Thompson’s WaterSeal and Olympic WaterGuard are two popular options known for their ability to safeguard wood against the elements. When it comes to preserving the beauty and longevity of your outdoor wood surfaces, choosing the right protective finish is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the features and benefits of both products, helping you make an informed decision on which one best suits your needs.

Thompson’s WaterSeal: A Time-Tested Favorite

For over 90 years, Thompson’s WaterSeal has been a trusted name in wood protection. This brand is renowned for its deep-penetrating formula that creates a barrier against moisture, preventing warping, cracking, and other damage caused by water absorption. Thompson’s WaterSeal is available in various finishes, from transparent to semi-transparent, allowing the natural grain of the wood to shine through. This makes it an excellent choice for those who wish to preserve the wood’s aesthetic appeal while providing reliable protection.

Benefits of Thompson’s WaterSeal

Deep Penetration:

The advanced formula penetrates deep into the wood fibers, providing comprehensive protection from within.


Thompson’s WaterSeal is suitable for a wide range of outdoor wood surfaces, including decks, fences, and outdoor furniture.

UV Defense:

Many variants of Thompson’s WaterSeal offer UV protection, preventing sun-induced fading and discoloration of the wood.

Enhanced Longevity:

By preventing water damage and minimizing the effects of weathering, this product extends the lifespan of your wood structures.

Olympic WaterGuard: A Modern Contender

Olympic WaterGuard is another formidable player in the wood protection arena. Known for its innovative water-resistant technology, Olympic WaterGuard provides a robust shield against moisture and UV rays. This brand boasts a fast-drying formula and a variety of color options, making it a popular choice for those who want to add a touch of color to their outdoor wood while ensuring its durability.

Benefits of Olympic WaterGuard:

Advanced Waterproofing:

Olympic WaterGuard’s unique formula repels water effectively, preventing water damage and mold growth.


The fast-drying nature of this product allows for quicker application and reduces the risk of dust and debris settling on the finish.

Color Variety:

With a wide range of color choices, Olympic WaterGuard enables you to match the wood’s hue to your outdoor aesthetic.

Mildew Resistance:

The product’s mold and mildew resistance keep your wood surfaces looking fresh and clean even in damp conditions.

Choosing the Right One for You

When deciding between Thompson’s WaterSeal and Olympic WaterGuard, consider the following factors:

Aesthetic Preference:

If you prioritize maintaining the wood’s natural look, Thompson’s WaterSeal’s transparent options might be more appealing. If you want to add color, Olympic WaterGuard provides an array of choices.

Protection Needs:

Assess the climate in your area and the level of exposure your wood surfaces experience. Both products offer reliable protection, but one might excel over the other depending on your specific needs.

Application Ease:

If quick application and drying are essential, Olympic WaterGuard’s fast-drying formula could be advantageous.

Both Thompson’s WaterSeal and Olympic WaterGuard have their own strengths and unique features. Your choice should be based on the specific requirements of your outdoor wood surfaces. Whether you lean toward the time-tested excellence of Thompson’s WaterSeal or the modern innovation of Olympic WaterGuard, you’re making an investment in the longevity and beauty of your outdoor spaces.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) About Thompson’s WaterSeal and Olympic WaterGuard

Can I apply Thompson’s WaterSeal or Olympic WaterGuard on previously treated wood surfaces?

Yes, both Thompson’s WaterSeal and Olympic WaterGuard can be applied to previously treated wood surfaces. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the previous finish has been thoroughly cleaned, stripped of any loose or flaking material, and sanded if needed. Proper surface preparation ensures better adhesion and performance of the new protective coating.

How often do I need to reapply for Thompson’s WaterSeal or Olympic WaterGuard?

The reapplication frequency depends on various factors, including the product variant, local weather conditions, and the level of wear and tear your wood surfaces endure. As a general guideline, you might need to reapply these products every 1 to 3 years. Transparent and semi-transparent finishes might require more frequent reapplication compared to solid-colored options, which tend to last longer. Regular inspections of your wood surfaces will help you determine when reapplication is needed.

Can I apply Thompson’s WaterSeal or Olympic WaterGuard on indoor wood surfaces?

Thompson’s WaterSeal and Olympic WaterGuard are formulated primarily for outdoor wood surfaces exposed to the elements. While you can technically apply them to indoor wood surfaces, it’s important to note that these products are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, including UV rays and moisture. Using them indoors might result in a finish that’s more durable than necessary for indoor environments. For indoor wood projects, it’s recommended to use products specifically designed for interior use, which might offer different benefits such as lower odor levels and quicker drying times suited for indoor spaces.

Remember, proper application and maintenance play a significant role in the effectiveness of any wood protective finish. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consider the unique requirements of your wood surfaces and environment when making your choice.

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