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8 Best Deck Stains and Sealers Reviews in 2024

Deck stains and sealers are essential products for homeowners looking to protect and enhance the appearance of their outdoor wooden decks. Whether you’re sprucing up your deck for a summer barbecue or preparing it for the harsh winter months, choosing the right stain and sealer can make all the difference. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best deck stains and sealers on the market, helping you make an informed decision for your outdoor space. 

But Do all Products Help Protect?

When it comes to protecting your deck from the elements, not all stains and sealers are created equal. From water-based formulas to oil-based varieties, there are numerous options available, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Understanding the differences between these products is crucial for ensuring long-lasting protection and beauty for your deck. 

So How Did We Test?

Our editorial team has meticulously tested a wide range of deck stains and sealers to bring you this curated list of top picks. We understand that every homeowner’s needs are unique, which is why we’ve considered a variety of factors to compile this comprehensive guide. From quantity, to stain color, to compatible wood species, we considered it all, even taking additional factors such as durability and weather resistance to ease of application and aesthetic appeal.  We’ve evaluated each product based on the below three key criteria to ensure that you find the perfect solution for your deck maintenance needs.

  • Quantity: It is essential to assess the quantity of the deck stain and sealer, as the amount required for thorough application is significant. Most products are available in 1-gallon packs, but larger 5-gallon options are also accessible.
  • Stain Color: Since deck stain and sealer serve decorative purposes, examining the available color options is vital. Common choices include light oak, redwood, dark walnut, and various others, allowing you to select a color that suits your preferences.
  • Compatible Wood Species: Given that decks can be constructed from various wood species, it’s crucial to ensure that the chosen deck stain and sealer are compatible with the specific type of wood used. Many products support multiple wood species such as cedar, mahogany, redwood, pine wood, spruce, cypress, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of materials.

While these factors are important, it’s advisable to understand the specifications and features of the recommended deck stains and sealers provided below. Additionally, a comprehensive “Buying Guide” and frequently asked questions (FAQs) are included to assist you in selecting the most suitable option

Best Deck Stains and Sealers 2024 – Comparison Table

Best Deck Stains and SealersQuantityStain ColorShelf LifeBuy Now
Seal-Once Marine Sealer1 gallonCedar3 year longCheck On Amazon
Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer For Wood1 gallonLight oak5 year longCheck On Amazon
Olympic Stain Maximum Wood Stain and Sealer1 gallonRedwood5 year longCheck On Amazon
SaverSystems Deck Premium Wood Fence Stain and Sealer1 gallonCedar5 year longCheck On Amazon
SEAL-ONCE Nano+Poly Wood Sealer & Stain1 gallonBronze Cedar3 year longCheck On Amazon
Thompsons Waterseal Woodlnd Cedr1 gallonCedarLifetimeCheck On Amazon
Ready Seal Exterior Stain 5 gallonRedwood5 year longCheck On Amazon

Best Deck Stains and Sealers Reviews

1. Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer

Seal-Once Marine

Seal-Once is a high-quality deck stain and sealer brand with a focus on protecting wooden decks, offering eco-friendly and non-toxic solutions for safety around plants, pets, and people.

And the Marine Premium Wood Sealer from this brand comes with a UV-stable coating that provides robust protection against elements, saltwater spray, and water damage. Suitable for outdoor furniture, thermally modified wood, and boat docks, it is marine-grade and safe for open-water use without harm to aquatic life.

Functioning as both a deck stain and waterproof wood sealer, Seal-Once creates a water-resistant shield at the cellular level. Its fast-drying formula deeply penetrates wood, preserving flooring, siding, and porches. The result is a flexible, breathable barrier that is durable and easily cleaned with soap and water.

Best Features:

  • UV-stable coating for ultimate outdoor protection
  • Water-based, ultra-low VOC formula
  • Fast-drying, penetrating wood below the surface
  • User-friendly application and easy cleanup
  • Safe for pets, plants, and people
  • Offers a quantity of 1 gallon
  • Rated shelf life of up to 3 years


  • Effective seal against elements and saltwater
  • Preserves natural color with clear finish
  • Easy application and cleanup with soap and water
  • Versatile use for various outdoor installations


  • Mixed opinions on long-term durability
  • Issues with sealer effectiveness over time
  • Clear finish not holding up as expected
  • Color might look a bit average

Buy Now From Amazon

2. Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer For Wood

Ready Seal Exterior Stain

Ready Seal is a brand known for its sealing and staining products, including the Ready Seal 105, which is quite popular. No primer is required; simply apply with a sprayer, roller, or brush, and see the full result in about 14 days. This foolproof solution prevents runs, laps, or streaks, eliminating the need for back brushing and wet-line application.

Ready Seal 105 Natural goes beyond being just a stain; it’s a special mix of oil, quality resins, and finely ground pigments that deeply penetrate wood, offering protection against mold, mildew, and UV rays. The “Goof Proof” application process allows for flexibility in staining schedules, usable in any temperature range. 

