Thompson’s WaterSeal Finish Review 2.4/5 (176)

by Deck Stain Help
Thompson's WaterSeal

Thompson’s WaterSeal

Update 2019: Thompson’s WaterSeal Review

We would love to hear from you if you have used Thompson’s WaterSeal. Please post a rating in the Consumer Star Ratings below. Thompson’s WaterSeal has clearly not been a consumer favorite with deck sealers. Mainly as it does not offer any UV protection and it grays is months.

If you have any pictures of your experience with the Thompson’s WaterSeal you can add them in the comment area with a detailed description.


Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector is designed for all exterior wood and decking surfaces. This protection includes: Water repellency, prevents water damage, maintains natural wood grain, all while resisting mold growth. Thompson’s® WaterSeal® claim to fame is the ability to waterproof your exterior wood.

We tested the Thompson’s® WaterSeal® in the Clear finish.

Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8

– Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Clear did not alter or change the appearance of the wood. After full drying, we tested the ability to repel water. Water did bead on top of the finish and did not absorb into the wood.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 1

– As far as we can tell, Thompson’s® WaterSeal® does not prevent UV graying at all. This is a huge disappointment as preventing UV graying is the number one reason to stain your exterior wood and decking.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

– Thompson’s® WaterSeal® penetrates deep into the wood. There was no peeling or wearing. We would have given it a 10 if the product still repelled water but it did not.

Cost Per Square Foot: 9

– Thompson’s® WaterSeal® is a very inexpensive product to purchase and coverage is exceptional. Unfortunately the saying “you get what you pay for” applies here as the Thompson’s® WaterSeal® offers no UV protection whatsoever.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 2

– After 2 years the entire deck was covered in black mold. It seems that the oils used in Thompson’s® WaterSeal® feed and promotes the growth of mold spores.

Ease of Application: 8

– Since this is a clear product, Thompson’s® WaterSeal® applies extremely easy without the need to back wipe. Just apply with a pump sprayer or stain pad. This finish does not show overlap marks.

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: 6

– A heavy cleaning would be needed to remove all the graying and mold from the surface.

Overall Score Thompson’s® WaterSeal® at 2 Year Period: 6.125

– Overall Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Clear Plus wood finish is a “clear” disappointment. Any finish that offers zero ability to prevent UV graying should not be considered for your deck or exterior wood.

Product Information:

Cost: $24.99 per Gallon
Stain Type: Clear Water Repellent
Available Colors: Clear
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1 coat for most scenarios
Coverage Per Gallon: 200-300 Square Feet
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 48 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Thompson’s

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: Teak Decking
Deck Square Footage: 400 Square feet
UV Exposure: Full sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Clear


*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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Larry RUDISILL
Larry RUDISILL

What is in the clear Thompsons Waterseal? I keep reading that it is basically wax dissolved in mineral spirits but cannot find any information that proves the ingredients.

Emmitt Cohick
Emmitt Cohick

Ipe wood to follow up first questions. Thanks.

Emmitt Cohick
Emmitt Cohick

My Deck contractor just used Thompson’s water seal on my brand new deck and swears by it. I live in SoCal. I do not like the idea of some of these suggested oils that darken the wood. After looking at these awful reviews for Thompson’s, what is my next step??

Rookie deck owner

Larry Hackney
Larry Hackney

Can the wood be painted after water seal treatment?

Kathy
Kathy

Should this product be milky?

Delia brightly
Delia brightly

I am using semi transparent stain and sealer autumn brown. Can I add a anti skid to it and what kind? Thanks

June
June

Will my deck become slippery in the winter or will the ice and snow be easily removed?

Betty Dixon
Betty Dixon

This product is TERRIBLE! Sikkens seems to work the best in coastal areas.

Donna
Donna

Do I need to shake or stir Thompson’s water seal before applying it to a new deck. Deck installer said stir but clerk at store was going to shake it

blythe
blythe

we applied Thompsons water shield to our new deck last year. Over the winter, all surfaces that were not vertical – all the floor and seats – faded badly . The paint dealer says lots of people have reported the same problem . He has no answer to the problem. Surely we do not have to stain it every year??

