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The 10 Best Deck Stains of 2019

Deck Stains: The Best of 2019

Everyone knows that when you have a deck, it needs to be stained to keep its integrity. However, choosing the best deck stain stain can be a difficult endeavor as you have to weave through many different brands and types to choose the best one for you.

You will quickly be overwhelmed when you start to research stains and find out the vast number of them that have varying promises and might even differ based on your climate.

However, you can protect your deck and save yourself some frustration when it comes time to stain your deck.

How do you choose a deck stain?

There are a few things you want to consider when it comes to choosing the best deck stain for your needs. Some factors to take into account are:

  • The finish– do you want to add color to your deck or enhance the natural wood?
  • The base– is the base oil or water? Does that matter to you?
  • Warranty– does the stain you are considering offer a guarantee?

You may not get all the answers you are looking for, but you can certainly narrow down your choices. The stain you choose is a large decision as it makes a difference to the protection and the aesthetics of your deck. We've rounded up the best deck stains of 2019 to make your shopping a bit easier.

The DEFY Extreme 1 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain, Cedar Tone is a great stain if you are looking for something that is both durable and environmentally friendly. You will love how this stain enhances the natural wood grains on your deck, leaving a gorgeous woodsy look. The stain is designed with zinc nano-particles that acts as a sunscreen for your deck so that it does not succumb to UV damage.

Additionally, your deck will always look good after repeated use as this stain is durable and does not darken or fade. Furthermore, you will never have to worry about mildew as this stain does work to prevent the buildup of mold growth.

Overall, the DEFY Extreme 1 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain, Cedar Tone is a great deck stain to get. The benefits of this stain are that it will protect your wood, last for more than one season and it dries fairly quickly. You do have to wait 24 hours after staining to use your deck, but otherwise, it is fairly fast. Maintenance is a breeze also as you only need to reapply a maintenance coat once in a while.

Key Features
  • Environmentally friendly deck stain that allows the wood's natural grains to be enhanced
  • Has zinc throughout the stain to help prevent wood from sustaining UV damage
  • Designed to be durable and resistant to fading or damage
Specifications
  • Finish: Semi-Transparent
  • Warranty: 30 day return policy
  • Base: Water
Pros
  • Easy to apply and re-apply
  • Dries quickly and does not re-color your wood
  • Very little chemical smell
Cons
  • Have to becareful not to overcoat or it changes the color of the deck
  • If not applied properly, it bubbles and cracks

The DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent 250 VOC Natural Finish (1-Gallon) is an excellent deck stain for those who love the natural look of the wood but don’t mind a bit of brown “enhancement.” This stain is oil-based and designed to penetrate the wood deeply in order to protect it against water damage and mold from developing deep in the grains. You will love how easy this stain is to apply as it is not too thick nor too thin.

Of the best deck stains, this one does not have a strong odor, which is great for those who are scent sensitive. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about a residue appearing once this stain dries. Drying takes less than 24 hours and allows you to use your deck sooner.

Overall, the DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent 250 VOC Natural Finish (1-Gallon) is one of the best deck stains for those who are new to staining decks. You will appreciate how simple it is to use this stain. The only real thing you might not like is how difficult it is to remove from clothing, so be careful.

Key Features
  • Offers a light brown tint to your wood to prevent from UV damage
  • This oil penetrates the wood deeply to prevent from molding or mildew
  • Designed to not crack or peel over time
Specifications
  • Finish: Semi-Transparent
  • Warranty: 1 year limited liability
  • Base: Oil
Pros
  • Only requires one coat
  • Easy to apply
  • Does not have a strong odor
Cons
  • Does leave overlap marks, so be careful
  • Difficult to wash out of clothes

The Olympic Stain Waterguard Waterproofing Sealant for Decks, Fences, and Siding, Clear, 1-Gallon is one of the best deck stains when you want your deck to be as natural as possible without adding anything to it. The clear coat of this stain still allows your wood to age and gray naturally while protecting it against mildew, water, mold, and UV damage.

