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Old 05-27-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
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Decks: Staining versus Sealing?

Is it necessary to satin or seal pressure treated wood decks. If you do nothing, what are the disadvantages and or advantages?
If you seal or stain, how often do you have to repeat?


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Old 05-28-2012, 06:42 AM   #2
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Not sure what you mean by "seal". You can't really seal wood, since it moves with weather changes. Stain gives protection from UV rays and water, with solid stain best. PT wood has a tendency to check, split and warp if left unprotected, but it will not rot for a long time. Depending on the degree and type of treatment, 40 yrs above ground and 20 yrs in ground. Some finish is better than none. With no finish, the deck will become unusable in a short time, or at least ugly.

As to paint or stain, paint puts a layer of chemicals on top of the wood. With expansion/contraction, and weather, this quickly breaks down. Stains actually soak into the surface, and last much longer. Manufacturers claim up to 5-6 yrs with solid stains, but in reality, usually 3-4 yrs is closer. Consumers has done a number of articles on exterior stains, look them up.


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Old 05-29-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
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I actually used a film-forming, water based stain on mine. It's breathable, so it not only "seals" it but any moisture still is able to get out. I got great results from it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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Whatever you do, stay away from wax based products like Thompson's.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:30 PM   #5
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also Behr stain is arguably the worst
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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PT wood is already sealed under pressure when you buy it. Put water (A small amount) on it. If it beads up, do nothing; if it soaks in, it would be wise to put a semi-transparent stain on it for protection and beauty.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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Lots of folks do nothing to PT wood. It turns to a weathered grayish brown color so if you can live with that, I would do nothing. On the other hand, PT wood splits/cracks as it dries out and you can limit that somewhat with a quality stain job. It certainly depends on what "look" you want for your deck. I have always had decent luck with Flood clear products. You can buy them off the shelf with cedar, redwood, or clear tones. I also like Deckscapes from Sherwin-Williams.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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Not necessary but preferred with an oil stain. Clean it with percarbonate and let dry to 12% moisture content then seal it with a good oil based sealer. You do want a color tint to protect the wood from sun rays for a longer time.


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