Best Oil Based Deck Stain and Sealer

Last updated on December 26th, 2022 | By: Grady Galvez

oil deck stain

The decks and your exterior wood structures appear amazingly beautiful and attractive when in good shape and applied with a suitable deck stain.

What is suitability here? These deck stains not only augment the looks but work as a protective layer to provide coverage from harmful effects of nature. This is paramount to protect the decks from rot, decay, mold, mildew, etc.

There could be many factors such as the wood type, previous wood treatment, and weather exposure that will help you know which stain will suit your wood type. Oil-based deck stain and sealer or a water-based one which is better?

Selecting A Deck Stain is Situational Too!!!

Though both types of stains have their set of benefits and drawbacks but if your wood space is exposed to more sunlight, and UV rays then oil-based would be a better option.

More durability is attached with the oil-based stains and these tend to penetrate deeper than the water-based ones providing a thicker shield. Though more time is needed by the oil-based to dry-up than the water-based, the finish and coating is absolutely superb (much is detailed below for your convenience).

So many brands with different qualities and features may confuse you though, but our team of experts have shortlisted the best oil-based deck stains and sealers that will provide jaw dropping awesomeness along with robust protection to your exterior wood and decks.

oil based wood sealer

A Quick Rundown of Best Oil Based Deck Stain And Sealer

     ★ Best Overall ★       

Star Brite- Premium Golden

oil based sealer

     ★ Best Budget ★       

Minwax 70009444

Oil Based Deck Stain And Sealer

     ★ Premium Choice ★       

Ready Seal 512 Pail

deck oil stain

Top 5 Best Oil-Based Deck Stain And Sealer

1. Valspar Semi-Solid Deck Stain- Cabot

Some of you may really appreciate a decent redwood finish on your deck and the Valspar Semi-Solid Deck stain is an ideal option then. The best thing is that this oil-based deck stain won’t peel, crack, or blister.

This stain has deep penetrating qualities which will promisingly preserve and protect your deck lumber more than the other brands and the finish is also water-repellent.

The Valspar is mildew resistant too. This oil-based stain is ultra-pigmented and gives a rich color that will live through more than the other semi solid stains. You get a fade-resistant color when you apply this.

Significant UV protection is provided by this deck stain and sealer.


  • This does not peel, crack, or blister.

  • Provides a mildew and fade-resistant finish.

  • Gives a water-repellent finish.

  • Deep penetrating oil-based stain.


  • This is relatively expensive.

  • You get one color option only.

2. Star Brite- Premium Golden Teak Oil

This is one of the finest preserver, sealer, and finish that you can gift to your marine teak and other fine woods. Premium natural oils are used to make Star Brite which are chemically modified and ultra-refined in order to form high molecular-weight polymers.

This can confidently withstand harsh weather, adverse marine conditions and, long-term exposure to salt. This helps to Restore a weathered deck and protects the wood from sun’s damaging UV rays as the oil is a blend of high-tech additives.

Along with the beauty of teak wood surfaces this is an ultimate treatment of wood protection too. This is easy-to-use and dries faster. You can apply it easily by working in the direction of the wood grain that will optimize penetration of oil into the wood.

This advanced Tung oil polymer formula will leave the wood look just like brand new.


  • Provides teak a natural warm golden color.

  • Easy-to-use and dries fast.

  • Ideal for use on teak furniture and other fine woods.

  • This lasts 4 to 6 times longer than the others.

  • Advanced Tung oil polymer formula.

  • Ultraviolet absorbers resist weathering.


  • Some feel the sealants are better off than oils.

3. Minwax 70009444 Wood Finish Penetrating Stain

The Minwax is available in a wide range of beautiful 28 colors. This can be used to add beauty to any stripped or bare wooden surface.

An ideal one for staining cabinets, wood door, unfinished wood furniture, trim, molding, and hard floors. This oil-based formula is one of the America’s most appreciated wood finish.

This is lighter than the other brands and considerably low-priced as compared to the other wood stains. This stain works absolutely fine when it comes to adding aesthetic sense to your old worn out wood or your new deck.

Since this is light and that means you will need to add more of it on the surfaces but the results match the higher-end products, and the extra coating doesn’t matter much as this is priced low and will balance this.


  • Highlights wood grain by penetrating deep inside.

  • Comes in 28 varied color choices.

  • This is an oil-based formula.

  • Lighter than the other ones.

  • Affordable.

  • Adds aesthetic beauty to the wood.


  • This is light and requires more layers for application.

4. Ready Seal 512 Pail Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer

The natural beauty of your wooden deck is maintained and your wooden deck remains preserved perfectly with the Ready Seal 512 stain and sealer.

After the application of the stain, the grain and color remain nicely visible. This is an oil-based semi-transparent deck stain that doubles as a sealer too.

