Can I apply a sealer over acrylic latex deck stain?


I stained my deck with an 100% acrylic latex deck stain. Can I apply a clear sealer over the deck stain or a low sheen varnish?

2 Responses

  1. From your question it seems you desire a sheen to the finish. Acrylic deck stains have no inherent sheen. There is a good reason for this. It makes them slick when wet. You can apply an acrylic varnish and it will stick. Two problems. One is that clear finishes usually have poor performance and durability on exterior surfaces due to low solids and poor durability due to sun exposure. Second is a sheen added to rain makes for a slick and dangerous floor.

  2. Yes, you can apply a clear sealer or a low-sheen varnish over a deck stain that is 100% acrylic latex. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

    First, ensure that the deck stain has fully cured before applying the sealer or varnish. This typically takes around 24-48 hours, but follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for best results. Applying a sealer or varnish too soon can trap moisture and cause the finish to bubble or peel.

    Second, make sure that the sealer or varnish you choose is compatible with acrylic latex deck stain. It’s recommended to use a product from the same manufacturer or to test a small inconspicuous area before proceeding with the full application.

    Benjamin Moore offers a water-based clear deck coating, Arborcoat Clear I believe. It’s purpose is to act as a sacrificial coating that will preserve the deck stain from traffic and UV light. This clear deck coating will need to be reapplied every couple years.

    When applying the sealer or varnish, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding application methods, drying times, and number of coats. Proper preparation of the surface, including cleaning and sanding if necessary, will help ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish.

    After applying the sealer or varnish, maintain the deck by regularly cleaning and resealing as needed to protect it from weathering and UV damage. With proper care, your stained deck with a clear sealer or low-sheen varnish should stay looking beautiful for years to come.

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