How to Waterproof a Wood Deck | 2-10 Blog


Waterproofing Your Deck in Five Easy Steps

Waterproofing your wood deck is an important part of maintenance that will help preserve the wood and keep your deck looking great for longer. It’s also an easy project you can tackle yourself. Here’s how to seal your deck to increase its lifespan and keep it looking new.

Things You’ll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Power screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Water hose
  • Paint stir sticks
  • Paint tray and tray liner
  • Paint roller frame
  • Lint-free paint roller cover
  • Lambswool pad

Step 1: Prepare the area. It’s important to have a clean space around your deck. Remove grills, furniture and any other items from your workspace. Closely inspect the deck for any loose boards and screw them back into place. You should then use sandpaper to smooth any dings, splinters and rough spots, being sure to sand along with the grain of the wood to avoid damage. Next, sweep away debris and scrub the deck clean with water and a stiff-bristled brush. Be sure to let the deck dry for 24 to 48 hours, or you may trap moisture within the interior of the wood.

Step 2: Add a waterproof sealer. Closely monitor the weather and don’t begin sealing your deck until you are sure you will have a string of five to seven clear, rain-free days. Using a wood paint stir stick, thoroughly mix the sealer. Add a tray liner to a paint tray and pour the sealer into it. Roll the sealer onto the wood deck using a 1/2-inch lint-free paint roller. Be sure to work with only two to three sections of wood at a time, rolling on the sealer in even, thin coats.

Step 3: Ensure adequate coverage. To distribute the sealer evenly, go over every individual section with a lamb’s wool pad while the sealer is still wet. This will make sure the sealer gets into the fine nooks and cracks, while encouraging a smoother, more attractive final result.

Step 4: Add another coat. While the first coat of sealer is still wet but slightly tacky, add an additional thin coat. Be careful to work in a way that will allow you to freely move without trapping yourself behind wet sealer. Continue adding coats in this manner according to the specifications on the sealing product until you’ve added enough coats to keep the wood well-protected.

Step 5: Let it dry and cure. Once you have applied sealer to the entire deck, let the finish dry completely before bringing your grill or furniture back. Follow the directions for your product to make sure you give the sealer ample dry time. In some instances, the instructions may recommend that you wait two or more days for the finish to harden and cure.

Things to Consider

To achieve proper adhesion to the wood, it’s important to apply several thin layers of sealer instead of a few, thick layers. It’s also a good idea to work when the weather is warm and dry. Although you can apply deck sealer when it’s humid, you will experience longer dry times, and your results may be less than ideal.

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