The best part is that this doesn’t require a primer and gets its natural color in just 14 days. The application is easy and a roller, brush, or spray can be used to apply the stain.

This can be applied at any time of the day and is not temperature sensitive. This is a high-rated wood stain and sealer that omits the need of multi-step application processes such as diluting/thinning.

Your deck gets protection from UV light, moisture, and sunlight along with sealing wood pores.


  • Keeps the natural color of the wood intact.

  • Doesn’t leave any laps, streaks, or runs.

  • Is not temperature sensitive.

  • Requires no multi-step application.


  • Advised colors mismatch the ones received as complained by some.

  • A bit high-priced product.

5. RUST-OLEUM 14416 Wood Preservative

The Rust-Oleum is another amazing wood preservative which tends to add a great value. This works well to bring out the wood’s natural grain and works as a protective shield against mildew, rot, and mold growth.

There are least or no chances of water damage and UV graying if you use RUST-OLEUM 14416. This finish and preservative gives a transparent rich oil finish which is loved by its users.

You get a 3 year performance guarantee with this product. Rot and decay stay away when you use this amazing finish.

One more appreciable thing is that you can easily clean it with soap and water in routine. You can use it on sidings, fences, decks, and more.


  • This adds great value.

  • Protects wood against mildew, rot, and mold growth.

  • Natural wood grain is enhanced.

  • Can be used on a number of wood surfaces.


  • Humid temperatures makes it take more time to dry.

How Can You Switch From Water-Based Stain To Oil-Based Stain Or Vice-Versa?

Though both these types of stains whether water-based or oil-based come with their pack of benefits and downsides.

Any deck or exterior wood surface needs to be taken care of and this directly relates to the deck’s longevity.

And for best results and finish you need to protect your wooden spaces from the harsh effects of the environment with a good quality stain and sealant. So, the most common ones are:

  1. Water-based stain

  2. Oil-based stain

If its water-based stain earlier and you want to go for an oil-based stain then you need to remove the previous or existing stain properly.

If you want to change from one stain type to the other, then probably you need to remember a few important things. You need to be well aware of the characteristics of the stain and the previously applied stain on the wood.

oil based sealers

A good quality stripper can be used for this task. After the stripper is applied then the wood is left to dwell and the second step would be to use a wood brightener to neutralize the stripper and prepare wood for a new stain.

Though, switching from oil-based stains to water-based could be quite tedious as the oil tends to be penetrated deeper and the removal of the old stain will require efforts.

Be ready for several attempts sometimes. But once the existing stain is gone properly, your bare wood is ready for stain application, which you prefer.

In nutshell, the more stubborn the stain the more time you will require to strip, sand, and remove the existing on completely.

The Final Thoughts

The overall appearance of the backyard is enhanced with the right type of deck stain. Out of plenty of options, you can choose the one you like and suits your wood type. Weigh and compare all the options properly to reach the right decision.

The best way is to try out a stain on a section of wood before applying it on the entire deck and for testing the looks prior. We have mentioned the brands you can trust and use confidently on your deck. Follow the suitability aspect and the budget before ordering your item.

Expert Tip: Do keep the deck well-maintained and clean in routine for the longevity of the stain you use. As a well-kept deck will always outshine and keep your neighbors envious. Haha!!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does Oil-Based Stain Require Sealing?

Ans1. Most of the stains you use may require a good sealant to prevent bleeding. Ensure that you use a sealer that’s pretty compatible and avoid using water-based stains. The sealed wood should be left to dry properly and the surface should be made smooth with fine-grit sandpaper lightly.

Q2. Do Double Coats Of Stain Give A Darker Finish?

Ans2. After you apply the first coat the second should be applied after the first one dries completely. Yes, this will surely enhance the color darkness but will require some extra time and effort and will slow down production.

Q3. How Long Do Oil-Based Stains Last?

Ans3. There are two important things to remember here that the longevity of a product is when it is used or the shelf life it holds. As far as shelf life is concerned, you can easily keep an oil-based can for 1-year if opened while the unopened cans will stay for 2-3 years easily. After application, the oil-based stains are one of the most durable and cast last for 3-4 years and even more if maintained properly.

Q4. How Is An Oil-Based Stain Sealed?

Ans4. It is recommended that for sealing an oil-based stain you should apply a barrier coat of dewaxed shellac. As adhesion problems are related to the water-based poly if this is applied over an oil-based stain.

Q5. What Is The Time Consumed By An Oil-Based Stain To Dry?

Ans5. After a deck is cured with an oil-based stain, generally it will take a couple of hours to dry. It gets ready to be walked upon within 24-48 hours and if it’s Latex it tends to dry within a time span of 2-3 hours and about 48 hours are required for curing.

To your surprise, the oil finishes tend to set rapidly and even if oil showers are passed on it, this won’t affect this application.