How to Seal a Deck

While sealant is normally dry to the touch within a few hours, for a proper seal that protects the wood, stay off your deck for two full days.


How do you seal a deck for the first time?

Apply painter’s tape to any nearby surfaces — such as siding — that you need to protect. Apply the deck sealer with a natural bristle brush. A roller is faster, but brushing helps force the sealer into open pores and grain. Make sure to get the sealer into joints where two boards butt together.

Can I just seal my deck?

A: It’s really up to you. Just staining the deck will give you the color you want, although in high-traffic areas the stain could wear away quickly. Many deck companies recommend using a combination stain/sealer product, which is basically a sealer with pigment added.

Should I stain or just seal my deck?

Unlike stains, sealants lack pigmentation and generally provide less UV protection than stains. Stains always include pigmentation, which adds color to the deck and helps protect against UV damage. Even the best deck stains generally offer only moderate moisture protection.

Do wood decks need to be sealed?

In many cases, you need to seal a wood deck once a year. The more foot traffic and sun exposure your deck gets, the more often you need to apply deck sealant. The type of product, the thickness of the sealant coat, and the mold/salt protection also affect the lifespan of wood sealer.

What is the best product for sealing a deck?

  1. BEST OVERALL: Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer.
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Rust-Oleum Varathane Ultimate Spar Urethane Oil Based.
  3. PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD PICK: Thompson’s WaterSeal Transparent Wood Sealer.
  4. BEST FOR WATERPROOFING: Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Wood Sealer.
  5. BEST WITH UV PROTECTION: Defy Composite Deck Sealer.

Do you need to clean a new deck before sealing?

Applying Deck Sealer to a Wood Deck. To get the most effective seal possible, thoroughly clean your deck before applying the sealer. Be sure all debris, dust, grime and mildew is removed. Check out our step-by-step guide for the best ways to clean a deck or pressure wash a deck.

What happens if you don’t seal your deck?

It is highly unlikely that the deck will rot, splinter or decay if you choose not to have it finished and you can always choose to stain and protect the deck at a later date. If you choose to revitalize the natural color of the wood, we recommend our two-step maintenance clean.

How do you clean deck before sealing?

How much does it cost to seal a deck?

Cost to Seal a Deck Sealing a deck costs $906 or typically between $551 and $1,292. You’ll pay $0.75 to $4 per square foot for both materials and labor. Labor alone makes up 50% to 75% of the total price. Cost factors include regional worker rates, complexity, size, prep needs and accessibility.

Should I pressure wash my deck before staining?

There is a common misconception that just pressure washing a deck prior to staining is all you need to do in order to prep your deck for stain. Pressure washing can help, but if you want your stain to last, using a good deck cleaner and brightener on the deck prior to pressure washing will provide you the best result.

What happens if you don’t seal stained wood?

What happens if you don’t seal stained wood? If you leave stained wood without a sealer on top, it will gradually lose its moisture content and dry out. Over time, the wood may look dull and lifeless as the stain wears out due to the lack of wood sealing and protection.

What is the difference between deck stain and sealer?

A sealer goes on clear or transparent to show the grain and the natural wood color. It prevents water from being absorbed and causing rot. Whereas a stain will do much the same as a sealer but also has a pigment added that blocks UV rays that can dry out the wood, causing it to crack or check, and gray.

What is the best way to protect a wooden deck?

The best preventative measure you can take to protect your wooden deck is to use wood sealant. Clear wood sealants are a great way to maintain the natural beauty and wood grain while still preventing damage from rot, mold, and other weathering.

How long should you wait to seal a new deck?

approximately 30 days

How Long Should You Wait to Seal a New Wood Deck? It’s important to protect new wood from UV damage and fading. At the same time, some woods maintain a fair amount of resin and natural oils after installation. As a general rule, expect to wait approximately 30 days before scheduling professional deck sealing.

How do I prepare my deck for Thompson’s water seal?

Does a pressure treated wood deck need to be sealed?

Although treated wood is protected against decay and termite attack, the application of a water-repellent sealer to all exposed wood surfaces is recommended upon completion of construction. This sealer will help control surface checking (splitting or cracking) and provide an attractive appearance.

Is Thompson’s water seal any good?

Is Thompson’s WaterSeal Any Good? Our experience with Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector was disappointing overall, and we would not recommend this product. Its inability to prevent UV graying is too harmful to your deck’s wood.

How do you seal a treated wood deck?

How long after power washing can you seal a deck?

