Top 5 Best Deck Stains For Pressure Treated Wood (2021 Review)

Last Updated On January 15, 2021

Are you looking to change the color of your pressure treated deck wood? 

This is a situation where some stain products work better than others.

 We did your research for you to find out which are your best options when it comes to applying a stain to pressure-treated decking.

Deck Stain For Pressure Treated Wood

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:

  • Which are the best stains for pressure treated wood
  • Tips and tricks for staining pressure treated wood like a pro
  • Safety reminders for working with stains
  • And much more!

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best stain for pressure-treated wood.

Image Product

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DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
  • Made with high-quality resins
  • Water-based and non-toxic
  • VOC compliant
  • Made with high-quality resins
  • Water-based and non-toxic
  • VOC compliant
View on Amazon

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Thompsons Waterseal Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain
  • Ultraviolet resistant
  • Exceeds the industry standard for waterproofing
  • Amazon’s choice product
  • Ultraviolet resistant
  • Exceeds the industry standard for waterproofing
  • Amazon’s choice product
View on Amazon

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Liquid Rubber Color Waterproof Sealant
  • Ultraviolet resistance
  • Bonds to almost any surface
  • Use 2-3 heavy coats to achieve a membrane
  • Ultraviolet resistance
  • Bonds to almost any surface
  • Use 2-3 heavy coats to achieve a membrane
View on Amazon

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Olympic Elite Woodland Oil Stain
  • 1-coat application
  • Fortified with urethane
  • Protects against water damage
  • 1-coat application
  • Fortified with urethane
  • Protects against water damage
View on Amazon

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Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Stain
  • Low VOC
  • Great for vertical surfaces like fences
  • 10 different colors to choose from
  • Low VOC
  • Great for vertical surfaces like fences
  • 10 different colors to choose from
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On January 15, 2021

Our favorite is DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain because it stands out with the most reasonable price and the best reviews. 

Not only that, but this stain is VOC compliant and water-based, so you won't be exposing yourself to overly toxic chemicals when applying to your pressure-treated wood. 

Pick up DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain in 1 or 5-gallon quantities off of Amazon for the best possible price, and choose from 7 different colors.

Our Top 5 Best Deck Stains For Pressure Treated Wood

If you're truly looking for the best stains to use for your deck staining project, you're in the right place!

Below is a list of our top 5 deck stains, keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of each one:

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

What Are Stains For Pressure Treated Wood?

Basically, any wood stain that is designed for exterior use will work great for staining pressure treated wood.

Wood is pressure treated to withstand the environment using preservatives like chromate copper arsenate. 

The chemicals/preservative used to pressure treat wood from weathering are toxic - pressure-treated lumber is for outdoor use only. 

You should never burn pressure-treated wood, and there's really no reason to, considering it is water-repellent and has high durability that will last a long time.

Staining wood can actually increase its lifespan. This is because the stain prevents splintering, rot, and rain from destroying the wood's surface.

What Are The Different Types of Stain For Pressure Treated Wood?

Oil-based

Oil-based stains are a classic solution to sealing in exterior wood because they resist water and absorb well into the wood grains.

Water-based

Water-based treatments are generally easier to work with because they are less toxic and may not absorb as deep into the grains of the wood.

Colored

Keep an eye for your different color pigment options when shopping stains for pressure treated wood on Amazon. 

Natural look

Some of these products are clear sealers designed to embellish the natural grain of the wood.

Read More >> What Are The Best Overall Deck Stains To Use?

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

What Supplies Will You Need To Stain Pressure Treated Wood?

Before you get started on staining your pressure-treated wood deck, there are a few things you'll need.

Quick disclaimer here - the list below isn't comprehensive, you might need a pressure washer, deck cleaner, or other sanding materials to adequately prepare your wood to accept stain. 

If you're working with new wood on a new deck, that may not be the case, and that's why understanding what type of wood you're working with on your deck staining project is so important.

However, if you're working with old wood, you'll likely need more cleaning and prep work to get rid of any graying or flaws in the wood grain before you stain.

That said, here are some supplies that you might need when staining your deck wood:

  • Paint sprayer or Paint Roller
  • Drop cloths
  • Masking tape
  • Sander (orbital or hand sander)
  • Safety gear (goggles, respirators, etc.)
  • Pressure washer
  • Wood stain
  • Deck sealer (if you're using it)

Remember, it's not a comprehensive list. The finalized list of supplies you'll need will largely depend on the wood look you're looking for as well as the existing state of the decking you'll be staining on.

Read More >> How Much Does It Typically Cost To Paint A Deck?

What Should You Look For In The Best Stain For Pressure Treated Wood?

Quantity

Buying paints and stains in quantity is always a good idea. Besides, if you have some leftovers, you can always sell them on your local Facebook marketplace or Craig's List ads.

The important part is that you have enough stain to cover your whole project. 

And with pressure-treated wood, you are probably going to have to apply more than one coat, and certain areas(like the ends) will need more stain than others.

