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mwalt2 07-21-2008 12:54 PM

Need advice on removing deck stain
Brief deck is around 10 years old (built by previous owner) and I sprayed on a cheap red semi-transparent stain last summer (not knowing any better). I am now stripping the old stain with Cabot's deck stripper. It takes two applications on the decking to remove what I sprayed last year (I probably have about 1/3 of the deck flooring with most of the stain removed at this point, the rest is probably 50%). I started flipping a few deck boards over to save money and time (takes longer than I thought, so no benefit there) and noticed that water beads up really well on the boards I flipped. Will the flipped boards have to weather before stain can be applied? If so, I guess I'll get to flip them back :thumbsup:.

After reading a little here and my experience so far with the stripper, I am thinking of renting a sander and sanding what's left of the stain on the flooring. It looks like it would be the equivalent of buying 2 gallons of stripper (~$50) to just rent a square buff sander (is this one the best for the job or is a drum sander better?). The stain on the rails is much older and comes off easily with Cabots stripper, so I will only have to sand problem spots there. Does this sound like a good plan? I am trying to prep the deck so that it can be stained next week. I'd probably need to buy at least 3 or 4 more gallons of the stripper to remove all of the stain at the rate is has been going, so I think it might be a little easier/cheaper to rent a sander. Thanks.

poppameth 07-21-2008 01:24 PM

I'm gonna guess you used Behr. They are famous for their stain which contains silicone. The stuff is nearly impossible to strip. Sanding will definitely be the best options here. Only heavy duty strippers like Flood Powerlift have much chance of stripping the silicone type stains.

mwalt2 07-21-2008 02:08 PM

I honestly do not even know what stain I used last year. I just bought it at Wal-Mart, sprayed it on, and didn't even backbrush it (which is probably why it's harder to remove). Will the boards that I flipped over take stain? They bead water up pretty well still...

poppameth 07-21-2008 03:22 PM

If they bead water I doubt they'll absorb a stain too well. It makes me wonder if the backs were treated with a sealer as well. Regardless you'd have to power wash or sand that as well to open the grain up.

slickshift 07-21-2008 05:46 PM

One of these....

First you need to set every single nail below the line where it will chew up the screens on this thing, they are pricey and you don't want to do that

This thing is heavy, you'll need two people to lift it up onto the deck or off the truck

This thing is slow

...but it is effective

You'll still need some little sanders for corners and stairs

Still, IMO, I'd rather deal with all that then try and use a chemical stripper that would leave me with 5-7 gallons of toxic sludge to dispose of, and (more than likely) still needing to do sanding after stripping as it really doesn't work that great...

mwalt2 07-21-2008 08:38 PM

Thanks for the help. Slickshift, that sander looks similar to the one I was thinking of renting. I think the deck is just pressure treated pine and the underside of the boards just haven't been exposed to the elements as much, so they still bead some water. It does not look like there is a sealer or anything. If I just sand the boards I flipped, will they take stain ok? I may end up flipping them back over since I want them to match the rest and not turn out different when stained.

slickshift 07-21-2008 09:16 PM

I really can't answer that with any confidence w/o seeing them, and seeing how well you sand them

I can say that if you do a proper job they should taken stain regardless

poppameth 07-23-2008 05:51 AM

??? Sanding will hurt the wood so it will wear out quicker? Is it balsa?

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