Deck Stain/Treatment Opinions

abnormal66April 19, 2006


We have a 3 year old home with a cedar deck that needs re-treatment this summer. We used CWF-UV Flood on it the summer after we moved in. It looks terrible after 2 years of weathering (actually it started to look bad after just one year).

I bought two Behr products to strip the Flood product and prep the deck for stain.

No. 64 15-Minute Quik-Fix® Deck Finish Remover & Wood Resurfacer


No. 63 Wood Cleaner Brightener Conditioner

If these products don't do a good job I would love advice/opinions.

The three products I've been looking at to re-treat the deck are:

Cabots Decking Stain 1400 Series

Sikkens DEK? (product line advice please)

Behr Premium Weatherproofing Wood Finish

If anyone has previous experience with any of these products or opinions of other products would be great.

Any help would be great appreciated.



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Thanks for the help. I was really leaning toward the Cabot's since it received rave reviews from consumer reports. What's going to be the best way to get the Flood off of the deck? Is there a product or process that would work best. I appreciate the help. Thank you very much!!!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 11:04PM
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Thanks for all of the help so far. I'm still working on taking the old finish off. It's been quite a process so far. The floor and steps stripped quite well using the Behr product but the spindles are a different story. I've gotten to the point where I'm sanding the entire deck. Quite a job, but not as bad as I thought it would be, just time consuming. When I'm done I'm going to use a brightener/cleaner on it and then treat it with Cabot's 1400 series decking stain in the New Redwood color. Thanks again for all of the help Ken.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:17AM
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Anytime Mike. You know how to get a hold of me if you get stuck

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 7:12AM
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Hi guys,

I just noticed this post about the Flood CWF UV product and desperately need help getting it off of my deck. We just purchased a new home and the previous owner built a brand new deck and immediately covered the new ceder with three coats of this stuff. Needless to say, it did not take.

Now I have a peeling deck that has areas of no stain and areas of thick stain, if you can even call this product a stain, it's more like paint. I have tried pretty much everything to try and strip the product with no success.

Here is what I have tried so far:
1. Paint scraper (works on most of the peeling areas but doesn't phase the areas with three coats that are holding)
2. Random orbit sander with 40 grit paper (far too slow)
3. Finishing sander with 40 grit paper (takes too much wood)
4. Behr No. 64 Wood finish stripper (Left it on for 40 minutes, didn't even remove one coat)
5. Back to Nature Ready Strip Deck (worse than the Behr product, left it on for over an hour, removed nothing)
6. 2500 PSI pressure washer (worked on peeling areas but didn't even phase the thicker areas)

Is there any product or method that you would suggest to remove this junk? I'm thinking I might have to go up to a furniture stripping product, what do you think?

Thanks for any advice you may have.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 8:39PM
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I don't think that the original product was CWF. That stands for clear wood finish. It does not peel that I am aware of and there is not pigment. It sounds more like a solid stain was used.

Either a commercial grade stripper or better yet a floor sander may be called for.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 2:34AM
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Thanks dooer. It doesn't look like a stain, the previous owner left a gallon of what he used and it is the flood cwf product. It is a yellowish plastic type liquid that he put on THICK all over the deck. It is definitely peeling all over though and no stripper I have tried has done anything to remove it.

Any suggestions for getting it off of vertical surfaces or what type of commercial grade stripper works well?


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:44AM
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That sounded exactly like cwf to me the stuff is total junk in every way including geting it off. A commercial grade stripper will deffently be needed. John

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 5:46PM
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Oh great - I've got that same Flood CWF on my deck that I've been trying to figure out how to remove. I don't suppose that poster is still around with results of his struggles?

My issue sounds exactly the same. The stain is peeling right off left and right. I tested some oil based stripper on a small section and saw it did very little. I was hoping a couple of coats of it might do the trick, but now I'm doubtful.

I'm hoping I can get it off the horizontal surfaces between the chemical stripper, pressure washer, and orbital sander. But, I guess the results above are discouraging.

By the way, I'm not positive they used the CWF...there were two 5 gallon cans in the garage when we moved in. One was just oil based stain and they had written fence / deck on it. The other was the CWF. My assumption was that they put the stain on them and then followed it with a coat of CWF. Last year the deck didn't look too bad, but we put a coat of stain over it and no CWF. This year it looks terrible. Is that because we shouldn't have put stain over the CWF, assuming it was there?


    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:33AM
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Thats exactley why Jeff. There is a stripper>>md80

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 7:48AM
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Thanks John. Is that preferably to simply sanding the whole thing down?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:18AM
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Sanding will not get cwf completly off,dont even ask me how I know this. J.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:28AM
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Has anyone tried Total Wood Preservative - TWP 100 Series stain? IÂm building a new deck & herd that Total Wood Preservative is an excellent stain to use IÂm looking for a stain that will last a long time

Thanks, Mike

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 6:26PM
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I have a cypress wood home with thousands of square feet of cypress siding which was painted with multiple coats of CWF. I stumbled across an easy unexpected way to remove it.

I mixed a solution of 1 part "outdoor" bleach (sold at Home Depot) to two parts water. The Outdoor bleach is thicker and more concentrated. I initially intended to remove the black mold that grows on the CWF but it took off the entire finish with no scrubbing.

The solution did not damage any of the wood. I allowed it to stay on the finish for 24 to 48 hours before pressure washing with low to medium pressure. Leaving it in the sun seems to greatly improve the removal performance. It must be photoreactive.

It's quite amazing, just spray it on and 24 hours later most of the finish is gone. In areas where the finish is unusually thick, it can take multiple applications.

