Flood Deck Stain Review verses Cabot Australian Timber Oil

This deck stain review is based on my experience maintaining my deck which is over 500 sq. ft. It is seven-years old now. I’ve used three different deck stain products over the years. The two most recent are:

Flood deck stain review verses Cabot

  • Flood Oil Cedar – The Flood CWF-UV 5 gal. Oil Cedar Wood Finish is designed to protect against moisture, sun damage and mildew growth. The stain dries to the touch in as little as 30 minutes for efficient outdoor applications. And can be cleaned up easily with soap and water for convenience. Cost is around $18 per gallon (Flood Stain, 5-gallon bucket $90).
  • Cabot Australian Timber Oil Honey Teak – for Decks, Siding, Railings and Outdoor Furniture, unique blend of oils that penetrates deep to accentuate natural wood depth and patina. Contains a blend of superb-grade linseed oil for maximum penetration, long-oil alkyds for durability and pure South American tung oil for color depth and water repellent, Australian Timber Oil claims three-way oil protection. Cost is around $45 per gallon, which is more than twice the cost of the Flood deck stain.

Deck Stain Review

ApplicationCabot deck stain review verses flood

Both were comparable with respect to application. I used a roller and large paint brush specifically for deck stain in the past (2017) and a car wash brush for my last application (2020). The car wash brush (10-inch) is definitely the way to go. You can stand up while applying the deck stain and it holds plenty of stain. It is far better than a roller and hand-brush combo because you don’t need to back-brush the deck after rolling it on.

Tip: The car wash brush I purchased from Home Depot “broke” in the first five minutes. Cheap, the thin pole plastic broke in half. Fortunately, the brush portion screwed onto the pole. I unscrewed it and screwed on a painting extension pole I had in the garage; that worked better anyway. All you really need, if you can find it anywhere, is the brush that screws onto a pole. You’ll need a painting extension pole too, if you don’t already have one. 

Overall, the car wash brush provided great coverage. It was easy to apply the deck stain to multiple deck boards at a time; including the sides of the deck boards (gap between boards). The roller and large deck stain brush was OK, but it requires bending down and/or kneeling on the deck to brush after rolling. It also took a lot longer. 

Deck Stain Coverage

Both deck stains are comparable with respect to coverage. I used about 3-gallons of each; approximately 150-175 sq. ft./gallon of coverage. More stain is used with the car wash brush application method because it allows you to put the stain on heavier, and faster.


The Cabot looked outstanding. Everyone really loved the Honey Teak stain color. The boards were only a few years old, maybe 2-3, when it was applied to the deck. It lasted well and I can’t complain about the Cabot’s performance. However, it is one of the more expensive deck stains. 

The Flood deck stain looks great overall. The boards are seven years old, so it isn’t perfect. Overall, it does a great job in my opinion. And, it is less than half the price of the Cabot. I’ll update this post after we see how the Flood deck stain lasts. The reviews I’ve read on “performance” were overwhelmingly positive so I’m giving it a shot. I hope this helps you preserve your deck investment. If you have some other ideas on the subject, by all means please leave a comment below. Thanks for stopping by.

Greg Magnus

Homeowner General Contractor (GC), Professional Geologist (PG), President, AIM Custom Media (aimcustom.com)

5 thoughts on “Flood Deck Stain Review verses Cabot Australian Timber Oil

  • October 24, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    After buying a 5 gal Australian Timber Oil bucket to stain new deck lumber before installing, I saw a youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S-uHlJ6o_M (How to Properly Stain Wood Using Cabot Australian Timber Oil – Amberwood). The guy was working on a picnic table he had put ATO on 2 years ago. It looked TERRIBLE. I expected much better from Cabot’s description of Tung Oil, Linseed Oil, etc; I thought it should be good for about 5 years. He had to sand off the stain, dirt, mold, algae to get a clean surface.

    • November 8, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      For the price of Australian Timber Oil, you would definitely expect better results. Looking like it does in the video after just two years is horrible for sure. Thanks for pointing out the video.

    • June 4, 2021 at 8:42 am

      After treating cedar decks at my home for the last 30 years with different stains and oils, that picnic table looked about what I would expect from any treatment after 2 years. Nothing lasts for 5 years unless you are talking about a vertical surface. Horizontal surface treatments last a couple of years.

  • March 30, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for the review. Are you happy with it a year later? Also, do you by chance have a comparable color in the Flood brand to the Honey Teak in the ATO? Thinking about ATO for deck & Flood for fence but would like the color to be close. Thanks for any info.

    • April 7, 2021 at 9:37 am

      Yes, it still looks good a year later Tim. Don’t know about other colors so I can’t help you out on that one. Hope it works out for you.


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