This post was updated on January 11, 2023
Wood Deck Stain Manufacturers
We have compiled a full list of all of the 2023 manufacturer websites that make exterior wood and deck stains, cleaners, brighteners, strippers, etc.
The list is for all brands that we have currently tested and reviewed:
Sikkens PPG ProLuxe Wood Stains
Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
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.
what if my deck got rain on after about 2 hours. What can be done with it?
My covered deck was stained with this product – PPG Timeless Advanced Penetrating Oil Technology – after 4 years it needs to be restained especially stairs and handrails. Can I apply the same product on top or does it need to be completely stripped first?
That would depend on the condition it is in. Pics would help with prep advice. Thanks
Thanks for your help!
It has worn unevenly so if you just clean and recoat, it will stain unevenly where it has worn off. The stain you used prior is not a true oil-based stain but a waterborne acrylic. PPG lied about that and that is why it is failing as it never fully soaked into the wood but dried on top of the wood.
You might want to remove it fully and go with a better stain brand.
where can this product be bought in montreal qc
Have you guys rated a stain called Sundance?
A fellow contractor friend in the deck staining biz in KY started using it and swears by it. I never heard of it…wondered how it might stack up with TWP or Armstrong and Clark? I checked their site and it looked like a quality product with good reviews.
Sorry but never used it.
Your opinion of Richards Semi-Transparent Deck Pro Alkyd Based
Sorry, but we have never used it.
I am looking to clean and stain my cedar playset. Most of the stain is gone from the playset and it is about 7 years old. Can you give me recommendations on what to us to bring back to life.
Strip and brighten with the Restore A Deck products and then stain with the Restore A Deck Stain or TWP Stains.
Hi, we have a cedar deck in northern california. Previously treated with a Thompson Stain/Sealer. After just two years it seems to be going away. What is the correct way to fix this? What you you recommend for refinishing? Thank you.
Strip and sand to remove fully. Brightener after. Use a penetrating stain after. TWP 1500 series or Armstrong Clark.
Thank you for the very prompt response. -John
Why isn’t Restore-a-deck available in retail stores in my area?—northwest Indiana.
I can’t find it. Very frustrating.
I keep getting told I have to order it online. If it’s the best, why isn’t it more easily available??
You would have to ask them but it is normal to buy deck stains online now and the better brands are never sold in big box stores.
Hi, what is the best protection for a south facing pressure treated pine deck, wood from Home depot and living in central Florida. We have temps most days around 90 degrees with high humidity? Looking probably towards a semi transparent rather than clear because it seems to last longer and still show of the grain unless I’m told otherwise? TIA
Is this new wood? If so, see here: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-long-should-you-wait-to-stain-a-new-deck/
It’s exactly a year old, grey and weathered looking so moisture has probably gone.
Prep with Restore A Deck Cleaner Brighener Kits and stain with Restore A Deck Stain Semi-Transparent stain or TWP 100 Series.
Thanks, I kind of thought the same because I read the article on this site but Florida is a world of it’s own and don’t really want to be doing it every year. Thanks.
We used Valspar One Coat Exterior Stain & Sealer – Transparent. Our deck workers applied one coat on 9-12-20. A second coat was applied about 2 days later. A soft rain came on 9-18 and left water spots. So we tried to hose the deck and clean with a broom. Nothing changed. Called Valspar and was told to clean with Simply Green and a brush. The water spots are still there. Any suggestions on what we can do? The pictures below are of 2 different boards.
No pictures but most likley the only way to fix is to remove all and start over.
I saw a be deck paint that came from west Bloomfield much what’s the name and is it any ggod
Sorry but no idea as to what you are asking.
We have a two year old cedar deck, that had failed Behr semi transparent stain that we stripped with RAD stripper. but stain still clings to many places. We would have to sand a lot to remove the stain that absorbed into the knots. We are seriously considering just turning the boards over and starting from scratch with the rigorous deck prep we did before using the Behr. stain. We definitely want to get it right his time.
