How to Apply Extreme Wood Stain

DEFY Extreme Wood Stain is an easy-to-use, water-based deck stain that can be used on decks, siding, fences, or any other type of exterior wood surface. DEFY Extreme Stain can be applied to pressure-treated lumber, vertical cedar, or pine. To stain your wood surface using DEFY Extreme Stain, follow these three simple steps.

1. Clean or strip the wood.

Even if you have new wood, it’s important to clean the surface with a wood cleaner. When new wood is is cut, it has something called “mill scale” on it, which is a crushing of the grain of the wood. DEFY Wood Cleaner will remove the mill scale and open the grain of the wood to receive the maximum amount of stain. If your wood is extremely weathered or has turned gray, DEFY Wood Cleaner will clean it and remove any graying. For wood that has previously applied stains that are still intact, use DEFY Stain Stripper to completely remove the old stain.

2. Brighten the wood

Regardless of whether you clean or strip the wood, next you’ll need to use a brightener to neutralize the surface of the wood. Brightening can be done immediately following the cleaner or stripper. No wait time is needed. DEFY Wood Brightener is used after the cleaner or stain stripper to neutralize and brighten the surface of the wood. Using the cleaner or stain stripper on the wood causes the surface to become extremely alkaline. This is bad for staining as it can cause premature stain failure. By using a brightener, you’ll bring the pH level of the wood back to neutral quickly, and get the maximum lifespan from the stain applied in the next step.

3. Stain the wood

Allow the wood to dry for 12-24 hours before staining. If you’re staining a deck, start with the railings and spindles first. Cover the flat parts of the deck with cardboard or drop cloths to prevent any drips. Apply two coats with a synthetic bristle paint brush.Next apply the stain to the horizontal boards. It’s usually a good idea to use a paint brush to trim the first board or two against the house. After that, the quickest way to stain your deck is to use a car wash brush. You can purchase one in the auto cleaning section of most home improvement stores. Pour the stain into a five-gallon bucket (if you purchased in single gallon cans), ad dip the brush in the bucket, and apply the stain to the deck boards. Watch this short video below to see an example.

Allow the wood to dry for 24 hours before walking on the surface or moving your patio furniture back on the deck. In extremely humid conditions, the stain could take longer than 24 hours to dry properly.

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  1. Tekla says:

    If I want to reapply in a year(I live in Hawaii) Will I have to strip this product? Or can I clean and brush on? I want a product that penetrates wood, not coats it, otherwise I would use paint.

    • defyadmin says:

      Tekla, for maintenance, simply clean and reapply a single maintenance coat. Stripping is not necessary. Our products are penetrating stains. They’re designed to soak into the wood rather than lay on the surface.

  2. Rick says:

    Going to apply Defy extreme deck stain to douglas fir and cedar boards before reconstruction of my deck. The wood is raw construction grade. 1) do I have to clean it before staining? 2) what’s the best method in applying the the stain to the boards?

    • defyadmin says:

      Rick, yes you should clean and brighten it first before applying the stain. Using DEFY Wood Cleaner and Wood Brightener will remove any mill scale, open up the pores of the wood and ensure an even application of the stain. The best way to apply it is to use this brush.

  3. James Gira says:

    We power washed our 5 year old 500 sq’ wolmanized deck and then sanded it with a power dry wall sander. We applied Defy Extreme light walnut stain to the prepared deck and couldn’t be happier!
    Our deck looks like new and the compliments we receive are beyond imagination. We have never used a stain easier to apply and the results are wonderful.

  4. Kurt Neidhardt says:

    I have a vertical smooth cedar house. why is the defy extreme better than the hardwood deck stain for this ?

    I have been doing first coat with Extreme and second coat ( couple days later) with the hardwood stain to bring out more color?is this bad?

    Most importantly if I just use the extreme stain and then want to reapply two years later how do I clean it without stripping the stain off.?Your cleaner takes off the old finish.

    • Mike Nomura says:

      I would like to know the answers to Mr. Neidhardts second question. I too would like to intermix the Extreme over the Hardwood stain for a maintenance coat. Can this be done in this matter? or would I need to strip off the Hardwood Stain before applying the Extreme Stain? Would it be possible to apply different colors(cedar over natural pine)? Thanks I apologize if these questions are too ridiculous, although i’m totally new at this.

