What is the Longest Lasting Deck Stain Brand and Sealer is a common question that a residential homeowner may have. Tired of trying all of the stains that are available locally, homeowners are looking towards the Internet for deck stain reviews and help to find a better alternative for the exterior wood. Let us look at what makes a stain or sealer last longer than other brands.

Penetration Into The Wood

This is very simple to explain. The better a wood stain penetrates into the wood, the longer it will last. This is even more important on a horizontal walking deck surface. When a stain soaks into the wood pores it is less likely to peel or wear.

Prepping of the Wood Prior To Stain Application

This is the number one reason why deck stains may fail. The better the wood is prepped the more porous the wood will be. This is then related to penetration. If the wood is prepped and is more porous, then the better the stain penetrates and the longer it will last. Key mistakes that homeowners make is applying a new stain over top a different brand or not prepping new wood with a wood cleaner and wood brightener.


In general, the more pigment or darker color a stain has, the longer it will take to fade away. We prefer semi-transparent stains as they offer UV protection and still show the natural grain of the wood.

Now the most important question, which stain brand lasts the longest? Hard to say since stains perform differently based on where you live and your overall weather exposure. Feel free to ask below in our comment section about which deck stain or sealer would last the longest for your deck.

Be sure to include:

  • State you live in
  • Previous coatings that were used and why they failed
  • Any other information that may be useful
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    Jen · 05/05/2022
    I live in southwest Virginia.  We have a large tiered deck.  The deck gets full afternoon to evening sun (11:00ish AM to 6:00ishPM) and summers are hot, winters are wet, cold, snow, ice.  We replaced the upper deck in 2019 due to mold rotted wood and cracks but have not been able to stain it yet (thanks, CoVid).  We’d like a long-standing stain - we’re open to any semi or solid as long it’s the best UV protection and longest wear on horizontal surfaces).  Also mold is a concern (had to replace the old deck due to mold-rotted wood).
     - I used a Behr water + oil based combo previously and wonder if that caused it to rot so quickly.  5ish years later the wood was rotten.  Concerned about an oil based stain due to previous experience and I’ve  Thought about Defy since it’s water based but unsure of how long it will remain.  Would also like a recommendation for a cleaner to prep before staining.  Thank you! Jen
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    Will · 04/11/2022
    I live in upstate NY ( hot and humid summers and 60 inches of snow on average in the winter). I just replaced my entire 16x20 deck with new pressure treated pine decking boards. I will wait a minumum of 6 months for the wood to dry before I stain.  I am considering semi transparent stains from Defy, Armstrong Clark and TWP 1500. Price does not matter.  Any suggestions?
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      The Sealer Store · 04/12/2022
      All 3 would work very well for this. It may come down to if you prefer oil or water-based? Color options may narrow the choice as well.
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    Patty Hamel · 03/12/2022
    I'm restraining a 20 year old 920 Sq ft covered redwood deck. It had a semi solid stain on that I could only get off with a diamabrush then sanding with 40 grit. I live in Arizona where it's 100+ degrees in summer and down to the 20's in the winter. What further prep should I do before I put on an oil semi transparent stain? I'm thinking about using Twp 1500. Thanks,
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    Shalyn · 02/02/2022
    I’m in Idaho hot sunny summers and snow in winter. I have 9 large freshly built red wood planter boxes that I a long lasting stain and sealer for. 
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    Ann L. · 01/15/2022
    Ontario, hot sunny summers, snow in winter. Treated wood 9 years old, stained with Behr semi transparent. It is peeling off in strips in the sunny section, has green slippery stuff on shady section. The deck is huge, and we have very few days with the ideal weather, so has to be done in sections. Took me three weeks last time. I really need something easy and fast, that lasts as long as possible. yeah right. lol 
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      The Sealer Store · 01/16/2022
      Your first issue is you will need to remove the Behr fully. How depends on the current condition. Post pictures in the comments for help with this.
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    Todd · 10/11/2021
    We live in Redding, CA, at the top of the Sacramento Valley. We get 100-115 temps intermittently consistent from June thru September. Winters are relatively mild, snow maybe once or twice, fair amt of rain unless we're in drought. I'm sealing vertical redwood deck posts, new in 2015. Have been using Defy Wood Brightener to clean and Defy transparent sealer twice since installation. What's best for these conditions? Thanks.  Todd 
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      The Sealer Store · 10/11/2021
      Using the same would be the easiest and best option.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Todd · 10/11/2021
        Hi, thanks for the speedy reply. However, I shoulda mentioned that I'm hoping to find a stain/sealer/finish, short of 10yr exterior paint, that will last longer than 1.5-2yrs max. That's all I get from the Defy Extreme sealer before the bottom of the posts are grey to black. Too frequently to have to do the whole job again: re-clean with brightener and re-finish. Any thoughts? Thanks again. 
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    James · 09/12/2021
    In Boulder, Colorado a mile above sea level.  Lots of sun, hot summers and cold winters.  Building a new deck using LVL for joists and perhaps cedar for railing.  Can I stain prior to assembly?  Decking will be PVC - Class A requirement.  
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    Opal · 08/16/2021
    I live in Marietta Ga. what stains should I use
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    Bobby Lee · 08/07/2021
    I live in Illinois very close to St Louis. My deck is 20 years old but still in pretty good shape. I did replace a few boards a couple years ago. I’d like to have something long lasting. I have been using Ready Seal and have had to reseal every other year. My normal prep is power washing, deck clean and brightening, and sanding with 80 grit paper. Thank you
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    Gary, NC · 08/06/2021
    Hello, I live in Raleigh, NC. Previous owner used Messmer's UV Plus for pressure treated wood stain (Oxford brown color). Deck gets direct sun exposure for 4-5 hrs/day minimum. Portions of the deck is beginning to crack. I want to continue to retain similar color. Before new stain should I strip & clean or just clean & brighten? Also any advice on best brand to use? Thanks.
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    Douglas wattson · 08/04/2021
    I live in NW Arkansas  2 story with wrap around decks on both levels. The decks are 7 years old beautiful red cedar and never treated. Mostly protected by roof overhang. Just power washed and dry. I want to keep the natural color as mush as possible. What product would be best longevity and reasonable priced?
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    Pepperlander · 04/20/2021
    I live in Scotts Valley California (about 6 miles inland from Santa Cruz). Gets pretty hot in the summer and we get some early morning fog in the spring and fall. The decks are redwood and is about 1-2 months old. I'm looking for something to prep it prior to staining and for a good product that has slight color to it to stain and seal it. What do you recommend?
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    Kim · 03/27/2021
    I live in South Florida. My deck is approximately one year old with pressure treated wood I would like to properly clean it and seal it. I want to maintain a natural look. I was thinking I’m going with oil since everything I have read it seems to last longer. Best way to prep my deck best stain to use that will keep the most natural looking color.
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      The Sealer Store · 03/27/2021
      Use the RAD Kits for prep: https://www.opwdecks.com/best-selling-cleaner.htm

