How to Preserve Tigerwood Decking

Tigerwood is one of the tropical hardwoods, also called iron wood. When new, tigerwood is a light golden orange color with distinct dark patterns that resemble the stripes of a tiger's coat. Left unfinished, a tigerwood deck will gradually turn a delicate silver gray. When preserving a tigerwood deck, you have two options: Use a sealer that keeps the golden orange color or a sealer that allows some of the delicate weathered colors to emerge over time. Whichever look you choose, preserving a tigerwood deck is important for long wear and durability.

A good sealant acts as a preservative for tigerwood decks.
  1. Remove all plants, tools and other objects from the deck. Sweep off dirt, pine needles, leaves and any other debris from the deck surface.
  2. Prepare the surface of old decks before applying a preserving sealer to tigerwood. Use a deck cleaner to scrub and brighten the wood while removing dirt and stains. Apply sealer to new tigerwood decks within one to two months of installation and you won't need to clean the wood first.
  3. Purchase the deck preserving sealant. Select an oil-based clear sealant that has UV protection if you want to maintain the golden orange color of the tigerwood. To preserve the wood while allowing it to fade to a natural silver gray, select a clear oil-based sealant that does not have the UV protection.
  4. Check the weather forecast. Choose a day to apply sealer when the forecast is predicting at least three to four dry days with a temperature range between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the can of sealant for the specific temperature range as it varies by product.
  5. Place a disposable liner in a paint tray and fill the paint tray half full with sealant. Place a disposable paint roller cover over a paint roller.
  6. Roll the paint roller in the deck sealant and begin applying it to the tigerwood deck. Start at one corner and work toward the stairs or opening of the deck so that you don't end up stuck in a corner. Apply the stain with even broad strokes. Avoid letting the sealant pool or puddle.
  7. Apply the sealant to the edges and corners with a brush where the roller won't fit for even and complete coverage.
  8. Brush the preserving sealant onto the ends of the boards to prevent moisture absorption and cracking.

Things You Will Need

  • Broom
  • Deck cleaner
  • Scrub brush
  • Paint tray
  • Paint tray liner
  • Paint roller
  • Roller cover
  • Brush


  • Avoid walking on the tigerwood deck for 24 to 36 hours after applying the sealant. Check the can for specific drying times as it varies by product.

About the Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.

Photo Credits

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