How to Treat a Deck From Forming Splinters

Splintering of decks.


Decide just how bad your deck is. Splinters arrive as the wood continues to dry out, and weather condition make some splinter before others. The wood used may have not been properly sealed when built, or the type of wood used not cured before sale. Mnny woods available are coming from the saw mills GREEN and WET. Then dry out leaving cracks and splinters (my rail fence for one). I got in a hurry last year, and while doing other things didn't even realize we hadn't put on any sealer at all. Living in desert conditions dry things quickly. They may split, but they don't rot. Good thing. So replacing bad boads or the entire deck may be the best choice. Cured redwood will hold up well.

There are many books available in libraries or just go on line for inttructions and guide lines for the best wood and tools needed.

There is a great book available at Home Depot on building decks.

The products available for sealing decks or even painting them are varied and some very expensive. But worth the investment. Ask a home repair center such as the Home Depot or Lowes for info on the different types available. After cheching into those products you will be able to see how much they will do for your particular situation.

There is a new material that is produced for decks that is not wood, will not splinter and is great in heat or cold. My friend used it and her deck came out beautiful. No sealing, no painting, NO WORRY. And best of all NO SPLINTERS. It is expensive initially but in the long run there is not maintenance required. Clean periodically with the hose. If you have small children and expect to stay in the house several years, then this is the way to go.

Many times splinters will not sand away, too deep and they pull up the grain of the wood. The best thing is to replace those boards completely. Of course sanding those that are savable. Be sure to wear adequate leather gloves when working to protect hands. A splinter in the finger or hand is a miserable thing to have on any scale.

Things You Will Need

  • Decide the general condition of the deck
  • Sander and paper
  • Replacement wood
  • Proper nails or screws
  • Skill saw,(maybe sufficient)
  • Deck sealer
  • Tools for appling sealer
  • Sprayer if you don't want to do it by hand


  • Building a new deck or repairing one is expensive and takes planning. Check out all the best prices for same materials before purchase. Ask plenty of questions and enlist help if needed. Maybe you know someone who built their own that would be willing to help.
  • I know that what goes up can come down. So if you make a small mistake it can be rectified. But choosing best materials and the best method of assembly is the most important. Then a Good SEALER.


  • Work on days that are fairly wind free if using a brush or sprayer.
  • Sand where needed with heavy duty sander, then lighter paper.
  • Work in a direction you don't have to step on finished work.
  • Keep the gloves handy. I have had splinters THEY HURT.
  • Check the cautions on the sealer for directons on use, some may require a mask.
  • Be sure to let enough time pass for drying before use.