For building homes, decks, fences, and so much more wood does it all, and you can not deny its natural beauty. Leaving your wooden structures with no finish is beautiful; however, with a proper sealer, the natural component of the wood becomes more evident, giving it extra beauty.
Even the hardest species of wood such as mahogany wears out and becomes less resistant as time goes by, and that’s why you should get the best wood sealer in the market for your woodwork.
Below is a review of the top wood sealers you can find in the market today. The detailed information about each product should help you settle for the best product that will serve you right.
Our List of Best Outdoor Wood Sealer
1. Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
This wood sealer is the ultimate deal for those that are looking to save time and money for buying primers. It’s oil-based with a semi-transparent look, which does a good job when it comes to sealing and protecting outdoor wooden structures.
Ready seal does more than preserving the wood as it also enhances the natural look of wood. It does this by allowing the wood grain to show maintaining the visibility of the wood’s texture.
As most sealers form thick layers over the surfaces, they end up entirely hiding what’s underneath, the ready seal is unlike them as it does the sealing job as well as exposing the grain or wood surface beneath the sealant.
The Summary of Top Features
- It’s a semi-transparent sealer with water resistance features.
- Its oil components help penetrates through the wood so that it can preserve it. Furthermore, this product prevents the formation of mildew and mold on the surface of your wooden structures.
- It offers protection against the harmful UV rays from the sun.
- It dries out into a semi transparent finish that shows natural texture and exposes the wood grain.
- It applicable on any temperatures
- Does not require a primer as it is both a stain and a sealer
- Provides runs and streak-free finish
- It’s available in up to 9 distinct colors such as dark walnut, burnt hickory, light oak, mahogany, golden pine, natural cedar, mission brown, pecan, and redwood. This range of colors makes it easy for you to seal all types of wood.
- It’s an excellent waterproofing product that guarantees your wood protection against most conditions as well as preventing the formation of mold and mildew.
- Its property that prevents runs and streaks, together with back brushing, plays a vital role in enhancing the appearance of the wood.
- Its area of coverage is a bit low compared to other sealers available in the market; this implies that you might need several gallons to get the work done.
- This product is a little expensive for people living in Connecticut, California, and Vermont
2. Waterlox Original Marine Sealer
It’s one of the best marine sealers, and having it on our list only implies that it belongs in the top and will provide ultimate protection against water. Marine paints are mainly for use on water vessels. When talking about waterproofing, the marine sealers beat every odd, making them popular products as far as water resistance is related. What’s unique about Waterlox Original Marine Sealer is that it’s for general use, unlike its other marine counterparts that are only for above the waterline use.
A natural substance called Tung oil makes a significant part of this particular sealer. Tung has existed for centuries; the ancient Chinese extracted the Tung oil from the nut of the Tung tree. This natural oil is unique in its way; it belongs to the category of “drying oils,” which means that it dries to form a tough finish.
It dries out into a beautiful shine, arguably the best you can see out there.
This sealer has its downside as well. Unlike other marine sealers, this one dries to form a bit of a rough finish. Other after procedures are essential if you are looking to end up with a smooth finish.
Using a buffer or other tools that can perform similar functions can help you achieve a smooth finish. This product works best for people that live in a very wet environment.
One other thing about this sealer is that it is a bit expensive.
The Summary of Top Features
- It contains Tung oil that penetrates the wood surface.
- It is easy to maintain and enhances the natural beauty of the wood.
- It’s flexible – this product moves with the wood and does not chip.
- It can withstand wide ranges of temperature.
- It is resistant to water, snow, saltwater, sleet, and a lot more.
- Offers protection against Ultraviolet rays known for causing fading of the wood.
- Made entirely to offer maximum resistance to water
- Has the natural Tung oil as a significant component
- Dries to form a deep and a vibrant shine
- Has a right area of coverage
- Dries into a rough finish which calls for buffing
- A little bit expensive
- Emits toxic substances before it cures.
