This post was updated on January 30, 2023
Wolman DuraStain Review 2023
Wolman™ DuraStain Semi-Transparent Stain protects new and older decking/wood from UV radiation, mold growth, and rotting.
Beautifies wood with a richly pigmented, semi-transparent, matte finish while providing durability and prolonged color retention. Retains color longer than traditional semi-transparent stains. Ideal for wood exposed to the severe sun.
Wolman™ DuraStain Stain Rating (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 3
– When applied the Wolman™ DuraStain looks very unnatural. The stain sits on top of the wood similar to a paint or solid deck stain. It actually looks like paint with just a small amount of transparency. The Natural Redwood color used masked the wood grain instead of enhancing the wood grain.
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 9
– Wolman™ DuraStain does an excellent job of preventing graying. We attribute this to the overall appearance of the stain. This product looks very close to a solid color stain. Lots of pigment means excellent UV protection. There was little to no graying of the stain that was still left on the deck. The areas that peeled (see below) had turned gray since the wood was bare.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 3
– We were not impressed with the Wolman™ DuraStain when it came to preventing peeling at the two-year mark. When a stain does not penetrate into the wood but rather “films” on top of the wood then the chance for peeling is greatly enhanced. The Wolman had peeled on 30% of the flooring.
Cost Per Square Foot: 7
– Wolman™ DuraStain retails for $29.99 a gallon. We applied two coats to the 650 square foot deck using a total of 8 gallons of stain costing a total of $240.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 9
– Zero mildew on the deck stain. A small number of green algae was present in the wood where the Wolman had peeled. Very good results as we would expect with a water-based stain.
Ease of Application: 4
– The Wolman™ DuraStain does not apply with a pump sprayer. The stain is very thick, like paint. We tried a stain pad and had issues with the application. We ended up rolling and brushing the stain. The first coat was very uneven as we found that the stain dries extremely fast and overlaps. We decided that a second coat was needed to even the appearance. The second application applied much easier and did help even out the coating. The second coat heavily masked the transparency of the wood grain.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9
– No darkening of the stain was apparent after the two years of testing.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 5
– Preparation for reapplication would depend on if you want to remove the stain and start over with a different product or stay with the Wolman™ DuraStain. If switching brands of stain, the DuraStain would need to be removed by stripping and heavy sanding. Very labor intensive! If re-coating with the DuraStain, then a good thorough cleaning should be sufficient.
Overall Score Wolman™ DuraStain at 2 Year Period: 6.125
– Wolman™ DuraStain is very good at UV protection, mold resistance, and color-shifting (lack of darkening). What we did not like is the way the DuraStain creates a film on the surface like paint. This caused the non-transparent look to the wood grain and increased the probability of peeling. We would rate this stain as a semi-solid, not a semi-transparent stain.
If you are looking for a natural-looking wood decking stain then the Wolman™ DuraStain would not be a good choice.
Wolman DuraStain Deck Photos
Where To Buy: Paint and Hardware Store or Online
Cost: $42.99 per Gallon
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Natural Cedar, Natural Redwood, Woodland Brown, Chestnut Brown, Cape Cod Gray, Sea Shore Gray
Application Temperature: 40-90 F
Coats Required: 1 Coat. 2nd coat if needed can be applied 72 hours after the first coat.
Coverage Per Gallon: 150-200 sq. ft in field tests
Application Tools: Airless Sprayer, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 6-12 Hours
Cleanup: Soap and Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: Pine Dock
Deck Square Footage: 650 Square Foot Deck
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: Natural Redwood
*All products tested and results are from our hands-on experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ widely due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.
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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.
It worked well for me. My cedar and redwood deck is pushing 25 years old and over the years has seen a variety of products. so to give the DuraStain a chance, I barrel sanded it to new wood. It worked as stated. Application was straightforward. 500 sq feet plus rails and stairs.
It has been 3 years of New England snow, rain, sun, shade, trees; temps in the teens and temps in the 90s. Also barbecues and roller blades; and it peeled; not everywhere; maybe 20% of the deck and the areas were scattered, which made me wonder if it was the stain or the wood under it. That said, where it hasn’t peeled it won’t come up with DeckBrite and a Karcher K2. So I’ll follow the reviewers’ suggestion. I’ll give it a thorough cleaning and re-stain.
and in my own uncontrolled experiment I put the DuraStain natural redwood up against the Thompson’s Advance Cedar on the rails There was no comparison. The DuraStain looks new, the Thompson’s does not, but my biggest gripe was the mold that grew on the Thompson’s while there is none on the DuraStain. This year I’ll have to take a belt sander to the Thompson’s so I can put the DuraStain on.
Still I agree with the 3 rating early on in the review. The product went down, sort of bright orange, and then cured or aged into a deeper red, but it took a couple months. The MSDS doesn’t have any information that helps explain that.
I was attracted to DuraStain because it’s water based. The MSDS on the oil based products was getting scary; lots of protective clothing, a chemistry class in a can. F&P is oil based.
worst stain I have ever used. I have to stain my deck every year now. Never again.
Your product does not hold up to your claim. It’s only been 3 years and your claim is on fences that it lasts 8 years. The pictures, I’ve included, show mold, flaking and washing off of the stain. This product SUCKS! Do not buy!!!
FYI, this is not “our” product. We are an independent review and help site.
Worst stain I’ve ever used. Goes on dry and didn’t even look like it was done. Picture showing half deck finished and unfinished, you can’t even tell what half was done!
Started peeling by the end of the summer it was applied in. I’m very frustrated at the poor labeling, semi-transparent isn’t close to describing this product.
