Benjamin Moore Woodluxe Review: Premium Exterior Stains

Benjamin Moore Woodluxe is a premium collection of exterior stains engineered to provide rich color while protecting wood surfaces from all types of weather. In this guide, our experts will explore the different stain options in the Woodluxe collection so you can select the product that best fits your project!

Woodluxe Exterior Stain Finishes

Woodluxe stains are available in a wide selection of colors and four different levels of opacity: translucent, semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid. Each finish is formulated to resist mildew and UV rays — for advanced, all-weather protection year round!

  • Translucent: highlights the natural grain and texture of wood with a hint of color
  • Semi-Transparent: shows most of the grain and texture with slightly visible color
  • Semi-Solid: covers most imperfections while still revealing some of the natural grain
  • Solid: provides the greatest color depth with maximum protection against the elements

Benjamin Moore's translucent, semi-transparent, and semi-solid finishes are available in both oil and waterborne formulas. Woodluxe solid stains (flat or ultra-flat) are water-based.

  • Oil-based stains: sink deeply into the grain, creating a durable coating that stands up to the elements without peeling.
  • Waterborne stains: a convenient alternative to traditional oil-based stains, with quick dry time and easy clean-up. The premium water-based stains in the Benjamin Moore Woodluxe collection feature an advanced penetrating formula that protects the wood and resists peeling unlike waterborne stains of the past!

graphic showing the differences in Woodluxe stains based on level of transparency

The best finish for your project will depend on factors such as the condition of the wood, your environment, and your preferred aesthetic.

For example, translucent stains penetrate deeply into the wood — protecting it without concealing the wood’s natural grain. However, a translucent finish will break down more quickly under exposure to high sun, salt air, and wet environments where mildew grows rapidly. Solid stains show less grain, but offer more protection, last longer, and come in a wider selection of colors.

Natural Wood Look: Woodluxe Translucent Stains

Formula: Oil-based or Water-based

Clean-up: Mineral spirits (oil-based) or soap & water (water-based)

Colors: Natural, Redwood, Teak, Cedar, Mahogany, Chestnut Brown, Bleached Gray

Best choice for: New wood, wood in excellent condition, softwoods (such as redwood or cedar), and high-end hardwoods (such as mahogany, teak, or ipe)

Achieve this look with Woodluxe Translucent Stain in Teak ES-30

Achieve this look with Woodluxe Translucent Stain in Teak ES-30

Woodluxe translucent stains enrich the natural beauty of wood with just a hint of color, protecting it while revealing the natural wood grain. A translucent stain is an excellent choice for showcasing the elegance of the wood itself, so it’s best for new surfaces or wood in excellent condition. Translucent stains perform the best on softwoods like cedar, but can also be used with beautiful results on high-end hardwoods like mahogany, teak, and ipe. This natural finish is a superb choice for specialty doors and can be used on any wood surface where you aim to highlight the natural grain.

Translucent stains are more susceptible to mildew, damage from sea salt, or fading from high-sun exposure because they contain fewer solids to shield the wood from UV rays and moisture. Depending on your wood’s exposure to the elements, a translucent stain may need recoating every 1-2 years. Homeowners can choose between a Woodluxe Oil-Based Translucent Stain or Woodluxe Water-Based Translucent Stain.

Semi-Opaque Color: Woodluxe Semi-Transparent & Semi-Solid Stains

Formula: Oil-based or Water-based

Clean-up: Mineral spirits (oil-based) or soap & water (water-based)

Colors: Available in 75 color options

Best Choice for: Sun-faded decks, pressure-treated wood, or softwoods (such as redwood or cedar)

Achieve this look with Woodluxe Semi-Solid Stain in Benjamin Moore Mystic Gold HC-37

Achieve this look with Woodluxe Semi-Solid Stain in Benjamin Moore Mystic Gold HC-37

Woodluxe semi-transparent and semi-solid stains allow some of the wood’s grain and texture to show while adding color and a layer of protection. This creates an excellent combination of a natural wood look, color variety, and durability. A semi-opaque stain provides more coverage and better UV protection than a translucent stain but without the commitment to a completely solid look. It’s a good choice for sun-faded decks, softwoods, pressure-treated wood, or wood that needs restoration to its natural color.

Benjamin Moore provides homeowners with a variety of semi-opaque finishes. For a semi-transparent look, choose between:

For a semi-solid finish, choose between: 

You can use a semi-transparent or semi-solid stain on previously stained wood, as long as the existing stain isn’t flaking or peeling. If it is flaking or peeling, use Woodluxe Wood Stain Remover before applying a new finish.

