How to fix oozing sap on wood decks

Written by sarah coennen
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Wood, especially pine or maple, typically contains sap. When building with wood, it is imperative that the wood has been properly dried to avoid oozing sap. When it has not been properly dried, sap will begin to seep out and cause problems with the finish. The only solution is to scrape the sap off and refinish the wood, and to continue doing this until the wood stops oozing. The process can take several years.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 5-way tool
  • Razor blade (optional)
  • Sander or sand paper
  • Stain

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  1. 1

    Locate all of the sap marks on your wood.

  2. 2

    Scrape off the sap with the 5-way tool. Use the razor blade for especially hard sap that refuses to come off with the 5-way tool.

  3. 3

    Sand down the wood until there are no more sap marks left.

  4. 4

    Restain the wood and apply a finish if your wood planks have a layer of top coat.

  5. 5

    Repeat as necessary until the sap stops seeping out.

Tips and warnings

  • Using a kiln to dry wood typically dries out the top pockets of sap, but sap-filled pockets deeper in the wood may still be there. Typically this is where the sap comes from. Removing all the sap may take several years if the wood was not dried properly.
  • Exercise caution when using sharp tools. Failure to do so may result in injury. Do not get stain or finish anywhere you don't want it, because there is no way to get it off.

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