BEHR Vs. Thompson’s Water Seal Wood Sealant

Wood decks and fences add beauty and functionality to outdoor spaces. But without proper care, the natural elements can cause wood to crack, warp, and rot. Applying a protective sealant is crucial for longevity.

Two popular options are Behr premium transparent weatherproofing wood finish and Thompson’s water seal. But which one provides superior protection?

Here’s an in-depth comparison of Behr and Thompson’s water seal to help you choose the best product for your wood projects.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureBEHR Premium Transparent Wood FinishThompson’s WaterSeal
FormulaAcrylic-oil emulsionPenetrants with silicone additives
UV ProtectionExcellent, contains strong UV absorbersModerate, some UV blockers
Mildew ResistanceVery good, added mildewcideModerate, some resistance
Coverage300-400 sq.ft./gallon200 sq.ft./gallon
Color OptionsTransparent wood tonesClear & semi-transparent earth tones
LongevityUp to 2 years on fences/siding, 6 months on decks1-2 years on fences/siding, 6 months on decks
ApplicationRequires prep work before applyingMinimal prep, easy application
Dry Time48 hours to fully cureDries in 1-2 hours
CleanupSoap and waterSoap and water

Overview of BEHR Premium Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Finish

BEHR Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer

Behr premium transparent weatherproofing wood finish provides a waterproof seal to exterior wood surfaces like decks, fences, siding, and outdoor furniture.

It contains advanced UV protection to prevent graying and sun damage.

The acrylic-oil formula penetrates deep into the wood grain for comprehensive protection.

Some key features and benefits of Behr wood finish include:

  • Repels water: Forms a protective barrier against rain, snow, and moisture. Helps prevent cracking, splitting, and warping.
  • Blocks UV rays: Special additives prevent graying and sun damage. Helps wood maintain its natural color.
  • Resists mildew and algae: Added mildewcide prohibits growth of mold, mildew and algae stains.
  • Enhances natural wood grain: Highlights the natural character and beauty of the wood. Available in transparent finishes.
  • Long-lasting protection: Provides up to 6 months of protection on decks and up to 2 years on fences and siding.
  • Soap and water cleanup: Cleans up easily with mild soap and warm water. No need for harsh chemical solvents.

Behr offers several different transparent stain colors to suit various wood species. It goes on easily with a brush or sprayer and dries within 1-2 hours.

Overview of Thompson’s WaterSeal

Thompson's Water Seal Wood Sealant

Thompson’s WaterSeal is a water-repellent wood protector that has been around since 1940. It is designed to protect exterior wood surfaces like decks, fences, outdoor furniture, railings, and more.

The formula contains penetrants that soak deep into the wood pores along with silicone additives to repel moisture.

Key features and benefits of Thompson’s WaterSeal include:

  • Water repellency: Water-repellent barrier prevents water damage on wood surfaces. Helps stop warping, cracking and decay.
  • UV protection: Guards against graying and sun damage. Helps maintain natural wood color.
  • Resists staining: Protects against stains from mold, mildew, algae and fungus.
  • Minimal maintenance: Does not require sanding or stripping for reapplication. Just clean and recoat every 1-2 years.
  • Enhances wood grain: Water-repellent formula won’t obscure the natural wood grain.
  • Easy soap and water clean-up: No need for chemical solvents after application.

Thompson’s WaterSeal is available in clear and several semi-transparent tint options. It can be applied with a brush, roller or sprayer.

Key Differences Between Behr And Thompson’s Water Seal

While Behr and Thompson’s WaterSeal both provide protection for exterior wood, there are some notable differences between the two products:

  • Formulas: Behr uses an acrylic-oil emulsion while Thompson’s relies on penetrants and silicone additives. Behr soaks deeper into the wood grain.
  • UV protection: Behr contains more robust UV absorbers to prevent graying and sun damage. Thompson’s blocks some UV rays but not as effectively.
  • Mildew inhibitors: Behr has strong mildewcide additives. Thompson’s offers moderate mold and mildew resistance.
  • Coverage: Behr provides up to 300-400 sq. ft. per gallon while Thompson’s covers up to 200 sq. ft.
  • Color options: Behr offers several transparent wood tone colors that show off the grain. Thompson’s comes in clear and semi-transparent earth tones.
  • Longevity: Behr lasts up to 2 years on fences/siding. Thompson’s lasts about 1-2 years. Both require reapplication every 1-2 years on decks.

Behr Wood Finish Pros

  • Superior UV protection – Behr utilizes more advanced UV absorbers that better prevent graying and sun damage. Keeps wood looking vibrant and natural.
  • Excellent water repellency – Creates a strong waterproof barrier that keeps exterior wood sealed from the elements. Helps prevent cracking and warping.
  • Enhances wood grain – Transparent acrylic-oil formula highlights the depth and character of natural wood. Allows the beauty of the grain to show through.
  • Resists mildew and algae – Added mildewcide creates a film that deters mold, mildew and algae growth on treated surfaces.
  • Long-lasting – Provides up to 2 years of protection on fences, siding, railings. Lasts up to 6 months on decks.
  • More color options – Comes in several different transparent wood tones to suit different species like cedar, pine, fir, etc.
  • Higher spread rate – Covers up to 400 square feet per gallon, more coverage than Thompson’s. You’ll use less product.
  • Easy soap and water cleanup – Doesn’t require chemical solvents or thinners. Cleans up easily with mild soap and warm water.

