There are so many different outdoor wood sealant products. But which is the best outdoor wood sealer? We'll give you all the facts in this article.
In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:
- The best outdoor wood sealer
- Tips for your successfully applying the best outdoor wood sealer
- Supplies you'll need for applying the best outdoor wood sealer specific to project
And much more!
Below is a quick list of our top 5 products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the top outdoor wood sealer.
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon
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Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane Aerosol
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SEAL-ONCE MARINE - 1 Gallon
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ANCHORSEAL 2 Hybrid Log & Lumber
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THOMPSONS WATERSEAL Transparent
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On January 27, 2023
Our favorite is Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood because it comes in a 5-gallon quantity, is reasonably priced, requires minimal preparation, and has thousands of great Amazon reviews.
Our Top 5 Outdoor Wood Sealers
What Are Outdoor Wood Sealers?
Outdoor wood sealers are any product that protects your wood from the sun, water, cracking, fading, etc.
You'll find countless options on Amazon for outdoor wood sealer products. We've listed all of the best ones here.
What Are The Different Types of Outdoor Wood Sealers?
Water-based, oil-based, polyurethane, epoxy, are all common chemical compositions of wood sealers. Each type of wood sealer acts as a preservative by blocking ultraviolet rays and weathering.
As far as appearance goes, you'll find wood sealers in clear, tinted, and semi-transparent.
How Do Outdoor Wood Sealers Work?
Outdoor wood sealers are simple and easy to apply, depending on the product. These products listed below are paint products, so that means they can be applied with a paint sprayer, roller, brush, etc.
On the other hand, there are products like epoxy sealers that require mixing two liquids to create an extremely durable finish. Epoxy is great for smaller projects, but it can't be applied with a paint sprayer.
Youtube is a great resource for learning about DIY projects. Below is a great example of how to protect your outdoor wood projects.
What To Look For In The Best Outdoor Wood Sealers?
Some interior wood stains don't provide much water resistance. For this reason, it's important to ensure the product you use seals off the wood surface and prevents water damage.
Your outdoor wood sealer must provide UV protection to the wood. UV rays cause wood to deteriorate and discolor/gray over time, so make sure you aren't applying an interior wood sealant on outdoor applications.
Scratch-resistant Durability --> Polyurethane
Some outdoor wood sealers, like polyurethane, are much more durable to scratches and damage when compared to older-style oil-based wood sealers that sink into the pores of the wood.
Now, there are advantages to all of the different chemical compositions of wood sealer whether it be oil-based, water-based, or polyurethane, but polyurethane finish is the best way to create a hard finish.
Just lightly sand before application, and then wet sand with 600-grit sandpaper for the best results when applying polyurethane to your outdoor projects.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Manufacturers are typically required to provide a material data safety sheet on the back of the container. Here are a few of the material facts provided on the MSDS:
It's good to be aware of dangerous substances when working with paint products, and the MSDS makes us aware of this.
Effect On Human Health
It's always good to check the back of the label to see its effect on health when working with chemicals. You never know when a product could contain a chemical that might not be the best use for the situation.
Physical And Chemical Characteristics
The MSDS makes you aware of flammability, chemical reactions, etc. so that you can avoid a fire or other dangerous situation.
How Many Years Protection
Wood sealer products will almost always give you an estimate of how many years it will seal your product for.
Read Also: How To Remove Stain From Wood (3-Step Guide)
Our Reviews Of The Best Outdoor Wood Sealer
Pick up Ready Seal for your next project in either 1-gallon or 5-gallon quantities, and don't bother even driving to the paint store when Amazon delivers right to your doorstep.
Oh, and the best part is the Ready Seal comes in nine different colors.
Do you want an easy spray can solution for treating your outdoor wood projects? Try this Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane Aerosol.
With UV blockers that prevent discoloring and special oils that allow the wood to properly expand and contract with temperatures, this is a budget option for smaller wood finishing projects.
Pick up 11.5 oz. cans of Minwax off of Amazon for the best price.
Pick #3: SEAL-ONCE MARINE
Seal-Once is worth a try if you're going for a water-based, low VOC content solution for sealing your outdoor wood projects.
Specially formulated for high-moisture areas, you could use this Seal-Once Marine sealant for all of the essential outdoor applications, including retaining walls, foundations, docks, decks, piers, anything.
