In comparison to ordinary-untreated wood, pressure-treated wood is a far better alternative to go for. In the case of both indoor and outdoor furniture, fences, decks, or other woodworks, these treated woods are superior in almost every way!
This is because as all the air within them is pushed out and substituted with preservatives, it results in the wood becoming more durable. They become virtually resistant to rot, decay, insects, etc. As a result, they can last a lot longer than your usual, ordinary, untreated wood.
That being said, today, we are about to walk you through on how to get yourself the best deck stain for pressure treated wood to further upgrade your woodworks.
By now, you must be wondering why you would need a stain when the chosen wood is already treated to become ultra-durable.
Well, you’re about to find out why. And hopefully, our detailed purchase guide and top product reviews will further aid you in making the perfect choice of sealer you’ve been looking for.
Ready Seal 512
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Olympic Stain 79551
4.5 out of 5
#1 Deck Premium
4 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
Why You Should Use Stain on Your Pressure Treated Deck?
1. Safety Against Extreme Weather and Rust
Just because the wood is protected internally via pressure treatment, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need any external protection. And that particular reason is why you need to get them stained and sealed for safety against corrosion and weather extremities.
2. Sealing Harmful Chemicals
If you’re using an aged treated wood, another prime reason to periodically stain it is for trapping in harmful arsenic chemicals. So the newer ones need to be stained for protection against external adversities; while the older ones need it to seal in the dangerous chemicals.
Notice that we’re talking about staining and sealing at once. This is because most stains double as a sealer too, penetrating deep into the wood and sealing it, thus protecting against humidity, water, heat, UV rays, etc.
3. Enhancing Color Tone
Stains are also a great way to enhance the color tone of your treated wooden decks, thus giving them a new flair. The prominence of the wood grains due to the stain seeping into the wood adds to another degree of sophistication.
In fact, using the best stain for pressure treated deck also plays a key role in preventing the treated wood from drying up too quickly. Hence, it ensures that the deck wood doesn’t get extremely warped.
Our Recommended Best Deck Stains for Pressure Treated Wood in 2020
1. Ready Seal 512 Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood
In the shade of natural cedar, this particular stain comes with the added advantage of becoming a sealer as well. It is effortless to apply onto your deck and requires no primer whatsoever. Even though initially the stain seems too dark when applied, the true, natural color emerges within 14 days.
To further enhance the convenience of application, this stain is applicable via brush, sprayer, or roller as you desire. Maintenance is hassle-free since you require neither to strip or sand your deck prior to reapplication.
If you intend to spray this stain on, there is no need to dilute or thin it out either. Its oil-based composition enables it to penetrate deep in the pressure-treated wood, providing a durable seal.
This semi-transparent stain doesn’t mask the natural color of your deck; but instead, elevates it more, while making the wood grains more prominent and aesthetic.
But do ensure to maintain some precautions before applying this stain into your deck. Allow ample time for your deck to dry up after cleaning off the surface to remove any dust, mildew, oil, dirt, etc. Another thing to keep in mind is to strip off any old paint layers as or else, these would inhibit the seal from penetration.
If you’ve got plants, shrubs, trees, etc. within your deck area, cover them up to avoid any stain splatters. Since it consists of linseed oil, your hands will be free from stains. Hence, once applied properly, this stain is surely worth every penny!Highlighted Features:
2. DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
This water-based stain comes in the redwood shade to ensure a rich and gorgeous tone to your decks. Since it is semi-transparent, the natural aesthetic of the wood grains is not masked in the coloring process. And to make the color more durable, this stain provides protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun.
It provides a natural yet aesthetic matte finish to your deck. Since this particular stain is composed of the most top-notch standard of resin, it is far more durable than most models out there. This is because it is comparatively highly resistant to fading away or turning unnaturally dark.
Hence, it is an ideal choice not only for your pressure-treated wood decks, but also for fences, outdoor furniture, and more! This product is effortless to maintain as well and easily lasts a couple of seasons more than some of its competitors. All you have to do brighten the wood surface and reapply a single layer of stain to refresh.
The Zinc nano-technology plays a key role in providing sun protection. Its water-based acrylic composition enables it to be resistant to soap water cleaning. Thus, keeping your deck clean is no longer a challenge and neither is fancy equipment necessary to do so.
Feel free to apply it in any way you desire; whether by brush or sprayer. Refreshing your deck color with this stain is a piece of cake too as there is no need to strip or sand your deck. A single coat of stain is more than enough after cleaning the surface.Highlighted Features:
3. Olympic Stain 79551 Deck Sealer for Pressure Treated Wood
An unbeatable duo of stain and sealer, this product comes in a cedar shade and is water-based for enhanced durability. This semi-transparent stain has it all to become the best deck stain for pressure treated wood for all the right reasons, and we are about to see why.
