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Best Deck Stain for Cedar in 2022 | Top 8 Picks Revealed!

Best semi transparent stain

Cedar is a beautiful and widely used softwood for decks, but it’s also susceptible to weathering and staining. A stain can help protect cedar from bad stuff. If you don’t protect your cedar deck with a good stain, it will start to rot and decay.

A high-quality deck stain will help to repel water, resist mildew and UV damage, and provide a protective barrier against the elements. It also helps to restore the natural beauty of the wood. And, when it’s time to re-stain, a good wood stain will help.

Ultimately, the best deck stain for cedar wood provides protection with minimal maintenance. So how do you find and select the most appropriate stain?

No worries, we’re here for you. This article provides an overview of the top 8 deck stains for cedar, including what to look for in a quality product. We’ll also share some tips on how to stain your cedar wood surface.

Ready Seal Natural Cedar Exterior Stain

Storm System Sealer for Cedar Deck

DEFY Extreme Semi Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

8 Best Deck Stain for Cedar Wood Reviews

The cedar wood surface is naturally beautiful. When you first get it, the wood will look amazing. After a few years, it will deteriorate and become gray.

If you don’t want to lose the natural color of your cedar wood, you have to protect it with a good stain. By using the best cedar deck stain, you can keep your cedar wood looking great over time. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list:

1. Ready Seal Natural Cedar Exterior Stain

Ready Seal 512 is an exterior stain and sealer for wood that comes in natural cedar color. The sealer is meant to protect the wood from the elements, while the stain helps to deepen the color and add protection.

Key Features:

  • No lap marks, runs, or streaks
  • Can be applied at any temperature
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Does not require sanding or stripping for re-application

Ready Seal Natural Cedar Exterior Stain that does not require primer. When first applied, the color is the darkest but reaches its full color after approximately two weeks. It should not be applied over painted or newly stained surfaces, as these will inhibit penetration.

This seal is a deck stain that can be applied using a sprayer, roller, or brush. It’s designed to be applied to the surface of wood, and it comes in a variety of colors to choose from.

Ready Seal is a high-quality wood stain that can be applied regardless of the temperature. It’s perfect for cedar decks, as it requires no wet-line application and will blend itself.

The Ready Seal deck stain is a great product for cedar because it is easy to maintain and does not require sanding or stripping for re-application.

Ready Seal wood stain is a great product to use on a cedar because it is goof-proof. You don’t have to worry about any laps, runs, or streaks and you don’t have to back brush it. You can apply it at any temperature, making it easy to use.

Pros:

  • Requires no primer
  • No need to back brush
  • Ideal for cedar decks
  • Cure times 2 weeks

Cons:

  • Can’t be applied over stained cedar decks

Verdict:

The Ready Seal deck stain is a high-quality product that is perfect for cedar decks. It’s easy to apply and doesn’t require any sanding or stripping for re-application. It’s also goof-proof, so you don’t have to worry about any laps, runs, or streaks.


2. Storm System Sealer for Cedar Deck

The STORM SYSTEM sealer & stain protector is a deck protector meant to be used on cedar. It is a penetrating sealer that will protect the wood from water and UV damage, as well as staining. The stain will give the wood a rich, natural appearance.

Key Features:

  • Penetrating oil-based stain
  • Protects against water and UV damage
  • Gives wood a rich, earthy hue
  • Easy to apply with a brush, roller, or sprayer

Protecting your deck is important, and with this stain, you can keep your cedar looking beautiful while doing so. This storm system deck stain is oil-based, which means it will protect your wood from the elements while also sealing it in. Natural wood grain will be visible through the semi-transparent finish.

Storm System Sealer for Cedar Deck is a deep penetrating sealer that is perfect for protecting cedar from the elements. It will help to keep the wood looking rich and vibrant, while also providing added protection from rain, snow, and ice.

