Articles: Refinishing a Redwood or Cedar Deck
You have two main choices of finish: sealers, which prevent wood
from absorbing water and delay the weathering process, and stains,
which both color and seal the wood. Most people prefer clear finish
for redwood or cedar, but if you don't care for the color of your
deck, use a semitransparent stain. Avoid direct sunlight when you're
working -- and don't apply a new finish if rain is expected within
Test the wood surface by sprinkling water on it. If the wood absorbs
water quickly, it's ready to be sealed. If the wood doesn't absorb
water, let it dry for several weeks before sealing.
Sand rough or glossy areas and vacuum the deck. Apply clear sealer
or stain to all wood surfaces, using a pressure sprayer or paint
roller. If possible, also apply sealer to the underside of decking
and to joists, beams, and posts.
Use a paintbrush to work sealer into cracks that could trap water,
and to smooth out drips and runs. Porous wood may require a second
coat of staining sealer for even coverage.