The Best Solid Deck Stains for 2024 – Pro Contractor Reviewed  4.8/5 (16)

This post was updated on May 13, 2024

I am Scott Paul, a leading exterior restoration contractor and business owner with over 30 years of experience in exterior wood. My reviews and help tips are based on my history as a wood restoration contractor and actual hands-on testing, all designed to present you with the top product choices. See here for more info about me.

What are the Best Solid Color Deck Stains

The Best Solid Color Deck Stains

The Best Solid Color Deck Stains

Some new solid-color stains have been introduced in the last few years and are better than previous products due to technological enhancements. Previously, solid deck stains were less reliable and could peel or wear over time. Luckily, newer products show less wear and peeling when tested.

Read on for a closer look at my best-rated solid deck stains and a few things to consider before buying a solid deck stain.

5 Things I Consider Before Buying a Solid Deck Stain

Are you trying to find the best solid stain for decks? Here are a few things to consider when comparing options. 

1. Existing Paint or Stain on Your Deck

Generally speaking, removing an old deck stain or coating before applying a new one is a good idea. Applying an acrylic-based solid stain on top of an existing oil-based stain can cause peeling, separation, or blistering. Similarly, painting over an acrylic-based stain with a fresh oil-based stain may prevent the stain from absorbing into the deck. 

2. Deck Material

Solid deck stain is just that: solid. As a result, applying a solid stain will conceal your deck’s natural grain and hue. If you’d prefer a more natural look, a semi-transparent stain may be a better fit for your deck.

3. Stain Base

As mentioned above, you’ll typically need to choose between two stain bases: oil and acrylic. Take a closer look at the differences: 

  • Oil-based stains generally are more durable and penetrate the wood more effectively, resulting in a potentially longer-lasting stain. That said, oil-based stains may be messier and can have strong fumes. 
  • Acrylic-based stains have a water base and may have fewer fumes, less volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and be easier to apply.

4. Extra Defense Against the Elements

The best solid deck stains come with added protection against weather, wear, and tear, such as: 

  • Water repellents
  • UV protection
  • Mold and mildew prevention 
  • Anti-slip protection

If you live in a sunny or damp climate or your deck experiences high foot traffic, you may consider purchasing a fortified deck stain to keep your coating looking fresh. 

5. Application and Drying Time

Finally, consider application methods and required drying time. Before selecting a solid deck stain, consider the following: 

  • How long does the stain take to dry? Fast-drying deck stains may mean you can use your deck faster, but slower-drying stains are typically more durable and user-friendly when it comes to application. 
  • How much surface prep is required? Can you remove flaking paint and dirt with a scrub brush, or will you need to strip old stain from your deck?
  • Does the stain need a second coat? If so, you must wait for the first coat to dry before applying the second. 

My Solid Color Deck Stain Reviews for 2024

My favorite deck stains have always been penetrating semi-transparent stains. These stain types allow the wood grain to show, and if they truly soak into the wood grain, reapplying is easier down the road. In my opinion, solid color deck stains have always been a “last resort” coating. I have not been a huge fan of the appearance or performance of solid deck stains, but I understand that they are needed. That being said, some tremendous solid-color deck stains are on the market for the 2024 deck staining season.

Best Solid Stain for Wood Decks

1. Restore-A-Deck Solid Color Deck Stain Rating

Restore A Deck Solid Color Stain Review

Restore A Deck Solid Color Stain Review

  • My favorite solid color deck stain. It is easy to apply and comes in stock colors.

Restore A Deck Solid Color Stain is our go-to Solid Color Stain for 2024 due to its ease of use, 5 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.

Note: Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain is the only stain I have seen that can be applied to dry or damp wood. Applying damp wood allows you to prep and stain on the same day, saving you a tremendous amount of time.

Stain Type: Solid Color (Opaque) Wood Stain – Water Based

Available in Pre-Mixed Solid Colors: Classic White, Coastal Gray, Desert Taupe, Cypress, Brown Oak

My DeckStainHelp.com Rating(On a Scale of 1-10): 8.88

See My Review Article Here: Restore-A-Deck Solid Stains

Where to Buy Online: Restore-A-Deck Solid Color Stain

2. Defy Extreme Solid Stains Rating

DEFY Solid Color Wood Stain Review

  • My favorite solid color deck stain when looking for custom colors.

DEFY Extreme Solid Color Wood Stain is a synthetic-resin, opaque wood and deck finish that helps protect against water, mildew, mold, algae, and UV radiation on exterior wood surfaces. This VOC-compliant water-based product provides a beautiful finish fortified with transparent “oxide” based nano-particles. Over 30 TRILLION Nano-particles per square inch provide extreme protection for your wood by blocking out the sun’s harmful UV rays, moisture, and fungal growth.

