Sealing Cedar Deck

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-19-17, 07:52 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sealing Cedar Deck

My post is slightly different from anything I've found because I don't want to STAIN my deck.

I had a cedar deck installed in April. What is the best way to treat it? Again, I don't want to stain it.

I know cedar will last "forever" but I live against the ocean in the PNW, so lots of rain, too. And, even though I know *I* won't last forever, experience tells me I will end up redoing the "forever" stuff at some point. And I'd like to put it off as long as possible. (New decks ain't cheap.)

I would love both product advice and technique (e.g., how to prep, how to apply).

Thanks!

(A
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-20-17, 03:23 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
It's best to use a stain. It doesn't have to be a dark stain. I'd recommend using a toner/translucent stain. You can pick a color that is close to the wood's color and it won't hardly be noticeable. I'm partial to Flood's CWF. It deepens the colors that are naturally in the wood. These types of products usually last 1-3 yrs. Thompson's WaterSeal doesn't change the look of the wood and will protect the wood from the rain but often needs to be recoated every 6 months and doesn't do a lot to prevent the wood from turning grey.

Brush and roller is generally best for applying the stain. Spray alone [without back rolling/brushing] just lets the coating set on top and doesn't work it into the wood.
 
  #3  
Old 06-20-17, 11:05 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks. My only other experience was a roof deck where annual Thompson's was good enough.

Question about application:
Pour in paint tray and roll on with basic paint roller? Or use same type of applicator as for interior floors?

What is the approx yield?

One of my worries with stain is there is a staircase with lots of balustrades that will be hard to reach "evenly".
 
  #4  
Old 06-20-17, 11:10 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
How far any coating goes depends a lot on how dry/porous and rough/smooth the wood is. Might only be 200-300 sq ft per gallon.

I've never liked painting out of a tray, I almost always use a 5 gallon bucket [w/ roller screen if needed]
 
  #5  
Old 06-20-17, 12:02 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,308
Received 47 Votes on 44 Posts
My deck is pretty small, I use a 6" brush.
 
  #6  
Old 06-20-17, 01:51 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by marksr
I've never liked painting out of a tray, I almost always use a 5 gallon bucket [w/ roller screen if needed]
Interesting. Even with a pad-type applicator?


Originally Posted by stickshift
My deck is pretty small, I use a 6" brush.
Oh that just sounds vulgar.
(Alternate response: "That's what she said")
 
  #7  
Old 06-20-17, 02:15 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
I never use a pad on a deck. If using one on a hardwood floor it's easiest to just pour a little poly onto the floor, smear it out and repeat.

Back when I was an apprentice a 6" brush was used for cut in or brushing anything deemed to small to break out a roller [like a single wall]
 
  #8  
Old 06-20-17, 02:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hm. No worries about uneven coverage with a roller?

Also: I need to do deck and steps. Steps are only way in and out of property. (House is below street level).

So I presume start at top. Brush steps, railings, and balustrades on way down. Then roll deck from outer edge.

How long am I trapped in house? Twelve hours? Twenty-four?

(The three weeks the old steps were torn out and everything replaced were REALLY difficult!)
 
  #9  
Old 06-20-17, 02:50 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
There shouldn't be any issues with uneven coverage using a roller although often it looks nicer if you tip off the rolled paint with a brush. That eliminates any roller stipple.

I'd brush all of the railing/balusters first, then go back staining the deck working my way to the steps.

Hard to say how long it will take to dry. Different types of stains/sealers will have different drying times along with how the coating interacts with the weather. It will dry quicker when it's hot/dry, slower when cold or humid. How dry the wood is also plays a part.
 
  #10  
Old 06-20-17, 02:58 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,308
Received 47 Votes on 44 Posts
Start the decking and stairs (horizontal parts on which you will need to walk) early in the day on a day expected to be hot and I think you're fine the next morning to walk on it.
 
  #11  
Old 06-20-17, 09:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yeah I'll need to get the steps out of the way early. Supposed to be mid 60s but sunny this weekend - but the steps get shade....
 
  #12  
Old 06-24-17, 06:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
About halfway through waiting period between first and second coats...

And out of nowhere, there are literally hundreds of tiny little gnat-like bugs stuck in the surface.

WTF do I do???????

I don't live in a buggy area (although NO wind today).
 
  #13  
Old 06-25-17, 03:10 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
I'd either lightly sand them off or use a coarse rag to 'buff' them off.
Sometimes things just happen
 
  #14  
Old 06-25-17, 09:55 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Not perfect but eh. It's life.

Nature's way of telling me to do a third coat.

(I only bought enough for two coats. SHould have known. Home Depot is a 130-mile round trip, the locals only carry water-based. There goes my Sunday!)

Thanks
 
  #15  
Old 06-25-17, 10:55 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
After the stain cures you might be able to scrub them off with soap and water.
 
  #16  
Old 06-25-17, 11:52 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Oh I hope so. Some of them left little pits when they came out, so I hope the third coat fills that in.

You know, I really wanted to go with Thompson's water seal. My contractor said, Yeah but then you have to put it on like every six months.... But I think an hour or so every six months sure beats this! (Will I EVER get the pickets evenly coated???!?)

Thanks for your advice.
 
  #17  
Old 06-26-17, 02:18 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
I doubt the pits will be very noticeable later on, especially when your focus goes to the next project.
 
  #18  
Old 06-26-17, 10:39 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
*I* will always notice them (and teh boot print that didn't pressure wash off, and the scuff from removing a tree from the yard the week AFTER the deck was put in, and and and), but I doubt anyone else, will, I'm sure you're right about that.

BUT.

