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Old 06-23-2008, 01:47 PM   #1
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Hey guys - I am looking for some help please. I just purchased a home and the deck and porch are in need of being refinished. The decking on both are made of cedar and are approx 17 years old, the railings I believe are PT. I know that I will need to replace all of this shortly, however I need to get a good few years out of it to afford it financially. I am hoping to recoup some funds and get 5 more years out of the current deck and porch.

Anyway, I am not sure what is on the deck, I believe it is some sort of semi-transparant grey color stain. I would like to go over it with a solid, I went to my local paint store and they reccomend Sikkens Rubol Dek as the premium product, but they also told me not to pressure wash the deck prior as it will saturate the wood too much and that I need to strip all of the old stuff off. This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. Is it really necessary for me to sand it all off? Can I just clean it and go over it with the Rubol product? If so please recommend the proper cleaner? I just don't have the time to strip it and start from scratch. Please help!

Also, the railing are just painted white, with a cheap Behr exterior paint, I plan on cleaning them (again please recommend how to clean it properly) and then re-painting it with a better paint. What is the best paint to use on the railings?

Thank you all for your expertise!

One more thing - I was told to sand with 80 grit paper and to go with the grain obvisoulsy. I don't think renting a floor sander would be an option, so I assume I should go buy a belt sander to do this? Although I hope its not necessary

Last edited by meth; 06-23-2008 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Meth:

I know little about solid stains, but what I know seems to be telling me you got some wrong information.

The disadvantage of solid stains is that they'd don't last as long as a good coat (or two) of paint. However, the advantage is that the prep work is very much less. You don't have to scrape the old solid stain off, nor sand to feather edge. My understanding is that you apply the new solid stain right over the old solid stain. This is the very first time I've heard of sanding off a solid stain to put a new one on. Perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe wait for someone more knowledgeable about solid stains to advise you.

The best way to clean a latex paint prior to repainting is to rough it up. If the paint on your railing is already a flat, eggshell, velvet or even satin, you could probably just paint over it with a latex or exterior oil based paint. However, if it's a semigloss or gloss, you really should roughen the surface before painting. This can be done by cleaning the handrail with a soapy green 3M Scotchbrite pad of the kind sold in grocery stores for scouring pots. Scotchbrite pads have abrasives impregnated right into the fibers they're woven out of, and those abrasives scratch up the surface of the paint as you clean it. Mr. Clean is a good cleaner if you don't already have a favourite. As long as you get the surface looking clean and rinse off any residual soap film, it should be ready for new paint.

It's never a good idea to put a hard coating over a soft one. If you have a latex paint on your handrail now, then putting an exterior oil based paint over it will provide a harder and more durable coating, but the exterior oil will be more likely to "chip" because of the weak layer under it (the latex). So, if it wuz me, I'd probably opt for the exterior oil paint and hope that it doesn't chip, but no one will fault you for top coating with another latex. An exterior alkyd would dry to a harder film than a latex paint, and would stand up better to hard scrubbing.

Take a piece of white tissue paper and wet it with acetone or nail polish remover and clean our handrail in an inconspicuous spot. If the white tissue quickly turns the same colour as the hand rail, it's because the acetone is dissolving the paint. That only happens with latex paints which dissolve readily in acetone and toluene (and lacquer thinner that is 75 percent toluene). Those solvents will also dissolve alkyd paints, but much more slowly. You can use this to test the kind of paint you have on your hand rail now. If it's an oil based paint, it will be an exterior oil based paint, and I would top coat with another exterior oil.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 06-23-2008 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:02 PM   #3
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Thanks for the reply and information - the railings are definatly a latex white behr paint. It turns out the the decking is covered with an entry level cabot product (I think). So i guess I will cover the railings with an oil based exterior after cleaning them. Do you or anyone else have a preference as to which brand is preferred?

What about the decking do I really have to sand it with 80 grit paper before applying the Rubol Sikkens product?

Thanks again.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:32 PM   #4
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by meth
Anyway, I am not sure what is on the deck, I believe it is some sort of semi-transparant grey color stain. I would like to go over it with a solid, I went to my local paint store and they reccomend Sikkens Rubol Dek as the premium product, but they also told me not to pressure wash the deck prior as it will saturate the wood too much and that I need to strip all of the old stuff off. This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. Is it really necessary for me to sand it all off? Can I just clean it and go over it with the Rubol product? If so please recommend the proper cleaner? I just don't have the time to strip it and start from scratch. Please help!

