7 Best Stain for Swing Set in 2024

The best stain for a swing set will protect your playsets from rotting, splitting, or cracking due to the extreme outdoor weather (heat and cold). Best Stain For Swing Set

So, with the playset stains, I’ve reviewed below, you’ll protect the playset wood from high humidity, harsh winds, hail, snow, and rain. 

These stains will restore the finish of your wooden swing sets, patio furniture, decks, stains, and fences that have signs of tear and wear. See Also: Paint for Outdoor Wood Furniture.

Top 7 Best Stain for Swing Set in 2024 

1. Minwax 409170000 Poly Water-Based Polyurethane Finish, Satin, Clear, 1 Pint

DEFY Extreme is a water-based timber stain made from synthetic resin that’s also semi-transparent that’ll restore the feel (color) and a touch of your swing set and leave the wood grain visible.

  Check Price on Amazon

It is made by SaverSystems, adopting nano-technology that improves the stain’s durability. DEFY Extreme will protect the wood from the damaging sun’s UV rays with its critically included zinc oxide particles.

DEFY Extreme is an environment-friendly timber stain that’ll give your wood a natural finish allowing the swing set and decks to stand out in your yard.

Further, this model comes in 7 varied colors (including cedar tone, butternut, and white walnut), and hence it’ll be easy to get one that’ll match your swing set’s or houses’ external surface.

Despite being a pricey timber stain, no other stain in its class with DEFY Extreme’s finish quality. This is because it’s made from synthetic-resin that is highly durable and won’t darken or fade quickly like other regular timber stains. It’ll be suitable for use on wooden homes, outdoor patio furniture, siding, fences, and swing sets.

The amazingly distributed zinc oxide will prevent color loss or wood greying by reflecting the UV rays away. Notably, the zinc oxide is delivered in nano-technology form and won’t damage the wood’s fresh appearance.

The timber stain will also significantly resist the fungus-like mildew and mold – hence the deck and swing set surfaces will be easy to maintain in their natural look.

The water-based acrylic allows both water and soap cleanup, and it’s 250 VOC compliant. It’s also easy to apply – you can spray using an airless spray or pump-up spray or brush it on the play-sets.

The DEFY Extreme timber stain will be easy and cheap to maintain – when the timber stain starts to dull, clean it up using water and soap, and next apply one stain coat. Luckily, with this timber stain, you won’t require the time and resource-consuming sanding and stripping.

I’ve used DEFY Extreme with excellent results in staining fences applied using an oil sprayer and may go for about 2 to 3 years before the next stain.

However, you may use a paint gun or sprayer – you’ll require to dampen the wood and apply it in its cold temperatures.


  • The Nano zinc-oxide particles allow the stained wood to reflect the sun’s UV rays instead of absorbing and damaging them.
  • Protect the swing sets from losing their color or even greying. Also, it won’t fade and only tends to fade to a small extent.
  • Dual-action DEFY Extreme stain plus sealer.
  • Its slightly cost-effective covering 100 to 150 sq. ft. depending on the wood’s texture and porosity


  • Initially may look light but will become darker over time

See Also: HVLP Spray Gun for Woodworking

2. #1 Deck Premium – SaverSystems Deck stain for Swing Sets, Siding, & Fences

SaverSystems Deck stain is a water-based stain that’s both a deck sealer plus stain. Deck Semi-Transparent stain is great on all softwood like redwood/ fir, cedar, or pressure-treated pine. 

Deck Semi-Transparent Timber stain for Swing Sets, Siding, Fences, and Decks Check Price on Amazon

It’ll safeguard your swing set from the damaging UV rays to give them a natural and flat finish. This SaverSystems Deck stain is highly versatile as it’ll sweetly stain and coat your wood siding, fences, gazebos, and decks, etc.

Also, like with the Ready Seal stain reviewed above, you’ll find this Deck Semi-Transparent stain very easy to apply on your swing sets.

Further, the SaverSystems Deck stain is also useful in staining both damp and dry wood. But you’ll require to take about 24 hours in preparing a fully applying the timber stain. Also, make sure that the wood surface is brightened and very clean for more stain durability.

SaverSystems Deck timber stain comes in various colors: cedar, dark walnut, light walnut, and natural, making it very suitable for multiple wooden surfaces.

Easily maintain by cleaning & sweeping the surface – or (if it becomes dull) wash the surface with clean water & soap and apply a single stain coat.

The SaverSystems Deck stain plus sealer is water-based that’ll prevent wood damage from mildew, algae, and mold that may be looking to feed on your swing sets and other wooden assets.