Application of this product is very simple. You want to go with the wood's natural grain using a paintbrush or roller. The stain takes up to 24 hours to dry completely, and once it does, you will not notice any change in the color of the wood. Water will be repelled by this stain to prevent pooling or penetration of the wood.

Overall, when you want to protect your deck without changing what it looks like, the Olympic Stain Waterguard Waterproofing Sealant for Decks, Fences, and Siding, Clear, 1-Gallon is the way to go. The smell will take a few days to dissipate but it is worth it. One of the best things about this stain is how easy it is to clean. You will not have to scrub or struggle to remove the stain from hands, clothing, or tools. Once complete, you can clean your deck with a simple spray of the hose.

Key Features
  • This stain is water-proofing to prevent from water damage
  • Your deck will be protected against mildew and mold growth
  • Can be used on both pressure and non-pressure treated woods
Specifications
  • Finish: Clear
  • Warranty: Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Base: Chemical
Pros
  • Very easy to apply
  • Easy to clean off of hands, clothings and tools
  • Can be applied to any wood surface
Cons
  • Does have a pungent smell that lasts for a couple days
  • Does not prevent wood from graying

The TWP/Gemini TWP116-1G Rustic TWP® Wood Preservative ~ 1 Gallon is a great deck stain to get if you are wanting to simply enhance the natural look of the wood used. You will appreciate the natural look of your deck once finished. The integrity of both old and new wood will improve with this stain.

This stain helps to protect your wood against rotting, water damage, and sunlight damage. Additionally, you will love that it also protects against mildew building up. Water does not have a chance to damage your wood using this stain because it is designed to prevent water absorption. Furthermore, there will be no delamination of the veneer siding.

The TWP/Gemini TWP116-1G Rustic TWP® Wood Preservative is the stain to get when you want to preserve your wood deck and keep it strong and looking its best without taking away from the natural look. You will not need to worry about black or grey discoloration appearing on your deck as well as cracks from appearing. The dry time is generally around 24 to 48 hours but could take longer depending on the type of wood, the age of the wood and the size of your deck.

Key Features
  • The stain is semi-transparent designed to enhance the natural beauty of the wood
  • Helps with color retention and protects against rotting
  • Helps to prevent cracking in the wood and veneer delamination of siding
Specifications
  • Finish: Semi-Transparent
  • Warranty: 30 day return policy
  • Base: Chemical
Pros
  • Goes on easily without any bubbling
  • Enhances the wood look beautifully
  • Keeps wood safe against the elements
Cons
  • Takes a long time to dry
  • Does change the natural color of the wood

The #1 Deck Stain - Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, Siding - 1 Gallon is one of the best deck stains on the market as it is water-based and goes on smoothly without harsh chemicals. You can easily brighten and enhance the look of the natural wood on your deck using any of the stains that are provided. You will prolong the life of your wood with this stain as it is resistant to UV rays that can crack and damage untreated wood.

Furthermore, you will not need to worry about peeling, graying, or mildew growing as this stain is designed to withstand against each of these. Overall, the stain is a great one for any outside wood that is going to be subject to the elements as it is designed to keep wood looking healthy and strong for years to come.

You will love the #1 Deck Stain - Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, Siding since it goes on easy and lasts a long time. The final product of your deck is one that you will sincerely enjoy. All wood types are compatible with this stain, including softwoods such as fir. However, it is important you know that for best results you need to apply two coats.

Key Features
  • Is excellent protection from UV rays damaging your wood
  • Does dual jobs as a deck stain and sealer
  • Has a semi-transparent finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood
Specifications
  • Finish: Semi-Transparent
  • Warranty: 2 year limited
  • Base: Water
Pros
  • Goes on smoothly
  • Keeps the wood looking good
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Has a strong smell
  • Needs two coats to look good

The Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, Wood Siding (1 Gallon) is a great stain to use when you want to get the job done. You can stain your deck the same day as you prepare it for staining. This stain uses the latest advancements in stain technology that is water-based. Additionally, it protects your wood from UV damage and from graying over time.