Best Features:

  • No primer needed, reaches true color in 14 days
  • “Goof Proof” application for easy use
  • Seals without runs, laps, or streaks
  • Enhances natural wood texture and grain
  • Protects against mold, mildew, and UV rays
  • Offers a quantity of 1 gallon
  • Comes as a natural light oak colored deck stain and sealer
  • Rated shelf life of up to 5 years


  • Outstanding product quality and appearance
  • Easy application with no runs or streaks
  • Enhances the natural character of the wood
  • Reliable protection against mold, mildew, and UV rays


  • Tackiness and oily residue after application
  • Color discrepancies compared to samples
  • Might not work on all wood species due to a lighter stain

Buy Now From Amazon

3. Olympic Stain Maximum Wood Stain and Sealer

Olympic Stain Maximum Wood Stain and Sealer

Olympic is a well-established brand known for producing various sealants. Most of its options not only enhance the appearance but also provide effective protection.

When it comes to its best-sellers, the Maximum Wood Stain and Sealer are designed for outdoor structures like decks and fences. This stain is semi-transparent and can be applied even in colder weather, down to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

With Olympic Maximum, you get advanced SunBlock UV protection and enhanced waterproofing, keeping your wood looking beautiful all year round. Plus, the exclusive Scuff Guard technology makes upkeep a breeze, and you can clean it easily with just soap and water, no harsh chemicals required.

Best Features:

  • Offers a quantity of 1 gallon
  • Comes as a redwood-colored deck stain and sealer
  • Rated shelf life of up to 5 years
  • Advanced SunBlock UV defense and waterproofing
  • Exclusive Scuff Guard technology for easy cleaning


  • Works great even after multiple years
  • High quality dark colored deck stain and sealer
  • Excellent color and quality
  • Easy application with mini foam rollers
  • Enhanced waterproofing and sunblock UV defense
  • Simplified maintenance with soap and water cleanup


  • Slightly on the expensive side compared to others
  • Inadequate wood sealing with multiple coats required

Buy Now From Amazon

4. SaverSystems Deck Premium Wood Fence Stain and Sealer

SaverSystems Deck Premium

The #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain from ‎SaverSystems comes in Dark Walnut, adding rich color and sealing wood against water damage. Ideal for decks, fences, and furniture, it lets the wood grain show for a natural finish.

This stain prevents color fade and graying, serving as both a deck stain and sealant. With an eco-friendly formula (less than 50 g/L VOC), it’s planet-friendly. Cleanup is easy with soap and water.

Best Features:

  • Semi-transparent stain in Dark Walnut
  • Dual-purpose stain and deck sealant
  • Allows wood grain to show through
  • Eco-friendly with low VOC content
  • Works on damp wood, minimizing wait time


  • Beautiful color with natural-looking finish
  • Easy to use and clean up with soap and water
  • Effective water resistance
  • Versatile application on decks, fences, and siding


  • Mixed opinions on long-term durability
  • Some users reported issues with tackiness after application
  • Not recommended for staining old decks according to certain reviews

Buy Now From Amazon

5. SEAL-ONCE Nano+Poly Wood Sealer & Stain


Seal-Once secures its place once again, coming in at fifth position. The Nano+Poly wood sealer, boasting a Bronze Cedar finish, offers top-notch defense for frequently used spots such as furniture, siding, and decks. 

It doesn’t just protect the surface; it forms a robust barrier against various forms of damage and weather conditions. Plus, its low VOC gloss ensures safe usage in and around your home, including water-prone areas.

Best Features:

  • Water-based polyurethane wood finish in Bronze Cedar
  • Penetrates below the surface for long-lasting protection
  • Ultra-low VOC gloss for extended exterior flooring life
  • Waterproof sealant with easy soap and water cleanup
  • Safe application around pets, plants, and people


  • Outstanding value and longevity
  • Easy application with sheerness and wood retention
  • Water repelling characteristics with effective beading
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas and various wood projects


  • Some users reported water absorption issues
  • Difficulties in removing spots on the wood surface
  • Mixed opinions on the ease of use for certain applications
  • Not the best color for darker wood species

Buy Now From Amazon

6. Thompsons Waterseal Woodlnd CedrThompsons Waterseal Woodlnd Cedr

Thompson’s Water Seal is a trusted brand for deck stain and sealer, perfect for those in search of a durable, effective solution. Available in a rich Cedar shade, this stain and sealer combination enhances the color while effectively repelling water, maintaining the wood’s integrity for an extended period. 

Its waterproofing technology ensures long-lasting protection against moisture, offering peace of mind to professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike with its straightforward and reliable application process.

