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ampou 01-27-2008 04:38 PM

staining after thompson;s waterseal
WE put up fences about 3 years ago. At the time we decided to use Thompson's water seal on the fences to keep them looking good. Here we are 3 years later the fences have spots on them from the sprinklers not to mention they are beginning to look a bit ratty.

Can I apply a stain to the fence? What would I need to do to prep the fences first.

We live near Denver and the sun definately takes it's toll on the outside woods, paint, etc.

sirwired 01-27-2008 05:15 PM

Hmm... I would try deck cleaner applied with a sprayer, and then scrubbed, to see what that does to the spots.

Unfortunately, Thompson's Water Seal is a really bad product. If you can get the spots off, re-seal with a different product, and if you can, do so with a tinted instead of clear product, as the tint helps it last a little longer. IIRC, some folks here have decent luck w/ Cabot and Wolman products.


slickshift 01-27-2008 05:49 PM

Yes, sirwired's suggestions will work well

After three years there isn't any Thompson's left on them (it was gone after the first year), but you'll need to prep them anyway

joewho 01-27-2008 08:26 PM

Solid body stain will cover the water stains, semi-trasparent will not.

You'll need a deck cleaner with a "brightener" to get rid of or minimize the water stains.

Barry M 01-29-2008 04:56 PM

Even though you may not see much sealer left on the fence it is still there. Spray water on it and watch it bead up as opposed to absorbing into the wood if you don't believe me. You need to use a deck sealer stripper to remove all remnants of old sealer. If you don't, the new sealer will not adhere properly and will fail prematurely.

The stripping process is the same as cleaning it, you just use a stripper instead of a deck cleaner. I would use a pressure washer to clean/strip the fence as opposed to brushing it. Just don't use more than 1000psi or so.

After stripping you need to apply a brightener, which is an acid that will neutralize the caustic stripper. This prepares the wood for sealer and will get rid of the water stains at the same time. Let dry for a couple days and then stain it with a quality oil based semi-transparent deck stain from a paint store, not a big box store. Hope this helps.

DIYHelper 01-29-2008 07:34 PM

If you are looking for some products, I've used Benjamin Moore's REMOVE for the first part, and BRIGHTEN as the neutralizer with a lot of success. I'm sure everyone has favorite products, but these worked well if you're not sure what to look for.

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