TWP and One Time stain...2 years later

weedyacresApril 10, 2011

I built a deck in the summer of 2009. Decking was garapa with 2 coats of TWP Dark Oak. Pergola was cedar with one coat of One Time. I wanted to come back and share an update of how it's held up through 2 southern Indiana winters.

First the TWP. First year I just had a few boards that didn't hold their stain, so I cleaned them off with oxalic acid and restained. Second year, now that the snow has cleared, I've got significant wearing away of the TWP, worse in the more exposed (non-pergola'd) areas of the decking. These shots are of the fire pit deck, which has no cover.

The 2 boards on the bottom of this photo were restained last year.

This is the largest section of deck, which is covered with a pergola.

And this is a shot of the pergola, with One Time on it. No apparent wear, even on the top, which we can view from the second story.

I do need some advice on how best to refinish the TWP. Do I need to sand it down (parts are grayed) or just clean it with oxalic acid? And how many coats do I need to put on to prevent the weathering? John, I know you've got stuff with 7 coats on it. Does that sustain it through winter after winter?

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Hi Ya Weed Folks!!!

I use a 14'' floor machine,ya know a buffer, with scrub pads red one would work for yours combined with the oxalic.

No need to sand, scrubing / wash off dry/ new finish.

I put the stuff on in stages. That is I dont just put two coats on and leave it alone for a few years. Actually I have found the first coat / coats wont last all that long the wood has to weather and do what its going to do. I would have put a couple on a few months after the first two. The one time finish and serval others have just put in more resins thats why it takes so long to set up. Building coat with twp does the same thing the more coats the longer it takes to set up but you will have more control
The S A one outside my house with all the built up coats is due a refinish right now but besides where the big hail hit it last year it looks faded but not bare like yours. The last time I did it was about 7 years ago.

Good to see youall again. John

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Hi weedy. Interesting on the one time. I'm still looking for a stain that will stick to IPE in a coastal environment. Think it is worth a try?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:40AM
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Hey, Salmon. I'm not expert on One-Time in coastal areas, but you might try calling or emailing their tech support. I asked them a couple questions back in the day about using it on brazilian hardwoods (though I didn't end up going that route) and they were responsive.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 7:55PM
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OK, finally did my restain. I scrubbed the whole thing down with oxalic acid, cleaned it off well, then put on one coat of TWP Dark Oak. I have to say I am not happy. Doesn't look anything like the first time I stained it. The parts that were gray are now near black. And the parts where the stain hadn't worn off are significantly lighter (and more like what I was expecting). Do I need to sand down this whole thing and start over??

Pics were taken at dusk, sorry for no sun.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 8:03PM
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Several things could have happened. For sure dont put on another coat. Leave it alone for a couple of weeks.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 7:51AM
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How dry was the wood when you applied the finish? It looks like uneven penetration.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:30AM
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It hadn't rained for over a week, and I applied the stain in the afternoon when the deck was in the sun. It was about 3 weeks after I did the oxalic scrubdown, as it proceeded to rain intermittently for a couple weeks afterward, delaying the staining.

If it makes a difference, the post-stain photos map as follows:
#1: steps on southwest side of deck, match #1 of "before" photos. Exposed wide open to the elements, so had lots of graying. I did some spot-sanding of plugs that were proud of the deck.
#2: largest deck, matches #4 of "before" photos. Protected by pergola, so very little exposed wood showing through. No sanding done.
#3: steps on west side of deck. Exposed to sun and rain, some graying. No sanding done.

What are the possible causes? What should I expect to happen over the next couple weeks as I let it sit??

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 2:09PM
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Of your options listed above, the most likely is uneven scrubbing. But in my experience, oxalic acid doesn't get the gray off (maybe that's pointing to a bad scrubbing technique? Not hard enough?). When I originally stained my deck it had taken a month or so to get all the decking on and the first stuff had already started graying. I did an oxalic scrub, but it didn't remove the gray, so that's why I sanded it all. This time around I scrubbed, but again it was still gray. And places like the front edges of the tread probably didn't get any real scrubbing to speak of.

What do you do for gray areas that you can't get a floor scrubber in (under railings, vertical surfaces, etc.)?

And what do you do if the scrubbing doesn't get the gray off?

I did stir the stain well, so I don't think that was it, and I've only done one coat so far this time around. And remember, the first time it went on beautifully, so I don't think it's the Dark Oak.

I also think that while it's possible I didn't get all the oxalic off right when I scrubbed, all the subsequent rain should have taken care of that, right?

My only concern about waiting much longer is that winter is coming, and I'd rather have this thing done before then if possible.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 7:06PM
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I am sooo sorry this happened to your beautiful deck. How did it all turn out? Did you let it sit or try to redo? I am already doing my research to restain my Ipe next spring and trying to figure out the best course of action. I am probably going to go back with TWP116 since I can still get that here and the price is right. I'm really just trying to figure out the proper prep before I start. Your experience has me thinking I may be safer to just sand the whole thing first. Do you have any thoughts?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 9:33AM
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It's still sitting, waiting for John's recommended course of action. :-) Not sure how best to get the gray off, other than sanding. Jon Mon....feel free to pipe up, now that it's been about a month.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 11:55AM
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Alright, I'm back with a year 3 report on my stains. The One Time is wearing off of the front board of the pergola, which gets the brunt of the sun and storms that blow through. The other boards look fine, so I'll just recoat the front one.

