Best Semi-Transparent Deck Stain Reviews & Buying Guide In 2019

There are many different types of stains for decks and other wooden structures; since the elements can be quite cruel to your deck, it is important to choose a stain that does a great job of protecting the wood there. If you’re a handyperson and aren’t sure which type of stain to use for your particular deck, the good news is that all high-quality stains will penetrate deep into the wood and protect it afterwards for many years. Choosing the right type is mostly a matter of taste and preference but the semi-transparent stains offer benefits that most deck owners seem to love.

A good semi-transparent deck stain allows the natural color of the wood to shine through because it is essentially a “see-through” layer that protects the wood but lets the color of that would be seen. This type of stain is simple to maintain, in part because cleaning the deck is easy and you can remove dirt and grime without stripping or sanding the wood beforehand. If you do need to strip the deck, it is a very fast and simple thing to do. The stain also allows each deck to have a unique look because no two wooden decks will be the exact same color or shade.

Comparison Of Best Rated Deck Semi Transparent Stain


Semi-Transparent Deck Stain Reviews

Top 5 Best Deck Stain Semi Transparent Reviews

1. DEFY Extreme 5 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

best water based semi transparent deck stainA water-based wood stain, the DEFY Extreme stain has a natural matte finish and is great for more than just decks. It can be used on surfaces such as siding, playsets, fencing, and outdoor furniture. Because it has tiny zinc particles throughout the stain, it reflects harmful UV rays and prevents color loss and fading. Also, because of its high-quality resins, it tends to last one or more seasons longer than traditional stains.

The DEFY Extreme wood stain requires no stripping or sanding when you wish to apply another coat and the zinc particles also prevent your deck from growing mold or mildew. It comes in one- or five-gallon buckets and in a variety of shades and tones. You can use a paintbrush or even a spray painter to apply the stain and it is also environmentally friendly and water-repellent. It is a good overall deck stain that is both durable and reliable.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEFY Extreme on Amazon >>>

  • There is little to no peeling and fading over time.
  • It does well even in harsh environmental conditions.
  • It doesn’t gray or loses color consistency over time.
  • Some users claim that it is more transparent than semi-transparent.
  • Some have complained about a “muddy” look after the stain is applied.
  • Some have claimed that the stain makes the deck look too dark in color.

2. Premium Semi-Transparent Water Based Deck Stain

Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for DecksAvailable in either one- or two-and-a-half-gallon containers, the #1 Deck wood stain made by Saver Systems acts as both a stain and a sealant for structures such as decks, siding, and fencing products. It protects the wood from damaging UV rays and dries to a flat, very natural-looking finish every time. This is a water-based, low-VOC stain that makes cleanup a breeze and it is available in four different finishes for your convenience.

The #1 Deck stain can be used on any type of softwood including redwood, cedar, fir, or pine that has been pressure-treated. Even if your deck is very old or hasn’t been stained in quite a while, this excellent stain will make sure that it looks extraordinary when the job is complete. In fact, it can give even an old, faded deck a brand-new look and people will hardly be able to tell that it’s a deck that has been around for some time.

  • It changes the appearance of your deck for the better.
  • It provides a bubble-free, non-slippery surface to walk on after it’s applied.
  • It is easy to clean and offers great penetration into the wood.
  • Some users complain that the wood still gets saturated when it rains even after two to three coats have been applied.
  • Some have complained about the water-resistant capability being unreliable.
  • There have been some complaints about the warranty not being good enough.

3. Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer

best oil based semi transparent deck stainMade for both decks and siding, the Ready Seal 512 super deck stain enhances the natural beauty of the wood and provides stunning color and tone that everyone will notice. This semi-transparent deck stain does a great job of preventing your deck from fading or becoming damaged due to harsh weather conditions or being accosted by the elements on a regular basis. It is also made with Tung and linseed oils that offer some of the best durability on the market.

The Ready Seal 512 does a great job of color consistency so even if the two containers that you purchase are bought many months apart, they can be used together without any problems. It is easy to apply and it looks great for many years to come, making it a very valuable addition to your stain and paint collection.

  • It is most durable deck stain and consistent in color.
  • It is a high-quality product meant to last.
  • It is easy to apply.
  • There have been some complaints about the deck being sticky even after the wood has dried.
  • There have been some complaints about the effects not lasting very long.
  • There have been some complaints about the overall quality of the product.

4. BEHR Waterproofing Stain

BEHR Waterproofing StainMade by a very reputable company, this waterproofing stain and sealer product is easy to apply, dries very quickly, and works like a charm! It produces beautiful results and provides some of the best coverage of any product available today. If you’re new to deck staining, this is a great product because it is easy to use and apply. It produces results that are better than most people were expecting.

Check how much you can save, buying the BEHR on Amazon >>>

  • It is a very high-quality and reliable product.
  • It is excellent as a water-repellent product.
  • It can withstand a variety of environmental conditions.
  • There have been some complaints about flaking and mildewing of the wood.
  • Some users have claimed that it didn’t penetrate the wood at all.
  • Some have claimed that the effects lasted only a short period of time.

