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 Turn 21 today!

Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Decks and Porches Category

Improvement Project:

How to seal a wood deck.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Water-resistant/repellent deck sealer (stained sealer or clear sealer, depending on preference)

  • Paintbrush

  • Paint sprayer

  • Deck cleaner or a mixture of water and bleach

  • Scrub brush

  • Broom

  • Dust pan

  • Garden hose (hooked up to faucet for cold water use)

  • Machine belt sander or medium-level sandpaper



Because a wood deck is exposed to the outdoor elements 24/7, as you know, it needs all of the protection it can get, and this includes coating it with a sealer.  You may have originally applied sealer--stained or clear--on your wood deck.  However, over time, another application of it will be necessary.

Caution: When dealing with chemicals, such as those found in a sealer, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions.

Applying sealer on your wood deck can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. In preparing for the application of a sealer, wash the wood deck clean of debris, grime and other foreign stains/filth with the use of a mixture of bleach and water or a deck cleaner, scrubbing this cleaning solution with a scrub brush.

  2. Wash everything off with a garden hose.

  3. If applicable, with a machine belt sander or the use of sandpaper applied with your hands, sand any uneven or otherwise rough surfaces of the wood deck, and sweep up this sanding debris/sawdust with a broom into a dust pan.

  4. Apply the water-resistant/repellent deck sealer, whether it is a staining sealer or a clear sealer, with either a paint sprayer or a paintbrush; with a paint brush, be sure to move the paintbrush in the direction of the grain of the wood, making sure the brush reaches into crevices created between the wood boards.  With either paint brushing or paint spraying, be sure to apply the sealer on all the poles, joists, beams and board undersides that make up your wood deck.

  5. Make sure that when you're using a paint sprayer that you apply an even coat of the sealer, and that any drippings of the sealer should be spread even with a paintbrush; make sure that the sides of the deck do not have sealer drippings either--brush over them to make an even coat of the sealer.

  6. Allow the applied sealer to cure per the sealer manufacturer's instructions.

Following the above steps will go a long way in help preserving your wood deck.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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