Best Wood Sealer

Woody Jackson | Last modified on June 25th, 2020
38 Products Considered
46 Hours of Research
223 Reviews Analyzed
Best Choice
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
Best Wood Sealer Overall (Editor's Choice)

  • Ready to use immediately; no primer is needed.
  • The sealer can be applied in a variety of ways, including spray, brush, and roller.
  • It doesn't leave streaks after the sealer is fully dried.
  • Forms a waterproof seal in two hours.

Read Verified Customer Reviews

Have you checked the condition of your wooden furniture, floors, cabinets, and doors? At some point, you’ll have to restore and/or protect the exterior pieces of the wood. If not, you might run into problems later down the line such as chipping, cracking, and rot. The easiest way to avoid all of these issues is by simply using a wood sealer. Wood sealers are similar to paint but will protect the first layers of wood with a powerful coat that hardens after several hours have passed.

These are the product featured below, sealers chosen for hardening strength, length of protection and area of coverage. Look into the Buyer’s Guide after reading over the reviews; it’ll help you pinpoint the best match for protecting your wood at home (or work). Those which carry the highest recommendation are shown at the end of the article.

Comparison Table

This comparison table lists basic info to help you get an understanding of how different they are.

Editor's Choice - Best for Cedar
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer review
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
  • Sizes: 1 Gallon
  • Places of Use: Indoors/Outdoors
  • Curing Time: 24 hours
  • Coverage: 600 sq ft
People's Choice - Best for Outdoor
Waterlox Original Sealer/ Finish- Gallon review
Waterlox Original Sealer/ Finish- Gallon
  • Sizes: 1 Gallon
  • Places of Use: Indoors/Outdoor
  • Curing Time: 12-24 hours
  • Coverage:300-600 sq ft
Best for Wood Floors
Rust-Oleum Zinsser 854 1-Quart Bulls Eye Sealcoat Universal Sanding Sealer review
Rust-Oleum Zinsser 854 1-Quart Bulls Eye Sealcoat Universal Sanding Sealer
  • Size: 1.9 lbs
  • Color Options: None
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Coverage: 400-600 sq ft
Best for Wood Fence
ANCHORSEAL 2 Hybrid Log & Lumber end Grain Sealer review
ANCHORSEAL 2 Hybrid Log & Lumber end Grain Sealer
  • Sizes: 1 Quart
  • Color Options: 35
  • Curing Time: 12-24 hours;
  • Coverage: 100 sq ft
Best Paint Sealer
Cabot 140.0003460.005 Australian Timber Oil Stain, Quart, Jarrah Brown review
Cabot 140.0003460.005 Australian Timber Oil Stain, Quart, Jarrah Brown
  • Sizes: 1 Gallon
  • Color Options: 10
  • Curing Time: 24 hours
  • Coverage: 500 sq ft

Top 5 Best Wood Sealers Reviewed

1. Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer – Best Wood Sealer for Cedar (Editor’s Choice)

The Ready Seal 512 is a five-gallon paint sealer that’s quite big. Be sure that you have a proper place to store if you’re not going to open it as soon as it arrives in the mail. It’s a sealer, which means that you have full protection against moisture and water from anywhere. If you spilled a drink on the wood or even motor oil, the interior that sits past the shield will remain and good state. Just wipe any spill down and the wood is as good as new. You also won’t need a primer to get things going. Just open the canister when you’re ready, dip the paint in, and apply to the wood than needs to be covered.

However, don’t limit yourself to strictly a brush. It’s perfectly safe to use a paint roller or spray if you have one at the ready. If you do stick to the brush, understand that no streaks will show in slower when you’re done. Of course, you may have to touch up a few areas but it won’t be to the point where the entire wood piece will need to be checked.

The ridges and streaks fall out on their own, decreasing the amount of work and time required to get the job done. The seal should stay strong for many years without needing to touch up on it again. You could do more than one coat ensure that no liquids make it past the seal. For people living in areas that receive lots of rainfall throughout the year, this is highly recommended.

Interesting to know

Try not to use this spray on days where the wind is blowing strong. If you do, you’ll risk the paint flying around everywhere. It’s very lightweight and a strong enough guest is guaranteed to put it up as the sealer leaves your spray nozzle. Other than this, there are no other issues to report on. The Ready Seal has everything that you’ll need to get your deck or another wood surface in tiptop shape. If you don’t want to do any shopping around, go ahead and settle on this product.


  • Ready to use immediately; no primer is needed.
  • The sealer can be applied in a variety of ways, including spray, brush, and roller.
  • It doesn’t leave streaks after the sealer is fully dried.
  • Forms a waterproof seal in two hours.


