An outdoor deck is a great place to sit and relax on a warm summer’s day. It can be a place where you hang out with friends and family, all while kicking back and enjoying good food, cold drinks, and great company.

However, you need to make sure that you take care of that same deck. If you leave it unfinished, it will quickly deteriorate and become an eyesore and, even worse, unstable. That is why you should try and find the best solid deck stain to finish it with.

This article will help you find the right product, so join us as we explore the top ten and offer an in-depth review of our three favorite products.

Top 10 Solid Deck Stains Comparison Table

PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
Rating (1-5)
1. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL 043831-16 Sequoia Solid Stain Water Based$$4.5
2. PPG ProLuxe Premium Deck Wood FinishOil Based$$$$4.4
3. Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Low VOC StainOil Based$$4.1
4. FLOOD/PPG ARCHITECTURAL FIN FLD822-01 Pro Deep Base Stain Acrylic Based$$5
5. Olympic Stain Maximum Deck Stain, Cedar, 1-GallonOil Based$$4.4
7. Duckback Products DB-9606-4 Deck Stain, Brill White Acrylic Based$$5
8. Valspar 57-7260-01 GL Redwood Semi Solid Latex Stain Oil Based$$$5
9. OLYMPIC/PPG ARCHITECTURAL 79601A/01 Gallon, Exterior, Acrylic, Solid Color Acrylic Based$4.6
10. SaverSystems Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain Water Based$4.5

Buying Information

When you are looking for the best solid deck stain, there are a few criteria to keep in mind.

  • Exterior Finish. This might sound like a no-brainer, but make sure that you look carefully at the label of your stain before you purchase it. If you are going to be staining a deck, you will want an exterior stain that has been designed to increase the wood’s durability and helping it to stand up to the punishment Mother Nature can dish out.  
  • Stain Color. Solid stains will produce a richer color than any other type of stain. As such, make sure that you are confident of the color that you plan to use before staining your whole project. It is best to purchase a smaller amount and test it before you stain your entire deck.
  • Acrylic, Oil, or Water Based? Solid deck stains can come as acrylic, oil, or water-based. Each of these performs differently and will work better with different species of wood. Make sure that you get the stain type that will work best for whatever wood you intend to use for your project.
  • Application. Make sure that you read the fine print carefully before you begin to apply the stain that you choose. Depending on how the dye is formulated it might go on best with a brush, cloth, or sponge.

Top 3 Best Solid Deck Stain Reviews

1. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL Sequoia Solid Stain

Out of all of the different products we reviewed, this is by far the best solid deck stain that we found. It is an acrylic-based stain, which means that it is best applied with a natural bristle paintbrush. In fact, putting it on was very much like painting, which is to say that it wasn’t difficult at all!

It comes in a variety of colors, so you should have no problem finding the right color for your project. The one that we tested was Sequoia Red on pine decking, and it ran pretty true to color.

Of course, if you would like to alter how dark or bright the color is you would be able to do that easily. To lighten the finish, simply wipe off the excess immediately after application. To darken the finish, you can apply a second coat.

While this stain has a lot of great features, what makes it stand out from the pack as our number one pick is the fact that it also seals the wood. This will save you a lot of time since you will not need to apply a sealer separately.

Summary: This acrylic-based stain was easy to apply and seals your work, saving you time and money. It comes in a variety of colors that you can easily customize to fit your needs.

  • Easy to apply
  • Dries very quickly
  • Can be used on a damp surface
  • Easy clean up with soap and water
  • Resists mildew and UV rays
  • May become slippery in the rain

2. PPG ProLuxe Premium Deck Wood Finish

The PPG ProLuxe Premium Deck Wood Finish is ideal for certain breeds of wood. Since it is an oil-based formula, it will deeply penetrate wood, providing a durable finish that should not peel or show age for a long time.

To apply it, you can use a natural bristle paintbrush, cloth, or a staining pad. For our test, we used a lint-free cloth. Oil-based stains have a habit of stiffening quickly upon their applicator, and therefore we prefer to use something that will only be used once. If you choose to use a paintbrush, be sure to have some mineral spirits on hand to clean it up afterward.

While this stain will deeply penetrate your wood project, it will not seal it as well. Be sure to apply a sealer afterward, or you will have to re-stain your deck sooner than you would if you had sealed it up properly the first time.

Summary: A deeply penetrating stain that comes in many different colors. Since it is an oil-based stain, you will need to be more careful with how you apply it. Also, be sure to use a sealer when you are finished staining.

  • Very durable
  • Can be used for decks, lattice, railings, and benches
  • Protects against mold, mildew and UV damage
  • A second coat is recommended

3. Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Low VOC Stain

Cabot has made a name for itself with high-quality stains for both exterior and interior projects. This stain is no exception. It is oil-based and listed as semi-solid.

However, the color covers so well that the company considers it a solid stain. It applied quickly and gave a great color, just be sure to follow the same guidelines for cleanup as our number two selection.

This stain comes in a wide variety of colors, so you should have no problem finding the color to match your project. Since it is just a stain, however, you will need to be sure also to purchase a sealer to apply afterward.

Summary: This is a high-quality dye that comes in many different colors. Just be aware that it may be messy to clean up and you will need to seal it once it has dried.

  • Easy to apply
  • One coat application
  • Can be used for decks, siding, and fencing
  • Resists UV rays
  • May be messy to clean up

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is Better Oil or Water Based Deck Stain?

Oil-based stains penetrate the wood so they are easier to apply. They resist peeling better than water-based stains. However, oil-based stains contain higher VOCs (volatile organic compounds) so they are bad for the environment.

Water-based stains are UV resistant and retain their color. They are non-flammable and have a low odor. However, they require more care and application than oil-based stains. They don’t absorb the wood as much as oil-based stains.

When Can I Apply Second Coat of Stain?

For best results, wait one hour before applying the second coat. The surface should be dry to the touch. You should also wait overnight before putting the wood to use.

How Can You Tell if a Stain is Dry?

For oil-based stain, there should not be a smell when it is dry. For water-based stain, it should feel cool to the touch. With light sanding, you may also see some powder.


With so many deck stains and sealers on the market, it can be hard to determine which one is best for your needs. The ten products we’ve listed are all top-rated in their category, but they each have something different that makes them stand out from the rest. Browse through our list of reviews and see if any of these products would work well for you.

If you need more information about which product is right for your home, do not hesitate to contact us at any time. Our team of experts will be happy to answer all of your questions and help guide you in making an informed decision.

2 thoughts on “10 Best Solid Deck Stains 2021”

  1. I have a 3 year old deck that badly need stain and protection as it is fading and drying out. I need a good product that is thick oil based to treat the wood and seal it in. What brands fill my needs and what is the cost per gallon. I was recommended Cabot oil base stain and sealer, but I need professional recommendations by brands on my need. Please e mail with your recommendations


    • Both Cabot and Olympic deck stains listed above in our top 10 list will do the job. They have the quality and thickness you are looking for. They will bring your wood back to life and leave it looking great. We love the results and so will you.

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