Wood Filler and Caulk for Decks.
When taking on an exterior wood maintenance project, it is always best to follow proven methods to get the best results. For the do-it-yourself enthusiast, restoring a wood deck or other wood surface is something you can accomplish in a few days. Being educated on wood restoration will ensure your wood surface will look good and last for many years.
Many homeowners have asked about using wood filler and/or caulk prior to staining. As wood ages, it can crack and split leaving large voids on the surface. It can be tempting to fill these voids with a wood filler or caulk. Experts say that this can actually be a mistake you may want to avoid at all costs.
Wood filler and caulk does not work well for decking. There are several reasons for this. The wood filler does not “stain” to match the deck finish. This can be frustrating for someone staining a deck. No matter how hard you try, the caulk will not look like the rest of the stained surface and will stick out like a sore thumb.
Another major issue with using wood filler on a deck or wood surface is the stability of the filler. Wood filler and caulk are not stable and end up cracking or breaking out of the voids. This is especially true in an area where there is a wide range of climate change. Colder climates that freeze and thaw will cause wood filler and caulk to fail quickly.
Trying to use wood filler or caulk prior to staining will just end up looking unsightly, as the product will eventually fail anyway. The best way to deal with cracks and voids is to sand around the area to lessen the size of the crack. In extreme cases, replacing the boards or turning them over may be the best option. Otherwise, some small cracks and splits will not hurt the deck’s performance and can be stained over.
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