  5. Joyce says:

    I will be staining a wood wall approx 4 feet tall, so the grain is vertical not horizontal like a fence. What is the best way for me to put on the stain and what tools should I use.

  6. Dwight says:

    Two coats in 20 minutes???
    In one area of your website it says to allow no longer than 20 minutes between coats.
    How am I supposed to walk on the deck after the 1st coat to apply the 2nd???

  7. Julie Lewis says:

    We are using the Extreme Wood Stain to stain fir posts and rafters on our house. The wood will be sandblasted first to give it a rough-sawn appearance. What kind of prep do you recommend?

    Because it is such a large and complex area, we are planning on using a sprayer for the application. Is there anything else we need to be aware of?

    • customerservice says:


      After you sandblast, use the cleaner and the brightener before staining the rafters. This will help open up the pores of the wood and will allow the stain to soak in.


  8. Melody Owens says:

    What will be the best solution for a 2 year old porch that is in full sun all day long. We have recently pressure washed it with just water and now it needs a tune up. I want a coated look that will bring it to life and be little maintenance that will last for a while without peeling or sticky feeling. What product is recommended.

    • defyadmin says:

      Melody, if you want a solid color stain that will completely hide the wood grain, you can use our DEFY Extreme Solid Color Wood Stain. It can be tinted to any color you like at most Do it Best stores. You can find a dealer here. If you’re looking for a semi-transparent stain, then our DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain would be best. Neither of these stains will peel or remain sticky after applied.

  9. Tom says:

    I intend to apply Extreme wood stain today, but it may rain tonight. Will the stain be damaged? The weather today will be cloudy, high 80ies and humid.

    • defyadmin says:

      Tom, typically our stain dries within an hour or so. We usually recommend a few hours of dry time before rain, but high humidity could cause dry time to be longer.


    Do you also recommend applying your solid stain with a car wash brush?

    • defyadmin says:

      A roller may be your best bet as it will give it a smooth, even finish, but you could use a car wash brush too. This product also works well with an airless sprayer.

  11. Kathleen Kidder says:

    We have a log home in Vermont and have used Defy Epoxy Wood Stain in a light walnut. It has held up well, but now it is time to stain again. I cannot find the same stain I used in the past. What will work over what I have without stripping? I also have one side with slight discoloration. Can I use the wood cleaner or brightener without fully stripping the epoxy stain we used a few years ago and then restain. Thank you for your assistance.

    • defyadmin says:

      Kathleen, the DEFY Epoxy stain that you used in the past has since been improved and renamed as DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain. This is the same formula but with the added benefit of zinc that makes it more resistant to UV rays and mold/mildew stains. You should be fine to brighten the wood with DEFY Wood Brightener and then put a maintenance coat of Extreme Wood Stain. The light walnut color in the Extreme is the same as the Epoxy stain you previously used.

  12. Elizabeth Z Russell says:

    I just finished applying 2 coats of defy walnut stain to deck. This was a 3 month 2019 Summer of save the deck project. It is a very large deck that required 8 gallons for a double coat. I replaced wood and handrails that were on their last leg, sanded and sanded and sanded. The deck turned out beautiful and all the extra time consuming prep was the answer as applying a great seal to a poor product will not last. I have cleaned my 2 year old 800 ft fence (200 ft per side) and am ready to Graco airless spray. Being October the temperatures are dropping here in Ohio. The high temps are in the right range for spraying but the night lows will be in the 30s-40s. Is it ok to apply Defy as long as I apply when in temp range as it does dry fairly quickly. As a side note , I am a 60 year old woman, so if I can do it anyone can with patience.

    • defyadmin says:

      Elizabeth, glad to hear your project turned out great. You can apply DEFY stain as long as the temperature is above 45 F and rising. You’ll want it to stay above that temperature for at least several hours after your done staining so it can dry in time before the temperatures drop back down.

  13. Sue Cadamagnani says:

    We are planning to apply Defy Extreme solid stain on our 30 year old cedar siding that has water-based stain on it. There is no peeling. Our only problem is some mold that comes right off with slight power wash using oxygen bleach and a clear rinse every few years. We also do this before re-staining every 7 years or so. Is that enough preparation before applying your solid stain?

    • defyadmin says:

      Sue, that should be fine. Just make sure there’s no mold present when you’re staining. Also make sure to rinse the cleaner off thoroughly.

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