Wood Defender Transparent Fence Stain Review

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Matt Stone

Wood Defender Transparent Stain

Product Description

This is a review of the Wood Defender brand transparent oil-based fence stain. Wood Defender is a great product for DIY and professionals alike.

Its key selling point is that it is ridiculously easy to apply. There are no issues with lap marks, runs, or uneven shine like other oil-based fence stains. It looks great on new cedar fences.

That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing Wood Defender. There are a few key steps in the application instructions that will make all the difference in your end result.

Overall Score: 8.0/10

Single Gallons

Five Gallon Buckets


Very Easy to Apply

Will Not Peel or Flake

Protects From Moisture and UV Rays


Takes a Long Time to Dry

Not Recommended For Decks

Read Below to Find our full review of Wood Defender Fence Stain.

I have applied hundreds of gallons of Wood Defender fence stain in my career. It has become one of my go-to stains. I have found it to be an easy-to-use stain with many benefits. Let me share my review of Wood Defender fence stain.

Product Review Overview

This is Wood Defender’s Oxford Brown color.

Wood Defender is an oil-based stain produced by Standard Paints in Mansfield, Texas. It uses paraffin oil which gives it the unique property of drying very slowly. Slow-drying stains have many pros and a few cons to keep in mind. We will give a more detailed description of these below.

This product is a great option for waterproofing and staining outdoor structures like fences, gazebos, pergolas, and more. It seals the wood from moisture to protect it from rotting and mildew. The pigments in the stain block UV rays which can damage the wood.

If a quality coat of Wood Defender stain is kept on exterior wood it will dramatically increase the lifespan of that structure. This will save you money on having to replace your fence etc.

Because the oils used in this stain are very slow drying I do not recommend using them on decks or outdoor furniture. If Wood Defender transparent stain is applied to these surfaces they can stay oily for up to a couple of months. This means you may track oily fence stain into your home from your deck. Wood Defender makes a stain specifically for decks called the 200 series.

Product Ratings

Ease of Application9
Initial Appearance7
Average Rating:8.0/10

Ease of Application

wood defender cedar tone color on a fence
This is Wood Defender’s cedar tone transparent color.

This is the area where Wood Defender really shines. It is very easy to apply compared to most other stains. The reason for this is that it uses the very slow-drying oil for its base. This allows you to put on one very thick coat of stain. This would create problems for other fence stain brands.

Many other oil-based stains will create drips, runs, or uneven shininess if they are applied with a heavy coat. This may not be a problem for professionals but a DIYer may have a hard time putting other products on just right. This can be extra challenging if the fence pickets are not absorbing the stain evenly. 

Wood Defender does not require back brushing. Being able to skip this extra step means that staining a fence with Wood Defender may take you less time.

The Wood Defender representative I spoke to said there are three important steps to making sure the stain job goes well.

  1. Make sure the fence is dry.
  2. Make sure the stain is mixed up really well.
  3. Make sure to put enough stain on the fence. It should be just starting to drip.

Initial Appearance

wood defender can in front of two boards during our test application
We tested the Leatherwood Color for our test application.

When Wood Defender is first applied it can look a little bit uneven. This is because some pickets will likely absorb the stain faster than others. Wood Defender reaches a pleasant initial appearance after about a week. As long as you applied a solid coat of stain you should rest assured that the color will look good.

Since this is a transparent stain, much of the character of the wood will show through. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on the condition of the fence you are applying it to. This stain works great for new fences, especially cedar. It will highlight the beauty of the wood. 

If your fence is older or has imperfections you want to cover up, I recommend going with a semi-transparent option instead.


Wood Defender is designed to fully penetrate the wood. That means that there is no film created on the surface. There are two main benefits to this. First, it is virtually impossible for Wood Defender to peel or crack. The stain will slowly fade over time until a new coat is applied. This means the stain will look good longer than one that peels or flakes.

It also means that the stain will not interfere with new coats that are applied later. This makes maintaining the stain much easier.

Application Methods: Brush, Roller, Pump Sprayer, Airless Sprayer

Requires back brushing: No

Requires keeping a wet edge: No


Wood Defender transparent stain tends to rank on the higher end of the price range. It is a premium stain designed for harsh weather conditions and the price tag reflects that.

Ease of Reapplication

Wood Defender is very easy to apply for second or subsequent coats. As mentioned earlier, it does not form a film that will interfere with the new stain being applied. This means that you will not need to strip the product off the fence before you apply a new coat. 

Also, since the stain does not peel or flake you will not need to spend time scraping or sanding old stain off the fence before you apply a new coat. Power washing is also not required. As long as your fence is reasonably clean you can put on another coat.


Wood Defender recommends applying a new coat of stain every 2-4 years on fences and 2-3 years on decks

Resistance to Peeling

Wood Defender does not peel because the stain fully penetrates the fence. Any excess stain will either slowly soak into the wood or run off to the ground. Since there is no film created by the drying oil there is nothing that can flake off or peel.


Wood Defender offers a two-year warranty on all their transparent stains.

Product Information

Stain Type: Water-based, Oil-based, penetrating

Color Options: 8, can be mixed

Application temperatures: Greater than 50

Recommended coats: One saturation coat

Coverage: 125 – 250 depending on species

Dry Time: n/a

Cleanup: mineral spirits

Data Sheet

Manufacturer: Standard Paints

Alternatives to Wood Defender Transparent

Another very similar alternative would be Ready Seal fence stain. It has a similar application process and transparent look. Read our Ready Seal Stain Review.

Our Verdict

Wood Defender’s Leatherwood color looks great on this cedar fence.

We recommend Wood Defender transparent fence stain for any new wooden fence. It is also great for older fences that are in good condition and have been maintained with an oil-based fence stain.

Its easy application makes it a good fit for both professional stainers and DIYers. While the price is a little higher than some other products, the high quality of the stain makes it a good value.

Check Out Wood Defender on Amazon

Single Gallons

Five Gallon Buckets

How Much Stain Do You Need?

Want to know how much stain to buy for your next fence stain project?

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Author: Matt Stone
Matt has worked as a professional painter for over 10 years. This includes much experience with all types of wood stains. He loves to write about wood stains to help others make good choices to protect their homes and make them beautiful.