last updated 12 Sep 2023

See also Painting in Home & Garden

Stain Transparency

Wood Stain Ratings | consumer reports CR - Consumer Reports ratings:
To evaluate exterior wood stains, CRŐs test engineers apply two coats of stain to pine boards and place the boards on the roof of our headquarters in Yonkers, N.Y. We face them south and at an angle, like a roof, to intensify the effects of the sun and elements and to accelerate weathering. Because of our location in the Mid-Atlantic region, these boards are exposed to conditions typical of the NortheastŐs four distinct seasons.
Type $ CR 1yr 2 yr 3 yr resist mildew
Behr Premium Solid Color Waterproofing Stain & Sealer (Home Depot) solid $50 82 5 5 4 y
Olympic Elite Advanced Stain + Sealant in One solid $52 80 5 4 4 y
Valspar One-Coat Lowes solid $49 71 5 4 4 y
Benjamin Moore Arborcoat solid $70 69 5 4 3 y
Cabot Solid Color Acrylic Stain + Sealer solid Acrylic $56 69 5 4 4 n
Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Exterior Waterborne Deck Solid water base 37 4 3 2 n
Olympic Elite Advanced Stain + Sealant in One Semi-transparent 41 4 2 na y
Behr Deckplus Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Wood Stain Semi-transparent na 1 na na n
Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT Semi-transpaarent 34 4 1 y
Behr Premium Waterproofing Stain & Sealer Solid y y y yes 100
Olympic Elite Advanced Stain + Sealant in One Solid y y n yes
Valspar One-Coat Lowes solid y y y yes 100
Cabot Acrylic Stain + Sealer Solid Acrylic y y y no 100
Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Exterior Waterborne Solid Color Deck Solid water base n n n n 100
Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Solid y y y yes 100
Olympic Elite Advanced Stain + Sealant in One Semi-transparent n n n yes 100
Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Semi-transparent n n n yes 100
Behr Deckplus Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Wood Stain Semi-transparent na na na na 100
* I've used Olympic Seni-transparent stain (Olympic and others) on my deck New Jersey with a southern exposure and snow for years and never had a cracking problem.
9 best deck stains of 2023 | Better Homes & Gardens
Behr (Home Deopt) Colors:

Most are 350 sq ft per gallon.

Source: Use the proper tools | HomeDepot
See also:
How to Stain a Deck| Home Depot

Consumer reports uses 2 coats.
You can put a 2nd coat on later.
If your deck is in good condition and youŐre looking to apply a maintenance coat of stain to keep your deck looking new, then yesÉ you can stain over a stained deck.

If this is the case then make sure you use the exact same product as last time. DonŐt try to coat your existing stain with a different brand of deck stain. Applying Deck Stain or Sealers | AlsNetBiz

Water-Based stain over a deck previously stained with an oil-base?
Some say No.
Others say yes if oil has dried for at least 3 days.

Wipe the dried stain surface with a clean, lint-free cloth that youve dampened with a solution of water and denatured alcohol mixed in a 1:1 ratio. This wipe down will remove any oils or mineral spirits that may have come to the surface of the stain during the drying cycle,
Try a small portion. If y;ou get Fish Eyes: these are the small craters that form if you havent removed all of the surface oils, repeat to wipe down. How to Apply Water-Based Sealer on an Oil-Based Stain | target Coatings Deck Stain Help and Deck Stain Reviews | Deck Stain PRO
Can You Use Water-Based Stain Over Oil-Based Stain?

Can you stain over a stained deck?

Old: 2015
CENTER>last updated 10 Nov 2015

Contractors at Tahoe like:
Preserva Wood
These are oil-base transparent preservatives with some pigments for color. Preserva Wood has a chemical to stop salts from leaching out of the wood. They penetrate better than semi-transparent stains, but they may not hide variations in weathered wood as well as semi-transparent or semi-solid stains.
Some painters put one of these on as a primer, followed by a solid or semi-solid latex on top.

Deck Cleaners/Strippers see surface preparation

Deck Finishes

See Deck Paints in Products. It references consumer reports testing which shows solod paint significantly out performs semi-transparent.

Finishes should be designed for decks; Otherwise, they may deteriorate rapidly under foot traffic.

Stained wood surfaces may need to be retreated every 2-3 years or earlier depending on weather exposure.

Aliphatic elastomeric urethane waterproofing systems are UV resistant, VOC compliant and provide a flexible, seamless, watertight, non-porous film over most treated surfaces.

Deck Resurface Products: Deck resurface products are basically similar to an extremely thick paint. They are designed to mask the wood and fill large cracks or voids.
See Deck Paints and Resurfacers in products

Intermix all the gallons to in five-gallon bucket to iensure color consistency.
Stir, stir, stir.

Peeling with oil deck stains is rare; unless, the wrong stain is used (solid color house stain versus deck stain) or too many coats are applied (we only recommend one coat). Peeling with the acrylic solid color deck stain can happen from a couple things:
We do not recommend rolling the solid color deck stain because it leaves pinholes in the film which can allow moisture to get through the coating and cause peeling.

Behr premium solid color waterproofing stain and sealer product detail
Behr premium solid color waterproofing stain and sealer product-detail |

At they say:
Peeling is generally a sign of a lot of coalesced film on the surface and not enough penetration. This could be due to surface contamination, high moisture content in the wood, a previous stain not allowing the stain to penetrate, or a wet on dry application instead of wet on wet.

Refinishers and Restorers | Regular Paint

Refinishers and Restorers
These products are basically thick paint that fills cracks in old decks to save you the expense of refinishing them.

xx/5 (yy): xx= customer review score out of 5, yy = number of reviews at



f you must use water based stick with semi transparent. Avoid water based solid stains, unless you like scraping and re-staining every two years. The more solids a water-based deck stain has, the more dramatic the failure

I dont entirely agree with that. Most waterborne deck stains are kind of a hybrid oil emulsion. The first coat is designed to penetrate, and will wear off like normal stain. Its when a second coat is applied that it forms a film.

I think if you're dealing with real bare wood and can afford it, TWP still would probably be a better choice. On a fence I did last year it still looked new with TWP this year

TWP Stain | Wood Deck Preservative & Sealers

Regular Paint:
Some of Consumer Reports recommendations
Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior (Home Depot) Clark + Kensington Exterior (Ace) Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Valspar DuraMax Exterior (Lowe's)
Deck Finishing Links:
Behr Deckover, Olympic Rescue-It, Rust-Oleum Deck Restore Do They Work? | Best Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
Stain a wood deck tips and how to at Al's Home Improvement.

last updated 10 Nov 2015