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Old 07-22-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
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Staining and Sealing a Deck

Hi All,

I just built a cedar deck and was looking for some answer to some questions.
  • Are there any sealer products out there are actually clear and keep the natural look of the cedar? I purchased a can of Olympic "clear" sealer and did a test and it turns it a yellowish color. I'm hoping to keep the redish-brown and whitish colors of the natural cedar. But I assume there are no products like this out there because the products need a UV protection that colors the wood?
  • Also when I need to reseal the deck next year, how do I go about doing that? Can I just reapply or do I need to strip the old sealer and then reapply?
  • I'm looking at doing a 2 tone colored deck. The other color will be a dark brown color. I purchased a 2-in-1 stain and sealer for this. So when I reseal in a year can I just apply a clear sealer over this, or will I have to completely strip it and then re-apply? Or do I just have to re-apply the 2-in-1 overtop of it? I'm hoping I would just be able to apply a coat of clear sealer?
Thanks in advance!


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Old 07-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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I have always had great luck with Flood's CWF-UV sealers. They have natural or you can buy it with cedar toners in it. I have found it to be the most economical sealer out there. It's about 20 bucks a gallon. I usually recoat every two years on most decks I have done. I usually just lightly pressure wash, allow to dry, and then recoat........if you are vigilant you can keep a deck surface looking great for years.


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Old 07-24-2012, 08:39 AM   #3
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Thanks Gymschu. Do you have any advice on how I treat the deck next year? Will I be able to put a clear waterproofing over the stained areas, or will I have to reapply the stained waterproofing?
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
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IMO do not use a sealer. It always has to be removed to reseal. Use an oil based stain instead. It doesn't need to be removed - just recoat.

You want the natural look of the wood. There are plain oils, however clear does not give the UV protection you want. A solid stain does not look enough like real wood to you. I'd compromise by using a semi-transparent stain in a natural color very close to the color of your wood (cedar would be a good color to start with ) It will still show the grain of the wood, give some UV protection, and does not require stripping.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Does a water based stain need to be removed to recoat? Or can you only do that with oil based?
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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The extent to which you have to worry about removing what is on the deck when you reapply is going to depend primarily on how much pigment and other material is left on the surface. Clear sealers and penetrating semi-transparent stains should soak into the wood grain. Semi-solid and solid stains will leave more on the surface. I personally would not use any more than a semi-solid on a deck surface and not that if new wood and capable of taking a semi-transparent or "clear" sealer.

I used to use only oil-based products on exterior wood but new waterbased formulas really make it somewhat hard to argue for them, especially in solid stain products. Oils are more expensive and may be harder and harder to get in some parts of the country. I guess they have some additional protective qualities and will not cause wood to "check" so much as waterbased though.

Just be sure not to use a wax based product like Thompson's Sealer. They used to be my go to stain products but I wouldn't touch Olympic any more. Since they went box store, the quality just isn't there anymore.

Last edited by user1007; 07-24-2012 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Added chart
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:02 PM   #7
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There is a clear on the market that will last! Its called Rymar wood sealer. they make a product called xtreme weather in a clear. it very subtly changes the color, but not much at all, substantially less than a toner. It has a translucent iron-oxide pigment, and sunseal sunscreen for wood. it truly lasts. It is an oil based sealer that has double the solids of sikkens SRD. One flood coat will last 1-3 yrs depending on exposure/climate. I live in Aspen colorado where we get punishing UV in the summer, and snow/moisture sitting on the decks in the winter and the clear gets 1-2 years. The pigmented stains get 3 easily


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