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Must Read! The Most Complete List of Tips for Wood Deck Cleaning and Staining.

Wess_avatar have been in business since 1993 and have used or sold close to a 1/2 Million gallons of wood stain. These wood and deck cleaning and staining tips have come from hands-on experience. A lot of them learned the hard way .Frown Please read this thoroughly as you are sure to learn a few that will make your deck project a success!

We suggest printing this article and reading it a few times before starting your deck restoration project.

Always – Wood Deck Restoration Preparation/Cleaning Tips you should Always Use:

1. Always use the best deck restoration products that are available. This will make a huge difference on longevity and when it comes time to restore again in the future.

2. Always clean and prep the wood first! Even if it is new. Prepping the wood properly will ensure maximum stain performance.

3. Always use biodegradable wood cleaners, strippers, and brighteners.

4. Always wear protective clothing during the prepping process.

5. Always thoroughly rinse the wood deck cleaner, stripper, and brightener after each step.

6. Always rinse immediately if a wood deck cleaner, stripper, or brightener comes in contact with your skin or eyes!

7. Always use a wood deck brightener after the use of a wood deck stripper to neutralize the pH balance. Do this as soon as you are finished with the stripping process while the wood is still wet!

8. Always use extreme caution when using a pressure washer to not damage the wood or yourself.

9. Always wash with the grain of the wood when using a pressure washer.

10. Always when using a pressure washer make sure to wash with a pendulum motion. Try not to reverse your motion until you are at the high point of the arc. If you do not do this you may see marks or gouges in the wood. Do not get too close to the wood. 8-12 inches away from the wood.

11. Always rinse the house after the cleaning process. This will rinse off the wood fibers and dirt. It is much harder to get them off after they dry on windows and siding.

12. Always move patio furniture at least 30 feet away from the wood or deck. This will minimize accidental over spray.

13. Always cover any electrical outlets when washing the deck. You do not want to find out later that your freezer in the basement was off for a few days because the circuit breaker was tripped!

14. Always close any doors or windows that are in close proximity of the deck when you are washing.

15. Always when hiring it is best to choose a Wood Restoration Contractor who is established and has references if you ask. Never hire a contractor who stuck a flyer in your mailbox.

16. Always use stainless steel or galvanized nails, screws, and brackets for replacement wood. You will see black rusts streaks if you do not.

Always – Wood Deck Restoration Staining Tips you should Always Use:

17. Always pick the correct deck stain color. You really do not want to do the whole process over again or have your spouse upset.

18. Always protect house from stain over spray by masking where needed.

19. Always wear old clothes when staining. It will get on you!

20. Always wear gloves when staining.

21. Always apply the wood stain in the direction of the wood grain.

22. Always apply stain evenly.

23. Always tarp plants and bushes from stain.

24. Always back brush drips and "thick" areas when staining.

25. Always use high quality brushes, stain pads, and rollers.

26. Always protect stain from dripping into water if near a pool, lake, or pond.

27. Always cover concrete and pavers! The stain will not come out easily of you drip on to them.

28. Always use plastics or poly tarps when covering plants and concrete. Wood stains will bleed through canvas tarps.

29. Always apply the wood stain to the verticals (railings, fencing, trellis, etc.) first and do the horizontals last. You do not want to walk on the fresh stain.

30. If you need to apply a second coat it may be okay to walk on the first coating prior to drying. Make sure though that you do not leave any footprints in your second coating. Please follow manufacturer's directions as all stains differ on the amount of coatings suggested and application methods.

31. Always follow the wood stain manufacturer’s directions! They are there for a reason.

32. Always when using more than 1 gallon or pail, it is best to mix them all together first to ensure even color.

33. If you are sanding the wood make sure that it is even! Spot sanding can cause the wood stain to penetrate unevenly.

34. Always when "edging" out the house where the decking butts up, it is best to stagger your stain line. This will reduce the chance of having an overlap line when you finish the rest of the flooring.

35. Always when staining the flooring it is a best practice to stain the entire board(s) from end to end before moving on to the next board.

36. Always when using a pump sprayer it is best to use a high quality one. Cheap plastic sprayers that are not designed for wood deck restoration can clog and leak.

37. With a pump sprayer it is best to use a "fan" tip and not the circular "cone" tip. It will spray wood stains better.

38. Make sure to thoroughly mix your stain prior to filling your pump sprayer. Always pour directly from the can, never from your paint tray. This will reduce any chance of clogging the sprayer.

39. If using the pump sprayer to apply the stain to the decking floor, it is a must that you also back wipe to ensure uniformity when dry. The use of a stain pad attached to a pole is best for this.

40. If using a sprayer on the railings it is important to back wipe the excess stain that accumulates on the flooring below the railings. If you do not do this you may have shiny spots and or a darker color below the railings compared to the rest of the flooring.

41. Always do railings that are directly next to the house with a stain pad or brush. Do not use a sprayer here as it will get all over the windows and siding. We would not suggest spraying the railings until you are at least 4-6 feet away from the house.

42. Always use a tarp on the outside edge of the deck to catch any over spray.

43. Always let wood stain dry completely prior to walking on the decking. Especially if you walk into your house as you can track stain onto the floor!

44. Always leave furniture off deck until completely dry.

45. Always when using a water-based wood stain make sure that you clean your application tools with water as soon as you’re done.

46. When using an oil-based wood stain make sure that you clean your application tools with mineral spirits or paint thinner as soon as you’re done.

47. Final wood stain color is dependent on the age of the wood, type of wood, application of wood stain, and preparation (cleaning) of the wood.

Never - Wood Deck Restoration Preparation/Cleaning Tips:

48. Never hire a $99 deck wash contractor. Honestly common sense please!

49. Never hire a contractor who buys his materials at Home Depot. Any experienced wood restoration contractors knows there is much better materials and stains elsewhere.

50. Never use a pressure washer without cleaners. It can damage the deck if you do not use the proper cleaners.

51. Never use steel wool to sand the wood. This will leave metal in the wood that will turn black from rust.

52. Never sand the wood too smooth! This could cause the stain to not absorb into the wood and prematurely fail! 60 grit sandpaper is best.

53. Never use household bleach to clean the wood. Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) has been proven to damage the cellular structure of the wood.

54. Never use the Red Tip that comes with your pressure washer. This is a "zero" tip and you will damage your wood.

55. Never let your wood stripper or cleaner dry on the wood during the washing process. Try to keep the wood wet throughout the entire process.

56. Never use interior wood filler on your outside deck. It will not work. The stain will not color the filler and it will just "fall" out after a short period of time.

57. Never allow pets to walk on the deck during the entire process. If they walk on the deck during the washing process they make get a chemical reaction from the cleaners on their paws. While the deck is drying it is best to keep them off if possible to minimize dirt and mud from being tracked on to the wood. If they walk on the stain while wet it can make them sick. Pets have a tendency to clean themselves and stain getting into their system is not a good idea.

58. Never plant new annuals near the deck prior to starting your refinishing. Tarps and cleaners can damage them. It is best to wait until after you are done. If it is too late make sure to tarp using stakes. In addition remove the tarps as soon as possible to reduce any chance of damaging the flowers from excessive heat.

Never - Wood Deck Restoration Staining Tips:

59. Never believe over-hyped extended stain warranties! Honestly nothing will look like new on a horizontal surface after 2-3 years. Warranties that claim 5, 6 and even 10 years are impossible. They are betting that high sales volumes will overcome their warranty claims. Typically these warranties are "limited" and if you were to make a claim all you would get is product replacement at best. Never will they reimburse you for your hard work and time. It's just a numbers game to these corporations. This is also why you will never see a high quality wood deck stain brand in a "big box" store.

60. Never use Behr Wood Stains. You have been warned!

61. Never use Thompson's Water Sealer. Why waste your time!

62. Never apply an oil-based stain over top of a water-based stain and vice versa. You can create an adhesion issue.

63. Never apply a new coating on top of an old coating that is already failing and peeling. You will be wasting your time as the new coating will not "fix" the failed coating.

64. Never apply an oil-based wood deck stain to a wet deck unless the manufacturer says you can.

65. Never apply a wood deck stain during rain or if rain is fore casted shortly.

66. Never over apply a wood stain. "Thicker is not better" Extra coats will not make it last longer. In fact the stains can fail prematurely.

67. Never over apply on New Wood. New wood is not very absorbent and too much stain will just dry on top of the wood instead of penetrating into the wood. In most causes you will only need one coat on new wood.

68. Never apply a semi-transparent stain over a solid (opaque) stain.

69. Never apply a wood stain below the recommended minimum temperature. The stain may not dry or cure properly if you do.

70. Never apply a wood stain if the temperature will fall below freezing over night. This may be okay of your stain has enough time to dry prior, but if it is still wet when it freezes it may have issues.

71. Never apply a stain in extreme heat! The stain may "flash" dry. This can create unevenness and "shiny" spots.

72. Never stain your deck the day before a party. Due to weather conditions, stains may not be completely dry for a few days. The last thing you want is one of your friends leaning on a wet railing Embarassed

73. Never add mineral spirits or thinner to the stain. You will degrade its performance.

74. Never stain half the floor then take a long break. You may get overlap lines

75. Never roll around a heavy grill! These stainless steel grills weigh a lot and typically have small wheels. Rolling the grill back and forth across the decking will leave small dents. Applying a semi-transparent stain will enhance these dents leaving marks all over your decking.

76. Never fill your stain trays on grass. Any spills and the grass will die.

77. Never spray a wood stain on a windy day. One gust and the stain can get all over your windows, siding, or neighbors home.

78. Never wear black soled shoes when using an oil-based stain. The petroleum in the stain can soften the soles leaving black footprints all over your deck!

79. Never try to make your deck "shiny" like your interior hardwood floor. The stain will peel and it will be extremely difficult to remove. This happens when stains are over-applied or a film-forming varnish stain is chosen. An example of a film-forming varnish type stain is Sikkens Cetol. In our opinion this should never be used on decking surface.

80. Never step off your newly stained deck on to concrete or pavers. You will leave footprints.

81. Never worry about the knots of the wood being lighter in color. This is normal for a lot of the stains as the knots have a higher density, causing the stains to be less absorbent.

82. Never use water to clean oil-based stains.

83. Never leave oily rags or canvas tarps near or in the house! They can start a fire. Water down first if needed to reduce any chance of this occurring.

Consider - Wood Deck Restoration Tips you should Consider Using:

84. Consider Pressure Washing - The use of the proper wood and deck cleaner, stripper and or brightener will make a huge difference. They will allow you to use less pressure and not damage the wood.

85. Consider the use of a wood brightener after the use of a wood cleaner. While it is a must to use the brightener after a stripper, it is not always needed to after a cleaner. Best to follow directions. If you are unsure it will not hurt to use the brightener and it is the easiest step!

86. Consider when stripping the deck from an old coating it is best to remove as much as possible. Try and shoot for 90-100%.

87. Choosing a penetrating non-film forming stain. The better the stain penetrates the better it will perform from wear and tear.

88. Consider the use of a stain that is tinted. The tint is vital in absorbing the UV rays. This keeps the wood looking natural, prolonging the graying. If you want a “Crystal Clear” wood stain we strongly suggest the Defy Extreme Clear.

89. Understand that new boards that have been replaced on the deck will not match the older wood exactly.

90. Consider the use of a sprayer to apply the stain will make the process a lot faster. Just make sure to wipe drips and cover/mask the over spray.

