Finding the best redwood sealer is sometimes confusing if you don’t know anything about wood sealer or stain.
Even if you know the basics, it’s quite overwhelming to choose the right one depending on the application and outcome you are expecting.
Besides the application and outcome, you have to consider a few other parameters like –
- Type of the redwood finish.
- Ease of use.
- Price, etc.
Good for you!
In this article, I will review the 5 best sealers for redwood mentioning all the highs and lows of each of the items. I’m sure it will help you to select the best bet based on your expectations.
So, let’s begin.
Best Redwood Sealer: Our Honest and Unbiased Review
#1. Ready Seal 520 Redwood Stain and Sealer Review
- Requires no primer. Ready Seal is darkest when first applied. It reaches its true color in approximately 14 days. Do not apply Ready Seal over painted or newly stained surfaces. Sealed surfaces inhibit penetration.
- May be applied using sprayer, roller or brush onto the woods surface.
- Requires no back brushing and will nerver leave runs, laps, or streaks.
- Requires no wet-line application, the product will blend itself and can be applied in any temperature range for proper application.
- Requires no diluting or thinning prior to spray applications.
- It works both as a stain and sealer to protect both the wood surface’s upper and inner layers.
- You can apply Ready Seal at any temperature.
- Applying this sealer is an easy-peasy task using any of the tools like brush, roller, pump-up garden sprayers, or airless sprayers, etc.
- No priming or sanding is required to make this sealer usable.
- No back brushing is required if you use the right 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’s experiences).
- Convenient container.
- The price seems pretty ok to me, considering the performance.
- You may want to cover the plants and other outdoor furniture during application as this sealer tends to leave a thin oily film on those elements.
Ready Seal 520 redwood sealer is one of the finest solutions to protect the redwood from both inside and outside. It’s a goof-proof oil-based sealer that makes anyone’s life easy to apply, no matter if you are a professional or a DIYer.
It’s a semi-transparent stain that gives the required protection along with letting the wood show through.
What attracts me most about this sealer is, 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, diluting before application. That means it’s ready to use right off the bat.
After applying, you should wait at least 14 days to see its actual color.
Pro tip: If you apply it to a dry fence, consider using double as any dry wood tends to absorb more than usual.
If you are considering quality, easy to apply, durable, and compatible for all states in the USA option, then this one is undoubtedly the top-rated redwood sealer for you.
Considering the price, you have all the rights to choose from some other options. But the performance of this sealer justifies the bill, beyond the shadow of a doubt.
#2. Olympic Stain 56505-1 Redwood Stain and Sealer Review
- Enhanced waterproofing protection to help make sure your wood is protected from cracking due to water
- Provides a mildew resistant coating to help prevent stains and discoloring
- Advanced sunblock uv defense helps protects your wood from dangerous uv rays that can wear d the coating
- Manufacturer: PPG
- Different transparency levels, colors, and quantities are readily available.
- Real contractors have testified its durability.
- Easy to apply and spread.
- It gives good color consistency.
- Equally applicable on damp wood.
- The water-repelling capability of this stain is worth noting.
- It works well both as stain and sealer.
- This sealer provides superior protection against UV rays and fading.
- Provides substantial coverage to consider it as a cost-effective solution.
- You can apply it with any paint sprayer, and you don’t need to dilute or thin before application.
- Easy to carry container.
- The price of this sealer is a bargain.
- Its ability to protect mildew is a bit questionable.
Olympic Maximum Stain 56505-1 offers all the required bells and whistles that a deck stain needs to provide for protecting any redwood surface.
You can apply this sealer even after rain, and it becomes rain-ready after only 8 hours. No matter if the weather is hot or cold, it’s ready to be applied in any condition.
Once you apply this Olympic Maximum sealer, sit back and watch it working up to at least 4 to 5 years. Real contractors have testified this.
One gallon of this sealer covers around 250-350 square feet; two gallons cover about 600 square feet, three or more gallons cover approximately 850 square feet.
Pro Tip: Pressure washes the surface and lets it dry before applying the Olympic sealer to get the best results.
Durability is one of the top features this wood stain provides out of many other necessary 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 Review
- Easy to Use - Tung oil is a natural oil recognized by craftsmen to offer the ultimate hand-rubbed finish for all fine woods; just wipe on and allow the oil to cure at room temperature
- Permeates - Unlike other finishes that form a film on the wood’s surface, tung oil penetrates deep into the wood fibers, cures to a flexible non-oily solid, and becomes part of the wood itself
- Protects - Resistant to moisture, alcohol, oil, and everyday wear for lasting beauty and protection; lasts many times longer than mineral oil and wax based products
- Multi Use - Amazing results on almost any surface that will allow the oil to penetrate - new unfinished wood, weathered wood, stripped wood, concrete floors and countertops, even brick, stone, and cast iron
- Great for Food Contact Surfaces - Since tung oil is considered non-toxic when dry, it is great for cutting boards, butcher blocks, countertops, wooden bowls, wooden utensils, and more
- 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, along with increasing the beauty of the surface.