Lori May
Lori May

I used Thompsons deck cleaner and washed with the hose. When I applied the Thompsons natural sealer, it left tiny bits on the finish. It seems to be interacting with the cleaner. When I apply to a piece of wood that hasn’t been cleaned, it doesn’t do this. Am I not rincing it well enough?

Charles Larson
Charles Larson

Review of Thompson’s advanced water based stain ? Prod #: THC051711

Mak
Mak

Used on deck boards. Less then a year later it’s all peeled up and looks like shit. Two other families I know have used it and have had the same experience. STAY AWAY.

Bubba
Bubba

My deck was sanded and blond I applied Thompson’s clear and now it’s a gray/ brown color I hope when it dries that what they say is true and the natural color comes back, “Maintains woods natural color” I’m doubting it,

Homer Ward
Homer Ward

Can you stain a color over Thompson water sealer

Sally
Sally

I used Thompson’s Water Seal Oil Based Stain (Hazelnut) on my new deck and there are silver or white spots that have appeared after 2 weeks. Spots are mostly around knot wholes in the wood. I pressure washed my deck before applying the stain. What would cause this?

Tim
Tim

I used the clear over Home depot pressure treated cedar tone wood. After it dried and even a year later the color is rubbing off. I’m not sure if its this product or the wood.

Margaret foley
Margaret foley

I purchased 3 cans. Two at one location And one at another. The first 2 cans were clear and liquid and the last one was much thicker and a little opaque. All cans are exactly the same Thompson’s water seal plus. Why the difference.

dhansen
dhansen

dhansen from Toledo,OH. here I work at a Home Improvement Store,.. we stress to people that the Batch Number should all match when purchasing any type of Paints or Stains or varnishes anything that has will cause color change to any project. the reason is simple but most are not aware of… the batches in which products are made in,.. numbers matching are all made of the Exact same recipe,quantities of ingredients or chemicals. the next batch may ( Possibly ) & ( May ) Very Just enough to cause these color changes. Just some Friendly F.Y.I. Take Care & Best of Luck – Always. Most Sincerely, dhansen from Toledo, OH.

Michael Stein
Michael Stein

This product is not suitable to be sprayed from a garden sprayer. It’s viscosity is that of house paint. Don’t purchase if you plan to apply by spraying. Very frustrating and time consuming to apply. Will not be purchasing this again.

Jo Camp
Jo Camp

I agree this product is not suitable to sprayed from any sprayer. I’m not sure in the change in the product because have always used before with sprayer and it did a great job. Will not purchase Thompson’s again. Had to hand brush lattice work which took hours. Even spraying on floor boards and fencing spray turned out terrible. Again will not purchase ever again

dhansen
dhansen

There is a Paint sprayer that can be used for such projects, I don’t know if it still around,.. Hopefully it was called The ” Wagner Power Painter/Sprayer” it was designed to have a Multi – Purpose Function in mind. Good Luck & Best Wishes,…I hope things work out for the Best Guy’s. dhansen from Toledo,OH.

Steve
Steve

As suggested we applied with a hand held sprayer, which coated the deck thick like paint. Now we’ve spent too much trying to remove it. Brand new deck looks like crap. Used Thompsons stripper…garbage
Tried to contact the company for advice, cannot get in touch with anyone and they haven’t replied after a couple weeks.
Id strongly suggest you research more and avoid this product.

henry wisnieske
henry wisnieske

I used the Thompson’s water seal wood stain & sealer in woodland sealer on rough cedar in the Texas Hill Country and on the west side the stain is half gone from pealing. the sun is killing the stain. the north side is not bad. sanded down and started to re-apply but after reading the reviews I think I am going to be wasting my time ( even though I have 3 gallons I can’t take back.) covered porch is made with deck wood Pine and has 100’s of tiny places that are peeling. Can I paint over this mess with a porch paint after sanding.

Monica
Monica

Applied 2 years ago on my summer trailer deck. After one season – patches off, looked worse than before. Last year sanded down stairs – to the bare wood – and applied it again (did not touch the deck) – came this year in May and almost cried – the worst product! Should be pulled off the shelves. Took me 2 days to strip it from the stairs – first deck stripper (Sico) than today run over with mineral spirits (had 2 rainy days in between). Thompson is gone but my arms and hands are dying. Lot’s of scrubbing.
Do not buy it. Stay away.
I usually google stuff before I buy – I didn’t with Thompson so I paid high price for it.
YES – mold grows on it like crazy!
When went to the store to grab stripper and showed them the picture they said – that’s what Thompson does sad
Both deck stripper and mineral spirits worked, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to strip it off the deck – too big. Maybe I’ll wait until next year when more of that nasty stuff will come off by itself.
the problem is I hate bare wood, looks like unfinished to me. They told me it will be hard to stain it again after stripping. Was wondering if oiling would work, will have to try.
Picture shows stairs 3 weeks ago before stripping Thompson.