Infographic of the 75 Woodluxe semi-transparent stain colors

Solid Color: Woodluxe Solid Stain

Formula: Water-based, 100% acrylic resin

Clean-up: Soap & water

Colors: Available in 3,500+ colors 

Best Choice for: pressure-treated wood, old wood, wood in poor condition, previously-stained wood that needs a different color

Achieve this look with Woodluxe Solid Stain in Benjamin Moore Solid Normandy 2129-40 (porch) and Benjamin Moore Caliente AF-290 (chairs)

Achieve this look with Woodluxe Solid Stain in Benjamin Moore Solid Normandy 2129-40 (porch) and Benjamin Moore Caliente AF-290 (chairs)

Woodluxe water-based solid stains combine the opaque look of paint with the penetration and durability of a wood stain — providing unmatched color variety while still allowing some of the wood’s texture to show. Engineered with Benjamin Moore’s proprietary Gennex® color technology and available in any of their 3500+ authentic colors, you can achieve the best color precision with Woodluxe solid stains.

A solid stain is suitable for all wood types, but it’s recommended for staining softwoods and pressure-treated woods — or for covering previously-stained wood with a different color. If you have an old deck, or wood in poor condition, the rich matte finish provided by a solid stain will add new life to your outdoor living space. A solid stain is also a great choice for painting wood furniture or exterior siding. Choose between Benjamin Moore Woodluxe flat and ultra-flat solid stains for a bold new look that lasts!

What’s the difference between a solid stain and paint?

A solid stain is a water-based finish with high opacity. It penetrates the wood to create a deep level of protection. Because the stain is absorbed into the wood, it is less likely to peel than paint. Paint sits on top of the wood, protecting it by forming a surface coating. It offers superior UV protection, but is susceptible to peeling as the wood expands and contracts.

Read Paint vs Stain: Choosing the Right Finish For Your Outdoor Deck for an in-depth look at these options.

Woodluxe water-based solid stains feature mildew-resistant additives and use a formula that protects against blistering and peeling. However, when staining a deck that is less than four feet off the ground, homeowners should note that a solid stain will be susceptible to cracking as the wood absorbs and releases moisture from below. On raised decks and vertical surfaces, the concentration of solids adds extra weather protection which results in a longer lifespan compared to transparent stains.

comparison of Woodluxe semi-transparent and solid stain colors

Which Woodluxe Stain Should I Choose?

Woodluxe’s comprehensive line of exterior stains will equip you for any outdoor staining project. When designing the look of your outdoor living space, consider these factors:

  • Type of surface: Are you staining decking, siding, railings, fences, or furniture? Consider the amount of sun exposure and what kind of wear it will receive. Solid stains offer a higher level of protection from weather than translucent stains but can peel under moist conditions.
  • Type of material: Are you staining hardwood? softwood? Pressure-treated lumber? Composite materials? High-end mahogany and teak are excellent candidates for a translucent stain because of their natural beauty, while pressure-treated lumber and composite wood may require a solid stain for added durability.
  • Wood condition: Evaluate the condition of the wood including previous products that have been applied. Do you want to highlight the beauty of a new door? A translucent stain will offer protection while enhancing the natural look of the wood. If you have worn or previously stained wood, a semi-solid or solid stain may be the better option for hiding imperfections.
  • Application preference: Woodluxe oil finishes are manufactured from a proprietary alkyd/linseed oil formula that enhances the wood's natural beauty. The durable alkyd resins penetrate deep into the wood for lasting protection. However, they must be cleaned up with a solvent and have a longer dry time. Woodluxe waterborne stains clean up easily with soap and water, dry quickly, and create a tough finish that resists all types of weather.

Once you have a complete understanding of your project, you can let your imagination soar. Whatever your vision — Woodluxe stains can make it a reality!

Order Benjamin Moore Woodluxe Stains Online at Ring’s End

Ring's End carries a wide selection of Benjamin Moore exterior stains, in-store and online. Our fast, convenient online shipping means you can get any of Benjamin Moore’s Woodluxe products delivered straight to your door anywhere in the United States!


Benjamin Moore Woodluxe Exterior Stains 

Find Benjamin Moore Woodluxe Exterior Stains and samples at Ring's End. We ship anywhere in the U.S.!

The longevity and quality of your finish are greatly impacted by selecting the right stain for your project and doing the right prep work. For free, expert advice about your project, chat with our team online or text us directly at (203) PRO-HELP. We’ll be more than happy to help!

Woodluxe Exterior Stain FAQs

How long does Benjamin Moore Woodluxe last?

What can I use Woodluxe on?

Is Benjamin Moore Woodluxe stain oil or water-based?

Does Woodluxe require a sealer?

Does Benjamin Moore Woodluxe require two coats?

What color is Benjamin Moore Woodluxe?