  • The solution is very lightweight and will blow if sprayed

2. Waterlox Original Sealer/ Finish- Gallon – Best Outdoor Wood Sealer (People’s Choice)

The Waterlox Sealers has been around for a while but is strongly recommended for people that plan on sealing wood that’s located outdoors. If you have a deck or patio that needs to be protected, give this a try. When everything has hardened, you’ll find that nothing will seep into the bottom of your wood. Had problems with wood rot or mold in the past before? Not anymore.

You won’t even have to use much of it, whereby one can get you as much as 600 square feet of wood coverage without needing another can. That’s good to know, seeing as the average home patio is smaller than this. But if you do have a big area to cover or plan on using the sealer for furniture or appliances indoors.

Interesting to know

Speaking of indoors, you might be better off staying outdoors from the start. That is, at least until you can test out in a small indoor area first. This sealer leaves a very strong odor on anything that it touches, including clothing. And because of the strong smell, some consumers might be turned off by using it in the home.

Remember to crack a few windows open and move kids and pets away from the area being treated. The odor does eventually go away, but not quickly. You’d even notice if outside if you place it on your deck (or somewhere close to the windows). In short, this is a sealer that does an excellent job of forming a barrier around your wooden piece. Recommended for the outdoors more than indoor use.


  • Water beads on the surface, never absorbing into the wood itself.
  • Additional coats won’t be needed for years, possibly even decades.
  • Streaks will flatten once the sealer is applied, and doesn’t require sanding.


  • Leaves an odor on whatever wood it’s applied to until completely dry.

3. Rust-Oleum Zinsser 854 1-Quart Bulls Eye Sealcoat Universal Sanding Sealer – Best Wood Floor Sealer

The Rust Oleum Zinsser 854 has a few tricks up its sleeve that could make it stand out more than any other sealer that’s shown in this article. The first is how fast the drying gets done. It should only take about an hour or two to harden. Odor is kept to a minimum, making it very suitable for inside the home. Put it on your wooden floors or cover your wooden tables. It will never cause any harm to anything you coat it with. Just be sure to clean your wood before applying anything, so as to avoid having to pull out any treated areas when it’s beginning to harden.

And if you use it outside, expect hardening to happen in just half an hour. This also depends on the weather in your area, the amount of time that’s needed to wait. But under most conditions that aren’t wet or humid, you can paint fences and decks for a quick finish. This is a transparent sealer, having no hues. You could use a primer if you wanted but isn’t a requirement for the product to work as advertised.

Interesting to know

If you anticipate covering a large area with this sealer, consider using a paint brush to get the job completed. Streaks will show up if you use a brush, which would have to be passed over again to make even with the surface your covering. A roller or sprayer takes away this problem altogether. Yet if you don’t have a choice but to rely on a brush, it won’t be too much of a burden to go over everything with haste. In any case, try out the Rust Oleum if you need a sealer that’s great in an indoor setting.


  • Users can apply another coat quickly after it dries.
  • Takes less than 30 minutes to dry on average.
  • Its transparency doesn’t change as it ages.


  • A few streaks could be left behind after it dries.

4. ANCHORSEAL 2 Hybrid Log & Lumber end Grain Sealer – Best Wood Fence Sealer

The Anchorseal 2 Hybrid Sealer is specified for (as what’s also shown in the name) for lumber. Seeing as lumber can be found indoors or outdoors, you’ll be able to vary up the areas that you intend to seal. Best of all is probably the ease of cleanup. The sealer has a moderate viscosity, whereby nothing will stick too hard to the semi-liquid or be too much trouble to spray. Yes, you can use a sprayer to get the sealer on wood if you need to. Just be careful to not buy a nozzle that isn’t too thin. It may not come out properly if you don’t.

Interesting to know

Moving away from the sealer for a moment, the can that it comes in is also very nice. One can tell that the manufacturers have longevity in mind when creating the product. It’s made of plastic, which isn’t corrosive and holds the sealer together longer without it crystallizes at the edges when closed again. For those in need of a sealer that won’t be used in just a single day, this is the correct product to settle on. The sealer will remain in a transparent state before, during, and long after it’s applied. There are no color variations or hues to see, to which only your wood’s natural color will show through the barrier.

Try not to spread the sealer out too thin when working the solution into the wood. It’s something that’s very easy to do if you’re not paying attention. Much of this is due to how well the sealer goes on. No streaks will show, even with cheap paintbrushes. Take a moment to inspect the seals that you make, taking the time to notice any thinning portions that water could potentially breakthrough on a rainy day.

You won’t have to do this with indoor furniture if you don’t want it, however. But as a whole, the Ancherseal is the right sealer to “settle on” if you need one for anything that consists partly (or mostly) of lumber with minimal treatment.


  • Reinforces the wood in a way that prevents cracks from showing up again in the future.
  • It can be cleaned up quickly.
  • Stays transparent during the drying process.
  • The plastic can that it’s sold will never rust.


  • Easy to apply a layer that’s too thin, due to the simplicity in the application itself.

