Wondering about choosing the Right Deck Stain for Pressure Treated Wood? Last summer, I too, was in a fix, looking for a valid answer. I went through a lot of online resources to come to a conclusion, but to my surprise, most of them had only product reviews that too very vague and inconclusive for my quest.
I decided to dig deep to make my deck staining a success, it was a bit offbeat from my specialization in pressure washing but still it was worth the effort for deck staining is such an immersive & enjoyable experience for enthusiastic DIYers.
In addition to the Deck wood type, other factors like sunlight exposure, expected usage & weather conditions need due consideration in finding a suitable stain or primer. The guide below explores the whole process of identifying the right deck stain. I’ve another useful reads for exterior wood stains & deck stain colors that may interest you.
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Clear Deck Stain
Popularly know as clear deck sealers also, clear stains are primarily used as a water repellent sealer to enhance the lifespan of deck.
Deck sealers refrains the moisture penetrating into the wood as exposure to water can lead the wood to swell due to absorption and it shrinks when the moisture is dried.
A continuos repitition of swelling and shrinking can crack, split or warp the wood.
But these outdoor wood deck sealers lack the required pigmentation to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays, so the wood can sometimes darken or gray over time.
Application: So as evident by the description above, clear stains can only work for decks or surfaces which don’t have any exposure to sun and it works as a useful agent against water & moisture to enhance the durability of the surface.
Thompsons Waterseal Transparent Waterproofing Stain
THOMPSONS WATERSEAL is a top-rated deck stain that comes in beautiful woodland cedar. It comes with an easy application and a great one to give a fresh and shining look to your deck. It covers the wood properly, providing a shield against water, mold, mildew, and harmful UV rays.
The coating of this can be done on moist or dry wood, which might be recently cleaned also. It is a time tested one, gives a new look to your old or even cracked wooden surfaces. It also adds life to your wood and keeps it safe from the damage of mold and mildew etc.
It completely matches the standards of the industry ASTM D-4446, rather surpasses them. It features advanced polymers and helps in providing fade resistance.
Semi -Transparent Stain
Semi-clear Stain provides a touch of transparency and enhances the look of the wood with a tone or shade of color. Typical colors of water based or oil based semi transparent stains include cedar, redwood, natural, and a host of brown hues.
Best of all, you can use these deck stains regardless of where you live, especially if you find one specifically made for the type of weather you’re used to.
In case you have a wooden surface, exposed to sun as well as rain, a semi transparent deck stain would be a better option for it can offer a natural-looking deck with protection against water as well as sun. Semi clear Stains are transparent and can tone up the color shade as well giving an attractive finish.
Aplication: Due to its ability to fight against mmoisture and sunlight, these deck stains are effective in all types of weathers. A range of colors like natural, cedar, redwood and brown hues are available across brands of semi-transparent stains.Check below to see the most recommended product or you can compare the top semi transparent clear stains here.
DEFY Extreme 5 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
The Defy extreme is another amazing wood stain and gives a soothing natural matte finish to your, decks, fences, siding, outdoor patio furniture and others.
This is semi-transparent and the best option for your exteriors. A simple three-way process which helps in cleaning, brightening and staining.
This is the most preferred among the semi-transparent options. It certainly adds life to your wooden spaces. Fading and darkening can happen to your wood outdoors very easily, so this one is manufactured with resins of supreme quality, which gives a long -lasting finish as compared to its competitors, making it last for two seasons or more.
The Deck Extreme is eco-friendly and comes with easy maintenance. The defy extreme just needs a single coat to brighten your wood, a far better option than other competitors available. This is one of the most durable of all, and is made of zinc nano particle-technology which enhances it with defensive properties, such as providing protection against fading, color loss or harmful UV rays.
Semi Solid Deck Stains
The next in the transparency scale are the semi-solid deck stains which is based upon an linseed oil based penetrating formula which can pierce deeper in the wood.
Like semi-transparent, semi solid stains are among the most popular and commonly used for they offer a good protection against moisture and ultra violet rays and still enhance the wood grains which enhances the lools of the surface.
