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Old 09-04-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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Removing stain from deck


Working with a 16'x20' 15+ year old deck. As far as I know, the deck has been stained yearly for the last 8 years with Cabot's oil based transparent cedar stain (with just a washing/cleaning as prep). Want to remove the old stain and try to bring the deck back to life. Tried to use Flood stain stripper on about a 6'x6' area, rinsed with a rented pressure washer. Not sure about the PSI, but had a decent 'fan' and felt slightly stronger than the wand at a diy carwash. Had to keep the nozzle very close to the wood to remove the stripper and what stain would come off. Applied Flood and rinsed a second time, which I thought would make a marked improvement, but only seemed to bring up more stain. Not to mention the raised grain from the pressure washer (1/16" deep in places.). What I'm wondering now is,
1. can I just rent an orbital floor sander to sand the entire deck and follow up with a hand sander for the missed parts (instead of trying to use stain stripper)?
2. how deep does the stain go? Will I even be able to sand that far down?
3. Will it be possible to use an acrylic as opposed to oil based stain?
4. How do I talk someone into replacing their deck?
EDIT: 5. Assuming I can get the deck looking halfway decent, do I dare put on a quality stain? I'd hate to waste someone else's money on a great stain that will just look terrible anyway.

The 6x6 area took over an hour and a half for two applications/rinses of the stain stripper and still needs a ton of work before it will even begin to not look terrifying. Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas/comments?

Here are some images if it helps.
Thanks, Mark






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Last edited by machouinard; 09-04-2011 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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Removing stain from deck


Sometimes nothing will beat an orbital hand sander and some 40 grit. I just did my girlfriend's deck and it actually didn't take too long. You could easily do a 6x6 area in an hour and it will be ready for new stain. I cheated on a few boards and just flipped them over since about 1/2 of them were istalled upsidedown anyways.

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Old 09-04-2011, 03:28 PM   #3
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Removing stain from deck


Transparent or semi-transparent stain that is good quality is not supposed to be strippable. It is supposed to penetrate the wood fibers.

It looks like you are raising the grain a lot power washing so I would stop if it is making little difference. It sounds like you have a wimp power washer too but I would not rent a more powerful one.

Juries are still out on acrylic vs. oil stains and it may depend on what you can still buy in your area. I loved a solid stain product from MAB before it went away and was absorbed by Sherwin Williams. Using a solid stain on a horizontal surface is not something I would expect to hold up well though---oil or acrylic. I grew up trained to use oil products on decking but I am not sure I can fully argue the need anymore.

Have you tried flipping a deck board over to see if the underside might look any better?

As for how to convince a client to replace a deck?

1. Convince them it will look much better replaced and, if the case, theirs is at the end of its life. I cannot tell from your photos. Nails or screws degrading too? How much do you charge to deal with that issue?

2. The cost of trying to sand and restore it is equal to or almost the same as replacing it? What is just your labor estimate either way? Sounds like if you have to sand the whole thing down or flip boards over, comparable?

Last edited by user1007; 09-04-2011 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:55 PM   #4
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Removing stain from deck


A sodium hydroxide based stain stripper will remove the stain, mold, and mildew with ease, but its caustic and not readily available in stores. If you do use a sodium hydrixide based stripper use ppe and follow directions. Usually its in a powder form mixed with warm water. Apply to deck with pump or battery operated sprayer, allow it to dwell, scrub with nylon scrub brush, rinse with pressure washer using low pressure (soft wash). Then netralize/brighten with a citric acid product following directions. I won't tell you the exact names of the products we use, but that is how pros would strip and refinish a deck in your condition. It could be stripped and brightned in a few hours with the proper equipment and products.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #5
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Removing stain from deck


Thanks for all the suggestions! Couldn't seem to find many stain stripper options in Tahoe on Labor Day weekend. Wound up renting a vibrating/orbital floor sander. Guess I'll try it out starting with a 36 grit paper and see what happens .
Got roped into doing this for my mother after tearing out and redoing a hardwood bathroom floor for my sister. Maybe I won't do such a great job this time, save me from further jobs I've never done before.

EDIT: Oh, and I thought about flipping the boards, but from what I can tell from the limited view of the underside of the deck, someone had already done that.

