5 Best Stain for Old Deck- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide


We all know that “old is gold,” and this has a lot to tell when it comes to old decks, as a deck owner, you should take care of your structure. Staining is one of the best ways that you can use in the preservation of your weathered deck. If you go the staining way, ensure that you buy the best stain for old deck to get excellent results.

There are quite a lot of deck stains in the market, and so many people find it hard to pick the product that suits their needs as far as staining of the old deck is concerned. I understand how hard it can be for you to spend your hard-earned money on the wrong product. Therefore, to help you get it right, I’ve reviewed the best stains for old deck that you can buy for your woodworking projects.

Additionally, I’ve included a buyer’s guide to help you with decision making before settling on a deck stain for your weathered deck.

Best Stain for Old Deck Comparison Table

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Best Stain for Old Deck Buyer’s Guide

This guide should help you get the very best stain that you can use for your old deck. I’ve provided detailed information on different stains and how they help restore weathered woods. I’ve also included steps that you can follow to ensure you do the best staining work possible on your deck.

How to Stain an Old Weathered Deck?

Wooden decks make an essential part of your homestead, and that is why you need to take good care of yours. If left untreated for long, they become susceptible to harmful environmental elements like water and sunlight. The moment you see the surface of your deck starting to peel, you should consider staining it. Here’s how to stain your old deck.

  • Repair the Deck

The very first thing that you need as you prepare to stain your deck is to repair it. Inspect and identify any cracks and repair them using wood fillers. Alsotighten loose board and railings using decking screws.

  • Clean Your Deck

Cleaning should follow the first step. Here, you should use a wood deck cleaner, as long as your deck is sound structurally, you can always clean it. The pressure washer is another tool that you can use to clean your deck. It helps with the removal of mold, mildew, dirt, as well as graying.

  • Brightening the Surface

Deck brightening follows the cleaning. It takes a few simple steps to bring your old wood back to life. If you are looking to enhance the wood texture, do so by applying the wood brightener over the surface when the wood is still wet. This process plays a vital role in opening the pores for improved stain.

Watch the video below on how to stain an old deck:

Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Best Deck Stain for Old Deck

You must be aware of the stain that will work perfectly with your deck. A perfect understanding of the best product for your project would help you attain the best finish. Here are some of the factors that you need to consider when looking to buy the best product in the market:

  • Color and Opacity of the Stain

It’s an essential step towards getting the right product for staining. Color determines how your deck surface will look. If you prefer the natural appearance, then you should go for the transparent/clear wood stain. 

If you need a slight tone to the texture, then using a semi-transparent deck stain is the best way to go. Such stains enhance the natural beauty of the wood by showing the grain.

Furthermore, there are solid stains that give darker colors to your surfaces, which is excellent for covering significant imperfections.

  • Type of Wood

If you built your deck using expensive hardwoods such as Mahogany, you would realize that such woods comes with gorgeous grain and texture with so much shine. For such a case, I’d recommend the use of a semi-transparent stain. You should consider using softer wood types like pressure-treated cedar to use semi-solid and solid stains.

  • Testing of the Samples

To get the perfect product for your deck, you can always choose to test different shades and types of deck stains on the actual wood that you intend to coat. Take a block of similar lumber and apply different sample stains in small quantities until you get the one that gives the most appealing look to your eyes.

  • Level of Protection

Different wood stains come with various protective features. If you are going to use a stain in the exterior environment, it would be best if the stain can protect against environmental factors such as UV light, water, and a lot more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many stains do I Need to Purchase?

Factors such as the coverage of each stain and the size of your surface that you intend to stain will affect the amount of stain you should buy. It depends on the coverage offered by each stain and the area you want to paint. Wood porosity also plays an essential role in determining the amount of wood stain that you need.

What is the shelf life of a stain?

You should always ensure that you keep your stain between 50°F to 80°F. Try as much as you can to keep your stain away from sunlight. With proper storage, especially after using the stain is up to one year. 

Can I dilute or water down stains?

I’d advise against the dilution of stain. All the stains come with a unique thickness; adding water or diluting will likely compromise the quality of the final product.


