The Best Deck Stain for Cedar: Top 7 Picks for 2021

deck stain

In this article, you’ll discover the top 7 best deck stains for Cedar. But first, a brief overview of Cedar and why it’s necessarily to stain it.

Cedar is classified as an aromatic softwood that belongs to the family of Pinaceae. It has a fragrant smell and pale yellow color, which becomes darker with age. 

Because it is porous, cedar can retain water for long periods; it also releases sap when cut. Due to these very properties, cedar deck stain will require extra caution during application.

As deck stains for cedar offer protection against weather conditions like heat or moisture, they need to be applied on decks every couple of years. 

However, not all brands are preferred by consumers because some are more durable than others, while others have a better appearance after application.

Here’s a top list of Best Deck Stain for Cedar:

1. Koppers KoppersRestORE 50-Year Wood Stain

Koppers KoppersRestORE 50-Year Wood Stain provides a protective shield that lasts up to 50 years while enhancing the natural beauty of exterior wood. 

It contains mildewcides and fungicides, making it ideal for combating mold formation due to adverse weather conditions. 

The product can be applied to new or weathered wood surfaces. Commonly used on decks, fences, railings, sheds, gazebos, and playhouses. 

Pros: Appearance is improved Allows color to age naturally Can be applied on damp surfaces.

Cons: Costs more than other products in the market May need multiple coatings

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have tried it so far. One user said he was able to use it on a weathered deck and it made his old faded fence visually beautiful. 

Another customer purchased this coating for her gazebo and was satisfied with the result, saying that she won’t need to redo anything on her gazebo for another two years.

2. Kilz Premium Wood Stain

Kilz Premium Wood Stain is an alcohol-based formula that provides excellent masking of wood stains, as well as protection against water damage, mildew growth, and other potential threats to your home’s exterior. 

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have already tried using it on their decks or fences. 

One user described it as very easy to apply with a brush or roller – just make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned the surface before applying the stain. 

Pros: Provides a beautiful finish Can be applied on damp surfaces Dries quickly with minimal odor. 

Cons: Smell is a little strong May need multiple coatings

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have tried it so far. One user said that this is the best coating he has ever used – it looked like it had been stained even before application as the pre-coating turned his deck boards black. 

Another customer was able to use Kilz on her fence and even though she didn’t do multiple coats, she was satisfied with the result as it gave her more than what she paid for.

3. Kool Deck Stain 

Kool Deck Stain provides a protective shield against harsh weather conditions and other environmental hazards that may damage your deck or fence over time. It’s water-resistant and comes in a variety of colors

This product is also fast drying so you can use it to add color to your deck even while you’re entertaining guests inside the house. 

Pros: Offers flexibility in terms of application Allows color to age naturally Can be applied on damp surfaces.

Cons: May need multiple coatings

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have tried it so far. One user said that he didn’t know if this was really a stain or paint. 

Although, either way, it worked well for his fence and patio because the finish was very good and he got good value for his money. 

Another customer said that she was able to use Kool Deck Stain & Finish without any difficulty, not only on her fence but on the entire exterior of her house as well.

4. Tec Labs Wood Stain

Tec Labs Wood Stain is an excellent choice if you want to protect your deck’s surface from the damaging effects of harsh weather conditions and other environmental hazards that may cause wood decay or rust. 

It can be used for both new and weathered wood surfaces. 

Pros: Fast-drying Can be applied on damp surfaces Looks natural 

Cons: Requires multiple coats Smell is a little strong

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have tried it so far. One user said that she was able to stain her deck in just two hours, without any streaks being seen even after drying up. 

Another customer shared that he bought this stain because his DIY project called for a water-resistant coating and Tec Labs Wood Stain has not disappointed him.

5. Turtle Wax Deck & Fence Wood Stain

Turtle Wax Deck & Fence Wood Stain is a semi-transparent formula that can revitalize surfaces even when it’s weathered. 

This product is also long-lasting, making sure that your deck or fence will look beautiful for years to come. 

Pros: Can be applied on damp surfaces provides a beautiful finish Easy to apply Cons: Smell is very strong May need multiple coatings It may drip if you don’t apply it in the right way

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have already tried using it on their decks and fences. 

One user was happy with his purchase because this stain made his old wooden picnic table look like new again. 

Another user said that he was able to stain his fence and it dried up very quickly, giving him the results that he wanted.

6. Zar Deck Stain

Zar Deck Stain is a 100% environmentally-friendly wood stain that offers excellent protection against harsh weather conditions and other environmental hazards. 

It’s teak oil-based so this product will also make your deck look nice while keeping it moisturized. 

Pros: Provides a beautiful finish Can be applied on damp surfaces Dries quickly with minimal odor 

Cons: Smell is a little strong May need multiple coatings

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have already tried using it on their decks or fences. 

One customer shared that she liked how fast Zar Deck Stain went into her deck’s surface because it was dry enough to walk on within just an hour. 

