Update 2018 for Apply Polyurethane to A Deck?
Welcome to DeckStainHelp.com, the internet’s number one reference for all things wood deck restoration related. As before, we do not recommend the use of polyurethane stains on outdoor decks. We always appreciate your comments and questions, so feel free to leave one below.
Should I Apply Polyurethane to a Deck?
Selecting a deck stain or sealer is a vital step when finishing your deck or when your deck is in need of being recoated. Wood decks are exposed to severe weather conditions and need to be protected with the correct type of wood sealant.
The best choice for finishing a wood deck is to use an exterior wood stain. A semi-transparent penetrating stain will provide adequate water and sun protection. This type of deck stain will enhance the natural beauty of the wood increasing its appearance.
When refinishing a deck, do not use a varathane, varnish, or polyurethane coating that films on top of the wood, creating a “shiny” finish. These types of finishes are mainly used for indoor applications and break down easily when exposed to the elements. Rain and harsh UV rays will cause polyurethane to fail quickly, which will subject the wood to weathering. The polyurethane will blister and peel on exterior wood. This will create a nightmare to fix where heavy sanding will be involved in the removal. If you want a clear or natural look to your deck, consider a deep penetrating (non-filming) clear deck sealer or better yet a semi-transparent deck stain in a natural tone.
When looking for the right deck stain you will find a large variety of colors. Finding a color like Natural, Cedar, or Redwood in a semi-transparent stain will not hide the wood grain like a solid stain or paint would. This can give your deck the natural look you desire while still giving the wood moisture and UV protection.
Do some research on your deck’s type of wood. Search for colors that will give you the final results you want. Do not apply polyurethane to a deck or it may jeopardize the deck’s beauty and longevity. The outdoor elements are too harsh for polyurethane making it a bad choice for exterior deck use. Keep your deck maintained with the proper choice of deck stain and it will be there for you to enjoy for many years ahead.
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