Apr 7 2009

The Best Deck Stains


In this article, we’re going to talk about the different types of stains – which are the best deck stains and which are the worst deck stains to put on your wood. If you’ve been doing any research on how to stain a deck or patio, you’ve probably noticed that deck stains usually come in one of two categories: water-based deck sealers and oil based deck sealers. There are some very important differences between the two that you need to be aware of.

Comparison of Deck Stains: Oil vs. Water

Traditionally, oil based deck stains have been the preferred method to stain a deck. They penetrate into the wood very well, they look good when you put them down and they have a decent lifespan. When you do some further investigating, you begin to notice some not-so-desirable characteristics of these stains.

The first problem is that they are made of natural resins, which is basically food for algae and mold. Ever notice the large black regions of mold growing on your deck? You guessed it, the mold is eating your stain right off your deck. And not only that, once it starts, it becomes a breeding ground for more mold and algae, and it begins to grow, eventually taking over your whole deck!

A Toxic Dilemma

To counteract this, manufacturers put a heavy amount of toxic algaecides and mildewcides in these products. Over time, with UV sunlight and rain, these chemicals are brought to the surface of the wood and eventually washed away. This presents a two-fold dilemma…one being the safety of barefoot children absorbing these toxic chemicals into their skin, and the second being that once these chemicals are washed away, it’s open season on your deck for mold and algae attacks.

The other problem with oil based stains has to do with new environmental laws. Oil based products typically are much more dangerous to the environment and are beginning to be outlawed by the EPA. So far, the following states have outlawed almost all oil based stains: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Washington DC, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

Aside from their negative environmental impact, oil based stains are more difficult to work with, only clean up with mineral spirits, and take much longer to cure than water based stains.

Up until recently, there hasn’t been a good alternative for oil-based stains. Deck owners simply had to deal with the unsightly algae growth, environmental damage, and safety issues. There have recently been vast improvements in water-borne technologies that have allowed water-based stains to penetrate like an oil stain. There’s a newer product out called Defy Extreme Wood Stain that has this new water based technology. It resists mold and algae and it’s environmentally friendly.

Natural Resin and Synthetic Resin Deck Sealers

We’ve already talked about how oil based sealers contain “natural resins” that promote algae and mold growth. The alternative option is to use a stain with “synthetic resins”. These are man-made resins that imitate natural resins with one big advantage. They aren’t a food source for algae. That’s right, mold and algae would never think about eating this stuff! It performs just like the natural resins of the oil based stains but is a synthetic material designed to work the same without the mold growth.

Because synthetic resin sealers aren’t going to be food for algae, it’s not necessary to add a bunch of mildewcides and algaecides to the stains, making them much more family-friendly and environmentally friendly.

Clear, Semi-Transparent or Solid Color Deck Stains

The next thing to consider when choosing a deck stain is whether to use a clear deck stain, a semi-transparent deck stain or a solid color deck stain. All three have their advantages and disadvantages, but the semi-transparent is usually the best choice for staining your deck. I’ll explain why.

Clear Deck Stains

Most clear products are not able to hold up to the UV rays well enough to give you a significant lifespan. Frequently, the clear stains vanish within a few short months of applying them. On top of that, most clear deck stains aren’t totally clear. They have an amber tint added to them to give them extra UV protection. If it weren’t for this amber tint, your deck would turn gray in a matter of weeks rather than months.

Solid Color Deck Stains

The solid color stains are great for vertical siding or posts, areas that don’t get as much direct UV damage from the sun. The problem occurs when you put a solid color stain down on the flat parts of your deck. This is the area that gets the most damage and direct sunlight. Add to that the fact that people and pets are walking on it, contributing to even more wear and tear. As solid color stains weather over time, they tend to peel rather than fade. You end up with a mess. Simply applying a stain stripper is normally not enough to remove these stains. Frequently, the only option becomes using paint stripper, a highly dangerous and toxic substance that can cause burns and kill your surrounding vegetation upon contact.

Semi-transparent Deck Stains

Semi-transparent stains are far and away the best choice when it comes to staining your deck. They have a tint to give them added UV protection which extends their life to a year or more, and sometimes up to several years. The tint still allows you to see through to the wood grain below giving the wood a nice, rich finish without hiding the texture of the wood. Also, they are super easy to maintain. Usually, the maintenance process involves a simple cleaning, and then a re-application of the deck stain once every other year or two. No stripping involved!


When it comes to the best decking stains, these are the main issues that you need to be concerned with:

  • Water based stains are the way to go, ditch the oils – easier to clean up, more green-friendly
  • Synthetic resins, not natural resins – no mold, and no toxic chemicals
  • Semi-transparent deck stains rather than clear or solid color deck stains – easier to maintain

Keeping in mind these points when buying a deck stain will save you a lot of time, money and labor. Remember that with deck stains, you get what you pay for. Cheap deck stains are made with cheap resins and inexpensive fillers that won’t last. Buy a more expensive deck stain with higher quality resins that will last and keep your wood beautiful over time while protecting it from the elements. One of the newer, more impressive stains on the market right now is the DEFY Extreme Stain. It’s a water-based, synthetic resin, semi-transparent stain made with high-quality resins that bond firmly to the wood. Check out this deck stain to save yourself some time and effort. It’s a little more money than the cheaper ones you see advertised a lot, but worth it in the long run.

200 Comments on this post


  1. Cleaning and Staining Your Own Deck | Deck Stain Guide wrote:

    [...] or peeling off so quickly. Then they fall into the cycle of searching for a “better” or best deck stain that will last longer when in reality it wasn’t the fault of the deck stain but rather the [...]

    February 24th, 2012 at 9:15 pm
  1. Jonathan Garren said:

    I had no idea the Epoxy Fortified Wood Stain was environmentally friendly, that must be why my shrubs in the landscaping around the deck didn’t suffer this time around like they did last time.

    August 6th, 2009 at 1:33 pm
  2. Lukas Heil said:

    i put an opaque stain on my deck and i don’t like it. the clear or semi-transparent would have looked better b/c the opaque one looks a lot like paint i cant see the grain but i can still see a bit of the texture…go for semi-transparent

    August 6th, 2009 at 1:45 pm
  3. Anthony Carpinello said:

    What Epoxy Fortified Stain did you use? DEFY? And what type of wood did you use it on?

    August 13th, 2009 at 1:47 am
  4. Frank G. said:


    Would you not recommend applying a semi-transparent stain on a deck floor and a solid stain on the perimeter railing upon refurbishing a previously stained deck? It would spare you the extra work of having to strip and sand all the rail spindles.

    August 15th, 2009 at 10:57 pm
  5. Clay said:

    That would work. It’s ok to use a solid color stain on vertical surfaces. They don’t usually hold up too well on the flat parts. Solid stains are also more prone to peeling, but typically they won’t on vertical surfaces where they don’t get direct sunlight all day long.

    August 16th, 2009 at 1:29 pm
  6. Ed said:

    I applied a water based, semi-transparent deck stain to my large, gazebo deck 6 years ago. While the vertical boards have all done very well, the horizontal boards (floor and roof) began peeling almost immediately. This year, I am applying an oil based stain to the horizontal boards, as this stain does not peal off.

    August 24th, 2009 at 4:05 pm
  7. Clay said:

    In almost every case your vertical boards will get double the lifespan of your horizontal boards because they don’t get as much direct UV damage. There are some good oil based stains out there that are ok to use, just make sure you don’t use them in damp or heavily shaded areas where mold growth can become an issue. Oil based stains are prone to have more mold growing on them due to their natural oil resins. Two of the better brands are Cabot’s or TWP.

    August 24th, 2009 at 4:46 pm
  8. Clay said:

    If you’re going to use water base stains, you have to make sure you use a good quality water based stain and then prep the wood properly. Using a good wood cleaner and wood brightener will open up the pores of the wood so it soaks in. Water based stains won’t penetrate quite as deep as the oils, but oil stains come with their own set of problems. Usually oil stains are more likely to attract mold and mildew, they can still peel if over-applied, and with the new EPA laws coming out, oil base stains are going away. California has totally banned them, many of the Northeastern states have followed suit as well as some of the midwestern states.

    August 25th, 2009 at 1:35 pm
  9. gayla said:

    Does pressure treated wood oxidize? Had our deck sealed with Sealmaxx sealant. Says it inhibits mold growth, but still have mold and algae growth. Rep says it is oxidation. I thought that only effected metals not wood. Also is there any sealer that can be good for 25 years. Supposedly that’s her guarentee

    October 23rd, 2009 at 3:51 am
  10. Clay said:

    You’re right, wood does not oxidize, metal does. You have to be careful with some of these products out there. You didn’t apply a stain, you basically applied a preservative. Some of these products are a little misleading. They say they come with a 25 year warranty, but if you read the fine print, they don’t claim that your deck will look good for 25 years, the 25 year guarantee simply means that the wood won’t rot away for 25 years. Your deck will normally start to weather and look bad after a few short years. From my experience, there aren’t any deck stains that will last longer than a few years on a horizontal surface. The technology simply isn’t there yet.

    October 23rd, 2009 at 1:41 pm
  11. Ryan said:

    I am just finishing up a new redwood railing system. I have been considering the defy epoxy product. Since this is new wood, what prep work is recomended before sealing? I was planning on just sanding with 140 and then 240 grit and sealing. Is it necessary to do any other prep work?

    October 26th, 2009 at 7:22 pm
  12. deckadmin said:

    Ryan, you’re going to want to wash the deck with an oxygenated bleach as well, or else the mill glaze will prevent the deck stain from penetrating as deeply as it should. Besides that, just follow the instructions!


    March 11th, 2010 at 9:45 pm
  13. CJ said:

    We used an oil stain on our deck floor last time and now it is peeling. I would prefer to go back to a water based semi-transparent. Is this possible? How should I prep the wood so the stain will adhere?

    March 28th, 2010 at 9:47 pm
  14. Clay said:

    Yes, it is possible. Make sure you totally remove the old oil based stain first with a stain stripper and then rinse with a pressure washer (be careful not to damage the wood). If any of the old oil stain remains, it will repel any water based stain you try to apply on top of it. So it’s really important to totally remove it when switching to a water base. Once you use a stain stripper, use a brightener (oxalic acid) to neutralize the surface. Let it dry out and you’re ready for a waterbase stain.