91. Consider having a friend or relative help! It will make your project much faster.
92. Consider looking over your friend or relatives work as they may miss spots and may not have read these article's tipsSmile

Occasionally - Wood Deck Restoration Tips you should Occasionally use:

93. Occasionally strip the old stain off prior to adding a new coating. If you keep adding coatings every 2-3 years, you will get a buildup of stain. The best practice is to remove the old coating prior to applying a new coating. For best results it is our opinion that you do this every time you refinish your deck. This is not always possible so you should consider removal of the old coating(s) every second or third time.

94. Occasionally take short breaks. This is hard work. Not too long when staining as you do not want those overlaps!

95. Occasionally wipe drips from the bottom edges of vertical boards. They have a tendency to accumulate there and it is easier to wipe them off while the stain is still wet.

96. Occasionally go over your newly stained areas to check for missed spots prior to the stain drying.

97. Occasionally after 24 hours you still have a few areas where that stain is still wet it is okay to wipe off the excess with a rag.

98. Occasionally stain the underside of the deck. This is completely up to you. It will not have much effect on protecting the wood. This should be considered for homeowners who have walkout basements and are concerned about the aesthetic look. Less than 1% actually does this and be warned, you will get the stain all over you!

99. Occasionally clean the wood with a mild wood cleaner during the off years of staining. This will keep the stain and wood looking better.

100. Occasionally blow dirt, debris and leaves off deck. especially during the Fall season.

When Completed:

101. Relax, have dinner or a party on your beautiful newly refinished deck!

Thanks for reading this all the way to the end! It is a lot to absorb all at once. Please scroll down to bottom if you would like to ask a question or post a comment.

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Never use steel wool outside. You cannot take off a shine just a little by sanding. I doubt it will work.
TheSealerStore , September 18, 2014
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One last thing...If I were to lightly sand or steel wool (I know, all the shavings should be probably vacuumed, right?) it at this point and take the shine off it a little, is that a viable option? It's really just the shiny bits that bother me.
Dean Mermell , September 17, 2014
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Nope, no indication
Dean Mermell , September 15, 2014
re: Patchy/shiny continued...
All stain brands are different with this. It should have been on their instructions.
TheSealerStore , September 14, 2014
Patchy/shiny continued...
Thanks but I have not been able to find any conclusive advice about how long to wait before staining. This could be a very good tip #102 in your otherwise fine web page...
Dean Mermell , September 14, 2014
re: Patchy/Shiny finish on new redwood deck, Olympic Maximum water base
Sounds like you stained too soon after building and did not prep correctly either. You will need to strip it off and start over.
TheSealerStore , September 14, 2014
Patchy/Shiny finish on new redwood deck, Olympic Maximum water base
Hi. I just put in a new redwood deck and after 2 weeks put a thin coat of Olympic Maximum water based clear sealant on it. Optimal temperature and humidity, 200 ft deck and used about 2/3 of the can (about exactly the coverage the can says). It's the next day, and much of the surface is tacky and uneven, shiny, and shows overlap from the application. I'm wondering if there's something I can do (rubbing with a damp rag or something?) that can help even out the finish and get rid of the shiny/tacky bits, since it's still somewhat newly applied? Thanks!
Dean Mermell , September 13, 2014
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Christine, you cannot fix a deck that is stained with a solid color unless you sand it all off or replace the wood.
TheSealerStore , July 06, 2014
...
We live on a pond in central Mass. Our deck was treated with Behr solid color weatherproofing stain. It needs restoration desperately. We had no idea that Behr products were not up to grade. What products do you recommended? What steps do we need to take to restore the deck using a better product? The deck came with the house and seems to be constructed out of a mystery wood.. Maybe it's just pine. I imagine I need to clean the deck well.. What product should I use? Should I also use a brightner? Which one? My husband has decided this is my task and I am a novice.. Just incase my questions haven't already revealed my status as a deck strainer/ resorer.
Thank you and bless you for any guidance that you can provide
Christine , July 06, 2014
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Shelli, you could try a tarp but it really needs some air to dry.
TheSealerStore , June 27, 2014
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After thoroughly cleaning my deck, I planned to let it dry for 24 hours before I stained it. However, after waiting, it was covered in bird droppings again. Do you have any suggestion to keep a deck clean while it is drying?
Shellie , June 26, 2014
Rain right after staining
I have a one year old deck that was stained with a clear (no UV protection) coat right after it was built and not surprisingly it did not look good. Yesterday I used a Duckback brand wood stripper that worked well. I thoroughly rinsed and let stand for about; hours on a warm breezy day. I applied Messmers UV protectant stain and coated one side inhe early evening. I took a break and then covered the other half at about 9pm. Thee was no rain I. The forecast for a week but it rained overnight. Not too much but there was a little standing water. Is there anything to do but wait and see? If it doesn't dry uniformly can I reapply another coat over the top or do I need to strip and start over? Thanks for any help you can offer
Justin Minden , May 26, 2014
re: water vs oil
As long as you remove the SW you can use the AC.
TheSealerStore , May 24, 2014
water vs oil
Hi -

Can you apply oil over water or vice versa if it is stripped and sanded and properly prepared which would mean tip #62 was referring to old stain that was not removed...

I put sherman williams water based down a couple of years ago and would really like to go to an armstrong oil based but.....
Ben Gathercole , May 23, 2014
Rookie staining new deck
It's time to stain my new 9 month old deck and I've been reading a lot of info and all 101 Tips. I've not found any info regarding the one issue I know I will have. My deck is two levels, one of which is at ground level. The wood that encloses the sides is treated. There's grass (7 month old sod) right next to it. Is there a simple way to clean that area to prep for staining other than lifting the sod during the process?
Sherry , May 18, 2014
...
Kristend, Strip first and sand if you need to after. Brighten last. Cleaning products are biodegradable.
TheSealerStore , May 13, 2014
cedar deck
I have a question about cedar decks. We built our cedar deck two summers ago. This will be the third summer it will see. Prior to building, we let the wood dry out for several weeks, gave it a light sanding, then applied one coat of water based semi transparent stain, then built the deck. Another coat of stain was applied after building. The stain is now fading/wearing off. What is the best course of action? Do I clean/brighten, then apply another coat of stain? Or give it a light sanding? Or is it necessary to strip first? I would like to avoid the use of chemicals since there are children and pets around, as well as my grass and flowers. Please help.
kristend , May 13, 2014
re: New deck prep
Yes the 100 Series would be the correct choice. Prep first with the Gemini Restore Kit. Are you in Metro Detroit? If so we are in Bloomfield Hills.
TheSealerStore , May 04, 2014
New deck prep
We installed a DuraHolz thermally modified wood deck(yellow pine) last fall in Michigan. Nothing has been applied to the wood, and we want to stain it this spring. What should we use/do to clean and prep. I was thinking of using TWP 100 stain. Good choice?
MJE , May 03, 2014
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Bill, as long as the wood is prepped first by removing the Thompsons if it is still on the wood.
TheSealerStore , May 01, 2014
...
Can you apply Armstrong-Clark Transparent Natural Tone stain over Thompson's Water Seal?
Bill Nicholls , April 30, 2014
re: deck restoration
To use any of the brands that we sell you will need to remove 100% of the old paint. The only effective way of doing this would be to sand it all off. Once removed you could try the TWP Stains or Armstrong Clark brand.
TheSealerStore , March 25, 2014
deck restoration
We have a wood deck, not sure what kind of wood. It was originally painted, and we have repainted it, however this year it has peeled badly, and we need to sand and then either repaint or stain. What do you suggest and what should we use?
sherry , March 24, 2014
...
charles, you need to remove all of the Behr first. This can be done with a stain stripper and some sanding. You need to do this so the new stain will work correctly and apply evenly. You cannot "cover" the Behr.
TheSealerStore , March 23, 2014
...
deck is two years old and I used a behr transparent two years back and now some of the deck that gets sun is chipping. Do I have to sand the boards that are chipping or do I have to sand the entire deck. what kind of stain should I use to cover the chipping areas, I tried a semi-transparent but chipped areas still show thru. the part of the deck that gets no sun is fine. Help!
charles w mcguire , March 22, 2014
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Hi, I've been told I can walk over newly applied stain. He said when it is wet it is okay to do so. I also had someone else say the same thing. Is that possible? I can see that being true if it were a puddle but... thanks Mike
Mike Danaher , January 19, 2014
...
Hi, We had parts of our house sided with cedar. I stained the back half this fall with Olympic Maxiumn toner stain and it looks great. But now with the nights dipping below the recommended minimun temperture(35 deg) and the daily high temps in the 50's would it be safe to stain the front should take about 4 hours, thanks


din , October 26, 2013
...
Joel, use the Restore-A-Deck stain stripper followed by the brightener for the prep. Stain with TWP 1500 or the Armstrong Clark.
TheSealerStore , October 15, 2013
Homeowner
Hi--I have a cedar deck in metro NY area that's 2 years old. Cleaned and brightened it then stained it after it had been put down for 4 months. I used Cabot translucent oil-based and it didn't look good for very long. I want to restore it--what steps should I take and what product would you recommend? The deck gets 3 hours of sun at the most and is in a very woodsy area. Thanks in advance for your help.
Joel , October 14, 2013
...
Tony, Wolman FP used to be a good stain until they change the formula a few years ago. Not nearly the same performance.
TheSealerStore , October 06, 2013
Wolman F&P
I was curious as to what your thoughts are about Wolman F&P Finish & Preservative semi-transparent stain?
It seems to have good reviews. I know the better, high-end ones are the ones you mentioned.
But since money is tight and I have a bunch of home depot gift cards I was trying to get the best they have
to offer, otherwise I would be purchasing the brands you recommended.
Tony voltron , October 06, 2013
re: Staining in the Fall
M Milkovich, I would not cover and let the wood dry for a day after a rain. It can sit for weeks.
TheSealerStore , September 30, 2013
Staining in the Fall
We were going to stain yesterday but the wood was still too wet after rain the day before. Now that it's getting colder at night it takes longer for the dew to dry. If we were to cover the deck with plastic overnight would that help the wood stay dry so we can stain earlier in the day? (We've stripped and sanded off three layers of solid stain and used the brightener - but then it rained. Rain is forecast again for next weekend.) How long is it safe to let the wood sit before we get the stain on?
M Milkovich , September 30, 2013
re: homeowner who has suffered from Cabot's SPF 48
You must remove the SPF by sanding. Nothing else will get it off. Stay away from the Restore. It has issues.
TheSealerStore , September 23, 2013
homeowner who has suffered from Cabot's SPF 48
have 10 yr old deck that has been covered with the SPF 48. I've had to recover it every 3 yrs (kept using the SPF because I didn't want to have to strip it. Now I can't get the SPF and am ready to move to the Rustoleum Restore (getting a few cracks). While the stain on horizontal pieces is breaking down, the vertical surfaces are holding up pretty well. I have vertical skirting around the deck, so there is a fair amount of surface area. What do I do to prep this SPF stained wood for the Restore colored stain?
rus schererot's SPF 48 , September 22, 2013
...
Jerry, after the sanding you should use the Restore A Deck Kits to remove the sand dust and open he grain for the stain. I would go with the TWP 100 Series for this. It fades lightly through the years instead of darkening.
TheSealerStore , August 14, 2013
...
I built a new cedar deck 2 summers ago in MN and stained immediately after construction with a UV clear coat by Flood CWF oil (Menards). After 3 months the deck started turning black. (Tannin bleeding or burning off of oil?) I sanded everthing off the next spring and re aplied the same stain (assuming I got a bad batch or did something wrong) I ended up getting the same black result after a few months again. My deck is 15x30 and is completely in the sun without shade. I would like a natural/light look to the cedar so what type of stain would you recommend that would actually work? I have again sanded the deck now and am ready to stain, but I certainly do NOT want to repeat this process again!smilies/smiley.gif its about a 3-4 day sanding process with 2 people for 6 hours a day... also, if I made some mis steps in my earlier attempts, please dont be shy..id love to know! Thanks
jerry McConnell , August 14, 2013
re: sanding deck or stripping?
Julie, it depends on the stain brand and type of stain. Do you know what it was?
TheSealerStore , August 13, 2013
sanding deck or stripping?
I put a oil based stain on my deck 2 years ago, now looks awful. Should I rent a drum sander and sand or would a stripper take it off. Than I clean and brighten, correct? What should I put on? I hate stains as too hard to get off. Is Penofin any good. What would you suggest, I need help. My deck is 18' by 16'.
Julie Vance , August 13, 2013
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Kitty, without knowing what the white streaks are, it is impossible to say if you did something wrong or give advice on how to fix it. Might want to contact the manufacture of the stain brand you used.
TheSealerStore , July 14, 2013
...
We had a new deck and pergola built early last summer (treated lumber)and waited till this summer to stain it a lovely reddish mahogany. Pressure washed and thoroughly dry before starting the project. Returned after a 2-week vacation to find alot of white streaks on the floor of the deck, in random positions. Did we do something wrong to cause this? Should we gently sand the areas and reapply stain in the fall? Thanks for your advice....
Kitty , July 13, 2013
re: Strip and Brightener
Start with the railings, go to floors, then stairs last. Brighten all the wood when done.
TheSealerStore , June 27, 2013
Strip and Brightner
I have approximately 3000 SQ ft of deck, and really needs stripping and brighting before stain. My question is I can't do the whole deck at one time because of size and from what I have read I need to clean, keep wet, then use wood brightener following the cleaning and hen rinse (power sprayer), starting with the railing first. Should I do all the railing first and tarp the horizontal area or do sections and do vertical and horizontal in small sections? I am guessing to strip and brighten will take me at least a couple days if not more. Whats your suggestion
Thanks for any help
Jerry
JERRY HARSH , June 26, 2013
...
Yes you should use a brightener after the sanding. The grey will probably disappear when applying the stain.