We are in the process of deciding between the RAD semi-transparent stain and a Defy product. We tend toward the Defy extreme because of the nano-particles. (We live in the Pacific NW and have mold/mildew issues.) The Defy Deck Stain website says that because cedar is oily, Defy Deck Stain for Hardwoods would soak in better because it doesn’t have the larger zinc nano particles. I have looked at many articles on your website and have seen no mention of the Defy Extreme nano particles preventing the soaking of the stain into cedar.
You mention in your ratings that you use Defy Extreme on 30-50 deck restorations/year (though in the midwest, not the Pacific NW). What has been your experience using it on cedar, and would you expect the same results in the Pacific NW?
We like the RAD for the colors and because where we live we often don’t get several rain free days in a row, but mold/mildew is a concern. We want to be able to enjoy our deck with minimal problems, and will appreciate your comments and advice. Thank you.
We have no issues with the Defy Extreme on cedar. You just have to make sure that you do not over apply and that the stain fully soaks into the wood. The RAD will work just as well as the Defy and can be applied to damp wood. Either would be a good choice.
Thank you very much.
Are there any TWP dealers in Michigan, and if so, where?
I would like to know reviews for the best longest lasting deck stain
Would this hurt composite decking?
??? No idea as to what you are asking?
Where can I buy Armstrong Clark wood stains in the London Ont. area?
Check with them for help.
Live rural northeast. Only deck cleaner/ brighter around is Benjamin Moore ( bleach based I believe). Have new PT deck minimal dirt and 5 y old deck needing new stain. Plan to use same stain product , ATO. Have had good luck with it. Should I keep hunting for RAD products? What are your thought on oxiclean, then a generic brightner? Thanks so much.
Oxiclean is not a deck cleaner. TRy the BM products if you cannot find anything better.
OK, just spent the day stripping and brightening 🤪. How do I know I am ready to stain?? The deck is older ,had a semi transparent stain from 10+ years ago but a covered porch so wood in good shape. I am doing this so I can match it to a new addition deck. I know the color will not be perfect but would like it to be close. It is “lighter” in color then a section that I did not strip/brighten due to established creeping hydrangea that I did not want to damage. I will try to attach a photo. Thanks so much , this website is awesome! Hopefully I was able to load photos.
Looks good to stain.
Here are the after pics! After all the prep work and watching weather (and some marriage counseling 😂) we are done. We will keep our fingers crossed for durability and weathering our crazy NE weather. Small section at blue tape is old decking untouched due to the creeping rare plant ready to bloom. Will do that section at a later date. Thank you for the help and guides. REALLY helped. Hope pics loaded,never sure?
Living in the often rainy Pacific Northwest, we like the anti-mold feature of the nano particles in Defy Extreme Semi Transparent stain, but also like the Restore a Deck stain feature that allows application on a deck that is not dry. Would it be possible to use the Defy this year to allow the nano particles to sink into the wood, then, when time to restain, to use the RAD stain after cleaning and brightening? We don’t want to have to strip again.
Thank you for all your help.
No, you cannot apply the RAD over the Defy.
Hi, What product(s) would you recommend for clear sealing a natural outdoor bamboo pole (not reeds) fence with full sun midday? Thank you!
Sorry but we do not have any experience with staining bamboo and a normal deck stain will not work.
My deck is new untreated pine. It will get morning shade, full sun midday and shade in the evening. I’m leaning towards Restore-a-Deck or Defy Extreme. Is there any reason these would not work on new wood. How long should I wait to coat the deck?
See this for new wood tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/staining-a-new-deck/
Aloha, Do you have any reviews for Penofin Stain Sealer for a new wood Kdry cedar fence?
Where do we buy RAD products
From the Restore-A-Deck.com website.
I don’t see SEAL ONCE reviewed or mentioned on your site.
Because it is a gimmick in our opinion. It “potentially” hardens the interior of the wood by reacting with alkali if present in the wood but it does nothing for UV protection. Even if you use it, you would still have to apply a proper deck stain every couple of years.
If you haven’t tested or tried it, other than high price, what do you base your opinion on? Have you tried RainGuard?