Another user said that his fence looked really great after applying this stain, giving him added protection against harsh weather conditions and other environmental hazards.

7. Tuftex Polyurethane Stain

Tuftex Polyurethane Stain is a water-based wood stain that’s designed to penetrate deep into your deck or fence. It is a protective barrier that can protect the surface from any damage brought by sun rays, moisture, snow, ice, and other types of elements. 

Pros: Dries quickly with minimal odor The finish comes out very nice Can be applied on damp surfaces 

Cons: Smell is a little strong Requires multiple coats 

May need additional preparation before you start staining your deck or fence (e.g., cleaning the surface thoroughly).

This product received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have already tried using it for their decks or fences. 

One user said that Tuftex Polyurethane Stain is excellent at protecting wood against harsh weather conditions and other environmental hazards, even after just one coat. 

Another satisfied customer shared that this stain gave his deck a nice finish without any splotches, making the deck look better than when he first built it.

deck stain for cedar

Source

Here is a list of some other common types of deck stains for cedar:

Alkyd-based stains:

The best deck stain for Cedar is Alkyd Stains.  These are oil-based stains that provide good protection against wear and tear on wooden surfaces. 

These types of stains form a film on the surface which makes it smooth and protects the wood from spills, dirt, grease, UV rays, etc.  

Some of the most common types of alkyd stains include acrylic alkyds, modified alkyds, and water-resistant alkyds.

How to apply Alkyd Stain?

These stains are applied via paint sprayer or by hand brush especially on handrails or decorative parts which look very nice when stained properly. 

Make sure you have prepared the surface by cleaning it properly before you apply this stain. 

You can also use alkyd primer first on the surfaces which are very porous so that the stain can be absorbed better and applied evenly.

Oil-based stains:

These stains are suitable for all types of wood including cedar, redwood, etc. The best part about this type of stain is that they are very easy to clean as compared to other types of stains available in the market today. 

These stains penetrate deep into wooden surfaces making them stronger and more durable than ever before. They are used on decks, fences, log homes, etc.

Aluminum oxide crystals are added in oil-based stains which make them glossier and shinier but at the same time, they are not as protective as alkyd stains are. 

These can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Make sure you use an oil-based primer before applying the stain so that the wooden surface absorbs it better.

Water-based stains

As the name suggests, these types of stains are water-soluble which means that you have to clean them manually after every 2 months. 

These stains do not offer much protection against UV rays or severe weather conditions but they look good on decks since they provide natural, deep color shades which cannot be obtained by any other type of stain. 

They are also suitable for old wood surfaces which were never stained before. If you want to change the shade without adding any additional layers of paint then this is the right choice for you.

How to choose the best deck stain for cedar?

Now that you know about each type of stain available in the market, it is time to understand how to select one for your decking surfaces. 

Even though alkyd stains provide better protection as compared to oil-based or water-based stains, they are a bit pricey as well. If budget is not an issue then go with alkyd stains otherwise use a cheaper alternative. 

It all depends on your preference and choice. But make sure you do some research before splurging your hard-earned money on anything.

There are many reviews available online from customers who have already used these stains before so be sure to check those reviews online before making a decision. 

The next thing to consider is the color. Most stains are available in different colors, choose something which looks good to you. 

Also, keep in mind that a darker shade of stain might hide the wood grain. Lighter shades will bring out the natural beauty of your decking surface. Do not hesitate to use bright colors if they look nice on wooden surfaces. 

Finally, go with one which can be easily cleaned and maintained because who likes to spend their time cleaning stains after every couple of weeks?

Deck stain brands

Armstrong ClarkBehr Premium Wood StainBenjamin Moore ArborCoatCabot Australian Timber OilDefy Extreme
Oil-Based Penetrating StainWater Based Acrylic Filming StainingWater Based Acrylic Filming StainingOil-Based Penetrating StainWater Based Penetrating Stain
Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-SolidSemi-TransparentSemi-SolidSemi-TransparentSemi-Transparent
1-2 Coats2 Coats1 Coat Base, 1 Top Coat1 Coat1-2 Coats wet on wet
200-250 Sq. Feet Per Gallon150-250 Sq. Feet Per Gallon150-250 Sq. Feet Per Gallon150-250 Sq. Feet Per Gallon100-200 Sq. Feet Per Gallon
Paint Thinner CleanupWater CleanupWater CleanupPaint Thinner CleanupWater Cleanup
4-12 Hours Drying4 Hours Drying4 Hours Drying4-24 Hours Drying1-4 Hours Drying
Compliant All StatesCompliant All StatesCompliant All StatesCompliant All StatesCompliant All States

Conclusion

Overall it’s best to consider all of your possible options as well as the various types of stains that are available before deciding on a product.  

Choosing something that you’re not completely satisfied with will only result in additional work down the road. 

It’s best to do your homework and find a quality option from the beginning.