We have hired a company to refinish our deck. When they sent us a
proposal, they specified two coats of their sealant. When workers
came, they acted all surprised when I requested that they come again
to put the second coat. I had to talk on the phone to the "manager"
who tried to convince me that I do not need two coats, that it was a
mistake etc. Their sealant, upon close examination, appears to be an
oil based stain diluted with solvent such as mineral spirits. They
said that second coat of that product will not penetrate and the deck
will forever remain oily.
My general and limited woodworking experience suggests that for a 20
year old and dry weathered wood, it will absorb an additional coat. I
requested that they leave a little bit of their sealant and tried
applying it again today, and alas, it was absorbed by the wood after I
wiped off the excess. I am sure that a second coat will make the
treatment last longer.
So I do want a second coat. Any thoughts on my decision making
The color that they applied is called california cedar, but is more
reminiscent of baby shit. That's to say that it is brown and not very
transparent. But it looks not so bad and it was our choice.
What I am thinking about however, is VARNISHING the deck on top of
coating. Both the treatment and varnish would be oil based. I will
thusly benefit from their sanding of the deck, and their treatment
will allow me to use less varnish. I tried varnishing one rail with
captain's spar urethane, and it looked frankly pretty good. Has anyone
varnished a weathered deck? Is that a crazy idea? Maybe I should
varnish rails only?