Skip to Content

Ready Seal Review

Looking for a Ready Seal review? My Ready Seal Stain review will provide you everything you need to know about the project in a totally unbiased project.

Ready Seal Review: My Unbiased Review of Ready Seal Stain and Sealer

I’m going to kick things back off with a product review of Ready Seal Wood Stain and Sealer. I want to try to do more of these. This post is NOT sponsored, and I bought the item with my own money. The company did not send it to me for free.

I’m just hoping my review helps someone quickly and easily make a decision about whether or not they want to use this product. So I found Ready Seal because I was looking for a quick and easy solution for the outdoor table and benches I am working on.

There was once a day when I would do a normal stain to get the perfect color and then several coats of an outdoor sealant. Not now, folks. I’m working during nap time, so I needed an all-in-one solution. Ready Seal Professional-Grade Wood Stain and Sealer is that solution.

Ready Seal can of stain

I read some reviews online, and they made it sound pretty easy. The can says no laps, streaks, or runs. UV blocking, water proofing, and mildew resistance. So I ordered a can of Dark Walnut, the darkest color it comes in.

(Note on Prime, I ordered it via Amazon because neither Lowes nor Home Depot carried it in stores, but it took a few days over the normal Prime shipment time to get here.)

Ready Seal can of stain

Applying Ready Seal Stain

So for the table and benches, I was working with non-pressure-treated pine. It wasn’t terrible looking, but it wasn’t the good stuff, either. Here’s what it looked like before, and then with one coat of the stain on half on the top.

unfinished table parts
applying ready seal stain to pine

I applied the stain with a chip brush on the benches and with a small foam roller on the table since it had a bigger surface area. Both are equal options, in my opinion. The roller was faster, but I did end up having to whip out the brush to get in to some of the nooks and crannies.

Since I’m cheap, I use brushes and rollers multiple times for one project. I like to avoid washing out things that don’t just have an easy soap and water cleanup. To keep the brushes and rollers from drying, I wrap them in aluminum foil.

chip brush

Here’s what the table looked like with the stain fully applied (still wet on the top, dry on the legs, so you can see there isn’t a big color difference at all).

finished table stained with ready seal

4 Things I liked about Ready Seal…

1. One coat for stain and sealer with a decent variety of colors.

2. I can order it on Amazon and it’s a pretty good price for a gallon can. The can goes a long way, too. I used it for a large table and two benches and barely made a dent in a can. I’d imagine if you were doing a deck or fence, one gallon would actually go a very long way.

3. Easy application. Much easier than a water- or oil-based polyurethane. You can have absolutely no painting or finishing skills and use this without messing it up. It really is goof-proof.

4. Not a terrible odor like some stains and finishes have.

finished table stained with ready seal

…and 2 things I didn’t love

1. The Dark Walnut color wasn’t really a dark walnut. I picked the darkest color they had because I wanted a darker stain for this set. But Dark Walnut had a much more golden brown tint to it than I’d expected. A second coat didn’t make a difference.

2. The first coat sunk in and was dry to the touch within a few hours. The can says to wait at least 45 minutes for a second coat and 48 to 72 hours to dry completely. But the second coat took days to dry at all and was still a bit oily. At first I thought I’d put it on too thick, but I don’t think I did. I ended up wiping the piece down with a cloth and putting it outside in direct sun/breeze to speed up dry time. That did help a lot. Considering this stuff is really made for fences and decks, I didn’t mind setting the pieces outside as long as there wasn’t rain or snow in the immediate forecast.

The Verdict on Ready Seal Stain?

I definitely recommend it. The ease of acquiring it and applying it made up for the fact that the color wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for and that it took longer than I’d expected to dry. I’m happy with it!


Hey everyone! Popping in for a summer 2020 update a few years after I originally wrote this post to add a bit more info to my Ready Seal review. The bottom line? If I was an 8/10 before, I’m a 10/10 right now. I used this stuff on our fence this summer, and it turned out absolutely fantastic. I think that while this stuff did meet 100% of my expectations for outdoor furniture, it was everything I was looking for in a fence stain.

So I decided to pressure wash and stain my fence this summer after it was about 2 years old. I had never sealed it, just didn’t get around to it. I did a ton of research, and after comparing Ready Seal Stain and Sealer with Behr’s transparent outdoor stain and sealer, I decided that this was prefereable for my fence.

Why? Because this stuff is just so damn easy to use! You don’t really have to fuss with drips, and the stain soaks into the wood. It isn’t something that’s going to crack or peel in the future, so I decided that this was what I was going to use. Plus I had experience with it, so it wasn’t a total unknown. Here is the fence before:

fence before pressure washing and staining it
Before pressure washing
pressure washing my fence
Pressure washing

What Ready Seal stain did I use?

So of course I agonized over the color I would use. If you go on Ready Seal’s website, they will send you a nifty sample pack of all of their stain colors. I tried them all on two different pieces of wood. Then I picked my two favorites and tried them on an inconspicous part of the fence.