It provides an enhanced level of waterproofing to your deck, thus making it last longer while preventing cracks. No matter how hot, cold, humid, or sunny the weather, it is appliable like a breeze without the weather getting in the way.
The Olympic Stain is also super-resistant to UV rays, which, as a result, prevents the stain from fading & wearing. The semi-transparent clearness ensures the enhancement of your deck color while ensuring the visibility of the wood grains, adding more to its beauty.
The stain dries up amazingly fast, making your deck resistant to rain in just 8 hours! Depending on the size of your deck, choose the number of cans you need to stain and seal your deck. Each container weighs a gallon, which can cover an area of an incredible 250-300 square feet.
To make your life easier, it is appliable directly on damp wood too within temperatures of 32-120 ̊F. Hence, there are no waiting times involved if your deck is composed of quite newly pressure-treated wood. With all such conveniences packed into one, this product is surely a keeper!Highlighted Features:
4. #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain
Anyone prefers more than one convenience at the price of one, and the #1 Deck Premium is another such product that meets such expectations. This combo of stain and sealer comes in a shade of cedar and is water-based for providing an enhanced degree of durability.
Since it is a semi-transparent product, the natural look of your deck is well reserved due to the visibility of the wood grains while boosting the wood color. It is an environment-friendly product and is resistant to mold, graying, peeling, fading, etc.
Hence, your pressure treated deck looks as good as new for years with minimal maintenance. This stain is usable on not only pressure-treated pine woods but also other softwoods and Fir, Cedar, Redwood, etc.
The product is appropriate to be used on hardwoods as well given that you can maintain it more frequently with new coats of the sealer.
Besides boosting the color and beauty of your deck, this stain effectively seals it, ensuring an improved protection, thus enhancing the durability. To take things up a notch, it is amazingly water-resistant to further extend the longevity of your deck.
Since the product is appliable on damp wood as soon as it is visibly dry enough, there is barely much waiting time involved. As a result, staining is possible almost as soon as the wood surface has been cleaned.
The application simply cannot get any easier as all you’ll have to do is clean/strip your deck, brighten it up with a brightener, and then get staining. Maintenance is convenient as it can easily be cleaned with soap and mater. If necessary, a single coating of the stain can be used to refresh the deck in a breeze.Highlighted Features:
5. Cabot 140.0017437.007 Semi Transparent Deck Stain for Pressure Treated Wood
If you're on the search for a stain to change the whole tone of your deck, this semi-solid stain by Cabot is a choice to go for. It provides a rich cordovan brown color to your deck, and also to your fences or sidings.
This oil-based stain is incredibly penetrative, and thus, will ensure a durable longevity to your deck. It is super-simple to apply using just a brush and only a single coat is enough to provide the perfect coverage. Maintenance is convenient too as it will last years without barely needing much reapplication.
The stain is highly resistant to fading, scuff, and UV radiation, thus adding more reasons behind its durability. Even though this isn’t a stain-sealer combo, the Cabot stain offers ample water resistance for perfectly battling moisture to make your deck last longer.
To ensure the convenience of lower maintenance, higher durability & safety, and easier application, it possesses a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). Overall, it is one of the topmost reliable stains to go for that functions more than just a stain.Highlighted Features:
6. KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain
This amazing semi-transparent stain comes in a redwood color to add a luxurious touch of rich color to your decks or other exterior furniture.
It provides up to 3 years of longevity to your decks and up to 5 years for siding and fences. So, you can probably guess by now how incredibly durable and low-maintenance this stain is.
The product is entirely acrylic-based and cleaning up stained surfaces is a piece of cake as it can withstand soap and water. To further amp up its durability, this product is resistant to UV rays, snow, mildew, and mold, thus preventing your decks from getting damaged or faded.
The KILZ stain is also a waterproofing stain which adds to the water-resistance of your deck for further extending its longevity. Just make sure to apply it appropriately on a well-prepared wood surface that has been weathered enough and is not sealed in any way.
Since it is a semi-transparent product, even upon a rich color boost, the wood grains remain aesthetically more visible and prominent. The product is hassle-free to use as all you'll need is a roller, brush, or sprayer as you desire according to your convenience.
