I live in Colorado and have a new deck. It is hot as hell here in the summer and my deck has direct sunlight all summer.

I've been looking for a type of stain that will work well in desert like conditions. I have been warned to stay away from big box stores; even from the products that reputable companies might offer there.

What type of stain will hold up to harsh sunlight conditions? Should I be looking for another type of product, like a sealer? I just don't want it to end up looking blotchy or start to flake off.

  • Are you attempting to showcase the grain, or do you just want to protect it?
    – Mazura
    May 7, 2016 at 0:41
  • I am thinking of doing a semi transparent. May 10, 2016 at 17:33
  • 3
    The "warning" you've received is irrational and unhelpful. The store isn't important. The product is, and even more so are the application technique and conditions.
    – isherwood
    Oct 10, 2016 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


Pretreating the wood with a UV absorber (like bis(Biphenyl)triazine or a benzotriazole) will be helpful. UV Boost or other UV protectants will help with whatever stain or sealant you use. You can also mix light inhibitors with stain or sealant.

  • Cool I will check that out. That sounds like a perfect solution if it works. Thanks for sharing May 10, 2016 at 22:19

If the deck is "wood" like cedar or Redwood (suitable to be outdoors and rot resistant,) then a pre-stain is recommended before applying a penetrating stain. (A pre-stain will even-out the grain so the stain with "color" will appear uniform.) We stopped using a semi-transparent because it looks great when it goes on, but fades and is blotchy within a year or two. We now use a "heavy-body" penetrating stain. It looks just as good and lasts 5-6 years. I think most paint manufacturers call them "deck stains". Most stains are now water-based (can be cleaned up with water), but I prefer oil-based...penetrates better and is slightly longer lasting. Remember: prep, prep, prep...all boards clean and dry.

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