Last edited by machouinard; 09-04-2011 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:06 AM   #6
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Removing stain from deck


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Originally Posted by machouinard View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions! Couldn't seem to find many stain stripper options in Tahoe on Labor Day weekend. Wound up renting a vibrating/orbital floor sander. Guess I'll try it out starting with a 36 grit paper and see what happens .
Got roped into doing this for my mother after tearing out and redoing a hardwood bathroom floor for my sister. Maybe I won't do such a great job this time, save me from further jobs I've never done before.

EDIT: Oh, and I thought about flipping the boards, but from what I can tell from the limited view of the underside of the deck, someone had already done that.
I hope you really do not feel that doing a lousy job will spare you from consideration from future projects? Mom will say something like, "Son I know you tried your hardest and we will learn to live with 1/4" sanded deck boards that bend a bit under our feet." If you think the decking has been flipped and the other side refinished a time or two? I would sit Mom down and make her smell the coffee. And tell us the truth from now on. When you asked about how to convince a client to put in new decking, you did not tell us it was your MOTHER. Different rules apply. Only thing worse is significant other or I guess married enlaw Mothers. If you flipped the decking and it has been refinished on the other side, you will spend less in the long run just replacing the decking at this point than trying to maintain it. I think. I am a tree hugger and recycle flooring if I can but know when it is time to bring in new wood or synthetic composites to a project.

Mom will even put a picture on the frig next to the fingerpaint images you made her years ago in Kindergarten with a "I HEART my son magnet." You must man up an ignore these suggestions.

What you need to do is heap on the guilt before Mom does. Let me start you off. People who live around Lake Tahoe swim in money because they polluted the pristine lake so much with chemical solutions to deck cleaning like those suggested it is a mucky mess around the entire shoreline. Get her convinced she needs new redwood decking.

I was caretaker for one of the grand summer houses on the Northshore during summers. It was horrible. I was forced to sweep decks, vacuum rugs and catch and release all the bats that snuck in the screenless windows overnight (owner did not like most visitors who inviited themselves to the place and the bats scared them off. Never bothered me!). Paid but schillings and forced to work as a teen. On the Northshore of Lake Tahoe.

I used to swim in Lake Tahoe. It teaches you to stay on the surface where the water temperature of the first foot from the surface down rises all the way up to 40 degrees in the summer or something. Let your legs dangle down and you could end up with frozen limbs or if you touched dock structure covered in the sweetest and best eating crawfish on the planet at the time.

I was too young to drive a car but was handed the keys to this really gorgeous, perfectly maintained, Chris Craft speedboat to make grocery and other official runs. My first ever, non chaperoned date happened aboard that craft. My first, I guess, real kiss too.

I miss those summers for some reason. I was fed and paid well for a minor, loved my employer, and Lake Tahoe was so pristine still. If you use the deck chemicals suggested, use them like a pro and just look at the shoreline if you do not. Thankfully, you probably cannot buy them easily without a permit around Lake Tahoe. If there is one shining example of how overuse/misuse of lawn and household chemicals can change an environment? It is Lake Tahoe. There is no argument that holds from the rightwingers suggesting nature did it to itself. We destroyed it and in the course of my lifetime. Actually not. This planet will manage to correct all our damage and outlive us. It may take millions of years after we are gone from it. Imagine being able to say we destroyed Lake Tahoe in under 50 years.

The asteroid that will take us out is named Bob and it is just miles away now because the end as we know it, on this planet, is just a few months away. I have some real estate brochures for property on other planets and I am part of the network that will stay to the end here to take take care of pets not allowed in the Rapture stuff. Please private mail me if you would like copies. We do ask that you pay for pet care in advance.

