6 Best Deck Stains in 2022

The lifetime of the deck is decided by the quality of the deck stain used on it. For example, building the deck will require much hard work and takes several hours to finish, if the deck is built on the exterior then it should have to manage the winter and summer situations. So giving additional coating to the deck will protect you from these situations and give you more life.

There are many deck stain products available in the market and choosing a good deck stain that is suitable for your budget and quality is important so we will help you to get an idea about deck stain after you are able to choose your own deck stain products for your house. Choosing between painting or stains for your house is your choice but there are many products available in the market that will confuse you so we will help you to make the best suitable choice by yourself.

Each product looks similar in the market but they are used in different places and situations. And choosing the stains will give you a natural look to your house and come over the long term so most of them will prefer stains for their deck. And we have filtered some of the 6 best products in the market which come with an affordable price range and good quality in the following below.

Deft Extreme Best Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

Deft extreme is the semi-transparent wood stain and water-based wood stain. Semi-transparent wood stains give you transparent wood grains and dark color to the wood. The semi-transparent wood stain gives you a natural good viewing of your house. If you stain the exterior of your house like a wood deck, fence, and furniture with a semi-transparent wood stain it enhances the exterior of your house. And water-based wood stains are environmentally friendly and provide you with a non-toxic safe zone for your surroundings. The stain which contains zinc particles will help you to protect from direct sunlight to affect the wood color loss. You need to re-apply the stains every couple of years which comes with the quality and gives you a long-lasting wood stain. If you want to give a maintenance coat for your wood stains then it is easy to apply another layer over it so you need only less maintenance and also provide you a different color to the stain.

1. Deft Extreme Best Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain


  • Dimensions: 6.37” x 7.16” x 9.64”
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Capacity: 4 cups

Most of the stains have common problems like fading, peeling, and cracking but these stains come with the solution to these common problems. The stain provides you good quality and also the best stains as well as not come for cheaper. These stains come of good quality and are likewise expensive on our list. And the stains are less maintenance, avoid mildew, and resist mold which enhances the look of your house.


  • The stains need only less maintenance.
  • The stains are made up of high quality and resist mildew.
  • The stain comes to the semi-transparent which gives a natural look and the water-based stain is eco-friendly.


  • The coverage area of the stains is less.

2. Ready Seal Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer

The ready seal seems darker when it applies, but it will start looking changed to its original color in days. And you should not use the seal over the paint or the newly applied stain surface. And the sealed surface will prevent penetration. You can apply them by spraying, rolling, or brushing on the wood surface. You don’t require back brushing and never leave runs or laps. For spraying, you don’t need any dilution or thinning prior. If you want to re-apply then apply it over them with another layer so you don’t need any strip off or sand it. And the ready seal is oil-based and comes in different colors. The semi-transparent stain gives you transparent natural wood grains.

The oil-based deck stain comes with the best quality and the stains are able to withstand from snow of Canada to the sun in Florida and between climates. And the oil-based deck stain gives a long-lasting and provides thick protection from direct sunlight. You can use it for a wide temperature range. The coverage area of the one gallon of stain is about 175 square feet. And the oil-based stains soak with the lumber and make lumber evaporate away from the moisture so you can avoid peeling, and cracking problems in lumber.


  • The stains also provide you a different colors
  • Oil-based deck stains give you long-lasting
  • The stain which is suitable for every climate


  • If you’re applying stain to the old deck then it needs more than one coating

3. Thompson’s Water Seal Transparent Stain

Thompson water seal can apply to the freshly cleaned damp or dry wood. And the stain gives you advanced polymers which provide you a fade-resistant color to your wood. The stain provides you with a thick coating to the wood to give long-lasting protection to the wood and prevent lumber from the direct sunlight. The stain which resists mildew and mold also provides you with waterproofing. The stain comes in an affordable price range and the coverage area of one gallon is upto 400 square feet. It is a transparent wood stain that gives you transparent natural wood grains and there are only 5 different colors of the stains available.