This is a higher-quality solution for your project, and you can pick up the clear version of Seal-Once off of Amazon that would cover an estimated 150-300 square feet depending on the project. Reap the advantages of using a product that's safe for both humans and animals.
Use damp wood and other freshly cut lumber for great waterproofing results.
Pick #5: THOMPSONS WATERSEAL
Thompson’s transparent waterproofing stain comes in Woodland cedar color to prevent water damage with Paul and Burnham but also provides further distance color.
If you were looking for the perfect waterproofing stain for preventing mildew damage and UV damage, then this stain can go on damp or Drywood while exceeding the industry standards.
Purchase Thompson’s water seal and four different colors, including acorn brown, maple brown, Sequoia red, and Woodland cedar.
Pick #6: STORM SYSTEM Storm Protector
Easily apply this product with a paint sprayer, paintbrush, or paint roller for UV protection and lap-free application. The storm system is a great product for projects like wood substrate, siding, fences, and decks.
Pick up a 1-gallon bucket of storm system protector penetrating sealer and Stan protector off of Amazon in three different colors, including golden oak, Sienna, and Hickory. Darken your wood to perfection with this quality deck stain.
Use this spray sealant on wood surfaces both indoors and outdoors. Suggested applications include exterior doors, window sills, bar tops, wooden boats, and patio furniture.
This product claims to be safe around people and pets, but you will still want to read the label on the back to be 100% sure.
Pick #8: Rain Guard Water Sealers
This is a reasonable price for the quantity, so pick up a one-quart container of Rain Guard off of Amazon for easy delivery. Each quart makes up to two gallons of wood sealer that you can spray onto the surface for a quick and easy solution.
Pick #9: Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil
Teak oil is one excellent option for staining small projects. Applying teak oil is simple, you just pour it onto a rag, and wipe it onto the surface you wish to protect.
One great thing about Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil is that has a fast drying time, so you can get the results you want without losing any time.
This 16 fluid ounce container of teak oil is perfect for applications like boats, furniture, etc., and it is a higher-end option for artisan and household jobs. We have personally enjoyed applying teak onto surfaces and watching it shine, and we know you will too.
Pick #10: HOPE'S Pure Tung Oil
Hope’s wipe-on oil is another great solution for sealing smaller exterior wood projects, and it’s one of our favorites because it has zero VOC content and applies quickly and evenly.
This oil-based treatment waterproofs wood by penetrating deep into its pores to protect them from destruction due to problems like UV-rays while not leaving a film on the surface of the wood at the same time.
Pick up Hope's Pure Tung Oil off of Amazon in various sizes, including 16, 32, and 128 fluid ounces. Enjoy an additive-free wood treatment on your next home-making project.
Eco-Poly polyurethane sealer & floor finish will give your exterior wood a high-quality finish at an extremely reasonable cost.
The best part about the Eco-Poly polyurethane sealer is that it has no VOCs, no HAPs, no odor, and no red list toxins, so you can confidently apply it to your wood project without worrying about hurting nearby plants and animals.
Apply this scratch-resistant polyurethane to your exterior wood or concrete surface, and then wet sand for a ridiculously durable and easy solution to protecting your project.
Pick #12: TotalBoat Gleam Marine Spar Varnish
Krylon provides a semi-transparent spray paint in 12-ounce quantities that are just the right amount to cover small jobs like coffee tables, doors, lamps, desks, drawers, etc.
For just a little over 10 bucks, you can get fast even wood sealing covered applied on your exterior wood, so come get it while it's hot.
Do you have painted wood that needs to be sealed? Try this Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-9004 paint sealer to save the day and preserve your outdoor wood structures for the years to come.
Pour it into an HVLP paint sprayer, or use a roller and brush to thoroughly protect your exterior wood from UV rays, mildew, water, cracking, and protect other people and animals around you while you do it.
This Rain Guard water sealer prevents surface damage like rain, ice, snow, and more, so pick up the reasonably priced 1-gallon jug off of Amazon for less.
Roxil Wood Protection Cream meets federal and state environmental guidelines, so you can apply it to any exterior surface without the guilt of emitting harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.
