How to Calculate How Much Deck Sealer You Need 

 April 3, 2023

By  Dale Keese

When planning to seal your deck, one of the most difficult tasks can be determining the exact quantity of materials needed. One of the biggest mistakes that DIYers make when purchasing supplies is overestimating, which not only costs you more money but also results in wasted product. So, if you're looking to easily calculate how much deck sealer you need, you've come to the right place!

The amount of deck sealer you will need depends on the size of your deck, as well as the type and condition of the wood. It is best to consult a professional for an accurate estimate of the amount of sealer needed for your project.

Today we're going to break down the process step-by-step so that you can get your deck sealed without any unexpected hiccups. Let's get started!

Measuring Your Deck's Surface

Knowing how much deck sealer you need to buy can be a tricky process. Fortunately, getting an accurate measurement of your deck's surface area is easier than expected. Before starting the process, it is best to check with local contractors and professionals who specialize in deck sealing in order to get an idea of the specific measurements they look for when estimating their jobs.

The basic measuring tool you'll need for this job is a tape measure. Depending on the shape of your deck, you may also wish to use a calculator or graph paper to help accurately measure the various sides and angles. Start by measuring the length of each side in feet, beginning from one corner and going around until you're back at the original point.

It is suggested that you also measure the heights of each side from the ground where applicable in order to be precise about surface area coverage. This visual aid can help serve as a reference for later when you know how much sealer you'd like to purchase. To add up all these individual measurements, square footage calculations are necessary in order to determine how much sealer that translates into.

When performed correctly, taking precise measurements of your deck not only helps prepare you for knowing the exact amounts of sealer needed, but it can also help inform other potential projects and gauges related to your decking such as materials needed for replacement boards or even potential railings and stairs. There are several advantages of doing this task properly including higher quality results, less waste, material and helping avoid budget issues when purchasing supplies.

Now that you have mapped out your deck's surfaces, it’s time to move on to calculating how much deck sealer you need.

Calculating How Much Deck Sealer You Need

Calculating how much deck sealer you need is an important task before you start your project. When calculating the amount of deck sealer, there are two main methods you can use. First, you can measure the total square footage of your deck by multiplying the length and width of the deck together. With that figure, you can then assess how many gallons of sealer will be required to cover all of the space. The second method uses a coverage rate calculator, which takes into account both the square footage of the deck as well as any other factors, such as spacing or sloping.

When deciding between these two methods, it’s important to consider your individual circumstances and decide which one makes more sense for your project. If you have a smaller and simpler area to cover, then measuring just the square footage would suffice. On the other hand, if you have a complex area with multiple levels of slope and spacing between boards, using a calculator will give you more accurate results.

No matter which method you use, accuracy is paramount when calculating how much deck sealer you need. By following this guide and taking some time to do your research, you’ll be well on your way to estimating the correct amount of deck sealer needed for your project.

Now that we've discussed calculating how much deck sealer you need, let's dive into using a coverage rate calculator in the next section.

Using a Coverage Rate Calculator

A coverage rate calculator is an excellent way to calculate how much sealer you need for your deck. This is useful because it allows you to quickly and accurately enter the dimensions of your deck, such as length and width, in order to determine exactly how much product you will need. Coverage rate calculators can be found online, either through manufacturer’s websites or third-party vendors.

This method of estimating does have its drawbacks; it does not account for any irregularities in the shape or size of your deck. Therefore, it is important to use an experienced estimator and measure the exact area that needs sealing (including any detailed cuts or openings). If measuring and inputting accurate dimensions sounds too difficult or daunting, using a coverage rate calculator can still be useful as a general guide by providing an approximate amount of sealer needed.

Using a coverage rate calculator may also give inaccurate results if the wrong data is entered into the calculator. It is best to check that all measurements are correct before submitting them. Additionally, some manufacturers have their own proprietary calculators which may provide different data than other calculators available online.

Overall, a coverage rate calculator can provide an accurate estimate of how much sealer you need for your deck, but this should be treated as a guideline rather than set in stone. Moving forward we will talk about calculating the exact amount of sealer you will need for your deck.

Calculating the Amount of Sealer You Need

Calculating the amount of sealer you need starts with understanding what you are protecting. It is recommended to determine the total square footage of your deck by multiplying its length by width. Knowing this area will help you understand how much sealer you will need in order to ensure full coverage, as well as how much money you need to budget for purchasing the sealer.