- Enhances the wood grain nicely, and the level of darkness it gives is just perfect for bringing a fantastic look to the furniture.
- It takes relatively less time to cure compared to other tung oil available on the market.
- As it contains zero VOC, you don’t have to worry about any sorts of health hazards.
- Different sizes are readily available for buying.
- 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, regardless of the expertise level, to make the furniture or other wood structure fight with moisture, regular wear, and tear.
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.
If you are finding something that leaves an appealing finish after applying and gives great waterproofing benefits, this one is one of the best bets for you.
Yes, the price seems a tad on the higher side to me, but it won’t break anyone’s bank for sure.
#4. TotalBoat Epoxy Wood Sealer Review
- WOOD HARDENER FOR ROTTED WOOD: two-part epoxy system seals, hardens, preserves, and protects all types of wood by stopping rot. Makes finishes like paint and varnish stick better and last longer. Easy to use treatment has no VOCs or harsh fumes
- PENETRATING WOOD SEALER: An ideal dry rot treatment; this marine-grade epoxy resin is perfect for wooden boat restoration, wood repairs, and woodworking projects. Seal bare or new wood to protect against mold, mildew, moisture, and fungus
- CLEAR LOW VISCOSITY RESIN WITH MANY USES: Use on all softwoods, including cedar, cypress, fir, pine and redwood. Use on all hardwoods, including ipe, mahogany, maple, oak, and teak. Use on butcher block, live edge slabs, particle board, plywood, and OSB
- WOOD ROT REPAIR EPOXY AVAILABLE IN TWO FORMULAS: Choose regular formula Penetrating Epoxy for 65-90 degrees F temps; Choose Cold Weather Penetrating Epoxy for 40-65 degrees F temps (Do not use Cold Weather formula above 65 F)
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT EPOXY KIT SIZE FOR YOUR PROJECT: Both formulas are available in Pint, Quart, Half-Gallon, and Gallon sizes. Simple 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener mix ratio for reliable results every time. Easy cleanup with soap and water
- You can apply it to various types of wood, including softwood, hardwood, plywood, etc.
- Equally applicable for both new and old wood.
- Multiple sizes and versions are available to choose from.
- It gives quite 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.
- 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, particularly 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 both protects and hardens the wood at a time.
This particular version is the cold-weather version of the sealer that you shouldn’t use above 65-degree. If you want something suitable for 65-degree plus, better go for this traditional version of this TotalBoat sealer.
The cold-weather takes about 4 days to cure fully. On the other hand, the traditional one takes about only 2 days to cure 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.
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.
A lot of professionals, as well as DIYers, are using this epoxy for years and having an excellent output.
#5. KILZ L832211 Waterproofing Wood Stain Review
- A good exterior wood stain offers long-lasting protection, waterproofing and a mildew-resistant finish that maintains the integrity and beauty of wood in variable outdoor conditions
- Our 100% Acrylic formula protects wood from rain, snow and sun damage. This stain is warrantied up to 3 years on decks and up to 5 years on fences and siding (see label for details).
- Use on properly prepared new to moderately weathered and unsealed exterior wood surfaces (0-10 years exposure) including decks, shingles, wood patio furniture, railings, siding, shakes and fences.
- This semi-transparent stain provides a mildew-resistant finish and UV protection. Coverage of up to 250 square feet For the first coat and up to 500 square feet For the second coat.
- This is a 1-Gallon can of KILZ exterior waterproofing, semi-transparent wood stain in Redwood.
- Excellent in preventing mold and mildew growth.
- This wood stain protects the wooden object from different weather conditions like rain, snow, UV rays, etc., with excellence.
- Easy to apply with sprayer or roller.
- Cleaning this sealer is a plain sailing task too.
- Excellent in providing waterproofing benefits.
- It boasts low VOC, hence not harmful to the environment.
- No harsh fumes.
- The price is quite low per gallon.
- This stain looks more orangish than reddish.
- Not applicable for interior wood floors.
- In some cases, it requires at least two coats to get the best output.
KILZ L832211 is one of the finest semi-transparent acrylic waterproofing wood stains that give excellent protection to the exterior redwood deck, fence, redwood siding, etc.
Its ability to make it waterproof is worth noting. You will see some droplets building up after rain instead of penetrating the 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 this stain when the outside temperature is between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pro Tip 1: Mix half water and half 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.