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Robert Miller
Robert Miller

Had same problem, over the winter the nut meg stain looked like the skin on a 105 year old person .
I power washed it and removed most of it. Our sections I used heavy duty deck stripper and then applied 3 in 1 deck cleaner and brightner, Right now waiting for warmer and dry weather in northern Ontario Canada.
Planning on using Thompson clear waterseal. Am told it is a different base and will not go waving and wrinkly

Robert Vanelli
Robert Vanelli

Just like everyone else, after the one year mark there is tons of mold growing on it and it turned gray. It’s also change colors with spots of white. It’s a terrible product

LeeAnn
LeeAnn

Di you make a eco friendly product that won’t change the colour of my deck

Joe King
Joe King

I used Thompson’s clear stain for several years until last summer switched to one of their coloured stains. Over the winter , sections of the deck that were exposed to the elements started to peel and after scrubbing and hosing this spring, most parts of the coloured portions came off and even looks like the original clear stain seems to have lifted too.
Any suggestions on what went wrong ?

Jeri Motsick
Jeri Motsick

What kind of oils are contained in Thonpson’s Water Seal?

Kyle Un
Kyle Un

Its is a parrafin oil, aka WAX. Short cut product. AVOID

jerry shulak
jerry shulak

Applied Thompson’s waterseal as per manufacturer recommendation .

looked good after 1 month . 3 monthes later peeling and flaking , will have to do over entire deck

Complete waste of money !

NOT RECOMMENDED

Joe
Joe

new wood deck from Menards. Seasoned for a year. Looked perfect for the summer after staining then during winter about 75% peeled off and faded . I have to strip and restore with another product. Waste of money

Sandy Carter
Sandy Carter

thompson water seal to tick for sprayer – how do you thin it down?

DonS
DonS

Deck was pressure-washed and cleaned ahead of time. The new formulation of Waterseal (milky white) does NOT cover as effectively as the old oil-based finish. It also takes forever to dry and heaven forbid it should rain during the next 24 hours. My deck is a complete mess. Almost bad enough I’m considering replacing the entire gooey mess.

Juls
Juls

Deck was cleaned and prepped, and product applied per instructions, Redwood semi-solid product failed within 3 months. Bad enough if a clear coating fails but the colored product peeling made the deck look worse than before we applied it. If there was an overall negative star rating that’s what it would get.

Kathy
Kathy

Have white spots all over my deck and floor of deck is graying in color, just stained the deck last year. Terrible product and waste of moneyl!!

Jon
Jon

Have white spots all over my treated deck after dealing with Thompson.s. Never had this problem before. Why did this happen?

Tom Innes
Tom Innes

Did some more research on this product and it keeps coming back the same. GARBAGE! don’t waste your time and money. They shouldn’t be allowed to even sell this.

cynthia
cynthia

We also followed the instructions for our new cedar deck and used Thompson’s tinted. Overlaps were obvious, and everything not under cover washed away over the mild Pacific NW winter. Seems others have similar experiences.

Tom Innes
Tom Innes

I used Thompson water seal on my pressure treated deck. It peeled of over the winter and looks terrible.

Matt Miklos
Matt Miklos

I used this crap for the last time! I followed all of my clean up and prep. to a tee. This was in Sept.2018 ideal temperature day. Everywhere I applied this product is wearing away and looks like hell. I will never buy it again!!

Amy
Amy

This is the most disappointing product I have ever used. It completely faded and would peel off with ease during the first year. What a waste of money!!!!

KLS
KLS

Had to replace 75% of my wood privacy fence after hurricane Irma. Waited 8-10 weeks before using paint sprayer to apply water based clear Thompson’s water seal (not the stain). They also back brushed it for better coverage. The parts of the fence that are exposed to sun 95% of the day are gray and the fence looks old and it hasn’t even been 18 months. The part of the fence that doesn’t get sun has green mold (Florida mold) on it. None of the fence is beading from rain. I think it beaded for a grand total of one month. Will not be using this product ever again.

