used Thompson clear water seal on vertical pine siding on a garage now im thinking of adding a color will the color still soak into the wood or will it dry and peal?Is there any other options to add stain to the siding?

Patrea Lamarre
Patrea Lamarre
1 year ago

We used Thompson’s Water Sealer on a new cedar deck last September It was applied with a brush. Half way through the year, the cedar looked dried out as if no sealer had ever been used. We recently cleaned the deck with a pressure washer, let it dry for a few days, then reapplied Thompson’s. It was awful. The sealer stayed tacky and black streaks appeared. After reading reviews today, I believe the black streaks were mildew that imbedded the wood, which indicates this products did not do what it says by sealing the wood. I now have one big mess and will have to strip the sealer that I just put on and reapply a DIFFERENT BRAND of sealer.This was a BIG WASTE of TIME and MONEY.

Dana Bunn
Dana Bunn
1 year ago

Worst deck stain ever! Bought it because we had used Thompson’s in the past. Stain was flaking off at 6 months!!! Removing it to restain has been a nightmare. Don’t use this product!

Paul Horrell
Paul Horrell
1 year ago

Thompsons is absolute garbage…more like melted crayon wax and paint, no penetration and adhesion to a meticulously and properly preparred and fresh sanded deck…literally a perfect situation for a deck stain to succeed. Best thing about it was it completely lifted in 2 years, so redoing with a quality stain now.

James Lawrence
James Lawrence
2 years ago

I did a Canadian Spruce Log Cabin 2 years ago. Peeling off in blotches now and the deck railings are coming apart. Used the deck stain, peeling off too. Would not use this product again and is going to be expensive to fix the damage this product has done.

2 years ago

How do you rate Thompson’s timber oil.

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