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Old 05-08-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


Hi everyone,

I recently had a Cedar Pool deck\Pergola and attaching lower deck off the house built in my backyard. The deck was completed January 2012, and staining of the deck occurred June 2012.

I purchased 7 gallons of Cabot Australian Timber Oil Honey Teak stain, and began the process of staining the decks\pergola.

3 weekends later the project was completed...during the remaining summer and fall months the pool deck looked beautiful, however over the winter the decking around the pool sides, the stain peeled terribly.

I contacted Cabot and was advised to use their Problem - Solver deck cleaner to help remove the peeled\failed stain, and then to re-apply this year with a fresh coat of Timber Oil stain to restore the beauty of the deck stain.

I'm wondering though if I should really strip the deck or sand it, as I don't want a blotchy nightmare scenario as I'm afraid I might find myself in if I just re-stain...

If anyone could advise me as to what is the approach they would do that would be great..

I attached some photos of the deck...
Attached Thumbnails
Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?-chatham-kent-20130501-01544.jpg   Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?-chatham-kent-20130501-01545.jpg   Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?-chatham-kent-20130501-01546.jpg   Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?-chatham-kent-20130501-01547.jpg   Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?-chatham-kent-20130501-01548.jpg  

Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?-chatham-kent-20130501-01549.jpg  

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Old 05-08-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


I do not know the answer but I do know I certainly would not use the same crap that did this in less than a years time.

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Old 05-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


I am seeing sort of a kermit the frog green tinge to the decking. Was this treated cedar lumber? Did you race to apply a finish before it was time? With most treated lumber, you have to wait 6-12 months before applying stains or other finishing products. Or you have to use specific products compatiable with the chemistry of the treatment. If you raced the process, or used the wrong stain? The stain did not fail. It just had no place to go and could not find its way through the treatment chemicals and metals. Or your stain reacted with it leaving you with that "effluent" layer.

The other clue from your post that makes me guess you had treated lumber. A semi-transparent or even a semi-solid stain, should for the most part absorb into the wood leaving just a hint (in the case of a semi-solid) of pigment on top. If you experienced peeling, it means the stain never got into the wood and was blocked from being absorbed by the treatment.

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Old 05-08-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


Sand it, stain it. Don't wait too long. Cedar is a good ext wood for a lot of reasons, but it is soft and (I think) particularly vulnerable to UV rays.
What probably happened is in the 5 months the deck was exposed before you stained it the top few layers were UV damaged. When you applied the timber oil, it soaked into the damaged wood. Now as it ages even further those top layers are wearing off and taking most of the stain with it.
Timber oil, and other toners/ sealers don't last long but if the wood was right it would have done better than that. Also the wear pattern is a clue, usually that type of stain will fade and gradually just go away. It looks like your deck is almost "peeling". That's not normal for a penetrating stain/toner.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


My wife and I are sanding the entire pool deck...the fault lies with us as we applied two coats of stain to the deck late last June as we noticed some small areas of the deck around the furniture was starting to show wear, and I had spelt some PH+ pool chemical on the swimming pool deck 1x6 framing boards, which caused yellowish white marks...

The Cabot representative advised us to wait until this fall before re-staining the deck after we finished sanding it to allow whatever remaining product to bleed out of the wood before re-staining it...he advised that we use the cabot deck cleaner on the deck, and then wait the 3-5 days in a row of dry weather before applying the staining...

Cabot is sending us two gallons of Australian Timber Oil Honey Teak for free still so I give them probs for that when they didnt have to..our newbie mistake that we're paying for with every inch of sanding we're going thru now
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


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Originally Posted by cunninham View Post
The Cabot representative advised us to wait until this fall before re-staining the deck after we finished sanding it to allow whatever remaining product to bleed out of the wood before re-staining it...he advised that we use the cabot deck cleaner on the deck, and then wait the 3-5 days in a row of dry weather before applying the staining...

Cabot is sending us two gallons of Australian Timber Oil Honey Teak for free still so I give them probs for that when they didnt have to..our newbie mistake that we're paying for with every inch of sanding we're going thru now
Not saying the Cabot rep is wrong but it worries me you are going to leave the deck freshly sanded in May until September or October? If you know the chemical you spilled, their must be a matching one to neutralize it. Or perhaps this will just make it worse and increase your wait time? I think you should know the general composition of what you spent before you apply a deck cleaner even in the fall?

