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How to Seal and Protect Your Deck

One of the home improvement projects that has consistently been at the bottom of my “to do list” was re-sealing the porch floor. And it would have stayed there if I hadn’t noticed this:

Those would be water stains and a glass ring where someone had set down their cool beverage. And so sealing the porch jumped to priority numero uno! Around the same time, Thompson’s WaterSeal emailed me and asked if I wanted to try out their wood protector. It took me about three clicks on the keyboard to answer: YES! (Okay, that was four.)

A week later a gallon of Thompson’s WaterSeal Advanced arrived. They sent me some Thompson’s WaterSeal Oxy Foaming Action Deck Cleaner bottles as well, but I chose to press the EASY button and had our entire porch (floor-to-ceiling) power washed. (Truth be told, the porch was in bad shape. Everything was mildew stained. I honestly thought we’d need to re-paint our porch, but was pleasantly surprised that the bleach and power washing took off all the stains! Hooray!)

I waited a few days to let the porch floor dry thoroughly. I also waited for a clear forecast. When applying the water seal, you need a few hours for the water protector to cure before it can get wet. (Even though the porch is covered, water still splashes into the sides, especially in a hard rain.)

Here is the easy way to waterproof your porch or deck floor.



Clear your deck of all furniture and “fur dropping” creatures (that means you DOG!) Vacuum the surface throughly to remove all dirt and dog hair.

Tape or cover any surfaces that you don’t want to get stained by the WaterSeal. (If you are messy or spraying the product on, you might need to put plastic on the walls and rails too.)

The paint pad I used was brand new, so I used some tape to pull off any loose fibers.

Pour the WaterSeal Advanced into the paint tray. The color I used was natural wood and it has a very slight amber tint to it. I was a little nervous, but it didn’t turn my deck yellow. The product also comes in four other tints.

Get the painting pad wet and begin to mop onto the floor. Work in small 4′ sections, and try your hardest to work into the wet edges of the previous section. The product dries fast, so keep moving and don’t stop.

It is important to brush on the water sealer with the grain of your wood.

(I didn’t follow the directions in this corner and you can see where the marks go against the grain. It’s not a big deal, you can only see it when the light hits it just right and you are down on the floor.)

Wait several hours before letting anyone walk on the floor.  The results are a smooth coating on your deck that protects it from water stains.

Visually, there isn’t a huge different on our porch because I used the natural tint. But, the feel is wonderful! The boards are smooth, so smooth that the kids were playing ice skating on it in their socks. Of course this was after they ran around in their socks and I heard a few ka-booms and some tears as they discovered how slippery the surface was. But, they learned their lesson and take it slower now.

This is where you’ll really see a difference:

When it rains or gets wet, the water just beads up on the surface. Honestly, this was a much easier task than I originally feared it would be. With vacuuming and prep, it took me about an hour. Granted, having it power washed professionally saved me a lot of time.

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Thompson’s WaterSeal sent this product to me to try. The opinions are my own. I was not told what to write. 


15 replies
  1. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    We just built a screen porch but Our wood looks more yellow or not as brown as your origional picture. I want to maintain the natural look but was told that the clear would make it look really yellow, which I don’t want. Is your deck darker than a natural piece of wood? Did the sealant make it even darker?

  2. Tina Vestal
    Tina Vestal says:

    Now that’s its been a few years, are you still happy with the Thompsons? Also we live where there is a lot of snow that sits on the deck, trying to get the “dirt” from the snow is impossible. Do you find its easier to keep clean?

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Tina, I am, but need to re-coat for the first time this year. I haven’t tried it on an outdoor deck, only on our covered porch so I don’t know the answer to your question.

  3. Taylor Walton
    Taylor Walton says:

    Jake’s Girl, you’re right to hesitate to use paint. Don’t do it! Unless the deck is already really old and has a short life expectancy. Our fencing in Dallas is rotting from inclement weather, so we’re just doing a quick paint job to hold us over until we can get it replaced and seal the natural wood.

  4. Jake's a Girl
    Jake's a Girl says:

    You have no idea how bad our deck could use this. Want to do it? 😉
    I’ve been looking for a stain, paint, *which I really don’t want to use* or sealer
    that would do the job. I look every time I walk into Lowe’s, Home Depot or
    Sherwin Williams. Next time I stop in i’m checking out Thompson’s.


  5. jo
    jo says:

    Is this for pressure treated wood too? Our porch is about 10 years old and looking a little tired and maybe this will give it a lift. Wasn’t sure if you could use this product on pressure treated wood. tx.

    • Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
      Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:

      Jo, yes, you can use this on pressure treated lumber. Most decks and outdoor wood structures are made with pressure treated lumber unless it is a new composite material or vinyl. But, to be safe you can check with the experts. Here is Thompson’s number: 1-800-367-6297

  6. Annie
    Annie says:

    Thank you for the post. A few questions:
    Can you put sealer on top of the old sealer or should the old sealer be removed first?
    I heard that it gets into the wood better (better penetration and deeper into the wood) if you go with the grain. Is that true or is it an old wife’s tail?
    My deck has been painted (not sealed). Would you suggest repainting or stripping it all and sealing?

  7. Diane@InMyOwnStyle
    Diane@InMyOwnStyle says:

    Hi Brittany –
    Your deck looks great even in the before photo, but sealing it every few years will keep it looking good for many years to come. The deck off my house is not covered and is 18 years old. It has been about 3 years since I last did a Thompson’s treatment. I need to do this before it gets too cold out. It is a great product and really does help protect the wood – just like your photo – the water beads up. Worth the time and effort. 🙂


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  1. […] needs to be sealed. If the water beads stay on, you're not quite there just yet. We loved these prettyhandygirl's succinct DIY guide and Sherry & John's more comprehensive […]

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