7 Best Outdoor Furniture Stain- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Image of bench, you can protect it using Best Outdoor Furniture Stain

If you have outdoor wood furniture, you need to protect them from damaging elements such as water and the UV rays from sunlight. Staining is one such way that you can use to protect your structures outdoor, and in this case, you need the best outdoor furniture stain for your exterior furniture projects.

With so many stains in the market, it could be overwhelming to pick the right one. In the end, a lot of buyers spend their money on the wrong products. To help curb that, I have reviewed the best outdoor furniture stains that you can buy to get the best out of your woodworking projects. I’ve also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide with finer details regarding the features of these products that you must know before choosing the right ones for your projects.


Best Outdoor Furniture Stain Comparison Table


Best Outdoor Furniture Stain Buyer’s Guide

Here are some of the most important things that you need to know about stains if you are looking to get the right product for your exterior furniture.

Types of Stain

  • Solid Stains

These stains have a solid color and cover the surface entirely. These types of stains are best when you are looking to seal old and weathered wooden structures. Hence, the cover wood grains are not recommended in cases where you’d like to expose the grains on your furniture. Such cases would be on new wooden structures that are still strong and you would like to see the wood’s natural beauty for as long as possible.

These stains need just about 24 hours to dry, you should always ensure that you don’t apply stain in midday when the sun is straight overhead and scorching. Direct sunlight will not give you the best results because evaporation won’t let the stain soak into the wood pores which can affect the effectiveness of the formula.

  • Semi-Solid Stains

If you are looking to expose your wood’s natural beauty through the grains, use the semi-solid stains for your exterior projects. Applying up to two coats of this type of stain gives you an almost identical effect as a solid stain. With a properly prepared surface, a semi-solid deck stain can last up to 4 years on your wood.

Just like other stains, you’d expect a single coat of semi solid stain to work just right for your wooden structures.

  • Transparent Stains

They are the best stains for new wood. Most people prefer them on newly installed decks or even picnic tables. These stains allow the grains on your wood to show through and are best for those who love the original appearance of the wood, yet they’d still love to protect their structures.

  • Semi-Transparent Stains

These stains are perfect for wooden structures that have been around for some time and were coated previously with a transparent stain. The semi-transparent stain brings the best out of the original beauty of your wooden structures. It is excellent for older wood with the harshness of different environmental elements such as sunlight and water.

Note: A semi-transparent stain gives a slight change in the wood’s tone to provide a beautiful appearance.

  • Water-Based Stains

They are best when used underneath water-based finishes. These stains do not bond well with wood varnish or even oil-based stains unless you allow them to dry for weeks or more. One great thing about these stains is that they dry faster and are easy to clean.

  • Oil-Based Stains

They are the most common and readily available stains on the market. These formulas make it easy for users to work with them. The binders on these stains allow you enough time to remove the extra stain before it dries. 

Watch the video below on how to stain wood:

Factors to Consider Before Buying Outdoor Furniture Stain

  • The Color of Stain

Most people don’t find it hard to choose the right color of stain for their product. There are many colors of stains for every brand. Ensure that the one you buy is the right one for you and your deck. You can do a color test by purchasing small quantities of the stains and apply them on a piece of wood to assess the color before you make your orders.

  • The Protective Aspects

If you are going to buy a stain for your exterior wooden structures, ensure that the stain can protect your wood against water, UV light from the sun, molds, and mildew. Anything short of the features mentioned above might not completely protect your outdoor furniture and can lead to premature damaging to the structures.

  • Ease of Application

Go for wood stains that are not complicated to apply. Simple applications such as brushing or wipe on make work easier and save your time.

  • Durability of Stain

You don’t want to stain your outdoor furniture every few months. Therefore, ensure that you settle for a product that will last on your structure before you restain.

  • Price

Pricing is an essential factor that you should consider if you are going to pay more for a product, ensure that it has all the features that will entirely protect your outdoor furniture.

The Type of Wood

Stains act and perform differently on different types of wood. Some stains do well on softwood, others are great on hardwoods and even wicker furniture can be stained. Therefore, ensure that you are aware of your wood type before settling on a deck stain.


Best Outdoor Furniture Stain Products Review

In the product review section, I found it important to look at the individual products to clearly bring out their distinct features which I hope will make your work easier in picking the right stain for your outdoor wood furniture projects. Other than the features, I have included the advantages and limitations that come with the use of each formula. Keep reading for more insight.

1. Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood

The Ready Seal needs no introduction. It’s the overall best outdoor furniture stain if you are looking to preserve your exterior furniture. This formula does not require a wood primer to adhere to the surface. And you can apply it at any temperature. 

One fascinating property of this formula is it’s both a stain and a sealer in one. This formula comes with every quality that a woodworker would want in a stain. It is streak-free and runs free- a product that’s easy to use, even for beginner DIYers.

The sealant is built-in in this formula and does penetrate deep into the wood to provide excellent water resistance. Besides, the formula comes with both anti-mildew and anti-mold properties. Another recognizable feature of this formula is the strong resistance to UV rays, which help guard the wood against fading and discoloration.

This stain is excellent for exterior wood furniture such as picnic tables, etc.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The stain needs no primer. When you first apply it, this formula is dark and reaches its actual color in approximately 14 days. Avoid applying Ready Seal over painted or newly stained wooden surfaces as they inhibit the penetration formula’s penetration.
  • You can apply it using a sprayer, roller, or brush.
  • The formula does not require back brushing and does not leave runs, laps, or streaks.
  • This product does not require a wet-line application as it can blend itself
  • You can apply any temperature range for proper application.
  • No need for diluting or thinning before spray applications.


  • It’s both a stain and sealer
  • The formula provides Professional-Grade Finish
  • It does not need /Priming/Sanding
  • Anti-Mildew/Anti-Mold
  • UV Protection
  • Water-Proof
  • The formula comes with deep penetration


  • It is hard to clean.
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2. DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

Defy gives us another best outdoor furniture stain in this water-based exterior stain formula. Thanks to its water-based nature, this formula is an environmental product intended for decks, pressure treated wood, picnic, and wooden patio furniture.

This formula allows your wood’s natural beauty to show through a semi-transparent coat with a matte finish. It contains a top quality resin that makes it extra durable and resistant to weather and scratching. The resin further offers protection against discoloration. Moreover, this formula contains zinc nano-particles that prevent the growth of mold.

With the protection against fading from this formula, you can guarantee your outdoor furniture’s extended service life. What’s even appealing about this stain is how easy it is to clean, thanks to its water-based properties.

You can apply using a standard paintbrush.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula contains Nano Light-Stabilizers that protect the wood against the dangerous UV rays from the sun.
  • It has nano-particles that prevent the growth of mold and algae
  • Its semi-transparent finish enhances the natural beauty of your structures
  • It’s both a stain and sealer
  • The formula is easy to clean using water and soap thanks to its water-based nature
  • It contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), this makes the formula friendly to the environment


  • It’s a durable formula
  • You can use the formula in many areas like fences, decks, fences, play areas, etc.
  • The formula gives a natural matte finish.


  • It requires a maintenance coat regularly.
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3. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL Transparent Waterproofing Stain

Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain is a reliable formula when it comes to the protection of outdoor furniture. The formula is both a stain and a sealer, which is a bonus to your exterior furniture as it eliminates the need to buy a stain and a sealer separately. 

You can find Thompson’s WaterSeal Stain in five different color choices with each providing a natural wood grain hue. It is best used as an exterior wood stain and wood protector as it allows the natural beauty of the wood grain to show through and further enhance the appearance through the addition of natural color to the surface of the wood.

What’s more about this formula is the ability to exceed Industry Standard ASTM D-4446 for waterproofing wood. Moreover, the same advanced polymer responsible for a waterproof feature provides fade-resistance. This formula is also mildew resistant and comes with protection against UV damage. Besides, it dries to the touch in about 1-2 hours.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula Prevents Water Damage
  • It comes with Advanced Polymers that Provide Fade Resistant Color
  • The layers Resist Mildew and UV Damage
  • You can apply the formula to Freshly Cleaned Damp or Dry Wood


  • It is a fast-drying formula
  • Allows the natural beauty of wood to show by exposing the grains
  • Available in multiple colors


  • The surface needs preparation before you apply it.
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4. #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, Siding

What makes this product the best outdoor furniture stain is its ability to serve as both stain and sealer. This formula is a semi-transparent finish that gives a flat and natural appearance. It’s water-based, which makes it friendly to the environment.

For the best results possible, I recommend that you use this formula with softwoods in outdoor projects. It offers protection against moisture as well as UV light. This product comes with a low odor, and you can clean it easily using water and soap. 

This formula is for exterior use; if necessary, you can thin it using mineral spirits, or else the mixture of the sealer mixture will deteriorate.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s both a stain and sealer
  • The formula is available in 5 adorable, solid color finishes 
  • It almost has no smell and contains low VOCs (<60 g/L)
  • You can easily clean the formula because of its water-based nature
  • The formula does well on horizontal and vertical surfaces of pressure-treated wood, cedar, pine, etc.