3. EcoProCote Acri-Soy Penetrating Sealer-Exterior and Interior Use
This product is a top-performing bio-based and a penetrating clear, environmentally friendly concrete and wood sealer. It’s created through a high-end chemical technology using soy ester dispersion resins together with a modified water-based acrylics. Soy ester has highly effective penetration, which protects the porous substrate surfaces by forming a molecular bond and seal that is highly repellant.
Thanks to the advanced technology used in this product, it performs better than typical water-based sealers. It offers lasting protection from moisture, stains, dusting, and marring. It comes with a higher spread rate as well as an effective penetration enhanced by the patented soy ester formula that only evaporates after entering the pores on the substrate.
This product is excellent for Green Building; it doesn’t affect the quality of air during application. Above all, it’s good for the environment, both exterior and interior. It’s the perfect choice for those that desire a safe premium quality sealer.
It has a variety of uses from the application on warehouse floors, decorative concrete, sealing the floors on garages, brick pavers, wood decks, masonry block, wood trim, natural stone, stucco, plaster, tile grout, and fiber cement.
The Summary of Top Features
- It’s easy to clean using soap and water because of its water-based nature
- Comes with Ultra-Low levels of VOCs with pleasant soy milk like odor
- Its wastes are not hazardous
- Has a high coverage that is easy to apply
- Comes with a strong bond as well as seal
- It doesn’t form films, peel or flake
- Best for both interior and exterior usage as it’s breathable
- Resistant to efflorescence, UV rays, and adverse weather conditions
- It dries quite fast
- It enhances the wood substrate life
- All-natural and contains no toxic compounds
- It dries quickly and does not peel or flake off
- Has an extensive usage from cement to wood
- Does change the color of some wood
4. Anchorseal 2 Green Wood Sealer-Best for End Grain Checking
For many decades, Anchorseal’s sealer has remained a favorite of many professionals. It has a reputation for offering wood protection against end grain checking. End grain checking refers to the flakes that appear at the end of wood planks, mostly following the cutting of the wood.
If you happen to see any sort of end grain on your wood, it should be of less worry to you, all you need is to use this sealer. This sealer, in particular, is excellent with green wood blanks giving the exact result that you expect of it.
This product is the answer if you are looking to reduce the cracking on your wood. It does this by up to 90% or more- a quality that helps hold your wood firmly together.
Anchorseal is the first option for the majority of contractors each time they are looking to fix end grain checking. Once you have applied two or three coats, then you shall have solved the splintering issue on your wood. For the best results, it’s recommended that you use this sealer right after cutting the wood, that’s precisely where the name “Green Wood Sealer” originates.
The Summary of Top Features
- It’s a new and improved product
- Great at sealing greenwood
- Offer the wood protects against end grain checking
- It’s been a reliable product for about three decades.
- It’s a fantastic product for sealing the end grain checking
- It’s not an expensive product
- It doesn’t require touch-ups upon application of multiple coats
- Takes relatively longer to dry
- Not the right choice for more extensive projects
5. Olympic Stain Waterguard Waterproofing Sealant-Most Pocket-Friendly
If you are working on a budget, then this sealer is what you need. It is one of the cheapest and does a good job out there.
This sealer is specifically for decks and provides the same quality of services as the other expensive sealers in the market. This product offers protection against the UV rays from the sun, resists mildew, and different severe environmental situations.
As much as this product is by large percentage a water-based sealant, it has a small percentage of linseed oil. This oil component gives it a shiny finish. It works as good as an oil-based version.
Amidst its quality, this sealer has its shortcomings too. Most of the users have registered a complaint that is common to almost all who have used it recently.
These users claim that the product is no longer the same as it was initially, insinuating some level of alteration. They think the product is much more watered-down compared to how it was before. They claim that the effectiveness of the formula has taken a hit- the manufacturers missed it a bit with their desire to make it environmentally friendly.
Considering its low price, you must not have high expectations with quality. Especially not compared to what you will get from the more expensive ones on the market today. This product doesn’t come with so many unique features; it performs just the essential functions; it’s a little thin and would require several coats for it to work best.
