Last Updated: 13 July, 2020

Best Solid Deck Stain (Review) in 2020

Best Value

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Satin

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Satin


Our Choice

 DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent

DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent


Premium Pick

KILZ L832211 Exterior Wood Stain

KILZ L832211 Exterior Wood Stain, Semi-Transparent


Our Choice

KILZ L832211 Exterior Wood Stain

DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent


Best Value

KILZ L832211 Exterior Wood Stain

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Satin


Premium Pick

KILZ L832211 Exterior Wood Stain

KILZ L832211 Exterior Wood Stain, Semi-Transparent


Why did you get a deck built in the first place?

Was it because you wanted a place to spend your weekends blissfully with friends and family? Did you want to have a solitary place to relax, read, and contemplate? Or was it because you enjoy the smell and texture of wood, and having a wooden deck strengthens your connection to nature?

If your reason is the last one, then consider this article a godsend. Why? To a lot of people, a wood’s natural texture is something irreplaceable. However, this natural tone and color are susceptible to dullness, graying, and more.

A perfect shield against these pesky problems is a stain- a layer of protective coating. Nevertheless, some stains can completely conceal a wood’s natural color. If you, like us, love your natural woody texture, and you are unwilling to give it up- the best semi transparent deck stain is the panacea to your problem.

Right ahead, you will find a list of products reviewed in detail and a user-friendly buying guide. Both of these can help you make an informed decision about your deck.

Best Semi Transparent Deck Stain Reviews

After scouring through the marketplace, we present our well-researched list of the best products money can buy. Have a look; you will not be disappointed.


DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent

DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent

Check Out Our Top Pick

DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-TransparentOur Choice

DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent
See More Reviews


Looking for the best rated semi transparent deck stain? Then be the first to enjoy the fantastic traits of DeckWise Ipe Oil Natural Finish. You will adore its full package that comes with durability and easy usage.

Nothing can be a better natural beauty preserver than this deck stain. Specifically, the wood surface remains just the way it has been before the application except its new glossy and shiny appearance.

One of its amazing properties is its ability to withstand the scorching sun, protecting the color and texture with its Trans oxide pigments. Therefore, the newness with light brown shade remains intact for an extended period

You will be surprised by the way it shields the areas from abrasion being water and weather-resistant. Its fast and deep penetrating capacity enables it to protect the surface from excess and random use, reducing your expenditure.

Its 250 VOC oil-based formula resists the formation of mildew and mold. Additionally, the topcoat is too strong to crack even after a lengthy time. As it dries out fast enough, you can complete any project within a short span.


  • Its chemical formulation saves it from strong sunlight.
  • As it enters deep inside, it confirms great protection from the weather.
  • No mold or mildew can build home over the surfaces.
  • It dries out within a specified time.


  • You might not like the brown color.
  • It is a bit expensive than the others.

General Finishes High Performance Water Based StainBest Value

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Stain
See More Reviews


If your plan is having washable and super polished cabinets, furniture, or decks, then our first recommendation is General Finishes Topcoat. This product delivers incredible service at a very reasonable price range.

Due to its chemical composition of polyurethane, it can be claimed as the best transparent deck stain for pressure treated wood. Polyurethane is excellent in proving itself as the toughest bearer of any external pressure.

Moreover, the glossy surface is exceptionally resistant to quick corrosion. The exteriors of your furniture or decks can enjoy a new shiny look for an extended period.

No need to worry about its durability as its UV stabilizer ensures its permanence. The areas remain unhampered, even in strong sunlight. As a result of this outstanding protective layer, there is the least chance for the color to fade away.

Within two hours, it dries out, resulting in the most delicate texture; it is not a long time compared to others. Therefore, it lets you complete a project within a prescribed time. Its non-flammable property confirms your safety.


  • The polyurethane is superb at providing a gleaming look.
  • Its endurance quality guarantees the longevity of both color and texture.
  • Scorching sunlight fails to break it down.
  • It gets dried out within two hours only.


  • You might not like the pungent smell.
  • It might be less effective over white paint.

KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Wood StainPremium Pick

 KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain
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Are you dissatisfied with the inferior products that are promoted despite the disgracefully bad result? It is high time you get introduced to KILZ L832211 Wood Stain that has set its mark in the industry.

The product has notched up the highest position in the user’s satisfaction list due to its 100% acrylic formula. Even though a large portion is used outdoors, you need not worry about its sustainability, whatever the weather is.

No matter if it rains or snows, the texture is least affected. You are assured of its permanence on decks for three years and on fences for about five years. For a considerable amount of time, you can remain stress-free.