Malice_Alyce
Malice_Alyce

I trusted Thompson’s claims in their commercials and ended up the next summer with a greyed-out deck and BLACK MOLD. We had a hot summer last year, my deck is in the full sun and after I power washed it, waited a week in 85-92 degree weather for it to dry out. Spent the best part of my week painting the deck and rails with this stuff to find the next summer that it was pointless. Stains on the deck from where leaves had fallen on it, black mold, algae, and it’s greyed out. Looks like CRAP.

sue
sue

bought a five gallon “autumn brown” Started staining the fence. It was darker than i expected, but I thought it would lighten. Did one side of the house. It ended up being a redwood color. Called the store to see if the other containers were that color also, But they were not. they were a darker brown that on the picture also. They did refund my money, and told me the good news is, I should be able to water pressure it off next year, because it doesn’t last long. Needless to say, I wont be using Thompsons again. And am very disappointed .

Arnold
Arnold

Prepped surface and applied as per manufacturers directions. Grayed out in less than 1 season. Always felt oily to the touch. Never sealed properly. A huge pain to strip/clean and prep wood for new type of coating after using Thompsons. Would never buy again.

Jackie
Jackie

This is horrible! This is what happened after 1 year. Such a bummer. Powered washed before and applied after deck was dried for a couple of days. This review is for the Thompson all in one stain and sealer.

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Kathy
Kathy

Same happened to my deck floor and the rest of deck has white spots all over. Terrible product!!!!

Kari
Kari

3 cans of Sierra Brown deck stain and 2 of them were no good. All the color was congealed at the bottom. Waste of money, time, and energy.

Heather Melvin
Heather Melvin

Aren’t you supposed to shake the can prior to using ?

Kari
Kari

Seriously? Yes of course i did that. The color was gummy and chunky, not fluid.

naseem
naseem

how long does the Thompson stain take to dry

Ed Zeidler
Ed Zeidler

I bought 3 Thompson’s Water Seal aerosol cans, and all of them stopped spraying before they were half used. Two stopped spraying almost instantly. This product sucks.

LeAnn Knoles
LeAnn Knoles

Exactly! 2 cans here too. Now I get to drive 45 minutes to Lowes to exchange for another brand. So much for getting a bamboo privacy fence up this weekend.

Alan Smith
Alan Smith

The sealer is best on fences since they are vertical and weather from rain less. Two coat flat decks and support trims on fences. Others cost twice as much and don’t do twice the quality. Have used Thompson’s for 30 years and four different houses and sold all four the first day! Can’t go wrong with the honey almond and autumn brown’s. Love it!

David South
David South

I am not sure why Thompson’s stain gets such bad reviews. Have used it for years. I have also used other stains at 2 to 3 times the cost. More expensive stains, from my experience do not justify the cost. I have found that Thompson’s will last anywhere from 6 month to 2 years, depending on the weather. And from my experience, it is all weather. In the shade, I have had Thompson’s last up to 2 years. Where as in hot sun 16 hours a day will just fade (as do other expensive brands). If you want to spend $30 – 50 a gallon for supposed high quality stains, be my guest – I just have not had great experience with those high price brands.

DonS
DonS

Because they changed the formulation. It used to be oil based AND CLEAR. Now it’s a milky white gooey gunk that doesn’t spray easily and doesn’t cover the way it did in the past. I’ve used Thompsons for years on three houses. I’ll never buy another can.

John
John

I put this on my deck at the trailer an when I went back the following year most of it was gone an what was left was moldy this stuff is Crap

john
john

Agreed, it did not do a good job

Marilyn
Marilyn

So disappointed! Less than a year after applying this to our deck most of it is gone. We have to spend more money and do it all over again. It WILL NOT BE THOMPSONS this time!

Alan Smith
Alan Smith

Use outdoor bleach first and burn the mold and garbage out first. Do the deck twice with the Thompson’s.

Steve
Steve

Less than 1 year after application most is peeled off! Very dissatisfied with product! Will go with Behr stain next time! What a RIP off!

Billy
Billy

forget about behr that is the reason I am searching