Skip to main content

«  Learning Center

Best Products For Cleaning & Staining Your Wood Deck

July 5th, 2024 | 4 min read

By Kaylea Kuhlman

Wooden deck stained on the top half of the wooden boards and bare on the bottom. The deck staining product is sitting on the wood with a brush laying on top to brush the stain into the wood.

Do you ever feel frustrated looking at your deck and seeing how faded and beaten it looks after all the barbecues and sunny days? Whether your deck has been stained before or not, the right products must be used to revive it, so you don’t have to deal with this frustration as often.

At Brush & Roll Painting, we understand the importance of not just any deck, but a well-maintained one that invites relaxation and enjoyment. With 25+ years of experience in painting and wood care, we are here to help you make the best decisions for your home.

In this article, we will compare commonly used deck cleaning and staining products (which can also be used for wooden fences, pergolas, or children's outdoor play sets). Whether you are staining your deck yourself or hiring a professional painter, by the end of this article, you'll have the information necessary to know which deck cleaner and stain is the best for your deck or fence staining project.

Comparing Deck Cleaning Products

Sherwin Williams Super Deck product outside on the concrete, for painters to use to clean a wooden deck and fence

When you want to make your wooden deck, pergola, children's play set, or fence look new again, cleaning it is the first step of the process. Think of your deck like a dirty plate after a meal. Before you put it back in the cupboard or use it again, you need to wash it to clean off all the food bits and grease. 

Similarly, cleaning your deck removes all the dirt and grime, preparing it for a fresh coat of stain to make it look new again.

Here’s a look at some popular products for deck cleaning:

1. Sherwin Williams Super Deck Revive

  • What it does: This cleaner is great for making old decks look new again. It works well on woods like cedar and redwood, and it's really good at removing tough dirt, mildew, and old stains from the wood.
  • Strengths: It's specifically made for decks that have old stains or have turned gray because it can brighten the wood and make it ready for a new coat of stain.
  • Weaknesses: It might be a bit harsher than some other cleaners, so you need to follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your wood.
  • Cost: Prices can vary around $25 per gallon, but it's generally around the mid-range compared to other deck cleaners.

2. Thompson's WaterSeal 3-in-1 Wood Deck Cleaner

  • What it does: This product cleans, brightens, and prepares your deck for staining, all in one go. It's designed to work on all types of wood decks.
  • Strengths: It’s very convenient because it does three jobs in one, which saves a lot of time. Plus, it helps protect the wood from water damage as you clean it.
  • Weaknesses: While it's effective, if your deck is very dirty or has a lot of old stains, there might be better options for you. You might need to use more of this product or a stronger option to get the best results.
  • Cost: This product ranges around $40 because of its 3 in 1 technology.

3. Behr All-In-One Wood and Deck Cleaner

  • What it does: This cleaner removes stains, dirt, and mildew from wood surfaces preparing them for staining or finishing.
  • Strengths: Effective at cleaning and brightening wood surfaces, easy to apply with a simple garden sprayer.
  • Weaknesses: Needs thorough rinsing after application, and the effectiveness can vary depending on the wood condition.
  • Cost: This product ranges from $10-$15.

When choosing a deck cleaner, think about what your deck needs. Is it very dirty? How much are you willing to spend? Answering these questions will help you know which product is the best for your deck. 

Remember, a clean wooden deck means the stain will look better and last longer.

Comparing Deck Staining Products

Wooden deck in the process of being stained with a deck staining product in a medium, warm brown shade.When refreshing your wooden deck, pergola, fence, or children's play set, the choice of the product is more important than you might think. Here’s a detailed comparison of several popular deck stains, to help you make an informed decision on which one is best for your project:

1. PPG ProLuxe

  • What it does: Known for premium finishes and exceptional element protection.
  • Strengths: Deep penetration enhances wood's natural beauty while offering robust moisture and UV protection.
  • Weaknesses: Higher cost but provides significant durability.
  • Cost: Generally higher, ranging from $50 to $60 per gallon depending on the type and retailer.
  • Best for: Homeowners looking for a durable, high-quality finish willing to invest more upfront.

2. Pittsburgh Paints Flood Stain

  • What it does: Offers solid, semi-transparent, and transparent finishes, versatile and protective. This product is stain, fading, and cracking-resistant.
  • Strengths: Excellent adhesion, and deep wood absorption.
  • Weaknesses: May require more frequent reapplication depending on exposure.
  • Cost: Moderate, approximately $25 to $45 per gallon, making it a middle-range option.
  • Best for: Those seeking a flexible and effective stain with various finish options.

3. Behr Premium DeckOver

  • What it does: A thick coating that repairs and revives old, weathered wood.
  • Strengths: Slip-resistant, durable finish ideal for high-traffic areas.
  • Weaknesses: Requires careful application and intensive prep work.
  • Cost: On the higher side, about $35 to $50 per gallon due to its restorative properties.
  • Best for: Decks that need substantial repair and are exposed to severe wear.

4. Cabot Deck & Siding Stains

  • What it does: Provides a range of options including semi-solid, solid, and transparent stains.
  • Strengths: Long-lasting protection, enhances wood's natural beauty, resists fading.
  • Weaknesses: Performance might lag in extremely humid or rainy climates without proper application.
  • Cost: Varies by type, typically around $40 to $55 per gallon.
  • Best for: Homeowners who value customization in appearance along with reliable protection.

When choosing a deck stain, consider the type of wood, and how much maintenance you're willing to do. These factors will help guide your choice, ensuring your deck not only looks great but also withstands the test of time. 

Deck Staining Products For You

Choosing the right deck stain doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the information from this article, you can find the right products to stain your deck yourself or you know what to look for when hiring a painter to do the job.

Brush & Roll Painting is a high-quality deck staining company in Omaha, NE. We use high-quality products for deck cleaning and staining that resist cracking, peeling, and blistering.


While you are tackling this project one way or another, it’s important to stay confident throughout the whole process to ensure that you aren’t making any mistakes. Download your deck staining checklist to mark off each phase of your project.

Get Your Deck Staining Project Checklist

Kaylea Kuhlman

Kaylea is the Brush & Roll Painting Content Manager.