Top 10 Myths for Exterior Wood and Deck Restoration
1. New wood does not need to be cleaned. This is not true. New wood needs to be prepped with a wood cleaner and a wood brightener. This will remove dirt, grime, and mill glaze. These two steps will "open" the wood pores allowing the stain to penetrate better. The better the wood stain absorbs, the better it will work.
2. If I apply an extra coat it will last longer. Applying extra coatings will not make the stain last longer. This will cause a "buildup" of the stain on top of the surface instead of penetrating "into" the surface. In actuality over application can cause the stain to prematurely fail.
3. Wood or Deck Stripping is Difficult. Stripping the wood of an old transparent or semi-transparent stain is not that difficult, but it does depend on the finish and amount of previous coatings. The Wood Stripper works by penetrating through the old coating and "softening" the bond between the wood cells and the stain. In many cases it is easier and more beneficial to use a wood stripper instead of a wood cleaner.
4. Applying a Water-Based Stain is easier then applying an Oil-Based. In our opinion it is just as easy or easier to apply an oil-based wood stain. Water-based stains will dry faster then oil-based. It can be beneficial to have a stain that does not dry too fast. Less chance for overlaps.
5. A deck can be properly prepped for $99. The $99 Deck Cleaning coupon from a local pressure washing company is a marketing gimmick. To properly prep your wood you will need to use a wood stripper or wood cleaner followed by a wood brightener. It is just impossible to have your deck prepped for $99 properly. Be aware of any contractor who says they can do this for a "cheap" price. They will probably end up damaging your wood.
6. Extended Warranties. Any warranty that claims over 2 years on a horizontal surface is either limited or is playing the numbers game on claims. Nothing will look perfect after two to three years. They will all wear and most importantly fade from the UV exposure. If you read the warranty claims you will see they are limited by saying words such as "resists fading" or "normal wear and tear". At best all you will get is product replacement.
7. Beading Water is Important. This is just plain wrong. Beading water is a misconception that consumers expect after seeing television commercials saying it is important. The only way to bead water is to seal the surface completely by using a wax or silicone. It is better to have a wood stain that "sheds" water and still allows the wood to be able to breathe.
8. No need to use a Wood Brightener. The use of a wood Brightener is essential to neutralize the pH balance of the wood after the use of a Wood Stripper or Wood Cleaner. This will lighten the wood and give your stain better results! It is also the easiest and least expensive step in the entire process.
9. Big Box Stores sell the best products. Most of the products you find at Big Box stores are mediocre at best. In fact many of these products have major issues and some even have had class action lawsuits against them.
10. Wood Stains should be "shiny" like my hardwood floor. This is actually a very bad idea. When you apply a wood stain that builds like a varnish on your wood, you will have many issues. The finish will blister and peel. In addition it will be extremely difficult or impossible to fix. Most likely sanding of the deck will be needed. It is best to have a wood or deck stain the penetrates into the wood leaving a dull or "matte" finish.
Other Related Must Reads!
- 101 Wood Deck Restoration Tips
- Stain a Deck in Two Hours
- Wood and Deck Cleaning Tips
- Wood and Deck Stripping Tips
- Wood and Deck Brightening Tips
- Wood and Deck Pressure Washing Tips
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