    March 30th, 2010 at 8:49 pm
  15. SGD said:

    Clay, our deck was previously stained using an oil-based stain. How do we go about stripping it so we can now stain it with a water-based stain? We’ve never done anything like this before and have a HUGE deck to stain!

    April 11th, 2010 at 10:34 pm
  16. Clay said:

    The best way to do it is to use a stain stripper followed by a power washer. Apply a good quality wood stain stripper using a pump sprayer, let it set for about 15 minutes, then use a power washer to rinse it off. Be careful not to use too much pressure as you can damage the wood. Power washers come with several different tip sizes that determine pressure. Just remember to use the widest tip (least pressure) available and hold the power washer 8-12 inches away from your decking surface to prevent damage. After you rinse it, apply an oxalic acid wood brightener to neutralize the surface. This is a quick process. You can do it with a pump sprayer and then rinse with a garden hose. Let your deck dry out for a few days and it’s ready to be stained with a water based stain.

    April 12th, 2010 at 12:54 pm
  17. maryanne said:

    We had a cedar deck built 2 summers ago, we waited a few months then applied a semi transparent stain water based acrylic ( cabots). the next spring we went out to see had the deck had held up and all of the stain started to peel so back that we actually was aweeping it away in most areas of the deck. So we power washed it using the widest angle nozzle we had keeping at least 8 inches awayfrom the wood if not more. well the wood got damaged,Lots of grooves, this year it seems likesome of it is starting to have light splintering. But the deck was clean, now it has to be sanded, this is the plan just want to make sure we are doing it correctly, we followed all instructions last, but didn’t work out, it has turned gray, so I’m thingking it mold and mildew, going to power wash it again, then sand it, then water based semi transparent stain it. ( I’m going to use the one you recommended) do I use a good natural brush to apply it? so does that sound right to you, the deck is cedar, three yrs old this summer,It’s grayed, it’s a 20f.x 25ft deck. how many coats of stain and how many gallons do you think I would need?

    April 14th, 2010 at 12:51 am
  18. Clay said:

    Cedar can be hard to deal with sometimes. It frequently has problems accepting stains due to its oily nature. Concerning brushes, for water based stains I usually use a good quality synthetic brush. Natural brushes are usually better for oil base stains. You have about 500 sq. feet of decking, so that will probably take about 5 gallons of stain. For cedar I use a semi-transparent product called Deck Stain for Hardwoods. It has smaller resins that soak in better than other stains. I’ve always had pretty good luck with this product on cedar. And as always with cedar, just make sure you don’t over-apply the stain. Sometimes the wood can only absorb 1 coat. If it looks like it’s soaking in well, then apply the second coat before the first coat dries. With these types of stains, the 2 coats should always be applied wet-on-wet. By the way, if you don’t want a color and would rather have a clear, I use a product called Extreme Clear Wood Stain. If you use this product, just make sure you prep the wood properly with an oxygen bleach wood cleaner and wood brightener.

    April 14th, 2010 at 1:23 pm
  19. J.R. Hughes said:

    Dear Clay,

    We built a two level westren red cedar deck in 2008. I have not applied any type of finish or stain as of yet so as to allow the wood to naturally weather first to remove the mill glaze.

    The upper deck measures 20′ x 20′ and the lower deck measures 16′ x 14′. The railing system consists of aluminium upright posts and rails which enclose clear tempered glass panels. Therefore no shaded areas for mold or mildew to get a foothold.

    What preparation steps should I take prior to staining the deck with a semi-transparent product?

    The deck is southwest facing and therefore receives full sun all day long.

    J.R. Hughes, CPP

    April 27th, 2010 at 1:35 pm
  20. Ms. D. Warren said:

    Clay: We live in Michigan and just built a cedar deck, which was completed in December. After doing some web searching, I purchased a product called Cedarshield Deck-Dock-Fence. It is a penetrant, solvent based wood treatment and a wood stabilizer.
    We have cleaned the deck and are preparing to apply the product. Are you familiar with this product? We understand that it is not a coating and has no UV protection value. The Cedarcide web site suggests either an oil or water based protectant can be used once the Cedarshield is allowed to sit for 72 hours. I would like to “hear” your comments on Cedarshield to make sure that I am doing the right thing to promote the longevity of my cedar deck.

    June 16th, 2010 at 12:51 am
  21. Susan said:

    This is extremely helpful. We were just told by our painters that in Massachusetts oil-based stains are illegal. Didn’t see MA in your list up there. Any updates?

    June 26th, 2010 at 12:21 am
  22. staint said:

    Why do I want to “maintain my deck” by painting it every year or two!. I have used Olympic OIL BASED semi transparant stain for its life. IT’s over 20 years old. I have only stained it 2 times! I have no issues with MOLD or ALGAE. I live in the midwest. The sun is what breaks down the stain. OIL base staines are ABSORBED into the wood. LATEX products are a FILM on the top. ONCE broken, there is nothing to protect the wood underneath. I will find and OIL BASED product sold in another state and have it shipped to me. ps, there is no clean up, I DISPOSE of the roller and clean the brush!

    July 16th, 2010 at 12:32 am
  23. Clay said:

    Yes, Massachusetts is another that has adopted the California OTC standards. The list has been updated.

    July 26th, 2010 at 3:14 pm
  24. Clay said:

    If you’ve got that long out of your deck, consider yourself extremely fortunate. Most stains typically last 2-3 years. True, the sun does break down the stain but there are other factors that can play into it such as rain, snow, foot traffic, pets, elevation, etc… Penetrating stains are available in both oil and water based. While it is true that oils typically do penetrate better, water based stains have come a long way and will soak in almost as well. You can get oil based stains in other states, but it’s becoming harder to find because online stores that ship these products to states that have adopted the California OTC standards can be subject to some pretty hefty fines. Eventually the EPA said they are going to have a nationwide law that prohibits oil based products. So far, these standards have been adopted by the states listed in the above article. From what I understand, the EPA keeps pushing back the date of a national standard which is why some individual states have taken their own initiatives.

    July 26th, 2010 at 3:29 pm
  25. john bryan said:

    I have a large, uncovered cedar deck that faces south and gets a LOT of direct sunlight. As a result, no stain or paint that I have tried over the last 12 years seems to last more than one summer season.

    I would like to try something other than stain and/or paint.

    I thought that perhaps Linseed Oil would work as it would not peel but would simply fad as it ages? I also thought about Teak Oil, however the cost would be prohibative.

    Any suggestions or comments?


    August 6th, 2010 at 12:43 pm
  26. Clay said:

    A couple of things to keep in mind with your situation…1. western red cedar is an oily wood type that has traditionally had problems accepting water based stains. 2. Your deck is getting maximum UV damage with that amount of sunlight all day long, I probably would expect to do maintenance coats on a yearly basis. 3. Mill scale is a crushing of the wood grain during the milling process. An oxygenated bleach wood cleaner is typically the easiest way to remove this. Keep in mind that oxygen bleach wood cleaners will occasionally turn cedar very dark. You can remedy this by applying a wood brightener. The oxalic acid in the brightener is a neutralizer and will lighten the wood back up to brand new again. As far as which stain to use, you can use an oil based stain or a water based stain. If you go with oil, it’s going to soak in better but it will still probably only last a year at most due to the extreme UV damage your deck gets. If you want to use a water based stain, only apply as much as the wood can absorb. On western red cedar decks, if I’m using a water based stain, I’ll use DEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods. It has smaller resins that soak in better than most other water based stains. If you decide to use oil, you might look into Cabot, TWP or Penofin. They make some decent oil based stains.

    August 11th, 2010 at 1:34 pm
  27. Clay said:

    John, unfortunately you have probably the worst type of environment for a deck. Any deck with a southern exposure that gets sunlight the majority of the day probably needs to be restained every year. The UV rays will cause it to gray faster than anything else. Plus, cedar is a tough wood to stain. It’s naturally resistant to the elements and it resists stains as well. I’ve never seen a stain hold up that well on cedar compared to something like pressure treated lumber. You could put linseed oil or teak oil on your deck, but it’s probably not even going to last 12 months before the wood starts graying. If it were me, I’d use a semi-transparent stain. Some are better than others. The color in the stain will give you better UV protection than a clear. You might get 2 years at best. There’s a new product out called Extreme Wood Stain. Check out this wood stain video below comparing it to other stains. You can buy the Extreme Wood Stain here.

    August 20th, 2010 at 2:14 pm
  28. Clay said:

    I’ve never heard of this particular product. My only thought is that cedar is naturally weather resistant. It has plenty of oils that make it hold up to the elements without applying anything to it. I can tell you that most stain manufacturers will not recommend putting their stain on a deck that has this type of treatment on it. Let me know how your project turns out. I’m curious to see what your results are.

    August 20th, 2010 at 2:30 pm
  29. John said:

    Hi, Clay

    Why my post was deleted?


    August 21st, 2010 at 3:11 pm
  30. Clay said:

    John, I’m not sure. I don’t remember deleting any posts unless they were marked as spam. If you’d resubmit it I’d be glad to let you share your thoughts.

    August 21st, 2010 at 3:56 pm
  31. Clay said:

    Just so everyone knows, here are the stains that Tim Carter is using: The far left semi-transparent stain is DEFY Extreme Semi-transparent Wood Stain in Cedartone color. The next is DEFY Extreme Clear Wood Stain, then Sherwin Williams Clear. He’s supposed to do a follow up video showing the results. I’ll post that when he does it.

    August 21st, 2010 at 3:59 pm
  32. Duncan said:


    About 8 months ago I used Cabot’s Natural Decking Oil on my merbeu deck. But now it’s looking quite faded with the daily sunlight shining on it. I now want to go along the lines of using a stain to get a bit more colour into it.

    In terms of preparation though, would I need to strip the decking oil off first or would a good scrub with some deck clean solution suffice?


    August 24th, 2010 at 2:30 am
  33. Greg said:

    As anyone tried Penofin? What do you think of it? My wife and I are thinking of using it on a new cedar fence, deck and hot tub.

