Updated February 2020
Mill Glaze on Wood Decks
DeckStainHelp.com has become the Internet’s go-to site for professional wood deck staining tips. We often hear about mill glaze on new wood surfaces. We offer tips on how to remove pesky mill glaze and prep new wood for an ideal surface. We encourage discussion on our site, so feel free to leave a comment below.
What is Mill Glaze on Decking and How to Remove?
When using new wood to repair or construct a deck it is important to know that the wood will not stay new for long. When wood is exposed to sun and rain it quickly turns gray and begins to soften. The wood will have to be protected with a deck stain as soon as it seasons for a few months and dries out.
Before staining a wood deck it should be cleaned. There is some debate as to whether or not new decking needs to be cleaned prior to staining. After all, it may still look new and not be very dirty. The truth is, new decking does need to be cleaned before it can be stained or sealed.
The reason new decking should be cleaned is mainly to remove any mill glaze from the wood. Mill glaze is the glossy like film that develops on milled lumber during the production process. When lumber is being cut, the high speed generated from the lumber planers creates high temperatures. These hot temperatures cause the wood sugars to form a glaze on the surface. This mill glaze is present on most types of newly milled wood like pressure-treated pine and cedar.
If the wood is not cleaned to remove mill glaze, it prevents any deck stain or sealer from properly penetrating the wood. This can result in peeling, flaking, poor performance, and premature failure of the stain.
To remove mill glaze from decking, clean the wood with a wood deck cleaner and a light pressure washing or heavy scrubbing. After cleaning, apply a wood brightener to help open the wood pores to accept stain.
If necessary, once the wood dries it can be sanded to remove any remaining mill glaze and to further soften the wood to get better stain penetration. Once mill glaze is cleaned from the wood and it dries, apply a quality deck stain to protect the wood from weather damage.
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