Plans for finishing a new cedar deck
Hi, gang. I'm sorry to ask yet another permutation of a question that has been discussed a bazillion times. But, after spending 8 months planning and sweating to build my very first deck, I don't want to screw it up now. I've been trying to learn the best way to seal it so that it stays beautiful and solid for as long as possible.
The basic facts are,
- 1" cedar deck over PT
- we live in the midwest, so we see really cold and really hot, with a lot of wet mixed in from time to time
- ground level (deck is 12" from the ground)
- about 400 sq'
Over the course of the project, I have read all sorts of advice, lots of it contradictory. After taking it all in, the harebrained idea that's starting to form in my head looks something like this:
1. bring the cedar decking home from Menards
2. pretty soon after (same day), lightly sand it (80 grit, to remove any mill glaze)
3. pretty soon after (same day), dip each cedar board in a tub of semitransparent stain/sealer (brand tbd; my intention is to get good penetration, and to seal out moisture from any direction; plus, dipping seems easier than masking + spraying or brushing)
4. lay the boards out across the joists to dry for a couple days, with a little spacing between
5. cut and install the boards, reapplying sealer on any cut ends as I install them
6. install the boards with deck clips, or some similar hidden fastener system, to avoid divots created by counter-sunk screns on the top surface
Am I doing anything stupid? Do I need to wait between bringing the cedar home and sealing it? Are there good reasons not to seal new cedar on all sides?