Thompson’s Water Seal: Complaints and Drawbacks of the Products

Thompson water seal has a couple of advantages but like any other product it also has its drawbacks. This article will cover what Thompson’s water seal is, how it works, and the complaints and drawbacks of the product.

What is Thompson’s Water Seal?

Thompson’s Water Seal or Waterproofer is a waterproof product manufactured by Thompson that you can use on wooden surfaces such as fences, concrete driveways, brick patios, decks, and other exterior surfaces. Its main purpose is to offer a wooden surface or any other surface protection against water. This is because it consists of paraffin wax and a thinner based on its SDS.

The Thompson waterproofer can also offer protection against UV light from the sun rays. The waterproofer is available in colors such as honey gold, maple gold, woodland cedar, acorn brown, sequoia red, and timber brown. The clear Thompson water seal version enhances the wood’s natural color.

It also highlights the wood’s natural grain after application. The water seal stain and seal require only one coat and are best applied at 45-95 degrees Fahrenheit. After application, it also requires the same temperature for effective drying.

It consists of two types which are transparent and semi-transparent. You can apply the water seal transparent stain through four different methods. These are by the use of a brush, an application pad, a sprayer, or a roller. The sealer drys after 48 hours, and you can clean up the application tools with water since it’s water-based.

The Thompson water sealer has different labels and the same product, depending on the store. Its names are:

  • Thompson’s Waterseal Waterproof Stains
  • Thompson’s Waterseal Total All in One Stain and Sealer.
  • Thompson’s Waterseal Signature Series- Stain and Sealer.
  • Thompson’s Waterseal Waterproofer Plus Tinted Wood Stain.

How Does Thompson’s Water Seal Work?

The Thompson Water Sealer’s role is to protect the painted surface from water. It does this using a hydrophobic technology that prevents water entry. The formulation penetrates the dry porous surface on which it’s applied. After penetration, it forms a membrane that allows water vapor evaporation inside the surface.

It then protects the wood or other surface from water by repelling the water, causing it to bead up on the surface. The Thompson Waterproofer also offers protection against UV rays from direct sunlight. To determine how old your Thompson water seal is, you can check how much water beads up on the surface it was applied on.

Even though the water seal has its benefits such as producing a semi-gloss finish, and being thicker compared to other polyurethanes, there are common bad experiences that customers have with the product. Some of those are

Drawbacks to Thompson’s Water Seal

Some of the drawbacks to the water seal are

  • The Thompson Water Seal has a strong odor after application which some people may find unpleasant. Some people allergic to the product may also experience a runny nose, eye irritation, and nasal congestion.
  • The product isn’t durable since it lasts for only one to two years, and it starts peeling and needs reapplication after the period has passed.
  • It has a few ranges of colors. The Thompson Water seal only has a few colors available, making mixing and matching the desired colors difficult.
  • The water sealer has a long application time. This is because you need to apply two coats, and the waiting time between the coats is long. This is because you must wait for the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat over it.
  • It doesn’t dry evenly as it leaves dark spots on the surface you apply it on. The applied surface also remains sticky after application preventing walking on the surface. This can be due to the change in the manufacturing formula, which the manufacturing company attributes to the government restriction on using chemical solvents as one of the ingredients. The restriction is because the chemical solvents have Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs), which are harmful. After all, they can cause cancer and air pollution and harm the environment.
  • The new formula also makes the product viscous and waxy, preventing a sprayer’s application. Both the old and the new industrial sprayer cannot spray the Thompson water sealer because of its high viscosity. You can also not spray it with a garden sprayer since the water sealer comes out as a single solid stream. The thickness of the water sealer also makes it difficult to get an even coat.
  • The water seal finish dries to leave brown blotches which don’t come off even after one power washing. It also streaks up and starts yellowing and has splotchiness or inconsistencies in the finish when drying up.
  • After some time, there’s UV greying where there’s visible flaking accompanied by washing off. Molds grow in areas where the water sealer has flaked. The molds also darken the water sealer.
  • The water sealer is also hard to remove so you can apply another sealant. This is because it needs heavy stripping for successful removal. The oils present in the water sealant serve as a substrate for the growth of mold spores, fungi, and algae.

How to Apply Paint Over Water Sealant

Before you apply paint over the water sealant, it’s first advisable to find out if the paint is compatible with the water sealant. This is because some paint bead up and don’t adhere well to the surface you paint on since the surface is sleek and doesn’t allow any liquids to stick over it. For instance, most alkyd or latex paints are incompatible with the water sealer.

Painting over the water sealant is also not recommended since the paint dries on top without penetrating the surface underneath, causing it to flake off within a short period after application. However, you can follow some procedures and preparation steps to allow paint application over the water sealant.

Since the water sealer is made up of paraffin wax, it’s necessary to strip the treated surface before you can apply the paint. This means you’ll need a power sander, power washer, and paint stripper. You’ll also need a brush or roller and a bucket to apply the sealant over your surface of choice.

  • You’ll begin by removing the water seal from its painted surface using a wood stripper mixture that works on hydroponic materials. This kind of stripper does a better job at breaking down the water sealers from the surface than other strippers, but it’s a bit expensive.
  • The next step would be to use a power washer to enable the remaining bits of water sealer from the surface to come off. A recently applied water seal will be more difficult to remove than a water sealer that has lasted a few years. After power washing, you’ll need to wait about two days for the surface to dry before moving on to the next step.
  • You’ll then need to sand down the surface using a power sander. Sanding the surface eliminates the remaining bits of the sealer, even out, and roughens up the surface to allow the primer and paint to spread easily and stick onto the surface. You can also manually sand off the glossy finish of the sealant using 220-grit sandpaper. After sanding, you need to wipe off the dust or debris with a tack cloth or a vacuum.
  • The next step is to apply a primer over the prepared surface. It would help if you waited for the primer to dry before applying another primer on top of it. After applying the two coats of primer, it’s time to apply the paint over the surface. Test the paint on a small area, preferably at the corner of the surface you want to paint before you paint on the entire surface. This is to ensure that the paint doesn’t bead up on the surface, which could end up creating a mess.

How to Remove Thompson’s Water Sealant From the Deck

Removing a water sealer from the deck or fence can be tiresome and time-consuming but it can be manageable. One of the requirements to successfully remove a water seal is to use a heavy-duty deck cleaner. The heavy-duty deck cleaner can remove Thompson’s water sealant from the wooden surface without bleaching or discoloring the product.

The cleaner also leaves the wood’s natural color intact. Another use of the deck stripper is removing any stain on the wooden surface. You can then scrub the debris and old finish from the wooden surface. The deck stripper can remove transparent or semi-transparent stains and waterproofers from the surface.

The product can also remove fungus, algae, mildew, and dust from the wooden surface. Before you use the stripper, it’s a good idea to ensure you have sanded and cleaned the surface well. This helps in allowing it to penetrate the surface of the sealant for easy removal. Acetone also works well to remove the sealant off the surface it’s applied.

Bottom Line

There you go–complaints and drawbacks of Thompson’s Water Seal. Reviewing them will help make an informed decision on whether to purchase or drop the product for a better brand.