Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector Review  2.5/5 (264)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

Thompson's WaterSeal

Thompson’s WaterSeal

Thompsons Deck Stain RatingThompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector is designed for all exterior wood and decking surfaces. It’s supposed to provide water repellency, prevent water damage, maintain natural wood grain, and resist mold growth. But this Thompson’s WaterSeal product has clearly not been a consumer favorite with professional deck restorers, largely because it doesn’t offer any UV protection and grays in just a few months.

If you have any experience with this product, we’d love it if you shared your Thompson’s WaterSeal reviews and photos in the comment area below.

Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Waterproofer Ratings (Out of 10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8

This Thompson’s WaterSeal clear waterproofer did not alter the appearance of the wood. After it was fully dry, we tested its ability to repel water, and 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, this Thompson’s WaterSeal product 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

The Thompson’s WaterSeal clear waterproofer 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 at the 2-year mark, it did not.

Cost per Square Foot: 9

Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector is a very inexpensive product, and its coverage is exceptional. Unfortunately, the saying “you get what you pay for” applies here, as this Thompson’s WaterSeal product 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 Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector feed and promote the growth of mold spores.

Ease of Application: 8

Since this is a clear product, it applies extremely easily without the need to back wipe. Just apply it with a pump sprayer or stain pad. This finish does not show overlap marks.

Color Shifting (Darkening) After 2 Years: 7

This product darkens in color because there was a good amount of mold growing in the finish.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 6

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

Overall Score: 6.125

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

Photos of Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Waterproofer’s Effects

Product Information

  • Cost: $34.99 per gallon
  • Stain Type: Clear water repellent
  • Available Colors: Clear
  • Application Temperature: 45-95 degrees F
  • Coats Required: 1
  • Coverage per Gallon: 200-300 square feet
  • Application Tools: Sprayer, pad, brush, roller
  • Dry Time: 48 hours
  • Cleanup: Mineral spirits
  • VOC Compliance: 250 compliant in all states
  • More Info: Product Data
  • Manufacturer: Thompson’s

About Our Test Deck

  • Deck Wood Type: Teak
  • 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.

Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Waterproofer FAQs

Is Thompson’s WaterSeal Any Good?

Our experience with Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector was disappointing overall, and we would not recommend this product. Its inability to prevent UV graying is too harmful to your deck’s wood.

What’s Better Than Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer?

Restore-A-Deck Semi-transparent Stain and Armstrong-Clark Transparent Stain are two excellent alternatives to Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector.

How Long Does Thompson’s WaterSeal Last?

Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector claims to last for up to 4 years when applied correctly. In our experience, it held up well but no longer repelled water after 6-12 months.

Is Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproof?

Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector is made to waterproof exterior wood.

Can You Use Too Much Thompson’s WaterSeal?

Yes: Applying too much Thompson’s WaterSeal clear waterproofer will significantly increase the amount of time it takes to dry, and it may not dry properly at all.

Does Thompson WaterSeal Protect Wood?

Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector is intended to protect wood, as the name would indicate, but our testing produced dismal results. It does a very poor job of preventing black mold and UV graying, two things that are very harmful to the wood.

Is Thompson’s WaterSeal Water- or Oil-Based?

Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector is an oil-based product.

How Do You Use Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector?

This product is easy to apply with either a stain pad or a pump sprayer.

Does Thompson’s WaterSeal Contain Silicone?

No, this Thompson’s WaterSeal product does not contain silicone.

Does Thompson’s WaterSeal Come in Different Colors?

This particular product is clear, but they also make Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer products that include Thompson’s stain in different colors.

How Many Coats of Thompson’s WaterSeal Do I Need?

In most cases, you will only require one coat.

Can Thompson’s WaterSeal Be Used on Stained Wood?

No, Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector cannot be applied over stained wood, regardless of whether the stain was oil- or water-based.

Does Thompson’s WaterSeal Darken Wood?

Our review of Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector found that it did darken wood over time due to the large amount of black mold that grew in the finish.

How Long Does Thompson’s WaterSeal Take to Dry?

The Thompson’s WaterSeal dry time is approximately 4-24 hours before it is considered safe to walk on.

At What Temperature Can You Apply Thompson’s WaterSeal?

The application temperature for Thompson’s WaterSeal products is between 45°F and 95°F.

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

author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
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.

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Dorothy DeJager
Dorothy DeJager
1 year ago

Don’t waste your money on this product. We prepared my large deck. Applied the Thompson water seal transparent on the deck in May of last yr. I spent alot of money on this product. Now that it is spring the stain is almost off, now need to rent a sander to get the rest of it off. This product is awful does not even seem to soak into the wood. I am so glad that I didn’t do my front deck with this product.