Aplication: They are preferred when long lasting finish, along with durability and protection is required. They add life to your wooden furniture, siding, decks and also protect and prevent the growth of mold, mildew, algae etc.
Semi Solid Stains are easier to maintain and are good for surfaces with exposure to rain and sun, so ideally these stains are most useful for decks that are in the open. Some of most common semi-solid deck stain colors include Espresso, Mountain Cedar, Sequoia, Woodland, and Oxford Brown.
Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Low VOC Stain
It is specifically meant to be used on decks, siding, fences, log homes, and roofs where you are experiencing the issue of rough exterior wood.
It can also be used on wood surfaces where you need to hide the coverages and penetrate wood protection.
There are innumerable advantages attached to it. It ensures excellent coverage depending upon the porosity of the surface.
On smooth surfaces, 1400 series covers approximately 400-500 square feet per gallon, while 17400 series covers approximately 250-350 square feet per gallon. It is most ideal for weathered wood and well-seasoned lumber such as cedar, fir, pine, etc.
Solid Color Deck Stain
Solid deck stains are preferred especially for surfaces that have worn out due to years of exposure to rough weather or excessive usage.
Its solid stain offers the highest level of protection against rough usage and often lasts quite longer compared to other opacity stains before requiring a re-job. Typically, a solid stain can last about 5 years easily.
Aplication: Solid Stains are best applied to cover up the wear and tear of wood over time, it essentially cover up the faults and disfiguring of the wood and looks more like a finished paint.
These types of stains usually come in colors such as taupe, gray, walnut, and even white, and they can be used on a variety of wood, including redwood, pine, and even mahogany.
Deck Wood Advanced Solid Color Deck Paint and Sealer
It is arguably the best wood deck paint and sealer that is made to protect the wooden surfaces till a number of years.
It exudes completely opaque finish that infers that no wood grain will show through at all. It protects the wooden surfaces from the damage caused due to harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
It is undoubtedly the most preferred stain if you reside in an area with unpredictable weather conditions. It can easily dry within 1-2 hours depending upon the temperature and humidity.
It comes with an easy application on every type of woods no matter they are pressure treated, redwood, cedar, fir, hardwood, or other. You can apply wood stain on outdoor furniture, sidings, fences, playsets, gazebos and others.
You can choose from 6 attractive color options each one manufactured to give a natural-looking finish.
Best Deck Stain For Weathered Wood Or New Wood: Oil-Based Or Water-Based? Let’s Find Out….
It’s a woodworker’s privilege to choose among water-based or oil-based stains, however, there are a few other considerations that one must keep in mind Water-based stains are good for simple woodworking jobs that are hard on time as they dry up quickly. They also offer a better resistance to mold and mildew as well.
If the surface is exposed to elements like rain, air, sun and high footfall then the longest lasting deck stain that comes as a natural choice for it is the oil-based stain because it can help your surface or deck withstand the harsh treatment for long. Check the latest deck stain brand Reviews: The Flood deck stain.
Another important consideration to take into account is definitely the wood type, its previous treatment and the condition of the wood (if it’s new or weathered wood).
Oil Based Stain
Easy to apply and offer an even finish.
Deeper penetration ability offers better looks and long life.
Great for working on large wooden jobs.
Used commonly, these exterior wood stains use a mix of varnish & linseed as base material that offers ample time to even out any excesses before drying. They penetrate deeper and leave a richer surface, highlighting the natural grains.
You just a need another coat to give them a refreshing look. They are the most long lasting stains due their great surface adhesion & they offer great protection against peeling as well. Typically the oil based stains require mineral spirits for thinning and cleaning up.
Quick drying solution for small & urgent tasks.
Convenient to mix and easy to cleanup.
They Offer great resistance to Mildew and mold.
Environmentally & User Friendly.
Not as popular as oil based stains, Water-based stains still come a handy option for certain projects. Water is used as a mixing agent or a thinner for clean up. These are more environment friendly & user friendly as
they don’t exhume any volatile organic compounds or odor while applying. Since they don’t block air from penetrating the wood, they resist decaying. If you are not satisfied with the finish with water-based stain, all you have to do is to clean up that part with water and apply a fresh coat.