I would return the SW unless you are okay with it peeling next year smilies/smiley.gif
TheSealerStore , June 03, 2013
Ms
Well, after reading a lot of these posts and your comments, I think I have made a few mistakes. I power washed my deck with just water. It got a lot of the stain off and most of the boards look fairly clean, but there are some boards that still look grey. So I started to palm sand each board with 60 grit. It is taking a lot of the stain off that the power washer missed, but the grey areas are still there mainly in the center of the deck where it gets the most sun. When I get thru sanding, I was going to garden hose it off and let it dry for 2 days and then stain with SW Deckscapes Semi Transparent Water base stain that is a darker but still natural tone called Covered Bridge. I am using a DeckMate applicator that has a container for stain and a pad. Are you saying that I should use a brightener after sanding and then let dry for 2 days then stain? I was just going to stain. What will happen to that grey if I just stain? Will it be darker? Not take the stain? No issue? Also it has been raining and how long should I wait to finish sanding? It is in the 60's today (June 3)and sunny, but we have had over 7 inches of rain in the last week (KS)..no rain yesterday or today.
Thanks for your advise and find your humor refreshing in your tips.
Carol Prather , June 03, 2013
re: Stain pads
You do not need a brush if you use a stain pad.
TheSealerStore , May 16, 2013
Stain pads
Ok, when using stain pads, is it best to follow up with a brush to brush in?
Jim Duffy , May 15, 2013
re: Roller vs brush
We do not like or use rollers. Best are stain pads.
TheSealerStore , May 12, 2013
Roller vs brush
Thanks for all the tips. Just wondering....is using a roller better for even distribution? I have no problem using a brush and taking longer, just somewhat concerned that I'll do that and it will be put on too thick and/or uneven. Any advice is appreciated. Bthank you.
Jim Duffy , May 12, 2013
re: after the stain
Not much you can do except strip it all off and start over.
TheSealerStore , May 05, 2013
after the stain
So my husband put a clear stain on deck, same as we always have. He over applied it and took a while to dry. He also rolled it with a roller to soak up some of the excess that was still wet. THis was a water base. It has been a week and there are still some quite a few spots that are wet/oily feeling. What can we do to absorb some of this. We have wiped off with a rag and still there. I dont want this all dragged int my house. Party in 3 weeks. Suggestions?
patti , May 05, 2013
re: After sanding/Stain products
You should use a deck cleaner to prep after the sanding. For the stain, you should look at TWP or Defy Extreme. You cannot put a Marine gloss poly type on outside decking. It will not work.
TheSealerStore , April 28, 2013
After sanding/Stain products
Hi, Im in the process of staining my deck,(i think its PT) first since it wasnt done in years I sanded it down to best possible, Whats my next step im ready for staining or still need any other prep?
2) what is ur recomended stain product? and is finishing it with a Marine gloss Poly a worthwhile thing to do ?
MannyE , April 28, 2013
Re-doing the fence
1. I would strip it with the Restore-A-Deck Stripper
2. Not sure. I would ask Gemini
3. Strip and brighten is best for prep
4. TWP 1500 would be a great choice for this. Any color will work but lighter colors do have a tendency to fade quicker.
TheSealerStore , April 07, 2013
...
Very glad to have found your forum; it is very informative and helpful. Read every post and am sure will benefit from your feedback.
Need to redo the cedar fence that is 9 years old. Eight years ago (when it was one year old) cleaned, power washed, and stained it with Penofin Blue (cedar tone). Areas exposed to sprinkler and sun are black and gray. Areas protected from water and sun still look decent. We have no snow or freezing temperature, very little rain and lots of sun. Plan to use TWP 1500. Would appreciate your help with the following questions.
1. Does Penofin Blue need to be stripped after 8 years? If yes, do you recommend Gemini Safe Strip?
2. What is the active ingredient in Gemini Safe Strip that removes stain? I have not been able to find the list of ingredients anywhere. Product MSDS does not show that nor does the technical data sheet.
3. If stripping is not necessary, what cleaner and brightener do you recommend? Would you recommend Gemini 2 steps?
4. Is TWP 1500 optimum for my area and application? If yes, which color tone would do better against the UV? Is it true that darker pigment do better against UV?
Some of the cleaner or brightener you recommend on this site, for example RAD, are not sold in the store and have to be ordered online and shipping charges are cost prohibitive.
Thanks and look forward to your comments.
Re-doing the fence , April 06, 2013
re: cypress column on new home
Semi-transparent stains do not cover discoloration. You would need to clean and brighten to prep. For the stain, I would look at Defy Extreme or Armstrong Clark.
TheSealerStore , March 28, 2013
cypress collum on new home
we built a new home last year in south louisiana and we have cypress coloum's on the front and rear porch. The front porch faces the east and rear patio faces the west. They were bought from a local cypress mill and nothing was ever put on them. Im looking to stain and seal them but now after a year the side that see's the sun have turned dark on the bottom and turning gray also. Will the dark spots on the bottom show up or will the stain cover this. The collum's are rough so do i sand them or will sanding take out the dark or blacken portions on the bottoms. What stain would you recommend
guy , March 27, 2013
re: Behr Wood Stain and out deck looks horrible
You need to apply a stain stripper, pressure wash off then repeat for stubborn areas. When done you would apply a wood brightener.
TheSealerStore , March 10, 2013
...
We used Behr Wood Stain and out deck looks horrible. What can be done to fix this?
Tim Collins , March 09, 2013
re: Will the wood get badly damaged
Typically new wood should weather for a few months the prepped by cleaning and brightening before staining. Might want to read the directions from the manufacturer of the stain you are using to see what they suggest when it comes to staining new wood.

Water and snow will hurt the wood.
TheSealerStore , November 30, 2012
...
I just had my barn sided. The stainers did not show up. And there is a big rain and snow storm coming tonight. Will the wood get badly damaged? Or is there a way to protect it at all from all the water predicted to come?
Mary Vail , November 29, 2012
RE: RE: NC DECK STAINING
Yes you need to let the wood dry out after the washing for a couple of days.
TheSealerStore , October 04, 2012
RE: RE: NC DECK STAINING
I ended up using a Deck Wash and then a Deck Revive product on the surface. It was amazing to see all the mold go away. Now that I have it washed and the wood is at least back to it original natural look, I'm ready to stain. The next question I guess I have is, do I HAVE to wait till the wood is dry for at least 2-3 days? I would love to, but it's just so wet here all the time. It dries out at around 3pm here then gets soaked again throughout the morning.

Thanks for your previous comment and answer.
Clyde , October 04, 2012
re: NC Deck Staining
The Restore A Deck products to prep. for the stain I would look at Defy Extreme or TWP.
TheSealerStore , September 30, 2012
NC Deck Staining
Great article. I have a 12x14 ft deck located in the Fort Bragg region of North Carolina. The deck is about a year old and has not had any staining done. We purchased this house a week ago and I want to get something on it. The problem is that the climate where I live seems to always have "mist" or dew in the morning which soaks the deck. It's almost impossible to get the deck completely dry.

What stain / cleaning products would you recommend me to use to complete this project?
Clyde , September 30, 2012
re: Wheel marks on new stained deck.....How to remove
You cannot fix the dents from the wheels.
TheSealerStore , September 17, 2012
Wheel marks on new stained deck.....How to remove
I just stained the deck w/a semi-transparent redwood stain. When I moved the grill it left wheel marks/indentions in the wood that is very noticeable. How can I remove these marks?
Thanks,
GH
greg hogsed , September 17, 2012
RE: REDWOOD DECK IN SAN FRANCISCO
Yes you can do that.
TheSealerStore , September 12, 2012
RE: REDWOOD DECK IN SAN FRANCISCO
Thanks you very much for your input. Would it be possible to use 1503 or 1504 on Redwood?
Jon Gillham , September 12, 2012
re: Redwood deck in San Francisco
We are not fans of Preservawood. I would look at TWP 1500.
TheSealerStore , September 11, 2012
Redwood deck in San Francisco
Hi...
I have a 2 year old Redwood deck that was varnished... silly me... but that has been removed by sanding so we're back down to clean wood. The deck is south facing and, despite being SF, gets a lot of sun and can be pretty hot. It's been suggested I use Preserva Wood, with my wife choosing the Tamarack color as she wants it darker than Redwood's natural colour. Any input you have about which product to use, and if darkening the wood is wise, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for such a great site!
Jon
Jon Gillham , September 11, 2012
re: Cedar Tone Pressure treated Pine Deck
For new wood we like Timber Oil Brand or Armstrong Clark as they are able to penetrate better into new cedar wood.
TheSealerStore , July 26, 2012
...
Thank You, Any Favorite brand?
DuWayne Lund , July 25, 2012
re: Cedar Tone Pressure treated Pine Deck
I would stain it before Fall. No need for a water repellent after. You need a tint in the stain if you want UV protection.
TheSealerStore , July 25, 2012
Cedar Tone Pressure treated Pine Deck
We had our Cedar Tone Pressure treated Pine Deck put on in April 2012. What I would like to know is 1. Should I go ahead and re stain it with a semi-transparent stain now before fall and 2. Should I then us a Water Repellent Treatment to finish off the job.
We like the color we have. Any suggestions you have would greatly help me.

