Repainting/Restaining a deck
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    Repainting/Restaining a deck

    My deck looks like crap...its time for a repainting/restaining. I can't find any kind of consensus online of what to do. Some say pressure wash, some say that is the worst you could do. Some say strip and completely sand, some say get the lose chips off and prime.

    Another problem is that I have no idea if its painted or solid color stained. I have a can of Behr waterproofing stuff in the garage and that's it.

    Anyone have any advice that has worked well? The only process I've seen that people somewhat agree on is:

    Clean
    Strip
    Clean
    Prime
    Finish (with what is another question I have)


    Last edited by cycloneworld; 05-08-2009 at 09:45 PM.

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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    I did powerwash 2 years ago, and used the Thompsons deck wash, then brushed on Thompsons honey oak. I don't know that powerwashing helped. I have spots that need touchup this year. Prior to 2 years ago the deck was 5 years old, with little or no treatment, from previous owner, possibly they used a clear sealant.

    It seems the more opaque the stain, the better or longer lasting. It seems I get about 2 years out of a treatment - waterproofer/stain.



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    I powerwashed our deck (it really needed it), used some deck cleaner which was a waste, and then used a Cabot solid color stain. I need to go put another coat on this summer...



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    I restained my deck a couple of years ago. It was in pretty tough shape from weather checking and fading. I had tried the weatherproofing in the past and didn't have very good luck with it.
    I highly recommend the pressure washer. You would be surprised how much it will clean up the deck boards. It will take the dirt and mildew out of it.
    I used the pressure washer, let it dry, and then applied two coats of a cedar/redwood looking stain from Menards and it looks pretty good. I used a special sponge/mop that was as wide as the deckboard and it worked pretty well while applying. The stain I used was called Ultra Advantage and was a semi-transparent from Pittsburgh Paints. Hopefully this helps you out a little bit.


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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    I made the HUGE mistaking of doing a solid color on my deck when we first moved into this house. I tried everything to take it off including renting a high powered pressure washer, stain removal, etc. None of it worked good. I then spent the next two weeks my life sanding it down. It was one of the worst experiences of my life.

    I would test some of the stain you have in an area that people can't see before you start applying.

    The first time I stained the deck with the solid color I used Cabot because I heard so many good things about it. After 1 year it looked like crap. This time I used Wolman Durastain Semi-Transparent from Lowes. After a year it looks good. I think a lot more had to do with it being semi-transparent than the brand.



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    I work for a paint company in Des Moines. Pressure washing is fine but before you put anything on make sure the wood is completely dry. If you trap moisture in the wood it will want to come out and will bring up what you put on. I always tell people under no circumstances should they paint the deck floor. It always peels too easy due to foot traffic and moving stuff on it. I usually recommend a semi transparent stain. You have to put it on every 2 years to keep it looking good. I use a weed sprayer to spray decks with. They work real good. Remember if there is any mildew use a mixture of water and bleach to kill it.

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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    I happen to be in the deck refinishing business. And let me saw high pressure and wood is not good, sure it can make it look alot better, but you are using pressure to remove damaged wood. And you leave marks in the wood, what I like to call peoples signatures

    Most of the deck washes you can buy in the retail stores are complete crap. But using proper detergents can take care of anything. Though I will say that the chemicals required to remove solid stain or pain are dangerous, and must be respected. Using the proper two step process also opens up the wood to accept the stain better this allows it to last longer. You also need to wait the proper amount of time for the wood to dry usually 5-7 days depending on the product you use.

    We use only semi transparent oil based stains, these are stains that show the wood and add a tint to prevent UV damage(graying). These will stay looking new much longer than paint or solid stain, and maintenance is a breeze. After 2 years clean the floor and give a light refresher coat. After 4 years do the floor again and add in the floor. After 8 years you strip off and start over, but semi transparent are much easier to strip off.



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    My deck looks like crap...its time for a repainting/restaining. I can't find any kind of consensus online of what to do. Some say pressure wash, some say that is the worst you could do. Some say strip and completely sand, some say get the lose chips off and prime.

    Another problem is that I have no idea if its painted or solid color stained. I have a can of Behr waterproofing stuff in the garage and that's it.

    Anyone have any advice that has worked well? The only process I've seen that people somewhat agree on is:

    Clean
    Strip
    Clean
    Prime
    Finish (with what is another question I have)
    Take a can of easy off oven cleaner. This has sodium hydroxide in it which is a strong degreaser. If it starts to break down the finish on the deck you have a oil based solid stain.

    Depending on what is on the deck be oil or water based or paint, each has different stripping methods to get them off.

    As for your steps the clean and the strip are the same step. The next step is neutralize. All deck stripping agents are low ph products which need to be neutralized with a acid. This is good for the wood and for the ground surrounding the deck. If you don't neutralize you may have issues with plant life.

    Next step is let dry ( 5 to 7 days ) if you have a moisture meter the wood needs to be less than 20% some stains require it be lower.

    You don't need to prime the deck if you can remove the finish, you only prime if you don't want to pay someone to remove the stain or do it yourself.