You will love how this stain deeply penetrates the wood protecting it thoroughly against the elements. There will be fewer chances of wear and tear damaging your deck when you use this stain on it. It is an eco-friendly stain that does not emit heavy fumes or cause environmental damage if spilled.

Overall, the natural look of the Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, Wood Siding is a great way to enhance your deck's natural beauty. The water base makes it easy to apply and easy to clean. However, you should be aware that it is thin and there is a risk of over-applying. Therefore, you need to be mindful of how much you use.

Key Features
  • Very easy to prepare and apply to your deck
  • Penetrates your wood deeply to prevent wear and tear
  • Keeps wood safe from graying and UV rays oxidation
Specifications
  • Finish: Semi-Transparent
  • Warranty: 18 months (on horizontal surfaces)
  • Base: Water
Pros
  • Goes on quickly and easily
  • This stain is 100 percent eco-friendly
  • Gives old wood a new look
Cons
  • Needs to be applied carefully as it is very thin
  • Needs more than one coat

The THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.042851-16 Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain, Woodland Cedar is a great deck stain for all outdoor wood. You will love how the texture of this stain adds just enough grainy look to your wood to enhance its natural beauty. Application is simple and easy to accomplish. However, be sure not to over-apply as this stain is thin.

You can apply this stain to both dry and damp wood as it will work effectively on either. The waterproofing technology ensures that your wood will not be susceptible to water damage. Furthermore, the coasting is designed to resist UV damage along with mildew.

Overall, the THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.042851-16 Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain, Woodland Cedar is one of the best deck stains because it works and adds protection to your deck. You will sincerely enjoy how lovely this stain looks on the wood of your choice as there is one for various wood types. The only downfall of this stain is that it does have a strong scent that lingers for a while after application.

Key Features
  • Designed to take preventative action against water damage
  • Provides you fade resistant color by using advanced polymers
  • Will prevent your deck from sustaining UV damage or mildew
Specifications
  • Finish: Semi-Transparent
  • Warranty: None
  • Base: Chemical
Pros
  • Applies easily to newly washed damp or dry wood
  • Dries in less than 3 hours
  • Gives wood a subtle grainy look that enhances its natural beauty
Cons
  • Has a strong smell that lingers for a little while
  • Is a bit watery and can lead to over applying

The Flood Series FLD520-01 1G CWF-UV Cedar 275 VOC is a great stain for decks when you want to have something that is easy to clean and easy to apply. The acrylic oil of the formula makes it a great choice when you are looking to enhance the natural beauty of the wood without overpowering it. This stain will prevent mildew from building up and also helps to protect against water damage.

The Flood Series stains also help to protect your wood from UV damage providing a natural barrier from sunlight. One of the best things about this stain is that it is very easy to clean. You just need a bit of soap and water when you want to clean your deck boards after applying.

Overall, the Flood Series FLD520-01 1G CWF-UV Cedar 275 VOC is one of the best deck stains on the market as it is very easy to work with. The only real issues you may have with it is that it is difficult to wash off your hands and it emits a strong scent at first. However, once you apply this to your deck, you are sure to be very happy with the results.

Key Features
  • Great stain for protecting against mildew and moisture
  • Desgined to prevent sun damage
  • The acrylic oil formula is easy to clean with soap and water
Specifications
  • Finish: Semi-Transparent
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Base: Acrylic Oil
Pros
  • Very easy to apply
  • Brings out the wood's natural grains
  • Can clean the wood with this stain easily
Cons
  • Difficult to remove from hands
  • Has a strong lingering smell

The CABOT SAMUEL 19202-07 INC GAL CED WD Deck Stain, Cedar is an excellent stain when you don’t want to change any of the wood's natural color. This stain is designed to be fully translucent as it deeply penetrates the wood to keep it safe from damage. You will love how this stain is fade-resistant while it keeps your wood safe from water damage and harmful UV rays.

