A water sealing wood treatment starts your new fence or deck off with a firm foundation for long-lasting beauty. There are many reasons to water seal. Sun and rain cause unprotected wood to fade, crack, split, and warp. New-wood treatment can be applied immediately to slow the weathering process.
Material List for Sealing
Pole sander or palm sander (optional)
Paint roller with extension handle or sprayer
Rags for clean up
Safety mask and goggles
Applying Sealer or Stain
When applying a sealer or stain, always read the manufacturers directions. Drying times differ based on air temperature and humidity. Before you start, check the boards for needed repairs such as split boards or popped-up nails.
Wear rubber gloves, close-toed shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and pants when applying finish or cleaner to minimize the chance of skin irritation. Also, wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from back spray.
Tip: Do not apply deck product in direct sun. The finish will dry too quickly and will not absorb into the wood.
a) Check the weather (note Accuweather link pops up in new window). Try to find at least two days of dry weather with temperatures between 50°F and 90°F.
b) Remove all deck furniture and plants.
c) Sand all grade stamps, marks, and splintered areas. The entire deck may require sanding with a pole sander or palm sander to speed up the process. Sand in the direction of the grain. Be sure to wear a safety mask so you will not inhale the sawdust.
d) Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks. Make sure the deck is dry.
e) Cover plants and shrubs with clear plastic.
f) Stir the sealer or stain thoroughly. Do not shake sealer. Bubbles will form in the finish.
g) Apply a thin, even coat of sealer or stain over a two- to three-board section with a paint roller with an extension handle or a sprayer. Two thin coats are better than one thick coat that does not properly adhere or dry. Do not allow the finish to puddle. To speed up the process, one person can apply the stain or sealer and another person can use a roller or broom to spread puddles and to work the finish into the wood, a process known as backrolling.
h) Repeat the above process for the entire deck. Use a paintbrush to apply the sealer/stain in corners and other difficult areas, such as steps, railings, end grain and cracks. A second coat is optional.
i) Allow the deck to dry completely.
j) Before disposing of rags, spread them out to dry completely. Heat generated from evaporating finish on a pile of rags can start a flash fire. If you are using latex stain, clean equipment with soapy water. If you are using oil-based sealers, clean with paint thinner or mineral spirits.
k) Rinse the plastic covering the plants with a hose and remove it.