Best Redwood Sealer for 2024: Our Top 5 Picks

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Heenan

Finding the best redwood sealer is sometimes confusing if you know nothing about wood sealers or stains.

Even if you know the basics, choosing the right one is pretty overwhelming, depending on the application and outcome you expect.

Besides the application and outcome, you have to consider a few other parameters –

  • Type of the redwood finish.
  • Opacity.
  • Coverage.
  • Durability.
  • Safety.
  • Ease of use.
  • Price, etc.

Good for you!

In this article, I will recommend the five best sealers for redwood, mentioning all the highs and lows of each item. I’m sure it will help you to select the best bet based on your expectations.

Best Redwood Sealer Reviews

Don’t miss the buying guide and FAQ section to learn about crucial buying factors.

NameBrandTypeItem WeightCoverageDrying time
Ready Seal 520Ready SealExterior Stain1 Pound500-875 Sq. Feet24 hours
Olympic Stain Olympic Stain Wood Stain1 GallonApproximately 250-350 square feet24 hours
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung OilThe Hope CompanyMoisture Resistant Sealer1 Gallon450 square feet per gallon24 hours
TotalBoat Clear Penetrating Epoxy Wood SealerTotalBoatEpoxy Wood Sealer3.84 pounds50 square feet of coverage per pint48 hours
KILZ L832211KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain1-Gallon250-500 sq. ft.24 hours

Best Redwood Sealer

Preview
Best Overall
Ready Seal 520 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5 Gallon, Redwood -...
Best Budget
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and...
Best for Furniture
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Food Safe, Premium Waterproof Natural Wood...
Best Anti-rotting
TotalBoat Clear Penetrating Epoxy Wood Sealer Stabilizer for Rot...
Best for Deck
KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Redwood, 1...
Title
Ready Seal 520 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5 Gallon, Redwood -...
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and...
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Food Safe, Premium Waterproof Natural Wood...
TotalBoat Clear Penetrating Epoxy Wood Sealer Stabilizer for Rot...
KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Redwood, 1...
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
4.8/5
4.8/5
4.8/5
4.8/5
Prime Status
-
-
-
Best Overall
Preview
Ready Seal 520 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5 Gallon, Redwood -...
Title
Ready Seal 520 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5 Gallon, Redwood -...
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
Prime Status
Full Review
Best Budget
Preview
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and...
Title
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and...
Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
Best for Furniture
Preview
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Food Safe, Premium Waterproof Natural Wood...
Title
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Food Safe, Premium Waterproof Natural Wood...
Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Prime Status
Full Review
Best Anti-rotting
Preview
TotalBoat Clear Penetrating Epoxy Wood Sealer Stabilizer for Rot...
Title
TotalBoat Clear Penetrating Epoxy Wood Sealer Stabilizer for Rot...
Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
Best for Deck
Preview
KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Redwood, 1...
Title
KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Redwood, 1...
Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review

#1. Ready Seal 520 Redwood Deck Stain and Sealer

Sale
Ready Seal 520 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5 Gallon, Redwood -...
8,258 Reviews
Ready Seal 520 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5 Gallon, Redwood -...
  • Requires no primer. Ready Seal...
  • May be applied using sprayer,...
  • Requires no back brushing and...
  • Requires no wet-line...
  • Requires no diluting or...

Pros

  • It works as a redwood deck stain and sealer to protect the wood surface’s upper and inner layers.
  • You can apply Ready Seal at any temperature.
  • Applying this wood deck stain and sealer is accessible using tools like a brush, roller, pump-up garden sprayers, airless sprayers, etc.
  • No priming or sanding is required to make this sealer usable.
  • No back brushing is required if you use a suitable sprayer, roller, or brush, and you don’t have to worry about the unevenness of the application.
  • Efficiently protects the redwood from harmful UV rays, moisture, mold, and other weather elements.
  • Environmentally friendly as it contains pretty low VOC. You can use it anywhere throughout the USA, regardless of the state.
  • Durable (based on some other real user experiences).
  • Convenient container.
  • The price seems pretty ok to me, considering the performance.

Cons

  • You may want to cover the plants and other outdoor furniture during application as this wood deck stain and sealer tends to leave a thin oily film on those elements.

Ready Seal 520 deck stain and redwood sealer are among the finest solutions to protect the redwood from inside and outside. It’s a goof-proof oil-based sealer that makes anyone’s life easy to apply, whether you are a professional or a DIYer.