Thank You
DuWayne
DuWayne Lund , July 25, 2012
re: New 20' x 16' Yellawood pine Deck
Let dry for a month or two. Not a fan of Ready Seal. Fades in a year. I would look at Armstrong Clark or Timber Oil Brand for brand new wood as they penetrate better.
TheSealerStore , July 11, 2012
New 20' x 16' Yellawood pine Deck
I would greatly appreciate any insight and or input...

Just built a new 20' x 16' deck with Yellawood pine here in Missouri. First question is, approximately how long should I wait to allow the pine to dry before sealing/staining? Secondly, which stain/sealer would you reccomend? I want to stay as close to a natural color as possible, however a slight tint to provide UV protection. Defy, TWP, any insight on Ready Seal products? Just want to protect our new investment the best way possible! Thanks!
Eric , July 11, 2012
re: How many coats
New wood only needs 1 coat of TWP.
TheSealerStore , June 30, 2012
How many coats
Getting ready to order and stain with TWP 1500. New cedar boards. On new wood, one coat or two?
Bruce , June 29, 2012
re: How do I know
You should strip it off for best results.
TheSealerStore , June 21, 2012
re: Paint contractor
You do not need to sand the IPE.
TheSealerStore , June 21, 2012
...
How do I know if the existing stain is water or oil based?
Sylvia , June 21, 2012
How do I know
How do I know if the current stain is oil or water based? The deck is in pretty bad shape but still has a tint of stain in some p,aces. May come off with power washing. Do I have to strip the old if I don't know.smilies/cheesy.gif
Sylvia , June 21, 2012
Paint contractor
Getting ready to stain an IPE deck. It has grayed and don't know if it has been previously stained. After cleaning, do I need to sand, and if so, what is the best method for sanding.
Thannks
D. Johnson , June 21, 2012
re: Green works
No you cannot use that as it does contain bleach and will not give the same look as the RAD products.
TheSealerStore , June 12, 2012
Green works
back again
I posted this question somewhere on this site,but I can't find it anymore .sorry for the double posting smilies/smiley.gif

I bought 5 gallons of TWP1500 and RAD 600.in case I run out of RAD can I use something called Green works chlorine free bleach by Clorox ?
MJ28 , June 12, 2012
re: Learning Amateur
TWP 1500 does have UV inhibitors. You would not need to apply while installing but rather as soon as it is all built. Just apply the stain to exposed areas when finished.
TheSealerStore , June 10, 2012
Learning Amateur
In Atlanta I am in the process of installing an elevated (10ft) deck 28ft by 35ft with Echolife southern pine (twice kilm dried)in a very heavily shaded west-of-house location. In selecting a sealer/stain I have narrowed the choice to TWP 1500 and your Timber Oil Brand. Questions: Reportedly TWP 1500 does not have a UV inhibitor - does that eliminate this product from consideration? I am also advised by the lumber yard that I must IMMEDIATELY apply a sealer to this wood upon installation to prevent damage to the wood. How can I install all of the lumber for this very large deck and immediately apply stain that will NOT be subject to "overlapping"
due to time differences (days or weeks) in application of the stain? Lastly, does it make any practical sense to apply sealer to the sides and or bottoms of the deck boards to prevent mildew or degradation of the lumber?
Armistead Neely , June 09, 2012
re: Do these tips work for color through stain
I am not sure what you mean about color through stain.
TheSealerStore , May 21, 2012
...
Do these tips work for color through stain? We had ours done 6 mos. ago, but need to get the winter residue off (mostly whitish film on our brown decks). Great article. Thanks.
Marilyn Holloway , May 21, 2012
re: Unfinished cedar table
In Michigan I would use the TWP 100 or 1500 Series.

Thanks
TheSealerStore , May 10, 2012
Unfinished cedar table
My brother just built me an awesome 12' long cedar table for my Michigan ourdoor patio that gets 6 hours of sun per day. I need to stain/finish it. I am looking for something without gloss that has the best wear. Any suggestions? I have read several things about TWP 1500, Penofin, Cabot Australian oil, and more.
Kim Conroy , May 10, 2012
RE: OAK WOOD DECK,IL
Thanx for the fast reply!

I guess the painter with 27 years of experience isn't going to be happy when I give him the news :-)
MJ28 , May 08, 2012
re: Thanks
Hard to say about replacing the boards but if they used non-galvanized nails then it will always rust. Not sure if water would spread the rust but it is possible.
TheSealerStore , May 07, 2012
re: Oak wood deck,IL
You should never pressure wash a deck with just water! It will damage the wood. Best to use a wood cleaner and a wood brightener. The cleaning will turn out much better!

For the stain, I would suggest TWP 1500 Series for your Oak Deck. You would need closer to 5 gallons for the entire deck.
TheSealerStore , May 07, 2012
Thanks
Thanks for the advice. One thing I am noticing even after it was powerwashed, is that there are many galvanized nails that have a smooth head with no discolor near them. However, there are a number of nails that have rust on the head and may not be galvanized obviously. Besides the black streak that is near those nail heads, will standing water after a rain cause the rust to spread along the wood? It is not all beside the nails and in some cases further away. But a few boards that have all galvanized nails seem to be free of any black streaks. If it is a result of some non galvanized nails used, should the boards all be replaced?
Richard Siebel , May 06, 2012
OAK WOOD DECK,IL
,,,, tier deck 14*14 and 10*10 plus 11 steps.The painter said it will take close to 3 gallons.is this right? Thanks
MJ28 , May 06, 2012
Oak wood deck,IL
We live in northern Illinois. We have a weeping willow that shades part of our solid oak two tier deck about 8- 10 hours each day. The other part of the deck is exposed for about that same amount of time. The last time it was stained was about 7 years ago. We have noticed that most of the previous stain has since faded, leaving a slight grey tint to the wood. Along the outer edges of one side has some evidence of green moss where most likely the wood never had a chance to fully dry due to the shade. We have spoken to a power washer, and he says we don't need any solution during the wash. Is that okay? What type of stain would you recommend for this deck?
MJ28 , May 06, 2012
re: Thanks
Rust in wood will turn black. A wood brightener should remove this. I would try that. It would make sense that it happens after rain if it is rust.
TheSealerStore , May 06, 2012
Thanks
The guy who powerwashes my house every year cleaned the deck a few weeks ago but did not use a deck brand cleaner. It cleaned it up well but it looked worse after I stained it last year and we had some rain. Strange thing is, mildew has that spotty look and comes off with diluted clorox in a spray bottle. This stuff is not spotty. Runs with the grain. Could it be sap or iron or something that got into the wood when it was treated during manufacturing? After I had to literally scrub this stuff off last year taking the stain off with it, I was not convinced it was mildew. I am going to try and get a rep from the lumber company out here. Never had this issue with the first deck for 10 years before this one was rebuilt in its place. And the first deck was #2 yellow pine. I thought I was doing right spending the money on #1 pine. I will look into the Defy Wood cleaner. Thanks
Richard Siebel , May 06, 2012
re: mildew on new deck
It sure sounds like it is an issue with the wood. Maybe mold spores buried deep in the pores of the wood grain. I would not stain yet until you get the mold to stop coming back after a rain. Have you tired deep cleaning with a sodium percarbonate deck cleaner? This may help. Defy Wood Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck.
TheSealerStore , May 06, 2012
mildew on new deck
I had the 10 year old deck rebuilt from the supports up last year. Contractor used #1 pressure treated board from a lumber year. Waited about 3 weeks and stained with TWP. After first rain, fllor boards started to mildew. Got worse each rain. Sprayed diluted bleach over it and did not go away. Had to scrub it off as it appeared to be between the wood and stain- on a new deck. Had it powerwashed and cleaned 3 weeks ago. Was going to restain next week. Rained today and turning black again. Only part of deck that looks good is where the floormats at each door sat. No mildew under them. Could it be a problem with the wood from the lumber yard? Never have had this issue with any deck. Deck is in full sun also and had mildew over side rail above balusters.
Richard Siebel , May 06, 2012
re: mr
No need to tarp. Let the wood dry (after the rain) for 1-2 months. I would apply the TimberOil Brand for you nee deck then. Make sure to clean and brighten the wood first!
TheSealerStore , April 25, 2012
mr
I have just put down treated pine decking and it has not stopped raining since. The gap between boards has nearly disapeard , do I tarp it, when do I seal it now?
Ayliffe , April 25, 2012
re: homeowner
1. I would follow the directions from the manufacturer as to applying additional coats as all stains are different.
2. You cannot apply a clear water seal on top of a stain such as yours. Will not work.

Your job is done for now. Unfortunately Benjamin Moore's Arborcaot is a poor quality stain and it will start to peel and have issues within a year. The real job will be when it is time to remove the product.
TheSealerStore , April 15, 2012
homeowner
Just stained deck over past week.Used Benjamin Moore stain.2 questions,1 Can you apply a second coat of stain to the floor surfaces, the paint store said no due to drying issues.2 would it be better to apply a water seal product the paint store said its not necessary. What would be better or just consider the job done.
Lou L , April 14, 2012
re: Western Red Cedar previously stained with Penofin Verde
I would just use the HD80 and Citralic to prep. No need to sand unless you have a few splinters to smooth down. If you do then use no more then 60 grit.

Penofn Verde is a pretty decent product. If you liked it then I would stay with it. If not then I would look at Penofin Blue Label, TWP 1500 or Armstrong Clark as high quality oil based stains.
TheSealerStore , April 09, 2012
Western Red Cedar previously stained with Penofin Verde
Yes, I know... I should have found this site and used the tips prior to sanding my new cedar deck with 100 grit. Now a year and a half later the Chestnut tinted Penofin Verde has all mostly flaked/peeled off the horizontal deck boards. The benches posts and railings are still holding most of the stain/oil. The plan is to use HD80 and Citralic wood brightener with my pressure washer, then reapply the penofin verde (I have a gallon + left).

Question is, should I sand the horizontals with 60 grit prior to applying the stain or just use the brightener and reapply? The deck is fairly well weathered. I live in the Denver area and the deck is on the south side of the house. Is it a big deal if the finish doesn't come off the rails/benches completely? Is the Penofin Verde decent enough to last two years, or should I switch to a different brand now that I'm stripping off the old Penofin? I appreciate the site and wish I'd have found it when I built the deck. Thanks for your help and suggestions!

Mike Lewissmilies/angry.gifsmilies/angry.gif
Mike Lewis , April 09, 2012
re: kiln dried deck
It is not easy to get the stamps off. Deck Cleaners and Deck brighteners will not do it and sanding may cause the stain to dry unevenly on the wood.

All new wood should be cleaned and brightened prior to applying a stain. This preps the wood properly.

For new wood we strongly suggest the Timber Oil Brand as it will penetrate the smooth new wood better then most.
TheSealerStore , April 03, 2012
kiln dried deck
We just put a new deck on our house using kiln dried treated lumber. How do we get the ink stamps off the wood? Should we use a brightener and what is the best stain or sealer to use? We live in PA and the deck is under roof.
Sandy N , April 02, 2012
re: Cedar Porch Post staining
I would not sand anymore but use a wood deck cleaner and a wood brightener to open the wood pores for the stain to penetrate properly.

