Best Way to Seal Wooden Deck

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    LESLIE:  Now we’re heading out to Kansas where Tom wants to seal wooden deck. What can we do for you today?

    TOM IN KANSAS: Yes, we bought a place at the lake. And the deck – it’s a wooden deck. And we’re going to seal it. What’s the best way to seal it and prep the wood for that?

    TOM: OK. So, is the wood in pretty good structural condition? Is it – are there a lot of checks and cracks in it now? Did it have an old finish on it?

    TOM IN KANSAS: I believe it was sealed before but I believe it’s been a while. The flooring of it – at the one end, there’s a – we have a tin roof on the top but it does drip on it, out at the end.

    TOM: OK.

    TOM IN KANSAS: And it’s not rotted or nothing but it – you can see there’s a little bit of mold, green stuff from the water.

    TOM: OK. Well, you’ve got to clean it thoroughly before you seal wooden deck and you’ve got to remove any loose finish. And if you can wire-brush it or sand it, just to kind of get the dead wood off the surface of it, sometimes you get a lot of – a little degradation at the surface of the wood. That would be helpful, as well. And that’s really all you’ve got to do to prep it.

    And at that point, you’re going to have to determine what you want to put on it. Now, you say sealing but I would recommend a stain. Stain, there’s two different levels of that: there’s semi-transparent and solid color. There’s also transparent but I think semi-transparent or solid color are your options. And I would opt for solid color, always, because it has more pigment and it lasts longer. And if you put the solid-color stain on it, that has the effect of sealing and protecting the deck if you use a good-quality stain. And it’s still going to let the grain show through.

    So, prep it properly, follow the label directions and then apply a solid-color stain. Now, it’s not paint; it is stain but it’s called “solid-color stain.” If you have any questions about what it’s going to look like, then just start in, perhaps, on a step or somewhere that’s a small area where it’s not very visible, so you can get confidence in it. But I think you’ll like the way it’ll come out.

    TOM IN KANSAS: OK, OK. Well, that was my question. Thank you very much.

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