5. Cabot 140.0003460.005 Australian Timber Oil Stain, Quart, Jarrah Brown – Best Paint Sealer for Wood

The Cabot Australian Timber Oil Stain Austrailian Timber OIl Strainer is slightly pigmented and marketed as a sealer. As such, it will not only protect but keep your wood state will deep penetration capabilities. Just one coat should be enough. YOu won’t have to waste any time going over areas. Using a brush or roller is probably the best way to get it finished quickly, but maintains an even covering.

Whatever wood you place this on, be it lumber, indoor, or outdoor panels, you’re in good hands. Not only will you like the way that it smells, but enjoy how it seems to “heat up” the colors of your wood. This will be well-taken in most situations but not as noticeable for darker wood varieties.

Interesting to know

If you’re going to stain a large area such as floorboards or walls, be certain that you have enough of the solution in one can finish up the job. While the protect claims to be able to cover an area up to 600 square feet, the reality is that you likely won’t get even half that far without needing more. From this, pick up two if you must. But for anything that’s less than 200 square feet, you should be okay with just one can.

The Cabot works well on cabinets that don’t require a lot of coverage or anything that isn’t spread out over a large area for that matter. Give it a shot if you want something that acts as both a sealer and stainer.


  • Not only stays on the surface but penetrates deep in the wood for crack prevention.
  • Shields the wood from damages that could potentially happen from the sun’s ultraviolet light.
  • It allows cheap wood to look significantly better in quality.


  • While the brand claims to have a 600 sq ft coverage, most users will finish the can after sealing about 150-200 sq ft.

Buyer’s Guide

How to Choose the Best Wood Sealer?

There are a couple of things for you to focus on prior to buying any wood sealer. The most pertinent is knowing the area where your sealing job will take place in. Are you going to be working in an indoor or outdoor location? Understanding this will prevent lots of issues that could become problems down the line. Finding out the area your covering can also help assist you in getting the right quality. And lastly, check to see if the wood you’re going to seal needs to be cleaned before you begin.

For some people, the wood (especially that which sits in an outdoor setting) might show signs of rot or mold already. If this is the case, you would be well-served to get rid of it before you begin covering the affected area with sealer.

If mold, mildew or rot has taken over a portion of the wood that you cover, the seal won’t hold very good and the model could even end up spreading out of the barrier. This would render your sealing job worthless. Once again, be sure that you clean the wood and have some idea of all the areas you’re going to brush over.

Wood Stain vs Wood Sealer

There are a few key differences and similarities between and wood stain and sealer. First, let’s begin with wood sealers. They’re called this for a reason, whereby the sealer’s job is to protect the topmost layer of wood. Most brands are transparent, giving off no colors are hues no matter what type of wood you put them on. Because of this, sealers are sometimes recommended for more wood types than stains are.

Wood stains are best for people that want to paint their wood. The primary task of them is to shield the original hue of wood, which can be easily damaged by exposure to UV rays. As a result, many stains are great for covering up the wood that’s in an outdoor setting, although some brands could be more useful for the inside.

Sealer Coverage

Be sure to know how much sealer you’re going to use beforehand. This might even require that you get a proper measurement of the area being covered. Most sealer brands are based on weight, although most will tell you on the label the amount of coverage that you get with them. Always assume that this is a conservative estimate (what’s written on the label) If you fail to do this, be prepared to find yourself running to get more of the sealer to complete your brush job. For most people, two can be sufficient for an ordinary-sized home. But if you intend to cover floors or very large areas inside out outside, even more than two might be needed to finish up your work.

When to use a Brush, Roller, or Spray

The best way to know when you should brush, spray, or roll is by looking at the consistency of the sealer that you plan on buying. If it’s very thin, you might want to avoid using the sprays but if you must, never spray on a windy day. You’ll end up with spray all over your house but the area you want to shield. Rollings are great for painting the sealer over large portions, such as wooden floors or even the edges of the shingle (where wood is exposed if you have this feature on your home).

But maybe you want to do things the old fashioned way, which entails the use of a brush. It’s perfectly fine for you to do this but be sure that you’re okay with touching up your work more than once. That’s because the sealer may not flatter itself out, and leave streaks behind that’ll show everyone that you used a brush to cover your wooden pieces.

Summary/Conclusion/Best Picks

Which of the product do you consider to be the best? Although there are only find of them, each of them has individual attributes that make them suitable for your home wood protection needs. Knowing this, there are two that are guaranteed to make your sealing easy, involving less time spend making re-coats. Truthfully, you can pick anything that you want and everything would turn on for you swell.

If you’re searching for something that will get you through your work quickly and with minimal effort behind the brush strokes (while safeguarding your interior pieces of wood, keep them high on your list. These are the Ready Seal 512 and the Waterlox Original Sealer. Having trouble deciding on one? Try them both out. However, that’s not to say that one should avoid the rest. If you think they have the right strength to protecting your wood, then don’t be afraid to setting on then all!

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