What’s the Best Sealant for Decks?

What’s the Best Sealant for Decks?

Mar 25th 2024

Outdoor decks are exposed to all the elements, and the right sealant can protect them from rain, wind, and snow, as well as wear and tear from everyday use. Let’s dive into the difference between deck stain and sealant and how to find the best sealant for decks.

Different Types of Deck Protectants.

There are three different protectants to choose from to protect an outdoor deck. These protectants are sealant, stain, and paint. While these all protect decks, they do so in different ways. Each type of protectant has its strengths and weaknesses.

Let's go through each one to help you decide the best deck protectant for your next project.


Sealants are a clear substance that coats the wood of the deck. Sealants let the natural beauty of the wood show through while protecting it from the outdoor elements. Clear sealant solutions may have some UV protection, but without any pigmentation, the wood is more exposed to sun damage.


Stain is a tinted substance that colors the wood but has a bit of opacity for the original qualities of the wood to show through. The extra color protects the wood from UV rays. Stains come in a wide range of tints and colors and many levels of opacity.

Wood stains are also often oil-based or water-based. Oil-based is a popular choice as it adheres to wood well and is long-lasting. On the other hand, water-based products are rising in popularity because they are easy to clean up and are better for the environment.


Paint is thicker than stain, completely changing the color of the wood and creating a film on top of the deck. If the deck is older, paint can be a great way to give it a new look and bring it new life. Paint gives wood great wood protection. However, it does have the risk of peeling.

Choosing the Best Sealant for Your Project

Whether you are building a deck for commercial or personal use, it is important to choose a sealant that saves both money and time while keeping wood in the best shape possible. There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best sealant for each deck. When you start shopping, ask yourself these questions:

How Old is the Deck?

The age of the deck plays an important role in determining the best sealant for decks. If the deck is on the older side, it may have more sun damage and some water damage from rain and snow, as well as regular use over the years. In these cases, it may be best to choose a type of sealant that gives the deck a whole new look, like a tinted stain or paint.

If the deck is brand new, the beautiful wood will be ready for use and showcasing. A clear sealant can show the beauty of the wood while providing the protection it needs.

What Type of Wood is the Deck?

The type of wood the deck is made out of can also change the best stain and sealant for decks. Many decks are pine because of how easily accessible and moldable it can be.

However, the moldability comes at a price, as pine is often prone to warping and can be easily damaged. This calls for strong deck sealers that protect pine from water damage and outdoor elements. However, if you are looking at sealant for composite decks, you may want to look at clear sealant.

What Climate Is the Deck Exposed To?

To protect the deck properly, it's important to note what exactly you are protecting it from. Protecting a deck from UV rays might be a priority if you are in a consistently sunny climate. If a deck is going to have consistent foot traffic, or if you are in a particularly rainy climate, protecting it from high traction or water damage can increase its longevity.

What is the Budget?

When choosing the best sealant, looking within the right price range is important. However, it is also important to pay attention to the quality of the sealant compared to the price. It can be tempting to purchase a protectant on the cheaper end; however, if you sacrifice quality for price, you may have to replace the protectant more frequently.

This can end up costing more in the long run. While staying within budget is often a priority, it is also key to pay attention to the quality and reliability of the company you are purchasing from!

What is the Desired Look?

Last but not least, consider the type of aesthetic your clients are looking for on their deck. Would they like a sleeker look that a solid color paint can provide or a rustic look that a dark stain could give a deck?

Application and Maintenance Tips

Whichever type of protectant you choose, the right application and maintenance will preserve the deck's aesthetics and keep the sealant's quality. Here are some tips to consider when applying and maintaining deck protectant:

  • Preparation: Make sure the deck is clean of any debris and that any rough spots or splinters are sanded down. It is also important to complete any repairs the deck needs.
  • Apply in the right conditions: To ensure a quality coat, apply when there is low humidity and without direct sunlight on the deck. This will ensure the coat dries correctly without too much outside interference.
  • Clean regularly: Your client should know the importance of cleaning the deck surface regularly to prevent dirt and grime buildup and using the proper cleaning solutions to keep the deck and protectant looking pristine.
  • Look out for damage: When damage is caught early, it can be fixed easily with minimal cost. Regularly inspect the deck surface for wear, damage, or discoloration.
  • Reapplication: Follow the manufacturer's recommendation to reapply the protectant semi-regularly. Typically, deck protectants should be reapplied every 1-3 years, but this can vary depending on the product and environmental factors.

Silicone Depot Can Help

Silicone Depot is dedicated to providing the highest quality sealants to protect every deck and keep it looking pristine. Our inventory is full of sealants that withstand many types of climates and elements. To learn more about our silicone sealants, visit our website today.