5. Kilz L832111 Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain, Cedar, 1-Gallon

Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood StainAvailable in nine tones, the Kilz L832111 waterproofing wood stain offers long-lasting protection and a mildew-resistant finish every time. It is made from 100% acrylic and does a great job of protecting the wood from snow, rain, and the sun. With this product, you get up to 250 square feet of coverage for the first coat and up to 500 square feet for the second. It is also easily applied with a paintbrush, pad applicator, or a pump sprayer.

The Kilz L832111 wood stain protects both the beauty and the integrity of the wood for many years and it can also be used on siding, fencing shakes, railings, shingles, and outdoor patio furniture. It lasts up to three years when used on decks and up to five years if used on siding or fencing. It can be used even on decks that haven’t been stained or treated for a while.

  • It dries quickly and dries very hard.
  • It offers excellent coverage regardless of where you apply it.
  • It is a little thicker than other types of stain.
  • There have been some complaints about unusually long drying times.
  • Some have complained about the color of not looking the same as it does on the container.
  • There have been some complaints about an “uneven” look.

Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer

Semi-Transparent | Weatherscreen Deck Stain Buying Guide

  1. Application of Product

Most of the time, a semi-transparent deck stain can only be applied if the wood is clean, smooth, and dry so if your deck looks messy or old, it’s good to give it a cleanup before starting with the stain. Sanding the wood is a great way to begin and you have to make sure that all “fuzz” or uneven spots are smoothed out before applying the stain. Stain products will only penetrate the wood efficiently if the wood is clean and dry.

You should also apply the stain in thin coats because if you don’t, it may not penetrate the way that it should. Most importantly, you have to closely follow all of the directions on the packaging of the product because if you eliminate or alter just one step, the entire look can be the opposite of what you wanted it to be.

  1. Types of Wood for Decking

As with most other items, certain types of wood are better than others when it comes to decks. The wood used for decks usually includes:

  • Pressure-treated wood, which is chemically treated to resist mold and rot and is very reasonably priced
  • Cedar, which is lightweight, very strong, and resistant to insects and rot
  • Redwood, which is a natural-looking wood and very attractive; though somewhat expensive, it is a high-quality wood that is considered the classic choice for decks
  • Composite wood, which is usually made out of recycled plastics and wood fibers and is virtually maintenance-free
  • Tropical hardwoods, which are very expensive but can last for decades; these require an oil-based stain and not one that is water-based

There are other, less traditional types of deck materials, including aluminum, so it is best to research the advantages and disadvantages of each before making a final decision.

  1. Exposure to the Elements

Decks are outdoors, which means that they are going to be exposed to the elements all year long. For this reason, it is good to research the advantages and disadvantages of each type of deck stain so that you can choose the right stain for your area of the country. Whether it stays hot and humid most of the year or your winters are exceptionally cold and bitter, it is good to search for a product that is made for that specific weather condition. Otherwise, the stain simply won’t work the way that you wanted it to and you’ll end up using more wood cleaner or mildew blocker than you do stain product.

  1. Safety versus Aesthetics

You’re not just staining your deck to make it look better; you’re also staining it to protect the wood and make it last longer. Yet another advantage to using the right deck stain is the product’s ability to keep you safer because a non-slippery, smooth, and sealed deck is always safer than one that isn’t treated properly or at all.

Fortunately, the deck stains made today can serve both purposes because most of them can both protect your deck to keep it safer and make it look extraordinary as well. An attractive stain that is also a high-quality protecting sealant is advantageous for many reasons and finding this product shouldn’t be difficult at all.

  1. Oil-Based or Water-Based?

A high-quality semi-transparent deck stain usually is available in both oil-based and water-based varieties and each of these has its own positive and negative qualities. Much of the time, the stain that you choose is just a matter of preference and taste but if you’re curious about these stains, below are a few things to keep in mind.

An oil-based stain:

  • Is great for decks that are exposed to harsh weather conditions
  • Takes a little longer to dry
  • Has better penetration than a water-based stain
  • Is exceptionally durable

A water-based stain:

  • Retains its color better than an oil-based stain
  • Is more breathable and therefore won’t trap moisture
  • Cleans up easily with soap and water
  • Is great for woods that resist decay and rot, such as redwood, cedar, and cypress

Depending on where you live and what your deck will be exposed to, it is easy to choose the right type of stain once you decide on the results that you were hoping to get from it. There are also hybrid deck stains that combine oil- and water-based latex and they contain many of the benefits of each type of deck stain.

How To Stain A Deck With Semi-Transparent Stain


A semi-transparent stain offers many benefits for your deck and finding the right type and brand shouldn’t be difficult for you. Taking good care of your deck is crucial and since continuous care is so important, it is good to know that you have options when it comes to the type of stain that you choose, including the semi-transparent type. If you want the natural beauty of the wood to come through, semi-transparent deck stain is for you and you can even purchase the stain online if you like.

Scroll Up