Of course the fence wood was much more porous than the scrap pieces I had in the garage, so the color was a bit different. But the test pieces in the garage told me where to start, and I settled on the shade “Natural,” which is the lightest shade. You might see it referred to as “light oak.”

testing all of the ready seal stain colors
ready seal exterior wood stain bucket
Staining a Fence with ReadySeal Natural Light Oak

Applying the stain

Since our fence is a board-on-board design, the thought of painting the entire thing with a brush or roller made me want to die. So I ended up using my paint sprayer, and it worked amazingly. Since the stain is so thin, I didn’t need to thin it out at all—just dumped it in the paint sprayer can. I have a post all about how I applied Ready Seal using my paint sprayer—check it out!

I was extremely happy with how this stain and sealer went on with my sprayer. Absolutely no drips or issues. I did one thorough coat on the fence, front and back. Then a few hours later I did a second coat. It made such a difference in how our fence looked. The color you see in the finished photos below did fade a tad as the stain settled in and dried over a few weeks, but it still looks lovely.

Staining a Fence with ReadySeal Natural Light Oak
Staining a Fence with ReadySeal Natural Light Oak
beautiful stained fence using Ready Seal stain
beautiful stained fence using Ready Seal stain
beautiful stained fence using Ready Seal stain
beautiful stained fence using Ready Seal stain

So I hope this post helps you if you’re looking for a good Ready Seal review and are wanting to use this on a fence or piece of outdoor furniture. I am extremely happy with how this stuff went on to my fence and definitely recommend it.

Pin my Ready Seal Stain review!

collage that says ready seal stain and sealer unbiased review
  1. Jenn Meyers says:

    Oooh love the color! I am usually a dark stain kind of girl too, but this looks amazing – very outdoorsy :).


    • Thanks Jenn! Agreed. I can’t wait to get it all out there and see how it looks in the space (but it’s a windchill of 19F out there right now..soooo…..)

  2. Lisa McBride says:

    Good morning! My name is Lisa, and I am with Ready Seal. Thank you so much for your thorough review of Ready Seal. Glad to see you have discovered the Goof Proof advantage of this product– it is so easy to apply, easy to maintain, and your table looks awesome! I am sorry there were some things you didn’t love, and I wanted to briefly answer those concerns on the two points you mentioned so that you and your readers can have confidence in our product on future projects. 🙂

    First, you correctly recognized that the Dark Walnut wasn’t as dark as you’d hoped. The reason for this is that it was applied to a brand new white wood (non-treated pine). Ready Seal is a semi-transparent penetrating stain, not a solid paint or coating that sits on the surface. It is designed to penetrate into the wood and enhance the natural beauty and color of the wood, any wood that your choose. Dark Walnut will look different on pine than it will on oak or cedar wood. I have Dark Walnut on my rough-cut cedar fence at home, and it is a rich, dark brown shade. The lighter woods will yield a lighter result than a darker wood, and the red woods will also affect the final color as well. If you visit the photo gallery on our website, you can preview various colors on different kinds of wood to get a good idea of what your results will be.

    Second, your experience with the second coat not drying is very normal and not unusual on brand new wood. Wood is a natural fiber that has pores that change and open up over time. Brand new, smooth-milled wood like the pine you used for your table, is very dense and the pores of the wood have not opened fully. So your project will only take a single coat of Ready Seal right now. A second coat has nowhere to go since the wood pores have not fully opened up yet, so you are right– it will just sit on the surface and won’t dry. We generally recommend two coats on rough-cut wood or older wood that is being refinished, because the wood will absorb two coats and will give you the maximum sealing protection. For brand new wood and/or smooth-mill wood, it may take a few years for that to fully open up to where it can receive a second coat. If there’s ever an oily residue left on the surface after Ready Seal application, that means the wood can not absorb any more product, and you can run a rag or mop with mineral spirits on it over the surface to remove that residue. It should dry fairly quickly, and you should be left with a matte surface.

    There are some other application tips and information you can find on our website, or anyone is welcome to call our office during normal business hours if you have additional questions (888.STAIN.4.U). The most important tip to remember when using Ready Seal is that the wood needs to have any previous coatings or products completely removed AND it must be completely dry (internal moisture content of the wood needs to be 12% or less, as gauged by a moisture meter). If these two steps are followed, Ready Seal will go on beautifully!

    I’m sorry for the lengthy comment, but I hope it helps answer any questions anyone has. We’d love the chance to earn the business of your readers. Thanks again for reviewing Ready Seal. Love your table and all the other projects on your blog!

    • Hi Lisa! Thank you SO much for taking the time to comment! This info is very helpful to me—and I bet everyone else who is reading. Since this project only put a dent in my can, I’ll definitely be using it again on future projects and incorporating your tips. I will post and tag you guys! Thanks again for stopping by 🙂

  3. Veronica Roske says:

    First of all I would like to say welcome back! Thank you for the information. I have a few wood projects coming up and it helps to have information available on stains. I actually really love that the wood grain shows like it really popped with the stain. I know it may not have been as dark as you hoped for but that tells me that I really need to be mindful at looking at finished results when I look for wood stain. Thank you!

    • Thank you Veronica! I love that the wood grain popped, too. I typically don’t really do “rustic” pieces, but I like the way this one turned out for our outdoor space. Everything’s a little more rustic outdoors 🙂

Comments are closed.

I decided to turn off comments on most of my posts because of the crazy comment spam. If you see a spot to leave a comment, please do. If you don't, you can hop over to my Instagram and leave a comment or send me a direct message. Thank you for visiting and reading!
This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to re-create any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility. Read my full Terms of Use here. Be safe out there!