By Diana Murphy

Your wooden deck will last for many years if you protect it from the elements. It’s recommended to waterproof a wooden deck when it’s first installed and then at least every two years to avoid cracking, splitting, mildew and fading caused by rain, snow, sprinklers and sunlight. You can tell if your deck needs to be waterproofed by splashing some water on it: If the water beads, it’s waterproof, but if it absorbs and leaves a dark spot, it’s time to treat the wood with waterproofer.

It’s so easy you can waterproof your deck in just a few simple steps.


Deck cleaner formulated for the type of wood

Deck scrub brush

Garden hose

Hose nozzle

Waterproofer formulated for wood

Paint pad or roller frame with long handle

Paint/stain pad or roller


Paint tray

Mineral spirits


1. Prepare the deck.

Remove all items from your deck, inspect it for loose nails or damage and repair as necessary.

2. Clean the surface.

Clean the deck by applying deck cleaner according to package directions (be sure to choose a deck cleaner formulated for the type of wood your deck is constructed of) and lightly scrub using a synthetic deck scrub brush. Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose.

3. Allow deck to dry.

Wait two to three days (depending on weather conditions) to allow the deck to dry thoroughly before treating it with waterproofer; or for a one-day project, choose an advanced waterproofer product that can be applied to damp wood.

4. Waterproof the deck.

Pour waterproofer into a paint tray, and using a long-handled paint pad or roller, apply waterproofer according to package directions. Coat the deck lengthwise one or two boards at a time to avoid gaps. For hard-to-reach places, use a paintbrush. Allow the waterproofer to dry thoroughly before replacing the items on your deck.

5. Clean your supplies.

When finished waterproofing the deck, use mineral spirits to clean the paint roller, paintbrush and paint tray to keep them fresh for your next project.

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Home DIY Projects - Best Way to Waterproof and Revive Your Deck