Our beautiful IPE deck was built last fall, and it is now late summer, and time to put a stain on it. I want to recover the original color and protect it. THe wood has turned somewhat grey and is 'fuzzy' over most of the surface, along with some fine cracks. I've been reading the forums, and have a question for the experts about preparation and product. My builder recommended using Sikkens. Calls to Sikkens led me to the Cetol SRD product. Sikkens recommends sanding with 60 grit, wipe with acetone, then 1 coat of SRD. I have not seen this mentioned on the forums, so I am curious if anyone has experience with that approach?
I have contacted Cabot and MFG and gotten samples of products I read about on the forum - Aussie Wood Oil and Total Wood Protector. Both companies, and most of the postings here recommend brushing, washing with TSP and or bleach solution, rinse, let dry, then stain. Question: Will that resolve the fuzzy, splintery feel? My instinct is that it will not, and that I will be happier sanding, then finishing. So, the next question, is, can I use the Sikkens prep (sand, acetone), then apply the AWO or TWP? These prodcts are more expensive than the Cetol SRD, but get such rave reviews I am inspired to try them out.
Note that the deck is 'new' and has never been stained or coated. So I don't think I need to use a brightener or whatever.
Thank you very much in advance for your help.