The is made to handle constant wear and tear as you use your deck for various reasons. This stain will not peel, darken, or gray your deck. As an oil-based stain, it does have a strong smell, but that oil does make your deck look fantastic.

Overall, the CABOT SAMUEL 19202-07 INC GAL CED WD Deck Stain, Cedar is a great stain to get. However, you need to be aware of how hard it can be to wash off of clothes and your hands. Therefore, though the application is easy, take extra care not to get any on your clothes and be prepared to spend some time washing it off your hands.

Key Features
  • Designed to be very durable to prevent against wear and tear
  • Very easy application process
  • Highlights your wood's natural look and protects against damage
Specifications
  • Finish: Translucent
  • Warranty: 6-month guarantee
  • Base: Oil
Pros
  • Does not take anything away from the look of the wood
  • Will not fade over time
  • Application is super easy
Cons
  • Has a strong smell that lingers for a while
  • Difficult to clean off clothes and hands

The Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain for Wood Decks, Wood Fences, Wood Siding, and Log Cabins - 1 Gallon - Woodrich Brand is a great deck stain when you are staining your deck for the first time. If you aren’t a master stainer, you can achieve great results with this stain as it is designed not to run, overlap or streak. You will love how you can apply this to your brand-new deck without any issues of it causing damage to new wood.

This stain is great for spray application as it isn’t thick and does not require you to hand-brush it on. This stain is transparent, but there are colors that you can choose from if you want to change the look of the wood from its natural appearance.

Overall, you will have no issues with the Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain for Wood Decks, Wood Fences, Wood Siding, and Log Cabins. The only downfalls are that it does take some time to dry, and it does have a strong scent at first. However, that is minimal when it comes to how easy this stain is to apply and the finished product. You will love everything about this stain from its deep penetration to the natural wood finish.

Key Features
  • Covers up to 150 square feet of deck
  • Does not run or leave any drip marks
  • Protects your wood against mildew and UV damage
Specifications
  • Finish: Transparent
  • Warranty: None
  • Base: Oil
Pros
  • Easy for first-time deck stainers to use
  • Does not leave overlap marks
  • Can be applied to new wood
Cons
  • Does have a strong smell
  • Does not prevent graying
  • Takes a while to dry

A freshly stained deck can be an inexpensive key in an outdoor makeover, it can revive a tired and old-looking patio, and it can be a great accent to a new house color. It also can help protect the wood from the elements.

As you navigate through the different stain types and styles to complete your you may need a couple of tips to help you decide.

Have a look at these expert tips for choosing the right stain for your deck.

Opacity

To understand what impact the stain will have your deck, you need to understand the opacity. The opacity is how much natural wood will be visible once stained. There are varying opacities to consider.

  • Clear
  • Translucent
  • Semi-Transparent
  • Semi-Solid

Wood Type

Since wood is the primary material used to build a deck, you need to know what type of wood your deck is made to choose the right stain. Not all stains are designed for all wood types. Therefore, you need to know if your deck is made of cedar, fir, mahogany, pine, or another material.

Your Skill

Be honest with yourself on how skilled you are at staining. If you are new, you want to check for easy application and minimal preparation. If you are more experienced, then you can pick a stain that is a bit more complicated to apply. Whether new or experienced, it’s important to do a little research ahead of time to make sure you have all the right equipment, know the process, and properly prepare your deck for its new coat of stain. Another option? Just hire a professional. It’ll cost more but will ensure that your stain is properly applied.

Drying times

Different products have different drying times you need to consider. Therefore, depending on how quickly you want to use your deck after staining, you want to pay attention to how long it will take to dry. Some dry in hours, others take a day or two. Be sure you choose the one that fits your schedule.

Best Deck Stains of 2019

Even with all the consideration to take into account, choosing a deck stain can still be a trying endeavor. Therefore, we helped you out by narrowing down your choices to some of the best deck stains available on the market.

Have a look and pick the best deck stain for your needs that will help you make your outdoor space one that everyone wants to spend time in.

Resources — Family Handyman, GNH Lumber

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