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Old 08-08-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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Renovating my cedar deck


10 years ago I had a cedar deck built. It was originally stained with translucent sikkens stain (cetol 078, 1, 2 or 3 I think). I've restained it a couple of times with the original stain and two years ago, while I was in a hurry, I mad the mistake of staining with a Behr's semitranslucent stain. It might as well have been opaque, because the original lines of the wood disappeared and I wasn't at all happy with the result.

It's now two years later and I have decided to go back to the original wood as much as I can. I started powerwashing off the old stain today and this is the result:



The Behr stain came off fairly easily. But the brown patches you see are the original Sikkens stain on the wood. In some areas it is almost impossible to get off. At this point I realised that I really didn't know what I was doing and came upstairs to find a DIY forum. I read through several of your (excellent) threads on deck renovations and I gather that one of my next steps is to hire a 12"x18" vibrating flat plate sander with backer pads (what are they?) and 60 grit sheets, but to wipe the boards down with paint thinner beforehand. (Thanks Faront) But should I be using some sort of cleaner or stripper first? I so, what should I use?

To get the old stain off I am using quite powerful washing, and I worry about the effect on the wood although the area that I have done seems ok after drying tonight.

The rails seem to be a lost cause. Even when I was restaining with the Sikkens stain, every application made the wood darker and I think I just have to accept that the variation in colour comes along with having chosen a wooden deck.


Last edited by Genghis_McCann; 08-09-2011 at 01:11 PM. Reason: images too big - resize
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:15 AM   #2
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Renovating my cedar deck


Hey Ghengis, nice name. You have quite the project there, and you seem ambitious. However, and there are those here who will fight me, but I suggest you consult with, and consider hiring, a pro to do your deck. At the very least, to do the stripping. They have the tools, the chemicals, and the procedures in place to do it and get it done in one swoop. It will be costly, but what's your time worth? There are few projects I discourage DIY, but this is one of them. There are companies out there who offer this type of work as a specialty. Don't hire just any painter who says he does decks. That would be me, and I wouldn't know where to start with that deck. (I'm being slightly facetious, slightly). It looks like you have a beautiful place there, take a lot of pride in your stuff, and may even do a bit of entertaining on that deck, don't screw it up. If you want to reveal your location (looks like northeast somewhere), we might be able to help you find someone competent and capable. Good Luck.

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Old 08-09-2011, 01:30 PM   #3
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Renovating my cedar deck


Thanks jsheridan. A month ago my time was worth a lot, but I retired on July 1, so I really don't have anything better to do! I live in Waterloo Ontario.

I'm used to working with wood although my knowlege of painting and staining needs a lot of improvement. I have a cottage on lake Huron and although I didn't build my deck myself (I designed it though), I built the gazebo below from scratch with my own hands (except for the weathervane, the work of a local blacksmith)


So I'm willing to put in the time to learn how to look after the deck properly if I can get the right advice. Cheers
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:50 PM   #4
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Renovating my cedar deck


Rent a better power washer. One that is at least 2750 PSI from Home Depot or Sherwin Williams. The electric ones never give you enough power to truly get all of the dirt, stain, or whatever else off of your deck. This will allow you to get those marks off. Be careful though to not use a spray tip that is too strong because then you will damage the wood. So, start with a higher numbered spray tip (40) and then work your way down to maybe 25 to really get it clean. I don't recommend strippers because they are extremely toxic and time consuming. I have been painting for over 20 years.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Renovating my cedar deck


Thanks cc. I did try a stripper this afternoon ("stripex" - which says that it is biodegradable (?)).* It got some more of the remaining stain off but you are right - it was time-consuming and I don't think that I am that much further ahead. Besides, it was messy and I now owe Mrs Genghis a plastic washbasin.

I am trying to decide whether to go with your suggestion of a more powerful powerwasher, or just accept that the powerwashing will simply clean the wood before I sand it, and let the sanding take the rest off. From what I've seen in the other threads on decks, sanding seems to be recommended every 5-10 years anyway.

Cheers

* PS: even uranium is "biodegradable" - but it takes about 100,000 years!
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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Renovating my cedar deck


On another thread Faron79 noted:
Quote:
Rent a 12"x18" "Vibrating-plate" sander, a couple backer-pads, some 60-grit paper, and sand the floor until grain looks even everywhere. Get all dust vacuumed/swept/wiped-out with paint-thinner.
* Also- because it's now sanded, you don't have to wait DAYS for it to dry!
* Once dust is wiped-out...you're staining!
I'm not sure of the role of the paint thinner. If you wipe it into the wood before staining (with a pad of some sort, I imagine) wouldn't that affect the colour of the stain? Or would it help the stain to penetrate better? I'm not sure of the reason for this suggestion.

Also, I'll need to replace a couple of the floorboards. A wooden planter has been sitting on them for years and some of the wood underneath is in poor shape. If I take in a sanded sample of the original boards will that help to ensure that the cedar boards I buy are similar in colour to the original batch? Or will I just have to take my chances?
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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Renovating my cedar deck


You need to use an akiline based stain stripper, with garden hose pressure. It will remove the stain with ease if you use the right product. The wood will darken as the ph level will be changed. You will have to follow up using a acid based brightner to neutralize the stripper, return the wood to the proper ph and brighten. Don't use high pressure and bleach based products. I can't recomened what I would use as its only sold to contractors and is caustic, but it will remove that stain with ease and without using high pressure.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:32 AM   #8
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Renovating my cedar deck


Genghis-
Paint-thinner will get more dust out of the grain, even after you vacuum it well first!!! Think of using a Stri-dex pad on your face. Even if you wash your face well, a pad like that will ALWAYS pull more dirt out!
SAME idea...