It is compatible with any wood species and can be used as a Mahogany sealer, Cedar sealer, Redwood stain, Pinewood stain, Cedar fence sealer, Douglas Fir stain, Spruce Stain, Pressure Treated, and Cypress stain.

When it comes to deck stains, Storm System is a great option for those who want to protect their cedar from the elements. It can be used on decks, fences, and other wood substrates, and it can help keep your wood looking new for decades.

Storm System deck stain is a great product for cedar. It can be applied easily with a brush, roller, or sprayer, and it provides lap-free application and ultraviolet protection.

Pros:

  • Oil-based formula
  • Semi-transparent finish
  • Lap-free application
  • UV protection

Cons:

  • It may be difficult to open the sealer

Verdict:

Storm System deck stain sealer is a great option for those who want to protect their cedar from the elements. It can be used on decks, fences, and other wood substrates, and it can help keep your wood looking new.


3. DEFY Extreme Semi Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

DEFY Extreme, cedar tone is a high-quality deck stain that will protect your cedar from the elements. It is a semi-transparent finish that allows the wood’s natural beauty to show through, and it comes in a cedar tone for a beautiful finish.

Key Features:

  • Zinc nano-particle technology for UV protection
  • Semi-transparent color for a natural finish
  • Water-based and VOC compliant
  • Easy to apply and clean up
  • Fade and darken resistant

The water-based semi-transparent wood stain allows the wood grain to show through with a beautiful semi-transparent and natural matte finish. It’s great for staining wood decks, siding, playsets, fences, outdoor patio furniture, and more.

DEFY deck stain for the cedar is fortified with zinc nano-particle technology, which serves as a wood sunscreen. The tiny zinc particles scattered throughout the stain reflect ultraviolet light, preventing premature fading and graying.

This DEFY Extreme Semi Transparent Exterior Wood Stain is also easy to apply and clean up, making it a great choice for those looking for a hassle-free staining experience. It is ideal for anyone looking to protect their cedar wood from fading and discoloration.

Made with the highest-grade resin, they are fade-resistant and darken-resistant, ensuring your deck will look great for quite a while. Whether you are looking for a cedar stain or something else, DEFY has you covered.

DEFY exterior wood stain for the cedar is a water-based and VOC-compliant product that is easy to apply and maintain. A single maintenance coat of DEFY Extreme Wood Stain will keep your cedar wood looking beautiful for decades.

Pros:

  • Water-based product
  • Hassle-free staining
  • The stain is semi-transparent
  • UV protection

Verdict:

If you are looking for a high-quality and durable deck stain for your cedar wood surface or cedar siding, DEFY is a great option. It is water-based and easy to apply, and it will protect your cedar from fading and discoloration.


4. Seal-Once Cedar Deck Sealer

Seal-Once Marine is a penetrating wood sealer, waterproofing stain, and stain that is water-based and emits low VOCs. It protects wood docks, piers, decks, and retaining walls from the elements and is meant to be used in high-moisture areas.

Key Features:

  • Penetrates wood to protect it from the elements
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Safe for people, pets, and plants
  • Can be applied with a variety of methods

Seal-Once is a water-based, non-toxic, low VOC deck stain that is safe for people, pets, and plants. It is available in a variety of colors and can be used on both new and existing decks. This product is easy to apply and dries quickly, making it a great choice for busy homeowners.

The Seal-Once Cedar Deck Sealer is a great product to use if you want to keep your wood deck looking fresh and new. This stain can be applied with a variety of methods including brushes, sprayers, and rollers. It is designed to penetrate the wood and protect it from the elements.

Initially, a thin coat should be applied and allowed to penetrate, then the second coat should be applied quickly afterward for best results. Seal-Once can be applied in the shade or out of direct sunlight.

This product’s dimensions are 12 x 12 x 12 inches and it weighs 9.04 pounds. So, if you’re looking for a durable and reliable deck sealer, the Seal-Once wood stain for the cedar is a great option to consider.