The Summary of Top Features
- It has a penetration as an advanced multi-surface sealant
- Offers protection against damage by water as well as creating a mildew-resistant coat
- Has a wide range of use from bricks, concrete, wood, and stucco
- Relatively cheap
- Suitable for both untreated and pressure treated wood
- Offers protection against UV rays from the sun and mildew
- Has a shine similar to that of an oil-based sealer
- This product might have changed over time
- It’s weak, according to a section of users
6. Thompson’s Advanced Natural Wood Protector –The Best Wood Sealer for Pressure Treated Wood
Thompson’s WaterSeal Advanced has existed for close to a century. As its name tells, it is strictly for usage on outdoor structures. It is arguably the best or at least one of the best outdoor sealers for pressure treated wood in the market today.
If you are looking for a fantastic finish for pressure treated wood structures such as a deck, shutter, outdoor furniture, and fences, then this is what you need.
A lot of people end up choosing a low-grade finish, which demands a yearly maintenance procedure. Thompson’s Waterseal Advanced, on the contrary, comes with a potent formula that will give your deck utmost protection for up to two years or more.
What’s more about this product is that it can replenish and give a beautiful look to a weathered or a poorly treated wood with just a single coat.
Its water-based formula makes its application easy to clean. Water and soap do the job just right. It has a strong resistance to mildew and offers protection against harmful Ultraviolet rays from the sun as well as the integrity and the original beauty of the wood.
Using this sealer guarantees the best return for your money you can imagine.
Summary of the Top Features
- It protects the wooden structure from the mildew and the exposure to UV rays from sunlight.
- It retains the natural color of the wood.
- A single coat does work well.
- It is applicable to both dry and damp wood.
- WaterSeal works well even with a new pressure treated wood.
- It’s available in up to five different stain colors, among them woodland cedar, acorn brown, harvest gold, Sequoia red, and maple brown.
- It’s water-based and easy to clean using just a bar of soap and water.
- The 1-gallon container has a coverage of about 200 square feet, which is a lot.
- It has a waterproofing ability, which makes it a top-class product.
- It comes with enduring protection against Ultraviolet rays from the sun in just a single coat.
- It retains and maintains the natural color of the wood
- Available in different colors, which leaves you with wide selection options.
- Contains low Volatile Organic Compounds with no odor
- Suitable for external use only
7. Rainguard Concentrate Premium Wood Sealer – Best Eco-Friendly Wood Sealer
This sealer is the real deal; it contains no toxic components, which makes it friendly to the environment. It is a masterpiece by Rainguard insulates which offers protection to structures made of wood with zero health harm to animals, humans, and plants.
Following its application, this sealer dries to form a protective layer capable of repelling water/moisture, restoring/extending the lifespan of wooden structures, and above all, enhance the integrity of the wood.
The Rainguard Concentrate Premium Wood Sealer is not your ordinary sealer. Its first and most fantastic feature is its environmentally friendly and non-toxic property, which makes it safe to use around living things. This quality makes it usable for vegetable gardens, among many other home uses.
Other than this sealer being eco-friendly, it’s a compound that has both silanes and siloxanes which are responsible for the water-resistance property, among other environmental factors.
It has a propriety ingredient in micro-lok, which is responsible for the creation of a powerful barrier that sustains the structural cohesion of wood in harsh conditions.
Ability to Form a Hydrophobic Barrier
This sealer can form a thin barrier (hydrophobic barrier), which hinders water penetration, freezing, and the ultraviolet rays from the sunlight. It, therefore, means that your wood has a guarantee of protection against rotting and mildew. It’s so good on outdoor wooden structures.
The Summary of Top Features
- This sealer penetrates deep into the surface which is key to water resistance
- It’s resistant to freezing, oil, and gas
- Perfect for both Vertical and Horizontal unpainted wooden surfaces
- It’s a durable and sturdy natural-looking bright finish that doesn’t alter the appearance or texture of the wooden structure.
- Comes with a perfect mold and mildew inhibitor
- Resists ultraviolet rays
- Extreme spraying during the application has no harmful effects on glass or other building areas
- Contains low Volatile Organic Compound and low odor or close to odorless which isn’t harmful whatsoever
- It’s friendly to the environment
- Has no toxic substance
- It’s water and humidity proof
- Can withstand weathering, low freezing temperatures, UV rays as well as windy rain
- Thin and may require the application of multiple coats
8. Minwax 630510444 Water Based Helmsman Spar Urethane
This wood sealer, the Minwax water-based sealer, is among the best out there for outdoor furniture thanks to its ability to offer a bright protective finish.