Moreover, its proper usage over worn-out areas will rejuvenate the withered parts and make them whole again. As it is UV resistant, strong sunlight can cause no harm to the exterior. You will find no trace of rust due to its water-resistant property.

It prohibits the build-up of mildew or algae, keeping your cabinets, railings, or decks new for an extended period. You will love its gloss and shine that enhances natural beauty. Moreover, it takes less time to dry out.


  • It can survive in harsh weather.
  • As it is water-proof, there is no chance of abrasion for a fixed time.
  • You will love the new polished look.
  • The chemical deters the growth of fungus.


  • You might not like its packaging.
  • The thickness of the coating is the same as that of the rubber.

Olympic Stain 79551 Maximum Wood Stain and Sealer, Semi-Transparent Stain

Olympic Stain 79551 Maximum Wood Stain and Sealer
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If you are a person who prefers brand value, then your wait has come to an end. This reputable manufacturer’s launch of an outstanding product can give your wooden house an elegant look. Olympic Stain 79551 Maximum Wood Stain can deliver fantastic results with qualities second to none.

This best semi-transparent deck stain for pressure treated wood amazingly beautifies the timber, enhancing the attraction of your fence, floor, or furniture. You will love the way it preserves the natural beauty of the wood.

Besides the embellishment, its acrylic formula deters the growth of algae or mold, confirming the everlasting quality and exquisiteness. The texture is not harmed, and scratches are hardly found over the surface.

Moreover, it plays a vital role in protecting the areas from strong sunlight or harsh weather. And potent elemental resistance is a trait much appreciated in the realm of deck stains. The permanence of the color is ensured as it is a UV survivor; it strongly forbids abrasion despite regular contact with water.

Within twenty-four hours, you will find your wooden structures in a new form. Its powers of quick-drying make it highly recommendable for those who value time. Furthermore, anyone can use it due to its simple application method.


  • Rather than giving an artificial outlook, natural beauty is conserved.
  • The unique formulation prevents algae or mold build-up.
  • It can survive the intense sunlight, guaranteeing its stability.
  • Anyone can easily apply it without specialized help.


  • The imperfection in quantity may darken the color.
  • You need specific applicators for a perfect result.

General Finishes Oil Based Gel Topcoat

General Finishes Oil Based Gel Topcoat
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If you are planning to renew your decks or kitchen cabinets, then we would recommend General Finishes Oil Based Topcoat, the best oil-based semi-transparent deck stain.

The product is oil-based; thus, it is different from other stains in many ways. Its fantastic trait prohibits the entry of harmful elements, shielding it from quick abrasion. The natural wooden texture is not at all affected by its application.

Additionally, as it is a water-repellant, you can wipe the areas for an infinite time. Marks rarely form on the surfaces, confirming the durability of the shade. Its unique chemical formulation prevents rust formation.

Furthermore, you can feel like a master craftsman by using a few simple applicators as the exquisite final result requires no expert hand. Due to being UV resistant, you will not have to bother, even if your furniture is outside. The chance of color fading away drops to the lowest level.

You will love the way the natural beauty will remain intact for an extended period. The coat beautifies the fences and floor. However, it takes a few hours to dry out.


  • It protects the surfaces from quick abrasion.
  • Incredible elemental resistance.
  • It dries within a short time.
  • You can smoothly clean the stained parts without the fear of texture loss.


  • Some people think the end result is excessively glossy.
  • Beginners might have to follow certain steps for an effective outcome.

Things to Consider Before Buying A Semi Transparent Deck Stain

Any purchase requires some dwelling in order to be absolutely sure. All ideal semi-transparent deck stains share some common factors. Hence, it would be best if you look into it.

best semi transparent deck stain


All semi-transparent deck stains provide a protective layer that is “see-through.” It allows the wood’s natural color to show by enhancing it. It penetrates better into the wood, letting the wood grains to shine on its own.

That’s why you need to make sure your choice of deck stain has its transparency for your deck to shine.

Suitable Stain

Not all decks are the same. From the beginning, you need to check whether your choice of semi-transparent deck stain suits your deck. It depends on the age and type of your deck. Most often, older woods benefit from this stain.

As the pigment color of the stain varies from deck to deck, try samples of the stains on parts of your deck before purchasing for the whole deck area.


This stain offers protection from natural hazards such as sun, rain, wind, and snow. An ideal semi-transparent stain has pigments for UV protection to retain the deck’s color better.


Nobody wants to be on the lookout after staining their deck. You can avoid maintenance for a long time if you get a top-notch product.

Your deck will hardly require maintenance, even if the weather is harsh on it for days. This stain can withstand all harm from nature.

