canada flagBest Deck Stains for Canada

Over the years decks have become popular for Canadian homeowners looking to add some extra outdoor living space. A deck can add curb appeal and value to any property. It's one of the best home improvements you can make outside the home.

Deck maintenance is essential to the life of a deck. Nowhere is this more important than in Canada where the winters can be harsh. No doubt Canadians love using their decks during the warm season but winters can take their toll on exterior wood. When a wood deck is not protected with a deck stain, water can seep into the wood. Freeze/thaw damage is very common on Canadian decks that are not protected with a quality deck stain.


The best Canadian deck sta, ns are the ones that penetrate deeply into the wood for maximum protection against rain, snow, and ice. But not all deck stains are compliant in Canada so finding the right one can be tricky.

There are however, a few deck stains that are compliant and have excellent penetration properties. These deck stains will not only enhance the beauty of your deck but will prolong the wood's life even in harsh winter conditions.

Two popular brands of deck stains compliant in Canada are Defy Stains and Armstrong Clark Wood Stain. Both are high on our list of best stains and are VOC compliant in most states and Canada. They come in a wide range of opacities and colors to fit the needs of most deck owners.

For the best results, a wood deck should be cleaned and stained every couple of years or as needed. This will ensure protection against weather damage. Clean the wood with a quality wood cleaner. After cleaning the wood will appear darker, this is normal. Use a deck brightener to lighten and restore the wood's original color. Once the wood dries coat the surface with a quality Canadian deck stain.

Keeping a deck protected with a good wood stain is a great way to protect your investment. Do not let harsh winter conditions ruin your deck prematurely and cost you expensive repairs. Protect all your exterior wood surfaces with one of the best Canadian deck stains to ensure lasting beauty for many years.


If you have any questions as to which stain is best for your deck in Canada, please ask below.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John · 09/14/2023
    I have a deck with solid Arborcoat on it. I applied it in 2020 and now it is peeling. What do you recommend I do now? Will the semi-transparent TWP 200 work over a solid stain?
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      The Sealer Store · 09/15/2023
      You cannot apply anything over it. You have to fully remove it first. Sand it all off and then clean and brighten for final prep.
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    Art · 04/30/2023
    Hi, I've a very large south facing red cedar deck that i've tried Ready Seal on a few times with no success I.e lasts only a year.  I live in Montreal.  Your recommendations pls?  Thx, Art
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    Bill Parkinson · 04/13/2023
    I have a large south facing deck in Nova Scotia Canada. Harsh winters lots of direct sunlight in summers. We recently bought the house so I don’t know what the wood is but suspect pressure treated pine. I don’t believe it has ever been stained. What would you recommend?
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    Janet noble · 04/01/2023
    I have had little luck getting a durable stain on my deck.  About 15 or more years old.  Have power washed and sanded prior to stain.  Fades and scratches uf you look at it
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    Tom · 06/11/2022
    Hi. I have a 2 year old deck, pressure treated yellowish colour, cleaned once never stained yet. Prone to mildew in some shaded areas. I’m interested in a solid colour, or close to solid. Live in the Niagara region of Canada. Best stain? (Oil or acrylic?). Any recommendations helpful. Thanks. 
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    Susan · 09/18/2021
    Live in northern Ontario, built a new pressure treated deck in May 2021. How long do I wait before sealing it?Do I use a clear sealer or a tinted one? (I don’t like the weathered grey look)What product do you recommend?
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    MM · 08/13/2021
    We have a new cedar fence installed on July 8, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada.  What kind of stain do  you recommend,  oil based or water based?  Which brand do you recommend? The less maintenance, re-staining the better for us.  
    Behr brands water based will last 6-8 years but it is water based.  Is oil based better than water based? Is the TWP or AC better?
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      The Sealer Store · 08/13/2021
      Look at using the TWP 200 Series or the AC for the fence. Both are excellent penetrating oil-based stains that are allowed for Canada. Much better than the Behr.
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    Neil Hergott · 06/20/2021
    I live just a little south of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Could you recommend a stain for my 9 year old cedar deck please. I would like it close to the same color if possible. I have used Woodrich oil based stain in the past. I last painted it 2 years ago. 
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    Val · 06/05/2021
    Our large deck was built last June (2020) with treated spruce. We live in Alberta, Canada and are subjected to pretty harsh, snowy winters. We need to know: 1. if now, a year later, it would be cured and ready to stain? and 2. what is the best deck stain to use on treated spruce in our area? We’re looking for quality and longevity.
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    Lars-Erik · 04/28/2021
    Hello,I am installing a new cedar fence using smooth deck boards. See picture.I would like to use a transparent or semi-transparent that does not peel and last as long as possible before grey starts to show.  Also a product that can be easily re-applied.  I live on the west coast in Vancouver Canada.  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      The Sealer Store · 04/28/2021
      You cannot stain new wood yet. Weather for 3+ months and then clean and brighten for prep. Try the TWP 200 Series or Armstrong Clark for Canada.
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    David Frausell · 03/17/2021
    Hello. We have a new pressure treated fence. what is the best stain to use?