Best Stain for Old Deck Reviews

Here’s my list of the very best deck stain you can consider even as you look to restore your old deck and to accord it further protection against destructive elements such as water, molds, and UV light. Read on for more…

1. DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

This Defy stain is one of the most reliable products if you are looking to give your old deck a new look with enhanced protection. One fantastic feature of this formula is that it comes with up to 7 different beautiful colors. The instructions on how to use this product are simple to apply; above all, this wood stain is long-lasting. 

The formula is water-based, which makes it environmentally friendly. It enhances the natural beauty of wood by exposing the wood grain, thanks to its beautiful semi-transparent, natural matte finish. You can use this formula on old wood decks, fences, siding, play-sets, etc.

One other reason you should consider this formula is because it acts more like sunscreen for your deck. It contains tiny zinc particles spread throughout the stain; these particles are responsible for reflecting the damaging UV rays, which, in turn, prevents discoloration of your wooden surface.

The manufacturers of DEFY Extreme wood stains used the best quality resins in the creation of this formula, which is why I have reviewed it as the best stain for old deck. These resins play an essential role in the prevention of fading, as well as darkening. This product lasts for one season or two more than other similar products on the market.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s a water-based semi-transparent wood stain that is friendly to the environment.
  • The formula comes fortified using zinc nanoparticles, which protect the wood against harmful UV lights.
  • This product contains very high-quality resins that resist fading as well as darkening. As a result, it adds durability to your deck.
  • The product is easy to maintain.

DEFY Extreme Wood Stain, the best Best Stain for Old DeckAdvantages

  • The formula is durable, lasts a season or two longer than other stains
  • Resists fading and darkening
  • It’s easy to maintain this formula
  • It’s water-based hence environmentally friendly
  • The formula has a strong resistance to mildew.


  • More transparent han semi transparent
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2. ECO-Safe Wood Treatment – Stain by Tall Earth Wood Preservatives

This Tall Earth’s formula is another stain that you should consider for your old deck. The formula is not toxic; it’s friendly to the environment and, above all, delivers a desirable quality wood finish.

When you use this formula in staining your old deck, it gives you finer tonal control. Consider applying several layers if you need a deeper, darker effect. Besides, you can dilute the mixture for a softer final product.

The formula gives you so much flexibility as you can apply it to the surface of different wood types such as Barnwood, sculptures, carvings, beautiful furniture, frames, wooden musical instruments, and many other wooden surfaces.

The manufacturers of this formula created it with so much thought on the environment. It’s an environmentally friendly product. It is safe to use, non-toxic, with no VOCs.

You can use this formula on bare wood surfaces of the wood or sanded surfaces.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula is non-toxic, contains no VOC; it’s friendly to the environment in general.
  • It mixes with water to make 3 Gallons with coverage of 450-600 square feet.
  • The product cures into a lovely silver or brown aged finish depending on the type of wood on your deck.
  • A single simple application guarantees an excellent penetration with no scraping, flaking. 
  • The formula is excellent on both indoor and outdoor wood projects such as fences, sidings, decks, furniture, marine applications, and so much more.


  • The formula is friendly to the environment
  • Has a wide area of coverage
  • No multiple coats required.


  • Some users questioned its penetration abilities.
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3. KILZ Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain, Semi-Transparent, Redwood

Features that make this product the best stain for old deck include the ability to offer lasting protection, waterproofing, plus resistance to mildew. Additionally, this formula maintains the integrity and natural beauty of wood in different outdoor structures by showing the wood grains. 

When you use this formula, you guarantee your deck enough protection against the dangerous UV rays and other aspects of the weather damaging the wood.

This formula is excellent for weathered and unsealed surfaces of wood with up to 10 years of exposure, such as decks, wood patio furniture, siding, railings, and fences. You can apply this formula by methods such as spraying or brushing.

A gallon of this Kilz stain can cover up to 250 sq. ft. for the first coat. The second layer can cover up to 500 sq. Ft. using the same amount of finish.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It offers protection to your wooden structure against rain, snow, and sun damage.
  • This formula is ideal for decks, siding, fences, etc.
  • The formula cures into a durable, Beautiful, and Long-Lasting.
  • It has excellent coverage.