    August 27th, 2010 at 12:15 am
  34. Clay said:

    Penofin is one of the better stains out there. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but it’s still a pretty good product.

    August 27th, 2010 at 1:06 pm
  35. Sean said:

    Clay – We just put down a cedar floor on a porch that is covered on the north side of our house, so it doesn’t get much, if any sun. We love the natural color of the wood and we’ve read what seems to be a million suggestions about what to protect it with. But we haven’t seen many suggestions on wood on the north side of a covered area. Thanks.

    August 27th, 2010 at 1:29 pm
  36. Clay said:

    You’ll need to strip the old stain off with a stain stripper, then use a brightener to neutralize the surface. Keep in mind that Merbau is a hardwood and any stain you use is not going to last that long. When wood is that dense it has trouble allowing stain to soak in. Since the deck stain doesn’t soak in very deep, it isn’t able to bond with the wood fibers as well. The result is you’ll probably need to stain it every year. If you were going to use the same Cabot product again, you could probably get by with just cleaning the surface, but if you’re going to change to another type of stain or another brand, then I would definitely strip and brighten the wood.

    August 27th, 2010 at 1:31 pm
  37. Chelc said:

    We plan on staining our deck this weekend and can’t decide which brand to go with. We’re looking at the brands Wolmans or Behrs…any recommendations? I cannot find Defy deck stain anywhere nearby and we need to make our purchase soon. Thanks!

    September 15th, 2010 at 1:30 pm
  38. Clay said:

    I’d stay away from Behr…never had too much luck with their stains. Wolman makes some that are ok.

    September 15th, 2010 at 3:21 pm
  39. Clay said:

    If it were me, I’d use DEFY UV-Resistant Clear Wood Finish. That’s a totally clear product that works really well on cedar. The fact that your deck is facing the north means that it won’t get as much uv damage. The DEFY product has synthetic resins that don’t attract mold or mildew. Sometimes mold can be an issue on north facing decks due to the increased amount of shade so I’d definitely stay away from oil based stains. They tend to attract more mold than water based products.

    September 15th, 2010 at 3:45 pm
  40. Joe Vieira said:

    I have a composite deck but used a Brazilian wood called Cambara
    as a railing sysem. I have tried using Australian Oil but it does not last. As of now, the rails have a lot of checks and has weathered.

    The deck is on the West side of my house with sun starting around late morning and all through the day.

    What can I use to make it look presentable for the next couple of years?

    Thank you for your time,
    Joe Vieira

    September 20th, 2010 at 7:52 pm
  41. Jeana said:

    Any suggestions for the best semi-transparent stain for a front porch? It’s tongue-and-groove fir, 1×4″ clear vertical grain. Not sure whether to go with oil or water-based. Water seems better but may not last as long. Appreciate any help.

    September 25th, 2010 at 9:48 pm
  42. Jeana said:

    Forgot to mention that the porch is covered with an awning/roof, and faces east. We live in the Pacific Northwest.

    September 25th, 2010 at 9:49 pm
  43. Pat V said:

    We have a composite deck, but the railing system is a wood called Cambara. We have tried using Austrailian Oil but it does not last. The rails have a lot of checks and have weathered.

    The deck is on the west side and gets sun from late morning until sunset. What can we do to make it presentable for a few more years?

    October 9th, 2010 at 1:40 am
  44. Dean Patterson said:

    I am building a replacement deck of pressure treated douglas fir or hemlock then plan to cover it with Timbertech decking. The contractor has agreed to stain all exposed structure before attaching decking. Does the structure require preparation prior to applying stain? He planned to use Behr but that is not my choice and will probably use a semi transparent stain. I live in western wa-what stain would you recommend?
    Thanks, Dean

    October 9th, 2010 at 3:26 am
  45. Angie said:

    I just had my upper deck replaced with cedar, we were going to refinish the one that was there but discovered a lot of the boards had gone bad and decided to replace. It is untreated wood, how long do I need to wait until I can stain? I am in Oregon and we are going into the rainy season and I am concerned about getting it taken care of before winter hit. I am also pretty environmentally minded and want to use what is best for the environment, but still use as good of product as possible to ensure the longevity of my deck. I also have critters that run around on it too so I prefer not poison anyone in the process…. any recommendations would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    October 10th, 2010 at 10:44 pm
  46. Clay said:

    Joe, unfortunately there isn’t anything that’s going to last a couple of years on brazilian hardwood. I usually consider myself lucky to get 12-18 months out of a stain on this type of wood. I’m not a big fan of Australian Timber Oil. It tends to attract mold and algae every time I use it. I usually will go with a synthetic resin stain. There’s a product called Deck Stain for Hardwoods that you can try. Keep in mind that regardless of what you use, you’re still going to end up doing maintenance coats at least every 1-2 years at best. The good news is that vertical surfaces typically last longer than horizontals as they don’t get as much direct UV damage.

    October 11th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
  47. Clay said:

    Jeana, I like a product called Extreme Wood Stain. It’s a water based product that has outlasted anything else I’ve tried, including oil based products. I prefer water based products as they are easier to deal with, plus the good ones last just as long, if not longer than oil based products.

    October 11th, 2010 at 1:08 pm
  48. Clay said:

    Dean, first off, if you’re using pressure treated lumber, it needs to weather for a few months before applying anything to it. Once that happens, it’s best to use a Wood Cleaner and Wood Brightener first. That will make a big difference in the lifespan of the stain. The best stain I’ve tried on pressure treated lumber is Extreme Wood Stain. It has zinc nano-particles in it that are extremely resistant to mold and mildew and it resists UV damage very well. It has far outlasted Behr in every case I’ve seen so far. I think Behr does have a product that has nano-particles in it that supposed to be pretty good but I can’t say whether it’s any good as I haven’t tried it yet.

    October 11th, 2010 at 1:30 pm
  49. Clay said:

    Angie, the good news is that cedar doesn’t need to weather before you stain it. You can stain it immediately after installing it. Cedar is an oily softwood that typically has problems accepting water based stains. A lot of times, people use oil based stains as they tend to soak in a little better on cedar wood types. The downside is that most oil based stains are not very environmentally friendly. If you’re wanting the most environmentally friendly product without sacrificing performance, I would try a product called Deck Stain for Hardwoods. It’s a water based product that has tiny resins that soak into hard or oily wood types better than most other water based stains. To get the longest lifespan out of this product (or any other for that matter), I would use a Wood Cleaner and Brightener first to prep the wood. This will make a big difference in the performance of the stain. The Wood Cleaner opens up the pores of the wood so more stain can soak in. The Brightener neutralizes the surface, bringing the wood to a neutral ph level, which is what it needs to be in order to be stained.

    October 11th, 2010 at 1:42 pm
  50. Angie said:

    Thanks Clay, that is wonderful news.

    One more question, some of the wood we put down is still a little green I think – some boards were quite a bit heavier than others. Do I need to wait on staining because of that or is it still OK to go ahead once I have a dry day and the deck is dry from the rain?

    October 11th, 2010 at 7:16 pm
  51. jeremy said:

    Clay ,

    i just put a brand new 450 sq ft deck on my house in july . i live in ohio and we get about 120″ of snow . we plan on staining the deck next spring a dark brick red color or whatnot , and were told a waterseal would be a good idea to apply before winter here in a few weeks.
    its pressure treated southern pine , standard 5/4 board.

    should i just let it go over the winter as the wood is still young and itll be fine? and then just pressure wash in the spring and stain away?
    im worried the water seal will repel the stain if i applied the seal now and then tried to stain in the spring .

    any help would be appreciated. thanks!

    October 29th, 2010 at 10:24 am
  52. David said:

    I have a pressure treated wood deck and boat house, built last year, which were treated with a semi transparent cedar color stain. It seems to have lost all its water repellant qualities and has faded to white in sunny areas. Should I re-treat it with a high quality water-based clear stain or a semi-transparent stain. Do you have a brand you would recommend?


    December 6th, 2010 at 7:50 pm
  53. Gary Brewer said:

    Any suggestions on a stain for a new ‘tiger wood” deck?

    Many Thanks

    December 13th, 2010 at 4:37 pm
  54. administrator said:

    The Defy Stain for Hardwoods would be best for a Tigerwood deck.

    December 18th, 2010 at 3:43 pm
  55. Janice said:

    I bought a house 2 years ago that has a 500sqft deck. The wood is grayed. I have no idea what was applied to it in the past or how old the deck is. The house was built in 1994 and it was a foreclosure so I wasn’t able to ask about it’s history. I finally have some money to purchase stain; however I’m not sure what to use.

    How can I tell what kind of wood it’s made of?

    I live in Michigan and it has a western exposure.

    March 25th, 2011 at 2:31 am
  56. administrator said:

    If it Michigan it is most likely pressure treated pine or cedar.

    March 30th, 2011 at 12:51 pm
  57. kim glancy said:

    I used Cabot semi transparent oil stain “mission brown” on my 900 sq ft deck. It’s been two years, it’s peeled and it’s time to clean it up. I used Olympic deck cleaner on it but have read about the new laws about getting rid of the oil based stains. I don’t want to use a oil base stain it I can’t guy it again. Since I have cleaned the deck can I put down a water based stain on it without doing anything else.? What product do you recommend? The deck is in the sun from 11 – 4 I live in Maryland

    April 19th, 2011 at 2:41 pm
  58. administrator said:

    You should use a deck stain stripper to remove the Cabot first before applying a new coat of stain. The Olympic cleaner is not very good at prepping the wood. Make sure to use a wood brightener as well.

    The oil based stains will still be around for the time being and the future. If you want to switch to a water based stain then I would suggest the Defy Extreme Stain as it will do the best for you sunny deck.

    April 19th, 2011 at 6:58 pm
  59. kim glancy said:

    If I am using the same type of stain do I still need to strip it? I decided to stay with the Cabot semi transparent same color. What will the deck brightener do that the cleaner didn’t. Since I’m staying with a oil stain do you have a favorite product over the Cabot that will do well in direct sun all day long? I thank you for you time in answering my questions.