Sounds like the company is trying to work with you and treat you more than fairly. Congrats on that. Cabot use to be a great company and I used their products a lot. Scared me when they went box store though. It may well be they have a different product line for box stores.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:26 PM   #7
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


Did you apply two coats to the entire deck, or just a few areas? How did you apply it, specifically? How did you prepare the wood prior to applying the finish, specifically? Before we can figure out how to go forward, we have to figure what failed the first time, or you're going to fail again. As has been pointed out, that shouldn't have failed in that way, and I don't think it was the product. I think it was a prep failure. That stain will now blast off entirely with a low pressure wash, that's where I would start, before you open your pool.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


Don't start sanding just yet.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:50 PM   #9
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


Sanding decks with an orbital is slow work. Treated lumber will stand up to more powerful sanders but cedar is so soft, more than an orbital seems dangerous.
I try to make it fun. Slide around on a mechanics cart, use one sander in each hand.
If you can get into a rhythm it's not too bad.
Hooking a shop vac with a bag up to the sander exhaust helps a lot with dust. Fill the bag quickly.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:31 PM   #10
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


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Originally Posted by Jmayspaint View Post
Sanding decks with an orbital is slow work. Treated lumber will stand up to more powerful sanders but cedar is so soft, more than an orbital seems dangerous.
I try to make it fun. Slide around on a mechanics cart, use one sander in each hand.
If you can get into a rhythm it's not too bad.
Hooking a shop vac with a bag up to the sander exhaust helps a lot with dust. Fill the bag quickly.
Miagi-san. If I sand with both hands may I please have the keys to vintage convertible hot rod for my birthday? In the movie you gave only one away. I will take either of the other two.

Wax on. Wax off.

Paint up. Paint down.

If someone in California sisters a few extra pier posts together, I can do that crane kick thing with a Chicago CUBS headband.

I am totally onboard suggesting a DIYer new to sanders start with something like a random orbital. But come on, one in each hand, on a roll around mechanics cart?

I see great humor in this but you know. I don't think I can feel comfortable about the future of the endeavor and I have little faith the idea will work out well.

Sorry, I must go pick fruit flies out of the air with my chopsticks.

Last edited by user1007; 05-09-2013 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:25 PM   #11
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


The paint guys will get to the bottom of this but what did you do different to the two removable access panels (with the finger holes) that appear to look pretty good compared to the rest of the deck? Therein might lie your answer.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:29 AM   #12
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester
Miagi-san. If I sand with both hands may I please have the keys to vintage convertible hot rod for my birthday? In the movie you gave only one away. I will take either of the other two.

Wax on. Wax off.

Paint up. Paint down.

If someone in California sisters a few extra pier posts together, I can do that crane kick thing with a Chicago CUBS headband.

I am totally onboard suggesting a DIYer new to sanders start with something like a random orbital. But come on, one in each hand, on a roll around mechanics cart?

I see great humor in this but you know. I don't think I can feel comfortable about the future of the endeavor and I have little faith the idea will work out well.

Sorry, I must go pick fruit flies out of the air with my chopsticks.
Gave me a good laugh this morning!
Working on a system to attach the sanders to the bottom of my shoes so I can just skate around, maybe paint the hand rails a at the same time. Haven't quite worked out all the bugs yet.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:10 AM   #13
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


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Not saying the Cabot rep is wrong but it worries me you are going to leave the deck freshly sanded in May until September or October? If you know the chemical you spilled, their must be a matching one to neutralize it. Or perhaps this will just make it worse and increase your wait time? I think you should know the general composition of what you spent before you apply a deck cleaner even in the fall?

Sounds like the company is trying to work with you and treat you more than fairly. Congrats on that. Cabot use to be a great company and I used their products a lot. Scared me when they went box store though. It may well be they have a different product line for box stores.
Hi jsheridan,

The product we applied to help remove some of the stain is called Cabot Problem-Solver Deck Cleaner, and what we we're told is that after applying this (rather then the stripper as advised again by Cabot) was to go ahead and sand the deck, which would remove the rest of the remaining stain and mill sheen...wait until the fall before using Cabot Deck brightner, and then re-staining the deck with just 1 coat of Austrialian timber Oil (Honey Teak).

The prep work that we did last spring to the deck was we washed the deck with the brightner...waited 5 days for the deck to dry out throughly, and then stained the deck...we then re-applied a second coat within a month, and it was that which lead to the deck peeling the way it did.

Our lower deck with pergola, we used just one coat of stain and there was no peeling of the product...just the *normal* signs of wear..I attached a photo of it so you can see the comparisons.

Note: Anything\everything veritical (from the skirting; lattice panel walls; pergola) on the two decks was stained just once and those portions look beautiful still
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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Cedar Deck Stain Failure - Sand or Strip?


Everyone has posted good points and they may all work, however, do exactly as Cabot (Now owned by Valspar) advises. If their system fails, then you may have recourse.

Did you confirm what type of wood this is?
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:42 PM   #15
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Everyone has posted good points and they may all work, however, do exactly as Cabot (Now owned by Valspar) advises. If their system fails, then you may have recourse.

Did you confirm what type of wood this is?
The wood is Western Red Cedar....we used paint brushes to apply the stain as well.

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