7 Best Wood Sealers Rated by Category
The best wood sealers protect wood from moisture damage, prevent stain from wearing off, and leave you with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.
While many wood sealers are available, not every type works in every scenario. For example, if you’re sealing a deck, you need a product that withstands moisture, temperature fluctuations, and regular wear. If you’re sealing an indoor piece, you need something that won’t yellow or emit toxic fumes.
We’ve rounded up the seven best wood sealers that fit each category.
Best Wood Sealers for Every Job
- Best Multiuse: Helmsman Spar Urethane
- Best for Pressure-Treated Decks: Seal-Once Marine
- Best for Indoor Furniture: Minwax Polycrylic
- Best for Outdoor Use: Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Multipurpose
- Best Non-Toxic: Lumber-Seal Clear Wood Sealant
- Best Exterior Sealer + Stain Combo: KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain
- Best All-Natural: Pure-Tung-Oil
Best Wood Sealer Reviews
We’ve reviewed over 30 wood sealers, checking user reviews, complaints, prices, and comparing features. Here are the top seven products.
Best Multiuse: Helmsman Spar Urethane
Available on Amazon, Walmart.
Helmsman Spar Urethane is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It features a water-based formula that offers UV protection and can withstand temperature fluctuations and moisture.
Use this urethane product on indoor furniture, outdoor furniture, doors, shutters, and trim. Apply at least 24 hours after staining your wood. You can also use it on unstained lumber, protecting it from graying or developing moisture damage. It dries crystal clear and comes in various finishes, such as gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.
Helmsman Spar Urethane has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from more than 7,770 reviewers. Most reviewers claim that it works as intended and is easy to clean and apply. There are a couple of unsatisfactory reviews about white-painted signs turning yellow and that applying more than one coat was difficult.
- Works for indoor and outdoor wood
- Dries crystal clear
- It comes in a variety of finishes
- Offers UV, moisture, and temperature protection
- Some users experienced yellowing when using it on top of white paint
Best for Pressure-Treated Decks: Seal-Once Marine
Available on Amazon, Homedepot.
The best wood sealer for pressure-treated decks is Seal-Once Marine. It’s a wood stain and sealer in one, but you can also purchase it in “clear” if you don’t want to stain your deck.
Seal-Once Marine provides superior moisture and UV resistance for decks. Its formula coats the wood fibers, creating a breathable and flexible barrier. It’s also non-toxic, low VOC, and safe for plant life. You’ll need to apply two coats for maximum protection. You purchase this product in nine colors or in clear.
Seal-Once Marine has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from over 1,000 reviewers. While most users claim the product is easy to apply and an excellent water repellant, a few people had trouble with the second coat, claiming it was tacky in some spots and wouldn’t dry.
- Deck stain and sealer in one
- UV protection and superior water repellant
- Low VOC and non-toxic
- Two-coat application
- Minimal user reviews claiming the second coat never dried properly
Best for Indoor Furniture: Minwax Polycrylic
If you need to seal indoor wood furniture, go with Minwax Polycrylic. It’s easy to apply, is low odor, and thanks to its water-based formula, dries clear.
Polycrylic comes in five finishes, including gloss, semi-gloss, satin, matte, and ultra-flat. For application, wait at least 24 hours after finishing your wood with stain. Then apply a thin coat using a synthetic bristle brush. Wait two hours and lightly sand until smooth. Add additional coats if necessary.
Minwax Polycrylic has more than 23,000 reviews and a 4.5 out of 5-star rating. Positive reviews are abundant and claim the product is excellent for many home projects. One of the most common negative reviews is difficulty using the spray can version.
- Low odor, safe for indoor use
- The water-based formula dries clear
- It comes in five finishes
- Ideal for many types of home improvement and craft projects
- Not suitable for exterior use
- Users report difficult applications with the spray version
Best for Outdoor Use: Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Multipurpose
Thompson’s WaterSeal Multipurpose is thin enough to put in a sprayer and works on wood, concrete, brick, and masonry. You can use it on everything from mailbox fence posts to brick walls. It comes in clear, transparent, semi-transparent, or solid stain colors.
To use this product, start by washing and drying the area you’ll be waterproofing. Then apply one coat of Thompson’s WaterSeal with a brush, roller, or sprayer and wait 24 hours for it to dry. You can clean up overspray or drips with soap and water while still wet.
Thompson’s WaterSeal is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by over 400 reviewers. Many top reviewers state the product works well and love that it’s thin enough to go in a sprayer. One negative review reports a stained block wall after using the product.
- Works on multiple outdoor surfaces
- Easy application with a sprayer, brush, or roller
- You can purchase in clear or colored versions
- Not ideal for mildewy areas
Best Non-Toxic: Lumber-Seal Clear Wood Sealant
Available on Amazon.
Lumber-Seal Wood Sealant is non-toxic, eco-friendly, and contains no VOCs. If you have concerns about toxicity around people, pets, or plants, it’s an excellent choice.
You can use this product on indoor and outdoor surfaces and paint or stain after applying the sealer. If you use Lumber-Seal on a deck, you must stain it afterward. It will accept water-based paints and stains. It protects against moisture, UV rays, and freezing temperatures.
Lumber Seal has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from over 100 users. Users state that it’s easy to apply and works well. The few negative reviews have to do with the shipping rather than the quality of the product.
- No VOCs, non-toxic, and eco-friendly
- Thin consistency, easy to apply
- Provides moisture and temperature protection
- Suitable for indoors and outdoors
- If used on a deck must stain afterward
Best Exterior Sealer + Stain Combo: KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain
KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain combines a stain and sealer in one for less work. It’s ideal for decks, fences, and siding but may also work on concrete and masonry. It contains a 100% Acrylic formula for UV and moisture protection.
The Waterproofing Wood Stain from KILZ is semi-transparent, adding color while allowing the wood grain to show through. Apply it with a high-quality brush or roller. After two hours, you can add a second coat. The wood will fully cure in 72 hours.
Almost 800 users have reviewed KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, giving it a 4.5 out of 5-star rating. Many reviewers state that it’s an easy-to-use product with long-lasting results. Some negative reviewers had issues with the amount of prep work required before staining.
- Stain and wood sealer in one
- UV and moisture protection
- Suitable for use on multiple surfaces, including wood, siding, and fencing
- Requires a lot of prep work
- Some complaints about the color being too saturated
Best All-Natural: Pure Tung Oilx
Pure Tung Oil is the top choice for an all-natural wood sealer. While we don’t recommend you use it on large outdoor surfaces like decks or fencing, it’s an excellent option for indoor furniture, butcher block, cutting boards, ax handles, and other wooden pieces.
Use Tung Oil on unfinished wood. Apply to your surface and wait one hour for the oil to penetrate. Then, absorb the excess oil with a cloth. Add a second coat 12 hours later, buffing it with an abrasive sponge between coats. When the Tung Oil dries, it will create a barrier resistant to alcohol, water, and oil.
Pure Tung Oil has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon from over 2,500 reviewers. Most users claim it works great for indoor furniture, cutting boards, and wooden cooking utensils. Many negative reviews complained of a strong odor.
- All natural and food safe
- Forms a moisture-resistant barrier
- Easy application
- Strong odor
- Precautions are necessary as the product can spontaneously combust during the drying process.