    April 19th, 2011 at 9:04 pm
  60. Jeff said:

    I have a mahogany deck that needs refinishing this year. I was using Australian timber oil but it does not last. The deck had some graying and that finish is almost gone. What should I use to strip the remaining timber oil? Should I use something to enhance the color? What stain should I use that will last awhile at least? Thanks!

    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:54 pm
  61. administrator said:

    I would use a wood stain stripper to remove the left over Cabot Australian Timber Oil.

    Best to use a stain the has a pigment in it. I would look at one of these two for Mahogany wood:

    Armstrong Clark Stain in Mahogany
    Defy Stain for Hardwoods in Light Walnut

    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:27 pm
  62. Bill said:

    I just finished the installation of a new 700sf deck using KDAT clear pine – beautiful wood with no knots. Since the wood is new and kiln dried I am ready to apply a stain immediately – I don’t think I have to clean it – correct? The deck is in Atlanta and south facing – gets full sun. Which semitransparent stain would you recommend?
    Thank you.

    May 4th, 2011 at 12:09 pm
  63. administrator said:

    All new wood should be cleaned and brightened before applying a stain. This removes any mill glaze and “opens” the wood pores. I would look at the Defy Extreme Stain for this application.

    May 5th, 2011 at 10:12 am
  64. Kim said:

    If I am using the same type of stain do I still need to strip it? I decided to stay with the Cabot semi transparent same color. What will the deck brightener do that the cleaner didn’t. Since I’m staying with a oil stain do you have a favorite product over the Cabot that will do well in direct sun all day long? I thank you for you time in answering my questions.

    May 5th, 2011 at 12:52 pm
  65. administrator said:

    If the Cabot has not worn unevenly then you should be okay with using a wood cleaner to prep for applying an application of stain. The wood brightener neutralizes the wood cleaner and “brightens” the wood. It does not brighten an old stain. There are many high quality oi-based stains. Here is a couple of my favorites:

    TWP Stains
    Armstrong Clark Stains

    May 6th, 2011 at 11:51 am
  66. Kim said:

    Since I just used the Cabot on my 900 ft deck I’ll be looking into the TWP & Armstrong Clark Stain when I need to re-coat in a few years. Would I be able to put a deck cleaner on my deck and then put the new product down w/o stripping down to the bear wood? I am in direct sun 7 hours of the day which product of the two would you recommend from the TWP or Armstrong ?

    May 6th, 2011 at 1:11 pm
  67. Cheryl Anderson said:

    I live in Idaho and have a south facing deck that gets full sun all day & snow in the winter. It is 17 years old and has had Super Deck semi-transparent costal grey put on it every year or two. They are no longer making the costal gray so we need to make a switch. Any suggestions. I would like to stay with another water based stain. Also what do I do to prep for the next stain? Thanks love your site

    May 13th, 2011 at 5:08 pm
  68. administrator said:

    I would look at the Defy Epoxy in the Driftwood gray.

    Make sure to use a stain stripper and a wood brightener to remove the Super Deck stain.

    BTW, Super Deck is an oil based stain.

    May 14th, 2011 at 1:51 am
  69. Dave said:

    I’ve resolved to the fact that no stain will last 2 years on the floorboards of my pressuse treated wood deck. I ended up sanding the entire deck down and now am ready to stain. If I plan to recoat every year, what product would require the least amount of prep to recoat each year. I want a semi-transparent stain. I have heard oil based stains are best for this scenario. I have had issues with water based stains not being able to be recoated easily.

    May 15th, 2011 at 4:44 pm
  70. administrator said:

    I would look at this stain as it absorbs extremely well and can be cleaned and re coated whenever needed without stripping.

    TimberOil Brand

    May 15th, 2011 at 5:21 pm
  71. Jana said:

    We have a locust deck. Any special recommendations for staining this type of wood? Thank you.

    May 19th, 2011 at 12:21 am
  72. administrator said:

    It is a hardwood wood so you would want a stain that is designed for this type of wood.

    Locust Wood Stains

    May 19th, 2011 at 9:57 am
  73. James said:

    My deck has the Elite wolmanized pressure treated wood, installed late last year. I love the color of the deck and would like to keep it that color. Should I use the transparent or the semi-transparent with a color that closely matches the wood? Will the color fade to a gray color if I use the transparent?

    Also, I used a preservative for the first coating. Do I need to do any other prep work besides the deck wash (Deckbrite) before staining?

    May 29th, 2011 at 6:22 am
  74. administrator said:

    Semi-Transparent stains will hold color longer then transparent stains. What preservative did you use?

    May 29th, 2011 at 11:26 am
  75. Jo Winslow said:

    I live in WA state; just installed a new cedar deck; the contractor said to wait to stain after week of dry weather. It rains here you know!!!
    Do I need to prep this material in any way before the semi transparent stain goes on??

    May 29th, 2011 at 6:58 pm
  76. Justin said:

    I just sanded my cedar deck with 80 grit sand paper. Now I need to choose a stain. I want to use a semi transparent stain. Home depot has Behr and Flood brand stains. Would you recommend one of these brands?

    May 30th, 2011 at 3:45 am
  77. administrator said:

    Yes all new wood should be prepped with a Wood Cleaner and a Wood Brightener prior to staining. This will remove the mill glaze and “open” the wood pores so the stain can properly absorb into the wood.

    Please read this: Stain A New Deck

    May 30th, 2011 at 10:10 am
  78. administrator said:

    No. Home Depot does not carry quality wood deck stains. Behr is one of the worst stains on the market. It applies unevenly, it peels after one winter, and it is extremely difficult to remove when it fails. There are class action lawsuits them. Stay Away!

    Any of the stains are better: Best Deck Stains

    May 30th, 2011 at 10:13 am
  79. Don said:

    First off let me say thanks for the valuable information that you are providing here, it’s much appreciated. OK now to the question, I live in Northwest TN and have a 15 x 18 deck which was built with treated cedar or pine and it’s time to apply some protection to it. I have already power washed it, in the process of sanding it down and now I want to make the right choice on what to protect it with, I want to use a semi-transparent stain and give it a little color and I’m just stumped on what is the best product to use, I know it won’t last forever but I would like something that can withstand the hot sun, mild winters, repels water well and good for lots of foot traffic and also a dog running across it and when it is time to reapply that I don’t have to spend an outrageous amount of time stripping and all that over again, Thank You!

    June 8th, 2011 at 5:15 pm
  80. Jacqueline Brady said:

    I need help! I am installing a new american mahogany deck in a upper location that has a full southern exposure . This will be our first time and we want to do it correctly. The deck we ripped out was also solid mahogany only three years old and the homeowner had it painted with cabot waterbased or oil based semisolid wood stain or paint. The wood was totally rotted and covered with mold. Here are our questions. Do we pretreat the wood before we install it, do we need to clean it to open up the wood pores for staining? Do you pretreat the entire wood top and bottom end to end before installation? The homeowner wants the deck painted a solid color. Can you tell me what products to use, I am interested in the water-based Defy line. I know to predrill holes and use stainless screws. Thanks so much!

    June 11th, 2011 at 1:21 pm
  81. Jacqueline Brady said:

    Forgot to say we are in southern maine very close to ocean and salt spray!

    June 11th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
  82. administrator said:

    Why would the homeowner want to paint a beautiful new mahogany deck with a solid color stain? The Defy stains are semi-transparent. You would want the Defy Hardwood stain. You do need to clean and prep the wood before applying a stain. No need to pre-treat before installation. Just clean, brighten and stain the exposed areas after installed.

    June 12th, 2011 at 12:11 pm
  83. Fred Raia said:

    We have a large redwood deck that we will be sanding today. I want to get a semi Transparent stain to use. My sons friend builds decks and he recommended Super deck stain. My son saw a 5 gallon can yesterday at a local lumber store for $155. How does this Super Deck compare to the Extreme wood stain?

    June 15th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
  84. administrator said:

    Super Deck is an oil based stain with average durability and color retention. It has issues with “darkening” in color through the years. One positive about Super Deck is that it is easily removable when you want to switch brands in the future.

    Defy Extreme stain in one of the three tints will have superior UV protection.

    June 15th, 2011 at 11:17 pm
  85. Elena said:

    We had a large deck built around our pool last August. It was pretreated but we havent stained it yet. I would like a light semi-transparent color. What is the best product for a deck that is always getting wet and in direct sunlight all day? I need to stain it asap because one or two of the wood pieces are bending. We live in Northeastern area so snow is a factor also. Thank you

    July 5th, 2011 at 5:18 pm
  86. administrator said:

    For the Northeastern part of the country you need a stain that is VOC compliant. I would look at one of these three stains:

    Defy Extreme Stain
    Armstrong Clark Stain
    TWP 1500 Series

    All are excellent stains!

    July 5th, 2011 at 6:57 pm
  87. Elena said:

    Thanks but I am unable to find any of those in the state I live in..PA
    How is the 2 in 1 stains?

    July 5th, 2011 at 8:00 pm
  88. AlfredHutty said:

    I have a 20 year old ceder deck with two issues. 1) It had planters on it which rotted through. We are now patching the deck with new ceder. A contractor sanded the entire deck. It looks good, though there are obviously some shade differences between between the old cedar and new. How is it best to handle this job? The chap I am working with tells me to use a semi-transparent stain Cabot or Sherwin Williams. I am being told prep is not needed after the sanding, and to apply two coast onto the newly sanded deck. Should the red cedar be prepped? Is so what is the best method? 2) We are going crazy with color decisions. The problem is many places do not have samples available, and the color chart is not accurate. We like a grey that resembles a weathered look. Is there a name of a color that fits this bill? We also are interested in knowing if there is a “popular” color since we are going to be probaby sell in three years. Thank you!

    July 11th, 2011 at 2:19 am
  89. administrator said:

    1. New wood will not match old wood when stained.
    2. Cabot and Sherwin Williams are average stains at best.
    3. Sanding is not the proper way to prep wood. Best to use a wood deck cleaner followed by a wood deck brightener to open the wood pores
    4. Grays are not popular at all. Cedartones are by far the most popular.