It comes with a wide range of applications as you can use it on windows as well as doors protecting them from moisture, sunlight, and even direct rain. Additionally, this product offers protection against warping that results from the changes in temperature.
Its use is not limited to the external structure only. It takes a short time to dry, which is why you can use it for indoor projects like the countertops and cabinets. The glass-like finish ensures it works just right on stained wood surfaces. This wood sealer is easy to clean.
When using this product, it’s more convenient using sprayers in place of a roller or brush. As much as they do not offer much control, sprayers make the project a lot easier and quicker to finish.
The viscosity of a sealer is a crucial factor to consider while trying to get yourself a great product,
Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane does have an exceptional thickness, which lies somewhere in between water and warm syrup. This thickness makes its application remarkably comfortable.
The Summary of Top Features
- It contains compounds that offer the wood protection against UV rays that causes natural fading as well as protection from other harmful effects of prolonged exposure to sunlight.
- It’s application results in the formation of a protective barrier on the wooden surfaces that prevents possible wood deterioration from rain and moisture.
- It comes with a bright finish, which makes it the best fit for light-colored wood.
- It dries quickly following its application.
- It’s a lot easier to clean using warm water.
- It’s quite easy to apply and takes a short time to dry.
- This product comes with compounds that are responsible for the protection of wood from sunlight and rain; it has an additional element of security against seasonal changes in temperature that can cause warping.
- It protects the wood from fading or graying.
- Some of the users have complained of slight yellowing of the wood following the application.
- As much as you can use this product indoors, it is appropriate that you have the room adequately ventilated because of some of its fumes.
- It’s a bit expensive
9. DEFY Crystal Clear Composite Deck Waterproofing Sealer
It is a product like no other; its benefits are quite a lot and unique in its way. First, this sealer is water-based. It, therefore, implies that this product does not pose any risk to the environment, be it through toxic fumes or any other emission that might cause environmental concerns. It’s water-based nature also makes it a lot easier to clean up as soon as you are through with the project.
One of its unique features is the presence of zinc, a metal that has a reputation due to its usage in coating steel, well it does more than just coating thanks to the chemical properties it possesses. The zinc oxide present in this product protects the wood from potential damage by ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Usually, the UV rays from the sun cause the degradation of the wood, which results in rotting. Considering that this product resists UV, it guarantees your deck a prolonged lifespan.
When it comes to longevity, you get the best out of this product. Usually, you will find this product lasting a year or two longer than its peers’ thanks to several protective components that come along.
Its manufacturers will tell you that they only choose the best quality resins in the market for this product, something that you will find easier to accept after using this product.
The Summary of Top Feature
- It seals and protects composite wood
- Comes with anti UV rays protection
- Prevents discoloration on composite wood
- Dries into a clear protection
- It’s friendly to the environment and water-based
- Easy to clean
- Contains no toxic substances
- Its compounds include zinc for resistance against UV rays
- This product resists mold as well as mildew
- Superior lifespan compared to its peers
- It’s a bit expensive
- Needs multiple coats
- Does not offer so much of shine
10. Star Brite Golden Teak Oil Sealer
Star Brite Golden Teak Oil Sealer is a top standard sealer for marine teak as well as other types of woods.
On top of that, it preserves and offers the wood a fantastic finish. This product is oil-based hence protect the wood from damage due to harsh weather conditions and possible exposure to salty water. It works best for outdoor furniture, decks, and so much more.
When looking to apply this sealer, it’s essential that you first clean the wood and allow it to dry before proceeding with your projects. Feel free to use a sponge, brush, or white cloth.
NOTE: During the application, ensure that you rub the sponge/brush in the direction of wood grain as it will allow for the absorption of the oil by the wood.
Allow the oil to settle for about 5 minutes before wiping off any excess oil using a clean cloth.