Another year of weather hasn't made my decking (done with TWP) look any better. I need some suggestions for making it look beautiful again. I've done nothing since my post last fall. Jon mon, isn't it about time for you to come out of hibernation and join the decks forum again? :-)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Weedy, Good to see you and agree 100% about Jon. He was really helpful in my project and the IPE deck is still fantastic, although. No stain has "stuck" in my case. I am goin to let it go gray. We are in a pretty humid/wet environment that I am sure is not helping anything.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:49AM
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You need to strip with HD 80 then neutralize the deck. Once you have done that you need to decide on a sealer. I recommend Ready Seal.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:56PM
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Try calling Epifanes. They specialize in boat finishes. Expensive, but beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:39AM
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You are going to have to sand the deck down. I would stay away from stripping and neutralizing as everyone always recommends on this forum. I would rent a floor buffer from home depot for $40/day and buy a few white buffing pads and some circular screens. 80 grit should work well. Attach the white pads to the drive block on the buffer, which acts as a shock absorber for the screen to contour over the boards. I would screen the entire surface of the deck, sort of abrade the old finish off. You won't have to worry about squaring off the edges screening, even if you used a hard disc, it would still take a lot of sanding to knock those edges off. Then I would use an orbital palm sander and blast each board. The screening process will take a lot of labor off your project, but ultimately, you have a pain in the butt job. The real problem is the benches, posts, railings and pergola, but if you want it to look good, might as well do it right. You're going to have to sand everything, period.

All in all, everyone has their own recommendations for sealers and whatnot, I only use one product for Ipe, which is called Rubio Monocoat. It's expensive, and just as much as a pain to apply as sanding down your deck. But trust me it's worth it. I have no idea how to post pictures on here but every deck I've done looks like furniture. In fact, after you're done, you'll have to upgrade your house. Check the stuff out. You have to apply a water based sunprimer (pigmented, uv inhibitor) first, by hand, wipe on, immediately wipe off, application process, each individual board. Allow to dry, then you buff on a 2-component decking oil. Then you have to buff it off. Here's the tricky part, you have to work in sections with the oil, because you have a 3-15 minute window to apply the oil and then remove the excess.

If someone could please explain to me how to upload pictures on this thing, I would be happy to show you the difference between a regular deck, a good professional deck and then my decks.

Again, there is no miracle end all, maintenance free Ipe deck. You will still need to maintain this deck. Just like you do a pool or landscape vegetation. Dependent upon the sun you get, you'll need to apply a refresh coat (aerosol spray for vertical surfaces and buff on horizontally) every 3-6 months. This requires work, and money. I won't tell you what I charge to do the work per square foot, but I will tell you that it is expensive and does require recurring maintenance. But besides looking amazing, the great thing about this is it is completely repairable. Dogs, furniture, any sort of scratch or gouge can be fixed.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 2:12PM
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From the looks of the deck I see screws and nails that will not be friendly to a buffing pad or sanding pads. You will have to replace them OFTEN as each time a little rip happens you will see scuf marks from it tht will show up when you apply finish.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 4:59PM
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really need help. have alot of wood deck. 20 years old have
been putting a "wood protector on it every one to two years. to old to keep doing that.(me not the deck) 7 year "guarenteed" wood protectors are b--s---. just more money. looking at "restore" any comments it looks like concrete supposed to last 10 years? live in ga. med. heat med. cold med. rain

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Just to update, we finally got around to working on refinishing the deck. We opted for the full sanding, skipping the chemical stuff, and I have to say it was way more work than the first time. We rented a floor sander and got most of the stain off, but had to follow up every single board (plus the railings) with a ROS to get the residual stain off. The problem was that the boards are no longer all perfectly level and uncupped, after 3 years of weather exposure, and with the large base of the sander being flat, it didn't catch the little dips well. And around the plugs there were still brown circles.

It was literally 40 labor hours of hand sanding to get it ready. I think I might try the chemicals if I ever do this again. Here's how we got it to. It wasn't as pristine as when we first built it, but it's as good as we could get it.

That last one you can see the handrails stained with 2 coats of TWP Dark Oak. I thought I had post-stain photos on my laptop, but I apparently don't, so I'll have to post them this weekend when I'm back home. I got one coat on the deck with the bench. The first coat brought back the golden beauty, though still not like-new. I plan to do the second coat this weekend on that deck and the first coat on the rest.

The One-Time on the pergola is showing lots of wear 3 years on. The gray on the cedar slats is starting to show through. They do face west, so get pretty harsh sun and the brunt of rain storms.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:24PM
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I realized I never posted the finish stained product. Here are photos after 2 coats of TWP Dark Oak a few days apart. If we're still here in the spring, I'll put another coat on. (House is on the market). The cedar pergola has One Time on it, and it's definitely not lasting 7 years. We're at 3 and it needs some attention.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:04AM
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I am totally unfamiliar with hard wood decks. The question I have is why you are still using TWP after so many failures after a couple of years. I have never used a TWP stain because it is not available locally. What I have used is Cabot oil deck stain in a semi-transparent color. It lasted 3 years on my old redwood deck. I have also used Cabot Australian Timber Oil which is a thicker product because it seems to have less solvent and more oil. The redwood bench on my deck was done with it also 3 years ago and it looks almost like new. I have three gallons sitting in my garage until next summer when I intend to clean and redo the deck with that product.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 2:08PM
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Weedyacres, looks good! Sanding is the way to go. Here is one I did last weekend.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Thanks for the updates weedy! They were helpful.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 6:42AM
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