I put the second coat on yesterday morning - bright sunny day. Made the drive inland to replenish, and put a third coat on last night. My rolling skills are much to be desired, and I think I got most of the deck well-covered on the third pass.

BUT. Never a dull moment.

The ten percent chance of overnight rain became a 100 percent occurrence. Just a mist - you would barely notice it on the ground - but of course a freshly-sealed deck beaded like the hood of a new car.

Here's my dilemma - with less than 14 hours' cure time for the third coat, there is water sitting on the finish. I tried squeegeeing as much of as I could - i didn't want to rough it up with towels. But there's still a lot of water I couldn't squeegee off. (I'm surprised, actually!)

HOW MUCH DAMAGE IS THIS DOING? Do I need to get on my hands and knees with tshirts to mop this op? Am I going to have water spots for eternity now? Ugh!!!

Sorry to panic, I was supposed to leave town this morning but am now heading out tomorrow. Yes, I am treating my wet deck like I have a sick kid at home!

Thanks for your patient advice!
 
  #19  
Old 06-26-17, 11:00 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
Water on top of fresh oil base coatings doesn't harm it much, mostly it slows down the drying/curing time and can make the sheen uneven [shouldn't be an issue with stain]
 
  #20  
Old 06-26-17, 11:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well yeah, it's just a clear satin.

But you think it should be OK? OK! This should have been such a simple project. Sunniest, calmest day in years combined with a poor supply stock of materials with some insects thrown in made for a strange weekend!

Thanks for your help.
 
  #21  
Old 03-20-18, 11:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
......aaaaaannndddddd now that Spring has sprung and the thaw is on...

The varnish is peeling up from about 30 percent of the boards. All boards that get a lot of sunlight. The multiple coats have bonded to each other, but the wood is bare.

Also, where it got lots of sunlight I got a lot of black spots under the varnish... But where it gets no sunlight (under the eave and stairwell), looks like freshly-milled wood.

So I guess Memorial Day = hitting it with a powerwasher, a fine grit paper, and re-treating. Of course they will always be blemished.

Oh, well. What's time and money, anyway?


Hashtag VENT
 
  #22  
Old 03-21-18, 02:38 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
What exactly did you apply to your deck? Varnish, even spar varnish isn't suitable for decks!
 
  #23  
Old 03-21-18, 11:06 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Oh, sorry. Presumed that was in one of the posts above.

I used Rust-Oleum's Varathane Oil-based Spar Urethane.
 
  #24  
Old 03-22-18, 01:27 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
Even though spar poly is rated for exterior use - it's probably the worst coating you can apply to a deck! Between the sun and rain it will have a short life. That poly makes it difficult for deck stains to adhere. Ideally you'd sand off the remaining urethane although you could wait a year or two and let nature do most of the work for you.
 
  #25  
Old 03-22-18, 05:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hm, I had two different contractors recommend that.

What do you recommend? (I don't care about stain - I just want a natural look)
 
  #26  
Old 03-22-18, 12:28 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
There are all types of deck stains. Clear ones don't normally hold up long [like Thompson's WaterSeal] Flood's CWF does better [and I like the look] There are also toner or translucent stains along with the more popular semi-transparent. The main thing is to make sure it's a deck stain, siding stains won't hold up well on decking.

I assume the contractors that recommended spar poly weren't painting contractors.
 
  #27  
Old 03-22-18, 03:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'd used Thompson's in the past and was expressly told under no circumstances to waist time or money.

One was a painter, one was a deck builder.

It was such a crappy weekend, I can't believe it was a waste.
 
  #28  
Old 03-23-18, 03:47 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
Thompson's is a good product but it does not last long Spar varnish/poly not only gets destroyed by the weather but is a bear to get ready to recoat. Most deck stains just need a good cleaning prior to recoating. Worst case scenario is you'd need to use a deck stain stripper.

I'd probably use a chemical paint stripper on your spar urethane, let it work and then pressure wash. Once dry it should be ready for a deck stain although it might need a little bit of sanding. IMO that would be the most effective method requiring the least amount of work. CWF or a toner stain should give you the look you are after.
 
  #29  
Old 09-19-18, 01:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So I have sporadically hit the deck with a plastic scraper and a power washer. I'd say about 90-95 percent of the old varnish is up. There are still spots that get complete shade (that look fantastic, and there is still some varnish around knots and just some spots that won't come up.

Any recommendations on a good stripper? Remember, the deck is just over a year old!

I've looked at
- Thompson's Maximum Strength Deck Stripper
- Wolman Deck Strip Acrylic Stain Remover
- Dumond Peel Away 7

Anyone have an pros/cons? Or should I just buy a heat gun and get back on my knees?
 
  #30  
Old 09-19-18, 01:35 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
I doubt a deck stripper will be very effective on spar poly. One of the more caustic paint strippers should work well.
 
  #31  
Old 09-19-18, 01:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Was worried about damage to the wood. Any suggestions?

 
  #32  
Old 09-19-18, 01:55 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
I don't use strippers very often so I can't really recommend one over another. I usually either buy what's on hand or ask the paint rep for advice. I've never heard of chemical strippers harming the wood. Basically they soften up the paint/poly and when it bubbles up you scrape it off. If you wait too long the softened paint will start to harden back up.
 
  #33  
Old 09-19-18, 03:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OK, thanks for that. This whole thing has been a disaster and I just want it to end!!!!!

Oh, well, better luck next time, right?
 
  #34  
Old 09-19-18, 05:31 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,308
Received 47 Votes on 44 Posts
Yes, because next time you'll avoid this whole mess by using composite decking
 
  #35  
Old 09-19-18, 07:51 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I really wrestled with composite. For a number of reasons, I decided on cedar. It was a hard decision, though.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: