best stain for deck

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The Best Deck Stain đồ sộ Revamp Your Outdoor Space

Woodsmith Review Team

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Last updated: 22 Oct 2023

Personally, I’m a big người yêu thích of wood.  It’s a classic building material that’s still used in many houses, apartments, and other structures đồ sộ this day. Aside from being a cheap and reliable material that’s sturdy for large projects, it also carries a certain aesthetic appeal đồ sộ it with its natural feel and looks. There’s just something different about hanging out with friends on a wooden patio during a cool summer evening. For these reasons, many people still opt đồ sộ use wood despite the presence of more modern alternatives, such as concrete and steel.

However, not all wood looks and feels the same. There are different kinds of brown and some people even decide đồ sộ paint the wood a certain color. If you want đồ sộ change the color of your wood without actually removing its natural look, then you’ll want a wood stain. In this article, you’ll find the best deck stains in 2023 for your wooden floors and platforms đồ sộ really stand out and fit your ideal look.

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Olympic Stain Maximum Waterproofing Deck Stain

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Best Deck Stains Buying Guide

Looking đồ sộ give your deck a makeover? I know I enjoy a good trang chính improvement project. To improve the overall look and feel of your outdoor patio, try using a deck stain. Here are some tips đồ sộ make the process of picking the right deck stain for your trang chính.

What Is a Deck Stain?

Deck stain refers đồ sộ any sort of formula or solution that you apply on wooden decks đồ sộ change or enhance their color and improve their resistance đồ sộ the environment. The color change differs from using paint, as the stain retains the natural shape, color, and markings of the treated wood.

Things To Consider Before Buying Deck Stain

Here’s what you need đồ sộ keep in mind when picking a deck stain.


Wood stain is useful, but you really won’t be using it more than vãn once, as once you’ve applied the stain, your deck should be able đồ sộ go for years without needing any treatment.  You don’t want đồ sộ over up lượt thích mạ with an unused gallon of deck stain sitting in your garage. So you’ll want đồ sộ buy the exact amount of deck stain for your trang chính. Not too much, not too little.

As a general rule of thumb, smaller decks should be fine with one gallon of wood stain, whereas larger decks or with multiple wooden surfaces may need 5 gallons or more. Be sure đồ sộ figure out where in your house you want đồ sộ apply the stain first, then pick an ideal amount. Remember, you can always purchase more stain in the future if you don’t have enough.


Another thing đồ sộ keep in mind is the color of the wood stain itself. Exterior wood stain can come in various colors đồ sộ change the look of the wood that’s being treated. This can make it seem lượt thích your deck is made with a certain type of wood when in reality, it isn’t (I love a good dupe!). Alternatively, you can also use transparent solutions, which retain most of the color of the wood, if you already prefer the original color of your deck.

How đồ sộ Apply Wood Stain On a Deck

I’m always looking for ways đồ sộ save money, and luckily, you can easily apply deck stain yourself (no need đồ sộ hire an expert!). There’s only a few things you have đồ sộ know đồ sộ get started, and you can learn about that process from this video clip by Fix This Build That:

YouTube video

Deck Stain Price Range

Wood stains are somewhat affordable, with many 1-gallon formulas costing around $30-$50. There isn’t much variance when it comes đồ sộ the price of wood stain, as it’s more or less the same product no matter where you buy your stain from. Just keep in mind that you’ll be spending considerably more for 5-gallon bottles or cans of wood stain.

How We Choose Our Deck Stain

Our wood stains are chosen based on their color, transparency, quality, and customer reviews.

Our Picks Of The Top Deck Stains


While stains are usually bought for aesthetic purposes, other substances lượt thích oil treatments are used đồ sộ protect the wood instead. These can help preserve the nature and overall quality of the wood for years đồ sộ come. I could see myself using an oil treatment if the wood is exposed đồ sộ the elements, such as outdoor weather, rain, dirt, and possible abrasion.

One key feature of this oil treatment is the fact that it helps block ultraviolet rays. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are powerful, and they can wear down any wooden plank or deck over time. Placing this treatment on the deck keeps the wood in good condition despite direct tương tác with the sun’s rays. If your deck isn’t in the shade, you may want treatment of this kind đồ sộ keep your wood looking fresh and new.


Where I live, it rains at least once a week. Rain, and especially storms, can be difficult for wood đồ sộ handle. Water is known đồ sộ wear down anything over time, including wooden decks. To prevent this, people use treatments such as the STORM SYSTEM Storm Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain Protector đồ sộ keep their decks in prime condition.

The formula of the stain protector works with many types of wood. Whether it be mahogany, cedar, redwood, pine, cypress, spruce, or anything else, the stain will penetrate deep into the wood đồ sộ keep both the interior and exterior in shape. It’s easily applied by using a brush, roller, or even a spray, sánh you’ll find it surprisingly simple đồ sộ work with.


