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Refinishing Deck Process?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mayhem, Jul 2, 2008.

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  1. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Hi all, I have a rather large deck I need to get back in shape. The good news is it has zero rot, so this is strictly a refinishing process, not a replacement project.

    The decking is all cedar 2x6 planks, held down to 2x10 joists with outdoor decking screws. Vertical supports are all pressure treated 6x6 on top of bigfoot cement pylons, all horizontals are cedar. Deck is L shaped with the side being about 20x6 and the front running about 30x12 (like I said...a BOG deck). We bought some stain for it a couple years ago...I think it was an Olympic stain...I TSP'd and bleached the boards, let them dry for a few days and the wife did 2-3 coats of the stain...and it went on like orange paint. Weirdedst thign ever, the stain had zero absorption into the wood and now its coming off in sheets all over the place. We hated the color (I suspect it was a base that needed pigment to turn into the stain we thought we were buying, but neither the can, nor the can shaker monkey at Home Depot indicated this was the case) so its a good thing this is coming off liek this as it gives me the opportunity to do it over again and hopefully get it right.

    Now onto the questions.

    Whats the best way to ger rid of what there? I was thinking power wash and try to blast off the majority of what we have on there, but someone mentioned to me that if we do that we would then have to sand the deck, which with the random screw heads sticking up a hair would make it a mostly by hand job...not something I'm looking forward to doing at all. Is this the case or does this not seem right?

    After I strip it, whats the most appropriate product/process to use for prepping the deck and staining it? I've enclosed a shot of our homw so you cna get an idea of what we're looking at for colors we like...but I assume all deck stains come in various pigments, so whats the best product for me to use? We did the house in Sikkens Cetol, and it came out great, but it costs a fortune to do it...if thats the way to go, so be it I'll spend the money, but if there is a better router I'm interested.

    Lastly, the bottom side of the deck never gets an sunlight (not to surprising I guess) and has started to build up some mold and mildew. I cna power wash it and TSP it to get it celaned up, but how to preserver it best? Just use the same stain we did on the top? I build a patio under the deck and someday wouldlike to be able to use it as an outdoor screenroom, but I would have to do someithing to roof it in, which menas making the deck floor watertight in some fashion, which basically mens I'll never see the bottom of the deck floor again...whatever I do up there doesn't need to be too pretty, but it does need to be very well sealed so I don't start any rot problems years down the road.

    Thoughts?

    Thank you.

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  2. Turbozcs2003

    Turbozcs2003 New Member

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    Go here and do some reasearch, they have good articles on strippers and brighteners and various decent products to use

    I am going to redo my mahagony deck, the coating I used in the past, Rhinoguard is no longer available so I will probably be using wood tux. One thing I have found researching this, a lot of manufacturers reformulated all their coatings, especially over the counter stuff at the local stores, for VOC non-sense so most are poor performers and wont last. even the sherwin williams stuff isnt very good since they changed.

    anyhow the woodrich brand seems to be a top performer for hardwoods likeIPE, Mahoney etc. Messmers and others are also good but you wont find them local and in some states they cant be sold so mail order is the solution. Another scam from the environementalists forcing you to buy substandard stains.

    http://www.opwdecks.com/contactopw.htm
  3. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    I have been painting/staining houses/decks during the summer (I am a teacher) for the past 20 years and have used TSP and bleach for most of it. Recently I have been using Amour-All (sp?) deck wash which has worked wonders, you do want to be careful on the cedar though. If you are careful with the power washer there would be no need to have to sand it after. You would only have to sand it if you gouged it. If that is the case, then just skip the power washing and sand the deck to get off "whatever" you put on there last time. Also with the cedar I would just use a clear stain. Again, we use Olympic deck stain and have never had any complaints. It is stain, so it should not have flaked off, and if it in fact did, that means it NEVER was absorbed in the wood in the first place. You really don't want to 'stain' the cedar, but rather 'condition' it so it does not dry out and crack. I suspect that the deck was either still wet when it was applied, or that you did not use an oil deck stain, but rather a latex stain. Latex (1) would have a difficult time with the horizontal services, and (2) wouldn't stick to the cedar without out the cedar being primed with an oil based primer first.
  4. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    That would explain why the whole deck and railing are peeling off in sheets, but the vertialcs are in good shape.

    Thanks.
  5. katman

    katman Member

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    I also use the TSP and bleach. Basically, use a tank sprayer to set down the deck. In your case you might want to also brush a bit with a stiff bristle push broom. Then pressure wash. Take you time pressure washing and it should look nice and clean when its dry. My decks are pressure treated wood. Most are over 20 years old but still look good after their annual pressure wash.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My one experience so far with the pressure washer was that it brought up some wood fibers.
    I might have had it too close, but it sure came out clean. :)
  7. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Sheesh, I did the same thing and instantly regretted it. It raised the grain so bad I had to sand it before staining it. It was about 20 years old and very neglected, so I had nothing to lose. I ended up with an Olympic solid color stain that has held up pretty well for about 7 years. This time, I will probably just scrub it before restaining. It really could use replacing, but there are so many other things demanding work right now...

    Chris
  8. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    I'm almost done wiht the powerwashing now...I've lost a bit of wood fiber due to this porcess, but its quite negligible. The wood now looks almost new so we're now going to go shoping for a sealer and do it rihgt this time. I'll post some pics when we get further into it.
  9. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    On the other hand, pressure washing will open up the pores in the wood to allow better absorption of sealant/waterproofer/whatever you use.
    As is often the case with fun tools to use, its easy to get carried away (ie: lets pressure wash everything!)
  10. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    I just redid my entire ipe deck; the justification was that I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over applied australian timber oil, and it looked like crap. I got cabots problem solver finish stripper, applied it with a sprayer, and then power-washed it off. It took some doing, along with some spot sanding, but the new timber oil looks absolute fantastic. The old stuff was applied with a a tank sprayer and brush, which resulted in pooling. I did the new coat with a genuine lambswool applicator, and there is simply no comparison.
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