In addition to understanding the coverage needed, it is important to consider the weather conditions where you live and whether or not additional coats might be needed because of extreme humidity or direct sunlight. You should plan for about 600 sq ft per gallon of sealer for two coats and 350 sq ft per gallon for three coats, depending on the type of sealer used. This must be taken into consideration when deciding how much sealer will be needed.

There are some who believe that it is possible to use too much: that over-application can cause pooling, steaking issues, inconsistent color results, and an overall tackiness that makes using the deck difficult. On the other hand, many suggest applying additional initial layers just in case there may not have been enough protection from the first coat.

Ultimately, calculating the amount of sealer you need depends on factors such as climate, deck size, and how many coats are desired. There is no harm in erring on the side of caution if you find yourself debating between two separate amounts; it’s better to buy extra than not enough. Now that we have discussed calculating how much deck sealer is needed, let’s move on to purchasing the right type of product.

Purchasing Deck Sealer

Before beginning to seal your deck, it’s important to select the right type of sealer. Determine if you would like to use an oil- or water-based sealer for your project. Oil-based sealers will penetrate deep into the wood and provide longer lasting protection, although they require more maintenance and are more difficult to apply. Water-based sealers are easier and faster to apply, but may not provide as long a period of protection as oil-based sealers.

Another consideration when selecting a type of sealer is the UV protection level desired. If your deck will be exposed to intense amounts of sunlight and heat, then a sealer with higher levels of UV protection should be chosen. Alternatively, a less expensive product with low levels of UV protection can be used if the deck is not continuously exposed to direct sunlight.

Keeping in mind the environmental impact is also very important when selecting deck sealer. Avoid purchasing products made with toxic chemicals, such as those that contain hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Instead, look for products labeled “low odor” or “VOC compliant” which will minimize fumes from entering your atmosphere.

There’s a lot to consider when purchasing deck sealer for your project, but with a little research, you can find the best product for your needs. Now that you know what type of product is best for you, let’s take a look at what container size is best for you in the next section.

What Container Size is Best for You?

When calculating the amount of deck sealer you need, one of the key factors to consider is the size of your container. This will determine how many coats you can apply in one go and also how much area you can cover.

For smaller decks, a smaller container may be the most cost-effective option. Smaller containers enable you to maneuver easily around tight corners and ensure that each section of the deck is evenly covered. There are specially designed pump sprayers available for this purpose, which allow you to directly attach your container to the sprayer and apply thin, even coats to a limited area.

However, if you have a large deck, a larger container may be required. These allow for larger sections of the deck to be covered at once by spraying or rolling with a paint roller. The advantage here is that it reduces time spent on prep work as well as time spent reapplying coats due to uneven application. Additionally, these containers often come with larger tips aimed at making sure no space goes untouched.

No matter what size deck you have or the type of application method you choose, it is important that you use the proper sized container for your project so you get an even and effective coat of sealer. After determining the best size for your project, now comes the time for application - let's look at some tips for applying your new sealant in our next section.

Applying the Sealer

When applying deck sealer, there are several points to consider. First is the type of sealer you should use. There are two main options: clear sealers, which will maintain the natural wood grain, and tinted sealers or stains that add color to the wood. Each type of sealer can provide protection from the weather, but each has different characteristics for water-resistance and resistance to foot traffic.

Second is the amount of sealer you should use. This will depend on the width and length of your deck as well as the porosity of its wood. Thin coats will dry quickly and evenly, but multiple coats may be necessary for an additional layer of protection.

Third is whether or not you need to use a power washer beforehand. Some people prefer to do this step as it can help remove dirt, mildew, and old coatings before adding a new topcoat of sealer. However, other people recommend avoiding power washers because they can strip away natural oils in the wood and break down any existing protective layers on your deck's surface.

Applying a deck sealer isn't complicated; however, it's important to keep in mind all three of these points when doing so in order to get the best possible results. Once you've made sure you have the right product, determined how much sealer to use, and decided if you want to power wash your deck first, then you're ready to start applying the sealer.

With proper application methods and complete coverage, a freshly-sealed deck can look better than ever before! The next step is making sure that it stays sealed for a long-lasting decking experience. In the next section, we'll cover best practices for maintaining a sealed wooden deck throughout the year.