Stain Type: Solid Color (Opaque) Wood Stain – Water Based

Custom-Mixed Solid Colors: Custom tinted to any color.

My DeckStainHelp.com Rating (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.5

See My Review Article Here: Defy Extreme Solid Stains

Where to Buy Online: Defy Extreme Solid Wood Stain

3. Flood Pro Series Solid Stain Rating

Flood Pro Series Solid Color Stain Review

Flood Pro Series Solid Color Stain Review

  • My favorite solid color deck stain that can be found in local stores.

Flood Pro Series Solid Color Stain is an all-in-one advanced stain and sealant that protects wood from moisture and sun damage while adding rich, opaque color. A 100% acrylic formula provides excellent adhesion and durability. It’s also urethane-fortified to resist cracking and peeling and offers a rainresistant finish within 12 hours. Powerful UV absorbers protect against fading and UV damage. It provides a mildew-resistant finish.

Stain Type: Solid Color (Opaque) Wood Stain – Water Based

Custom-Mixed Solid Colors: Tintable to over 120 colors

DeckStainHelp.com Rating (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.0

See My Review Article Here: Flood Solid Color Stains

Best Solid Stain for Decks FAQs

Am I still learning about the best solid-color deck stain? Check out my FAQs for more information.

What’s the difference between a solid deck stain and deck paint?

The main difference between deck stain and deck paint is how each product absorbs into the wood. Deck paint is thicker than solid deck stain and coats the wood, while deck stain, on the other hand, usually soaks into the wood. Application methods and density may also differ. 

What’s the advantage of using solid color deck stain?

A solid deck stain can hide unwanted knots and textures in your wooden deck. It may also provide a protective barrier from the elements, helping keep your deck in tip-top shape longer.

How long will solid deck stain last?

Solid deck stain longevity can vary depending on the stain used. However, some solid stains can last up to 5 years with proper care.

How many coats of solid deck stain is optimal?

The optimal number of solid deck stain coats can vary depending on the type of wood you’re painting. Two coats are the general rule of thumb, with some hardwoods only requiring one.

Is it better to brush or roll solid deck stain?

I recommend a hybrid approach when applying solid deck stain: Use a roller brush to apply the first coat of paint, then smooth out any drips or bumps with a paintbrush. 

My Solid Color Deck Stain Maintenance Tips

Are you looking to change from a solid-colored deck stain to a transparent or semi-transparent stain? To do this, you will need to fully remove the current solid stain. See the link below for tips.

How to Remove A Solid Color Deck Stain

One question I often get at DeckStainHelp.com is how to prepare for reapplying a solid-color deck stain. Is it necessary to remove the prior stain first? See the link below for my reapplication tips.

How to Reapply a Solid Color Deck Stain

Sanding a deck can seem like a big project. Fortunately, all it takes is a little preparation to prepare your deck for a fresh coat of stain. But if you’re not sure how to sand a deck or the best way to sand a deck, you’re in luck. My deck sanding guide will walk you through the process and offer insights and tips from our team to make the job a breeze.

How to Sand a Solid Color Deck Stain

The Best Solid Color Deck Stain Photos

The Best Solid Color Deck Stain Video – DeckStainHelp.com

Solid Color Opaque Deck Stain Rating Questions

Please ask below if you have questions about my solid color deck stains review. For a more in-depth article on “What is The Best Deck Stain for Your Deck,” see this article: What is the Best Deck Stain.

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.

Related Deck Stain Help Articles & Reviews

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Tim
Tim
6 days ago

We stained our previously unfinished but well aged cedar deck with BM Arborcoat Solid Stain. It’s not peeling or flaking, but it’s a dark ebony color and always looks dusty dirty. Can we recoat with the same color but in some other more durable brand? Would a topcoat help?

randy
randy
20 days ago

Scott I have 20 year old stamped concrete deck with layers of stain and paint, ready to grind them off. the stamped imprint has the gulleys, which have always been a challenge to get down into to care for and remove old
besides the mid range rating for olympic rescue max and the behr advanced deckover stains, was looking for other product reviews. what do you like?. thanks in advance

randy
randy
19 days ago

no problem, thanks for getting back on a sunday,

i saw you weren’t super high on the olympic max or the behr deckover, so thought you might have come across one you liked better, I;m sure one of those two would work a-ok

randy
randy
19 days ago

thanks, will give it a try!