Lets Discuss The Wood Type First …
When you stain your deck the type of wood also matters. Both of the stains whether water-based or oil-based give a lustre and protection against many things. The softwood is stained in the best manner by the water-based ones and the hardwood by oil-based ones.
The Pressure Treated Wood
The treated wood can be easily stained without any problems. If you use stain or going to use deck paint for old wood, it would certainly look great. The treated wood has fewer chances of getting rot but can develop cracks with time.
In order to reduce surface cracking deck, stain and sealer can be used for your wood. A dealer can always help you to test the moisture content of your wood before staining pressure treated wood. Oil-based or semi-transparent deck stains work the best for and on it.
There are chances of solid color and paints to peel off if used on the pressure-treated wood. The market offers specially and specifically designed deck or fence stains for pressure treated wood.
The Cedar Wood
The Cedarwood requires oil-based stains, as this one weathers at a slow pace. This wood is widely available and is a cheaper one. With time and weather effect it just deteriorates and might flake away. Thinner oil-based stains work well for the new cedar.
The oil should have a deep penetrating quality, as it will provide immense protection by going deep inside the wood and thereby conditioning the wood cells. Fading and protection against the ultraviolet rays is required, and the oil-based stains work well for this.
You can go for different types of treatment for your cedar wood, such as bleaching oil, semi-transparent stain, solid color stain, and even primer and paints can be used. All these give a protective layer and a beautiful finish to your cedarwood.
The Red Wood
Staining or sealing your redwood will add longevity to it and make it look beautiful, adding value to your yard.
Any semi-transparent type of deck stain can work wonders for your red wood surfaces. The best wood deck stains should possess deep penetrating quality, for giving life to wood.
The deck stain adds lustre and enhances the beauty of your wood along with protection. They prevent weathering and also lets the wood look amazing.
It should be always kept in mind that while coating the wood, an extra amount of stain should not be applied and only what is required should be used. Years can be added to your wood with proper care and maintenance.
Staining your deck isn’t as difficult as it may seem, especially once you do your due diligence so that you can decide which stain is ideal for your needs. The guide above has been created with the sole purpose of helping users find the most suitable and best deck water sealers, for helping you decide which stain to purchase. Mentioned products come from the most reliable deck sealer brands and can be an easy pick for you one-time deck stain.
A longest lasting deck stain is good in protecting your deck and keeping it mildew-free and attractive for a very long time. Choosing the right stain is crucial, but once you decide what is and isn’t important to you, the decision becomes much easier, making you feel a little more confident about that decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q 1. Which deck stain lasts for a longer time?
The solid deck stains last for a very long time. They give a perfect finish to your wood or furniture. A number of reasons act as a deciding factor for choosing the best one (already discussed in the above article). The piercing or penetration of the wood stain also helps in deciding so. The more penetration, the more durability.
Q2. Which is a better option oil or water-based deck stain?
A lot has been debated on this, so to consider in short, oil-based stains work best for hard wood surfaces while water-based stains for softwood textures. Oil based stains give a more natural look to your wood base while water-based ones give a little synthetic feel. Water based dry faster as compared to the oil-based ones. Oil based stains give a yellowish look. Lastly, it depends on your wood texture and choice which you opt for.
Q3. What is most suitable temperature for applying the deck stain?
Though all products have varying features but 70 degrees F is the most suitable temperature for applying the stain. The area should be dry and not moist, because moisture hampers the application of deck stain coat. Even if rain is predicted then this shouldn’t be applied as a precautionary measure. Very hot surfaces or moisture should be avoided, as it effects the finish and drying schedule.
Q4. How many coats are required to be applied to stain your deck or furniture?
The coats should be applied entirely depending on the need of the wood. Some wooden surfaces have less porosity or more, as its better to put a maximum of 2 coats for best and excellent results. The right coating will add lustre and rich look to your wooden space. The market offers one coat products also, the guidelines should be followed accordingly.
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