Sand Your Deck Before Sealing After you’ve pressure washed your deck, you’ll need to wait for it to completely dry. Sometimes, this can take as long as 48-hours. Once it’s dry, you’ll want to sand your deck lightly. This is necessary to remove any splinters or fuzzy patches that pressure washing can cause.

How long after rain Can I stain my deck?

First, ensure the deck is completely dry. Remember, no rain 24 hours before you apply stain and no rain 24 hours after the staining project. Assuming the deck is dry and thirsty for stain, it’s time to make your deck amazing. When applying stain, a pad, brush, roller, or rag can be used to apply the stain.

Can I seal between deck boards?

While you might be tempted to fill in gaps in your decking with wood filler or caulk, the natural movement of the boards can eventually cause the materials to break loose and make the gaps even worse. However, you can use rope to easily fill the gaps.

What is the life expectancy of a wood deck?

10 to 15 years

THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF A WOOD DECK: Typically 10 to 15 years. The actual lifespan of your wood deck will depend on the type of wood you’ve chosen and how well you keep up with wood’s rigorous maintenance schedule.

When should I stain my deck for the first time?

New wooden decks should always receive a coat of paint or stain. Generally, all new decks should dry out for at least 30 days before stain or paint is applied. Although a finish can be applied immediately after construction, more work is involved, so it’s best to let the wood fully dry before finishing.

Do you need to apply a sealer after staining a deck?

Applying a clear sealer or polyurethane over a deck stain will cause more problems than it is worth. If you want a clear finish then you can strip off any old stain and start fresh with bare wood. Then you can apply a clear sealer if that is the look you are going for.

Can you seal an old deck?

If your shabby old deck has become a source of shame, there’s usually a fix short of replacing it. Assuming the structure is sound, your deck can be restored. Depending on the desired look, you can spruce up a worn-out deck with a new stain or paint-based protective seal.

Can I use vinegar to clean my deck?

To clean your deck, combine 1 cup vinegar with 1-gallon water. Sprinkle baking soda on any mildewed wood and use the vinegar and warm water to scrub over all the boards. Borate is also a natural cleaner and versatile for indoor or outdoor cleaning.

How do you restore an old weathered deck?

How many gallons does it take to seal a deck?

If your deck or patio measures up to 550 square feet, you will need to buy 2 gallons of stain. For very large decks and patios, up to 700 square feet, you will need 3 to 4 gallons of stain to complete the project.

How much does it cost to stain a 12×12 deck?

A 12×12 deck costs $226 to $582 to stain when paying someone, or $59 to $176 to stain it yourself. A gallon of stain costs $20 to $50, which covers 200 to 300 square feet. Get free estimates from deck staining companies near you or view our deck stain cost calculator below.

What happens if you don’t clean deck before staining?

The number one reason a deck stain fails prematurely is that the wood surface was not prepped correctly. Even a high-quality deck stain will not be as effective or protected as it should if the wood deck was not been washed first using the right deck cleaners.

Can I use a roller to stain my deck?

Short Answer, Yes. But there are some other things to consider when using rollers or sprayers. Rollers are a great way to apply wood stain as well for the speed at which you can apply the stain. However, when using rollers can be a disadvantage when you have hard to reach areas.

Which brand of deck stain is best?

The 9 Best Deck Stains to Protect and Revive Your Deck

  1. Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Solid Deck Stain. …
  2. Clear Preserva Wood Exterior Wood Stain. …
  3. Russet Behr Premium Exterior Wood Stain. …
  4. Olympic Elite Exterior Wood Stain. …
  5. Valspar Pre-Tinted Semi-Transparent Exterior Stain. …
  6. Cabot Wood Protector Clear Exterior Stain.

Should you seal both sides of wood?

Not at all. In fact, all the evidence points the other way – that it doesn’t make any difference whether the wood is finished on both sides or not. It will warp or not warp totally independent of how it’s finished, because a finish only slows moisture exchange.

What to use to seal wood after staining?

After smoothing the stained wood, apply a sealer coat of thinned shellac, sanding sealer, or other appropriate sealer. Do not use shellac with NGR or water-base stains. If you plan to finish the piece with polyurethane, make sure the sealer is compatible.

How do you apply wood sealer?

Which is better oil based or water based deck sealer?

Water-based stains require a little more time and effort than oils, but it pays off with significantly greater durability. Oil based stains are easy to apply and take less effort, but they will not last nearly as long as a water based stain.

Maybe you are interested in:

How to Clean a Deck with Bleach

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