There was a contractor in our area that promoted this for a few years, charging very high prices to apply it and claiming 25-year guarantee. he went out of business after a few years after being sued. We had to fix numerous decks that he had done by applying a proper deck stain like TWP 100 Series. So yes, we have a lot of experience seeing it fail.
Nothing lasts more than 2-3 years on a deck and anyone how claims longer, is essentially lying to you.
I don’t see the Woodrich Timber Oil review…
See here: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/timberoil-brand-stain-review/
We have pressure washed the paint off the deck and plan to use RAD products (if we can find them) and complete project in one day as you recommend. Can we omit the cleaner and start with the brightner then stain?
No, best to do all the steps.
Where do I purchase RAD products in central IL?
Check with their website or call them directly.
How can I preform a do it yourself moisture test for the deck a just sanded from stripping 2 layers of paint. I think I read something about applying a plastic sheet/membrane over a portion of an area?? Any information help will be appreciated. Thanks
That does not work nor do you really need to do a moisture test. Just make sure the wood is dry for 48 hours before applying a stain.
I uses an exterior stain many years ago called “In-Wood” and it had been great. I can not find it anywhere. Any idea where I can get this brand of stain for my home?
Not sure if it is made anymore. Have not seen it in many years.
No longer available. GAF bought United Coatings and stopped production on the in-wood stain line.
Gregg, thanks for the info. Bummer because I thought, in my opinion, it was the best stain one could buy.
Applied Restore in 2012 to my concrete porch. Satisfied with product on concrete, time to refresh with same color. After seeing terrible reviews for Restore/Rustoleum, I am afraid to use. What do you recommend for repainting concrete over the Restore product.
You cannot apply a different product over it.
I am looking to redo our composite decking…what brand of stain is recommended for that and where can it be found??
Sorry, but we do not know of any decent brands of stains that will work for composites decking.
Where can I purchase the Wolman Woodwox Deck Brush?
can i stain over a trex deck
No, not with these brands we tested.
Are their stores near Staten Island N.Y. 10312
Check with the manufacturer websites.
After using 30 second cleaner do I need to use a brighter
Also should I rough up serface before I start
Yes, you have to brighten. No idea as to what you mean by roughening up the surface before start.
We first used a bear product that was semi-transparent and it just peeled a week after we used it be called up to company it was called deck over they gave us another product to use which actually covered the peeling cuz they told us to put it right over to peeling now the deck is colored but the pop-up of old appeal is obvious we spent a lot of money on it for nothing never never used as product or anything from there I posted another picture of the deck on asking what to do with it because we can’t figure it out
Do not use any Bear products
I am a painting contractor. We have “peeling decks” over the entire area I live/work (Wisconsin) primarily because of the prominence of Sherwin Williams, and the mis-information they are dealing out through contractors. Most of the contractors will use whatever SW is selling, including whatever they offer for decks, and they will tell their customer’s that SW sells the best products (SW has a powerful marketing campaign and ridiculous ‘40% Off’ sales, monthly). They have hedged out the competition who are quietly selling equally good-or better-products). The trouble is, SW only seems to offer water-based Deck stains (paints). I usually get a call in about 2 years, asking if I can fix a deck that another contractor painted. I am asked about a dozen times (or more) a year if I know anyone that can re-finish decks. (So, if anyone is looking for work re-finishing decks in Northeast Wisconsin, there is a lot of work here!) The floor sanders will not sand the decks, because it wrecks their machines, and the painting contractors don’t want to do it either, because there is better work available. The customer’s are just switching to Trex Decks (or similar) because they don’t know what to do. It’s a mess. Wood decks are vanishing at a rapid rate, only to be replaced with plastic (non-recyclable, non-biodegradable decks that are destined for a landfill). I no longer offer stripping services for many reasons, among which is that I don’t enjoy fixing others mistakes. I have 2 main approaches when dealing with my customer’s decks. New wood is treated with a semi-transparent oil stain (brushed-in with a 4-6″ china bristle Deck Brush on a pole). Aged wood is cleaned/brightened and treated with Cabot’s semi-solid oil based Stain. Cabot’s semi-solid is my bread-and-butter stain, and have good success with it. It covers well so it looks good, and because it is semi-solid it still penetrates fairly well, and cosmetically it enhances aged, grey, weathered, and small splitting in wood decks. It is easy to re-coat, and will only mildly peel if over-applied before it is ready to be stained. I consistently get three years or more in direct sun, and up to five years in sheltered locations (although mildewcide needs to be added). Previously stained decks, that have been stained (by someone else) with a water-based stain is pressure washed and the peeling areas are scraped. They are then re-finished using existing product with a strong disclaimer. I usually only take these “problem” decks when I am painting the rest of a home. Otherwise it is not worth the effort, knowing it will inevitably peel again. I tell them that it is an approach that will need to be repeated every 2-3 years. I will occasionally fix these decks by stripping and re-staining, but have been moving away from that line of work. — For new decks: I have avoided Sikkens (although I think it is a good product) because it seems to develop a sheen in parts… Read more »
What do you think about Defy stains. I do not see any information or comments about them.