Environmentally Friendly/ VOC content

Volatile organic compounds are controlled by the EPA, and they are basically a measurement of toxic gases that are emitted in the form of vapor.

Most VOCs are toxic and should be taken into consideration when applying stain on pressure-treated wood because you should use a cotton mask or respirator to avoid breathing in harmful fumes.

Solid Color Stain/Natural Beauty

The finished wood look all depends on how you like it. 

The best way to get an idea before applying the stain is by reading reviews and looking at pictures of how other people's projects have turned out.

Read More >> What Are The Best Semi-Transparent Deck Stains To Use?

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Our Reviews Of The Best Stain For Pressure Treated Wood

When staining decking, DEFY's semi-transparent deck stain is water-based, environmentally friendly, and has hundreds of great reviews on Amazon.

Fortified with a technology called zinc-nano-particles, this is both the ultimate and affordable solution for staining pressure treated wood. (It'll also help prevent future graying and UV damage.)

Everything about DEFY is great. For example, DEFY is VOC compliant, and it is easy to maintain after the fact.  

This is one of the best deck stains on the market.

Pros

  • Purchase in 1 or 5-gallon quantities
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fortified with zinc non-particles

Cons

  • Ships everywhere but California
  • Slightly more expensive than other products

Thompson's WaterSeal is an affordably priced waterproofing stain that leaves a semi-transparent on your wood finish.

When applying Thompson's WaterSeal, you can expect it to last up to 4 years on decks, and up to 6 years on fences and siding.

By exceeding the industry's expectations for waterproofing, you can preserve your outdoor wood surfaces with the confidence they will resist mold, mildew, and UV damage.

Pros

  • Prevents water damage
  • Less expensive
  • 5 different colors to choose from

Cons

  • VOC content not specified
  • Not the highest possible quality

Liquid Rubber is a water-based solution and an excellent option for applying to pressure-treated wood or almost any other exterior surface for waterproofing, UV protection, and chemical resistance.

Say goodbye to cracking and chipping in your pressure-treated wood with this environmentally friendly product is easily applied with either a paint sprayer or paintbrush.

Liquid Rubber is completely free of VOCs, has great freeze/thaw qualities, and is affordably priced on Amazon. 

Pick up either a 1-gallon or 5-gallon bucket of Liquid Rubber off of Amazon in 7 different color options.

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Highly durable
  • 7 different colors to choose from

Cons

  • On the pricey side
  • Only comes in 1+ gallon sizes
  • Not made specifically for wood (still does the job, though.)

Olympic Elite Woodland Oil Stain is a one-coat solution for protecting exterior woods like redwood, pine, cedar, and more.

With long-lasting protection against the elements, this oil stain is fortified with urethane to prevent scratching and peeling.

Forget about mildew, algae, and more by applying a thick coat of Olympic Elite on your exterior project.

You'll find 1-gallon quantities of Olympic Elite on Amazon for the best possible price.

Pros

  • 1-coat application
  • Fortified with urethane
  • Protects against water damage

Cons

  • VOC content not specified
  • Read some questionable reviews on Amazon before buying

Cabot offers another heavy-duty water and weather-resistant oil stain formula in 8 different colors.

With superior UV protection, you will ensure that your exterior wood surface is fade and scuff resistant when applying just one coat of Cabot to its surface.

Apply Cabot to siding, fencing, decks, and pressure-treated retaining lumber.

Pick up a 1-gallon container of Cabot Semi-Solid & Siding Stain off of Amazon for the best possible value.

Pros

  • Low VOC
  • A highly effective oil stain
  • 8 different colors to choose from

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than other products
  • Only sold in 1-gallon quantity

Our favorite is DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Cedar-Tone Exterior Wood Stain because it is a water-based solution that uses zinc nano-technology to block out UV rays/direct sunlight and prevent color loss in your pressure-treated wood.

For us, the biggest plus side is that the product is more or less environmentally. 

In this case, DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Cedar-Tone Exterior Wood Stain is a solid stain that is environmentally friendly and does a really good job, so we highly recommend you trying this on your next stain job.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Final Thoughts On Best Stain For Pressure Treated Wood

You Can Also Used Used Motor Oil To Stain Pressure-Treated Wood

Is it time to change the oil on your car? Did you know that you can use that same used motor oil as a water-resistant coating on your pressure-treated wood? Now you know!

Read The Stamps Or End Tags To Find Out About Your Specific Wood

If the pressure treated wood is new, read the label to find out which chemicals were used in the process(if necessary).

Safety Reminder

When staining pressure treated wood, you should use the following safety measures:

Nitrile gloves/leather gloves

You'll want to use some gloves to avoid getting stains on your skin.

Safety glasses

Be sure to cover up your eyes when applying the stain. 

Cotton mask/respirator

It's important to avoid breathing in fumes. Always keep a cotton mask or respirator on hand when using stains.

Read More >> What Are The Best Respirators To Use For Spraying Paint/Stain?

More questions? Don't hesitate to ask on our Pro Paint Corner page!

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

Got A Paint Question? Ask Your Pro Painter!

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Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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