Pros:

  • Dries quickly
  • Easily applied
  • Non-toxic and low VOC
  • Durable and reliable

Cons:

  • Full coverage may require more than one coat

Verdict:

Seal-Once is a great option for protecting cedar decks from the elements. The product dries quickly, is easy to apply, and can be used on people, pets, and plants. This product is durable and reliable, even if it requires more than one coat.


5. Krylon Semi-Transparent Stain for Cedar

Krylon wood stain for the cedar is a great product for preserving and protecting your cedar deck and wood siding. A semi transparent stain allows the wood’s true beauty to show through, while the rustic brown color provides a rich, warm look.

Key Features:

  • UV-fade resistant and water repellent
  • Prevents the growth of mold and mildew
  • Holds up under tough conditions
  • Enhances the natural beauty of wood

This is a premium and durable stain that is perfect for wood decks and other wood surfaces. It provides durable protection against the elements while imparting a beautiful finish that enhances the natural beauty of wood. The stain is easy to apply and can be used on new or previously stained decks.

Krylon Semi-Transparent Stain for Cedar is a stain that is UV-fade-resistant and water-repellent. It can be used to protect your cedar wood from the harsh sun and weather. It will help keep your deck looking new for an extended period of time.

This stain for the cedar is a fast-drying product that provides even coverage. It’s designed to protect and enhance the natural beauty of cedarwood, and it dries quickly to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. The finish is smooth and flawless, and the product holds up under the toughest conditions.

Krylon exterior wood stain is a great option if you are looking for an easy way to stain your cedar wood surface. The convenient spray can make it simple to utilize, and the finish will protect your deck from harsh weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Semi-transparent stain
  • Even coverage
  • Flawless finish
  • Convenient spray

Cons:

  • The product sprays out a lot at once

Verdict:

Krylon deck stain for the cedar is a great product that will protect your deck and keep it looking new. The semi-transparent stain allows the beauty of wood to shine through while protecting it from the elements.


6. SaverSystems Cedar Semi Transparent Stain

SaverSystems deck wood stain is a premium wood stain that is perfect for fences, decks, and sidings. It comes in a cedar color and is available in 1-gallon containers. The stain is easy to apply and produces a beautiful finish.

Key Features:

  • Protects against color fade and prevents graying
  • Can be used on most softwoods
  • Hardwoods will require more frequent maintenance coats
  • Dries to a flat, natural-looking finish

The SaverSystems Cedar Semi Transparent Stain is a protectant against color fade and prevents graying. It can be used on pressure-treated pine, fir, redwood, cedar, or most other softwoods. Hardwoods will require more frequent maintenance coats.

This deck wood stain for the cedar is a unique dual-purpose stain and sealant that not only adds color to your wood but also seals it and prevents damage caused by water penetration. If you’re looking for a sturdy, durable solution to protecting your cedar deck, SaverSystems wood stain is definitely worth considering.

You can enhance the natural beauty of your exterior wood with SaverSystems cedar deck wood stain. The stain is available in five beautiful, semi-transparent colors that will dry to a flat, natural-looking finish. This will help to bring out the beauty of the wood grain and create a stunning visual effect.

SaverSystems deck stain for the cedar siding or wood surfaces is an environmentally friendly option for staining your deck. The low VOC content means that it is better for the planet, and the simple soap and water cleanup means that it is easy to keep clean.

Stains can be applied to damp wood, which reduces the waiting time between cleaning and staining. This makes it a quick and convenient option for those who want to get their deck looking its best as soon as possible.

Pros:

  • Semi-transparent
  • Five beautiful colors
  • Low VOC content
  • Soap and water cleanup

Verdict:

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly, quick, and easy way to stain your cedar deck, SaverSystems deck stain is a great option. Its low VOC content and easy cleanup make it a great choice for protecting your investment.


7. DEFY Clear Stain for Cedar

DEFY wood stain is a high-quality product that is designed to protect and enhance cedar wood. It delivers a beautiful, natural finish while providing durable protection against moisture and UV damage.