I recommend using 10″ or 11″ block brushes to fill the wood crevices and cracks – don’t use rollers.

Also, the timber stain is designed mainly for wood pores – penetrates the wood making your swing sets or decks safe and longer-lasting.

It’ll safeguard the wood from greying, wearing, and the sun’s UV rays. You may reapply the stain over an older coat but ensure first cleaning and surface and allowing them to dry.

I note that the timber stain was highly influential on my old deck with raised boards plus splinters. It allows wet-on-wet application as you can apply the second stain coat in under half an hour. But the stain left the deck being slightly sticky.


  • 2-in-1 product working both like an timber stain and sealer
  • Ease of application on either damp or dry wood
  • Leaves the swing set with a natural look showing the wood grain
  • Requires minimal maintenance


  • Not recommended for hardwoods
  • May initially feel sticky


See Also: Paint Sprayer for Furniture

3. THOMPSONS WATER-SEAL Stain for Cedar (wood-land)

Thompsons Water-seal Stain is a multi-purpose timber stain and sealer that’ll be great to use on concrete, bricks, and wood – the stain will also avoid water damage. 

THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.041851-16 Transparent Waterproofing Stain, Woodland Cedar Check Price on Amazon

It’ll help take good care of your expensive swing set or decks to last long – get rid of mildew and avoid turning grey besides sealing splits and cracks. 

Thompsons Water-seal will help maintain the naturally beautiful color of your wood. Just one stain coat will give you exceptional waterproofing and in-equally improve your deck’s look.

Further, the stain comes in 5 varied colors, including Woodland Cedar and Sequoia Red – a wide selection.

Also, you have the option to choose a high opacity from solid (5 years), semi-transparent (4 years), and transparent (3 years) – the stain having a higher level of pigment will tend to last longer.

The latex-based stain is excellent for painting outdoors since it’ll be easy to clean with just soap and water. 

You may use a pad, roller, or brush to apply the stain that you opened at a temperature of between 50 to 90 degrees.

You’ll require to measure the square footage of your swing set or deck since one stain gallon will be enough for about 400 square feet – use a pad, roller, and brush.

The timber stain will be easy to apply, bidding preparing, but you’ll require keenly cleaning your play-set and deck. You’ll need to provide about a quarter an hour with other stains and just scrub plus conduct rinsing. Also, this wood satin won’t require that you wait for the coat to dry.

Equally, Thompsons Water-seal stain is transparent, which implies that the swing set will maintain its natural grain, particularly with the available five-color alternatives.

The stain is useful for applying dry wood and damp wood, too – that’s all your outdoor furniture. Thompsons Water-seal stain will dry within a few hours, but this changes with the varying weather conditions.

Employing a complex polymer, the product will prevent damage from the sun’s UV rays and water – besides mentioning damage from molds and mildew.


  • Covers a huge area – 400 square feet of wood
  • Protects your wood from UV and mildew damage
  • The stain won’t stain.
  • Cost-friendly


  • Its longevity will depend on the opacity that you select

See Also: Baby Safe Paint for Crib

4. Ready Seal 512 Pail Natural External Furniture Stain

Ready Seal stain is easy to use and will dry readily without leaving drips or runs. 

Best Stain For Swing Set Check Price on Amazon

It’ll enhance the swing set’s natural beauty & hence make the wood grain and texture highly visible and keep the original wood texture. 

This oil-based stain is produced in 9 varied colors (besides the semi-transparent stain), and thus it’ll be easy to get a color that matches your unique preferences.

Ready Seal is a suitable stain for fences, arbors, log cabins, and decks.

To apply the stain, you’ll only require a sprayer (like latex paint sprayers), brushes, and rollers (goof-roof) – this is because it an oil-based stain that’s suitable for a range of temperatures and states.

However, it’s expensive – 75 to 100 square feet is covered by 1 gallon. Ready Seal stain will penetrate wood deeply to protect it from UV rays, mildew, and mold.

It works both like a sealer and an oil-based stain – it’s great for most of your external wood treatment.

It’s also an excellent stain even for damp wood, and it’ll dry within 2-3 days – depending on the wood’s porosity and the prevailing weather conditions.

Luckily, the stain won’t need a primer – it’ll be very dark on the application and attain its real color in about two weeks.

Don’t apply on recently stained, sealed, or painted surfaces for better penetration—crape off the stains, paints, mildew, and dust from the surfaces.

The stain also blends easily – won’t need a wet-line application or back brushing without leaving steaks, laps, or runs as mentioned above.