  • The seal can over the dry wood and freshly cleaned damp
  • The coverage area of one gallon of stains is about 400 square feet
  • It resists mildew and mold


  • The stains will not provide you with more durability

4. Valspar Semi-Solid Deck Stain

Valspar semi-solid deck stain is a good choice when you build up your deck with redwood and cedar. The stains give you semi-transparent wood grains and enhance the dark color of the wood. And it is an oil-based deck stain so it will penetrate through the wood and soak with it which will give you the formation of thick protection to the wood and prevent direct sunlight which provides you good durability to the wood. And the oil-based deck stain soaks with the wood so the moisture will evaporate away and avoid peeling and cracking. The stains contain high pigments to enhance the colors and durability and it is waterproofing. And it resists both mildew and mold.


  • The stain provides you longer durability, different colors, and waterproofing
  • The oil-based deck stain gives you strong protection from the wood
  • The stains will let the moisture will evaporate away


  • There is only one color stain is available

5. KILZ Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain

KILZ exterior wood stain provides you with long-lasting protection and prevents damage from direct sunlight. The stain is waterproofing and resists the mildew and mold and sometimes forms like the cloudy formation of the moisture. The stain provides you a better long-lasting and you need to re-apply the stain for every 3 years and fence or siding every 5 years. The semi-transparent deck stain gives you transparent natural wood grains and dark color to your deck. The coverage area of the KILZ exterior wood stain is 250 square feet for your first coat and 500 square feet for your second coat. Before coating let it dry completely for at least 24 hours and sand it to remove the wood fibers then use sprayers, roller pole, and brush. KILZ has been making paint for over 40 years and was named paint brand of the year in 2015 in Harris’s poll required ranking.


  • Resists mildew and mold
  • Provide you a long-lasting protection
  • Waterproofing and 100% acrylic formulation


  • There are only a few color stains are available

6. Minwax Deck Stain

The Minwax deck stains are available in 28 different colors. If you stain your deck and the placed furniture, fence, and siding will give you a natural display with old and new mixed feelings to your house exterior. And the stain resists mildew and mold. The deck stain is an oil-based wood stain that penetrates through the lumber and enhances the exterior of your house. And the stain allows the moisture to evaporate away from the lumber and avoid peeling and cracking. These wood stains are also called America’s favorite wood finisher and the stain provides you long-lasting protection from the direct sunlight. The stains are available in four common colors when you mix them all then you will get 42 different colors for your wood with the transparent wood grains.


  • The stain gives you long-lasting protection
  • It resists the mildew and mold
  • The stain gives you transparent natural wood grains and it is an oil-based wood stain


  • The stain is a little expensive

Which is the Best Deck Stain?

There are many products available in the market but having more products with a slight difference may confuse you to choose the right product for your house. And in some cases, you need to use the already existing stains on the deck. If it is the new deck then you should need to use the wood stains which depends on the situation. The quality of the wood stain will decide the durability of the stains on the wood.

If the wood is placed on the exterior of the house then you should have to use good quality wood stains which will help you to stand against it in summer and winter. And these wood stains will prevent them from absorbing moisture. By preventing the absorption of moisture in winter will prevent the expansion of wood in summer. And the wood stains need to be long-lasting and which also depends on the type of wood used in the deck. There is no need for any wood stains to apply over the deck which is built with the wood types like cherry, mahogany, maple, and aged pine because these types of wood give you a good look when you leave it with their own natural color.

If other than these wood types are used in the deck then we should recommend you for wood stains. The wood stains come with a transparent and opaque finish so you can choose which gives a good look for your deck. Within these types there are oil-based and water-based wood stains provided. And these types of wood stains should be used in the unique location of your house and the location which is used will decide the advantages and disadvantages of their wood stains. So choosing the rightful wood stains will decide the quality and long-lasting of the stains over the deck.