...I was told to sand with 80 grit paper and to go with the grain obvisoulsy. I don't think renting a floor sander would be an option, so I assume I should go buy a belt sander to do this?
The store personnel you spoke with had it half right
If you would like to go over your semi- with a solid, I can't recommend a better product than Sikkens Rubol DEK
There are many other good products out there, but this stuff is the best I know of

However, Sikkens actually recommends powerwashing
I have been using it as prep for this app for year
Sikkens also recommends using a TSP/Bleach/water mixture for a cleaner
This has also been a standard for decades
Sikkens also recommends sanding with 80 grit
As I often am using the product on new decks or decks in rough shape, I will use 80
If it's in good shape and already a solid stain on there I may use 120

I only use a belt sander for massive material removal on pretty bad decks
Other than that, a random orbital (palm or grinder-style) will be fine

You do not need to remove all of the previous coating, but as much as you can get will be more the better

It's not true that solid stains don't last as long as paints
They just wear differently
They can actually last longer
For decks, there is no alternative
Deck Paints don't last at all...they can't stand up to the horizontal abuse nature and people heave upon it

A nice cleaning, a good sanding, and two coats of Rubol and you'll have a "new" deck
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Originally Posted by meth
Also, the railing are just painted white, with a cheap Behr exterior paint, I plan on cleaning them (again please recommend how to clean it properly) and then re-painting it with a better paint. What is the best paint to use on the railings?
Not being the decking surface, you don't have to go with a solid stain on the rails
However, it wouldn't be a bad idea
Prep the same way, sand and scrape as much of the old paint off as possible, then apply the stain
The alkyd Rubol will go over it with no issues
It may be easier to simply clean, scuff sand, and apply a quality exterior latex paint or solid stain
Ben Moore, Cabot, and Sherwin Williams, all have good exterior latex solid stains
BM and SW have good exterior paints
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:36 AM   #5
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Thanks for the great information - it looks like my plan of attack will be to first clean the deck with the TSP/bleach mixture and then sand with the 80 grit paper, then 2 coats of the Rubol Dek. Lastly, I think I am just going to clean and lightly sand the railings and put a quality Benjamin Moore product over it - although the paint store told me the latex exterior should be fine.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


A quality latex exterior on the rails will be fine
Sounds like you've got a good plan
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:40 AM   #7
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Thanks - I plan on using a pole sander for most of the deck and then a belt sander for the areas where there is some splintering
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:11 AM   #8
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Hey guys - so I finally started this project, I am refinishing the porch and the deck. Last week I sanded the porch on my 15+ year old cedar porch, I only used a pole sander to scuff up the flooring and covered it with Rubol Dek one coat so far. Its taking forever to dry, however the weather is not really helping either. I am hoping to get the second coat down in the next week or so. I am really impressed with the product that for sure, the old cedar looks great after just one coat!

My questions are now on the back - the deck is in worse shape since its not covered and is exposed to the elements. The cedar planking is splitting/slintering in places and lifting/warping. So I plan on going around and screwing all of the planks back down since they were originally only nailed in. Since the wood is in worse shape I do not think the pole sander is going to cut it, therefore I am hoping to use it to scuff up the whole deck and then go over the rough spots with a belt sander to smooth down the splintered boards - what are your thoughts? Is a belt sander with 80 grit too aggressive? I can't afford to take too much wood off and replace this deck, needs to last me another few years. Also, since there is some mildew on the deck, I was planning on cleaning it after the sanding, is that the correct order or should I clean it with a brightener/bleach first and then sand? Need some of your expert opinions on this - and thanks to all who recommended the Rubol products.
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:37 AM   #9
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


I would listen to whatever slickshift says - and if I may venture a guess, I would guess he would say to clean and then sand it.

It would probably help if you put a pic up. But, if there is still paint/stain on the deck I would apply a stripper and powerwash. The downside to powerwashing cedar is that you'll probably end up firring the wood. So just be very careful and dont use a lot of psi (1000+). But, if you plan on sanding after, then that will take care of the firring.

Since you're putting on a solid, I don't think it's entirely necessary to sand - but, if there are rough patches take an orbital sander to it, and just experiment to see what grit you need. If you still want to go over and sand the whole thing then grab a finishing sander of sorts and get to work at 80-100 grit. I don't think you need to do that, but it definetly is not a bad idea if you have the time

Are you 100% sure that the grey on the deck is stain? It could just be natural greying of the cedar.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:46 AM   #10
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Thanks - Since the spintering sections are pretty rough I didn't think that an orbital would be able to get it aggressively enough - but I oculd be wrong. I plan on cleaning it first, letting it dry and then sanding it, lets see how the weather cooperates. The grey on the deck is definitly a stain, I don't think that it needs to be removed - my understanding is that the Rubol Dek solids allow you to apply it over the existing stain?
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:54 AM   #11
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Good luck Meth. I'm taking on a similar project this weekend, only I'm replacing the deck boards. Previous owner used a dark brown solid for the whole deck, including the floor of the deck. It looks awful against our gray house, and the deck boards are rotting and peeling. So replacing those and painting the rails et al white using Rubbol. I'll post before and afters when I'm done.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:48 PM   #12
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by meth View Post
...my understanding is that the Rubol Dek solids allow you to apply it over the existing stain?
Correct
But you still should remove any questionable coating off first, and clean and sand

A belt sander is not too aggressive for the massive material removal needed for severely splintered decks/steps
But use caution...they can cause damage if not handled properly
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:47 AM   #13
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Well I will post pictures when I get a chance, however we just finished 2 coats of Rubol Dek on the porch and deck and I must say it looks amazing! It brought this 20 year old cedar flooring back to life. I am truly impressed with the product and recommend it to anyone looking to re-finish a porch or deck. I followed the sound advice given on here and am sure I will get quite a few more years out of the deck now that its been refinished.

Thanks all!
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:03 PM   #14
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Refinishing a Porch and Deck


Thanks for the update!
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