It is the best deck sealer for pressure treated wood, especially when you need to elevate any of your external wooden furniture such as decks, patio furniture, shingles, siding, railings, fences, antique sewing set etc. Each gallon easily covers around 250 square feet for the initial coating and an incredible 500 square feet for the second.Highlighted Features:
7. Thompson's TH.042841-16 Waterseal Waterproofing Stain
This particular product is another stain-sealer combo that has it all to win your heart. Semi-transparent and in the shade of acorn brown, this product is a water-based stain. It has been pigmented in just the proper amount to ensure color enhancement while keeping the visibility of the woodgrains prominent.
It is comprised of highly advanced polymers that provide your decks with a fade-resistant color that lasts for years to come. The stain also effectively resists UV rays, mildew, and water. The product exceeds the ASTM D-4446 Industry Standard when it comes to waterproofing, and hence is a stain you can count on.
A single coat protects your pressure-treated wooden deck for up to an incredible 4 years. And if used on fences or other wooden objects, it lasts a stellar 6 years for providing you a worry-free durability.
It is appliable via any method you desire whether by brush or other methods. And to make your life more hassle-free, especially you’re as restless as me, this stain is appliable equally conveniently and effectively both on dry and damp wood. As a result, waiting time is reduced to a minimum.
Ensure initial application on an unsealed wood surface to enjoy its protective and staining properties all at once for years to come. Luckily for you, maintenance is a child’s play too!Highlighted Features:
8. #1 Deck Wood Deck Paint and Sealer
If you’re looking for a product to completely hide the wood grains of your deck for a full-coverage color, it is another product of #1 Decks that certainly is a great choice.
This water-based stain comes with sealing properties as well and is a fully opaque or solid stain. It is of a light walnut color that will provide you with maximum coverage.
The stain adds a natural yet matte finish to your decks and applying it is as easy as pie. This is because you can apply directly on pre-existing solid wood stains without needing to remove them as long as the old stain still offers proper adhesion.
The product is a sealer as well which provides maximum protection against UV rays and fading. Besides being a great choice for pressure-treated wood, it is an awesome choice for other types of wood too such as fir, cedar, mahogany, redwood, etc. & more.
The stain-sealer lasts for years on end and is resistant to greying, mildew, and peeling. The application process is extremely straightforward as all you have to is clean the surface and get staining. Feel free to use in on any type of wood and both vertical and horizontal surfaces as you desire.
This product possesses a low VOC content and has low levels of odor, thus making it safer and more comfortable to use. Cleanup can't get any simpler either as just a basic soap and water wash is more than enough to keep your deck clean.Highlighted Features:
9. Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-8002 Clear Deck Sealer for Pressure Treated Wood
Whether for your external or internal woodworks, say hello to this clear sealer that provides the ultimate water-resistance to your decks without compromising the natural aesthetic.
Composed of acrylic urethane blend, this transparent sealer provides long-lasting protection for up to 5 years against snow, rain, ice, and more!
Being the best clear deck sealer for pressure treated wood, it provides the ultimate protection to your decks without distorting the natural look whatsoever. Consisting of UV stabilizers, this clear sealer maintains perfect color without turning yellow, thus keeping your deck shining new for years to come.
It is easily appliable whether by a sprayer, roller, or brush, and is safe for your environment, yourself, and even your pets! The product dries up super-fast within an hour and each container produces two gallons of sealer. Hence, it effortlessly seals an area of around 300-400 square feet in a jiffy!
The stain is resistant to mold & mildew while protecting your deck against rotting due to water exposure. This further enhances the longevity of your deck, requiring minimal maintenance and retaining a beautiful-looking appearance for years on end.
Its advanced rain guard not only protects against water & rain, but also against efflorescence, lime, freezing, and damages due to salt. Just ensure that your deck is fully dry before application for maximum penetration and clean the surface before staining.
It is simple to maintain as it withstands soap-water cleanup. This clear stain has it all to ensure the preservation of your deck appearance for years. Thanks to its architectural-standard technology of silane siloxane, your deck surface remains heavily protected.Highlighted Features:
10. SEAL-ONCE NANO+POLY Penetrating Stain for Pressure Treated wood
Water-based with Polyurethane, this clear stain is a superb choice for sealing your deck with enhanced waterproofing properties. It is highly penetrative and the Polyurethane addition provides extra strength for keeping your deck flawless longer.
It doesn't cause your pressure-treated wood to warp, rot, peel, stain, or get infested with mold or mildew. The product offers enhanced UV protection as well, ensuring that the sealer doesn't fade or turn yellow.
This phenomenal sealer effortlessly lasts for around a jaw-dropping 10 years in vertical areas and 6 years on horizontal, thus keeping your woodworks protected and looking as good as new for such a long duration!
To add more to its perks, it has low VOC content for ensuring safety to your environment, marine life, pets, & yourself! Though water-based, the sealer behaves like an oil-based sealer, thus ensuring superb penetration both on dry and damp wood.