Types of Deck Stains

There are different types of deck stains available in the market and each stain has some relative merits which are best for your interior or exterior house wood stains. Some of the commonly used deck stainer types are mentioned in the following. And these will help you to find out which is a suitable deck stainer for your house.

The major four types of deck stains are:

  1. Clear Deck Stain
  2. Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
  3. Solid Deck Stain
  4. Semi-Solid Deck Stain

Clear Deck Stain

Most of the individuals choose clear deck stains which display the natural grains of the wood used in their house. These wood gains give you a naturally good-looking color to your house which is liked by most people. The clear deck stains do not contain any oil or pigments but all of the stains contain water repellent and wood preservative compounds to protect the lumbering products and some of the stains contain both oil and pigments or both in small amounts. Clear deck stains are easy to apply over the wood but they started to ashen and oxidize in the next several months. If your deck wants to look new, you need to re-apply them over the deck every year.

Semi-Transparent Deck Stain

Semi-transparent deck stain gives you a transparent wood grain and some dark wood color to the deck. The stains which soak with the lumber give you thick protection to the lumber and make a long-lasting wood. Using the semi-transparent deck stains for the cedar and redwood displays the natural grains and dark highlighting color to the wood so most of them think that they use cedar or redwood for their deck then they go for the semi-transparent deck stains.

These semi-transparent deck stains are similar to the clear deck stainer. If you apply clear deck stain then you should have to reapply every year at once to look at the deck as new but in semi-transparent deck stains, you have to re-apply every two years at once to look at the deck as new. And the wood gets full soaking wet which gives you protection to the lumber products. The semi-transparent deck stain comes with both oil-based and water-based stains but the oil-based stains give you more performance than water-based stains.

Solid Deck Stain

Solid deck stains provide you with a long-lasting upto 3 years and give a dark color which is typically an opaque stain. If you need to have the deck new-looking then you should need to re-apply the stains frequently after every 3 years. And these solid deck stains come with high quality. If you’re not interested in displaying the natural color of the wood and wood grains then solid deck stains will be your good choice because it comes with a strong dark color. These stains don’t soak and get wet with lumber like semi-transparent deck stains but it works like paint layering over the lumber.

If you want to change the color of the deck then these stains will be easy to change because it is layering over the lumber but in semi-transparent deck stains, it is hard to change color because it is well soaked with the lumber. So applying solid deck stains to the exterior of the house will be a good choice because you can change the color of the house easily when it is a solid deck stain. But there are some cons because a thick layer of the stains over the wood will lead to peeling for moisture evaporation. And these stains give you an ugly-looking surface because of the less maintenance.

Semi-Solid Deck Stain

The semi-solid deck stains are more like semi-transparent deck stains unlike they provide some dark colors to the deck because of the high pigment content in stains. The semi-solid deck stains give you slightly transparent wood grains. And these semi-solid deck stains are available in both water-based and oil-based deck stains and they are useful to protect the deck from direct sunlight. The oil-based deck stains perform more than water-based ones because they soak with the lumber and give you a long-lasting.

Oil-Based Stain vs. Water-Based Deck Stain

There are two types of deck stains available in the product and they are oil-based and water-based deck stains. Both the deck stains are great but it gives their long-lasting performance in different places and in different places one is better than the other. There are some pros and cons in both products so you need to understand the difference between them as we mentioned in the following and choose the suitable deck for your house.

Oil-Based Stain

Oil-based stains are soaked and wet with the lumber and give you a long-lasting over the years. The oil-based stains are made up of both synthetic and natural oil like paraffin oil, linseed oil binder, and tung oil. Due to the linseed oil, the stain takes time to dry and gives time to remove the excess stains applied over the wood so most people prefer oil-based stains for the interior of the house to water-based stains. And the stain penetrates through the lumber and it is a good choice for protection from direct sunlight. It requires less maintenance for oil-based stains compared to water-based stains and it started to fade after several months. And it takes longer to cure or dry because of the oil content in the stain.


