We do NOT recommend using any sealant that is not a name brand. While some deck cleaning companies have developed their own ‘signature’ brands, these homemade varieties are often cheaply made and rarely perform as promised. To get an accurate reading of these kinds of sealants’ performance over time, it might be wise to request references from jobs completed at least 2-3 years prior to your project’s start date.

There are many excellent NAME BRAND sealant formulations from which to choose:

• At the pricy end are products made by SIKKENS, MESSMER’S or PENOFIN, which offer extraordinary depth of color and a lasting sheen, but only modest durability and a complicated, more costly application process.

• At the high end, but slightly more affordable, is a semi-transparent variety called TWP (Total Wood Preservative).  TWP is our first choice for all newly constructed surfaces (decks, porches, fencing and pergolas), and offers the highest oil content available among the VOC-compliant sealant offerings in Illinois.  While color choices are limited, the depth of color is as good as the pricier brands listed above.  New to the marketplace, we discovered this product in 2014 and find it to be far superior to anything else, except perhaps the very high-priced sealants developed for exotic hardwoods.

•  For solid stain applications, we recommend Super Deck acrylics, offered by SHERWIN WILLIAMS, available in both acrylic/oil and waterborne varieties. They can be blended to match any color and provide excellent coverage.

• OLYMPIC and RYMAR linseed oil-based products are more modestly priced. Olympic’s Maximum Toner is a tinted, acrylic/oil-based sealant, warrantied to last at least three years, and Rymar’s Xtreme Weather waterborne formula is a semi-transparent variety.  Both are available in many attractive colors, and are VERY popular with condo owners needing to cover multi-story porches.