    July 11th, 2011 at 9:59 am
  90. Dave said:

    I have a 9 year old pressure treated deck that was stained with a solid Sherwin Williams oil based product shortly after the deck was built. The new deck surface was probably not properly prepared for staining, and stain on the deck surface peeled badly within the first year. The underside of the elevated deck was also stained, but very little peeling has occurred there. The deck has not been re-coated since. It is time to bring the deck back to life. Recently, the deck was power washed and sanded, but there are still some traces of the gray stain remaining. I am considering using one of the water based products you recommend to stain the deck. Since I will not be able to remove all traces off the old stain, I think I will have to stick with a gray stain. Would the the Defy epoxy in Driftwood Gray be a good choice? Can I apply it over the old oil satin on the underside of the deck without having to strip the whole thing? Would you recommend using a stripper and brightener on all surfaces, whether or not they have been sanded? I want to maximize the outcome for the near term and minimize future rework and maintenance. I would appreciate your advice on how to proceed.

    July 12th, 2011 at 2:17 am
  91. administrator said:

    I would use a wood cleaner and a wood brightener to prep wood after your sanding. This will open the pores so the stain will absorb better.

    The Defy Epoxy in the Driftwood gray would be a good choice for the exposed side. It may not adhere on the underside though. Is there any need to do the underside?

    July 12th, 2011 at 10:49 am
  92. Dave said:

    Regarding the need to do the underside of the deck: My house has a walk out basement, so the decks are elevated. Since the decks were built, I have installed a pool and patio, and the underside of the decks are noticeably visible from these areas. So, it would be nice if the underside was not an eyesore. In retrospect, I should have constructed the decks with some sort of system to shed water, so the space below could have a finished ceiling and allow more functional living space… something to consider for a future project. In the short term, I would just like the underside, deck posts and beams to look more finished. The fascia and deck rails are maintenance free white synthetic material. The posts and beams have never been stained, but the joists and underside of the deck boards were stained with original application. Stripping or sanding the underside of the decks would just be too messy and laborious. Any suggestions, short of tearing the decks down and starting over? Thanks!

    July 12th, 2011 at 4:19 pm
  93. George said:

    We have 5 year old pressure treated Southern Pine decking
    which has been thoroughly pressure treated for a new finish. Under the eaves there are areas where all of the original semi- transparent
    stain could not be removed with pressure washing. Must I sand these
    boards before we apply stain? We are planning to use Cabot Semi-Solid Oil stain… And NONE of the previous posts have dealt with the requirements to fill the many cracks or not to fill… Tour thoughts?
    Thank you.

    July 18th, 2011 at 3:48 am
  94. Hanrod said:

    I note the very negative comments here about the Behr products, which I was planning to use, in solid stain form, to refinish my 20 year old redwood deck of 360 sq ft., in Southern California — i.e. no oil based stain here, anymore.

    I refinished with semi-transparent for a few years, and then went to solid stain. Now the current Olympic solid, water based, stain has worn off on much of the deck, in just over 2 years. Not “flaking” particularly, just the color wearing thin leaving many bare spots.

    The IRONY is that I am looking at the Consumer Reports Buying Guide for 2011, which reflects that a product called Behr Deck Plus Solid color Deck fence and Siding Wood Stain (200 line), at $26. a gallon, is substantially superior to everything they have tested.

    You note here some kind of penetrating WATER based stain now available that is superior, but do not indicate what kind. Are you sure about this Behr product, which may be new? Any other thoughts for me?

    July 18th, 2011 at 11:52 pm
  95. administrator said:

    Consumer reports testing for deck stains is very flawed. The main thing they look at is appearance of the stain. They do not take in consideration application, ease of re-coating when they fail (they all fail eventually), and or removal when needed.

    Behr deck stains are considered to be one of the worst if not the worst by professionals in the industry. IMO it is a horrible product. Does not stain evenly, always peels, and is extremely difficult to remove. It does have great color retention though if you can get past the peeling on the rest of the deck. In addition their warranty is a joke.

    The Defy stains are penetrating water based stains and are far superior. Unfortunately they are semi-transparent and will not work over a solid stain like the Olympic that you used.

    July 19th, 2011 at 10:39 am
  96. administrator said:

    You should remove as much as possible. A deck stain stripper works better then sanding.

    Wood filler does not work on outside wood. It will not look good and will “fall” out with changes in season.

    July 19th, 2011 at 10:43 am
  97. Martha said:

    I have a deck east facing on the shore in Maine. Port Orford Cedar was used but was laid tight together. I waited a couple of years and applied Cabot’s oil based deck stain. I have since reapplied that and the drying time is weeks! Also the deck boards are rotting in many places. Any suggestions??

    July 25th, 2011 at 11:44 am
  98. administrator said:

    I would strip it all off and start with a better stain that actually dries properly. These stains would work well:

    Defy Extreme Stain
    Armstrong Clark Stain
    TWP 1500 Series

    July 25th, 2011 at 8:53 pm
  99. Matt said:

    I have an east facing cedar deck that I’ve been told is less than 5 years old (I just moved in). It certainly doesn’t appear any deck treatment has been used previously. The deck has mildew on it that becomes slippery when wet. Boards, rails, etc seem to exhibit normal and similar wear all around. Out house is located in Minneapolis so the deck is exposed to extreme temperature ranges and obviously snow.

    If this was your deck, what steps are you going to take and with what products/brands? Thanks


    July 27th, 2011 at 8:30 pm
  100. administrator said:

    You need to prep the wood with a wood cleaner and a wood brightener. Once dry you should apply a transparent but pigmented wood deck stain. I would start here on this link to get you going with the correct products: Deck Staining Help

    July 28th, 2011 at 10:33 am
  101. Matt said:

    Thanks for the feedback. One last quesstion. Given the mildew/algae problems, would you lean toward a water-based synthetic or oil-based stain?

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
  102. Ron Wygand said:

    I sanded a twenty year old cedar deck down to the bare wood. It looked great. While sanding the wood, I also sanded the nail heads down even with the surface. The wood was severly damaged from pressure washing. After a couple of days the deck started to get gray blotches and speckling all over. I realized the metal in the nails were spread throughout the deck due to sanding with a belt sander and were now oxidizing. I purchased Cabot Wood Brightener and it removed the gray. Two days later the graying was coming back. I want to stain the deck. How do I keep this oxidation from bleeding through the stain?

    July 29th, 2011 at 1:41 pm
  103. administrator said:

    Rust from nail heads turns black not gray when the metal particles are exposed to rain. You should clean the deck thoroughly with a wood deck cleaner and then neutralize with a wood deck brightener at a high concentration. I would look at these products: Restore A deck

    July 29th, 2011 at 8:21 pm
  104. administrator said:

    Does not matter but water based in general does better with mold/algae.

    July 30th, 2011 at 3:33 pm
  105. jims said:

    Have you ever used a product called TimberOil?

    August 4th, 2011 at 8:08 pm
  106. jims said:

    OOps sorry. I clicked too early.
    TimberOil is supposedly a parrafin based oil product that contains algaecides and fungicides. My deck is pressure treated, and I have used Behrs semitransparent oil based cedar tone in the past. Looking for something better to apply over the existing stain.

    August 4th, 2011 at 8:11 pm
  107. administrator said:

    Yes we have used the TimberOil. You cannot or should not apply any stain over the Behr. Behr is a very poor stain and applying a new coat of stain on top will not allow the new stains to properly penetrate or adhere to the wood.

    August 6th, 2011 at 4:52 pm
  108. Zac said:

    I just re-surfaced my deck, a week and a half ago. The perimeter floor joists, all floor planks, and all railings are new pressure treated pine. I have pressure washed the columns, joist support, and floor joists that remain from the original deck. I realize the old wood will not match the new wood once it is all stained. The sun is directly on the deck for the better part of the day. My main concern now is staining it too soon, or waiting too long to stain it. My questions are as follows:

    1. How long do I need to wait before I stain everything?
    2. Is it ok to stain if there is still a slight green hue from the chemicals?
    3. How long does it take for the stamped ink on the new pine to go away?
    4. Do you have a suggestion, as to oil based vs. water based, when it comes to pressure treated pine?
    5. Are you familiar with the product, “Wolman F&P”? If so, how would you rate it?
    6. Straight up, what is the best (top shelf) stain you would recommend to me in this given situation?

    August 8th, 2011 at 8:55 pm
  109. administrator said:

    1. Depends on stain that you want to use but at least wait 1-2 months to let the wood dry.
    2. Yes but it may show through a little.
    3. Long time. At least a season in some cases.
    4. Not really. Both are good. Only thing is that new wood is not very absorbent so oil based stains will penetrate better.
    5. Wolman is an average stain at best.
    6. There is not a “best” stain. I would look at the Defy Extreme or the TWP 1500 Series.

    August 8th, 2011 at 9:54 pm
  110. Zac said:

    Ok, thank you! I’ve spent some time this morning researching both the Defy Extreme and the TWP 1500 Series. I can’t discern, from either of the sites, whether they are oil based or water based!? Do you know what they are, or which one will absorb better into my new pine?

    Aside from that, I am leaning towards the Defy Extreme. The TWP seems adequate. However, the Defy extreme’s “nano-technology”, synthetic resins, and natural pine tint are really appealing to me.

    August 9th, 2011 at 1:54 pm
  111. Alissa said:

    You seem to recommend Defy products most often, but also Armstrong Clark and TWP. I’m wondering what would be best for my situation. We are building a new composite deck with rough cedar skirting. We especially want to preserve the wood color with the lowest maintenance. What do you think would be the best product for rough cedar on a vertical surface? (We are in Wichita, KS (humid, but not tons of rain. The deck is on the north side of the house and parts of it do get substantial shade.) I’ve been leaning towards Defy Hardwood formula (but noticed the can specifies SMOOTH cedar). Is rough cedar harder or easier to penetrate. We’d really rather not have the expense of the deck wash.Thanks so much.

    August 9th, 2011 at 4:06 pm
  112. administrator said:

    Since it is all vertical I would go wit the Defy Extreme in one of the three tints. It will offer the longest UV protection.

    August 9th, 2011 at 5:32 pm
  113. Ron said:

    What semi-transparent stain do you recomend for a new cedar deck?
    How long does the new cedar deck need to sit before staining?

    I would like to seal the cedar deck before winter so it doesn’t gray out. I want a stain I can refresh every year or two without power washing. Any suggestions?