Jim Skewis
Jim Skewis
1 year ago

Waited 1&1/2 years to treat new deck. Did all prep work applied in August come spring deck is peal and looks terrible . Can not get through on Thompsons phone line or email. Not happy

Kate Russell
Kate Russell
2 years ago

We didn’t like how red (almost pinkish) after applying the Thompson’ seal and stain in cedar to our new fencing. We did not over appy and followed directions. Thought it might tone down after a day, but it’s still hard to look at. So now we need to spend more money to find some other product to redo the whole fence to get a more true cedar look. Really disappointed!!

Maxine
Maxine
2 months ago

Can you still buy this product

Denis Clarke
Denis Clarke
11 months ago

don’t confuse Thompson’s water seal with Thompson’s water seal waterproofer plus. the water proofer plus is an excellent product and yes with uv protection. it’s oil based and deeply penetrates into the wood. doesn’t sit on the surface like a stain. there is nothing to peel or wear .I just clean and reapply every two years and deck looks great

Kelly
Kelly
1 year ago

I’m water pooling a shade structure over a koi pond How long does it need to cure so it for it to be safe if it rains so it doesn’t hurt the fish

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

Will applying Thompson’s clear water seal to rough red cedar affect it’s insect repellant qualities?

Dinah Johnson
Dinah Johnson
1 year ago

I think I used to much it’s been 4 days and it won’t dry what can I do?

Dorothy Rodgers
Dorothy Rodgers
1 year ago

Want to know since Tho
psons is no good for decks whether to use paint or is there any preservative good! It takes a lot of time to do things right and since we have been dealing with CHINA, I lost all my respect! Everything we get is from China and yes all is TRASH!

Ed Schmidt
Ed Schmidt
1 year ago

I have interior wood Latvia’s that look dry! What do you recommend?

Randy Marshall
Randy Marshall
1 year ago

I am doing a small outdoor project using 1/2″ plywood and would like to know the best sealer to use on the surface and sides. The plywood will be exposed year round. The plywood does have some small knots on both sides and some small voids on the edges. I need to do both sides. I guess what I am asking is, what do I do to make my project water proof? Since the rest of the project is natural unstained cedar it would be nice to have the plywood be cedar color or a brown color.

I was going to use Thompson Water Sealer but after reading this article that is not going to happen so i need something different but still economical.

Comments / suggestions would be most welcomed.

Thank you

Randy Marshall
Calgary, Alberta
Canada

Leon Carroll
Leon Carroll
1 year ago

It used to be one of the best products on the market until the EPA made them change the their formula. It is now fair at the very best. I would not use it or recommend it to anyone.

Doug
Doug
1 year ago

Water Based Nightmare!!
Seems that not too many have good results with this product. I have used it for the last 9 years on my deck and redo every 3 years. The deck does get dirty from the crap from the trees and the dirt in the air. I pressure wash the seams between boards and use bleach to clean the boards before re-applying Thompson’s Clear Sealer. BUT – since everything is now ‘safe for the environment’ I can only get the water based version of this product. I did about 100 sq feet with the oil based stuff I had left over from last sealing and the rest (500sq feet) with the new water based crap. And it is very crappy looking compared to the oil based product.
I guess I will live with this until midsummer and hope that it all fades. Otherwise I will go get a sander and refinish the entire surface. Maybe I can still get the oil based product in the states..

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Melissa Hair
Melissa Hair
2 years ago

We were told to wait at least a year before staining our new deck with Thompson’s Water Seal and Stain. We stained last fall. This is what it looks like less than 7 months later. We applied a thin coat of stain to dry deck boards. Not very happy with the results and not real sure how we can fix this horrible mess. Suggestions appreciated.

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Debora Baird
Debora Baird
2 years ago

Used this on several items. Looks awful after one year.

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Cheryl Houseknecht
Cheryl Houseknecht
2 years ago

Why won’t this dry? I used it on a bench which must dry for people to sit on but now I have to sand it back down so I can use something else on it. Not happy at all with this product!!!!!! I got it at Lowes and I am not sure if it is not any good or not but it looks milky and it should be clear. I will never buy this again.

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Rose Ford
Rose Ford
2 years ago

Put the sealer on my deck used cedar and it’s coming off within a year and a half. What went wrong?

Rose Ford
Rose Ford
2 years ago

So what sealer/stain is quality and do I need to sand the deck. I need to know what steps to take to redo my deck. Thank you so much for your input.

Rose ford
Rose ford
2 years ago

Thank you!

Dewey
Dewey
2 years ago

Spent several days cleaning my 300 sq ft deck with pressure washer. Let the deck dry for about a week (no rain). Bought a gallon of Thompson’s clear and sprayed on with a pump sprayer. The Thompson’s gunked up about an hour after it was applied. Hour or two later there was a chalked substance on the surface of the wood. Used a steel brush to remove it. Wood surface has yet to dry completely after 3 days and is so slick, slippery you can hardly walk on it. The wood is now very dark as if it had been a fire. Thompson’s solution is to take sealer back for a refund. Junk.. Anyone know what to do next?