If that wasn't enough, the nano-technology composition enables your wood deck to breathe which allows moisture to escape-making the stain entirely peel-proof, unlike most stains.
Application is convenient and effortless whether by a brush or sprayer according to your preference. But do ensure that the surface is cleaned and stripped to ensure maximum penetration. Unlike most stains, it is relatively easier to apply and ensures a more even application, thus resulting in a more flawless, matte finish.
The clearness of the sealer ensures the preservation of the natural beauty of your deck, only better, as the high penetration results in the wood grains becoming more prominent. With so many alluring perks packed into one, this clear sealer sure is one heck of a prize!Highlighted Features:
11. Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain
After a few clear stains, we are back with more tinted ones as this particular model, though transparent, comes in a western cedar shade. It is oil-based and thus is unbelievably convenient and effortless to apply without you having to weather out your deck.
The stain consists of clear oxide pigments for facilitating a perfect finish to your deck without distorting its natural flair. As a result, the color of your deck just gets elevated in a natural tone with a matte finish, while making the wood grains pop. Whether you choose to apply it with a brush or sprayer, it is equally effective.
Maintenance of this stain is hassle-free as you won’t have to strip or sand your deck prior to retouching. The product has just the right consistency and since it’s not too runny, it leaves no drip marks at all, neither lap marks.
The stain's oil-based composition plays a key role in giving even the driest wood a touch of life, rejuvenating your pressure-treated wood deck like no other stain.
Each of the can covers an area of around 150 square feet, and regardless of whether you're a pro or an amateur, the application is flawless and effortless beyond comprehension.Highlighted Features:
12. Storm Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain Protector
For someone on the hunt for the best semi transparent deck stain for pressure treated wood, this particular stain-sealer combo by Storm System easily takes the crown. It is oil-based and comes in a hickory shade for giving your deck a fun and gorgeous new look.
Since the stain is semi-transparent, it does it all without masking the artistry of your deck's wood grains; but instead, elevates it for more artistic flair.
Besides being compatible with your pressure-treated woodworks, it is equally an ideal choice for any wood type including Mahogany, Pine, Redwood, Douglas Fir, Cypress, Spruce, etc. & more!
Feel free to apply it via any tool you please such as brushes, rollers, or sprayers. Either way, it is free from laps, and for enhanced durability, its UV protection will ensure that the color lasts for years without fading.
The stain also penetrates deep into the wood, ensuring deep sealing for further strengthening your deck’s durability.
The product is thicker in consistency which makes the application process that much easier with even results. The drying time is quite short too as it is dry and ready enough to be touched, handled, or recoated within a span of 24 hours.
Overall, this is a top choice to go for meeting, if not exceeding, all that you expect from a top-notch sealer.Highlighted Features:
Top 11 Best Stain for Pressure Treated Wood Comparison Chart
Ready Seal 512
Olympic Stain 79551
#1 Deck Premium
#1 Deck Wood Deck Paint and Sealer
Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-8002
Acrylic Urethane Blend
SEAL-ONCE Wood Sealer
Water-based with Polyurethane
Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain
Storm Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain Protector
How to Choose the Best Deck Stain for Pressure Treated Wood?
Water or Oil-Based?
The most common types of stains you are to run into are water or oil-based stains. And there are a few aspects you need to consider before finalizing your choice.
When a wood has just been pressure-treated to knock out all the air and refill with preservatives, what happens is that the wood is extremely moist. And when moisture exists in the wood, the water presence doesn't let the wood to absorb the stain properly.
For this particular reason, unfortunately, newly pressure-treated woods don't retort properly to water-based products. In such cases, oil-based stains are your ideal choice as they will penetrate the moist wood properly.
But applying oily stains on wood surfaces perfectly is quite a challenge. But even so, they are more stable. Water-based ones, on the other hand, form a thicker layer on top of the wood, making them more durable. They are also more effortless to apply.
So if you do intend to use water-based stains, ensure that you allow ample time for the treated wood to dry completely. The older the age of the treated wood, the shorter the drying time.
But for newly treated wood decks, if you cannot spare so much time to dry, choose oil-based stains for optimum results.
You can choose any color of stain for your deck according to your preference. Whether you want to retain and enhance the natural color of the wood, or if you want to entirely change the color for a new look, the sky is the limit!
You'll find stains of various degrees of transparencies including solid, semi-solid, semi-transparent, or transparent. The level of transparency, again, is a personal choice, depending on how much you want to exhibit the natural color of the wood and beauty of the wood grains.