I'm sanding my Redwood handrails this week. I'll get some pix here in the a.m. if I can! Got-'em on sawhorses, and sanding them with 50-grit.
Gonna use Sikkens DEK-Finish #045 Mahogany.
* It'll contrast nicely with the SRD #089 Redwood on the rest of the deck.
* Our swinging wood bench has DF Mahogany on it already, so the handrails will coordinate with the bench.
* I LOVE the sheened look of DF on furniture! Now the rails will have a nice sheen too.

Faron
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:06 AM   #9
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Renovating my cedar deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by housepaintingny View Post
You need to use an akiline based stain stripper, with garden hose pressure. It will remove the stain with ease if you use the right product. The wood will darken as the ph level will be changed. You will have to follow up using a acid based brightner to neutralize the stripper, return the wood to the proper ph and brighten. Don't use high pressure and bleach based products. I can't recomened what I would use as its only sold to contractors and is caustic, but it will remove that stain with ease and without using high pressure.
Ghengis, this is why I recommended hiring this job out, as said, at least the stripping. The stripper products coming off the shelves are weak at best, and could double as a dessert topping, flash back to 1970's Saturday Night Live. How are you going to sand out the stain on all that handrail/baluster system, especially with them so closely positioned together? You're contemplating a job that I, as a pro, would turn down, and I've done them using both means. This stage of the job is the most important in terms of long term integrity and appearance. I'm nothing to you here if I can't be honest. And, in my honest, humble opinion, you'll soon be in over your head. Drop the bucks and have it done right.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:22 PM   #10
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Renovating my cedar deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by jsheridan View Post
Ghengis, this is why I recommended hiring this job out, as said, at least the stripping. The stripper products coming off the shelves are weak at best, and could double as a dessert topping, flash back to 1970's Saturday Night Live. How are you going to sand out the stain on all that handrail/baluster system, especially with them so closely positioned together? You're contemplating a job that I, as a pro, would turn down, and I've done them using both means. This stage of the job is the most important in terms of long term integrity and appearance. I'm nothing to you here if I can't be honest. And, in my honest, humble opinion, you'll soon be in over your head. Drop the bucks and have it done right.
The strippers on the shelves are weak. The product I use, I usually only use at at about 3/4 strenghth and it would take the stain off of that deck after a few mins dwell time and a scrubbing from a nylon brush, but it is caustic and will burn you if your not carefull.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:22 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies. First thing this morning (I'm retired now ) I rented a vibrating plate sander and after four hours this is the result:

Much better than the original post. Not perfect, but I can live with it. Next job, the railings. I was going to sand the horizontal rails with a palm sander and 60 grit, going to 100 when the paint is off. The vertical railings I was going to leave as is (except perhaps the 4x4s). They always soaked up the stain more than the deck, and I didn't really mind the difference in colour that this produced. Anyway, I'll try that and see what it looks like after the sanding.



Next job, of course, is a decision about the stain. I love looking at the grain in the wood, and I'd really like to try a Sikkens translucent stain again. On another thread I read that there were 10 different translucent stains available. Any advice on which I might consider, given that the vertical rails will be significantly darker than the rest?

Last edited by Genghis_McCann; 08-12-2011 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housepaintingny View Post
The strippers on the shelves are weak. The product I use, I usually only use at at about 3/4 strenghth and it would take the stain off of that deck after a few mins dwell time and a scrubbing from a nylon brush, but it is caustic and will burn you if your not carefull.
I certainly would be reluctant to use a product that strong myself. Mrs Genghis and I stripped a set of antique chairs at the cottage a few years back. They ended up looking beautiful, but we were both up for several nights afterwards with very nasty tingling in our fingers. We had worn rubber gloves, but the product had diffused through the rubber anyway.

I'll stick with the "dessert topping" (thanks jsheridan ) for the edges. Hopefully that will get rid of any stuff I can't eliminate with the sanding.

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Old 08-12-2011, 07:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faron79 View Post
Genghis-
Paint-thinner will get more dust out of the grain, even after you vacuum it well first!!! Think of using a Stri-dex pad on your face. Even if you wash your face well, a pad like that will ALWAYS pull more dirt out!
Thanks Faron. I'll try it.

There seems to be a lot of debate on the deck threads regarding sanding vs stripping. Perhaps those who are carpenters at heart prefer sanding and those who are painters at heart prefer stripping.

The vibrating plate sander was a pleasure to use. I'd never used one before and I didn't know how I'd handle it, but it only took a few minutes (seconds, even) to get the hang of it, and then it was just a case of keeping it on track. It did a good job. My deck is 500 sq feet. It took me 4 hours with tea breaks.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:27 PM   #14
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Renovating my cedar deck


Good Luck Genghis.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:11 AM   #15
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A day of rain slowed me down, but I'm slowly working my way around the railings.

I'm starting to think about the stain. The two I'm interested in are Cetol DEK finish and Cetol SRD. Both translucent. One appears to be a two-coat finish and one is a single coat. Cetol DEK is satin and SRD is matte.

I'll call one of the local dealers in the next day or two and see if they will let me have some samples of the colours I'm interested in. (Mahogany or cedar). They both seem to be available in both types of deck finish.

Anything else I need to be aware of as far as these stains are concerned?

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