Key Features:

  • Zinc nanoparticle technology provides sunscreen protection
  • Prevents premature graying and loss of color
  • Formulated to resist mold and mildew growth
  • Premium resins for resistance to fading and darkening

DEFY Clear Stain for Cedar is a beautiful water-based stain that allows the wood grain to show through with a natural matte finish. It is perfect for staining wood decks, siding, fences, outdoor patio furniture, playsets, and more. DEFY wood Stain for Cedar produces a natural look that will enhance the beauty of your home.

For cedar decks, DEFY deck stain contains zinc nanoparticle technology, which acts as a sunscreen. Dispersed zinc particles disperse damaging ultraviolet rays, preventing premature graying and loss of color. This wood stain is also formulated to resist mold and mildew growth, for a durable finish.

They’re created with premium resins, which means they have better resistance to fading and darkening. This makes them a great choice for projects like cedar decking, where you want a high-quality finish that will look great for decades.

DEFY wood stain is a product that is easy to apply and maintain. DEFY Extreme Wood Stain can be applied once the stain begins to show wear. Besides protecting the wood from fading and staining, the tinted formula helps hide any imperfections. It is also safe for use around children and pets, making it ideal for families.

Pros:

  • Easy to apply and maintain
  • Safe for use
  • Resist mold and mildew
  • Produces a natural look

Verdict:

DEFY wood stain is a high-quality product for that is perfect for staining cedar decks, and cedar siding. It is easy to apply and maintain, and it produces a beautiful, natural finish. Since the formula is tinted, imperfections are also hidden.


8. CABOT Oil for Cedar Deck

If you’re looking for a quality wood stain that will protect and enhance the look of your cedar, Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil is an excellent option. With its earthy tone, this oil-based stain will give your deck a beautiful and rich patina.

Key Features:

  • Penetrating oils for protection and enhanced patina
  • Long-oil alkyds for water resistance
  • UV-absorbing pigments for durability
  • Easy to apply and maintain

This oil-based product provides a deep, rich color that will bring out the natural beauty of your wood, while also sealing and protecting it from the elements. CABOT Oil for Cedar Deck is easy to apply and maintain, and it will keep your deck looking great for quite some time to come.

In order to protect dense tallowwood, Merbau, and Cambara from extreme Australian exposure, Cabot wood stain has been formulated with a unique oil blend. Unlike the other local deck stains on the market, it leaves a natural finish that doesn’t peel off or flake.

In Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil, penetrating oils work together to not only protect your wood but also enhance its natural appeal. The long-oil alkyds make the wood strong and water-resistant, while the oil penetrates deeply for enhanced patina. Timber dyed with South American tung oil will never fade.

Using complex translucent iron oxide pigments, it creates a durable, UV-absorbing surface that is rich in color and dimension. This makes it an ideal choice for preserving and enhancing the appearance of cedar decks and other outdoor wood surfaces.

Pros:

  • Rich, natural color
  • Won’t peel or flake
  • Iron oxide pigments
  • Enhancing cedar’s appearance

Verdict:

Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil is a great option for those looking to protect and enhance the look of their cedar wood siding. Oil-based stains give your deck a rich patina with their natural coloring.


These are our top picks for the best stain for cedar decks. Each one offers different benefits, so be sure to choose the one that perfectly suits your needs. When it comes to protecting and enhancing your cedar deck, you can’t go wrong with any of these stains.

How to Choose the Best Stain for Cedar Deck?

Best semi transparent stain

All wood stains are not created equal. While some are great for protecting your wood, others may do more harm than good.

The cedar wood stains we’ve reviewed offer different benefits. Here are some factors you should consider when choosing the best one for your needs:

Type of Stain

There are two main types of stains: water-based and oil-based.

Water-based stains are easy to apply and clean up, but they don’t penetrate as deeply into the wood. When applied to cedar, they can highlight any imperfections on the surface.