    August 12th, 2011 at 4:35 am
  114. administrator said:

    I would look at this stain fro your new cedar deck.

    TheSealerStore TimberOil

    August 12th, 2011 at 10:32 am
  115. Anastasia said:

    Hello. I have a ~ 550 sq ft open pressure treated pine deck and screened in deck of ~250sq ft in Central Maryland. We had some of the deck replaced that was rotten and now have both new and about 15 year old decking. It is primarily in the shade and gets lots of leaves and tree droppings, and gets green algae. It has been pressure washed and so has slightly raised grain. The only treatment in past years has been Thompson’s wood sealant. The old decking is gray and the new decking is just beginning to lose its orginal color (2 years old), the inside deck floor is slightly grayed. The vertical wood on the interior deck is cedartone and pressure treated wood colors. I would like to bring the deck back to life and to harmonize the color. After reading about deck staining I hope you can help with some questions:

    I don’t want to sand the whole outside deck, but the railings are pretty rough, is it okay to sink the nails and sand them before I start treating the deck, or should we replace them?

    What product do you recommend? I was leaning towards Defy Epoxy but then I saw a post that said it wears off quickly. I’d like as maintenance free as possible. The deck does not get a lot of traffic, but does get lots of leaves and tree droppings. Would the new TWP 1500 be better in the wearing and appearance over the years?

    What do you think of the Wolman Deck Brite wood cleaner and coating prep? My son tried it and it didn’t do much. He may have not scrubbed enough, though… Do you recommend something that might work better, assuming I still need to scrub with a bristle brush to clean?

    Do you think cedartone transparent will bring the old and new wood close enough in color tone?

    Thanks very much – great website.

    August 17th, 2011 at 4:16 pm
  116. administrator said:

    To prep the wood I would look at the Restore A Deck Products. This is a two step system that will help restore the natural color of the wood. You can find it here: Deck Cleaner

    Defy Epoxy is a great stain. I would also look at the Defy Extreme Stain as this offers the same protection as the Epoxy but with better UV resistance.

    If you clean and prep the wood properly then the old and new wood will be close in color

    August 19th, 2011 at 12:34 pm
  117. Donna said:

    wow..what a great resource you are!
    We need to put a new finish on our fir farmers porch (covered).
    The house is about 10 years old and it’s the original stain-just looks weathered. We added new fir stairs last fall and now we need to get the porch floor and stairs to look somewhat alike.
    what do you recommend for fir? We like the semi-transparent look.
    Should we just clean the floor or should we lightly sand as well?
    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    August 21st, 2011 at 1:19 am
  118. Mark said:


    thanks very sincerely for all your good advice!

    This is a real conundrum for me. I had some serious health problems and am very sensitive to chemicals. I need to figure out what to use.

    I just ripped off the rotten for decking (painted) that has deteriorated and has been repaired time and time over the years. We can’t keep paint on it and it’s a moist area that doesn’t get much sun.

    I considered metal (and I’m still investigating). I’d probably like to use untreated cedar but I’m not sure if I can tolerate the outgassing (fumes) from the periodic application of the treatment.

    Any suggestions and ideas for someone like me?


    August 26th, 2011 at 1:27 pm
  119. administrator said:

    You could use a wood like IPE that does not rot or decay. If left untreated it will turn gray though. Just clean annually.

    August 27th, 2011 at 10:57 am
  120. James Antio said:

    Use anything but Sikkens, I put that stuff on my deck and it peeled within a month, spent $450 and 30 hours taking the stuff completely off and restaining it with Defy. Run away from Sikkens, don’t walk.

    August 31st, 2011 at 3:00 am
  121. administrator said:

    Sorry you had an issue with Sikkens. It is not one of my favorites either.

    August 31st, 2011 at 10:18 am
  122. Lou said:

    Just had a deck added to house – above ground, treated pine wood, western PA, half exposed & half under a roof. Trying to determine between Defy Epoxy, Defy Extreme, and TWP 1500. Any suggestions? Also wondering if it is better to brush on or use a pad for the first time staining? Thanks in advance.

    September 1st, 2011 at 4:46 pm
  123. administrator said:

    All of the stains you mentioned are excellent and will work very well. The main difference is that TWP is oil based and Defy is water based.

    Applying with a stain pad is better and easier in my opinion.

    September 2nd, 2011 at 10:39 am
  124. Filipe said:

    I recently built a deck using pressure treated wood. The deck has dried to a perfect shade and i want to maintain the current color/look of the wood. please suggest which product i should use to maintain the current color/look of the wood. I DO NOT want to change the color of the wood and therefor do not want any color in the stain. Also, what type of prep work do? it’s less than 2 months old, and receives plenty of sun. Im in the North East (Toronto-area).

    September 9th, 2011 at 7:24 pm
  125. administrator said:

    If the stain is not tinted then you will not get UV protection for more then a year. Clear stains/sealers in general do not offer UV protection. The only one that offers some UV protection is the Defy Clears and they will only last 9-12 months. If you get the Defy Stains in one of the tints then the stain will offer UV protection for 2-3 years or longer.

    September 12th, 2011 at 10:20 am
  126. craig Leland said:

    Thanks for your insight. Wish I had found and read these before using Behr water based on my cedar deck. Behr chipped immediately when moving chairs and pealed after just months of winter moisure. Looks like Defy for hardwood is the is the way to go.

    September 24th, 2011 at 5:35 am
  127. administrator said:

    It amazes me that Behr still sells it’s deck stain when it has so many problems.

    September 24th, 2011 at 11:08 am
  128. Sheila said:

    Lots of good comments here, but now I am really confused what to do with my deck (so many conflicting ideas on the internet). I live in Reno, NV and my back deck gets extreme sunlight. I am not certain of the kind of wood, maybe pine or white fir? It is in relatively good condition, not very old. I believe it was painted shortly before we moved in last year. It has been peeling up just shortly after we moved it, so we stripped it with first a power washer, then realized that we had to sand it to get the majority of the paint off (90%). I was told by a local to use a primer, then a solid stain. Seemed reasonable, but now after reading these posts, I want a semi-solid stain? And I want to prep it to open the pores? I don’t mind doing a little maintenance every year, but I sure as hell don’t want to strip, scrape or sand every year, or ever again for that matter. thanks for any pointers!

    October 21st, 2011 at 12:53 pm
  129. administrator said:

    I would look at this link to help narrow down your choices: Deck Stain Help

    October 22nd, 2011 at 9:19 pm
  130. David said:

    We recently bought a home and want to stain a 20 year old redwood deck and rails that have never been stained or maintained. It is extremely weathered but mostly in good condition. We intend to replace about 10% of the boards with new redwood. What is the procedure you would recommend to get a uniform look on the horizontal decking and solid white on the railing? Thank you

    November 3rd, 2011 at 11:24 pm
  131. administrator said:

    It is not possible to match new wood to 20 year old wood when using a semi-transparent stain. The new wood is less absorbent and will turn out lighter in color then the older wood. It is not a huge difference but will be noticeable.

    As for prepping the wood I would look at this deck cleaner and wood brightener system. This will help restore the older wood and prep the new wood.

    November 4th, 2011 at 10:20 am
  132. ht said:

    Hi. This is a great website. Thanks for all the sage advice!
    We live in Iowa and we are having a cedar deck built that should be done next week. We should have a few more 45 degree plus days to stain the deck shortly after it is completed and snow appears. Based on earlier comments, for a new cedar deck, it appears recommended brands would be TimberOil or Defy for Hardwoods for a semi-transparent stain and Defy Extreme Clear if we wanted to retain original wood color. We do have a few questions:
    1) Are all three, easy maintenance- no stripping; just brightener and reapply?
    2) How would you rank them in order of preference?
    3) With winter coming up shortly, should there be anything special done, like cover deck floor with tarp, etc. or will deck be good to go with dried product.
    Thanks in advance!!

    November 12th, 2011 at 5:26 pm
  133. administrator said:

    1. All three wood need a wood deck cleaner and a wood brightener the reapply.
    2. I would look at the TimberOil or Defy Stain for Hardwoods. Having a tint will retain the color 2-3 times longer then a clear.
    3. If you want to stain as soon as it is done being built then I would use the TimberOil. If you want to use the Defy then I would wait until Spring. No need to tarp.


    November 13th, 2011 at 11:53 am
  134. ht said:

    Ok. Thanks. Also, please forgive my ignorance in advance, should I use the deck cleaner and brightener on the “new” cedar wood if I stain right away? It’ll be ok not to stain deck until spring? I’ve seen a lot of post about wood graying, etc. Assuming I’m being a little paranoid..

    November 15th, 2011 at 2:27 am
  135. administrator said:

    Yes, new wood needs to be cleaned and brightened prior to applying a stain. It may turn gray by Spring if you wait but the cleaner and brightener will remove the gray.

    November 15th, 2011 at 12:17 pm
  136. ht said:

    Any material difference between the TheSealerStore brand TimberOil and Cabots? I’ve seen a negative review or two regarding Cabots; no hits on the TheSealerStore brand.

    November 19th, 2011 at 4:57 pm
  137. ht said:

    Ok, now I see the resemblance of the TheSealerStore brand and another product ;-) Still would like your sage advice.

    November 19th, 2011 at 5:18 pm
  138. administrator said:

    TheSealerStore TimberOil is a completely different stain then Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil.

    November 19th, 2011 at 6:58 pm
  139. Eric Larson said:

    need some advice. live in Nebraska yard faces south, not much shade in afternoons or early evening. Have a 10×38 deck made of pressure treated wood. Rebuilding new deck using Cedar for floor, composite for railing and aluminum balutsers. Using pressure treated for frame. slight slope under deck. deck is only 15 inches off the ground on one end and 3 feet on the other. Jocies are rotting away and boards are sinking on the end seams. that is the the reason for the changeout. Ok question is, I plan on staining the entire board including ends. Contractor said I should stand the boards on end and hose down about three times then allow a final dry, then put on about three coats of a tranparent stain before boards are laid. I am concerned about the deck level being so close to the ground that if not treated boards will over time begin to rot, hence the coating. I stained my cedar fences with Panofin, and other than the smell from the rosewood oil, it did a good job. I had planned on using Panofin for the deck floor but now after reading your page I am not so sure. three coats seem extreme but I am not an expert and for what I am paying for this deck other than a recoat every couple of years I have no desire to replace any of it. Any help here, am I being told straight and is Panfin a good choice for a deck? I know it is for a fence but there is no traffic on a fence. Or should I consider the water base stain you have talked about

    December 19th, 2011 at 4:10 pm
  140. administrator said:

    There is no need or real benefit to sealing all sides of the board. Staining/sealing is for exposed areas not the undersides. Even if you did apply the stain to the underside it would only help for a few years at best.