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    Sean · 08/23/2020
    Hi. I have 2 related and separate projects and would appreciate your suggestions. I have an exisiting cedar deck, built and stained 3 years ago with Behr ( I dont like it!). Its quite weathered now and I need to restain. I can remove boards and replane if needed but would rather restore and restain with a semitransparent to accentuate the cedar grain. ? should I use the Armstong restoradeck kit and stain or better to replane and stain. I think Armstong is my preferred brand due to oil penetatrating characteristics. What are the downsides of Armstrong

    2nd project is a new extension, do I need to allow this new cedar to weather prior to staining. if so it will be completed in September, is it ok to weather unprotected over the winter and stain in Spring?

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      The Sealer Store · 08/23/2020
      Post a picture of the deck with the Behr. For the new wood, you need 3+ months of weathering. Spring would be okay.
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    Dean · 07/07/2020
    I am in southern ontario, I used Defy Extreme wood stain (clear) April 2019 to a deck that has a lot of sun exposure and worked very well but seems like it needs another coat again now (July 2020). Is this normal or should I wait another yer before applying another coat? As well I assume you are still shipping to Canada?
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      The Sealer Store · 07/07/2020
      Yes, we still ship there and the Clear is best to applying annually.
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    Ginette · 04/27/2020
    Hi im in NB Canada. my deck was build in deferents times since 2 years agos. Some place as a bit of grayish done by the sun. I have the sun all day. Never been stain yet. What is your recommandation I love the look of new presser treated wood. Its all pressure treated brown wood. Which steps should I take? Do I still need to clean and which products for cleaning and staining?
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    don · 06/25/2019
    What about Messmer's natural Wood Finishes
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      The Sealer Store · 06/26/2019
      Messmers makes decent stains but the TWP 200 Series and Armstrong Clark are more popular.
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    Cairine johnson · 06/13/2019
    Hi, two yrs ago applied Behr stain to my deck, (I think over a Rona ) this spring wash it with 30 second, and it peeled. Behr has compensated me, said to washed with their deck cleaner (done) And sand and reapply. I’ve sanded, I have bare areas (others down to “Rona stain), should I now apply Behr ( read -shouldn’t apply Behr over another type), or go to Armstrong. I live in Vancouver area.
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      The Sealer Store · 06/13/2019
      The only way to fix this is to remove 100% of the old stain. Did you do this?
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        Cairine · 06/14/2019
        No, sanded, #80, then smoothed with 120, I was going to stain (I have the Behr, that’s what Behr said, now you say strip. If I applied the Behr would it peel again, can I just go over what’s there with Thompson. Thanks.
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          The Sealer Store · 06/14/2019
          You will need to remove it all when you are switching and Behr peels. Horrible product and reviews online.
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    Tara · 05/28/2018
    This is over treated pine after weathering for a year and being cleaned with a deck cleaner.
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    Tara · 05/28/2018
    Armstrong Clark semi transparent stain in Natural Cedar color. Location is Alberta Canada.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly · 06/09/2019
      How big is the deck and how many gallons did you need for 1 coat?
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    Alan · 04/28/2018
    In October 2016 we built a new cedar deck in Edmonton Alberta. In June 2017 we cleaned the deck with Restore-A-Deck cleaner and then brightened with Restore-A-Deck Brightener. We then stained the deck with Armstrong Clark. All steps were carried out as per manufacturer's instructions. Although initially the results of the AC looked great, over the course of the summer the deck mildewed extremely - by September of 2017 the deck was quite black. It appears that the AC is not well suited to our northern Alberta climate. I am planning on stripping the deck this spring with Restore-a-Deck Stripper, brightening with RAD and trying Defy Extreme. Given that the AC is oil-based and the Defy is water-based, will I have a problem with the Defy properly penetrating the deck? Also, have you heard of this type of stain failure with the AC before?
    Thanks. Alan
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      The Sealer Store · 04/28/2018
      If you strip, you are good to use any brand or type of stain that you like. No issues with penetration.

      No on the AC. It is most likley not related to just the AC but yur environment itself.
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    The Sealer Store · 08/15/2017
    Barry Kobryn:
    Your web site describes numerous advantages of Defy Extreme stains, but in your replies to comments on your “Best Canadian Deck Stain” page you seem to recommend Armstrong Clark more often. Is there any reason for this? I want to re-stain a western red cedar fence which was previously stained 3 year ago with a single coat of a semi-transparent oil-based stain, but has been freshly sanded down to the wood and cleaned with a sodium percarbonate solution. I understand I’ll need to maintain the fence every couple of years, but like to avoid the sanding again :-). (Resending this because not sure if it worked the first attempt.)

    Both are quality products for Canada and would work well. The AC will penetrate a little better so less chance of ever having to sand. Just clean and reapply.