Originally Posted by ddawg16
Ok....fair question......sorry for the comment....but between 'fishing' posts and "how much does it cost" posts, we start to get a bit 'testy' at times....
Hopefully one of the more experienced experts will chime in.....but my first thought....keeping water away from wood is the first order of things...
That always seems to happen with old message boards... People get tired of answering the same questions or just start seeing most questions as "stupid" and get testy easily.
I can tell you about my deck progress so far, and if you need to strip paint or are considering capping screw holes, read on. We bought this house a few months ago. I believe our deck was built in 1983 at the same time as the house. My goal is to remove the deck's old, flaking paint and replace with stain. I bought a 1900 psi pressure washer first since everyone recommends pressure washing before staining and before refreshing stain. I figured I'd try to remove the paint with it as well, but it was stuck on too tightly to remove without gouging the wood - even the flaking areas.
So I tried a random orbit sander but its disc clogged with melted paint and became very slow at removing paint after a few square feet. I tried using a rubberized disc cleaner but it didn't get any of the paint off the disc. So I did a lot of research and ended up building my own infrared heater (instructions here
) but it was very slow, caused lots of sweating, and produced fumes that triggered my wife's asthma. Based on more research I think the IR heater can work quite well on some types of paint (100 year old lead based paint is often mentioned as being easy to remove with it) but other types don't "melt" much and hardly release from the wood with heat. The label on the spare paint used on my deck says it's meant to be used in marine applications so it's probably extra tough and the primer seems strong as well.
I was about ready to try something like the Paint Eater despite how much mess it makes and the discs being expensive when I finally found someone mention the "Paint Shaver Pro". I researched that and everyone who had used it loved it. It's expensive, but can be sold for a good price when you're done with it. I paid $460 on ebay. It works fast, makes no fumes, and sucks up most of the debris into a shop vac. It uses blades rated to last about 10,000 square feet.
The one downside to paint shaver is you must countersink all nails/screws or they'll either wear at the shaver's blades or actually have their heads ripped off by it. Of course you have to do the same if you're sanding your deck to stain it anyway. But with sunk screw heads you leave a place for water to collect, and I found "experts" who say that's bad, so I was trying to decide if capping the screws would make sense. I found one person recommend using pieces of wooden dowel to cap screws. But then I thought, wouldn't water just flow through the capillaries in the dowel into the screw hole anyway? So I did a test with food coloring which I can describe in detail if anyone is interested but basically a 3/8" long dowel glued with Tightbond III, DAP plastic wood, and PC Woody epoxy wood, even with fresh stain on top could not stop the red water from getting through the screw hole within a couple minutes.
So I was thinking a bituthene membrane might be the answer, and here we are.