  • Easier than water-based stains to apply
  • It takes longer to dry so you can remove the excess stains
  • Stains penetrate through lumber and give good protection from direct sunlight


  • Stains are not eco-friendly because of their concentrated odor so it takes longer to blow

Water-Based Deck Stain

Water-based stains are more eco-friendly to use. It is not about if you’re a nature lover then using eco-friendly products or trying other products. Choosing the eco-friendly stain gives you a safe zone for you and your family for longer and there is no difference between the performance of both stains. The water-based stains do not penetrate through the lumber but it forms a strong layer over the lumber which makes thick protection to the lumber. Water-based stains contain some tiny pours making it breathable and resisting the formation of cloudy coating mildew over the deck and allowing the moisture to evaporate away. The water-based stains dry quickly compared to the oil-based stains and it is non-flammable. And it is easy to maintain and you can clean up with soap and water. But it does not penetrate through the lumber as the oil-based stains cover the lumber as the outer layer. The water-based stains are suitable for the cedar and redwood which resists the decay naturally.


  • Resists the cloudy formation over the layer and mildew
  • Stains are eco-friendly and dry quickly compared to oil-based stains
  • Less maintenance needed to clean


  • The stain does not penetrate through the lumber which covers the outer layer of the lumber
  • Little hard to apply

Painting Vs Staining

If you finish building your new deck then you will get some confusion about giving paint or stain color to the deck. Choosing the paint or stain depends on your opinion of which display you’re really going to give to your deck and is based on your preference. And the difference between the paint and stain content is mentioned in the following.

Deck Painting

Painting gives you an attractive display for your house and comes with a cheaper price range compared to stains. And it gives you better sunlight protection also the maintenance of the paint is less and gives you a longer-lasting compared to stain. If you choose good quality and long-lasting paint it is even cheaper than the stains. Paint leads to trapping the moisture of the lumber inside it.

Deck Staining

If you need to enjoy the natural wood grains then paint is not a good choice for you. The stains will penetrate through the lumber and give you a good display in your house. The oil-based stains allow the moisture to evaporate away so the possibility of peeling or cracking is less. The solid deck stains give you a thick layer of protection from direct sunlight and provide long-lasting. The stains give you an old feel with the wood grains but paint does not.

Should You Paint or Stain?

Paint or stains which are depending on your desire. If you like natural wood grains which give you an old feeling then you should go for stain or you want to give an attractive display to your house with color paint then go for paint. If you have no problem with re-applying the stains for every year which gives you decent protection then buy stain or if you don’t need to re-apply for every year with long-lasting protection then buy paint. And if you buy paint you can have different attractive colors but in stains, it gives natural wood grains which provide an old and new mixture feeling to you.

How to Buy the Best Deck Stains?

Mostly you need to choose them based on the main three types:

  1. Deck Stain Type
  2. Coverage Area
  3. Color
  4. Price

There are many deck stains available in the market. So there are plenty of options available to choose the best deck stain for you but you need to understand and filter the products and get the best quality and suitable deck stain for your house. Choosing the best deck stain will decide the durability of your deck so we mentioned following some of the tips to consider while buying a stain.

Deck Stain type

The deck stains types are classified into four types and in those four types, you have to choose between oil-based and water-based deck stains which are available in the market. You do not choose or prefer your deck stain which not only depends on your desire it also depends on the wood type which is used in your deck. Water-based deck stains are best for cedar and redwood lumber products. If your deck is directly hit by sunlight then you should have to prefer solid deck stains which give you better direct sunlight protection. For evaporating the moisture away and needing less maintenance from cloudy formation layers over the surface then prefer an oil-based deck stain.

Coverage area

The deck stain is cheaper than the cost of paint but an increase in coverage area will also increase the cost of stains. And remember that you need to re-apply every year or after several months. And the deck stains coverage area will be dissimilar from one brand to the other. The coverage of one gallon will vary from the brand but the quality of the stains remains the same for every brand. And one coat of stain covers nearly 100 square feet and it is more than enough to cover.