However, if, for some reason, you need to recoat, you can easily clean it with deck cleaner then recoat without sanding or stripping as the stain keeps the deck in the sturdy state.

Different Wood for Decks

best semi transparent deck stain


These types of wood are considered to be very luxurious due to its elegant color and look. They are of excellent quality, and they look natural and classy. However, it can make a dent in your wallet; so, make sure that you are up for it.

Pressure-Treated Wood

These are not your typical, everyday wood. Pressure-treated means the chunk of wood has been treated with chemicals to serve a specific purpose. It can be either to resist rots, molds, insects, or water.

Some treated lumber can repel water, which is quite useful on most occasions.


Cedarwood is the most common lumber for making decks, fences, or other furniture. These types of wood are incredibly sturdy, and they are able to resist rots and insects like pressure-treated ones.

Despite their sturdiness, these woods are light; therefore, it is easy to work with them.

Tropical Hardwood

These sorts of wood are famous for their longevity. They can last for years or even decades. On the downside, they are way too expensive for most people; hence, it is only for people who swim in a pool of money.

Nonetheless, you cannot use a water-based stain on tropical hardwoods. So, make sure your product is oil-based or else, that big chunk of money will go down the drain.

Composite Wood

Well, these types of wood are made artificially. They are a combination of wood fibers, recycled plastic, and a binding agent. The materials combined make them sturdier, denser, and heavier than ordinary wood.

They are more durable, mold, and scratch-resistant than ordinary lumber. However, they are more expensive than wood; So, it is not for people who are on a budget.

Besides wood, there are several materials used in making a deck, such as aluminum. The point is all stains are not compatible with all the varied materials.

Hence, you must check the advantages and disadvantages of all of them to understand which stain and how many coats you should use. If you stain a deck without judging its material, then you may end up causing more harm than help.

So, consider this aspect before purchasing a semi-transparent deck stain.

Why Choose Semi-Transparent Deck Stain?

best semi transparent deck stain

These deck stains are formulated to protect the wooden floor from direct sunlight, preventing the wood from soaking rainwater. Moreover, it has a durable finish to withstand ice and snow.

Above all, semi-transparent keeps your original color intact and gels well with the environment.

Moreover, there are two types of stains that you need to know about.

Oil-Based Stains:

  • It penetrates the wood and protects from the inside out. From within, it does its work; however, it will eventually fade away as the oil ages with time.
  • Also, it requires raw and natural wood for the stain to completely sink and seal properly.
  • Then, you will need mineral spirits to clean any spots on the deck, and also the tools you used in the staining process.

Water-Based or Acrylic Stains:

  • It is stained on the wood’s surface, and it also stays on top, protecting the deck from outside.
  • Since the stain stays on the surface; it might chip away over time.
  • However, you can always remove the layer of chipped stain by sanding or power washing.
  • Also, the tools and spots are washable and cleanable with water.

Additional Tips

  • Always be aware of How-To-Stain-A-Deck. Follow the four steps of planning, preparing, applying, and cleaning up thoroughly.
  • Before purchasing stains, make sure to know the approximate amount of stain needed for the deck. However, the amount might vary depending on the condition of the deck and the application method of the stain.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Q: What’s the difference between transparent and semi-transparent stains?

The pigmentation on each stain differs from one another. Semi-transparent stains allow the wood grain to show, also provides more protection.

Q: Can you put a solid stain over a semi-transparent stain?

Generally, you can use solid stain over it; however, semi-transparent stain covered by solid stain will look odd and will not be durable for long. And why would you even do it? People usually go for semi-transparent stains because it highlights the natural woody texture. If you want to hide it using a solid stain, why use a semi-transparent in the first place, right?

Q: How many coats of stain do you put on a deck?

Generally, you apply the amount of stain your wood requires. Usually, two coats are appropriate, but denser hardwoods in extreme conditions can absorb only one layer of stain.

Q: Can I apply a semi-transparent stain with a roller?

It is essential to use a good quality brush or sprayer for applying a thin coat of semi-transparent stain.

Q: When can I apply the second coat of stain?

Usually, the first coating needs to dry thoroughly before applying the second coating. In this way, you will get darker and proper coloring

Final Notes

Most people think that staining your deck means bidding goodbye to the natural appearance of your wood. If you’ve read this article properly, you know how wrong that is.

Homeowners love to keep it simple and natural, and we don’t blame them, wood should look like wood and if you are one of us, who loves the natural wooden color, then the best semi transparent deck stain can be your deck’s guard all the while keeping the texture intact.

So, it’s a win-win. We wish you happy shopping!

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