I would look at the Defy Extreme Stain for your Cedar vertical posts in Canada.
TheSealerStore , November 15, 2011
Cedar Porch Post staining
I have white cedar porch posts I need to stain. New wood sat outside for yr and a half planed them, sanded with 50 then 80 on belt sander then stored indoors. Should I go to 120? What else should I use to prep?. I live in Southern Ontario 30 min south of Detroit Mich porch faces west with part of gazebo facing south. What would be a good Semi Transparent stain for my area and wood ( new white cedar). Thank You for your time Michael M
Michael M , November 14, 2011
re: slippery when frosted
Unfortunately deck paints cannot be removed with a stain stripper. The only way to get it off the deck is to sand it all off. The other option would be to re paint the deck and add some traction into the paint.

We are not a fan nor do we suggest ever painting a deck. It will cause many issues down the road.
TheSealerStore , November 06, 2011
slippery when frosted
we painted the deck, the deck was painted by previous owners. disappointed i the paint, its much more blue than it should be. anyways, its behr paint weather proffing deck paint. the deck is insanely slippery now. if it frosts (we live in michigan) or rins at all, its so slippery its like an ice rink. its too late in the year to re paint, but what can we do in the meantime, and what can we do next year to fix this problem?
tara , November 06, 2011
re: How to find the best stain
There is not a "best" stain out there. Everything that is sold on this site is high end. Certain stains though do better then others based on your location, age of wood, type of wood and weather.

Nothing will last 5 years on a horizontal surface. 2-3 years is the maximum you will get. Verticals will get 5+ years though.
TheSealerStore , October 02, 2011
How to find the best stain
Great ideas, but you don't tell us the best stains to use? Not Behr I saw one on the web that says it will last 50 years and I don't believe that but their has to be something that can last at least five years. How do I find the nest product available. Thanks my deck is redwood.
Nancy lucky , October 01, 2011
re: New Cedar Fence
You can read the prepping info on this link: Deck Stain Help

As for stains I would look at:

TWP 1500 Series
Defy Extreme Stain

Both will last 3-6 years on a vertical fence.

Oil based stains will not be outlawed.
TheSealerStore , September 21, 2011
New Cedar Fence
I had a new cedar fence put up in July and am now ready to stain it. What do I need to do to prep it and what stain do you recommend that will last long and how long should it last before needing a new coat? (I live in MA) (Also, is it true that sooner or later oils will be outlawed and we will eventually need to go to waterbased so may as well start out that way?)
Jacob , September 21, 2011
re: Application Question - Wet on Wet
Apply the first coat over the entire floor then walk on and apply the second coat within 20 minutes. Just do not step in your second coat.

The use of a deck stain pad will make this much faster and more efficient then a brush.
TheSealerStore , August 31, 2011
Application Question - Wet on Wet
Appreciate the info. TWP says this requires 2 coats wet on wet. I am not sure what's the best way to do this. I will be using a brush to apply the stain, however once i apply the first coat, how does one apply the second coat wet without stepping on the wet 1st coat. Or do i wait for coat 1 to dry and then apply coat 2. Whats the best procedure for applying coat 2. Your advice is much appreciated. thanks.
mak , August 30, 2011
re: Should i use Cabot semi-transparent deck stain or something else oil/water based??
Cabot is an average stain at best.

Being that you have a lot of rain I assume you have potential mold issues. If so I would choose a stain that holds color well and prevent mold ad well. I would look at one of these two stains:

TWP 1500 Series
Defy Extreme Stain
TheSealerStore , August 30, 2011
Should i use Cabot semi-transparent deck stain or something else oil/water based??
I have a small wood deck.....probably 100 sq ft in Western Washington. it rains 9 months in a year here. I have just cleaned and pressure washed the deck. I will be sanding it lightly and then i am ready to stain. I was looking at the Cabot Semi-transparent deck stain from Lowe's, and was wondering if this stain is a good choice, or i should use some other stain that is better. Cabot is oil-based and i am not sure if oil is better than water based stain or not. I am very confused, and your help is much appreciated. thank you very much.
mak , August 30, 2011
re: Composite Deck Stain Question
Not sure. I would ask Rust-oleum.
TheSealerStore , August 29, 2011
Composite Deck Stain Question
My husband and I went to Lowes to purchase Deck Stain. We have had bad luck with Behr and Thompson's in the past. We saw the chart for Rust-oleum Composite Deck colors and purchased the Rust-Oleum Composite Saddle Brown Stain and the Cleaner, with hopes it would last longer than 1 year like the others. Now here is my question.. We have a regular wooden deck and it is not composite. We didn't even think about the wording "composite" until we got it home. Can we still stain our regular wood deck with this composite stain. Since we had it paint pro mixed at Lowe's it says that it is non-refundable. Please answer as soon as possible.
Terrye Christian , August 28, 2011
re: New deck and sanding discoloration
Spot sanding is not suggested as it could cause the stain to not dry evenly. Typically the smoother the wood is, the less the stain takes or lighter the color. You will have different colors throughout the deck. Lighter where you sanded and darker where you did not.

I would not suggest the CWF water based sealer. It does not work very well on new wood (or any wood really) and is hard to remove when it peels next Spring.

TheSealerStore , August 02, 2011
New deck and sanding discoloration
We had a pier and boathouse built. We started to sand rough spots and noticed that it is whiter than the non-sanded sections (we are using 60 grit belt and orbital sanders). We plan to use a semi-transparent water based sealer (probably CWF because the builder recommended over anything else we can get in our small town). We plan to sand then clean with claner from same company as stain...but we ar afraid those spots sanded will appear lighter. Will the cleaning and staining process eliminate the discoloration? we really don't want to sand the entire deck and pier...it is a lot...but we want it to look right and do it right the first time.
Cyndi , August 02, 2011
re: Shiny Wood Deck..tip number 79
Even though we do not suggest it, the only way to remove your shiny deck finish is to strip off what you can then sand off the rest.

I would not suggest priming/painting. It will only mask the issue temporarily and it will peel.
TheSealerStore , July 28, 2011
Shiny Wood Deck..tip number 79
I just read tip number 79, "Never try to make your deck shiny....". Well, a contractor built a new deck for me three years ago and convinced me to allow him to do just that. I had problems with this deck from the beginning. Now it has peeled in some areas and I want to rerinish it the proper way. My problem is that when I applied a stain stripper, the shiny finish did not come off, except in the areas that were already peeling. So, what do I do? Can you recommend a product that will tackle the difficult areas (almost the entire deck) or should I just prime and paint the deck insteadof staining? Thanks!!!
vc , July 27, 2011
...
Yes you should always be careful when using a deck stain stripper. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection.
TheSealerStore , July 05, 2011
...
No argument here on difficulty of removal. BTW, working over the holiday weekend and not having access to my preferred retailer I had to purchase Behr Deck strip. It worked well, cant be pumped sprayed. But it was extremely caustic. I had a bit splash above my glove and on my cheek. I have a burn on both spots. I was warned about the Stain, but the stripper is DANGEROUS.
snagger , July 05, 2011
re: 90% stain is gone---Cetol?
Best to remove as much as possible of the old stain. If you are using the same products then I would shoot for 90-95% removal.

Sikkens in our opinion is over priced, does not last very long, has a tendency to darken in color, attracts a lot of mold, most importantly is very difficult to remove when it fails.
TheSealerStore , July 05, 2011
90% stain is gone---Cetol?
I have just stripped my deck using Wolman DeckStrip
Stain & Finish Remover. Your site did not recommend one, I went with my local family owned paint store's suggestion. I'm removing Sikkens Cetol SRD Semi Transparent Stain. I have been applying deck strip, waiting 5 min, scrubbing, waiting 5-8 min and pressure washing the wood clean. There is some residual faded color left in old weathered crevasses. Should I re apply deck strip, brush and clean or can I move on to Deck brightener?
#2 Why do you not favor the Sikkens Cetol. I have used it for 8 years, following the manufactures instructions for a BRUSH only application and ascribing the methods you suggest here and have been very happy with the look and longevity. I would consider the Clark or the Defy, but why not the Cetol.
snagger , July 03, 2011
re: spotty stain on deck
Did it rain on the deck while the stain was still wet or was a day or two later?
TheSealerStore , June 19, 2011
spotty stain on deck
I stained the deck a few days ago, it rainned and now the deck is full of spots. What can I do to correct this? thxs smilies/angry.gif
Marge , June 18, 2011
re: stripped and neutralized my deck
For your state and scenario I would look at one of theses semi-transparent stains:

TWP 1500 Series
Defy Extreme Stain
Armstrong Clark Stain
TheSealerStore , June 13, 2011
...
I have just stripped and neutralized my deck and must now select a stain. I was going with a big box brand but found your site and rejected the big box. Thanks for the good info!
We live in southeast Pennsylvania and portions of our deck receive perhaps three to four hours of direct sunlight. Due to us living in the woods, the rest of the time is in shade, with some tree branches nearby. Consequently, we get a lot of debris, leaves and mildew that blackens the horizontal surfaces terribly. Although I clean off the deck with a blower regularly, I'm tired of redoing the deck every year and would like to be able to simply clean it and reapply some annually or, better yet, every two or three years.
Can you recommend a particular stain for our situation? And should we go semi-transparent or choose another type? Any other help you can give us would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again.
budjens , June 12, 2011
re: redwook deck wood filler
No. wood filler does not work on outside wood. It will not stain properly and will fall out in a short period of time. Especially in cold weather states.
TheSealerStore , June 04, 2011
redwook deck wood filler
Is there any filler/putty that I can mix with my TWP stain to fill the gouges made by my pesky squirrels? I have sanded the worst of the teeth marks fairly smooth but would like to fill in some areas before we stain this weekend. It is a 10 year old redwood deck and we have always used TWP every few years.

Thanks
debbie Franke , June 03, 2011
re: Help
If it is mineral deposits from the water sprinklers then you would need to strip off the stain and start over. Might want to adjust the sprinklers to minimize the over spray.
TheSealerStore , May 23, 2011
re: Ugly old treated lumber deck
Arbor Coat is a two component water based stain. My belief after reading the literature is that it will film on top of the wood. Anything that films on top will eventually peel making future maintenance more difficult.

I am not sold on it. Benjamin Moore makes great paint but as of yet has never had a quality wood deck stain.
TheSealerStore , May 23, 2011
Help
Third year of our deck, we stained our deck six months after built. Last month we cleaned then re- stained our deck. We have very hard water resulting in several white streaks on the deck from the overspray of sprinkler system. Please help with how to remove this.
Lisa , May 22, 2011
Ugly old treated lumber deck
I have an old deck that I have been staining since I bought the place 12 years ago with Cabot, however I did not stain last year. When I do, it's 1 part solid:2 parts clear. This year I'm considering Arborcoat as I like all their density & color choices. I tried a small test patch of their Semi-Solid and felt it was a bit too Solid, but I also do feel like I've been under protecting my now very old deck that even looked old when I bought the place. I've replaced some boards, so there is a fair amount of 'variety' in the deck. Oddly, the newer boards are the darker ones… don't really understand that. So far I have just used a deck cleaner and a deck brush to clean it all and prepare it. Any opinions on the Arborcoat? I notice you never recommend it. (That's probably your opinion right there!)
JoAnn Atwood , May 22, 2011
re; Finish new P/T deck
All new wood needs to be cleaned and brightened to prep and "open" the wood pores. I would suggest the RAD Products

For all brand new wood we suggest the TimberOil Brand as it penetrates better then the rest.
TheSealerStore , May 10, 2011
Finish new P/T deck
Great website! Our new raised pressure treated deck is 35'X12' with black aluminum railings. We are in Central Florida and the deck is on the East side of the house in full sun. What is the best prep and finish to use to keep it looking as good as it does now? We are in our late 70s and will probably hire someone to do it, but I need to know the correct product to buy and, if possible, the correct way to apply. Thank you for any advice.
Jane Stellato , May 10, 2011
re:Dark flecks everywhere!
It is probably rust. Contractors when building sometimes scatter very small metal from their cutting tools. This will turn to black rust spots when it gets wet. If the wood was unstained then a wood brightener would have fixed it. Now that is has been stained I am not sure the wood brightener will soak through the stain. You could try a test spot to see. Otherwise you will need to remove the Verde and start over.
TheSealerStore , May 09, 2011
Dark flecks everywhere!
We just had our deck built (redwood) and stained with Penofin Verde. We live in Los Angeles.. our deck faces north, so has dew in the am. Other than that, no rain. It has only been 1 week since staining and the deck is covered in charcoal black dots that don't come off. Contractors don't know what to do. Can you help us figure it out?
Jessica , May 09, 2011
re: oil or water stain for high traffic areas
New wood is not very absorbent. We strongly suggest a stain that is able to properly penetrate into your new redwood.

