The Oil Based Deck Stain Myth

by Defy Help

2020 Update on Oil Based Deck Stain Myth

Are oil-based deck stain better than water-based? We appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below and pictures of your completed projects if you have them.

There is no denying that oil-based stains have had their place in the stain industry. Oil-based stains have been used to protect wood siding, cedar siding, wood shakes, decking, fencing, and many other exterior wood surfaces for decades. Oil-based stains have been around longer than any other type of stain formula. However, there are a few lingering myths that accompany oil based stain. Or another way to look at it is that there are a few old truths about oil-based stains that are no longer true. Let’s explain.

The oil-based stain myth that oil is better than water-based stains may have been true several years ago. In the past few years, however, water-based stain technology has really come a long way in performance. Defy Extreme is a perfect example. This industry-leading water-based stain uses nano-technology and high-grade resins to reflect and absorb damaging UV rays. These particles act as a sunscreen and redirect harmful ultraviolet rays that would otherwise fade and grey out an exterior wood surface. This technology is unmatched by other leading water based stains. It is a first in the industry, a true breakthrough in technology and has a good case against the oil based stain myth that oil is better.

This new technology helps reduce water infiltration, prevents fungal growth, and stops UV damage. This type of water based stain lasts longer than past generations of water type stains. This nano-technology increases the stains performance by 200-600%, which is unheard of. Perhaps this eradicates another myth that oil based stains last longer or are more durable. This just is not true with this new light stabilizing technology.

Another oil based stain myth may be that oils are safe for the environment. Most oil based stains are in fact not save for the environment. In fact, some oil based stains are banned in some states due to VOC compliance laws. Water based stains are eco-friendly and are available and can be shipped to all 50 states. The fact is that oil based stain myths have been busted by recent water based stain technology and the evidence is there to support it.


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Do I need one coat or two? I am staining the exterior walls of my house with Defy Hardwood Stain. I will be staining cedar clapboards that I have stripped and brightened it. Your online instructions are deck oriented but mention that only one coat is needed for vertical surfaces like fences. Can I assume from this that I only need one coat on my cedar sided house?