Is Wolman RainCoat water repellent still available in natural cedar? If not what color do you have that would be closest to it?
I am sorry but we do not know on this. Best to contact Wolman for help.
How does Wolman DuraStain (Natural Redwood) compare with Wolman F & P semi transparent Redwood Stain? Is Wolman F & P redwood stain still available?
It should be. Best to contact Wolman for help locating. We never liked the Durastain. It films like a paint and peels. The F&P is more of a penetrating coating.
Started peeling everywhere after 4 months.
Surprised to see so many issues with it… Used this on our deck 5 years ago that has heavy traffic and the railing still is in good condition, the steps and floor is worn and needs help. Can't find the product nearby though.
I am looking for the top rated solid color dock stain. It is an older deck, that is overdue for stain. It has been power washed.
Don't really care if it shows wood tone. Thanks.
Try Flood Solid stains for decks.
Use wolman F and P on Pine log home. Goes on easy and I can paint whole house in 2 days. Live up on top of a mountain and sun beats on house. Stain fades a little bit after 3 years. I can spray house down with water and it still beads up! No peeling what so ever. Mom has a cedar log home and uses Sikkens. Terrible stain. Peels all over the place or blisters. At 90 dollars a can(sikkens) I will stick with my 35 dollar Wolmans.
We put Wollman Stain on our two decks and were terribly disappointed. The next year the horizontal boards were peeling and looked awful. After putting that much work into a deck it was totally disappointing.
I just used Wolman semi transparent stain on my deck. It took quite a while to do 2 decks, ever since I did it the squirrels have literally eaten the stain clear down into the wood. It's gotten so bad that I'm going to have to start replacing some of the wood and totally resting my decks with a different stain. The decks are 5 and 3 years old, they did not bother the decks at all until I used the stain.
We used Wolman Dura Stain the summer of 2014 on our back deck of treated lumbar. By March of 2015 the "Stain" was already peeling off the deck. It now needs to be re"stained" in July of 2015. Should have lasted longer than one winter. Very Disappointed with this product. It was a lot of hot, hard work to get the deck done and now it looks terrible.
I used this 5 years ago and it's really held up well. Of course the top of the wood has worn so now I'm going to use it again this summer.
Prepped the cedar railing and the cedar horizontal surfaces as directed on the can and on the web site. Also confirmed usage & directions with 'expert' at Menards. We took five weeks for the whole job just to be sure everything was clean & dry before application. Applied as per directions. Used DuraStain solid stain on railing which held up very well so far. Used DuraStain semi-transparent on deck boards. It lasted two weeks before it started to chip. Now, 18 months later it's rolling off in little strips when you walk on it or sweep it. We are not rookies at deck finishing. This product is lousy. All that work and product was a waste.
Why can't it be top coated?
It will not penetrate and will peel. Deck stains should never be top coated or shiny.
can durastain be topcoated with a clear? maybe varathane spar urethane?
No it cannot be top coated.
We reapplied the stain last autumn after cleaning it, as is recommended. Within a few months it had chipped away again. Any advice? Also, I can't seem to get the deck clean. I've tried various products, but as soon as it dries, it looks just as dirty as before. It's a superficial layer of dirt on top, that no matter what I do won't come off.
Kimberly, no way to fix this. You will need to remove and change brands. Sorry about that 🙁
Peeling even from the uprights after 1 year. Not at all recommended.
I prepped my one and a half year old deck as recommended and then applied Wolman's Durastain. It started peeling the next year and by year two it looked like an old delapitated deck with patches of bare wood and peeling stain on all of the horizontal surfaces. I have previously used Cabots and Behr with varying results on other decks but have never seen anything as bad as this before. I took pictures and receipt and got my money back with an in-store coupon. One saleman did not seem surprised as if this was the norm for this stain. Now I have to sand the whole deck to re-stain with a different brand and have already spent over $40.00 dollars on sanding belts as they gum up with all the peeled stain, not to mention the intense labor I have had to expend. Good luck if you are trying to save some dollars by buying this stain. I would not recomend this stain to my worst enemy.
We applied this product to our pressure treated pine deck 2.5 years ago, and after only about a year it started peeling terribly. Now it practically peeling from the wind! very unhappy with this product, but at least it shouldn't be much work to strip off and start fresh. If only the sap coming up from every other board was as easy to remove!!
Semi-transparent???? Might as well applied a latex paint. Would only recommend applying over pine as you will never know anything else is hiding underneath. The natural ceder looks like milk mustard. I spent 4 hours preping my ceder deck, only to be shocked by how bad the "natural" redwood looked. It looks like a bad sunburn. Thought it would fade……….wrong. I just created a big problem down the road judging by the above comments.
My wife and I used Wolman 5 years ago on a 35 year old wood deck. After four years in Oregon rain the product was still beading water but did not to bead in the five winter. The color did look fake from the beginning; turned the wood a muddy brown. It never peeled and held up well in wear areas. In the last couple of years we started to develop moss between the boards, its Oregon. At that the time the cost was very reasonable. Not sure if we will put same product on due to the color.
Hi I have the Wolman durastain applied on my deck several years ago and I want to strip it and applied a different stain most likely TWP. What stripper do you recommend? Restore a Deck, HD80 or Defy.
Ken, Wolman Durastain is almost like a paint. I am not sure anything will easily remove it. You could try one of the strippers but most likely you will need to sand off the rest.
Would you like me to send you a picture of a deck that I cleaned yesterday that had this product on it where it all cleaned off.