Sealed for a Long-Lasting Deck

When it comes to making sure your deck is sealed for a long-lasting finish, there are two main approaches you can take: sealing the deck all at once or gradually resealing it over time.

  • Sealing the Deck at Once: Applying a single coat of sealer to your entire deck will help protect the surface from any damage due to weather, sunlight, and everyday wear and tear. This approach is ideal if you prefer to paint or stain your deck. You'll only need to do the job once, and then you can simply enjoy your beautiful finished product without worrying about constant maintenance. Plus, if done correctly, you can expect the sealant to remain effective for five years or more.

The downside of this approach is that it can involve a lot of work in preparing and applying the sealer. It may require sanding and power washing beforehand, and usually multiple coats are needed for full protection. Additionally, depending on the size of the deck and type of stain/sealer used, this project could be quite expensive.

  • Gradually Resealing over Time: An alternative method would be resealing your deck periodically rather than doing the full treatment all at once. For example, reseal every other year or even just once every three years. This approach may cost less and require less work upfront since you don't have to strip down existing paint or stain before reapplying a new coat of sealer every few years. And with this method, you can also enjoy the look of a freshly painted/ stained deck more often since you won’t have to wait five years for a full re-seal job.

The downside to this approach is that resealing every few years may not provide as much protection as sealing all at once would because you aren’t laying down multiple coats of sealant that could each last up to five years individually. The protective layer also has a lesser chance of penetrating into substrate materials due to lack of initial preparation such as pressure washing etc., leaving some areas prone to moisture absorption in periods between reseals; compromising the integrity of the wood beneath (mold and rot) leading to premature failure and overall appearance both aesthetically & structurally wise - eventually requiring costly repair such as replacing boards and joists further down the line should regular maintenance not have been performed throughout its lifetime in keeping it watertight & impeccable conditionally speaking.

Whichever approach you decide makes most sense for your individual needs, make sure you follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully so that your deck remains sealed properly throughout its lifetime!

The two main ways to seal a deck are either to do it all at once or gradually reseal it over time. Sealing the deck all at once provides more protection in the long run, but takes more work and can be expensive. Gradually resealing over time does not provide as much protection, but may cost less and require less work up front. Following the manufacturer's instructions carefully will ensure that your deck remains sealed properly throughout its lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the possible risks associated with applying too much or too little deck sealer?

The primary risk associated with applying too much deck sealer is that it can cause moisture to become trapped beneath the sealant, leading to accelerated wear and tear, as well as the growth of mold and mildew. Too little deck sealer can also cause rapid breakdown of the deck due to exposure to weather, ultraviolet light, and other environmental factors.

Additionally, if too little deck sealer is applied the surface will not be adequately protected from stains or other discolorations. To ensure maximum protection for your deck and minimize the risks associated with too much or too little sealant, it is important to calculate your needs carefully before purchasing or applying any product.

What tools do I need to buy in order to apply the deck sealer?

In order to apply deck sealer, you'll need a few basic tools. First, you’ll need an applicator brush, a roller and tray, a garden hose and sprayer attachment, a pump-up sprayer, sandpaper or power sander, safety glasses, and breathing protection. You'll also need rags for clean up and drop cloths for containment.

Make sure to use a pressure washer for proper prepping and purchase the correct sealant for your deck type (such as oil-based or water-based). Finally, always use gloves to keep your hands clean and safe from chemicals. With the right tools in hand, you'll be ready to apply your deck sealer with ease!

What factors should I consider when trying to determine how much deck sealer I need?

When calculating how much deck sealer you need, you should consider a few factors.

First, you need to measure the size of your deck surface area so you can accurately calculate the volume of sealer required. Then, if any boards or posts are compromised, requiring more attention and sealer, you’ll want to factor that in.

Additionally, if there are areas of your deck that need additional protection and don’t require a full coat (for example railings), make sure to take that into consideration as well when calculating your total amount. Finally, consider what type of finish or stain you will be applying as some products may require extra coats or product volume due to their application methods.

By taking all these factors into account, you can accurately determine how much deck sealer is needed for your project.

About the author

Hey, I'm Dale Keese.. thanks for reading.. hopefully this article can save you some time and trouble with your sealing job. I'm also in the process of making some video walk-throughs for youtube so check back soon! thanks

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