Last edited by user1007; 09-05-2011 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:42 AM   #7
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Removing stain from deck


What a wonderful son you are! She is lucky to have you. Try mixing 1 part chlorine bleach (regular household bleach like clorox or generic is fine, your mom should have some in laundry room) to 3 parts water in garden sprayer. Pick a sunny day and spray the deck. Let the sun work it a little while. Rinse very well with regular garden hose on fan-like spray, absolutely no pressure washer on wood. Let dry.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:49 AM   #8
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Removing stain from deck


you can read up on this product. http://www.opwdecks.com/pdf/stripex.pdf
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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Removing stain from deck


Here's another tip- When you get ready to re-stain, purchase a stain pad and extension pole (found in the stain isle at lowes or home depot, usually) Just pour some stain in paint pan, and dip stain pad with extension pole in it, work down each board with stain, very easy that way and saves the back. Hopefully, the edges of each board should have plenty of stain on them, so you won't have to cut them in with brush, (the boards mostly weather on top). good luck!
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:14 AM   #10
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This is what happens. Everybody has a chemical solution and next thing you know, it is all rinsed off into something like Lake Tahoe. Private mail housepaintingny and see if he will spit forth the brand names he has in mind for the caustic and acid chemicals he uses. And I used to use. I think I know what they are, and certainly used sodium hydroxide a time or two, and neutralized it with and acid when done. I am looking for you to see if you can buy them in brand name. If you follow directions, and use them only as labeled? You can pick them up under chemical compound names at a place that sells chemicals. You really do not need much if you want to try this chemically.

Sodium hydroxide and then an acid to balance the equation.

You said Tahoe? You are on the California side right? If you are on the Nevada side? Young man, you are worried about the quality of your Mom's decking? Summer of 2011? Before the World ends for all of us in just four more months! You should be out gambling or chasing down legal hookers or something on the Nevada side.

Never took the boat to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe for paid for action. I was just a kid. My future was ahead of me. With yours ending, on exactly December 31 at midnight, as the ball on Times Square drops? I would would explore. My friend Sue is not a woman that sells herself in Nevada but she knows all the major purveyors of chemicals around the country. She kicks rattle snakes in the head for even thinking at rattling her. She buys chemicals for a living and can slip you some.

I don't think you are going to be able to buy the chemicals easily in California without a permit or a statement of how you plan to use them unless you bring in a picture of Mom crying over that pathetic deck. She, near richer than God, will not just let you replace with new redwood?

Californians and chemicals are a bad match. If the label says only use a cup, y'all use three.

Last edited by user1007; 09-05-2011 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:11 AM   #11
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Removing stain from deck


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I hope you really do not feel that doing a lousy job will spare you from consideration from future projects? Mom will say something like, "Son I know you tried your hardest and we will learn to live with 1/4" sanded deck boards that bend a bit under our feet." If you think the decking has been flipped and the other side refinished a time or two? I would sit Mom down and make her smell the coffee. And tell us the truth from now on. When you asked about how to convince a client to put in new decking, you did not tell us it was your MOTHER. Different rules apply. Only thing worse is significant other or I guess married enlaw Mothers. If you flipped the decking and it has been refinished on the other side, you will spend less in the long run just replacing the decking at this point than trying to maintain it. I think. I am a tree hugger and recycle flooring if I can but know when it is time to bring in new wood or synthetic composites to a project.

Mom will even put a picture on the frig next to the fingerpaint images you made her years ago in Kindergarten with a "I HEART my son magnet." You must man up an ignore these suggestions.

What you need to do is heap on the guilt before Mom does. Let me start you off. People who live around Lake Tahoe swim in money because they polluted the pristine lake so much with chemical solutions to deck cleaning like those suggested it is a mucky mess around the entire shoreline. Get her convinced she needs new redwood decking.

I was caretaker for one of the grand summer houses on the Northshore during summers. It was horrible. I was forced to sweep decks, vacuum rugs and catch and release all the bats that snuck in the screenless windows overnight (owner did not like most visitors who inviited themselves to the place and the bats scared them off. Never bothered me!). Paid but schillings and forced to work as a teen. On the Northshore of Lake Tahoe.

I used to swim in Lake Tahoe. It teaches you to stay on the surface where the water temperature of the first foot from the surface down rises all the way up to 40 degrees in the summer or something. Let your legs dangle down and you could end up with frozen limbs or if you touched dock structure covered in the sweetest and best eating crawfish on the planet at the time.

I was too young to drive a car but was handed the keys to this really gorgeous, perfectly maintained, Chris Craft speedboat to make grocery and other official runs. My first ever, non chaperoned date happened aboard that craft. My first, I guess, real kiss too.

