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what I know and don't know about cedar decks

15 years ago

There seems to be as many different opinions about staining/sealing a cedar deck as there are forums offering advice. This is what I did, so far,(with less than perfect results):

-New cedar deck April 2007 with minimal hand sanding and cleaning.

-applied (in the part sun) stain/sealer with semi transparent oil based product (Para Timbercoat) 6 sides, and most likely before it was dry enough.

Now, 5 months later, the deck is so faded it is almost gray. With a lot of contradicting advice behind me, I have gone forward and:

-cleaned with TSP and coarse broom

-sanded with 60 grit orbital sander. The color is now very uneven, i.e. there is bare wood showing in parts.

I am planning on re-staining/sealing 1 coat with the same product. (please comment)

What I've learned:

-make sure the wood is dry--(don't be in a hurry like me)

-use sealer/stain out of direct sun

-make sure the wood is CLEAN

Mistakes in progress??:

-after sanding second time, I believe I could have just used TSP before applying a second coat.

-(lightly)sanding may result in an uneven appearance?? (please comment)

Expect a lot of widely conflicting advice. Expect a lot of frustration. Expect to redo your deck every (year??). Don't give up. Ask for advice.

Thanks for any and all opinions/advice.

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