Dewey
Dewey
2 years ago

The surface is so slick that you can’t walk on it. Also, when I go out to cook on the deck, I have to wear booties to prevent tracking up my hardwood and rugs inside.

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Dewey
Dewey
2 years ago

Thank you Einstein! Your product is the worst!

Dewey
Dewey
2 years ago

I thought you were Thompson’s.. I truly apologize. Thanks for your suggestion.

Diane Litster
Diane Litster
2 years ago

we applied the product a week ago and it will not dry, very sticky, stepping on it sticks to the shoes and we ended up with the sticky shoe prints through my dinning room floor. We cannot get it off my floor. I’ve since returned the product got my money back. But now i have damage to my floors. I am very very disappointed in it. I will not recommend this product. In order to get my deck back I am going to have to buy paint thinner to remove it they the store manager said. And it will take a lot I imagine. Grrr I am not a happy camper with this product.

Last edited 2 years ago by Diane Litster
Rich W
Rich W
2 years ago

Was very disappointed with “Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector” This was the “Clear” version of the product, with no Tint or Stain.
I have a video of the application but was limited to a snapshot of the video, due to upload size limitations. Even from the attached snapshot, you can see the product turned my wood much darker than the original color. Definitely, NOT CLEAR.
I power washed the wood over a week ago, and following the direction on the can, made sure the wood was dry, the can was well shaken, and it was above 50 degrees. The attached picture was a second attempt, done with a hand roller as shown in the Thompson’s site video applying the product and using a minimal amount of the product. This is 36 hours after I applied the product, and I do not see it lightening up any, to match my original wood color.
As you can “clearly” see (sorry for the pun) the wood is a much darker color than my original wood color. I also did another attempt and used a small sprayer to apply the product and ended up with the same outcome.

If you need to be a professional painter to use this product, they shouldn’t sell it to the layperson.

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David Shortliff
David Shortliff
2 years ago

Is 2 coats of Thompson’s WaterSealer/Advanced on a decks bettwr than I coat?

Dan Holmes
Dan Holmes
2 years ago

We had a New 14′ x 12′ deck built in November 2020. We sealed it in March 2021 with Thompson All in One Stain and Sealer Honey Gold. It is now Going into July 2021 and i have black streaks dots and spots all over where the sun hits. Tried to use Valspar Deck cleaner today with no such luck on the black coming off, or the streaks. It now has a white bleach look. I’m lost at what to do next!

Dan Holmes
Dan Holmes
2 years ago

Thank You. I kind of figured that is what i was going to have to do. I have been searching for the best stain, cleaner and brightener to use. No more Being Cheap!

Greg
Greg
2 years ago

Looked good first summer. Winter and snow came and in the spring at least 50% was gone. Two years 90% gone. Very dissatisfied.

Lori Patton
Lori Patton
2 years ago

Can you reapply the clear watersealant a year later with out removing the previous application?

Missie
Missie
2 years ago

Why won’t it work with a sprayer. I tried 2 different sprayers and all the different tips. It seems to be to thick. What do I do to make sprayer work???

Barbara Weisser
Barbara Weisser
3 years ago

Very dissatisfied with Thompsons product. Peeling and white color when wet. I now have to remove what is left on porch before re staining with oil base stain. because Thompsons did not last for two years my porch became weather damaged and the color is uneven. Again, VERY dissatisfied😠

Bill
Bill
3 years ago

Applied water seal last summer, it began peeling and flaking over the winter, now this spring I will have to redo the whole deck. I’ll find another product and hope for better results. I will not recommend this product.

John
John
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I’m in the same boat. Very disappointing.

David Mccall
David Mccall
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I’ve used this product for several years. It looks good after applying but doesn’t last. I apply every spring. Starts flaking in winter and looks horrible by spring. I would change product but I would have to restain the vertical slats to match the planks. I reapply every spring to the horizontal planks and touch up the rest of the deck. It would be best to avoid this product from the start.

Kim Wendel
Kim Wendel
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Mine also started flaking about 3 weeks later. I worked so hard on staying my deck and I am very disappointed.

Debbie
Debbie
3 years ago

I used this last year. Completely pressure washed the whole deck and waited a week to be sure it was dried before I applied the stain. Went on good, looked good. Dried quickly. It rained about a week later and noticed it repelled good, but it left water rings. Got thru the winter and half of the stain has peeled up everywhere by spring. I couldn’t believe it. Will not use this product again. Deck paint would have held up better. Very disappointed.

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