For your scenario I would look at the Timber Oil Brand.

It works great for new decking and is super easy to apply!
TheSealerStore , April 11, 2011
oil or water stain for high traffic areas
We are about to stain our new redwood deck and are trying to decide which type of stain would best suit our needs of a "high traffic area" deck (kids and pets) here in western South Dakota. We would really appreciate some professional advice. This is such an informative site! smilies/smiley.gif
lisa , April 11, 2011
Re: Sanding spots
You could try using the cleaner and brightener to even out the porosity. Take care to scrub the spots that you sanded. When done check the spots when wet with water. If they are not noticeable then you should be okay with the stain applying evenly.
TheSealerStore , March 27, 2011
Re: Sanding spots
My palm sander will take forever. Should I rent something?
cj1raven , March 27, 2011
re: Sanding spots
Since you spot sanded there will be a very good chance that those areas will be lighter in color when the stain is applied. Might want to sand all then use the wood cleaner/brightener to "open" the wood pores.
TheSealerStore , March 27, 2011
Sanding spots
I have sanded off the manufacturer stamps on the pressure treated boards in my screened in porch. I haven't stained it yet, but there are lighter color spots where I sanded. Should I use a cleaner and/or brightener to even out the color before staining or do I need to sand the whole thing? The whole house was built in '09, so the floor isn't that old.
cj1raven , March 27, 2011
re: wolmanized treated yellow pine
Make sure to clean an prep the wood decks first.

In Michigan I would suggest a stain that holds color well and is easily applied whenever needed. All of these stains will work on for you and your wood very well.

TWP 1500 Series
TWP 100 Series
Defy Extreme
Defy Epoxy
TheSealerStore TimberOil
Armstrong Clark Wood Stain
TheSealerStore , March 27, 2011
...
We have wolmanized treated yellow pine on 2 decks in Midland, MI. The smaller deck boards are 20 years old and the larger deck is 3 years old. We had put Thompson's stain and weatherproof on it that did not last very well. The decks are in full sun. No mildew/mold issues. Please would you recommend a product, if possible, one that would last longer than one season. Thank you!
Pat , March 27, 2011
re: Full Sun. Garden City Kansas. Redwood Deck
Is there currently a stain on the redwood deck? If so is it a semi-transparent stain or a solid stain?

For a semi-transparent stain in full sun in Kansas I would look at one of these stains:

TWP 1500 Series
Defy Extreme Stain
Armstrong Clark Stain

You can narrow your search even further by using our stain filter on this page: Deck Stains

TheSealerStore , March 26, 2011
...
Our deck faces the west. Full Sun. Garden City Kansas. Redwood Deck. We are just buying the house and it looks pretty good but will probably need to coat it soon after move in. No signs of graying of the wood. What are your suggestions for product.
Diane , March 26, 2011
re: Can I recoat this?
What your are suggesting would only work if you used another solid stain to cover the existing solid stain. It would still be best to use a stain stripper to prep though. It will not remove a solid stain completely but it will remove what is failing already.

Deck stain strippers typically only work with transparent and semi-transparent stains.
TheSealerStore , March 23, 2011
Can I recoat this?
I recently had a client ask to have a color change done on their deck. It's got what appears to be 2-3 coats of either sikkens, or cuprinol solid stain on it now that's gray in color. According to the client, the last freshening coat was installed 2-3 years ago. While there I could see some very light flaking on the deck boards but nothing bad. Most areas it seems to be adhering very good.

Can I lightly pressure wash this to prep it? Then can I just install a couple of coats over it to achieve the color change? If I can, what product should be used?

Or does it need stripped and re-stained?
blaine , March 23, 2011
re: When to treat and with what?
TWP 100 Series is a very good product and would work well in your scenario. The Redwood color is pretty red. You might want to look at the Rustic 116 as well.

With new PTP we suggest waiting 4-6 weeks prior to staining. Make sure to use the wood color and wood brightener to prep the new wood.

Is this wood rough or smooth?
TheSealerStore , March 15, 2011
When to treat and with what?
I just had a deck and fence built with pressure treated pine about a month ago. How much longer should I wait to seal/stain it? I am thinking of using the TWP 100 with Redwood tint. I want to obviously seal out the water and provide some UV resistance. Located in South Carolina. Is this a good product for what I want and when should I do it? Thanks
StuDawg , March 15, 2011
re: Best Time to Stain and Seal new Cedar Deck
There is not a "best" time. For new cedar we suggest waiting at least 2-4 weeks. All new wood should be cleaned and brightened to properly prep for a stain. Many stain manufacturers only suggest one coat on new wood since the wood is not as absorbent.
TheSealerStore , March 13, 2011
Best Time to Stain and Seal new Cedar Deck
Can you please comment on the best time of year to stain and seal a new cedar deck. Is there a "best" time to do it? I am flexible with the project start time.
SharkRescue , March 13, 2011
re: PLEASE HELP Cedar Siding
First you need to clean and brighten the wood back to its natural state. I would use the Restore-A-Deck products for that.

After the wood is prepped you will need to apply a transparent but tinted wood stain. This will preserve the wood and protect from UV graying. Any of the wood stains we sell will work. Was there a particular brand that you were considering?
TheSealerStore , March 09, 2011
PLEASE HELP Cedar Siding
I bought a foreclosed home with cedar siding which was never sealed/stained or anything. It has been weathering for over a year. It has fading and mildew on the uncovered sides (where there is no porch). What is the best restorative action I can take? What products should I use?>smilies/sad.gifsmilies/angry.gif
Shelley , March 09, 2011
re: OIL STAIN ON TOP OF WATER-BASED STAIN
Removing an oil based transparent stain is fairly easy when using a deck stain stripper. Removing a water based stain can be more difficult but can be done. My suggestion is to use a stain stripper and remove as much as possible. Try to shoot for 90% removal or more and you may need to strip twice. At that point you should be able to use an oil based stain. Just make sure that you pick a similar color or slightly darker so it blends.

Which stain were you considering?
TheSealerStore , February 28, 2011
OIL STAIN ON TOP OF WATER-BASED STAIN
After reading your sight comments and tips it sounds like it's possible to use a stripper that will remove both oil and water-based stain. I have a deck that was finished with both at different times (first water-based and later with a oil based on top of that). All the contractors I've consulted say that the only way to remove the water-based stain is to sand it off. Wanted your opinion of that. Both stains are transparent. Is there a way to test the deck after it's stripped to see if the old stain is completely removed. The contractor's are saying it difficult to see if the water based stain is gone and that applying oil on top of it will likely produce inconsistent results and leopard spotting.
Gene Mahon , February 28, 2011
Water based stain
I am having my deck refinished. The contractor believes the deck had a water based stain applied originally and later with a oil-based on top of that. Concerns that the water based coating cannot be fully removed - they are recommending we apply a water based stain after the stripping is complete. Can you recommend a water-based stain?
Gene Mahon , February 28, 2011
Thanks for two great tips
These two tips were worth the entire read:
51. Never use steel wool to sand the wood. This will leave metal in the wood that will turn black from rust.
53. Never use household bleach to clean the wood. Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) has been proven to damage the cellular structure of the wood.

despite what I told her, my wife would have probably done both!
Thanks for the verification!

Greg
Greg Simonds , February 23, 2011
re: More Advice Needed in Mississippi
There is not always a "best stain". IMO a high quality stain is one that:

1. Performs as expected for 2+ years. This means minor fading/wearing through the years.
2. Does not flake or peel. The better it penetrates the better it will work on a horizontal surface.
3. Does not attract a substantial amount of mold/mildew. While you cannot stop this from growing on any surface, a high quality stain will not "promote" the growth.
4. How easy is it to redo in time. This to me is the most important aspect of a deck stain! They all fail in time but when it comes time to redo you definitely want a stain that can be cleaned and re coated and or stripped without any difficulty. This is where the majority of manufacturers fail. Many do not take this into consideration and the results can be a huge headache when time to redo.smilies/cry.gif

I would look at these products. All of which fit the above.

Defy Stains
TWP Stains
Armstrong Clark Stains
TheSealerStore TimberOil
Messmers
Penofin
TheSealerStore , October 18, 2010
More Advice Needed in Mississippi
Thank you for your previous advice on the wood filler and the BM stain. Because there are so many stains on the market we're very confused on which brand to purchase. In your opinion, what is the best stain to use on a deck in Central Mississippi that has not been stained before?
Traci , October 18, 2010
re: Advice Needed in Mississippi
Do not put a wood filler in cracks on an outside deck! It will not work. It is normal to have cracks on outside wood.

Not sure about the Arborcoat since it has only been out for half a year. It does not have a 2-3 track record yet. I am very skeptical though that it will work well. Reading the description it is designed to fail. It requires a top coat clear coating. This means that it will not penetrate into the wood completely but "lie" on top of the wood. Historically waterborne products that do not penetrate properly fail by peeling and blistering within a year time frame (i.e. Behr or SW Deckscapes. This causes major headaches when it is time to redo. Most likely excessive stripping and or sanding would be needed.

BM has a great history with quality paints but the deck stains have been mediocre at best.
TheSealerStore , October 17, 2010
Advice Needed in Mississippi
Our deck is approx. one year old and we are ready to stain it. It has a cracks in a few boards that my husband wants to fill in before staining. What product do you recommend? Also, what are your thoughts on Benjamin Moore's Arborcoat stain? Thanks!
Traci , October 17, 2010
re: Help!
Did you already stain the wood? If not using a wood cleaner followed by a wood brightener will help to "open" the pores for a more uniform look. I would not replace the boards.
TheSealerStore , September 28, 2010
Help!
I sanded the deck and a couple of the boards got over sanded, resulting in bright spots and blotchiness. Is there anything I can do for my cedar deck? Would replacing a couple of the boards give a better result? Should I try to brighten things up around these spots to make it not so noticeable? If so, what product should I use?
Jamie , September 27, 2010
re: New mahogany deck
The three deck stains that you mentioned are some of our most popular for exotic hardwoods. Any of them would look great and can reapplied when needed.

Al new wood should be cleaned prior to applying a wood stain. This preps the wood for better penetration.
TheSealerStore , September 20, 2010
New mahogany deck
This is a great site – glad we finally found it! (we’ve received a lot of conflicting info from various people) We live in Boston and had a mahogany deck installed on our roof two weeks ago - the deck is fully exposed to all of the elements. (sun, rain and snow) The deck has not been treated with anything yet and we just noticed a few block spots beginning to develop. Do we need to pre-treat the deck? (i.e. deck cleaner) And what type of stain should we use? (Messmer’s, TWP, Defy..etc) We are hoping to maintain the natural color of the wood and understand this may involve annual maintenance.

