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grammy76 05-01-2012 02:53 PM

Deck staining problems
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Hello All

I began the task of staining my deck a couple of weeks ago by thoroughly cleaning it with the Behr cleaning product; I built the deck in the summer of 2009, and felt it needed to be stained for protection. It was recommended that I use a semi transparent stain to offer better protection from UV. The color is a natural cedar tone. I am happy with the results on the posts and rails, but am very disappointed with the blotchy, patchy look on the deck boards. I made sure to spread the stain evenly. The boards were stained Saturday, and then I tried to even out the stain on Sunday using a pad brush, but to no avail. For some reason, there is one section that looks more like paint than stain. Can anybody help me with this? I feel like I have butchered a once beautiful deck!

Mr. Paint 05-01-2012 04:15 PM

The breaking points seem to be at the butt joints or 100% perpindicular. I suspect that the wood sold to you had some boards in the pile that had been treated with a sealer allowing no penetration. You may have to use a solid-color deck stain to alleviate the look or just let it wear.

grammy76 05-01-2012 04:59 PM

Ok thanks for the advice. In your estimation, how long would a wear and tear approach take? Could I strip the area and attempt again? Would it be pointless to apply another generous coat across the boards to even it out somewhat?

CaptRandy 05-01-2012 08:40 PM

Sorry about the deck. Unfortunately you need to strip the Behr off and neutralize then seal it with a quality sealer. HD-80 followed by deck brightener.

housepaintingny 05-01-2012 08:55 PM

I second stripping the deck. HD80 will strip it, removing the stain and any sealer that may be on it. Then neutralize and brighten with citralic or simial. Citralic will neutralize the stripper, change the ph level in the wood and brighten the wood. From my experience a lot of the decks that we restore have failed Behr stain on them.
Apply a quality penetrating oil base deck stain.

CaptRandy 05-01-2012 09:47 PM

House, I would go as far as to recommend Ready Seal or Armstong Clark sealers

opwdecks 05-02-2012 05:45 AM

House and Randy are correct. The one issue is the second coat looks like a paint now and any stripper will have some difficulty getting it all off.

grammy76 05-03-2012 07:37 PM

Ok, so should I attempt to just strip the part that appears as paint, and then neutralize, and re-attempt ? I don't really want to strip the entire deck!

CaptRandy 05-03-2012 08:46 PM

At this point you have no choice but to strip the entire deck. There is no way to partially remove some stain and just recoat the small area. You need to strip with sodium hydroxide and then neutralize with a wood brightener. I would remove all the stain form decks rails and spindles then coat it with a good oil based sealer.

opwdecks 05-04-2012 05:11 AM


Originally Posted by CaptRandy (Post 913962)
At this point you have no choice but to strip the entire deck. There is no way to partially remove some stain and just recoat the small area. You need to strip with sodium hydroxide and then neutralize with a wood brightener. I would remove all the stain form decks rails and spindles then coat it with a good oil based sealer.

Correct, you cannot spot strip. You would need to remove all.

You really have 3 choices in my opinion.

1. Strip what you can off the deck then sand the rest to get the wood back to the natural grain then stain with a much better product.

2. Apply a solid stain over the entire deck for a uniform color. This though will look like a paint, it will peel, and you will probably never get it back to natural wood again.

3. Leave it alone and have an uneven stained deck. Unfortunately you will eventually have to decide on going with 1 or 2 options down the road.

grammy76 05-04-2012 04:13 PM

Thanks for all of the advice. I am very upset with Home Depot and why they would they would push this product on to me if it is known to consistently fail. I paid 50.00CAD per can for this stuff. This deck is high up with a walkout underneath- stripping is going to be a nightmare as I will need tarps galore. I should have trusted my judgement and left the deck alone and not stained it in the first place. Such a waste of time and money! Forgive my ignorance, but I am wondering why I can't just strip the part that did not penetrate properly, and re-seal, instead of doing the entire 20x12 deck (and stairs and landing, which look good).

Evstarr 05-04-2012 05:45 PM

Personally, and I freely acknowledge that this not the recommended approach, I would say you have little to lose by trying it your way. If I had to guess though I would think that you would still wind up with a fairly abrupt line of different absorption on the stripped area.
As I see it, you will not be able to eliminate that demarcation without stripping the whole thing as suggested above.

What you might consider is finding a better spot for the color break. Like strip a full width area so it looks like more of an intentional transition between 'rooms' on the deck.

In any case, even if you do wind up having to redo it, you will know that it had to happen instead of wondering.

Good luck!

cibula11 05-04-2012 08:28 PM

How dry was the deck before you applied? IF there was moisture in the decking, you might get similar results to what you see.

Windows 05-04-2012 09:55 PM

Those parts of the deck that are on a different plane, like the stairs and spindles, - if they are looking good, then no need to strip them. You are looking for uniformity, and they are not part of that equation. As for the main part of the deck, I might try partially stripping or sanding 3 or 4 boards back either to where the color gets funky and then try to feather out the transition and re-stain, or (preferably) take it back to a natural break, like the end of the board, re-stain, and see how it looks. If it works out, you could have all that done in a couple of short days. And even if it doesn't look perfect, semi transparent stain will fade away in a few years and you can start from fresh then.

pucks101 05-05-2012 09:36 PM

That really looks to me like one single coat of not-very-stirred semi-transparent stain on the left, and a 2nd coat of semi-transparent stain on the right. If you like the look of the stain on the right, you could probably re-coat the left so it looks the same. I think once you use this stuff though, you're stuck re-coating it every 2-3 years, because it's going to chip and peel, especially on a flat surface that you walk on..

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