Tomek
Tomek
10 months ago

I started power sanding my deck, but have neither time nor patience to sand all the railings. It was last stained in 2019 with Cabot Gold Finish Satin (fireside cherry – dark red). The decking is flaking bad but the vertical railings look pretty good still.

I’m thinking of power sanding, cleaning, brightening, and TWC 100 on the decking.

For the railings however, I wonder if I could apply Restore-A-Deck Solid Color (white or taupe) over the existing dark red Cabot Gold Finish without sanding it off? If possible, how should I prep the railings?

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Julie
Julie
11 months ago

I have sanded my older deck because it was flaking so bad. I am now wanting to use Restore-a-Deck or Defy solid stain. Before I apply the stain, should I use the cleaner and brightener? Also, what is the difference between Defy solid color stain and Defy Extreme solid color stain? Thank you.

Julie
Julie
11 months ago

Here are pictures of the deck that we just sanded. I still need to sweep off the dust from sanding. I don’t need to power wash do I?

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Tomas
Tomas
1 year ago

Whats the best solid stain that is the easiest to clean with just water after footprints are left behind

Linda
Linda
1 year ago

Are you familiar with storm 4 solid stain and if so, what do you think of the product?

Keith
Keith
1 year ago

Hello, We have a 3 month old deck that we would like to stain the pressure treated posts a solid black in the near future. 1. What prep is needed before staining? 2. What solid black stain do you recommend? I am considering ordering from a Defy authorized dealer who offers a custom black color. Thanks for your time.

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Mary
Mary
1 year ago

I need to match a red color in a solid stain. I can’t find flood or defy locally or a sample online to be able to match. and RAD doesn’t have red. What do you think about Storm cat 4 endura deck stain.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago

Hi,
I have a new covered pressure treated porch and looking for the recommended stain for opaque grey and white. Attached a pic from this site to show what we’re trying for (maybe even a little darker grey for the deck). Any recommendations?
thanks
Bob

deck.jpg
Chris
Chris
1 year ago

I’m getting ready to refinish three decks – all have used Behr semi-transparent acryllic stain in the past – assuming I prep correctly (power washing, cleaning, brightening), would I need to sand any places where the stain is still in good shape? I plan on giving the lid of the deck a good sanding, but would prefer to avoid sanding the ballusters as they’re in good condition as far as the stain goes and a huge pain in the butt to sand. We’re going with the Flood as it’s available locally and tintable to my wife’s color preference. Using the Defy cleaning/brightening kit

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

Sorry – going with the Flood Pro-Series Solid Stain. Should have clarified.

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

Hmm. Last comment never showed up… Sorry – I should have clarified – we’re switching to the Flood Solid Stain. Would the solid stain adhere to acrylic stain in good condition?

(edit- and now, of course, my first reply showed up… ;))

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris
Joey
Joey
1 year ago

I have deck that has already black stain which is peeling. I am planning to sand it. Not sure everything will come off. I want to use black solid stain. Which one should I use? I can’t find a good black color one on flood, defy or restore.

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Joey
Joey
1 year ago

What do you recommend to use it here? If I am not able to sand all the paint?

Joey
Joey
1 year ago

Restore a deck has an espresso color. Planning to use that. After sanding, do I have to use any other cleaner or brightner? Can I use the restore a deck solid stain after sanding?

Joey
Joey
1 year ago

Which product should I buy for cleaning and brightening? I am using the RAD stain

Joey
Joey
1 year ago

Which cleaner do you recomend?

Helen
Helen
2 years ago

How doi change light grey and white deck stained with Sherwin williams opaque water based stain to a charcoal brown. No pealing issues. Many thanks

Ellen
Ellen
2 years ago

We have an older deck in Colorado at high elevation. We have replaced any boards that were in bad shape, allowed them to dry for a couple months and have stripped the old solid color from the deck. We plan to do a light sanding and then want to reapply a solid stain. If there is a small amount of residual product left do we need to worry about whether we use oil or water based? My husband is concerned about adhesion and longevity in those spots if we use a different base than what was on there originally. Photo shows small amount of stain left as well as different ages of boards. Also, are we right to choose solid stain in this scenario? Thank you!

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Jen
Jen
2 years ago

What is the brand name of the #1 brand and where can I find it as I think I need 5 gallons

Mary Putman
Mary Putman
2 years ago

We have a deck that has been painted with Olympic Rescue. There’s very little peeling and the deck is in good shape, just want to change the color. Can we use a solid stain or would we need to cover with Olympic Rescue in a different color?

