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Mr. Michael 07-08-2007 10:57 AM

restaining deck, new/old wood...
well, I searched the forum pretty thouroughly and could not find much info pertaining to my exact situation, so I figured I'd start a new thread...

my home had an existing 10x10 deck, probably 15 years old or so, I believe it's cedar, had an existing opaque stain on it. About a year ago, I added on an additional 10x10 section, also cedar. I'm now in the process of restaining it to make it a uniform color. as of now the new cedar has taken on that silverish look, and the old has been stripped of it's stain as of yesterday. Here's my question. What's the best way to get a uniform look to the deck. Im going to sand the old deck to smooth it out, once I do this, will the old wood take on that silver appearace as well? And should I wait for this to happen, then clean and stain?
I plan on using a semi-transparent stain from Cabot. I guess what I'm asking is what is the best way to get a uniform look with the new and old wood?

boman47k 07-10-2007 09:17 AM

I have a similar situation. I just built a deck with old and new pt pine. Some of the old was unused but very dark from being stored outside. Used Cabot's to clean all the black off. For the most part it all looks new now. My thinking is wash again with a brightner, rinse well, and stain. May have to go with a solid to get a uniformed ( I hope ) finish. I hope I can go with a semi-solid. I do some interior painting, but have very little experience with decks. I hope one of the exterior pro's answer this question before I proceed. Waiting for the new lumber to dry now so no big hurry.

timmy 07-10-2007 09:56 AM

I'm glad you guys have posted this as I am about to add an addition onto my deck and I imagine this will be an issue for me. Bring on the experts.

Da Vinci 07-10-2007 11:44 PM

This is a tough one because of the nature of wood. The longer it is exposed, the softer the top fibers become because of weathering.

The best chance is to wash with a good oxalic acid to wash the gray out and restore some original color. You can increase chances by sanding the older deck to remove just the older, softer fibers that will go darker than the new stuff.
Also, depending on new decking material- if it has a hard shiny surface (milling glaze), it would help to sand these to "loosen fibers" so stain absorbs more.

All that being done will help your chances dramatically. A good Semi-transparent or semi-solid stain will help blend all together pretty well.

Good Luck!
Bay Area Painting Company

AtlanticWBConst. 07-11-2007 06:23 AM

Whatever you do, you may still end up with a minor "shaded" difference between the older aged cedar and the new. Staining will significantly change that, but it "may" still be visible to a small degree.

FWIW - If you had wanted the entire deck surface to match flawlessly, and had the budget to do it, the best thing "would have been" - to remove the older deck boards and replace them the new ones at the same time.

Mr. Michael 07-14-2007 05:03 PM

thanks. I'll look for the oxalic acid. is there a reputable brand out there, and does it go by another name, brightener perhaps? or is brightener something altogether different?

Da Vinci 07-14-2007 06:18 PM


Originally Posted by Mr. Michael (Post 52909)
thanks. I'll look for the oxalic acid. is there a reputable brand out there, and does it go by another name, brightener perhaps? or is brightener something altogether different?

Oxalics are like bleach except they remove graying without taking the color-I like "Dekswood" brand out here. Also, I use a stronger concentration than they recommend- I only put in about half the water. Wet the deck down first, then apply the cleaner, let soak in and keep moist. I also use a soft bristle push broom to scrub lightly.

Afterwards, pressure wash off. Make sure you hold the tip at a distance from the decking so that the width of the spray matches the width of the boards. Start at one end- follow the board all the way to the end or to a break, otherwise you may see overlap marks- does that make sense to you?

This is about as close as you're going to get without replacing the decking, but if you take the time,(apply second coat of dekswood to stubborn areas) I think you'll be pleased with the results.

Also, if you put a semitransparent stain on everything, it will help to even out the tones even better.

Let me know how it works out...
Bay Area Painter and Faux Finisher

Mr. Michael 07-15-2007 10:03 PM

well, today i went out and bought a Cabot's deck brightener, only used it on the new cedar, got the gray out wonderfully. i think with a semi-transparent going on in about a week here, it's gonna look great. thanks to all for input so far. i'll post results when i restain.

romniE1 10-09-2012 11:58 AM

There are many ways to solve your problem. Here is a good source to check out before you repaint your wood deck:
The author was pretty straight to the point. Although I also recommend watching some great videos on youtube

user1007 10-10-2012 11:31 AM

You may have to choose a darker stain than you wanted to blend the aged wood to the new. Obviously stepping up to a stain with more pigment, like a semi-solid stain will help if your ending color differences are dramatic. Some solid stains say they are for decks but I would recommend you use a solid stain on horizontal surfaces as an absolute last resort. In general, I think the more pigment you add to the surface of a deck, the higher the maintenance expectation and more frequent the need for refinishing.

boman47k 11-18-2012 08:22 AM

% years??? Where does the time go?

I knew there was something I had been meaning to do. :whistling2:
My deck is blending pretty good good now.

Concerning oxalic acid and bleach, I decided this last time to use some outdoor bleach to wash the deck a week or so ago. Iwas not real impressed with it, but when the deck dried, it looked whiter than I had ever seen it. The bleach seemed to take the natural color out of the boards. But, I did scrub it pretty good and used a lot of bleach.

I also really need to sand it now. I had lost my 45 degree tip and am using the 25 degree. I try to hold it farther from whatever I am washing to lessen the pressure being applied, but with the wood having some age, the bleach ( I guess), and the different tip it got kind of fuzzy. Not really bad like I have seen before, but it could use a sanding to get those fibers worked down a little smoother, imo.

spotco2 11-19-2012 12:35 AM

Bleach has no place on cleaning wood.

It screws with the pH of the wood if not neutralized and can create issues when trying to get a consistent finish applied.

With proper chemicals you can strip all of the old finish without much more than a garden hose and a scrub brush.

High pressure and a narrow tip can do more damage than good as you now know.

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