    Over applying the stain is a very bad idea. Depending on the brand name, you should only apply 1-2 coats of stain on new wood. I would suggest reading this article: 101 Deck Stain Tips

    Another good read is this: Staining a New Deck

    Penofin makes some good stains. I would also look at the Defy Stain and the TWP Stain for your area.

    December 19th, 2011 at 4:36 pm
  141. Eric Larson said:

    makes sense, thought three coats was overkill, thank you for the help

    December 19th, 2011 at 5:48 pm
  142. Muna said:

    We just built a month old Redwood deck and a 3 month old redwood fence with a redwood cottage stlye double gate and door. I live in Pacifica, Ca which is 20 miles south of San Francisco and close to the coast. Does Defy make a semi transparent that darkens the Redwood like a deep Cherry color. I purchased Kellymore Acry-sheild water based semi transparent stain but am not sure of its quality, so I’m hesitant to use it. I have a large deck and don’t want to stain every year. Also I have an Epi hardwood deck off my bed room and have noticed like green stuff on it what should I use to clean and stain? It’s turning grey so I think the stain that was placed 3 yrs ago is worn off?

    January 29th, 2012 at 9:31 pm
  143. administrator said:

    The closest Defy color to a “cherry” would be the Defy Epoxy Fortified Stain in the Redwood tint.

    You should use a Deck Cleaner and a Deck Brightener to prep the IPE before re applying a stain.

    I would not use the Kelly Moore stain. It is similar to a paint in that it will film on top of the wood.

    January 30th, 2012 at 6:01 pm
  144. Muna said:

    Thanks for your feedback,I’m taking the Kelly-moore back, and I ordered two samples of Defy Hardwood because that’s what the defy rep advised he didnt say I needed the extreme maybe because it doesnt snow where I live. So my question to you is what if I hate the color choices, is there another brand that has better color choices. The Redwood carriage gate and doors are much better quality of wood smooth compared to redwood rough fence wood, also my new redwood decks surrounds large cyprus trees so it will get debris. Is the water base stains better than oil base? I want the best quality easiest maintanence because I have hire people to do all this stuff. Thanks for your help!

    January 31st, 2012 at 6:51 pm
  145. Kls said:

    Just flipped our deck boards- pressure treated. Had to replace some with new ones. Getting ready to pressure wash them and need help on what to do next before staining. How long do we wait before staining and make sure the stain is even on the old and new boards. Want to use a semi transparent stain as well.
    Thanks for your help!

    February 4th, 2012 at 2:27 am
  146. administrator said:

    I would wait 4-6 weeks then use a wood cleaner and a wood brightener to prep the wood for staining. It will not be possible to match new and old wood the first time. It will be close but not exact.

    February 4th, 2012 at 12:35 pm
  147. Matt said:

    I have a PT deck around my pool that is 3 years old. I used Sherwin Williams oil based toner and now the horizontal surfaces have faded and in many areas have no stain. The wood looks old. I plan to strip it and then use a nuetrilizer. Also considering using a drum sander as there is some shallow splitting in may boards. I want to use a semi-transparant. Deck is in direct sunlight all day. Not going to go with Sherwin Williams again. I see from posts that the TWP 1500 series is good? Also, I have another new PT deck that has not been stained. I used a brightner on it, is that sufficient to remove the mil glaze and prepare it for the stain?

    March 31st, 2012 at 12:16 am
  148. Matt said:

    Reference my last post on the new PT deck. It is 1 yr old. oops…

    March 31st, 2012 at 12:36 am
  149. administrator said:

    Matt, I would use both a wood cleaner and a wood brightener to prep the new wood. TWP 1500 Series is a much better overall stain then Sherwin Williams. I would not sand. You want the wood to be a porous as possible for the stain and sanding can reduce the stain’s ability to absorb into the wood properly.

    March 31st, 2012 at 10:21 am
  150. Jeff said:

    Matt, I am looking for a stain to apply to a brand new boat dock. It has pressure treated lumber and has aged about 9 months. The actual dock is 6′ x 110′ which is exposed to sunlight all day. Other areas are covered. Do I need a clear, semi-transparent, or solid? I would like for it to be as maintenance free in the future with minimal re-applications. Name brands I am familiar with and can get locally are Sherwin Williams Deckmate, Home depot Behr, and Lowe’s Flood. From feedback I have received….Flood semi-transparent is the best considering price and longevity. Any advice and info you provide will be greatly appreciated.


    April 9th, 2012 at 11:22 pm
  151. Kelly said:

    Hello, I just moved to a house with wood siding (pine or cedar but not sure which LOL) that needs to be finished. We live in Northern Ontario where temperatures fluctuate wildly throughout the year from -40 in the winter to 90 in the summer. The front faces South and the wood looks dried out and faded whereas the back of the house facing North (waterfront side) has gone almost black. We plan to clean the siding with a cleaning product and pressure washer then apply a semi-solid stain to hide repair work to the siding/left over discoloration. We were thinking stain not paint because we would like to see that it is wood still. Any thoughts on oil versus latex for this project? Recommended products that we can get in Ontario? Thank you!

    April 11th, 2012 at 12:26 am
  152. administrator said:

    For a semi-solid stain I would look at the Armstrong Clark Stain. It is an excellent penetrating stain that is easy to apply as well. You can buy online here:


    April 11th, 2012 at 10:49 am
  153. administrator said:

    For new wood I would use a semi-transparent penetrating wood stain. all of the stains you can get locally are poor in quality, Flood though is better then the other two. Best would be to buy online. The Timber Oil Brand is excellent for brand new wood application.

    April 11th, 2012 at 10:51 am
  154. Kelly said:

    Thanks for your answers! The house is 23 years old and needs a bit of repair where knots have let go so I am thinking semi-solid would be best to hide what ever it is going to be repaired. I like the look of semi-transparent but I am worried that the damaged areas would show through?

    April 11th, 2012 at 6:39 pm
  155. Jeff said:

    Are you talking about Cabot Timber oil?

    April 12th, 2012 at 6:30 pm
  156. Kristle said:

    Good evening,

    What would you suggest we use on our merbau deck. We have a Labrador dog and 2 young children so the deck gets pretty dirty and is hard to clean. Needing something to make it look nice again and something thats easy to clean. Thanks!

    April 15th, 2012 at 11:02 am
  157. administrator said:

    No the cabot timber oil is completely different product and not the same.

    April 15th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
  158. administrator said:

    I would clean and prep your exotic hardwood deck. Deck cleaning such as Restore-A-Deck will help with this.

    As for a stain, there are may types and brands that are of higher end. See here for a good list of stains for exotic woods:

    Exotic Hardwood Stain

    Some of the more popular are:

    IPE Oil
    Messmers Hardwood
    Penofin Exotic Hardwood Stain
    Defy Hardwood Stain

    April 15th, 2012 at 2:53 pm
  159. sue said:

    I would like to know why you can’t use Olymic Premium acrylic latex stain on hortizonal surfaces. It says only on fences, siding, furniture and only vertical surfaces. I want to use it on the flooring of my deck. It is a semi transparent stain.

    April 23rd, 2012 at 12:59 am
  160. administrator said:

    I am not familiar with the Olympic Acrylic Latex. If they do not suggest it for floor decking then I would not use it. It will probably peel.

    April 23rd, 2012 at 11:13 am
  161. Anthony said:

    I recently purchased a home with a 1000 square foot cedar deck. The previous owners stain with Cabot oil base solid stain. I used a stripper and power washer on the deck only to discover that most of the wood is cracked and splintering. I decided on replacing with PT wood. Is this a good choice or not??? How long will I have to what to stain? The deck is exposed to direct sunlight for a majority of the day. What stain would hold up best? Also part of the deck is built around a inground pool. Location is in the north east. any information will be helpful.


    April 24th, 2012 at 1:06 am
  162. administrator said:

    PTP is a popular choice for exterior decking. Typically you will need to wait 1-2 months after installing the wood prior to applying a stain. For brand new decking we suggest stains that are able to penetrate into the wood well. TimberOil Brand is a popular choice.

    April 24th, 2012 at 9:52 am
  163. Bill said:

    i have a pressure treated deck with multiple types of stains & water sealers applied to it.over the years

    want to strip it and restain.what do i have to do?
    what is the best product for press. treated wood?

    April 24th, 2012 at 9:41 pm
  164. Marty said:

    Great site, thanks!
    Re. new cedar dock sections for freshwater lake:
    1) What is your opinion of simply letting cedar WEATHER NATURALLY rather than staining it at all? How long would it last? Would the wood rise and cause splinters?
    2) If we go with a stain, does it make sense for cedar to weather a season before application? If it grays and we don’t use brightener, would a cedar-tone color recapture the original look?
    3) If we stain dock, does the underside of a dock also need staining (could mildew or algae form underneath and seep upwards)?


    April 24th, 2012 at 10:02 pm
  165. administrator said:

    Bill, removing multiple layers of old coatings and stains can be very difficult. You may need to apply a deck stripper numerous times to get all of the old coatings off the wood. I would look at a powdered deck stain stripper as they are more cost effective. Restore-A-Deck Stripper and HD80 are a couple.

    There is not a best deck coating. I would look at Armstrong Clark Stain, Defy Extreme Stain, and TWP 1500 Series for New York.

    April 25th, 2012 at 10:24 am
  166. administrator said:

    1. Left untreated the cedar will gray and start to splinter. It will still last 10+ years but it will not look very good.
    2. You can let the wood weather for a year but you must use a wood cleaner and a wood brightener to prep prior to staining.
    3. You do not need to do the underside.