Thanks
mass , September 20, 2010
re: air pockets in stain in north carolina
Cabot SPF is a film forming finish that when fails peels and blisters. That is why you have gotten "air" pockets from over application. These types of finishes are very difficult to work with on horizontal surfaces. When they fail (they all do eventually) they are very difficult to remove. You will need to strip multiple times or sand to remove the SPF.

We strongly suggest penetrating stains as they are substantially easier to reapply and or remove when needed.
TheSealerStore , September 09, 2010
air pockets in stain in north carolina
i had a new deck built 4 yrs. ago out of kiln dried lumber.i put a wood cleaner on it
before i stained it with cabots s.p.f. deck and fence finish.i used the 48 months stain tinted to golden tan color.it looked great. the next yr. it lost some color so i give it another coat,gave it "another coat" for 3 yrs. in a row.this year i looked and i have air pockets all over my deck.it has got to come off...i've read so much on what to do that i am just about confused on what and how to do it.we like that golden tan look but can i get it to last? where do i start and how do i finish..thank you
danco , September 09, 2010
re: footprints on the stained porch
1. Probably still not 100% cured. This can happen in shaded or covered areas.
2. No do not put a different stain on top of the CWF! It will not work or penetrate.
3. Probably not.

Defy is not prone to turning white. Most likely this may be due to the sanding. Sanding can cause the stain to not penetrate properly into the wood.
TheSealerStore , August 31, 2010
footprints on the stained porch
We used Flood UV-Clear Wood Finish (CWF) (after buying DEFY and realizing that it turned the wood a milky white, even after drying). The Flood looks awesome on our sanded, Pine (partially enclosed) porch floors. The Flood stain was put down on Friday, and it's now Monday, and my husband walked on it today in his running shoes and left black footprints. I wiped away the footprints.
1.Could the stain still be drying after three days?
2.Would it be a good idea to cover the stain with DEFY extreme clear stain?
3.Could it be because my husband's shoes are 20+ years old?
Eileen , August 30, 2010
re: Dufus
No it is not possible to "spot" treat the areas to even out the stain with a positive curing stain like Sikkens. It will look like you spot treated it.

It would be better to apply a very light coat of stain to the entire deck. This should help even it out. Use a flat exterior stain pad instead. You can pick one up at our store in Rochester Hills if you like.
TheSealerStore , August 26, 2010
Dufus
I'm perhaps the stupidest homeowner in Metro Detroit: I applied two gallons of Sikkens SDR to my recently powerwashed deck on two different days and now have a blotchy, uneven, stained deck. I applied the stain with a roller. Is there any chance if I go back over the light spots with a brush that it will even out and at least look like it's all one color? I'm not looking for perfection -- just to avoid having all guests think I'm a complete idiot. Thanks.
Jason , August 25, 2010
re: Defy Extreme question
If it wears evenly then all you need to do is clean and re coat with the Defy Extreme. This is the most likely scenario for normal wear and tear on the flooring.
TheSealerStore , August 12, 2010
Defy Extreme question
I am interested in the Defy Extreme to use over cedar siding, but was wondering about what happens when it needs redone. Will I have to strip off the old layer of Defy or can I just put on another coat?
steinpiaz , August 12, 2010
re: new IPE stairs & railings.
IPE is extremely dense wood and stains will not typically last two years. More like one season if the stain has a tint in it. The Defy Extreme in clear will not last a full season on the IPE. I would strongly suggest getting the Defy Extreme in a tint for better UV protection. The vertical Cedar you have will last for two or more years though.

The spindles and stone tiles should be fine during the cleaning process. Do not get any stain on them though. I would use the Defy Wood cleaner and and the Defy Wood Brightener when suing the Defy stains.

There is not a best or easy stain with IPE. The issue is with the density of the IPE wood and not the stains. It is so hard that all stains have an issue with penetration which usually results in a quicker color fading.
TheSealerStore , August 09, 2010
new IPE stairs & railings.
I have enjoyed your website. I have a new set of IPE stairs and railings and I would like to take "reasonable" care of this wood without doing more than is needed. We live in MInneapolis. From my reading, you seem to recommend cleaning => brightening => staining even for new wood. I am inclined to try the Defy series of products. I would use the "clear" stain (Defy Extreme Stain) as I like the natural IPE color. The stairs off of the deck and the railings around the deck are IPE with black painted aluminum spindles, The deck surface, however, is made of gray white unsealed stone tiles (1' X 1'). The IPE surfaces are 300 to 350 sq. ft. and the cedar lattice about 150 sq. ft. ==> Along the sides of the deck are sliding lattice panels made of cedar that also need some protection but not as much as the lovely IPE. I do not see me doing this process more than every 2 years.
Do I need to protect the spindles (painted aluminum) and or the stone tiles during the cleaning/ brightening steps?
The same question for the staining step using the Defy Extreme product.
Without the directions available, how long between cleaning - brightening - staining.
With IPE, water vs. oil based products - which is "best" - "easy"
There were hose spray products for the cleaning/brightening steps. any comments.
Thanks for your attention. I will order product from you after your answers.

Jim Erdahl , August 07, 2010
re: pre-1994 pressure treated, painted and LARGE upper deck, painted by previous owners
Thanks for the praise!smilies/grin.gif This particular article has become our most popular to date by far!

Sanding would be a huge chore and you probably will not get it all off from the railings. If possible you might want to keep the railings painted and sand all the horizontals. This will give you a nice two tone effect where the railings are a solid color and the flooring is more of a natural color. It is easier to sand the horizontals and it is easier to maintain in the future if the flooring is more a natural penetrating stain.

Transparent and semi-transparent stains do offer protection from the CCA wood that you have.
TheSealerStore , July 22, 2010
pre-1994 pressure treated, painted and LARGE upper deck, painted by previous owners
I've been researching what to do with our back deck for some time, and yours is the BEST website by far! By the previous owners, the deck was painted on the floor in two color layers; the railings in three color layers. The wood is grey underneath. All is now peeling, looks terrible, and mold and mildew have grown in a huge way from all the rain this past spring (Charlotte, NC). After reading these posts, I know we will have to sand the paint off in order to apply the semi-transparent stain we would prefer, but concerned about the arsenic in the wood being released by doing so. This deck is very large (two levels, overall about 40' by 20'), so wondering if repainting might be the best option. Any advice greatly appreciated. Aware that this will be a big job smilies/cry.gif Thanks!
R.A. , July 21, 2010
re: Oil-based or water-based over old stain
Hopefully using the same oil based stain would work. Might be best to do a small test spot in an area to see how well it adheres. If does not dry properly and you can "rub" off with little effort then you might want to use the water based version in those thicker areas. Have you tired to use a wood stain stripper one last time? It would be great if you could get 95% off. smilies/smiley.gif
TheSealerStore , July 20, 2010
Oil-based or water-based over old stain
Thank you for your answer! (I have done hours of web surfing for this staining project and your site is definitely the most informative and easy to understand BAR NONE!) For the stairs and the lower deck that still have 80-90% of the old "unknown" stain, would that formula have to change to solid acrylic in the same color, or do you think I continue down the stairs etc with same semi-solid oil?
Kathy P. , July 19, 2010
re: Oil-based or water-based old stain unknown
If you have removed 95% of the old stain then I think you are okay to apply the oil based stain. I would though use a Wood Cleaner and a Wood Brightener to "open" the wood pores after you sanded the deck.
TheSealerStore , July 19, 2010
re: retired
When using a penetrating stain it is not possible to add a "fine grit" to the stain for traction. It will not work. To do so you will need a film-forming product such as a paint.
TheSealerStore , July 19, 2010
re: Dude
I would not use a paint. I would use a stain that is easy to apply and rcoat as needed without heavy stripping. Timber Oil
TheSealerStore , July 19, 2010
Oil-based or water-based old stain unknown
I have an upper deck attached to our cottage with 85 steps to a lower deck by lake. Unfortunately, the decks/stairs had a solid stain applied 6 years ago, but I don't know if it was oil or water-based. I have applied 3 brands of strippers, which left about 80-90% of the old stain on wood. Then I sanded the upper deck with a plate sander and actually removed about 95%. I would really like to apply Cabot Semi-Solid oil-based. However, I don't know if this is the correct thing to do, since I don't know what was on it before. Am I forced to use acrylic based solid for adherence because oil-based won't get thru the old residual stain? Or is just because they believe the 5% of residual would show somewhat thru the semi-solid? After all the hours and sweat I've put into stripping/sanding at least the upper deck, I really hate the thought of being forced back into a solid stain! Am I doomed?
Kathy P. , July 19, 2010
retired
I have a pressure treated walkway down to our boat dock which is level. I have stripped the wood with pressure washer and/or oxylic acid. The walkway is sloped downward and gets slippery when wet. I plan to put a semitransparent stain on it but would like to have a little fine grit for traction. Any advice?
Gordon Chipman , July 18, 2010
Dude
My deck is 95% in the shade, under trees. Therefore, after a rain, the drying time is very very long. If there happens to be any debris in some corner that I didn't see, it's even longer. In the fall often wet leaves just sit on top. In the winter, with temperatures averaging in the 40's, the snow will do it's melting damage the entire season. Should I simply use paint in this case? Worrying about seeing the grain at this point, is almost not even a consideration. If we should use a paint, what would you recommend? FYI It's too hot to consider triming trees! smilies/sad.gif
Randy Howland , July 17, 2010
re: Cabots semi-solid
Basically the thicker the stain is, the harder to strip. In addition filming stains (stains that lie on top of the wood) are much more difficult to remove then penetrating stains.

Here is list from most easiest to most difficult type of stains to remove. 1. being the easiest:

1. Transparent oil based stains
2. Semi-transparent oil based stains
3. Semi-solid oil based stains
4. Semi-transparent acrylic water based stains
5. Semi-solid water based stains
6. Solid oil based stains
7. Solid water based stains
opwdecks , July 14, 2010
Cabots semi-solid
My deck currently has a Cabots semi-solid stain on it that was applied just over 2 years ago. From what I've read, it sounds like a transparent and a semi-transparent can both be successfully stripped and a solid stain cannot. However, I'm still a bit unclear about whether semi-solids can be stripped without paying a contractor a fortune to do it. I want to apply a lighter stain to show more of the wood's natural beauty, but I know I have to get rid of the existing stain first. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Chad , July 14, 2010
re: old deck boards
You cannot strip off red paint efficiently. Best to sand if you want it to be bare wood.

There is not a "best" stain that we sell. All of them are high end products.

For Northern IL you would want a stain that is tinted and penetrates into the wood. Here is some that will work:

TimerOil
TWP Stains
Defy Stains
Armstrong Clark
Penofin
Messmers
TheSealerStore , July 11, 2010
...
we built our deck out of old deck boards.
they were painted with what looks like barn red deck paint.
our spindles are new as well as our posts.
we built the deck last fall.
what are your suggestions to stain it.
we live in northern Illinois.
Is sanding the rest of the paint off the best to do? what brand of stain is the best to use?
Thank you for any help you can give.
Brandie Berogan , July 10, 2010
re: I want to do this once this year...
Tigerwood is considered an exotic hardwood and is extremely dense. Many hardwoods require annual cleaning and application of a stain. This is mainly due to the dense wood and "lack" of absorption for the stain. Best to:

1. Clean and or strip the old coating of the wood
2. I am not a fan of sanding exterior wood unless needed. You can allow less penetration for the wood and if sanded uneven, your stain will dry uneven.
3 Stains are sealers in that the "seal" the wood and add pigment to "stain" the wood. They are not two components.