The Summary of Top Features
- It’s created using natural oils subjected to ultra-refining; in that time, there’s the formation of high molecular weight polymers via chemical modification. A process that enables the sealer to protect wood against extreme environmental conditions.
- It’s a blend of different additives, which enables it to protect the wood from discoloration and graying due to extended exposure to direct sunlight and the possible effects of UV rays.
- This formula has top-class tung oil polymers that make the wood have a warm natural golden appearance that stands the test of time.
- It’s usable on wooden products in pools such as boats.
- It dries very fast and easily applied.
- It’s created to correctly work with teak wood as well as other fine woods
- It gives a teak a warm golden glow and at the same time enhance its natural appearance.
- It has a strong resistance to exposure to salty water.
- It protects wooden structures from UV rays damage.
- The application process is involving as the wood needs cleaning, scrubbing, and rinsing before letting it dry.
- It’s relatively expensive.
11. SEAL-ONCE NANO+POLY Penetrating Wood Sealer – Long Lasting Option
SEAL-ONCE NANO+POLY Premium Wood Sealer is a combination of nanotechnology formula and the strength of polyurethane to offer total protection to your wood. The presence of NANO forms a lasting finish that gives room for the expansion and contraction of the wood. The POLY, on the other hand, offers added protection against potential wear and tear in an area that faces increased traffic.
This sealer is not like the other ones that only form a top-layer, NANO+POLY in it goes deep into the wood to create a lasting, waterproof shield all over the wood fibers and deep into the cells.
The fact that it offers in-depth protection against water infiltration does an excellent job of preventing the wood from rotting, mold, and mildew. Furthermore, this product provides stability to the wood through the elimination of cupping and cases of warping.
If you are thinking about preserving your old or new wood as well as prolonging its life, then this is the product that you should buy.
NANO+POLY offers protection against the dangerous UV radiation from the sun. It has UV rays blockers that help prevent fading and losing the natural color of the wood.
The Summary of Top Features
- This product is water-based and has Ultra-Low VOC
- It’s friendly to the environment, contains no toxic substances and odorless
- Not harmful to pets, plants, and humans
- Penetrates deep into the wood
- Forms a flexible and breathable barrier
- Water-resistant hence prevents mold, mildew and the rotting of wood
- Offers stability to the wood thus stop warping
- Has UV protection
- Prolongs the natural life of the wood
- Easy to clean using soap and water
- Can last up to 10 years
- Offers deep penetration
- It’s water-based
- Comes with an excellent scratch resistance
- It’s a relatively expensive product
- Wood turn gray with time
12. Agra-Life TriCoPolymer Lumber Seal – Indoor/Outdoor Clear Wood Sealer
Agra-Life TriCoPolymer Lumber Seal doesn’t need an introduction. Its reputation precedes it as a reliable sealant with a significant Return on Investment (ROI). One characteristic of this sealant that makes it stand out is it having no toxins, which make it eco-friendly. Furthermore, this product comes with no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and cures into a plastic-like coating.
Its application is as easy as it can be, you don’t have to worry about your children if they happen to be interested in helping you with the work. It poses no threats to pets and plants as well.
This product is perfect for both external and internal use. Most of the people who have used it claim that it can add extra years of lifespan to fence posts, sidings, and shingle siding. It, however, works best with decks because it has a thick, glossy finish that is slippery when wet.
Lumber Seal works comfortably with most water-based paints and stains, which makes it suitable for use on fences, garden trellis, gazebo, and a lot more.
Note: It’s a sealer with great protective features, it’s the first choice for home repairs following floods and hurricane attacks- the world’s top-rated flood sealant
The Summary of Top Features
- Has zero VOC
- It’s friendly to the environment
- Reputable for lasting at least thrice longer than the ordinary
- For both interior and exterior usage
- Great for “one-side up” stage for sealing plywood and studs and offer them protection against water damage
- It resists ultraviolet rays, rain, rot, molds, and insects.
- Slippery when wet, which makes it inappropriate for walking surfaces.
- Poor application can result in discoloration over time.
- It becomes sticky as time passes by due to its thickness.
