Written by Terry Smith

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Best furniture and decking stain for woodwork in 2021

This article was last updated on February 28th, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Top 5 best furniture and decking stains

If you’ve had decking or garden furniture for any length of time, you will probably have noticed that it doesn’t take long to start to look worn and faded. However, the biggest issue with decking is that it also becomes very slippery (definitely use decking treatment before stain), to a point where it’s actually dangerous and that still applies to laying your own plastic wood decking.

This is where a good quality wood stain comes in very handy; however, there are many to choose with varying shades from clear natural, stone grey, red cedar; the list goes on into the hundreds. The best wood stains also incorporate non-slip protection, often using micro-beading and protect the wood from the British weather and the suns damaging UV rays that cause excessive fading and cracking.

Overall, staining your decking and garden furniture ensures it is much more durable and gives it that richer colour many of us come to love. The trouble is, there are now many water-downed stains that are more water than paint, so in this review, we have narrowed the best wood stains to just 5 top picks we use ourselves.

Comparison table: Best furniture and decking stain for woodwork in 2021

ProductWhat We ThinkPrice

Cuprinol anti-slip decking stain natural 5l

  • Long lasting weather protection
  • Anti-slip finish
  • 5L covers up to 40m² with 2 coats on bare or previously stained wood....

Blackfriar BKFASDC25L Anti-Slip Deck Coating

  • Provides excellent coverage and the micro-aggregate yields slip resistance
  • Application method brush and roller
  • Suitable for exterior timber decking and walkways

Ronseal ultimate protection decking stain stone grey 2.5l

  • Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Stain comes in the following:
  • The unique formula penetrates deeper into the wood to provide increased durability...
  • Providing a lightly tinted finish it will give double the weather resistance and foot traffic protection...

Sadolin Decking Stain and Protector


  • UV active technology.
  • Super quality
  • It also consists of fungicides that resists algae and mould growth for real. No sales gimmick.
  • The Decking stain seeps deep into your deck to provide long lasting protection.
  • It works super in all kinds of weather.
  • It can be easily applied using a brush or a cloth
  • It comes with protection guarantee


  • Price point
  • Lack of colour options

If you are in search of high-quality furniture and decking stain products, you are in the right place. The market is filled with different brands of stains but your aim is to get the best one. After reviewing a lot of brands, we have finally shortlisted 5 of the best products for you to choose from. We have also provided the details so that you can get a good idea about the products.

1. Ronseal ultimate protection decking stain stone grey 2.5l

First on our list is the ultimate protection decking stain by Ronseal; I believe in using good quality stain, so you won’t need to do it again in a hurry. They also make one of the best fence paints incidentally too. This stain is by far one of the best currently available. It comes in 13 different colours, but the stone grey seems to be a show stopper and comes up well on decking. We recommend giving it at least two coats, maybe three to ensure an even finish, especially on new decking, but the results are nothing short of excellent, and it gives a really durable finish ideal for areas that walked on often.

In term of coverage, you can expect a 2.5-litre tin to cover around covers 6.4m2 per litre. Still, some times it doesn’t quite go as far as you might expect. It just depends on how generous you are when painting it on. For that, we recommend going for a larger paintbrush, even consider investing in a long-handled decking paintbrush. Trust me, it makes life much easier, especially on your back.

Overall we would highly recommend considering this stain as it gives an excellent slip-resistant surface, dries in around 90 minutes, and seems to soak in well and provide a good finish and help prevent your deck from splitting or turning that nasty grey colour you often see.

  • More durability and a longer-lasting finish thanks to the unique formula that penetrates deep into the wood
  • Ideal for well used decked areas to bring them up like new
  • Available in 13 different colours so you can always find the right choice for your decor
  • It gives a lightly tinted finish that offers exceptional durability and protection
  • Touch dry in only 90 minutes, which means you don’t get caught out if it rains a few hours later

2. Cuprinol anti-slip decking stain natural 5l

Curpinol is a band you can trust, they make the best wood preservative and so not surprising the stain is right up there. If you’re looking for a more natural finish, perhaps a little darker, this decking stain by Cuprinol is well worth considering. You get what you pay for when it comes to wood stains, and this stain ticks all the boxes. It even has an algicide formula to help protect the decking from green algae and mould growth, perfect for decking in shaded areas where this can sometimes be a problem.

What I also like about this stain is that it gives a clear more natural finish thanks to the rich semi-transparent colour which is great for those who prefer not to really change the colour, but rather just enhance the woods natural colour.