Guaranteed to protect your exterior wood surface for up to five years, you'll want to keep an extra bottle of Roxil wood protection cream around just to be safe.
Pick #16: Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths, Maple
Minwax decided to go out on a limb to provide customers with a wipeable product.
This is kind of a great idea for smaller projects because it doesn't require that you bust out all of the painting equipment, it's cleaner than pouring paint out of the can, and it makes the job all-around easier for less experienced woodworkers.
Minwax Finishing Cloths dry in just one hour, and you can clean up with just soap and water, so If you want to pay just ten bucks for an excellent and easy wood finish for a smaller project like a coffee table or door, then we highly recommend you try out these Minwax Finishing Cloths.
Our Overall Top Pick
Our favorite is Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood because it has all the aspects of a great paint product. Pick up a five-gallon jug of Ready Seal off of Amazon for the best price.
Final Thoughts On The Best Outdoor Wood Sealer
Did you try used motor oil? It might sound silly, but painting your wood projects with used motor oil is a sustainable way to seal exterior woods from water without spending extra cash. Yes, using a product from this list will give your exterior wood the professional look, so the majority of buyers will want a clear or stained color.
Used motor oil turns the wood black, and it isn't very aesthetically pleasing, but it would do just fine for landscaping applications, foundations, etc.
Are you getting ready to apply exterior wood sealer? Here is a master set of supplies you’ll need for knocking out any exterior wood sealer job:
You can apply a sealant to smaller wood projects by simply pouring some into a microfiber towel, and wiping it onto the surface. Microfiber towels also help when cleaning the wood surface before and after sanding.
Sanding the surface of the wood beforehand will yield the best results and the most even adhesion. There’s no reason to go over 220-grit sandpaper when prepping for paint, but the wood can be wet sanded after the sealant has dried for super-smooth results.
Using a paint roller or paintbrush works just fine in most situations. Painting/staining/sealing typically starts with using a paintbrush to cut in all of the edges and then going back with the paint roller to quickly cover all of the large areas.
For larger exterior paint projects, you’ll need at least 1 ladder to help you get to all the hard-to-reach surfaces. Professionals even use planks and ladder jacks to easily scale each surface when sealing the exterior of a structure.
Paint masker/Masking materials
The fastest way to cover undesired surfaces in your paint job is by using a paint masker. Connect the tape with the masking, and roll out your masking materials along surfaces that won’t be sealed.
Use a blade to cut the tape when tacking all of the masking material down.
Throwdown a drop cloth or bed sheet to avoid getting sealant on the ground below your project.
Larger exterior wood jobs turn out better if the painter uses a pressure washer to knock off any loose chunks of wood before painting. You’ll have to decide between sanding or pressure washing for correct prep depending on the size of the job and type of wood.
How To Apply Exterior Wood Sealant Properly?
1. Clean the wood surface
Cleaning the surface will ensure that no dust specs or other annoying blemishes don’t end up in your paint job. Any household cleaner will work for cleaning smaller jobs, and larger jobs might require that you just out the power washer to get the job done faster.
2. Mask off undesired surfaces
Before you spray or even roll/brush on the sealant, you need to protect the surrounding surfaces from the paint. Use the paint masker to quickly cover areas that won’t be painted.
3. Apply one coat of sealant
Use your preferred method for applying one coat of sealant to the project, and let it dry for the amount of time recommended in the product container.
Inspect your results after applying the first coat to determine whether or not a second coat is needed. In some cases, you may have to wait a complete 24 hours before seeing the final results because the sealant will absorb into the wood over time.
4. Apply a second coat of sealant if necessary
Was the first coat not enough? You might have to apply another coat to get the full effect. For example, you might see dry spots in the wood where the sealant further into its pores.
Keep in mind that the second coat of sealant won’t require that you use as much as the first coat. On average, you’ll only need about 60% of the amount of sealant used on the first coat to get full coverage the second time around.
5. Peel off masking to reveal the final results
You won’t know whether or not the job is finished until you pull off the masking. Once the tape and paper/plastic is peeled off, you will be able to see if there is any touch-up work that needs to be done before calling it good or sending an invoice to the customer.
6. Touch up
Use a paintbrush to dab sealant onto areas that were either missed or the sealant absorbed in too far to the point where the wood dried out.