Deck Sealer Test

As some of you know I have been testing several deck sealers here in central Florida. All sealers have been applied to properly cleaned pressure treated pine according to the sealer manufacturers instruction. I tested both penetrating sealer and acrylic sealer.
All the boards were placed out on my boathouse roof in full sun in Sept. 1999.
Boards were checked today for fading and water absorption. The results are as follows:

Penetrating Sealers

Ametco TWP: Both clear sealers were gone after 6 mos. so I didn't report on them.
TWP 101 cedartone faded somewhat as did the TWP 501 cedar. The 501 cedar did not absorb water quickly but the TWP 101 did.
Both cedar sealers would be acceptible.

Wolman F&P natural/Raincoat Cedar: The F&P also faded somewhat as did the raincoat cedar. Both of these sealers repelled water the best of any of the penetrating type sealers.

Olympic Natural Look Protector Plus: This sealer which I have used many times, Held it color the best of any of the others. It did however absorb water quickly. It was the least faded of the penetrating sealers.

Ready Seal: I tested several colors of this sealer from the Gold to the Dark brown. All the colors faded quite a bit and this was the poorest performer of all the sealers. It also absorbed water quickly, without repelling any.

These are the findings on the penetrating sealers. The best performers were the Wolman sealers. The Olympic sealer held its color the best but appeared to soak up the water.
The TWP cedar colored sealers were OK and were similar to the Wolman sealers. The Wolman sealers however repelled water better.
The Ready Seal which I know is a favorite with many deck restorers did not hold up good in either test and I would not recommend it in Florida.

Acrylic Sealers:

Wolman Extreme: This sealer held up very well as did all the acrylic sealers. It darkened slightly however and repelled water well. I feel the Honey color is a little too yellow in color.

Wood RX: This sealer is similar to the Extreme but is a little more brown in color using the Natural shade. This sealer can be mixed in a number of shades. It held up the same as the Extreme and is a good choice.

Tropitech: I tested both the Natural and Sedona shades. Both colors held up well with little lighting of the Natural. The Sedona which is Dark brown showed no fading. The Natural shade is like the Extreme and a little too yellow for my liking.

All these acrylic sealers repel water the same. Water just sheets off of them. Other than the difference in color they are all basically the same. These will outperform any of the penetrating sealers hands down.
The downside is they need two coats and may be hard to remove if they are to be cleaned and replaced.

These are my findings and may be different in other areas of the country, or with other applications.

Roy Moren
Decks and Docks
Odessa, Florida



New Member

Thanks for the information. We are new to the wood restoration business and have been doing a little experimenting ourselves. We will report our findings this time next year.


Power Clean Power Wash
Johnny & Micha Valdez
Hi Roy,
Nice job,very informative.I tested ready seal on my back porch and it performed exactly as you described that is why I was hesitant to start using it.As you probably know I am a big proponent of Olympic Natural Look and I did notice the water absorbtion problem I tested out putting a gallon of severe weather water repellent in with the 5 gallon can.It seemed to work, although I just started doing this a couple of months ago.I have also switched to Olympic maximum.It repels water great and looks great Why don't you throw a few boards with this up there it gives a 3 year gaurantee I would love to see how this stuff does.I like it because there is no stirring like the Natural look, So I don't think it is the same kind of sunscreen(The natural look uses clay I think)

JR, I will try to get some maximum and put it up with a new batch of boards that I put up this week. I never tried maximum but will consider trying it also. The natural look protector plus works well and I have used it quite a bit. I did have one job go bad with it for unknown reasons and stopped using it. Its not expensive and does the job. I may use it again. I contacted Olympic trying to get samples of all their products, but they wouldn't send me any, so I only used the protector plus which I already had.

Thanks a lot for sharing, it helps breaks through all the confusing hype. I was also wondering if you had heard of the new V-seal 7 year wood sealer. Sounds to good to be true, but I would definetally like to believe. Curious also about the Olympic Maxim like JR wood. Thanks so much Jeremy

I have been using Ready Seal for two years now, and like it alot.

Tomorrow, I am scheduled to clean and re-seal (next week) the very first deck I ever sealed with Ready Seal. This deck gets alot of sun, so I can't wait to see it. The fact that the guy called me back again must mean it's not terrible!
I stopped to see it about 7 months ago and it looked pretty good. I'll take a picture of it before I wash it and post it.

Mike Hughes
Souderton, PA
We have also used Ready Seal and are very pleased with the way it holds up both color and the way it repels water. Our customers are also very happy with the results it gives. I use it on my own decks. I don't sell the stuff I just use it.

Living Life On the Edge Makes Us Dizzy...WE LOVE DIZZY!

Dennis A. Cormier and Gloria A. Wagner
North Georgia Spray Masters, Inc.

[This message has been edited by spraymasters (edited September 22, 2000).]

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