    April 25th, 2012 at 10:27 am
  167. Dan said:

    Hi, I am in Canada, and I have a 6 year old Press. Treated deck.
    Ive tryed the water sealers but they will grey out every year. I have a pool and a lot a sun and kids,. Oil based stains are hard to find here in Canada but there are 1 or 2. The majority of companies are going with the hybrid. What would u suggest out here in canada.

    May 6th, 2012 at 5:30 pm
  168. administrator said:

    Dan, You can still order many high end wood stains on the Internet and ship them to Canada. One suggestion would be the Armstrong Clark Wood Stain.

    May 6th, 2012 at 8:33 pm
  169. Ted pixley said:

    how easy is the defy extreme and twp1500 to strip- looking down the road…just had a horrible experience stripping a 20 year old deck with multiple coats of Benjamin Moore alkyd stain

    May 17th, 2012 at 1:19 am
  170. administrator said:

    Ted, both are easy to remove with a stain stripper.

    May 17th, 2012 at 7:40 am
  171. Bobbie said:

    A stain “expert” sold us oil based, solid body stain, (best choice to get a color close to our house paint). We bought Cabot, followed the can directions and contractors advice but within a year it was peeling, cracking, 4 years later it’s a disaster. With 2 huge decks around trees/bushes, we cannot strip it off. So what should the preparations be and do we use oil or water base solid body stain again or paint? Any help is appreciated. THANK YOU!

    June 9th, 2012 at 10:25 pm
  172. administrator said:

    Bobbie, no matter what you do you will be subject to the Cabot causing more peeling if you do not remove it all off. This obviously puts you in a bad position. If you clean and re stain now with another solid stain, it will peel again within a couple of years.

    In the “experts” defense, all stains eventually peel. New wood more so then others as the wood is not very absorbent.

    June 10th, 2012 at 12:32 pm
  173. Mark Hudson said:

    Restaining my cedar sliding. South side of the house is bad shape and the rest of the house is okay. What do you recommend for Indiana weather for vertical surfaces? Water or Oil based? Brands? The house was painted with solid stain. Two coats on all surfaces? Thanks!

    June 13th, 2012 at 8:22 pm
  174. administrator said:

    We only work with semi-transparent stain. Not sure on the solid color stains.

    June 14th, 2012 at 6:44 pm
  175. Mark said:

    We are in blazing hot Oklahoma and just completed a PT deck around our pool. How long should we wait to stain the deck and what stain would you recommend for our region – oil or water base? What brand would be best? After reading your comments above we will stay away from the big box store brands! Thank you!

    June 19th, 2012 at 2:42 am
  176. administrator said:


    I would wait 1-2 months then clean and brighten the deck to prep. As for the stain I would look at Defy Extreme Stain for this PTP deck in full sun.

    June 19th, 2012 at 10:14 am
  177. GE Crary said:

    Defy was used on our new fir (I think) deck. It was very expensive and very technique sensitive to apply. But the product information made it sound worth it.
    The application was done in July and by Feb. with very little deck traffic/use, the surface was worn off in large patches.
    We reapplied carefully following the directions. This was last Aug. By this early spring the surface looked ratty and worn, also with little use.
    I wish I had spent extra to use prefabricated deck “wood.”
    Any suggestions for this Portland OR deck’s next refinishing?

    June 26th, 2012 at 10:52 pm
  178. administrator said:

    De Cary, I would look at a stain that penetrates a little better. Maybe TWP or Armstrong.

    July 2nd, 2012 at 10:39 am
  179. George in Marland said:

    Got a 25′ x 14′ deck in the back with woods all around. Deck is on second floor with steps to ground level. In 2010 contractor butchered my deck over using Cabot semi-transparent oil base oak brown in color. I had another contractor removed what he could and left as is in 2011. After one year of allowing wood to weather I am ready to apply stain. There is still color from previous stain (2011) left in wood. Do I need to strip or could I just stain over with similar or darker semi-transparent oil base. Do I have to stay with the CAbot product?


    July 4th, 2012 at 1:22 am
  180. administrator said:

    I would strip it off and switch to a better brand.

    July 5th, 2012 at 10:24 am
  181. Matt said:

    Hi – I am building a large playset for my young children out of pressure treated southern yellow pine, with tongue and groove pine siding. I live in CT, and the set is mostly shaded in summer, with direct sunlight at the end of the day for about 4 hours before sunset. I am looking to use a semi-transparent tone to keep the wood grain, but give it some color. What product would you recommend to stain the wood, can I use it on both the PT and non-PT surfaces?

    I would like to spray if possible.


    July 13th, 2012 at 2:29 pm
  182. administrator said:

    Matt, I would look at the Defy Extreme Stain in the Natural Pine. It can be used on all wood. It can be sprayed but you will need to back wipe for uniformity.

    July 14th, 2012 at 11:01 am
  183. Ginger said:

    Hi! We have a wood playset, over 20 years old. We live in MN…lots of weather elements. ;) We have mold/algae problems. We have just finished cleaning and sanding the playset, but we are having a hard time deciding on the best stain/seal. Do you have a recommendation for us? We had looked at the TWP100, but then found out that it was toxic to fish, so we weren’t sure about using that on something that children would be playing on??? Thank you in advance for your help. I REALLY appreciate it.

    July 17th, 2012 at 3:13 am
  184. administrator said:

    Ginger, I would look at the Defy Extreme Stain

    July 17th, 2012 at 1:19 pm
  185. William Fuller said:

    Going to be restraining a 4 year old pt deck . Used a Sherwin Williams decikmate on it and did not hold up at all. Only lasted about 8months.Have pressure washed and used a deck stain remover and deck is pretty clean. Do you recommend a reviver to be used before I restain and am considering TWP 100 this time. What are your recommendations.

    July 22nd, 2012 at 6:59 pm
  186. administrator said:

    You should use a wood brightener after the stain stripper. TWP is an excellent stain.

    July 22nd, 2012 at 7:08 pm
  187. chris said:

    Hello – thanks for posting all this helpful info!

    Looking for some recommendations on prepping and staining an older, pressure treated deck with an unknown stain.

    The former owner left a gallon of “Behr wood-toned weatherproofing cedartone wood finish.” I’ve replaced a few boards with stored spares (presumably from the original install) and applied this finish; it doesn’t match the rest of the deck (which looks more like a rustic redwood). Also, the rest of the deck is/was fairly uniform in color with grain showing. I’m guessing this means its a semi-trans, or semi-solid; but don’t know how to distinguish.

    The deck also has a few repairs with new pressure treated wood which is unstained.

    Would you be able to advise on:
    -tips on identifying the old stain type
    -recommendations on stripper and stain (currently considering the RAD stripper and brightener, and Defy Extreme)
    -I did see a post from someone in our area (Portland, OR) who complained about the Defy brand’s durability. Maybe that was due to incorrect prep. However, if an oil based is preferable for this area, do you have a recommendation on one that has synthetic solids to inhibit mold and mildew?


    August 6th, 2012 at 6:04 am
  188. administrator said:

    Chris, Behr can be difficult to remove. A good stain stripper followed by some sanding may be needed. Defy makes good stains but if you do not prep the wood or apply the stain properly then you can have issues. This goes for any brand of stain and is not related to Defy.

    August 6th, 2012 at 9:57 pm
  189. Thomas Wendel said:

    What do you recommend for something that must be solid white ?

    October 1st, 2012 at 4:42 pm
  190. administrator said:

    Flood makes a nice solid stain that can be tinted white.

    October 1st, 2012 at 6:26 pm
  191. Iain said:

    Anyone know where I can get twp 100 in Canada? how could I find old stock? was it even sold in Canada?

    November 7th, 2012 at 4:32 am
  192. administrator said:

    TWP 100 is not sold in Canada.

    November 7th, 2012 at 10:54 am
  193. Bob said:

    What would you recommend for cleaning and staining a large pergola? We have a pressure-treated pine deck and large pergola. Both were stained using Cabot oil-based semi-transparent black. Yes… black! The semi-transparent lets the grain show through, looks sort of “dark-brownish” and actually looks very good next to our yellowish house. I’m having the deck restained and will probably do the pergola this fall. Everything says it is important to clean and brighten a deck before re-staining. What do you do to a large, 9 foot tall pergola with lighting installed? Cleaning or stripping seems like it would be VERY hard, getting to the tops of the horizontal beams and all. Is thiss a DYI job or do I need to hire a pro?

    May 9th, 2013 at 1:55 pm
  194. administrator said:

    Bob, I would hire a pro to get this project done correctly.

    May 9th, 2013 at 5:27 pm
  195. patrick carrese said:

    What semi-transparent stain should I use on new pine log siding? What prep would you suggest? Should I stain all 6 sides? I live in upstate New York. Thank you for all the helpful advice.


    May 11th, 2013 at 8:54 pm
  196. administrator said:

    I would look at the Defy Extreme for this. Let the wood season after install for a couple of months. Prep with a cleaner and wood brightener. No need to stain all sides. Just the exposed side after install.

    May 12th, 2013 at 11:34 am
  197. Alf said:

    Hi, I would like your recommendation on a semi-transparent stain/sealer for a 7 mos, never stained, deck made of pressure treated pine.
    I live in coastal NW Florida, where we have hot (high 90s) and humid summers, and winters in the 30s. Deck receives direct sunlight throughout the day. I have read good reviews anout the TWPs (100, 1500), Armstrong-Clark, and Defy Extreme stains, but I cannot decide for which one. Also, what about a marine grade stain and sealer.

    June 1st, 2013 at 1:03 pm
  198. karen dorman said:

    I have used a Sico Wood Finish with alkyd resin. The product itself lasts quite good. However after two years on my white cedar deck has mold growing between wood and stain. I bought the only stripper available from Rona to strip it that says it works on most stains. Its not working!!! I live in Canada can I still buy a stripper that will remove the stain with the new environmental laws. I will remove mold and sand after but need to first get the stain off. I am also using a pressure washer. I am not a newbie at doing deck. Just first time using these products. Thanks for your help

    June 2nd, 2013 at 12:36 pm
  199. administrator said:

    Alf, Defy Extreme for this.

    June 5th, 2013 at 9:15 pm


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