It’s a semi-transparent wood deck stain/brightener that gives the required protection and lets the wood show through.

What attracts me most about this sealer is that you don’t have to wait for a specific temperature to apply it. However, the drying time varies depending on the temperature.

It doesn’t require any thinning or diluting before application. That means it’s ready to use right off the bat.

After applying, you should wait 14 days to see its color.

Pro tip: If you apply it to a dry fence, consider using double, as any dry wood tends to absorb more than usual.

Verdict
Suppose you consider quality, easy to apply, durable, and compatible with all states in the USA option. In that case, this deck stain/wood brightener is undoubtedly the top-rated redwood sealer for you.

Considering the price, you have the right to choose from other options. But the performance of this sealer justifies the bill beyond the shadow of a doubt.

#2. Olympic Stain 56505-1 Redwood Deck Stain and Sealer

Sale
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and...
720 Reviews
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and...
  • Weather-ready application...
  • Durable formula features...
  • Exclusive Scuff Guard...
  • Durable wood stain and sealant...
  • Recommended for use on...

Pros

  • Different transparency levels, colors, and quantities are readily available.
  • Real contractors have testified to its durability.
  • Easy to apply and spread.
  • It gives good color consistency.
  • Equally applicable to damp wood.
  • The water-repelling capability of this stain is worth noting.
  • It works well both as a stain and sealer.
  • This sealer provides superior protection against ultraviolet rays (UV rays) and fading.
  • It provides substantial coverage to consider as a cost-effective solution.
  • You can apply it with any paint sprayer; you don’t need to dilute or thin it before applying.
  • Easy to carry container.
  • The price of this sealer is a bargain.

Cons

  • Its ability to protect against mildew is a bit questionable.

Olympic Maximum Stain 56505-1 offers all the bells and whistles that a redwood deck stain needs to protect any redwood surface.

You can apply this wood deck stain and sealer even after rain; it becomes rain-ready after only 8 hours. Whether the weather is hot or cold, it’s ready to be applied in any condition.

Once you apply this Olympic Maximum sealer, please sit back and watch it work up for at least 4 to 5 years. Real contractors have testified to this.

One gallon of this sealer covers around 250-350 square feet; two gallons cover about 600 square feet, and three or more gallons cover approximately 850 square feet.

Pro Tip: Pressure washes the surface and lets it dry before applying the Olympic redwood deck’s stain and sealer to get the best results.

Verdict
Durability is one of the top features this wood/deck stain provides out of many other benefits. The price is relatively easy on the wallet. Applying this sealer is not an uphill task.

So, should you give it a try? Yes, of course.

#3. HOPE’s Tung Oil

Sale
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Food Safe, Premium Waterproof Natural Wood...
365 Reviews
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Food Safe, Premium Waterproof Natural Wood...
  • Easy to Use - Tung oil is a...
  • Permeates - Unlike other...
  • Protects - Resistant to...
  • Multi Use - Amazing results on...
  • Great for Food Contact...

Pros

  • It’s a breeze to apply this tung oil. Just brush, wipe, and wait for drying.
  • Its ability to penetrate the surface is worth mentioning.
  • A little amount of this oil goes a long way.
  • No foul or pungent smell.
  • This tung oil helps the wooden object last longer, increasing the surface’s beauty.
  • It enhances the wood grain nicely, and its level of darkness is perfect for bringing a fantastic look to the furniture.
  • It takes relatively less time to cure than other tung oil available.
  • You don’t have to worry about health hazards as it contains zero VOC.
  • Different sizes are readily available for buying.

Cons

  • The price could have been better.
  • You have to apply it in a well-ventilated place.

HOPE’s Tung oil is mainly made to perform well on wooden outdoor furniture or indoor furniture. With that said, feel free to apply it on any wooden object and surface along with the furniture.

This tung oil makes it easy for anyone to make furniture or other wood structures to fight moisture and regular wear and tear, regardless of expertise.

Pro Tip 1: You can use it both diluted or undiluted. If you want it as thick as possible, use it undiluted.

Pro Tip 2: Use multiple coats to get ample protection from moisture.

Verdict
If you find something that leaves an appealing finish after applying and gives great waterproofing benefits, this one is one of your best bets.