I miss those summers for some reason. I was fed and paid well for a minor, loved my employer, and Lake Tahoe was so pristine still. If you use the deck chemicals suggested, use them like a pro and just look at the shoreline if you do not. Thankfully, you probably cannot buy them easily without a permit around Lake Tahoe. If there is one shining example of how overuse/misuse of lawn and household chemicals can change an environment? It is Lake Tahoe. There is no argument that holds from the rightwingers suggesting nature did it to itself. We destroyed it and in the course of my lifetime. Actually not. This planet will manage to correct all our damage and outlive us. It may take millions of years after we are gone from it. Imagine being able to say we destroyed Lake Tahoe in under 50 years.

The asteroid that will take us out is named Bob and it is just miles away now because the end as we know it, on this planet, is just a few months away. I have some real estate brochures for property on other planets and I am part of the network that will stay to the end here to take take care of pets not allowed in the Rapture stuff. Please private mail me if you would like copies. We do ask that you pay for pet care in advance.
Can you take my mother-in-law with you?
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Can you take my mother-in-law with you?
Yes is the easy answer. Those of us dedicated to taking care of pets after the Rapture are also willing to realize Mothers in Laws will most certainly be left behind when the end of the World, caused by asteroid Bob, hits on December 31, at midnight.

You only have so much time left Bubba. Please private mail me and I will send you brochures not only about my company's alternate planet real estate deals, most with swimming pools and sailboat docks, but everything you need to know about managing Mom's/SO in laws in this short time you have left.

She will want to come with you. We sell chains and locks you can wrap around her so she does not get near the mothership when it comes for you. These chains and locks are made of pure alien metals.

If you advance funds now, my company will not allow your Mom in Law to be so much as approached by zombies, vampires or afterlife people. If you buy one of our pet protection products first.
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:25 PM   #13
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:32 PM   #14
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Removing stain from deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
This is what happens. Everybody has a chemical solution and next thing you know, it is all rinsed off into something like Lake Tahoe. Private mail housepaintingny and see if he will spit forth the brand names he has in mind for the caustic and acid chemicals he uses. And I used to use. I think I know what they are, and certainly used sodium hydroxide a time or two, and neutralized it with and acid when done. I am looking for you to see if you can buy them in brand name. If you follow directions, and use them only as labeled? You can pick them up under chemical compound names at a place that sells chemicals. You really do not need much if you want to try this chemically.

Sodium hydroxide and then an acid to balance the equation.

You said Tahoe? You are on the California side right? If you are on the Nevada side? Young man, you are worried about the quality of your Mom's decking?
Summer of 2011? Before the World ends for all of us in just four more months! You should be out gambling or chasing down legal hookers or something on the Nevada side.

Never took the boat to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe for paid for action. I was just a kid. My future was ahead of me. With yours ending, on exactly December 31 at midnight, as the ball on Times Square drops? I would would explore. My friend Sue is not a woman that sells herself in Nevada but she knows all the major purveyors of chemicals around the country. She kicks rattle snakes in the head for even thinking at rattling her. She buys chemicals for a living and can slip you some.

I don't think you are going to be able to buy the chemicals easily in California without a permit or a statement of how you plan to use them unless you bring in a picture of Mom crying over that pathetic deck. She, near richer than God, will not just let you replace with new redwood?

Californians and chemicals are a bad match. If the label says only use a cup, y'all use three.
Guess your not to bright if you think someone is using sodium hydroxide and citric acid striaight. Sodium hydroxide is the base chemical in profession strenght deck strippers and acid is no differant than using oxlic acid which a lot of people use, except oxlic acid bleaches the surface.
Any professional deck restoration company uses these products and some professional power washing companys use these products to remove irrigation rust and clean concrete surfaces. All you have to do is google deck stripping/stain stripping products and you will find the manufactures. All of the cleaning/stripping products we use are brand name. I don't need to explaine to you or anyone the brand we use or the amounts. If you want to flip deck boards have at it. You seem paranoid about the world ending?
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:49 PM   #15
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Removing stain from deck


Whatever sdseter is drinking, i'll have some of that!

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