Behr Premium Transparent Deck, Fence & Siding Weatherproofing Wood Finish
My husband decided to seal the deck this weekend, and what a good project choice that turned out to be. This is one of those homeowner maintenance chores that, like a bad penny, returns to your doorstep every few years, literally. All you need is the time, a 4 inch paintbrush, some knee pads, some stripper, a few gallons of the best weatherproofing sealer you can find, and a day or so of good weather.
All of those things are reasonably attainable except for the good weather. My husband is usually finishing up the first coat as violent thunder clouds of biblical proportion gather on the horizon. Soon torrential downpours arrive, only to be followed by floods and famine, but not this weekend. That’s why it was such a good project choice. The sun shined in a sea of blue, temps were in the seventies, the humidity was low, lemonade tasted sweeter, children laughed more frequently, and dogs stopped barking.
I recommend doing this in the fall if you live on the East Coast. It takes much longer to dry in spring or summer, and the temps are too cold in the winter. (temps must be between 40 and 90 degrees)We used Behr Premium Transparent Deck, Fence & Siding Weatherproofing Wood Finish, that we picked up at our local Home Depot.
How Long Will It Last?
This is the 50 million dollar question. Behr claims their Premium Weatherproofing Wood Finish lasts up to 4 years on decks, and 6 years on fences when two coats are applied. I’m not sold on that. My experience is that the claims by most brands fall short by a year, but we’ve never tried Behr before. Still we went with the longest time period we could find. I’ll let you know in a couple of years. If it last three years, I’ll be very happy.
Behr Premium weatherproofer requires the deck to be completely clean of foreign debris, mold and mildew, and previous sealers. Our deck has been sealed many times and it was obvious to even the most obdurate novice that it had to be stripped. Behr recommends Behr #64 Premium Stain and Finish Stripper, which we used and closely followed the directions on the can. After washing the stripper off, we used Behr No. 63 Premium 2-in-1 Wood Prep which cleans and brightens the surface and removes stains caused by mold, mildew, algae, and fungus. It also conditions the wood surface prior to applying a stain or finish and neutralizes and restores natural wood color. For serious stains, they offer a heavy-duty stain remover: Behr #62 Premium Mildew Stain Remover. Our deck did not require this.
Behr indicates that the sealer should be applied when outside temperatures are between 40 degrees and 90 degrees, and when no rain is expected within 24 hours (Ha!) of the application of the final coat. Several application methods can be employed: pump sprayer, airless sprayer, flat sponge brush, polyester paint brush. We chose a 4″ polyester paint brush for our job. Our deck is not huge and we were satisfied with this method and the results.
How Many Coats?
Behr recommends two coats for complete protection, and that the second coat be applied within 48 hours of the first coat, but no sooner than 1 to 2 hours. As I mentioned before, the humidity was low. There’s no doubt that this contributed to the quick drying time. We applied the second coat about 5 hours after the first. We were able to walk on it the following day.
We paid $30 a gallon for Behr’s Premium Weatherproofer, but you can find it for $125 / 5 gallon container which works out to $25/gallon – a bargain if you need that much. This turns out to be about 30% more expensive than comparable weatherproofers. However, most sealers only claim 2 years of protection. We were satisfied with the appearance when the project was finished, and considering that this is not a fun home project, if Behr’s claim of 4 years is accurate, or even 3, I’m willing to accept the notion that it’s a good value. Ask me again in four years.
Update: It’s been almost one and a half years since my husband weatherproofed our deck with Behr Premium Transparent Deck, Fence & Siding Weatherproofing Wood Finish. I thought a little update was in order. It’s looking good – even the part that’s completely exposed to the elements is holding up after two harsh winters. As I wrote back in October of 2009, if Behr’s claim of 4 years is accurate, or even 3, I’m willing to accept the notion that it’s a good value. I’ll be back in two years or sooner.
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