The price seems a tad on the higher side, but it won’t break anyone’s bank.

#4. TotalBoat Epoxy Wood Sealer

TotalBoat Clear Penetrating Epoxy Wood Sealer Stabilizer for Rot...
1,441 Reviews
TotalBoat Clear Penetrating Epoxy Wood Sealer Stabilizer for Rot...
  • WOOD HARDENER FOR ROTTED WOOD:...
  • PENETRATING WOOD SEALER: An...
  • CLEAR LOW VISCOSITY RESIN WITH...
  • WOOD ROT REPAIR EPOXY...
  • CHOOSE THE RIGHT EPOXY KIT...

Pros

  • You can apply it to various types of wood, including softwood, hardwood, plywood, etc.
  • Equally applicable to both new and old wood.
  • Multiple sizes and versions are available to choose from.
  • It provides a satisfactory waterproofing benefit to protect the wood from different elements.
  • Straightforward to apply with any regular paintbrush or epoxy spreader.
  • No VOC, hence entirely environmentally friendly.
  • No harsh fumes.
  • The price is relatively easy on the wallet.
  • This wood sealer provides superior protection against UV rays.

Cons

  • The instruction is hard to read without magnifying.
  • It requires multiple days to cure fully.

This TotalBoat epoxy wood sealer stops the rotting of any wooden object, mainly the wooden boat. So, if you find some sealer that should harden the rotted wood, this is the go-to-go option.

It’s a two-part epoxy system (resin and hardener) that simultaneously protects and hardens the wood.

This particular version is the cold-weather version of the sealer that you shouldn’t use above 65 degrees. If you want something suitable for 65-degree plus, you better go for this traditional version of this TotalBoat sealer.

The cold weather takes about four days to cure fully. On the other hand, the traditional one takes only two days to heal fully.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to mix the sealer in small batches. The company recommends mixing as much as you can apply within 20 minutes at a time.

Verdict
When it’s about choosing the best epoxy type sealer for redwood color restoration, repairing, etc., spending the right amount of money, TotalBoat steals the show without any second thought.

Many professionals and DIYers have used this epoxy for years and have an excellent output.

#5. KILZ L832211 Waterproofing Wood Stain

KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Redwood, 1...
883 Reviews
KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Redwood, 1...
  • A good exterior wood stain...
  • Our 100% Acrylic formula...
  • Use on properly prepared new...
  • This semi-transparent stain...
  • This is a 1-Gallon can of KILZ...

Pros

  • Excellent in preventing mold and mildew growth.
  • This wood stain/wood cleaner protects the wooden object from weather conditions like rain, snow, ultraviolet rays (UV rays), etc., with excellence.
  • Easy to apply with a sprayer or roller.
  • Cleaning this sealer is a simple sailing task too.
  • Excellent in providing waterproofing benefits.
  • It boasts low VOC, hence not harmful to the environment.
  • No harsh fumes.
  • The price is relatively low per gallon.

Cons

  • This redwood deck’s stain/wood cleaner looks more orangish than reddish.
  • Not applicable for interior wood/deck floor.
  • Sometimes, it requires at least two coats to get the best output.

KILZ L832211 is one of the finest semi-transparent acrylic waterproofing wood deck stains that protect the exterior redwood deck, fence, and siding.

Its ability to make it waterproof is worth noting. Droplets build up after rain instead of penetrating the deck surface.

This 1 gallon can cover up to 250 square feet for the first coat and up to 500 square feet for the second coat.

The company recommends applying the redwood deck stain when the outside temperature is 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pro Tip 1: Mix half water and half redwood decks stain to get the optimum and most cost-effective results.

Pro Tip 2: Spray the stain with a sprayer and spread it with a roller to get the best output.

Verdict
Overall, this KILZ L832211 is undoubtedly a cost-effective semi-transparent wood/redwood deck stain that gives all sorts of protection that outdoor wood projects require. It doesn’t cost too much, either. You won’t regret trying this wood stain for exterior projects.

What to Consider Before Buying the Redwood Sealer?

deck stain buying guide

Types of Redwood

Knowing about different types of redwood helps you determine the kind you own, and eventually, it will help you choose the best sealer for redwood.

Let me name the three types of redwood –

  • Giant redwood.
  • Coast redwood.
  • Dawn redwood.