    If you want to save money you can clean the deck with a bleach solution (only use bleach on a deck with a finish on it, it drys out wood and is not good for it) use clorox outdoor mix 3 to 1 with water and use a brush and brush it on. Keep wet 10 - 15 mins than use low pressure to rinse off. Take care of areas with lots of peeling (sand them) then you can prime it and use a outdoor paint or solid stain. Just remember in about a year it will probably start chipping again.



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    Not to cut Cytech out of any work, but I have a similar situation in my new place where the deck was stained (badly) and then protected (even more badly), and rather than mess around with sanding it, I am going to replace the planking itself with a composite decking. Much less time consuming if you are doing it yourself, and have the ability.



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    Quote Originally Posted by cytech View Post
    I happen to be in the deck refinishing business. And let me saw high pressure and wood is not good, sure it can make it look alot better, but you are using pressure to remove damaged wood. And you leave marks in the wood, what I like to call peoples signatures

    Most of the deck washes you can buy in the retail stores are complete crap. But using proper detergents can take care of anything. Though I will say that the chemicals required to remove solid stain or pain are dangerous, and must be respected. Using the proper two step process also opens up the wood to accept the stain better this allows it to last longer. You also need to wait the proper amount of time for the wood to dry usually 5-7 days depending on the product you use.

    We use only semi transparent oil based stains, these are stains that show the wood and add a tint to prevent UV damage(graying). These will stay looking new much longer than paint or solid stain, and maintenance is a breeze. After 2 years clean the floor and give a light refresher coat. After 4 years do the floor again and add in the floor. After 8 years you strip off and start over, but semi transparent are much easier to strip off.
    I heard that if you pressure wash, you should wait at least a minimum of 3 weeks before applying anything else to the wood because of the water in the wood. Is this true?


    "If you can't hear me, it's because I'm in parentheses."



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    I have tried it all, power washing, stripping, sanding, refinishing. It just sucks up here in the Midwest and North that weathering of a Deck is inevitable. My worst mistake was a stain (best is transparent) I put a solid stain on, no different then paint, usually lasted 2-3 years then would peel, chip and need to be re-worked all over again....

    I finally bite the bullet and replaced all my Decking with a maintenance free composite decking an have never been happier. I cost me a little fortune, because I have a"Huge Deck" yes, it is true, I have a big one....52 feet long (across back of house)by 20 feet out (wide).

    I love my Deck now because, One power Wash when the snow clears and I'm ready for summer.


    For a laugh on guys with "Big Decks" watch this...



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    Quote Originally Posted by CTAClone View Post
    I heard that if you pressure wash, you should wait at least a minimum of 3 weeks before applying anything else to the wood because of the water in the wood. Is this true?
    As I mentioned in both my post 5-7 days is enough, and I actually use a stain that I can apply to wet wood as soon as I am done washing the deck. Because it is a non film forming stain it goes into the wood and forces the water out. It makes a deck take more stain and time, but it is handy to have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Not to cut Cytech out of any work, but I have a similar situation in my new place where the deck was stained (badly) and then protected (even more badly), and rather than mess around with sanding it, I am going to replace the planking itself with a composite decking. Much less time consuming if you are doing it yourself, and have the ability.
    Trust me I don't mind when people have a solid stain or a painted deck and want to replace the planking. It sucks to remove those materials. The stuff is dangerous. I know someone that did not properly mix the chemicals and now has permanent chemical burns all over their back because of it. He was lucky enough to turn his back to it before it got his front side.

    And just as a reminder even fresh wood needs to be cleaned and neutralized to allow it to accept stain properly.



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    Quote Originally Posted by cytech View Post
    As for your steps the clean and the strip are the same step. The next step is neutralize. All deck stripping agents are low ph products which need to be neutralized with a acid. This is good for the wood and for the ground surrounding the deck. If you don't neutralize you may have issues with plant life.

    Next step is let dry ( 5 to 7 days ) if you have a moisture meter the wood needs to be less than 20% some stains require it be lower.

    hmmmm



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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    My brother used to be a professional painter for a living and would sometimes refinish decks of million dollar type homes. He helped me with mine a few years ago and it came out great. He used a mix (i.e., bought two cans of equal size deck stain and mixed them together). One was just a clear / transparent type finish. I believe the other was cedar. By using the 50-50 mix of transparent and cedar, it produced a nice translucent finish so that the wood grain still shows through, as oposed to an opaque finish, which tends to cover up too much of it.


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    Re: Repainting/Restaining a deck

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    My deck looks like crap...its time for a repainting/restaining. I can't find any kind of consensus online of what to do. Some say pressure wash, some say that is the worst you could do. Some say strip and completely sand, some say get the lose chips off and prime.

    Another problem is that I have no idea if its painted or solid color stained. I have a can of Behr waterproofing stuff in the garage and that's it.

    Anyone have any advice that has worked well? The only process I've seen that people somewhat agree on is:

    Clean
    Strip
    Clean
    Prime
    Finish (with what is another question I have)
    It is my experience that if you powerwash a deck, you'll end up with fine wood fiber all over your deck, and it is hard to remove. The powerwash tears the wood fiber because the pressure is too great. I would not powerwash MY deck again.



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