Best Outdoor Wood Sealer Buyer’s Guide
Essential Factors To Consider Whenever You Want to Buy an Outdoor Wood Sealer
It’s not always advisable that you just go to your local store and pick any sealing product that you find as it might not get your job done. To settle for the best product for your project, you need to look at and compare different critical factors before making an informed decision.
Here are some factors that you must look into so that you can settle for the product that can perform to your satisfaction
The Location of Your Project
How is the climate of your area? You must always ask yourself this question. The answer you get will determine the type of wood sealer that you buy. If your region, for example, experiences moderate climate conditions it’s okay to pick any sealer you find.
With extreme temperatures, extra consideration is necessary to ensure that your wooden structures get maximum protection.
Impact on the Environment
There are wood sealers that have VOCs; such sealers, therefore, emit fumes which are always toxic. These fumes are not suitable for humans, plants, and even animal health. Developing a tendency to pick products with zero VOCs is excellent as you will be doing your environment a great favor. You will also protect yourself from the effects of inhaling these fumes, such as headaches and breathing complications.
Products that contain a lot of Volatile Organic Compounds have a reputation for damaging the kidney as well as the central nervous system.
Where/Material it is Applied
Sealers are different and work well with different surfaces and materials. For you to get the best possible result, your choice of a sealer must be perfect or at least near perfect for the stuff that it’s supposed to protect.
Therefore, ensure that the sealer you buy is what you need and the best fit for your project.
A good number of sealers are transparent and give your wooden structure that exquisite look. There are, however, some like #1 Deck Premium that is both a stain and sealant. This sealer is semi-transparent and comes in different colors, such as Cedar, Dark Walnut, Natural finishes, and Light Walnut. Therefore, be keen to see that the product you settle on gives you precisely what you need in the end.
Method of Application
Not all sealers share the mode of application; however, a good number of them only require that you use a sturdy brush. Some call for the use of paint rollers or even spraying bottles. To get proper work done on your project, ensure that you are in a position to meet application requirements for different application methods.
The LifeSpan of The Sealer
Sealers work differently and, for that reason, have a different lifespan. Some products last longer than their counterparts; there are some that are more expensive than the others and require more or little maintenance practice.
Most of the cheap products may not necessarily last longer, choosing a product that will serve you for a longer duration is always the best even if it means that you are going to spend a lot of money on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I approximate the quantity of sealer I need?
A gallon of deck sealer, for instance, can comfortably cover an area range of 200-300 square feet. The thickness of the coat says a lot regarding that area of your coverage. It’s therefore essential that you take measurements of the area of your project so that you are well aware of the number of gallons that can serve you right.
- How long does it take a sealer to dry?
Most sealers take less than 48 hours to dry, but only when your project gets direct sunlight. In the cases where you are working under shades like big trees, your project would need a little longer to dry, usually not more than 72 hours.
- How do I apply the sealer?
Well, the first thing when looking to apply your wood sealer is to ensure that your area of application is clean. Allow it to dry before proceeding. Applying with a brush gives you a lot of control during the entire process. All you should do is making long and steady strokes like the one on the painting of walls.
If you are looking to have your job done faster, then use paint rollers. The only disadvantage is that you have less control. Sprays are even quicker but with similar effects as rollers-least control.
NOTE: Double-check your project to ensure that all the parts are well covered before you call it a day with your projects.
- How frequently should I have my deck re-sealed?
Resealing your wood after every one year is an excellent way to help extend its lifespan. As for the stains, there is a requirement that you do it at least twice a year.
You can also know when’s the right time to re-seal your wooden structure by carrying out a simple experiment. Sprinkle some water on the deck, if the water remains on the surface than your seal is still functional and does not necessarily require reworking. If the water sips into the wood, then you should consider redoing it.
Choosing the best outdoor sealers uplifts the look of your wooden structures. If you have intentions of giving your deck a much-improved look, then you should be in a position to settle for the product that answers all your questions. In this guide, we have put together some of the best outdoor sealers you can find in the market today.
With our discussions here, we have made it easy for you to settle for the best product for your different needs when it comes to outdoor wood sealing. The ball is in your court, make your choices!