  • The formula comes with good coverage which makes it great for large projects
  • Exposes the wood grain hence the natural beauty of the wood
  • It offers lasting protection
  • You can use it to cover different outdoor wooden projects.


  • User complaint of the color not being red
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4. Olympic Stain Elite Woodland Oil Stain

The Olympic Stain 80114-3 ELITE Woodland Oil Stain is one of the best stains for old deck that you can buy today. This formula is super-pigmented, It comes with ready-mix colors that use transparent iron oxide pigments to give intense color and excellent clarity and durability to your wooden surfaces. 

This amazing formula has an optimized blend of natural oils that provides exceptional color, which highlights the natural beauty of the wood by exposing wooden grains. You can use this formula on any properly prepared exterior wood surface, including fences, decks, siding, railings, exterior furniture, and other wood surfaces. 

The formula works well on new, pressure-treated wood, dry, uncoated new or old wood, a previously coated wood surface with a weathered feel, clear sealant, etc.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula comes with fantastic coverage of approximately 250 to 350 sq. ft. (23. 2 to 32. 5 sq. meters) for each gallon (3. 78 L) depending on the texture of the wood.
  • The drying time of the formula is with 24 hours, especially each time that you apply it in optimal temperatures of about 50ºF (10ºC) to 85ºF (29ºC). 
  • You should apply this formula 24 hours before it rains.
  • You can clean this formula using warm, soapy water.


  • It’s easy to clean using water and soap
  • It dries relatively faster
  • You can apply this formula on different wood surfaces.


  • Users reported chipping of surfaces.
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5. Olympic Elite Advanced Solid Color Stain and Sealant in One Advanced

Olympic ELITE Advanced Stain and Sealant in One does wonders when it comes to protecting your old decks. This product is a super-premium stain that unlocks and offers protection to the wood’s natural beauty thanks to its exceptional richness as well as the depth of color. 

The Olympic ELITE solid color stain comes with a rich, long-lasting low-luster, solid/opaque finish that seals the grain yet enhances wood texture. This formula is amazing for virtually all types of wood, even exotic hardwoods. The coverage of this formula is also great as a gallon, or 3.78 Liters can cover up to 350 to 500 sq. Ft. or 32.2 to 46.5 sq. Meters depending on how you apply the formula, the texture of the wood, and porosity. 

When it comes to application, you can apply it to temperatures as low as 35°F. You should apply two thin coats using a high-quality brush, stain pad, or spraying equipment. What makes this formula the best stain for old deck is the self-priming feature on most substrates. Above all, it has one of the fastest drying time of a stain standing at just 30 minutes when you apply it in optimal temperatures of 10°C to 29°C. 

If you are looking to add more coats, allow the formula a range of 2 to 4 hours between coats until you recoat.

Give your stained surface up to 24 to 48 hours to dry further before light foot traffic or rearranging your furniture. 

Note, the drying times of this formula may vary depending on the temperature, humidity, layers, color of the stain, and air movement. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is the best rated solid stain per Independent Consumer Study.
  • With this formula, you get Advanced Stain + Sealant in one that protects and beautifies your deck in one step.
  • The low-luster finish of this formula provides more dirt and mildew resistant coating than the standard flat solid color stains.
  • The formula is self-priming on most bare or previously coated wooden surfaces.


  • It a fast-drying formula
  • Has a great coverage 
  • Its both a stain and a sealant 
  • It’s a self-priming formula.
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Your old and weathered wood still needs protection for a prolonged life span. Staining still is one of the best ways to protect your wooden structure. There are different types of stain you can buy for your woodworking tasks. In this review, I’ve only provided the best products if you are looking to replenish your weathered deck.

I’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you settle on the best possible products. Based on many tests that I have conducted on stains, DEFY Extreme 1 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain, Cedar Tone is the overall best stain for old deckAll the products I have listed in this article will give you the much-needed quality when it comes to protecting your weathered wooden structures.

Let me know your thought and experience on staining the old deck in the comment section below. In the meantime, enjoy your shopping.

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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.