Arborcoat vs. Cabot: Comparing Deck Stains for Optimal Performance

By Mego Kimani •  Updated: 06/25/23 •  4 min read

Given the variety of deck stains in the market selecting the right product can be a complicated affair even for experts. However, to achieve the best results on your wooden deck you must pick a suitable product that has all the best qualities. As such, our finishing experts have narrowed down two products that are top picks when it comes to deck staining. Arbocoat vs. Cabot deck stains offer excellent properties. However, a closer look at these two products will reveal which one offers the best qualities that match your personal preferences. 

Key Differences between Arborcoat and Cabot Stains

FactorArborcoat StainsCabot Stains
Environmental ImpactHigh VOC contentLow VOC content
Recommended UseThe application can be achieved with a brush, roller, and sprayerdecks, exterior furniture, and fences
Protection LevelGood protection against the weather though not as better as CabotThese offer the best protection against sunlight and water
AppearanceCome in thousands of colors to choose fromdecks, sidings, or outdoor wood furniture when the appearance of these projects is a key consideration
MaintenanceThese require frequent Maintenance without which they deteriorate fastLast longest even without Maintenance. However, maintenance is recommended to achieve the best results for the longest time
ApplicationThe application can be achieved with a brush, roller and sprayerThe color range is limited
cabot stains

Comparative Analysis

 Features and BenefitsLimitations and Considerations
ArborcoatAvailable in a range of thousands of colors  Not as adhesive as Cabot  
Ease of application  Have a strong odor  
Superior protection against Ultraviolet radiation  Price for the quality provided  
Prevent mold and mildew by blocking water penetration   
CabotAvailable in a limited range of colors  Limited range of colors
Available in a limited range of colors   
Requires careful application     
Low VOC 
User friendly 
Better prevention of mold and mildew formation  
Relatively budget friendly 
Offers best protection against UV rays 
Offers the best protection against UV rays 

Factors to Consider: Arborcoat vs. Cabot

Stain type and intended

When selecting a deck stain, it is necessary that you keep in mind that both Arborcoat vs. Cabot stains come in numerous varieties formulated for both interior and exterior use. The list above highlights the best exterior stains from both brand names to choose from. All the products listed are suitable for external use on surfaces such as decks, fences, sidings, and even outdoor furniture. However, Arborcoat products come with some desirable features such as fast drying, low VOC, and a wide range of colors.

Pigmentation levels

The pigmentation levels determine the level of colorant used in the stain. The higher the pigmentation level, the more color is available for your deck. One key benefit of pigmentation is that it will offer superior protection against UV rays. Cabot stains boast high levels of pigmentation.

Ease of application and compatibility

Products from both Arborcoatt require only a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply. On the other hand, Cabot requires a little more care as mentioned above. Oil-based products do not require as many coats as water-based or alkyd types. However, oil-based products dry slower than the rest. Moreover, oil-based products have higher levels of VOCs. As such, Arborcoat products are easier to use than most oil-based Cabot products. Cabot water-based products are easy to use.


Arborcoat stains boast greater versatility as they can be used on both exterior and interior wood surfaces. However, Cabot oil-based stains are only suitable for exterior use. However, Cabot products are cost-friendly compared to Arborcoat products and have better adhesion for exterior wood surfaces.

Conclusion: Arborcoat vs. Cabot

Both these brands have excellent protective qualities and come in a variety of colors and sheen. They offer unmatched protection against UV light, are water repellents, and hide the marks present on the wood. However, these differ in several other factors. For instance, Arborcoat stains are easier to work with compared to oil-based Cabot stains. Moreover, Arborcoat can be used for both interior and exterior purposes, unlike Cabot which are most exterior stains. Consequently, the choice between the two groups comes down to exactly what you want for your deck. However, most decisions are based on the color options available. Arborcoatt products come in thousands of colors to choose from without compromising performance.

Mego Kimani

Hi there, my name is Mego Kimani, and I am the owner of Woodmeter, a website dedicated to wood finishing. At Woodmeter, we offer a comprehensive resource for woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts, providing information on everything from achieving the perfect finish to product recommendations and technique guides. Our goal is to empower our community with the knowledge they need to create beautiful, long-lasting finishes on their projects, no matter their skill level or experience.