  • This formula offers protection against UV rays.
  • It’s available in up to 5 different colors for flexibility in the choice
  • You can clean it with ease
  • The formula is useful on horizontal and vertical wooden surfaces


  • This formula stains easily.
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5. KILZ Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain

If you love KILZ products and look for the best outdoor furniture stain from this fantastic brand, you should consider Kilz Semi-transparent Waterproofing Exterior Wood Stain. This formula is designed for the treatment and protection of outdoor wood products. 

The formula is 100% acrylic with advanced protection against rain, snow, and sun damages on your wooden decks, sidings, railings, shingles, patio furniture, fences, and shakes.

You can find this stain in 9 colors, with each of the color choices, appear more or less similar to the traditional wood grain color hues. Using this formula guarantees your outdoor structures durable waterproofing abilities and a mildew-resistant finish that can resist rugged outdoor conditions.

It is recommended that you use this stain on exterior wood surfaces that are new or moderately weathered. You can also use it on products with anywhere from 0-10 years of exposure. You need to prepare your surface when applying this formula, especially when it is not brand new and clean.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s an excellent exterior wood stain that offers durable protection, waterproofing, and a mildew-resistant finish
  • The formula is 100% Acrylic and protects wood from rain, snow, and UV damage. You can use it on multiple surfaces such as decks, railings, shingles, sidings, wood patio furniture, shakes, fences, etc.
  • It is a semi-transparent stain that provides a mildew-resistant finish. 
  • The formula has a coverage of up to 250 square feet for the first layer and up to 500 square feet for the second one.
  • For best results let the cleaned area to dry at least 24 hours before coating. Lightly sand the surface to remove remaining wood fibers/fuzz. 
  • You can apply the formula using a pad applicator, nylon/polyester brush, or high-quality pump sprayer.


  • The formula comes with UV protection
  • It is a mildew-resistant finish
  • You can easily clean it with water
  • The acrylic formula protects the surfaces from rain, snow, and sun


  • You need to prepare the surface for the best results possible.
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6. Old Masters Gel Stain

This stain from Old Masters contains high pigmentation; if you are looking for the best outdoor furniture stain that will give you intense coloring, then you should consider this formula. One great thing about this formula is that you can use it both on interior and exterior woodworking projects. 

It’s suitable for woods, metals, fiberglass, as well as composite products. You need to apply just one coat to get your job done. It comes in a one-quart of a very rich Dark Walnut stain.

What separates this product from the rest is its incredibly vibrant colors. Additionally, the formula is extra thick, making it the best choice for exterior applications as it does not fade over long periods.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula comes with intense colors
  • You can apply it on both interior and exterior surface
  • You can apply it on multiple surfaces including metals and fiberglasses
  • It is thick making it great for outdoor uses
  • It does not fade over extended durations


  • It’s a thick Formula
  • Resistant To Fading
  • It does well on painted surfaces
  • You can apply it using brushes, rollers, and even clothes


  • It’s hard to clean
  • The formula is not weather resistant
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7. Wolman Durastain

Wolman DuraStain is among the best outdoor furniture stains that you can find in the market today. With this formula, you get a one coat semi-transparent Stain with a water-based product that guarantees your wooden structures excellent retention of color. Additionally, it comes with adhesive properties that you can get in a wood stain. 

This product has protective features such as resistance to UV light. You can use it one pressure treated wood to provide waterproofing features and resistance to mildew in just a single coat. 

The boasts of “neverwet” hydrophobic technology features give it the ability to repel water to reduce the chances of wood splitting, cracking, and warping.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The stain can block damages by UV rays
  • It protects the wood from splitting
  • The formula gives a semi-transparent finish
  • You can apply it on numerous structures such as decks, fences, porches, shingles, shake, as well as clapboard siding. 


  • It’s an eco-friendly formula 
  • It comes with ease of cleaning -water and soap
  • The formula is easy to apply
  • The product resists graying for up to one year.


  • It has a strong odor
  • The initial application of this formula is horrible.
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At this point, you are aware of the best outdoor furniture stain that you should consider. You are also aware of the many factors that you need to consider before you buy a stain. If you can apply the two paints, you will end up with the best finish for your structure.

The overall best stain for outdoor furniture is Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood. This formula comes with all the qualities a woodworker would want in an exterior stain.

Do you have an opinion about this article? Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.