Where this stain really stands out from some other alternatives is with what Cuprinol call invisible anti-slip microbeads. Once applied, it gives a very durable non-slip finish, and in terms of coverage, you can expect a 5-litre tin to cover around 40m² if you apply two coats.

If you’re looking to keep that more natural colour to your decking, this is well worth considering as it just gives that slightly darker look to your decking while providing excellent protection.

  • Perfect for slippery decking to form an anti-flip finish thanks to the invisible anti-slip microbeads
  • Incorporates an effective algicide to help prevent algae and mould, making it a good choice for shady areas
  • Gives a very tough, durable finish
  • Great for maintaining the colour of your decking

3. Blackfriar BKFASDC25l Anti-slip deck coating 2.5l

Next on our list of wood stains is this stain by Blackfriar. Now where this one differs from the rest is that it gives a more low sheen; maybe we would describe it as closer to a natural finish than some of the alternative stain choices.

First off its incorporates a micro-aggregate that means it gives provides a very non-slip finish. It also has a very durable finish, and you could easily expect it to last three years before needing a repaint your decking.

The only things to be aware of is that it takes around 6-7 hours to dry to the touch but up to 24 hours to fully dry. This is longer than some of the other stains so just makes sure no rain is forcasted for the next day or two. It’s also worth noting it also helps protect against mould and algae too.

Overall, if your looking for a more natural finish and don’t want that bright sheen, this stain is worth considering. Just remember not to get caught out by the rain, especially if you have used quick-drying stains in the past where this has not been an issue.

  • Clear low sheen finish giving a more natural look
  • Provides a very durable finish and projects the wood
  • The incorporated micro-aggregate provides a non-slip finish
  • Usually, last around three years before needing to be stained again
  • Offers protection again mould and algae

If you are looking for a versatile wood stain that you can use on a range of outdoor timber products, this could be the perfect choice for you, especially if you’re looking for a wood stain for garden furniture.

The first thing to note is that this stain needs to be mixed, so 500mm will make around 5 litres of stain. At first, this put me off, but how wrong were I? This is an excellent product that will last years if applied correctly.

The first thing to note is that it’s environmentally friendly because it’s Non-Solvent, Non-Toxic, Zero Odour and VOC Free. This means that it’s also ecologically friendly too so it’s perfect for the environmentally conscious which is becoming more and more important.

So this wood stain, which is really a stain concentrate, is made with the most advanced water-soluble pigments which give a long-lasting finish so you can expect it to last for years.

Overall, this is probably the best choice for those who are conscious of the impact they have on the environment and want to stain furniture. Just make sure you shake that bottle well to ensure the pigments mix correctly, and its also best applied with a soft sponge brush to get the best finish.

In terms of coverage, the 5 litres will give you around 375 – 550 Square Feet (35 – 51 Square Metres), but this of course, depends on the wood and how well it soaks in. However, you should find it goes a long way on smooth wooden furniture. Nearly forgot, it also dries exceptional quick, another reason it an excellent choice for garden furniture.

  • Perfect for garden furniture as it gives a long-lasting finish
  • Non-Solvent, Non-Toxic, Zero Odour and VOC Free
  • Advanced water-soluble pigments give a superior finish
  • 5 litre mix covers around 375 to 550 Square Feet or surface area
  • Available in 17 eye-catching colours
  • It can be applied by brush or spray
  • Easy to wash off surfaces that are not wood with soapy water

5. Sandolin decking stain and protector red cedar 2.5l

Now, this is good stuff but it’s expensive, however, at the end of the day you get what you pay for and this is no exception when it comes to wood stains. This stain also incorporates UV active technology, which means it works particularly well on decked areas that are open and exposed to the sun all day which often causes excess cracking and greying off wood.

I like that that it is also a 2 in 1 product, but most stains are; however I think this just offers a slightly better hardwearing finish. It has all the qualities that you want in your decking stain if you’re looking to avoid the cheaper alternatives and need a stain that offers real protection. It’s also worth noting it also incorporates a fungicide that prevents the growth of mould and algae too.

Overall, if your willing to maybe budget a little more for a premium product for a longer-lasting finish and protection, this is well worth considering and also gives a good finish.

  • It gives a superior durable, long-lasting finish, ideal for heavily used decking
  • UV active technology protects the surface from the sun UV rays, which causes cracking
  • Features a fungicide that prevents the growth of mould and algae
  • It can be applied by brush or roller

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message: info@gardentoolbox.co.uk

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