The deck stains also come with the color so you can have any color you like which enhances your house look better with the natural wood grains. The color stains will change the color of the lumber and the wood grains remain. Before coloring your entire deck check a piece or in the small section the color which is suitable for your deck if it is not then simply strip it off and try another color.


The price of the stains are available cheaper than paint and also has an affordable price range. The brand and quality deck stains are a little expensive but it also feels like value for money. Don’t try to buy some cheaper price because sometimes it also comes with cheaper quality so always go for the average price range which gives you good quality but going for a high price will also provide you an extra gallon and better quality than the average one. The price range will come between $30 to $120 per gallon. And always filter the products with oil-based and water-based deck stain classifications, not with the price tag.

How to Prepare the Deck Stain?

You can prepare your own deck stains for your house by simply following the following steps.

  1. Before starting staining you needed to clean up the deck without dust.
  2. Clean the deck by sweeping with the soap or using a detergent that contains anti-grease content which will help you to clean the fatty oily content over the deck.
  3. Let it soaking wet for 10 minutes to 15 minutes and clean up with the garden hose thoroughly with water at this point, you need to decide how many layers of stains you need for your deck.
  4. After the first wash, wait until the floor dries and rub with a brush to remove dust or sand it till the floor gets polished or to remove the paint over the deck.
  5. After the process is done then you need to wash the deck once again with the synthetic brush which gives you the best effect on your deck.
  6. And after the completion of the preview step, you need to wash the floor with the power washer. Don’t get too close to the deck, just maintain a distance upto 8-inches from the tip, and the washer equipped should be with the 45-degree angle tip and set upto 1,200 – 1,400 PSI.
  7. Once you have done all the steps mentioned in the above following and finally you get satisfaction about your deck getting clean then your deck is ready for staining or not then sand it one more time. And always sand it in the direction of the wood vein.

Deck Staining Tips

Use the stains sealer for the cracks and sides of the wood and use a brush to apply the stains sealer. And wipe off the excess stains used places with the clean rag otherwise it will look unequal. You will use a clean rag more while staining so make it always ready with the clean rag to wipe off the thing. And remember when you sand it or stain it always in the direction of wood grains so you can get a good display of your deck.

Or staining in the opposite direction of wood grains will give you a poor appearance of your entire deck. If you use the rag to wipe for oil-based stains then the rag gets wet which is flammable so don’t throw it away as the wet rag waits until it dries and throws it away which enhances your safety. Oil-based deck stains are toxic because of the high odor pigment so always use rubber gloves while you’re working with the stains. If the coverage area of your deck is larger then you have to spend more time staining to cover the entire area. Instead of kneeling down, use a sweeper pole to give you comfort to work.


If you’re choosing the deck stains for the first time it seems a little tricky because every deck stain seems the same there are many classifications and brands available other than that the chosen deck stains want to be suitable for your house. So we will guide you to know about the stains which give you the ability to choose your deck stain on your own. Choosing the best deck stains depends on your decision. If you choose the rightful stain then it will enhance the appearance of your house.

And while choosing, you have to consider the classifications of deck stains because there are plenty of deck stains available. Most of them come in good quality but you have to decide which deck stain is suitable for your house. So filtering the deck stains with the pros and cons will let you choose the rightful deck stain for you. Before applying color stain to your entire deck, first, apply it on the small area of your deck and at this point, you can check whether it looks better or not so it allows you to choose the suitable color for your deck.


I'm a woodworker. I love working with wood, and I love the way it feels to shape it and make something beautiful from it. I've been doing this for years, and I'm always learning new techniques and ways to improve my skills. I started out as a carpenter, but eventually moved on to woodworking because I found that I could do more creative things with wood than with other materials. I've also found that it's a more satisfying way to work, because the results are so tangible. I've taught classes in woodworking, and have written articles on the subject. I'm always looking for new ways to share my love of the craft with others.

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