It’s made from ingredients such as top-quality resins, algaecide, paraffin oil, and trans oxide pigments to give a fresh and natural look to your wood.


  • Comes in a range of colors (9 in total) plus the translucent stain and sealer
  • Effective even on swing sets and other wooden pieces having damp wood
  • Leaves the wood with natural texture and look with wood-grain showing through- it won’t darken.
  • An easy to apply stain plus sealer


  • Costly as a gallon covers just 75 to 100 square feet

See Also: Paint Brushes for Latex Paint

5. KILZ L832211 Timber Stain (Waterproofing the External)

KILZ L832211 is a more budget-friendly timber Stain that’s also semi-transparent to treat your outdoor furniture, including play-sets and decks for longer protection.

KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Timber stain, Semi-Transparent, Redwood Check Price on Amazon

Luckily, the stain will resist mildew besides being waterproof to sustain your swing sets’ wood grain and natural look.

The fully acrylic stain (KILZ L832211) provides UV protection and creates a mildew-resistant barrier besides protecting your wooden furniture from rain, sun, or snow.

Further, the product is budget-friendly because the gallon of this stain will cover about 250 to 500 square feet. 

KILZ L832211 stain offers a great cedar tone that’s a natural and decorative feel that’ll look high n your outdoor wooden items.

It’ll resist mildew, and equally, it’s durable due to its excellent waterproofing capability – particularly with its superb water beading.

You’ll find this timber stain excellent for outdoor furniture, including swing sets, shingles, patio furniture, and siding. It’ll help you refill the wood grains and eliminate the wood fibers and remove mold plus dirt.

You’ll achieve excellent results with the KILZ L832211 stain (1 gallon) if you provide one day for the wood surface to dry.

Next, you’ll require sand and apply the stain using a pump sprayer, polyester or nylon brush, or some pad applicator.

But the stain won’t penetrate plywood sub-flooring, but you can use a floor paint or porch to enhance longevity and adhesion.


  • The stain is made from an Acrylic formula (100%)
  • Budget-friendly timber stain that’ll treat (with 1 gallon) about 250 square feet to 500 square feet.
  • Offers protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays and mildew
  • It offers an excellent coat for waterproofing the wood against snow and rain.
  • Great longevity (5 years for fences, swing sets, and siddings) and 3 years for the decks.


  • May require to use a costly paint pad

See Also: Handheld Paint Sprayers ed

Considerations in Best Stain for Swing Set

If you’ve recently acquired a swing set/ play-set and assembled it for the kids to start to enjoy their backyard fun and games.

But the wooden swing set, like decks and the house, will still lose their vitality and brightness if they’re not properly maintained – but you can also get rid of the spray paint smell.

1. Install it on a Level Ground

First, you must install the swing set on a level and soft ground surface. This is mainly because the play-set will be heavy after installation and may dig deep into the earth.

So, don’t install the set on a loose surface such as shredded rubber, chips, mulch, pea gravel, or sand.

Therefore, installing the set on a level and soft ground will prevent it from moving around due to animals, wind, kicking, or scuffing. Further, when the field is patchy or uneven – you’ll require to rake it to achieve a smooth texture.  

See Also: Paint Roller for Smooth Finish

2. Undertake Regular Maintenance

Considering your locality, it may be that the swing season is coming up fast, and the children will actively be on the wooden swing sets.

Thus, you’ll require to inspect the play-sets at the start of the start and undertake appropriate maintenance.

However, for colder localities – having snow and frosts – you’ll require to install the play-sets in an indoor space or build a shelter around the swing sets.

Alternatively, you may use a plastic swing set, which won’t affect the cold weather’s adverse effects.

For example, conduct the annual inspection at the start of spring, including repairing and replacing broken parts and painting or staining the wooden sections.

Ensure that the parts have no crevices or cracks before reinstalling them on your swing sets.

3. Stain the Play-sets

Equally important is that you must stain the play-set to provide them with a fresh look to protect the wood surfaces from mildew while ensuring that you wash dirt and clean any dust.

Further, use moderate pressure for the water blusters – this will ensure you won’t damage the swing sets. After cleaning the wood surfaces, allow the wood to dry for about 25 hours before sealing and staining them.

If you’re thinking between water-based or oil-based stains, use appropriate for the decks – particularly for the cedar color.


Like BBQ grills must be put away in winter, swing sets must be stained & sealed. Furniture stains offer a tint that’ll restore the color, but the deck sealer for treated wood leaves wood clear. 

You’ll require to stain or seal the wood in spring o protect the wood from the harsh sun’s summer effects. Further, you can stain or seal the swing set sooner or later when it’s new.

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