I highly recommend a spot test before applying to a large area. I've never tried this with other woods so be careful and stick with small areas until you're sure it's not dissolving the wood with the finish.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:35AM
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Outdoor bleach has a higher concentrate of sodium hydroxide, which is what many wood removal products are based from. While I am glad you had good results, what you may have accomplished is not only degrading the wood lignins with the strong bleach, but also you have left the wood in a very unnatural state where the pH is concerned. Of course, leaving the product on in the sun will lighten the wood - it's bleach. The "brightness" that many professionals display is the effect of an alkaline being neutralized by an acid. The brightening effect you saw was bleaching, not proper balancing. At the risk of sounding like the voice of doom, your process could lead to premature stain failure.

HD80 and even a strong solution of EFC-38 will remove CWF if applied properly and followed up with Citralic.

Stain longevity is always going to be a topic as everyone expects the stains to perform just like the label says. What the labels cannot possibly address is the conditions in which the area is prepped, the way the stain is applied and the exposure & elements that the finish is exposed to afterward.

Just my .02


Here is a link that might be useful: Woodrich Brand store & information site

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 5:36PM
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I don't think that the use of chlorine blesch will do a lot of damage to a wood deck if it is rinsed well. After a water rinse and allowing the water to dry, some white vinegar can be added to the rinse tank and the wood can be rinsed again to lower the pH. Then after another water rinse let the surface dry thoroughly. This actually will allow new stain to penetrate very deeply into the wood--probably deeper than on freshly sanded wood. Many stains fail because of lack of penetration, especially on previously stained wood. I rented a flat floor sander and had a teenager sand my deck. It took a lot of paper and backup pads but it got the job done. My 3 year oil-base semi-transparent Olympic stain actually lasted most of 3 years. I think I'll use the outdoor bleach next time to save on cost.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 6:38PM
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I used Cabot's Australian timber oil the first time I stained my deck, and now 3 yrs later, I'll use the same thing again. I think it is an outstanding product and our deck still looks great (even before we re-stain it next week).

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 3:36AM
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To cindyandmocha: Does the Cabot's Australian timber oil have a color? I'm looking for something to protect my deck but I don't want a lot of color.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:30AM
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Anyone: I live on Whidbey Island(Washington State) 200 yards from Penn Cove(Salt Water). I put in a new deck and walkway (Total Square Footage is 756SQFT) 2 years ago and used a brown beher wood stain (2 coates)on the deck . This was done in Hot summer of 2008. Presently it is pealing and fading badly. I have been using my pressure washer to strip what I can, but a lot of stain remains. If I wash to close I gouge the wood . I think I am going to half to sand it after I wash to get it all off. I wanted to put Marine (oil base )paint on for the next stain try ,but am advised the wood swells and this type of paint won't work. Can anyone recommend an easier way to remove stain and what I can use in the future that will last longer than 2 years. Also what type of sander should I use and what grit of sand paper. I appreciate andy advise you can give me. thank you,Patrick

Here is a link that might be useful: That Home Site!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 8:28PM
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Whidbey Island, sigh....Have you heard of the Warren Ove Contractor Business ??

Over there its cedar decking most likey the power washer would really tear that stuff up. Beher is total junk. A stripper from www.woodrich-brand would do it. They sell a very good outdoor finish as well.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:36AM
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We live in the Santa Ynez Valley of California and have redwood decks on the East, West and South sides of our home. After extensive research I decided to try Sikkens CETOl SRD on the new decks on the East and South sides of the house. That was in 2004.

I used the 078 Natural color on the East and South facing decks. I used the 054 Redwood color on the West facing deck (in my backyard).

After two years I noticed significant degradation of the stain on the South side which gets lots of direct Sun. I sanded and reapplied the 078 stain and it brought it back to near new. The following year (third year) I sanded and reapplied 078 stain to the East facing deck with equivalent results.

I noted that the West facing deck with the darker stain was holding up better but the color was ageing a little too dark. In 2008 I completed an addition to that deck and after sanding everything I applied a 50/50 mix of 078 and 054 stains. It looked fantastic although I can see that the old 100% 054 part of the deck is a bit darker than the new part with the 50/50 mix. Never the less, I have received many compliments on the color of this deck. It has held up well and will need a reapplication of stain next year.

Note: The West side deck does get shade protection from the house until later in the afternoon so my guess is a fully exposed West deck would perform equivalent to an fully exposed East facing deck in this climate.

I have used other products in the past in this climate (ThompsonâÂÂs, Behr, Olympic) and Sikkens is the best so far. While I have read good things about Defy I have not used it because I could not get it locally back when I started this project in 2004.

My conclusion is that in this environment it is clear that no stain can hold up against the Sun for more than 2 or 3 years without significant degradation.


Sikkens is a good product. It is not perfect and does require maintenance. In this climate on South facing wood surfaces in direct Sun plan on lightly sanding and reapplying one coat every other to every third year. On East and West facing wood surfaces in direct Sun plan on lightly sanding and reapplying one coat every third or fourth year.

If you let it get away from you (as I did on the South facing side over the past 3 years) the product will start to flake and peel in places. To restore you will need to scrape and sand to get a good surface then re-stain and it will look fine. The 50/50 078 & 054 color mix looks better than 100% 054 Redwood in my opinion and gives better performance than 100% 078 Natural.

A stained exterior wood surface will always require maintenance much sooner than a painted surface. I like the look of stained wood and accept the need for periodic maintenance.

If this is too much work then don't stain and just paint with a good quality exterior paint.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 3:54PM
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