Save my deck!!

weedyacresApril 19, 2012

OK, not trying to be dramatic, but no one answered in my other resurrected thread, so thought I'd try a new one.

My garapa deck is 3 years old and my attempts to apply another coat of TWP last summer didn't fare so well. Jon Mon said to wait it out, so I let another winter go by and it still looks kind-of crappy. Basically last summer I scrubbed it all with oxalic acid and re-coated with TWP Dark Oak, but the graying spots just went blackish. Here's how it looks today.

So how do I fix this?

Here's how it looked freshly stained in 2009.

Here is a link that might be useful: my other thread

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marcus4

Weedy,

I too am looking for some more help on my Garapa deck. We built ours 3 years ago as well. I have another thread that has not got very much activity. What happened to all the pro's on this board?? Just me 2 cents on your deck is you need to strip all that old stain off. I ordered some MD-80 stripper today to try and get rid of some black spots on my deck before restaining with TWP. I hope to try it tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is my thread

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 4:27PM
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deckdude2

Oxalic acid is a wood brightener and does not prep wood but neutralizes cleaners or stain strippers. You always start with a wood deck cleaner or stain stripper. In your case you definitely need a stain stripper and you may need to do it a couple of times to get the build up of old coatings off. The brightener is needed after the stripper.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 6:33PM
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weedyacres

So deckdude, you're saying I've got to remove all the old stain first? What product would you recommend? And if that's the case, wouldn't sanding the whole thing do the same trick?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 6:43PM
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brooklyndecks

Weedy,

I never worked with Garapa, so I really can't speak about bringing it back to what it was. I did get a sample in the mail a few years ago...built a tiny test deck, and put it out in the back yard. I'll have to go get it, and see what it looks like.

I'm thinking that whatever it looks like, a good sanding could be a first step...but then I always have been a proponent of sanding.

steve

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:50PM
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deckdude2

I would strip first then sand only if needed. Much easier to use a stain stripper. Either way it would be to your benefit to get all of this off prior to recoating.

We use a lot of HD80 and Restore-A-Deck Stripper. They both are concentrated powdered strippers.

We buy them both at The Sealer Store

Here is a link that might be useful: HD80 and Restore A Deck

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:41AM
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weedyacres

deckdude: with the stain stripped, some of the wood will still be gray. Methinks that won't stain very well. What do you do to prep grayed wood so that it takes the color better?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:59AM
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brooklyndecks

I looked at my garapa test deck today. It looked bad, but that's understandable. It's been sitting out in the garden since October, 2006. I took it to my shop, and gave it a quick sanding, and there was still some black stains. I sanded one area for another minute, and it looked as good as it did in '06. It's only a 2 board sample, with 1 board having been coated with penofin...the other was left natural.
So, if you're willing to sand it, you can bring it back to new. I used my ROS with 50 grit paper.

steve

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Faron79

Good answer Brooklyn!!

Faron

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:44PM
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marcus4

I sanded some garapa trim pieces on my deck today and they look better than the day I installed them. So if nothing else works sanding will get you back to a beautiful deck. That is just a lot of work to sand 500sq ft of deck. My order of MD80 is coming Monday so I will let you know how it works.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:47PM
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deckdude2

Stripping will remove the graying as well. Sanding may limit the stains ability to penetrate properly and you already have an exotic hardwood that is extremely dense. I would only sand if needed after the stripping. If you do, go back after with a wood cleaner and a wood brightener to remove any sand dust and "open" the pores of the wood. Stain will absorb better this way.

Be careful of Faron's comments. He is way to pro sanding. :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 7:11AM
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brooklyndecks

deckdude,

I've never built a Garapa deck, but I've built many Ipe decks, and I sand them all. Not just a spot sanding...I'm not sanding with 220 grit, which could burnish the wood, and hamper penetration. I use 50 grit. When I'm done sanding, I use a compressor to blow off the dust. I get good results, and don't need cleaners, brighteners, or strippers :)
Ipe comes with scratches and dings...and usually suffers some damage during the construction process.
There is no chemical process that will remove a scratch.
Just my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

steve

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:19AM
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Faron79

I won't argue with DD2 re. this issue anymore!
(Other than he's too "chemical 1st"...;-))

I just believe sanding is a much "Greener" way to go in many ways...
* No chemicals, etc., getting into the landscape, etc.
* No waiting daaaayyyss for deck to dry either.
* I'm obviously in the "Brooklyn camp" on this issue...if that's OK with you Brooklyn?!??!!

Faron

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:40AM
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deckdude2

I am 100% positive that cleaning with proper chemicals is much better to prep a deck then sanding when it comes to stain longevity.

The better the stain absorbs, the longer it will last. Sanding does not "open" the wood cells but rather closes them, compared to the use of cleaners.

Let's compare two decks.

Deck 1 is just finished being built and the contractor sands the deck with 50 grit paper. Wood is smooth but less so then prior to sanding. Deck is stained TWP.

Deck 1 is brand new as well. This deck is prepped with a non chlorine based deck cleaner followed by a wood deck brightener. Wood is slightly "rougher" compared to sanding. Deck is stained with TWP.

Which deck is going to hold the stain longer? Any deck restoration contractor will tell you that the second deck's stain will perform much better. Why? Because the stained penetrated better into the wood and more stain in general was able to penetrate. This equals better performance.

In most scenarios, sanding will hinder the performance of an exterior penetrating deck stain.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 3:47PM
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CaptRandy

Has to be stripped, many sealers do not allow a second coating to penetrate properly. They "repel the second coat. Twp is one of them, strip with HD80 brighten and then seal it using an oil based sealer. Ready Seal is excellent.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 7:42PM
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weedyacres

I've been emailing with Jon Mon offline (the GW police kicked him off a year ago) and here's his advice:

I see a couple of things you could try.

Sand the whole thing with an orbital, don't even think about using a drum sander. Ugg what a pain

MD 80 stripper,oxalic, sand out the soft grain that will still have some of the finish in it, double Ugg, md80 is some nasty stuff and doing that will raise the grain even further and you will still have to sand it.

Lightly orbital sand some of the places you really don't like while remembering Your not killing snakes. The idea is to just taper out some places. Try mixing two parts dark oak with three parts cedar tone natural. You will be surprised how easy it goes on compared to straight dark oak and the color is a pretty nice brown. Don't let it gray out this time.

I'm leaning toward trying the 3rd option on a small area to see if I can even out the color and get rid of the black before I go with one of the other more drastic options.

And awaiting Marco's trial with MD80 to see how it turns out.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:36PM
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ntruro

If you want to obtain and maintain the just-finished look of your original photos, I suggest you talk with the tech. people at Epifanes. They make some of the best boat finishes available and are very helpful. I've called them a few times with basic product, surface preparation, and application questions and they've always been patient and helpful.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 4:05PM
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CaptRandy

The way we clean teak boat decks on the big battle wagons is scrub cross grain with sudsy ammonia, let it dry and treat it with teak oil. We do the, 3-4 time each summer season.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 4:52PM
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