Giant redwood is the most massive type among these three, having spiky leaves. They have conical trunks and soft bark.

Coast redwoods are tall; like the giant redwood, they can live up to 3000 years. Their trunks grow straight sidewise, and they have thick, fibrous bark.

Dawn redwoods have conical shapes varying in maximum height.

In most cases, the sealers don’t vary entirely on the type of redwood. But in some cases, you might see one sealer is better than the other for a particular kind of wood.

Work Piece

Some sealers are mainly made for exterior use, like KILZ L832211 that I mentioned above. Some sealers are made for both exterior and interior use. Some are not good for furniture; similarly, some sealers are made to protect the table better than anything else.

If you seal the outdoor fence or redwood deck, you need an expert to protect the surface from weather elements like rain and snow, giving UV protection and moisture. It must be equally helpful in preventing mildew growth from getting the best results.

So, considering the workpiece to choose the best sealer for a redwood is vital here.

Main Ingredient / Types of Redwood Finishes

You will find multiple types of redwood stains, like oil-based, water-based, epoxy types, etc.

All these types have their own set of expertise. Some are better for furniture, and others for exterior redwood objects like fences, decks, etc.

Before choosing one, you must ensure that a particular type contains the desired ingredients.

For example, the oil-based redwood deck’s stains typically give a glossy look, which you will want to apply on furniture without any second thought. Oil-based are pretty experts in protecting against mildew and mold growth.

On the other hand, some users prefer epoxy to oil-based outdoor fences as they tend to withstand harsh weather conditions better than their oil-based counterparts.

Water-based redwood deck stain is another new but widespread form of wood stain. Water-based redwood deck stains contain the lowest VOC; they are easiest to clean, dry fast, and cost down. However, they tend to give low gloss.

So, choose the type of sealer based on your expected outcome.

Opacity

The wood deck stains can be divided into four levels of opacity.

  • Toner.
  • Semi-transparent.
  • Semi-opaque.
  • Opaque.

Toner is the most straightforward type of stain. They don’t change the outlook of the wood.

Semi-transparent is the most popular among users. Semi-transparent deck stains add color to the surface, but you can still see the wood grain as they are not thick.

Semi-Opaque is also known as semi-solid. It has much pigment to hide the wood grain, giving the wood a rich color.

Opaque is a solid stain among users and can provide maximum protection and ensure more longevity than others. It contains the highest amount of pigment.

Amount

When purchasing the best one, consider the amount you will buy.

All the companies offer different sizes of containers like 1 gallon, 5 gallons, etc.

First, you must know the area you need to cover to seal the surface, then decide on the required amount.

A standard sealer can typically cover 250-400 square feet for the first coat. For the second coat, you get more coverage per gallon.

Goof Proof

Goofproof mostly means ease of use.

Almost every redwood sealer is straightforward to apply using a brush, sprayer, or roller.

Make sure the one you buy is easy to apply with those simple tools. You will want an airless pump sprayer to get the best results.

Health Hazards

The Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) level is vital before buying a stain. Several states impose regulations on the VOC level, and it’s for a good reason.

High VOC is quite hazardous to health as it produces strong fumes. It will cause health issues in the long run for humans, the environment, pets, etc.

So, choose the stain that contains low VOC.

Applications

Although I’m writing this article to guide you about redwood sealers, remember that most sealers apply to various other wood types.

Some deck stains are equally applicable to old rotten wood and new wood. Some are only good for new wood.

Some sealers/deck stains are better than others for softwood; some are equally good for softwood and hardwood.

So, knowing the stain’s application will give you an extra benefit to using it for various wood types.

Benefits of Sealing Redwood

The core benefit of sealing redwood is protecting it from weather elements like snow, rain, UV, etc. Notably, sealing or staining the wood projects for external objects is vital.

You must also keep the redwood fence, deck, or siding from mildew and mold growth. Not to mention, moisture is another element you must keep the wood objects from.

All these can be achieved by sealing the redwood.

Although sealing and staining are called interchangeably, there is a fine line between these two.

Sealers work outside the surface, and the deck stains penetrate the wood to provide waterproofing benefits. Most of the modern-day solutions are two-in-one, though. Meaning they have both the sealant and staining formula inside.

Why is Sealing Redwood Better than Painting?

Sealing and painting both have their upsides and downsides.

