Deck Refinishing - Brand? how Dry?

jem8September 29, 2008

We're in the process of refinishing our old cedar deck. ~4-5yrs ago it was treated with a bright orange stain - most of which has since peeled away. We're OK with the gray and are now stripping it with something biodegradable to remove the remaining orange. Questions:

1) Will the stripper remove mildew, ie. clean?

2) Will a Brightener make it a bright orange or red?

3) How dry does it need to be, ie how long after cleaning must we wait before staining/finishing?

The Seattle weather will be dry for the next few days and then can expect rain off and on - so I was wondering if we'd need to use a water-based stain in that it can be applied when the wood is not bone dry.

4) What type of finish is recommended for a previously treated cedar deck? We've looked at TMP and Panofin. We don't want shiny or bright. Prefer to leave it the gray it will age to but may go with dark to cover any remaining orange.

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john_hyatt

OMG....Celcstc..you are defentley on with this one. J

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 7:09PM
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carolina_prowash

Jem,

Would it be possible for you to either post or email me some photos? Also, do you remember what kind of "bright orange stain" was used?

Briefly addressing some of your questions -

1 - A stripper will (is supposed to) remove the old finish and yes, clean the wood at the same time. It will alter the pH of the wood and turn it very dark, almost black at times.

2 - The brightener servers two purposes - it neutralizes the pH of the wood (from the stripper) which is important. It brightens the wood back to natural new wood - so if you have old growth cedar, you should see reds and blonds. If it is new growth, it can appear yellowy orangish.

3 - Your stain choice will dictate the moisture content of your wood. With that said, the stripping process is about guaranteed to "fuzz up" your deck so this is probably a mute point. You're going to want to lightly sand (no higher than 60-80 grit) the wood to knock these fuzzies off and since you shouldn't sand wet wood, you need to wait a couple of days for it to dry. This sanding process will also take care of residual stain left by the stripper as well for the most part.

4 - Personally & professionally, we are anti-water based stains of any type. We don't get good results and you're not providing the wood with any replacement oils that have be removed by the environment or the stripping process.

5 - We recommend a quality Oil based stain - TWP, Woodrich Brand, or even Olympic GREEN label products.

Wow, so much for brief :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 8:45AM
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jem8

I don't see how to post photos so I'll email them.
The deck was refinished by the previous owner.

Thanks so much for your advice.

The problem I'm running into is finding the right time. We've had a dry run for several weeks that should last through tomorrow. It's been upper 70's during the day, but will drop dew overnight. With the cleaning process we hope to finish today, I don't think the wood will be dry enough to stain tomorrow. Even if we could it wouldn't be until 11 (when the dew dries) and would have to be quickly applied to get the 12 hours in before more dew drops. If we wait until later, it will rain, so:
How many days after rain will it be before it's dry enough? 3 days of sunshine?
Is it bad to leave the wood exposed to the rain for a week?
Should we let the unstripped and uncleaned deck wait until next spring?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 1:03PM
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