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Sealing a Deck - Make it look professional

18 years ago

Sealing a deck can be grueling work but there are ways to make it go much faster. Painting 100 linear feet of railing can take you days with a brush. First, don't be afraid of using a sprayer. With proper prep your work will go many times faster and will look like you paid a professional to do the job.

Get yourself an HVLP Wagner Control Spray sprayer. The overspray is minimal. While at Home Depot also pick up 2" painter's tape, a couple of cheap 4" brushes, 4 mil plastic and a one quart pail. You will also need a 16" lambswool staining pad. I haven't seen these at HD, but many hardware stores carry them. Don't forget to pick up a plastic tray for this size pad as well. The last thing you will need is a bunch of cheapo bed sheets. You can get them at Walmart for about $4 for a queen size.

1) Tape plastic 6'-8' up any adjoining walls or siding that may be exposed to sealer drift.

2) Put painter's tape where the floor of the deck meets the walls of your home. Also put tape anywhere else the deck will need to be cut in and you have a chance of getting sealer on the house.

3) Lay some sheets down on the floor underneath the first rail you will be working.

4) You will be starting from the outside. Drape another sheet over the rail to catch overspray. Begin spraying sealer onto the rail system. Organize yourself so that you don't miss any sides. We work all the way down one side of the spindles, go back and do the other side, then we spray the fronts of the spindles and any remaining areas. You are not looking for an automotive fine finish. Spray a decent amount. Drips are fine. (be sure they aren't hitting the floor but are instead hitting sheets) Stop at each rail post. Go back and backbrush the sealer working in any drips and spreading the product more evenly.

5) Move your sheet and do next section. Its best if you can get a person to help you moving sheets if this is possible. That way you can keep moving. Your helper/spouse can also backbrush the sealer for you.

6) Do the same process on inside of rails.

7) Remove sheets and take down plastic

8) Use the lambswool pad to do the floor. First cut in around house with a brush. Apply the sealer very heavily. Floors will absorb a ton of sealer. Work it into the wood.

9) I suggest going back to do a second "wet on wet coat". Check for even coverage between floor boards. This is why you have to use a deep knap, lambswool applicator as opposed to a plain stain pad.

If you have prepped with a cleaner like Restore-A-Deck and have pH balanced the deck before sealing, this process will give you outstanding results.


 Try not to leave puddles or overly shiny spots on the deck

 For cleanup and removing little mistakes from siding us Krud Kutter

 The Wagner Control Spray is electric. Make sure you have enough extension cord.

Good luck to everyone and feel free to post any questions.

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