Best Features:

  • Transparent waterproofing stain in Woodland Cedar
  • Easy to apply with a “goof-proof” application process
  • Enhances the natural beauty of wood
  • Provides long-lasting protection against the elements
  • Offers a quantity of 1 gallon
  • Comes as a cedar-colored deck stain and sealer
  • Rated for a lifetime shelf life


  • Excellent quality and ease of use
  • Robust water-repelling abilities
  • Enhances the natural beauty of the wood
  • Long-lasting protection against the elements


  • Some users experienced challenges with application
  • Reports of pooling and uneven finish
  • Limited compatibility with different wood species

Buy Now From Amazon

7. Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer

Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer

Ready Seal, a renowned brand for wood staining and sealing, offers a range of products ideal for your deck.

For a darker look, consider their redwood-colored stain and sealer, perfect for easy application. Their Exterior Stain and Sealer in Redwood 120 is specifically formulated for outdoor use, providing professional-grade results without the usual difficulties.

Ready Seal’s blend of oil, quality resins, and pigments deeply penetrates outdoor wood, protecting it from weathering. With its “goof-proof” application, covering 125-150 sq. feet per gallon.

Best Features:

  • Offers a quantity of 1 gallon
  • Comes as a redwood-colored deck stain and sealer
  • Rated shelf life of up to 5 years
  • Professional-grade results without sacrificing durability
  • Covers approximately 125-150 sq. feet per gallon
  • Unique blend of oil, quality resins, and finely ground pigments


  • Fairly long shelf life for peace of mind
  • Easy to apply deck stains and sealers
  • Great quality dark-colored model


  • No UV protection
  • challenges with pooling during application
  • Issues reported with the transparency of the final finish

Buy Now From Amazon

Buying Guide for the Best Deck Stains and Sealers

If you’ve recently had a new deck installed in your backyard, preserving its appearance and durability is likely a priority. That’s why applying a stain and sealer is crucial to maintain its quality over time. Earlier in this list, we covered some top-notch deck stains and sealers, each with its unique features and options to aid in your selection process. 

However, if you’re seeking further information, delve into this comprehensive buying guide for the best deck stains and sealers.

1. Quantity

To stain and seal a deck effectively, make sure to check the quantity of stain and sealer you’ll need. Most products come in 1-gallon sizes, but larger options like 5 gallons are available. Choose the size that suits the amount required for your deck.

2. Stain Color

Check the quantity of your desk stain and sealer to ensure you have enough. Examine the color options for the design and appearance. Wooden surfaces usually have stain colors like light oak, redwood, or dark walnut. Choose based on your preference when buying.

3. Compatible Wood Species

Before applying a particular deck sealer, it’s crucial to confirm its compatibility with the type of wood used in your deck. Fortunately, most deck stains and sealers on the market work well with various wood types. Among the commonly compatible wood species are cedar, mahogany, redwood, pine, spruce, cypress, and several others. Opting for a deck stain and sealer that works with a wide range of wood types ensures practicality and versatility in application.

4. Shelf Life

While applying a new coat of deck stain and sealer is typically done immediately, the scenario changes when adding an extra coat. In such instances, you may find yourself with leftover deck stain and sealer, which you might want to use at a later time. To ensure the usability of the remaining product in the future, it’s important to check the shelf life of the chosen deck stain and sealer. Typically, these products come with a shelf life rating of 3 or 5 years. For those seeking even greater longevity, there are deck stains and sealers available with a lifetime shelf rating.

Deck Stains and Sealers – FAQs

1. How do you apply a deck stain and sealer?

Ans: If you want the best results, then you should apply your deck stain and sealer using a paint pad applicator. You can then use this to apply the deck stain and sealers in multiple coats. Make sure that all coats are made with long and even strokes while coating all the nooks and crannies.

2. Does a deck stain and sealer start protecting wood right away?

Ans: Almost all deck stains and sealers have a specific curing time of multiple days in most cases. This means that once you have applied a given deck stain and sealer, you cannot wash the deck until the stain is completely dry and cured.

3. What kind of protections does a deck stain and sealer offer?

Ans: Since a deck stain and sealer essentially seals the wood from external factors, your wooden deck will be protected against UV rays, water and moisture, cracks, and much more. And since you get all of this while adding a great looking colored stain, using a deck stain and sealer is highly recommended.


The range of deck stains and sealers presented caters to the diverse needs of outdoor wooden structures, especially backyard decks, ensuring both aesthetic appeal and durability. Each product listed above offers unique features to consider to aid in decision-making. 

Among the options, Thompsons Waterseal stain stands out for its exceptional longevity, boasting a lifetime shelf life rating. With a 1-gallon quantity and a cedar color option, it perfectly complements various settings. Alternatively, Seal-Once Nano+Poly, with its water-based polyurethane finish in Bronze Cedar, provides superior protection in high-traffic areas. Its versatility and water-repelling properties make it an ideal choice for users seeking a durable and visually appealing solution for their wooden projects.

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