Behr Wood Finish Cons

  • Surface needs prepping – Requires proper cleaning, sanding and prep work to ensure finish adheres well.
  • Long drying time – Can take up to 48 hours to fully cure depending on weather conditions. Deck may be unusable for 1-2 days.
  • Frequency of reapplication – Needs reapplying every 6 months to 1 year on horizontal surfaces like decks to maintain protection.
  • Not for ground contact – Cannot be used on wood touching ground or submerged in water. Use a wood preservative instead.
  • Not for interior use – Formulated for exterior use only. Not suitable for indoor furniture, cabinets, etc.

Thompson’s Water Seal Pros

  • Deep penetration – The water-repellent formula soaks into the wood pores to displace moisture from within. Creates a protective barrier.
  • Easy application – Goes on smoothly right from the can with a brush or sprayer. No prep work or mixing required.
  • Quick drying – Usually dries within 1-2 hours so projects don’t get delayed. You can recoat in 2 hours.
  • Ideal for decks – Provides reliable water protection for up to 6 months on decks and outdoor furniture.
  • Enhances wood tone – Leaves a semi-transparent finish to showcase the wood’s natural grain and color.
  • Resists UV damage – Contains UV blockers that reduce graying and prevent sun damage.
  • Cleans up with soap & water – No need for chemical solvents after application. Cleans up easily.
  • Trusted brand – Thompson’s has been making water sealants for over 80 years. Known for reliable protection.

Thompson’s Water Seal Cons

  • Poor mildew resistance – Minimal mildewcide additives compared to Behr. Mold and mildew can develop over time.
  • Weaker UV protection – Doesn’t block UV rays as effectively as Behr. Wood may still gray and weather over time.
  • Lower spread rate – Only covers up to 200 sq. ft. per gallon. Requires more frequent re-coating.
  • Not as long-lasting – Lasts about 1 year on decks and 2 years on other surfaces. Behr provides longer protection.
  • Limited color options – Only available in clear and a few semi-transparent earth tones. No wood tone varieties.
  • Not for ground contact – Not suitable for wood in contact with soil or submerged in water. Use a preservative.
  • Can’t be painted over – Needs to be stripped or sanded thoroughly before painting treated wood. Behr can be painted over.
  • Less water repellency – Lets more moisture penetrate the surface compared to Behr. Needs reapplying more often.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s better than Thompson’s water Seal?

Behr premium transparent wood finish is considered better than Thompson’s WaterSeal. Behr offers more advanced UV protection to prevent graying, contains more mildewcide to resist stains, and provides longer-lasting water repellency, up to 2 years on fences and siding. The acrylic-oil formula penetrates wood deeper while enhancing the natural grain. For superior longevity on exterior wood projects, Behr is the better choice over Thompson’s.

How good is Thompson’s water Sealer?

Thompson’s WaterSeal is a decent basic water repellent sealant for wood decks and outdoor furniture. It absorbs into the wood grain to resist moisture and contains some UV blockers. However, it needs reapplying every 6 months to 1 year. The water protection and UV resistance is not as robust as higher-end sealants like Behr. Thompson’s is affordable and easy to apply, but it does not last as long or protect as well as premium options.

What deck stain and sealer lasts the longest?

Of all deck stains and sealers, Behr premium transparent wood finish lasts the longest. It provides up to 6 months of water repellency on decking and up to 2 years on vertical surfaces when applied properly. The acrylic-oil formula penetrates deeper while forming a strong UV and water-resistant barrier. For long-term protection against moisture, mildew, and sun damage, Behr is one of the longest-lasting deck sealants available.

How long does Behr waterproofing wood finish last?

On decks and horizontal surfaces, Behr premium transparent wood finish lasts up to 6 months before needing to reapply. On fences, siding, railings and other vertical surfaces, it can last up to 2 years when applied properly. To maintain the protective barrier, it’s recommended to recoat every 6 months to 2 years depending on the location. With regular reapplication, Behr wood finish can provide decades of protection for exterior wood projects.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Behr premium transparent wood finish beats out Thompson’s WaterSeal for superior protection and longevity. The advanced acrylic-oil formula with maximum UV blockers and mildewcide offers better defense against the damaging effects of sun, rain, snow and moisture.

Thompson’s WaterSeal is a decent basic water repellent sealant for decks and outdoor furniture that needs reapplying every 6 months. But for long-term wood preservation on fences, siding, railings and more, Behr is the better choice. The extra UV and mold inhibitors keep wood vibrant, and it lasts up to 2x longer than Thompson’s.

For most homeowners wanting long-lasting wood protection with minimal upkeep, Behr premium transparent deck, fence and siding sealant is worth the extra investment. It goes on smoothly, enhances natural woodgrain, and provides superior weatherproofing for years before needing to reapply.

Your exterior wood projects will stay beautiful and intact for decades to come.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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