Top 10 Best Wood Stains of 2021

Wood surfaces can be as elegant as other types of surfaces. One of the things you should use is wood stains. They serve to increase the beauty of wood, protect it and add value to property or furniture. Stains ensure wood surfaces have an extra appealing look, which things such as varnish cannot give them. Now, there are many brands in the market, but you should purchase the best wood stains because they are available. Look out for features such as durability, waterproof capability, and composition. Below is a guide on best wood stains to keep in mind when shopping.

1. General Finishes Gel Stain Review

General Finishes Gel Stain Review Check price on Amazon

General Finishes come in different sizes and colors. This gives you the freedom to choose a shade and an amount that suits you best. If you are to choose between the gel and liquid stains, go for gel because it does not penetrate wood as much as liquids do. The state of wood is not a big concern when using a gel stain. This stain is perfect for aspen and pine wood types. It ensures they have an even look.

Top Features

  • Provides a variety of options
  • Has a heavy body
  • High-quality product
  • Great for difficult woods

2. Minwax Penetrating Stain Review

Minwax Penetrating Stain Review Check price on Amazon

Do you love natural products? Minwax is what you should buy. It is an oil-based stain that does a good job on unfinished surfaces. In addition, it deeply penetrates wood thus brings out its grain and protects it from damages. There is no need of having dull wooden surfaces when you have Minwax stain. It will light up your space and give your surface an attractive appearance.

Top Features

  • Has a long-lasting effect on wood
  • Enhances the beauty of wood
  • Acts as a stain and finish
  • High-quality product

3. General Finishes Milk Paint Review

General Finishes Milk Paint Review Check price on Amazon

To be on the list of best wood stain, this brand has several things to offer. For starters, it is an amazing solution for repurposing furniture. Its high adhesion allows for both indoor and outdoor usage. You do not need a top coat to use this paint unless you are working on tabletops or kitchen cabinets, for example. With a lower luster sheen, this brand is mixable with GF chalk paint. About application, use the paint on raw wood and prepped finishes. It is also appropriate for cabinet refinishing and upcycling. You will require 2-3roller coatings for a spectacular look. You can also apply it using a brush or sprayer. All you need to clean is water. There are several things you can do to this paint without affecting its efficiency that is, glazing, lightening, mixing, and distressing.

Top Features

  • Very durable and versatile
  • Has a mineral base
  • A variety of colors to choose
  • UV resistant and highly adaptable

4. Minwax Pre Stain Conditioner Review

Minwax Pre Stain Conditioner Review Check price on Amazon

You will use the conditioner before applying the stain, and Minwax wood stain would be perfect in this case. The pre-stain conditioner promises you an even stain penetration, which is helpful for softwood types such as spruce, pine, and fit. The other benefit of the conditioner is it prepping your wood so it escapes streaking or blotching. It is fine to apply the stain once you are done with the preconditioner.

Top Features

  • 75-square feet coverage per quart
  • Offers extra protection to wood surfaces
  • Goes well with Minwax finish
  • Comes in a one-quart quantity

5. General Finishes Gel Topcoat Review

General Finishes Gel Topcoat Review Check price on Amazon

General Finishes seems to be a credible brand when searching for best wood stain products. However, this item is for applying a top coat. If you want a gel topcoat, then consider General Finishes’. Considering its heavy nature, you do not have to worry about it penetrating too deep into your wood. The condition of your surface does not matter; this brand has your back. When other products are not giving you an even appearance on pine and aspine, it is time to switch to this product. Using a gel coat for gel stains is always a good idea.

Top Features

  • Color and size variety
  • It is heavy
  • Suitable for any stain
  • Contains more urethane, which gel stains need

6. Defy Crystal Clear Exterior Stain Review

Defy Crystal Clear Exterior Stain Review Check price on Amazon

Are you looking for a wood stain suitable for your deck, patios, outdoor furniture and the like? Defy is at your service. It is a clear, water-based stain with amazing performance. For example, the fact that it is clear means it does not mess up the color of your wooden surface. It retains the surface’s beauty and even boosts it by preventing the graying the sun causes. It prevents the gray effect because it contains zinc, which reflects UR rays. You will love the resin composition of this brand, as it is high standard barring darkening and fading of wood. It will be a while before you need to use Defy wood stain again. Maintaining wood does not have to be that difficult. With Defy, no sanding or stripping is required. What you should do is apply a maintenance coat after using Defy wood brightener.

Top Features

  • Resin is high quality
  • Durable effect
  • Mildew and mold resistant
  • Easy to maintain

7. Thompson’s Waterseal Transparent Stain Review

Thompson’s Waterseal Transparent Stain Review Check price on Amazon

Like Defy, Thompson does not change the color of any wood surface. It is a worthwhile waterproofing substance for outdoor wooden areas. This way, it will prevent water from damaging your precious wood. Its content includes polymers that help with retaining wood color. There is no need to be concerned about mildew or UV damage since this stain can withstand them. For effectiveness, apply the stain on a clean surface whether it is damp or dry.

Top Features

  • Prevents fading of wood color
  • It is waterproof
  • Mildew and UV resistant
  • Higher quality, above industry standards

8. Rust-Oleum Finish Review

Rust-Oleum Finish Review Check price on Amazon

Bar tops, furniture, and crafts are good to go with this wood finish. It is a preservative kit for interior surfaces. Are you worried about chemicals or heat damaging your wood? Well, this brand resists such. It provides a better protective layer than varnish. About appearance, Rust-Oleum provides users with an extra glaze and ultra-glossy surface. You will like the results.

Top Features

  • Long-lasting and waterproof
  • One pour equals 75 varnish coats
  • Chemical and heat tolerant
  • Easy to apply

9. Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Stain Review

Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Stain Review Check price on Amazon

You will only need one coat of Oleum’s Varathane stain. Floors and furniture look great with this brand. However, you do not need a conditioner or pre-stain. The weathered gray color is fantastic. On composition, this brand has nanoparticles, which are very tiny ensuring a high color quality and an outstanding grain highlight. No wonder you need a single coat for that appealing appearance. Varathane works by sealing pores in wood and then hardens.

Top Features

  • Dries in an hour
  •  Time-saving
  • Lowers expense(no conditioner needed)
  • Easy to apply using a brush

10. Rust-Oleum Sunbleached Wood Stain Review

 Rust-Oleum Sunbleached Wood Stain Review Check price on Amazon

as one of the best wood stain brands, Oleum has more to offer. Apart from surfaces drying in an hour, the sun-bleached Oleum brand gives your floor the color you want in one coating. An appropriate top coat for this stain would be polyurethane, which fastens the drying process. The brand does not only stain wood but seals it too. Do not buy a conditioner once you have this product; you do not need it.

Top Features

  • Provides more than 10 colors to select
  • Takes an hour to dry
  • Cost efficient
  • Simple to apply


Wood surfaces look spectacular when treated with authentic, high performing products. If you are working on your floor, deck, patio, bar tops or tables, you now have a guide on top 10 best wood stains to consider. You cannot afford to buy low-quality products. It is a waste of money.

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