They are one of our top-rated stains: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/the-5-best-deck-stain-reviews-and-ratings/
I think I need a semi sold stain for my upper deck that is exposed to UV 24/7. Paint did not work and absorbed moisture cracked and peeled. What is the best rated oil based semi solid stain? Thanks
You cannot apply a semi-solid over a paint. The current coating will need to be 100% removed first. Once that is done, try Armstrong Clark in a semi-solid color.
New deck built 11/16. Stained new deck 7/17 with olympic semi transparent. Stain now is chipping and flaking. 18/18.
Can I apply a solid color stain over semi transparent without stripping . If so,should I use a Brightner instead of a Cleaner?
You can but you will need a deck cleaner and pressure washing for prep. Goal is to remove all loose stain and any dirt.
Thank you for a prompt answer. wasnt looking forward to stripping. have presssure washer will travel. You are now among my “favorites”.
Can polyurethane be applied to deck after staining with Olympic Elite Stain to preserve finish
No. You cannot top coat a deck stain with another coating.
Great site guys! Good info for those of us doing research.
A compny I do not see reviewed that has tested their product aginst TWP is called WoodRX. Have you tested this in any way?
Sorry but never used it. Responses from consumers have been 50/50. Some like it, many have not.
what best deck stain and sealer for state of MIssouri?
Any of these will work:
I plan to follow your advice to a tee regarding prep for redoing my ipe deck and cedar pergola both 7 years old. Is there any problem using either pentofin hardwood oil or messmers hardwood product as they are kept in stock locally, as is Ipe oil. The pergola is in all day sun, the deck is morning sun. I am located in coastal South Carolina. Appreciate your input and love your site.
Stay away from Penofin. We like Messmers and IpeOil are about the same in durability.
I have Sikkens sealer on my deck and would like to reseal with TWP 100 series, need to know what I need to do if I change productq
You will need to strip and brighten the wood for prep. Use the Restore A Deck Stripper Kit.
What is your rating of the Wood Defender product line?
We have not officially reviewed it but have used it. It is similar to Ready Seal but one advantage is that it contains some silicon that will actually seal the wood. We thought it was a decent product but still not as good as others like the TWP when it came to color retention. I would rate it about 7.75 to an 8.0.
Who in New Zealand the Cobats deck stain remover
Sorry but no idea.
One of the most authoritative sites ON ANY Subject let alone the information I need now – thanks! Have you guys run across Woodrich Timber Oil and if so, what do you think?
Yes. See this: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/timberoil-brand-stain-review/
We had to replace the railings and stairs, with brown pressure; after Wichita apply 3 coats of stain. Now we have remove carpet from the same deck and had to replace some wood with pressure
Treated brown would; the older wood was pressure treated , it hadn’t had anything done! Problem is 2 different wood, mew and older, 2 different colors, green ,brown how to do a good job . STAIRS ARE 🆕 ALSO new, would like to apply a transparent stain also this year! HELP!
See this about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/staining-a-new-deck/