Oil-based stains penetrate deeply into the wood, making them more effective at protecting and sealing it. However, they can be difficult to apply and clean up.

Hybrid strains are another option. They offer the benefits of both water-based and oil-based stains, making them a good choice for those who want the best of both worlds.

Level of Protection

For cedar decks, you should consider the level of protection that you desire.

A clear wood surface stain will provide the least amount of protection, while a solid stain wood will provide the most. If you are looking for a delicate balance between protection and aesthetics, semi-transparent stains are a good option.

These stains will allow some of the natural grain of the wood to show through while still providing a good level of protection against the elements.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics should be taken into account when choosing a wood stain. This term refers to the overall look of the stain, and how it will impact the appearance of the wood. For example, some stains will darken the wood, while others will lighten it.

There are also stains that are designed to highlight the texture of wood, and others that will obscure it. As such, it is important to select a stain that will create the desired effect.

For cedar, a light-colored stain may be best in order to showcase the beautiful grain pattern. Alternatively, a dark stain can be used to create a more dramatic look. Ultimately, the right deck stain for cedar will depend on the desired aesthetic outcome.

Film-Forming or Penetrating

Best wood stains

You also need to consider is the film-forming or penetrating nature of the stain. Film-forming stains will sit on top of the wood and provide a layer of protection, while penetrating stain will soak into the wood and help to preserve it from within.

In general, film-forming stains are better at protecting against UV damage and water penetration, while penetrating stains are better at highlighting wood’s natural grain.

Color

Keep in mind that the stain color is incredibly essential. Depending on the look you’re going for, you may want to choose a stain that enhances the natural appearance of the wood or opt for a more dramatic effect with a deeper hue.

Keep in mind that darker stains will require more frequent re-staining, so be sure to factor that into your decision. With so many factors to consider, selecting the right stain for your cedar wood can be a daunting task.

Finish Quality

When selecting the wood stain, consider the quality of the finish. The best finish for cedar decks will resist fading and provide durability against the elements. It is also important to choose a finish that enhances the look of the wood.

For example, a clear finish will allow the texture of wood to come through, while a semitransparent stain will provide some color without obscuring the grain. Whichever finish you choose, make sure it is compatible with the type of cedar you are using.

Environmental Impact

The deck stain should not contain any volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, when considering its environmental impact. VOCs are found in many traditional deck stains and can have a negative impact on air quality. Instead, look for a low-VOC or no-VOC wood stain.

These products will still protect your deck from the elements while being better for the environment. In addition to choosing a low-VOC or no-VOC stain, you will also want to make sure that the stain you select is compatible with the type of cedar you have.

Some stains are designed specifically for use on pressure-treated lumber, while others may not be suitable for use on cedar at all.

Ease of Application

If you are looking for the best stain for cedar wood, you will also want to consider the ease of application. Staining a cedar wood requires a product that is easy to apply and provides good coverage.

A major advantage of oil-based stains is that they can be applied in direct sun without fear of drying too quickly. Water-based stains dry more quickly and may require two coats to achieve the same level of opacity.

Durability and Maintenance

Finally, you will want to consider the durability and maintenance of the wood stain. For example, some stains require more frequent reapplication than others.

In general, oil-based stains will perform better than water-based stains. Although, they can be more difficult to apply and may require more elbow grease to remove when it’s time to re-stain. Water-based stains are easier to apply and remove, but will need to be reapplied more often.

Type Opacity Level of the Best Finish for Cedar Decking

Cedar wood surface solid color stain

When choosing a stain for a cedar deck, you’ll need to decide how much of the wood’s grain you want to show through. This will determine the opacity level of the stain.

There are a few standard opacity levels to choose from the best stain for cedar:

Transparency

Transparent stains allow the maximum amount of wood’s grain to show through, making your deck look natural and beautiful. If you want to show off the beautiful grain of your cedar deck, you’ll want to use a stain that shows through.

