Last Fall we had a 26' by 16' deck built with a 20' ramp on one side and
stairs on the other. It was built with Yella pressure treated wood and
we will be applying some stain and sealer in a month or two when it
warms up. What kind or brand of product would be good and how is
applied? I have heard of it being brushed on and some say they have used
a yard pump sprayer. We live in Northwest Nebraska and the deck is on
the east side so I will probably use a light or gray color.
It's very easy to brush on transparent or semi-transparent
oil-base stain. No advice needed. Get a cheapo, blonde
bristle brush if possible. Personally I like solid oil stain, since
PT lumber is not very attractive. Solid stain gives it more
of a painted look, without the peeling. The only solid oil
stain I know of now is Cabot's. It still works well, but
reformulation has extended the drying time to 2+ days.
You can also use water base solid "stain". I wouldn't
recommend it. It wears away pretty quickly in that kind of
usage. Water base stains are OK for fences or siding, but
they don't hold up on decks. Also, water base *anything*
doesn't resist water on horizontal surfaces, which is
another factor in how fast it wears away. (On the upside,
it's easy to put on and you don't have to worry about
protecting PT wood from weather. So if you like the water
base stain and don't mind reapplying every spring, then that's
| Last Fall we had a 26' by 16' deck built with a 20' ramp on one side and
| stairs on the other. It was built with Yella pressure treated wood and
| we will be applying some stain and sealer in a month or two when it
| warms up. What kind or brand of product would be good and how is
| applied? I have heard of it being brushed on and some say they have used
| a yard pump sprayer. We live in Northwest Nebraska and the deck is on
| the east side so I will probably use a light or gray color.
I've heard of people using paint rollerer sleeves. You just put your
stain or sealer in a 10 inch painting tray, screw your paint roller
frame onto a threaded pole, and proceed just like you were painting a
I've spent enough time on these DIY Q&A forums to find that people have
lots of good things to say about Cabot deck stains and sealers.
Also, to be clear, the purpose of a sealer is to prevent fluid from
penetrating into or evaporating out of the wood. Wood swells when it
gets wet and shrinks when it dries out. The problem is that wood
doesn't absorb moisture equally on every surface of the lumber. Wood
absorbs and evaporates 15 times as much moisture 15 times as rapidly
through the end grain of the wood. So, applying the sealer to the top
surface of the boards is good, but where it's most needed is at the wood
end grain. If it were me, I'd stain and seal the top surface of your
deck boards, and then spend a day just painting the sealer onto every
exposed end grain you can find on that deck.
Also, I'm no expert on this, but it seems to me that staining and
sealing the sides and undersides of the decking boards wouldn't be
necessary except at the end grains. I've never seen wooden windows rot
anywhere where water could not accumulate. So, caulking those places
where you can't seal would be a good idea too.
And, so you know what to look for, UV deterioration of wood results in
the surface of the wood turning grey and fuzzy. Cellulose absorbs
ultraviolet rays, and so the depth of penetration of the damage is
generally very small, and you can clean up the wood quickly and easily
by just sanding or brushing that grey fuzzy wood off.
Moisture damage causes wood to split, and if it's not securely nailed
down, to cup and twist as well. The splitting is the direct result of
wood absorbing more moisture faster at it's end grain. What happens is
that in a rain, the ends of the boards (if unsealed) will absorb water,
causing the wood to swell at the end grain. Water is then carried by
capillary action from the end grain of the wood longitudinally along the
board so that wood cell walls a few inches from the ends of the board
become saturated with water and swell. Up until now, everything is fine
and the board isn't damaged. Now, the rain clowds part and the Sun
comes out and the end grain of the boards evaporate moisture 15 times as
fast as the wood a few inches from the end grain. So, the end grain
wood shrinks while the wood a few inches from that end grain remains
swollen. That puts the wood at the end grain in tension, and it splits
if it cannot accomodate or withstand that tension. So, splitting of the
wood at the ends of the boards is an indication that you need to seal
that end grain better.
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