Sikkens PPG Proluxe Wood Stain Test & Observation

Sikkens Proluxe is PPG’s most prominent wood stain. If you want a straightforward means of staining exterior wood surfaces, Proluxe SRD is an option worth considering. 

Quality stains provide UV, water, and mildew protection and offer a wide range of colors to accommodate surrounding areas while meeting your needs. Sikkens has obtained popularity and exposure, but like other stains, it has its faults.

We are offering our experience, long-term durability, usage and are simplifying Sikkens product lines.

The History of Sikkens

Sikkens Cetol stain is now Sikkens Prolux stain. Cetol was the original name of the product introduced to the US market, yet Sikkens was initially founded in the Netherlands in 1792, and the first factory was built in Groningen in 1832


Initially formulated as an industry-leading commercial sealer for log cabins, the multi-coat system was unlike other rivals and gained leading demand in Germany. The application process included a stain and sealer top coat that preserved rich and illusive colors, increasing natural wood beauty, and was highly acclaimed by franchise leaders such as Mcdonalds’.

The main reason behind Sikkens’ later expansion to US retail is undetermined. However, after the retail debut, high prices and seemingly convoluted processes stifled sales, as most buyers needed to familiarize themselves with using a multi-coat system. In response, Sikkens made subtle formulation changes, but those who understood the product could have received the reformulation better.

After the short-lived deal with retailers like Home Depot, Sikkens, purchased by PPG, was branded and labeled a Proluxe brand in 2017

Reiterations of Sikken’s initial multi-coat system are being reintroduced, falling short of the original log cabinet formulations but still sustaining an edge above competitors.

What Separates Sikkens from Other Stains

It contains nearly 50% solids by volume, essentially distinguishing Sikkens from most other brands. Clear iron oxide pigmentation enables a wide range of tintable colors, from solid colors to translucent stains that deeply penetrate wood surfaces. 

Translucent stain maximizes wood grain orientation, while solid color stains, similar to paint, completely cover the wood surface.

PPG increases attention to detail and option available in the Sikkens brand by providing matte and satin finishes, reducing the sheen to offer a more natural wood look. 

Specifically, Sikkens SRD wood stain reformulation changes make it more marketable and accessible to the masses, but during our long-term usage analysis, the changes also came at the expense of durability while pricing continued to increase. 

Sikkens Buying Guide

Most shoppers will purchase Sikkens for deck staining, railing, and other home exterior wood substrates, and Sikken SDR is the most widely used, but Sikkens offers other product lines that may not be familiar. 

Sikkens has a wide range of products, and the labels all appear the same at first glance.

Let’s take a closer look at each product line description and prices of the most popular Sikkens stains. 


PPG SRD RE offers the thickest one-coat penetrating oil alkyd formula. This stain provides the ultimate moisture resistance and is best suited for wood decks and porch floors.


PPG solid stain is a thick, tintable solid-color acrylic stain that provides a strong bond to raw wood. Its low sheen enhances surface traction and limits wear in high-traffic areas.


The first step in a three-part system that promotes adhesion, mildew resistance, and seals. 

Proluxe 23 is the second and third coat over the Proluxe primer coat. This coat is the most durable coating, offering a high-build film resistant to cracking, peeling, and chipping.

In our experience, Proluxe 23 is the closest system to the original formulation. However, with the EPA increasing environmental regulations, the original formulas will not likely be reintroduced. 

Some US states, such as California, do not allow air shipping and regulate the use of Sikkens stains.

Proluxe SRD & SRD RE Performance Comparison

Due to its high-build formulation, our favorite Sikkens product for decks is the Proluxe SRD RE. Proluxe SRD RE offers increased UV protection and resistance to mildew but is not for everyone as it does build a film on the surface of the wood.

However, the regular SRD is most widely sold to homeowners and paint contractors due to the lower price and ease of use. 

Through experience, we found Sikkens SRD to fall short of long-term protection. We stopped warranting and recommending it and only used it at clients’ request. Despite the shinier look over dense wood or wood knots, we strongly encourage the higher-build version.

Sikkens SRD noticeably falls short of other leading brands. In many ways, it delivers the same underachieving results. Regarding consistency, Sikkens is thin and messy and offers short-lived protection from water, mildew, and UV. 

During our usage, Sikkens SRD suffered from mildew growth in as little as 8 months. Color fade was on par with other brands, lasting only 7-13 months, depending on the depth of the color. 

On the other hand, Sikkens SDR RE requires skills to apply but lasts twice as long for only a 25% increased sale price. SDR RE is one of our top recommendations for deck staining and outdoor wood that needs protection from direct exposure to climate weather.

SRD RE stain only covers 200-300 sqft, depending on how dry the wood is despite its 300-400 claims.

Both products can be applied with a brush and roller and are cleaned from tools using mineral spirits.

Options, Application, & Dry Time

Solid color stains offer over 60 colors and are available at PPG stores and local paint stores that sell PPG products. If you live in Raleigh, Spectrum Paint conveniently sells semi-transparent and solid-color Sikkens stains. Here are some of our most popular color options.

If you are restaining, it is crucial to know the type of stain previously used to make sure Sikkens stain is compatible. The surface should also be clear of mold, dirt, mildew, and fungi. 

Like the requirement of all stains, the surface should also be dry. Optimal temperatures should be no lower than 50 degrees and not exceed 90 degrees.

Exterior wood substrates often hold minor moisture levels, which is unavoidable, and small amounts are permissible. High humidity and dew points will also affect applications. The best time to stain is late spring or early fall.

Sikkens dries to touch in as little as 6 hours, and there should be limited foot traffic for 2-5 days. 


Sikkens offers several wood staining solutions for everything from wooden doors to decks and log cabins. With such a wide range of solutions, it is essential to understand their product catalog or contact a service provider who understands the product and its proper applications. 

Sikkens stain has always been a specialty product, and as they seek increased product solutions, continued research and field tests will be involved. 

For this product and so many others, real-world experience is invaluable. See more articles for real-world reviews. 

Do you need help with that house staining project? Contact us!

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