While the painting is also easy, like staining, and you can choose from so many color options for painting, at the same time, it’s not the expert in protecting the redwood from so many elements like UV rays, mold, mildew growth, moisture, etc.

Staining and sealing make the wood surface waterproof better than painting; hence the durability of the redwood fence or deck increases.

Painting makes the surface slippery, but staining or sealing doesn’t make the surface slippery.

When it’s about keeping the natural look of the wood or increasing its beauty, wood stains and sealers are the solutions you need to apply.

Painting won’t keep the natural look at all.

On top of that, you control the opacity you want if you seal or stain, which is impossible when you paint. The painting will always have several thick layers over the surface, making it an opaque coating.

Staining or sealing is more budget-friendly than painting.

Best Time To Seal the Redwood Deck

Best Time To Seal the Redwood

Once you install the redwood deck, fence, or whatever is made of redwood, it’s time to seal it.

But wait.

You don’t have to seal the structure after finishing the installation. Wait for 6-7 months before you seal the redwood deck/fence.

It’s because, by this time, the wooden structure gets enough time to open up the pores, resulting in more sealant going into the surface with ease.

During the application process, ensure the temperature is within the manufacturer’s recommended range. Some deck stains are ready to apply immediately, regardless of the temperature. On the other hand, some deck stains work only within a specific temperature range.

Don’t apply the sealer or stain right after the rain. Give the surface enough time to dry up before sealing.

In most cases, you will want to seal the redwood deck under ample sunlight so the sealer can dry.

How to Apply Sealer on Redwood?

Applying sealer on redwood is probably one of the most straightforward jobs anyone can do, whether a professional or a DIYer.

Let me summarize the steps involved in sealing redwood –

  • First, cover up the plants and other furniture where you won’t apply the sealer.
  • Then, pressure washes the surface and gives it enough time to dry perfectly. It’s essential to clean the redwood before sealing.
  • If it’s an older redwood deck or fence, strip off the previous finishing through sanding or using any chemical stripper.
  • Put on the necessary protective gear.
  • Now, start applying the sealer. To get the best results, use an airless pump sprayer or brush.
  • Give it enough to dry and cure.

This is how simple it is to apply sealer on redwood. Please don’t go cheap in buying the sealer for redwood.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

#1. What is the best stain sealer for a redwood deck?

Answer: Although many users call wood stains and sealers interchangeably, they are not identical. Stains penetrate the wood surface, and the sealers work outside the wood.

Good for you. Some solutions are both stain and sealer simultaneously as Ready Seal 520. It’s the best redwood deck sealer, in my opinion.

#2. Does the redwood deck need to be sealed?

Answer: Yes, any redwood deck should be sealed as it gives several benefits to ensure longevity and protect it from elements.

Sealers and stains prevent mold and mildew growth and protect the wood from moisture, sunlight, rain, snow, etc. It increases the appearance.

Altogether, sealing makes the redwood durable. That’s why it’s highly recommended to seal the redwood deck.

#3. Should I use a pressure washer when cleaning the deck?

Answer: You should pressure wash the deck and dry it before sealing to get the best results.

#4. When is the best time to apply the sealer?

Answer: Once you’ve installed the redwood fence, deck, or furniture, wait for at least 6-7 months before you seal them. It will help open the pores and let the sealer into the wood.

When choosing the right temperature, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

#5. What are the best deck cleaners?

Answer: Our recommended deck cleaners are:

#6. What is the best deck stripper?

Answer: Our recommended deck, stripper, is DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper

Final Words

You are not entirely clear about different types of redwood sealers and their upsides and downsides.

Choosing the best redwood sealer shouldn’t be an uphill task for you anymore.

All the above sealers are immensely environmentally friendly, easy on the wallet, and shine in quality, performance, and coverage.

Ready Seal 520 is the best overall option for you.

If you are looking for something that works best on damp wood, Olympic Stain 56505-1 is where you should get your eye in.

I hope you didn’t miss out on the buying guide and FAQ section.

Now it’s your turn!

Meet the Authors

Heenan, Cannon, Mack, and Theodore are four outdoor enthusiasts. Each of them is a handyman and off-road adventurers. Dealing with different tools, automotive accessories, products related to home like sealers are some of their day-to-day tasks. They run this website to share their thoughts on various items they think are good or bad for others. Learn how they started as The Handyman Guru, and why they decided to start this blog..

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