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Behr Premium Transparent Deck, Fence & Siding Weatherproofing Wood Finish

October 6, 2009

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.

Prep Instructions
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.100_9763

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.100_9847

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.100_9859

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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19 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2009 5:44 pm

    Wow! That came out beautifully!

  2. October 15, 2009 9:29 pm

    That looks great. Someone PAINTED our back deck before we moved in 10 years ago and we pretty much have to keep re-painting. ugh. It just chips and cracks and deteriorates. I envy your clean, stained deck!

  3. fergus permalink
    July 10, 2012 11:39 pm

    Hey Trish…was writing you a very detailed “how to” ….10 mins at least…then a “baby finger” deleted all my profound knowledge sharing.. Here we go again(shorter version). Im a very meticulous painter of 39 years…yada yada yada , but re decks , dont fuss with that OLD unsatisfactory deck finish.Home Depot have a sander ,large n heavy but very effective and damage free to your deck.. Its what we call a large vibrating sander. It will do the LARGE areas excellent…but then around the posts /steps/risers etc takes a little more finesse. . So rent that sander …do your work n have someone come in n price the balance.But when it comes to staining the bare wood with Behr Transparent stain( or any high quality stain) the FIRST coat is crucial to the outcome. The first coat (due to the bare porous wood), must be applied exceptions.And on a dull day.FYI to 100% sand any deck should be 1 days work for 1 or 2 men….depending on deck size….that will give you an idea of pricing. . Also…you will know when it is effectively sanded …all wood should have no marks or stains. It should look like “brand new wood”. Never perfectly level. but all old finish should be gone . Now you’re ready to stain on a dull day. If you have apprehensions re which product is best(cause all ext stains cost bout same) look into and investigate Behr. They have achieved the #1 rating for exterior products in Canada for 12 0f 14 yrs.I don’t work for Behr, am not financially gifted by promoting them, I am simply a meticulous painter who wants the best outcome…especially since they all cost bout the same….but love those Behr Deck stains for 5 yrs now… Now if your deck is less than 4′ above ground level…you will always have problems with rising moisture unless you cover the ground underneath with plastic or 3″ of gravel …a low profile deck…whilst have great aesthetic appeal , is a sponge for underside moisture absorbsion. Logical eh? Or treat all 4 sides of your wood prior to construction,…Thats never happened to me in 39 yrs. Hey Trish…if you live in toronto …call me ..Fergus 416 407 8026. My consul;t to you is free…cause once we converse…you will want to gift your friends with my #…I am very honest and knowledgeable. I talked my cust today out of a second coat on his deck because it was unnecessary…do you wanna verify that? Even if you are somewhere out of toronto ….feel free to call me ….its free to me.Dont be dismayed and frustrated with your deck…its simple …recoat every 2 years , strip every 4-5 years …or recoat 2x within 4 yrs …then strip. 2 yrs later…but Behr is really terrific…when applied properly. Fergus

    • Jesse Smith permalink
      September 26, 2012 2:53 pm

      How is your deck looking now, some 3 years later? Great write up!


    • Anonymous permalink
      November 13, 2013 7:20 pm

      Ferguson we had a new boat dock constructed and we used the behr transparent sealer two days ago and it seems very tacky? We only used one coat with a roller and a brush will the moisture from the water slow the drying process? Terry

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