Most stains, while adding a stroke of color enhancement to your pressure-treated wood deck, also offer sealing properties for extra durability. Some people choose to stain separately and then add a sealant, while others prefer a two-in-one combo of both. Choose a stain type according to your convenience.
Water Resistance & UV Protection
Check if the stain of your liking has advanced perks such as water-resistance and protection against water/moisture and excessive heat/UV rays.
These properties make the stain and also your deck a lot more durable, making them look as good as new for years without requiring much maintenance. Hence, always keep an eye out for additional facilities like these to make the most out of your stains.
Tips To Take Care Of Your Pressure Treated Deck
- Regularly sweep the deck to get rid of any debris on the surface or stuck between planks
- Use mild diluted detergent and mops to clean light stains
- Opt for deck cleaners in case of heavy stains according to the instructions patiently
- Cover up all nearby bushes and plants around the deck in order to protect them from coming in contact with the deck cleaner
- Periodically stain and seal as required
- Check for mildew and clean with pressure washer regularly in the lowest setting
- Don’t use solid paint to seal as they peel off
- Always check for and small inconveniences such as mildew/mold growth, cracks, nails missing, etc. Precautions in the earliest stages prevent large damages, costs, and hassles
- Don’t use chlorine bleaches for cleaning the deck
- Avoid rugs, mats, etc. composed of organic materials such as bamboo, jute, etc. as since they absorb moisture, they are likely to promote mildew growth.
- Keep the deck as dry as possible and don’t let water sit for long especially after rain/snow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How Long Should My Pressure Treated Wood Deck Be Allowed To Weather Or Dry Out Before Staining?
Answer: It depends. Depending on the type of wood and the recommendations of a professional, it takes a few months to up to a year for a newly treated wood to dry out.
Besides the moisture content, a layer of mill glaze formed on top of the wood during the treatment procedure is another element that needs to break down. And it usually takes longer to do so than the drying out period.
But thanks to the modern inventions, you can totally skip the weathering process by choosing the appropriate stain and following accurate instructions. For example, oil-based stains are the best alternative for moist wood.
While there are some water-based ones with properties similar to oil-based ones that may get the job done as well. Another step is to ensure that the wood surface has been stripped properly.
This is because as or else, the mill glaze and other contaminants will keep working as a barrier by not allowing the stain to penetrate.
2. How Important Is Sanding And Cleaning Before Applying Stain And When Will I Need To Do It?
Answer: A light dose of sanding never does go wrong prior to staining as it is better to be safe than sorry. This process will smoothen out the surface of the wood, prepping it for better stain absorption.
One trick you can adopt is to stick a tape on the surface of the wood, glue side down, and pull it off. If fibers of wood are sticking on the tape, it’s about time that you need to get sanding.
Whether you choose to sand the surface or not, cleaning is a must. Because even the best stain for pressure treated wood won’t properly if you don’t clean the surface and get rid of dirt, dust, mildew and other debris that have accumulated on the wood over time.
3. Which Is The Best Staining Method To Go For?
Answer: A brush is one of the top tools that are most appropriate for applying semi-transparent and transparent stains.
But for larger areas, you can opt for airless sprayers as it will facilitate a more convenient, even, and efficient application.
In the case of solid stains, any tool among rollers, brushes, and airless sprays are equally great.
4. When is the Correct Time to Re-Stain My Pressure Treated Wood Deck?
Answer: No matter how durable the stain or sealer you used on your deck is, it will surely start breaking down as it ages. And this is why re-staining is mandatory periodically. It is a more vital process for your deck as it is an exterior piece of woodwork.
Even the best deck sealer for pressure treated wood comes with a timer, and knowing when to re-apply is a crucial matter. One way to test the necessity of re-application is the water test.
All you have to do pour some water in your deck throughout your test area and wait to see how fast the water puddles get soaked up.
If the wood surface seems to repel the water without any visible absorption, you can push the re-stain due date a little back further. But if the water gets absorbed in a matter of minutes, it's time to take out your staining gear.
5. In Case Of Solid Colors, How Long Is The Wait-Time Before Re-Staining?
Answer: Unlike transparent or semi-transparent stains, you don’t have to wait at all if you want to freshen up your deck color. All you have to do is perform a basic cleaning and then apply a coat of the solid stain. Sanding is optional too.
You see, the perks of getting your deck or any other woodworks stained are limitless. While every stain is great for woodworks, some obviously trump over others, making it quite the challenge when it comes to choosing the best deck stain for pressure treated wood.
Our goal was to walk you through hand-in-hand about all you need to know about scoring the perfect stain for your deck. And hopefully, after going through our comprehensive blueprint of all the basics, the perfect stain for your deck is just a minute’s decision away!