While indoor decks vì thế actually exist, most decks are exposed đồ sộ the elements outside. This deck stain is ideal for outdoor decks that are left đồ sộ fend off rain and sunshine on a daily basis. The stain comes in five different shades, giving you options đồ sộ choose the ideal color for your deck.

This stain turns your deck into a water-repellant surface. Wood typically absorbs water and, as a result, loses its quality over time. If you apply a stain, however, this quality doesn’t go away as the water can’t penetrate deep into the wood. And finally, while the stain does come in a few shades, the stain is translucent, meaning that you’ll still see the natural look and color of the wood before the stain.


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Let’s start off this list with the most popular deck stain you can find on the mạng internet. With over five thousand reviews on Amazon and a 4+ star rating, I think it’s safe đồ sộ say that thousands of people are satisfied with their purchase. The stain comes in both 1-gallon and 5-gallon options. So, if you’re only applying the stain on a small area, you can go for the 1-gallon option, or you can choose 5 gallons if that’s not enough.

The deck stain comes in a variety of colors. In total, there are 9 different options đồ sộ choose from, ranging from Light Oak đồ sộ Dark Walnut and even Burnt Hickory. There’s a shade and color for just about everybody, sánh if you’re indecisive lượt thích mạ, you may even find it difficult đồ sộ choose the ideal stain. Additionaly, the stain does not require any sort of primer đồ sộ be applied đồ sộ the wood. So, you can simply apply the stain directly as soon as you get the deck cleaned up, which makes the entire process much simpler and faster.


Hardwood is a common material used in building decks. It’s sturdy, affordable, and reliable. If I had a hardwood deck, then I would want a specific stain that works best with the nature of hardwood. Enter DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent 250 VOC Natural Finish, a natural-looking solution đồ sộ keep any hardwood floor or deck in tip-top shape.

The formula minimizes odors by penetrating deep into the surface of the hardwood. It’s also useful for any type of hardwood structure or component, whether it be a deck, railing, or stairs. You only need đồ sộ apply the coat once for it đồ sộ work, and the stain doesn’t crack or peel at all, making it incredibly easy đồ sộ work with.


There’s a good chance that you’re still a little skeptical about the effectiveness of deck stains. After all, what can a thin layer of stain vì thế against years and years of weathering and environmental changes? Well, this deck stain hopes đồ sộ prove you wrong, as it boasts a very powerful formula that keeps any outdoor deck in perfect size.

The formula uses waterproofing technology that prevents the wood from cracking due đồ sộ the presence of water. It’s also made with a Weather-Ready Application, which means that no matter the weather condition, you’ll be able đồ sộ apply the stain whenever you feel lượt thích it. You don’t need đồ sộ wait for the perfect weather đồ sộ start working, as the formula was designed đồ sộ work regardless.


Deck stains can come in transparent or semi-transparent formulas. Many people prefer the transparent formulas as it retains the natural color of the wood. But if you want đồ sộ give your deck a little makeover while also revamping its color, then a semi-transparent solution would be better. You still retain some of the original nature of the wood while introducing new colors đồ sộ shake things up.

If you’re lượt thích mạ, you try đồ sộ be eco-conscious with your purchases. Lucky for you, this formula is better for the environment, as it has less than vãn 50 g/L VOC nội dung. A simple application of soap and water also gets rid of the formula from your hands or clothing, sánh you don’t have đồ sộ worry about cleanup, either. Finally, the formula actually works on damp wood, sánh you don’t even need đồ sộ wait for your deck đồ sộ dry before starting your work.

People Also Asked

Q: How does staining help a deck?


Using a wood stain helps keep the wood in prime condition. It prevents the wood from losing its quality and color while also preventing any cracks from appearing.

Q: Can wood stain protect my deck from mold and mildew?


Yes, wood stain prevents any mold or mildew from building up on the surface of the treated wood.

Q: How vì thế I choose between transparent, semi-transparent, and solid?


What coverage you choose partly depends on how worn out your deck is. If it has a lot of imperfections you'd lượt thích đồ sộ hide, solid may be the best option. But if your deck has minimal wear and tear, transparent would work great. For decks in between, go for semi-transparent. 

Q: How many coats of stain should I use?


While every deck is different, two coats is a good general rule of thumb đồ sộ make sure you cover all imperfections and areas of the deck.

Q: Should I use a brush or roller?


While a roller is more time efficient and convenient, a brush ensures a more even and thorough coat of stain.

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Woodsmith Review Team

The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here đồ sộ help you choose the best tools and gear đồ sộ build great-looking projects confidently. The nội dung is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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