Strip off any old stain that may be on the wood. Apply sealer or stain to the deck boards, using the same techniques used on the railings and your choice of applicator: paint pad, paint roller, paintbrush, or garden sprayer. On new decks, apply only one coat of oil-based deck finishes. Coat 2 — Thin 20% with specified thinner. Before applying stain, make sure your deck has been cleaned properly. There are several techniques you can use to apply a deck sealer. Do not sand sealer coat before applying coat 2. To avoid “lap marks” make sure that the leading edge is kept wet and that wet stain is brushed into wet stain. This is especially true on older surfaces that have been exposed for long periods of time. Many parts of the deck are still tacky. That depends upon what type of stain you are using. Step 8 Wipe the deck with a dry towel after the second coat, cleaning up any puddles. How many coats are required? For composite decking—that’s decking made from recycled plastic materials and wood—follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. A protective polyurethane topcoat is a great way to seal your wooden deck and increase its longevity. Apply over coat 2 without sanding. Use a paintbrush to stain between cracks and problem areas. Even if you decide not to stain your deck, you should always apply some kind of sealer to keep it protected from the elements. A major source of problems for deck finishes is the over-application of the coating. Stain the pressure-treated wood using a paint pad applicator, which is easier than brushing a large deck or structure by hand and more accurate than using a pressurized sprayer. The second coat can go on a little lighter than the first coat, and will ensure good coverage and adequate penetration into the wood for weather protection. A one-coat application is recommended. If the droplets sink in, the wood is ready to be stained. When in doubt, follow the instructions written on the container. Sprinkle some water on the deck. Let dry 24 hours. Otherwise, you risk having your deck rot out within the first couple of years. This is the sealer coat. Unlike many top-coat sealers on the market today, it penetrates wood below the surface, coating the wood fibers at the cellular level, which creates a long-lasting, flexible, breathable barrier. Usually no more than one coat is needed. HOW MANY COATS OF STAIN SHOULD I APPLY? Many homeowners and even some professional paint contractors incorrectly believe “more is better.” In order for an oil-based stain to be effective, it must be able to penetrate the wood’s surface. Coat 4 — Sand coat 3 lightly with 220-grit paper. If project requires more than 1 container, blend all containers together to ensure uniformity. Seal or Stain the Deck Boards . DO NOT APPLY 2 COATS. Let dry 24 hours. Deck Defense is designed as a one-coat stain, although due to the deep penetrating properties of the product, it may appear lighter than expected. If available, you may also use a roller to first apply the stain, then work it into the wood with your brush. Clean with a deck cleaner and sand the surface to remove any loose wood fibres and contamination; ensure that the new coating soaks in evenly. SEAL-ONCE® MARINE Premium Waterproofing Wood Sealer & Stain is designed to protect & stabilize marine wood against water damage, salt water spray & decay. Expect the butted ends of lumber to accept more stain. Coat 3 — Thin 10%. Apply to small sections at a time (1–3 boards); start at one edge of the board and work end-to-end, following through to the end of the boards to avoid lap marks. But the instructions clearly state, "Apply one coat only." Allow to dry overnight. Apply the finish to 10 to 15 square feet of boards at a time, then … Pick the finish that you want and apply accordingly. 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