      Stain with TWP 100 Series. Honeytone is the lightest tint with UV protection. Must be tinted if you want to prevent graying. https://www.opwdecks.com/twpwoodsealers.htm
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    Whitney S · 11/27/2020
    We live in San Antonio, Texas. We have a deck that needs to be stained again Whats the longest lasting stain for Texas? About how long will it last? Especially in full sun exposure and some rain. Thanks.
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    Peggy · 11/05/2020
    We are installing dried 1.5" x 14" cedar plank coping at bench height around an outdoor swim spa. The 14" face will be horizontal and the poolside (4" above water level) and outside edges both bull-nosed. We're in the rainy PacNW so it will be exposed to all weather. I'm looking for a low/non-toxic penetrating, waterproofing sealer that: 1) will not contaminate the pool with runoff; 2) will not flake and chip like a marine varnish; 3) will protect the wood from checking and cupping; 4) can be refreshed without refinishing; 5) will last as many years between recoating as possible; 6) will allow the wood to remain smooth to the touch but not slippery. 7) Weathering to a natural grey is fine. We will be caulking the joints with black, marine deck caulking. Do you have a product to recommend? Thank you so very much! Peggy
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    Karen · 10/30/2020
    I have a new pressure treated deck installed in July. I live in New Orleans where our summers are humid and brutal. The deck receives afternoon to evening sun. What is the best stain to use?
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    John · 10/14/2020
    I live in CT and just built a 1000 sq ft pressure treated pine deck over the summer. I plan to stain/seal in the spring after the deck has properly dried out. I will do whatever prep necessary. I’m looking for the longest lasting semi transparent stain sealer that I could potentially stain every 3 years if possible. Deck gets a lot of sun in summer and lots of snow that I shovel off in winter. Cost is not a concern as we all know you get what you pay for. I do the work myself so I hope a few extra bucks buys me a year or two if lucky.
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    Rick · 10/10/2020
    Building a new deck in Raleigh NC
    Gets full sun. Looking for the longest lasting deck stain. Something semi-transparent teak
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    Jobn · 09/30/2020
    John new deck i live in Chicago what is a good stain for me
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    Michelle Valentino · 09/23/2020
    I have a few hundred feet of weathered red cedar fence in coastal southern Oregon. I believe it is untreated (just purchased the house). There is lichen, algae, and some kind of dry fuzzy moss that I've been scrubbing and scraping off with a hydrogen peroxide based cleaner (Scotts with Oxi-clean). What would be the next step, and what stain would hold up the longest....different parts of the property have different exposures?