I went to Home Depot and Sherwin Williams and I was unable to find a deck stain that looked like the shiny blondish color of the following image:

At Sherwin Williams they said that their stains were all matte.

Does anyone make glossy stains that are appropriate for decks?

Would it be appropriate to just use a matte stain and then go over it with some sort of glaze? I have a gallon of Shield-Crete which is supposed to make cement shiny. Could I use that over the top of a matte stain?

Ideally it'd be great if someone could just point me to a place online to buy a glossy blond stain like the one in the image. I've googled for a while, but nothing seems quite like that.

  • 4
    that's not glossy, it's matte but lit up really nicely to make it look shiny and attractive.
    – longneck
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 16:56
  • It's also really, really, really clean!
    – Steven
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 18:22
  • Cabot Gold oil based stain at Menards Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 5:50

7 Answers 7


The other answers not withstanding, please keep in mind that a glossy finish will probably be more slippery when it is wet (maybe even when it is still dry). This may be why you are having a hard time finding a glossy deck finish. I think you will find that surfaces that are great for traction and safety (rougher, sandpaper like) will be the exact opposite of what you need for a great gloss finish and vise-versa.


I would suggest using outdoor polyurethane varnish.


If you're set on a glossy finish, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, it will require more prep and maintenance than a stain/water barrier finish (i.e. Thompson's). For a glossy finish, the wood needs to be dry, then sanded, stained (if desired) and sealed prior to the final glossy application. For the final glossy application, the most important characteristic is a product with good UV protection. This will keep it from drying out and scaling off too fast. Even so, you'll need to do some yearly touch ups. Depending on the weather in your location, you'll get maybe 2 or 3 years out of the finish before needing to strip and re-coat. The best outdoor finish products are made for the marine industry, so you'll want to check into those. As a reference, check out http://www.pettitpaint.com/catalog_browse.asp?ictNbr=56

  • So just to be clear, I should stain the deck with a matte stain then cover that with Thompsons water seal, then go over the top of that with possibly multiple coats of marine varnish? Why do I need to use Thompsons water seal if I'm going to use marine varnish? Commented May 31, 2011 at 20:31
  • 1
    For a glossy finish, you don't want to use Thompson's or any other waterproofing product. Stain then coat with marine varnish. Most stains will seal so you won't need a separate sealer. Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 18:37

WE have tried SEVERAL products over the last 4 years to keep our 5 year old cedar back-deck looking new and beautiful. The neighbors cottonwood trees dump on our poor deck every year and so it's a "June Project" to re-do our deck. So, let me tell you this much from experience:

  • Year 1 Sun Frog: it came highly recommended and it was horrible AND what was worse is that it literally stained our deck to the extent that we could not get it sanded off. Would NEVER use again.

  • Year 2 Thompson's Water Seal (regular): Great product, actually! It kept the deck looking new and went on great with a cotton type roller. Why in the WORLD we switched I will never know.

  • Year 3 Behr Weatherproofing Wood Stain: went on nice but did NOT hold up to its reviews here in Oregon. Rain, sun, etc. just really took their toll.

  • Year 4 Switching back to Thompsons! Because, well, why WOULDN'T I?

  • 1
    Did any of these products give the deck the look that the OP was asking for?
    – Niall C.
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 2:42

The picture shows a "semi-transparent oil-based stain" over very pretty and smooth wood. Probably expensive lumber!

If the wood looks good, the semi-transparent stain will look good. Do not use any clear coats as they disintegrate under UV and you will have a nightmare on your hands.


I used CIL Home Depot product in transparent. You have to do at least two coats to get that "glass" look to it. I used the natural base and tinted it to their Aged Tan colour. We sanded with 36 and 60 grit electric floor sander as there was old dark brown stain on it previously. I washed it and allowed it to dry overnight. Product went on well. Time will tell how it stands up. It looks beautiful. Picture is of first and second coat difference. enter image description here


I felt the same with my deck but I used wet look feast and watsons. It was rubbish as it just went dull after a month so I am back on aquadeck. It's a great product by Cabot's: not expensive and easy to apply. I do mine twice a year. I have gotten over the shiny look you get used to matte. Its more practical as well, so try it. And if it is a quality hard wood timber it does have a nice shine to it.

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