Can a water based deck sealer be used in a power washer? I am working on the underside of my second story deck. I will be power washing it then sealing it to try to discourage the Carpenter Bees that are drilling there little hearts out.

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    You want to apply a sealer with a pressure washer as if it were soap?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 18:35
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    I think you'd probably have better results if you go buy a paint sprayer to apply the sealer. Power washer seems a bit too forceful for this application. Something like this
    – Steve-o169
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 19:05
  • Paint sprayer will work, and some sealers that are thin enough can be used in pump-sprayers for a cheaper, cordless option.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


If you don't need to clean and reseal the deck to start with, you can use a wasp/hornet/flying insect killer in a spray can. They usually shoot a stream at least 10 feet so you can single out the holes and get the bees as they fall out. Fill the holes with caulk afterward so anything left inside can't get out.

If you plan to clean and reseal the deck anyway, a pressure washer does fine for cleaning but would have too much splatter and overspray for sealing. Try a roller on a pole or a garden sprayer with a long nozzle so you have better control applying the sealer.

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    ...too much splatter and overspray for sealing. . You simply can't use a pressure washer. They hook up to a garden hose and spray water, maybe with soap mixed in. Deck sealer gets applied without dilution.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 19:24
  • Agreed. I was thinking of applying the sealer undiluted with a hand pump-up type sprayer with adjustable nozzle. I should have been more clear. Commented May 6, 2019 at 19:45

A hand pump-up sprayer should work fine. We have even thinned paint and used one to paint a duck blind in the marsh. If it is water-based, you can even thin it slightly with water if necessary. For your application it should still discourage the carpenter bees.

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