Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty

A friend installed some pressure-treated wood steps on my porch last fall. He told me to let them go through a season first, then paint them in the spring, as follows: _prime _ then putty (with Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty) _ then paint (oil-based) I wrote down his instructions, but forgot about the note when I painted them. I used a wood filler that I happened to have on hand for some little cracks, then primed, then painted with good quality oil-based porch paint. The steps look okay (but a bit rustic!), but now I'm wondering what my friend meant by "then putty" (he's not around to ask). Was I supposed to merely fill in cracks, holes, etc. or was I supposed to do more extensive puttying? The reason I ask is that, when it rains, the water pools quite a bit on the steps. Was I supposed to trowel on the Rock Hard Water Putty like plaster, so rain will flow off more easily or what?
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I am not clear why you would want to use putty for anything. In my experience, priming and painting is all that is required, unless you wanted to obscure the wood perforations used to help the original chemicals penetrate the wood. For that, I use very spare application of exterior - it must be exterior - wood filler or Durham's, but prefer Durham's. Only the holes - filler nowhere else. Yes, filler seems to stick longer when you prime first, then do your filling. For a seamless look, it is best to spot prime again over the filler, then paint. That prevents the dulling of the finish coat you get over the patched spots. Water standing is abnormal and may be due to warped, or improperly designed steps, and patching plaster of any kind should not be used as a leveller on stairs, just a filler of pre-existing holes. Steps may have to be re-installed so they drain completely after rains. Otherwise, even PT wood will eventually rot in constant moisture. Hope this helps.....
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Your stairs hold water probably because you instaled the wood with crown grain up. It cups up with a low center. Wood putty will fail on a horizontal flexed piece of wood like stairs. You should have hand picked prime pieces. Wood base putty is basicly crap, a temporary solution. Flexing stairs will crack anything but a good caulk . Turn over the cupped wood if grain doesnt crown down.
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wrote:

No. I suspect he meant for you to counter sink the screws and fill the screw or nail holes with the putty, then prime and paint for a finish that will last forever or as long as you keep it painted.
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