Deck Stain Ratings & Reviews

You would think that the most expensive deck stains (some reaching $60+ per gallon) would be the longest lasting, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition, some stain manufactures have 3-5 year warranty claims. In reality, this is just a marketing gimmick. No Stain will last 3-5 years on a horizontal surface. The idea is that they’ll sell more product because they have a warranty, and those increased sales will outweigh any warranty claims they have when their product fails to last. 20 years ago, oil based stains were the best choice. With the VOC laws changing in the last 10-15 years, all oil-based stain manufactures have had to change their formulas. Additionally, water-based stain technology has drastically improved so that now, many water-based stains outlast their oil based counterparts.

Using a wood cleaners & wood brighteners open up the pores of the wood so that maximum stain absorption can occur. This is what makes deck stain last. The deeper they soak in, the stronger their bond is with the wood. Now this is assuming that the wood stain is made with high quality resins that will actually soak in and bond in the first place. Using a cheap, poor quality deck stain that just lays on the surface isn’t going to do you much good, no matter how well you prep the surface. Back in 2015-2016, we tested 30 different deck stains to see how well they preformed. To document our testing, we installed cameras over each board, and had it take 1 photo per day for a year. Here’s a list of the top performing products. Click on each product to view the time-lapse video results for each stain.

Overall ScoreStain Title
DEFY Extreme Wood Stain Review

DEFY Extreme Wood Stain Review

#1 Deck Stain

#1 Deck Stain

Restore-A-Deck Stain

Restore-A-Deck Stain

Sikkens WB Stain Review

Sikkens WB Stain Review

Superdeck WaterBorne Stain Review

Superdeck WaterBorne Stain Review

TWP 100 Stain Review

TWP 100 Stain Review

Arborcoat WaterBased Stain Review

Arborcoat WaterBased Stain Review

Wood Defender Stain

Wood Defender Stain

Arborcoat Oil Stain Review

Arborcoat Oil Stain Review

Flood CWF-UV5 Stain Review

Flood CWF-UV5 Stain Review

Wolman DuraStain Stain Review

Wolman DuraStain Stain Review

Ready Seal Stain

Ready Seal Stain

Penofin Oil Stain Review

Penofin Oil Stain Review

Thompson’s Waterproofing Stain Review

Thompson’s Waterproofing Stain Review

Sikkens SRD Stain Review

Sikkens SRD Stain Review

Cabot Semi Transparent Stain Review

Cabot Semi Transparent Stain Review

Cabot Wood Tone Stain Review

Cabot Wood Tone Stain Review

Olympic Waterproofing Stain Review

Olympic Waterproofing Stain Review

TWP 1500 Stain Review

TWP 1500 Stain Review

Behr Semi Transparent Wood Stain Review

Behr Semi Transparent Wood Stain Review

Armstrong’s Wood Stain Review

Armstrong’s Wood Stain Review

SuperDeck Oil Stain Review

SuperDeck Oil Stain Review

Penofin Ultra Premium Stain Review

Penofin Ultra Premium Stain Review

Messmer’s UV Plus Stain Review

Messmer’s UV Plus Stain Review

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