Mary Putman
Mary Putman
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Putman

Can we paint over the Olympic Rescue with the same product in a different color?

poff123
poff123
2 years ago

Is it ok to put an outdoor rug on a stained (twp1500) pool deck. The rug is made of polypropylene yarn content?

Stephanie Dunckel
Stephanie Dunckel
2 years ago

I have a 10-year-old cedar deck that was neglected for several years (in mid-Michigan area). I’ve sanded all the wood to remove the previous stain and the weathered/aged wood. I’m ready for the next steps; looking for advice on what to do. I’d like to use Defy Extreme Solid Stain in black on the railings. What do I need to do to prep them for this stain?

Stephanie Dunckel
Stephanie Dunckel
2 years ago

Thanks! I can’t get the Defy products locally, but I already have RAD cleaner and brightener from a front porch project. Would that work just as well?

Stephanie Dunckel
Stephanie Dunckel
2 years ago

Thanks for your quick responses. I’d love to use the RAD solid stain, but I’m going to stain the railings black. It doesn’t look like the RAD solid stain comes in that color.

Joey
Joey
1 year ago

How is the defy black solid stain after one year? Looking for a black color?

Mary Beth
Mary Beth
3 years ago

Hello!

I have an older deck, (20 years)- that was painted roughly 5-6 years ago. Paint is peeling in areas and just generally looks awful and I hate it. I just met with a powerwash/painting contractor who claims he can stain over the paint without completely removing it. Is this a thing?

Mary Beth
Mary Beth
3 years ago

Thanks- it doesn’t seem possible, like you would need to remove all existing paint in order for the stain to adhere?

Mary Beth
Mary Beth
3 years ago

ok- thanks! It just doesn’t seem possible, like you would need to completely remove the old paint in order for anything to adhere?

Kim S.
Kim S.
3 years ago

I’ve sanded all the railings to our deck with 80 grit. What do I need to do next before I apply a solid stain?

Wilma Kamphaus
Wilma Kamphaus
3 years ago

What should i use? I know my deck hasn’t received any care in the last 20 years. I cleaned with oxiclean and pressure washer, scrub brush, 3 times. Looks good, ready for stain and sealer. I bought Valspar but I’m wondering if I should use something different?

Deck Location State: Boise Idaho
Mostly sunny, there is 1 tree in the middle, so some shade
Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: no
Reason for Previous Stain Failure: mostly lack of maintenance.

Poly
Poly
3 years ago

We making regular concrete patio in the back yard . So is it advisable to stain deck pillars with
Behr solid color waterproofing stain and sealer before the patio is made or after the patio is made?

Kim S.
Kim S.
3 years ago

We have some old railings for our deck that I think have been painted with an exterior paint? In some places, the paint has peeled off completely and in other places it is still stuck very well. We are trying to sand as much as we can but it is hard because of all the banisters, etc. What do you suggest doing? Do we need to sand or power wash? Do I use a primer and exterior paint or a solid stain? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Kim S.
Kim S.
3 years ago

We have an old deck that they had used behr deckover on. That product had peeled in many places. We have sanded back down to the raw wood in most places but there are spots here and there of the behr product still (though sanded as much as we could). Can I use a semi-transparent stain or do I need to use a solid color? Is one product better than the other?

Zach
Zach
3 years ago

I included photos of what our cedar fence looked like (1) originally, (2) after lots of sun exposure and (3) after sanding.

The previous owners stain gave it a reddish tint, which we liked a lot. We replaced the sides of the fence last year (not pictured) and kept the back part. But the sun turned the original stain to a brown. I sanded down the old wood but can’t get the stain out completely.

1. Is it possible to get a decent match (doesn’t need to be perfect) of the old and new wood using RAD strip and brighten kit and a semi-transparent, like AC mahogany, amber or redwood? If so, do you have any color recommendations? We’d prefer something that looks closer to the original stain.

2. If I need to do a solid stain to get a match, what color do you recommend?

3. If we use a solid stain, do we need to strip or brighten?

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jane
jane
3 years ago

We have the Sherwin Williams Deckscape product on our deck, just finished redoing the surface area w/ another product. We are leaving the railing and such w/ Deckscape for now b/c it’s in decent shape (the surface was awful as your review notes). We have some areas that need a touch up – can we do that w/ another product w/o removing all of the original product? What do you recommend the SuperDeck or should we opt for a completely different product color matched to touch up ?

jane
jane
3 years ago

Thanks, that’s what I thought – we are not a fan of the Deckscape stain and will trust your lead on Super Deck. ok, will have to ponder how to address. Might have enough left in the last can to do touch up to last til next season.

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