Semi-Transparency

Semi-transparent stains provide some color while still allowing the wood grain to show through. For a little bit of color without obscuring the grain of wood, an acrylic semitransparent stain is a great choice.

Opaque

Opaque stains will provide the most color and coverage, but will also obscure the grain pattern. You can make a bold statement with your cedar wood by staining it opaquely.

Semi-Opaque

Semi-opaque stains fall somewhere in between transparent and opaque stains. They provide more color than a transparent dye, but won’t obscure the wood grain as much as an opaque stain.

Solid Color

Paints the wood rather than staining it. Solid stains provides the greatest amount of color and can be used to create a variety of looks.

Semi-solid

Paints the wood with a limited amount of pigment for a more natural look. It is also semi-transparent, so it will not completely obscure the grain of the wood.

Clear Toner

Enhances the wood’s coloration without adding any pigmentation. When applied to cedar, it will bring out the wood’s beautiful reddish hue.

Now that you know the different opacity levels, you can choose the best exterior stain for your cedar deck.

How to Use the Best Clear Finish for Cedar Deck?

Exterior wood stain for outdoor furniture

Using cedar wood deck stain finish is easy. With right preparation of the wood and the right application, you can achieve a beautiful and durable finish.

Following steps are required for the best deck stains:

Step 01. Prepare the Cedar Deck

The first step is to prepare the cedar deck. This includes cleaning the wood and removing any old stains or finishes.

Step 02. Apply the Stain

Once the deck is clean, you can apply the best finish for cedar deck. First, stir the stain well to ensure that the pigments are evenly distributed. Then, apply the stain evenly with a brush or roller. If it comes with a spray can, you can use that.

Step 03. Let the Stain Dry

After you have applied the stain, let it dry. This usually takes 24 to 48 hours, but make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific drying times.

Step 04. Enjoy Your Beautiful Cedar Deck

Once the stain is dry, you can enjoy your beautiful cedar deck. With proper care, you will be able to enjoy it for decades.

The best cedar deck stain provides beauty and protection to your cedar deck. With a little bit of preparation and the right application, you can achieve a stunning finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few common questions you should know before you start staining your deck with the best cedar deck stain:

1. How to Finish Cedar Wood for Outdoors?

One of the simplest ways to finish cedar wood for outdoors is by using a cedar sealer or stain. The best exterior stain will protect the wood from the elements to prevent fading, cracking, and splitting.

2. How Long to Wait Before Staining Cedar Deck?

When it comes to staining a new cedar deck, it’s important to wait until the wood has had time to weather. This will allow the stain to better penetrate the wood and provide lasting protection. Typically, you should wait at least three months before applying a stain.

3. How to Restore Weathered Cedar Siding?

If you’re looking to restore your weathered cedar siding, there are a few simple steps you can take. First, start by power washing the siding to remove any dirt, pollen, or other build-up. Next, apply a stain or sealer to help protect the wood from future weathering.

Finally, use a garden hose fitted with a spray nozzle to give the siding a final rinse. By following these simple steps, you can help restore your weathered cedar siding to its original beauty.

4. Can You Stain Over Painted Cedar Siding?

In most cases, you can stain over painted cedar siding. However, it’s important to test the paint first to make sure that it is compatible with the stain. To do this, apply a small amount of stain to an inconspicuous area and wait 24 hours to see if there is any reaction.

If you don’t see any reaction, you can proceed with staining your siding. However, if you do see a reaction, it’s best to remove the paint before proceeding.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a few different types of cedar deck stains to choose from. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to choose the best deck stain for cedar that right suits your needs.

The right preparation and application can lead to amazing results, and proper care and maintenance can prolong their life. Make sure to choose high-quality lumber for your project.

We hope this article was helpful in guiding you to choose the perfect cedar wood surface stain for your needs. If you have any questions or would like to share your own tips, please leave a comment below.

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