Overall, this KILZ L832211 is undoubtedly a cost-effective semi-transparent wood/deck stain that gives all sorts of protection that the outdoor wood projects require. It doesn’t cost too much, either. You won’t regret trying this wood stain for exterior wood projects.
What to Consider Before Buying the Redwood Sealer?
Types of Redwood
Knowing about different types of redwood helps you determine the kind you are owning, and eventually, it will help you choose the very 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, and like the giant redwood, they can live up to 3000 years. Their trunks grow straight sidewise, and they have thick bark that is kind of fibrous.
Dawn redwoods have conical shapes varying in maximum height.
In most of the 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.
Some sealers are particularly made for exterior use, like KILZ L832211 that I reviewed 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 furniture better than anything else.
If you are going to seal the outdoor fence or deck, you need something that is expert in protecting the surface from weather elements like rain, snow, and gives UV protection, moisture. It needs to be equally useful in preventing mildew growth for 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 some are better for exterior redwood objects like fences, deck, etc.
Before choosing one, you have to make sure that a particular type contains the ingredients to give the desired outcome.
For example, typically, the oil-based stains give a glossy look, which you will want to apply on furniture without any second thought. Oil-based are quite expert in protecting mildew and mold growth.
On the other hand, some users prefer epoxy to oil-based for outdoor fences as they tend to withstand harsh weather conditions better than their oil-based counterparts.
Water-based deck stain is another new but popular form for wood stain these days. Water-based stains contain the lowest VOC; they are easiest to clean, dries fast, costs low. However, they tend to give low gloss.
So, choose the type of sealer based on the outcome you are expecting.
The wood stains can be divided by four levels of opacity.
Toner is the clearest type of stain. They don’t change the outlook of the wood.
Semi-transparent is the most popular among users. Semi-transparent 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, and it gives the wood a rich color.
Opaque is known as a solid stain among the users and can provide maximum protection and ensure more longevity than the other ones. It contains the highest amount of pigment.
When purchasing the best one, consider the amount you are going to buy.
All the companies offer different sizes of containers like 1 gallon, 5 gallons, etc.
First, you have to know the area you need to cover to seal the surface, then decide on the amount you require.
Typically, a standard sealer can cover 250-400 square feet for the first coat. For the second coat, you get more coverage per gallon.
Goof proof mostly means ease of use.
Almost every redwood sealer is straightforward to apply using a brush, sprayer, or roller.
Make sure the one you are buying is easy to apply with those simple tools. To get the best results, you will want to use an airless pump sprayer.
The level of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) is vital to consider before buying a stain. Several states impose regulation 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.
Although I’m writing this article to guide you about the redwood sealers, keep in mind that most of the sealers are applicable to various other wood types.
Some stains are equally applicable for both old rotten wood and new wood. Some are only good for new wood.
Some sealers/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 use it for various wood types.
Benefits of Sealing Redwood
The core benefit of sealing redwood is to protect it from different weather elements like snow, rain, UV, etc. Notably, for the exterior objects, it’s vital to seal or stain the wood projects.
You got to keep the fence, deck, or redwood siding from mildew and mold growth as well. 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 from outside of the surface, and the stains penetrate into 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 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 the 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 not possible when you paint. The painting will always put several thick layers over the surface and make it an opaque coating.
Staining or sealing is more budget-friendly than painting.
Best Time To Seal the Redwood Deck
Once you install the deck, fence, or whatever made of redwood, it’s time to seal it.
You don’t have to seal the structure right after finishing the installation processes. Wait for at least 6-7 months before you seal the 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 applying process, make sure the temperature is within the manufacturer’s recommended range. Some stains are ready to apply right off the bat, regardless of the temperature. On the other hand, some 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 that the sealer gets the opportunity to dry.
How to Apply Sealer on Redwood?
Applying sealer on redwood is probably some of the most straightforward jobs that anyone can do, whether he is a professional or 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 give it enough time to dry perfectly. It’s essential to clean the redwood before sealing.
- If it’s an older deck or fence, then strip off the previous finishing through sanding or using any chemical stripper.
- Put on the necessary protective gears.
- Now, start applying the sealer. To get the best results, better 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. It would be great if you 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 wood stains and sealers are called interchangeably by many users, they are not entirely the same. Stains penetrate the wood surface, and the sealers work from outside the wood.
Good for you. Some solutions that are both stain and sealer at the same time 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, protects 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 wood deck.
#3. Should I use a pressure washer when cleaning the deck?
Answer: Yes, you should pressure wash the deck and dry it before sealing to get the best results.
#4. When is the best time to apply 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 to open up the pores and let the sealer go into the wood.
When it’s about choosing the right temperature, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
I believe 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, 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 the one you should get your eye in.
Now it’s your turn!
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