Are you looking to stain a wood surface without the mess of runny wood stain? You might consider a gel stain for the job.
In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:
- The best gel stain products on the market
- Tips for performing the best gel stain job
- Do's and don't's when using gel stain
- 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 gel stain for your next project.
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General Finishes Oil Based Gel Stain
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Minwax Interior Wood Gel Stain
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Unicorn Spit Gel Stain and Glaze in One
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Gel Stain by Retique It
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Varathane Premium Gel Stain
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On August 25, 2023
Our favorite is DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Cedar-Tone Exterior Wood Stain because it stands out with the most reasonable price and the best reviews.
Not only that, but DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Cedar-Tone Exterior Wood 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 Cedar-Tone Exterior Wood Stain in 1 or 5-gallon quantities off of Amazon for the best possible price, and choose from 7 different colors.
Top 6 Stains For Pressure Treated Wood
- DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Cedar-Tone Exterior Wood Stain
- Thompsons Waterseal Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain
- Liquid Rubber Color Waterproof Sealant
- Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Stain
- Ready Seal Exterior Stain And Sealer For Wood
- Olympic Elite Woodland Oil Stain
If you're truly looking for the best stains to use for your pressure-treated wood, you're in the right place!
Below is a list of our top 5 stains, keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of each one:
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.
What Are The Different Types of Stain For Pressure Treated Wood?
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.
Keep an eye for your different color options when shopping stains for pressure treated wood on Amazon.
Some of these products are clear sealers designed to embellish the natural grain of the wood.
What Supplies Will You Need To Stain Pressure Treated Wood?
Before you get started on staining your pressure treated wood deck or fence, there are a few things you'll need.
Here are some supplies that you might need when staining wood:
Paintbrush/paint sprayer/paint roller
You be the judge of how you are going to apply the stain. Most of these products can be put into a small handheld HVLP hand sprayer without a problem.
We highly recommend that you purchase an HVLP hand sprayer if you don't already have one because they are so inexpensive, and they make painting easy.
Paint masker/masking materials
You may want to protect some surfaces from being hit with stain droplets with some plastic, and a paint masker will help you to mask large areas easily and accurately.
Drop cloths also help you from spilling stain on cement, plants, and other objects.
Paint Safety Gear
And last but not least, you definitely want to make sure you have some plastic gloves, a mask or respirator, and adequate clothing to cover your skin.
This is especially important if you're working with a paint sprayer as that atomizes the paint particles and can make it easier for you to ingest them.
So, make sure you cover up and protect yourself from harmful checmicals!
Step-By-Step Guide To Staining Your Pressure Treated Wood
Now that you have all the supplies you'll need, here are the steps you'll need to take to get your pressure-treated wood stained in no time!
- Thoroughly clean the surface you're staining
- Mix the stain
- Mask surfaces to protect them from stain
- Apply stain using your method of choice
- Let the stain cure and add another coat if necessary
- Clean up
Step 1 - Thoroughly clean the surface
You can use either a pressure washer or a chemical treatment/deck cleaner like Olympic deck and wood cleaner
Step 2 - Thoroughly mix the stain before applying
Stain formula ingredients start to separate from each other with time, so you must stir the stain before applying it to your project.
Step 3 - Mask surfaces that you don't want stain on
If you want to look professional and keep stain off of undesired surfaces, you will use a paint masker or simply just a drop cloth or plastic covering.
Step 4 - Apply stain using the most efficient method
Are you staining just a few boards? It might be fastest just to use a paintbrush.
Working on a large project, like a whole fence or house? It might be better to load up your paint sprayer and make short work of the situation.
An important thing to know when staining pressure treated wood is that some areas are going to absorb the stain better than others, and you will probably have to use more stain in certain areas to get an even look.
Step 5 - Let stain cure, and add another coat if necessary
You won't know if you are satisfied with the stain job until it fully cures because it might look blotchy when wet(depending on the type of wood).
Step 6 - Clean up
Nothing is better than cleaning up a fresh paint job, and moving on with your life! We hoped these steps helped you in completing the stain job on your pressure-treated wood.
What Should You Look For In The Best Stain For Pressure Treated Wood?
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 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.
Our Reviews Of The Best Stain For Pressure Treated Wood
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.
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.
Pick #4: Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Stain
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.
Forget about priming first, just apply Ready Seal directly to your exterior surface for the perfect weather-proofing solution in 8 different colors.
Pick #6: Olympic Elite Woodland Oil Stain
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.
Our Top Pick: DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
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.
With hundreds of great reviews on Amazon, you can't go wrong with DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Cedar-Tone Exterior Wood Stain, especially because it is designed to last longer than other products on the market.
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.
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).
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.
Be sure to cover up your eyes when applying the stain.
It's important to avoid breathing in fumes. Always keep a cotton mask or respirator on hand when using stains.
More questions? Don't hesitate to ask on our Pro Paint Corner page!