Thanks for the praisesmilies/grin.gif
TheSealerStore , July 07, 2010
I want to do this once this year...
My deck is tigerwood, finished two years ago using Penofin for Exotic woods. It was applied to bare, smooth sanded surface. The result looked good, but under rain (Seattle), it turned milky. Many of the comments here do not reference tigerwood, are there any additional steps I need to take from the following
1) Strip
2) Sand (what grit? I read 60 is preferred, that seems pretty coarse)
3) Seal
4) Stain with a semi transparent good quality product
Great site too BTW, never seen this sort of detail and expertise freely available before
Brian DiGiusto , July 06, 2010
re: Use of an Airless Sprayer vs Pump Sprayer
Yes you can use an airless sprayer if you desire.
TheSealerStore , July 06, 2010
Use of an Airless Sprayer vs Pump Sprayer
I am planning to re-stain my deck at our vacation home in the San Bernardino Mts. this weekend.
Can I use an airless sprayer vs a pump sprayer? I used a pump sprayer first time to do my fencing and it was a slow and messy process.
L. A. Hadley , July 06, 2010
re: Coating for a cedar deck
All of our stains/sealers will work for you. I would go with a semi-transparent for better UV protection.

In your area I would suggest:

Defy Extreme Stain
Armstrong Clark Stain
TimberOil Stain
TWP Stain

TheSealerStore , July 03, 2010
Coating for a cedar deck
We have a clear cedar deck that is covered on the South side of our home here in Washington. I would like to sand it and give it a coating of clear or semi transparent finish. The wood is beautiful and i'd really like to bring out the grain. My wife keeps potted plants on it and the watering in the summer leaves black water marks after it evaporates. Could you sugest a product that we could use to protect the wood?
wilson , July 02, 2010
re: Oak decking
Oak is an American hardwood. I would would use a stain that is designed to penetrate hardwoods. Here is a couple of suggestions:

Defy Stain for Hardwoods
Messmers UV Plus For Hardwoods
TheSealerStore , June 14, 2010
...
We purchased our home in 2002 and it has a 25x30' deck made from rough cut oak. Is there anything that can be used (water or oil base) on an oak deck? Nothing seems to penetrate the dense wood and I need to restain every year.
Wayne Griffin , June 13, 2010
re: Brazillian Redwood Deck
Hardwood decking requires maintenance typically on an annual basis. This is due to the density of the wood not the stains.

I would suggest removal of any old coatings with a wood stain stripper followed by a wood brightener. This should prep the wood properly for a new coating.

Since you have already tried the Messmers and Penofin, I would suggest going with the Defy Stain for Hardwoods.
TheSealerStore , June 01, 2010
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RE: Fading Color - Brazilian Redwood decking
Long Island, New York Area
I installed a Brazilian Redwood deck approximately 2 years ago and have tried to retain the original reddish color but both products used have failed to perform as advertized. The decking is now brown/grey in color, I originally used Messmer's U.V Plus after the deck was completed - I allowed 6 weeks before appling the sealer in order for the mill glaze to fade but after two months I noticed that the deck boards were turning brown. The following season I consulted a local deck contractor and he recommended Penofin Rosewood Oil, I sanded the deck in order to remove any old sealent and restore the original red coloring. The deck looked great for about a month and it then started to fade to it's current brown/grey color.

What can I do refinish the deck and what products would be recommended in order to retain the natural red tone of this wood - any recommendation would be helpful as the deck is perfect (no warping or cupping and very minor checking) it just looks terrible.

Thank you
Pasquale , May 31, 2010
re: semi-transparent over semi-solid?
Depends if the if the first coating is porous enough to accept another coating. I would do a test spot first.
TheSealerStore , May 28, 2010
semi-transparent over semi-solid?
Can semi-transparent stain go over semi-solid stain? (Cabot)

Thanks for your help.
Bonnie , May 27, 2010
correct damage to wood fence and deck
BEHR Interior/Exterior Low Lustre Sealer No. 986 Low-Gloss for almost anything but wood, was used on a new wood fence and deck. Any way to remove it and reverse the damage if any?
Danie , May 20, 2010
...
You are welcome! I am glad it turned out so well for you smilies/grin.gif
TheSealerStore , May 11, 2010
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Thank you! I am the person with the pressure treated deck on LI. I tried the Defy Cleaner and brightener. WOW!! Deck looks fantastic!smilies/cheesy.gif
Diane from LI , May 11, 2010
re: dirty deck
Some stains will attract dirt and grime more then others. You can always clean with a wood deck cleaner to help remove all the grime.

Which deck stain did you use?
TheSealerStore , May 08, 2010
...
Hello. Our deck picks up every piece of mud, dirt, anything that may be on our shoes and leaves marks...everywhere! Even when I clean it with a hose, it doesn't get everything up. It seems that only when I get down on my hands and knees will it get a little better? I've never had a deck do this. We have two coats of an oil-based paint.Thank you.
Barbara , May 08, 2010
re: Dark Spots
If it is "thick" areas of stain that made the dark spots you could try removing a little with paint thinner. This would only work if the stain was oil based though.
TheSealerStore , May 05, 2010
Dark Spots
I have dark spots in a corner of my deck after staining. I must have overlooked them when spreading the stain. Any suggestions on how to smooth these dark spots out or get rid of them altogether?
lmccallister , May 05, 2010
re: i live in kansas
Beading water is not important and is a misconception. Did you use a tint for the Penofin? The tint is very important to keep the color. You might want to look at:

TWP Stains
Defy Extreme Stain
Armstrong Clark
TimberOil
Wood Tux
Messmers
TheSealerStore , May 01, 2010
i live in kansas
The color didn't hold for more than 1 year and i thought it would bead the water but it never did
Dion Thompson , May 01, 2010
re: i live in kansas
I would suggest stripping the Penofin off with a Deck Stain Stripper. When done you will need to neutralize with a Wood Brightener.

All of the stains we sell are higher end. What is the main reason(s) that you are displeased with the Penofin? If you could list a couple then I could suggest a brand.

Thanks
TheSealerStore , May 01, 2010
i live in kansas
I live in South East Kansas and I have used Penifen I got from the local hardware store but not real pleased with the out come. Could you tell me what would be the best for this type of climate as far as cleaner, brightner and stain/sealer?
Dion Thompson , May 01, 2010
re: Which products for LI, NY?
For environmentally friendly products I would suggest the Defy Wood Restoration products. They are registered "green" by the Masters Paint Institute.
TheSealerStore , April 25, 2010
Which products for LI, NY?
I am the person with the 10 year old pressure treated deck that needs a major cleaning and brightening and then staining. Which product would you recommend for Long Island? This deck gets full sun in summer and I am near the water so I want to use environmentally friendly products.Thank you.smilies/smiley.gif
Diane Walters , April 25, 2010
re: Sanding decks
It is substantially easier to strip a semi-transparent deck stain compared to sanding it off.

Typically sanding is you last resort if the stain will not come off with a deck stripper. This usually happens if the deck stain is an opaque/solid stain.

Using a floor/drum sander can be used but you will show sanding marks. These are designed for interior hardwood floors. The majority of decks are made from softwoods such as Cedar, Redwood, and Pressure Treated Pine.
TheSealerStore , April 25, 2010
Sanding decks
You mention sanding decks. Would/could a deck be sanded in the same manner wood floors are sanded, with a belt or drum sander and edger even though it only has a semi stain on it now?

It seems that would be even easier and cleaner than using a stripper.
Frankie13 , April 25, 2010
re: stripping BHER soild color paint
Sorry but none of the deck stain strippers will remove solid stains. They only will work on semi-transparent or transparent stains. You will need to sand it off.
TheSealerStore , April 23, 2010
stripping BHER soild color paint
Could you please recommed a paint stripper to remove BHER solid colour paint of a pressure treated wooden deck. I painted my deck last spring and the paint came off in number of places. BHER recommended using their brand of pint/stain stripper (from HD)but this didn't work. I used more then two coats of this stripper and it didn't do a thing. I am locatd in Kitchener, Ontario Canada.
Thank you for your help.
Les Kuczynski
Les , April 23, 2010
re: Pressurized wood - never been stained
You should clean and brighten followed by a stain/sealer to protect and preserve the wood.

TheSealerStore , April 18, 2010
Pressurized wood - never been stained
My deck is about 10 years old and is made of pressure treated wood. I have had the house 5 years and do not know what the previous owner used on the deck. I have not done anything but clean it every year. This year it is really full of mildew, we had a BAD winter here on Long Island, NY. I have been researching on the web and you have a great site! I am wondering what I should do to restore the deck. Can I just clean and brighten? Should I seal it or stain it? I want to keep it as low maintenance as possible. Thank you!
Diane Walters , April 18, 2010
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Thanks for the reply. A co-worker (in Atlanta, GA) told me yesterday afternoon he tried Penofin after seeing and hearing praise about it from a contact in Oregon. It's been 3 years and time for re-app, not unusual I guess, he's very pleased with how its held up. I may have to add that one to the short list.
KH , April 15, 2010
re: pressure-treated deck
All of the stains that we sell are high end.

Cabot 1400 is more of an opaque stain.

TWP is one of our best selling stains and is a very good product.

Sikkens is way over priced for a mediocre stain.

Benjamin Moore wood stains in the past have been mediocre at best. They make great paints but have never been known to offer high quality wood stains. Hard to say if their new stain will be better. It does contains nano-particles of zinc oxide which helps with UV protection. My one concern would be that it may film on top of the wood. This could cause peeling and wear patterns. This is just speculation though.
TheSealerStore , April 14, 2010
...
I have a pressure-treated deck, built October/2009. It's in central North Carolina. It catches a lot of hot afternoon sun. It's time to prepare and then stain/seal. Could you recommend a stain/sealer? It looks like Behr and Olympic are off the list, too many bad reviews. I want to like Cabot 1400 as it has done very well on my covered porches but not so good on a small deck. So maybe TWP or Sikkens? Others? Do you know anything about the new Benjamin Moore Arborcoat product? Thanks for any information you can provide, I do appreciate it!
KH , April 14, 2010
re: 6 year old treated deck
Removing the Thompson's water seal is actually very easy and any of these stain strippers will work:

Deck Stain Strippers

Your local store is very uninformed when it comes to deck products.

When choosing a sealer it is best to pick a penetrating but pigmented stain.

Wood Deck Stains
TheSealerStore , April 12, 2010
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I have a 6 year old pressure treated wood deck. I've been using Thompson's Water Sealer which I know was a mistake. I last used it almost 2 years ago. My local specialty paint store told me that I can never get the Thompson's completely removed from the wood no matter what cleaner or brightener I use or if I power wash. Something about a chemical that always remains in the wood. They recommended continuing with Thompson's every 2 years after a power wash. Can I remove the Thompson's from the wood? If so, can you recommend a cleaner, brightener and sealer for Omaha, NE weather (zip 68116)?

Great site...very informative!
julie kirch , April 12, 2010
re: Wood Deck
There is not a "best stain" of all the brands we carry. They are all high end products. Some do better though with different climates. Please respond to as which state you live in and we can narrow it down to a couple of choices. Thanks
TheSealerStore , April 08, 2010
Wood Deck
What is the best stain/sealant for a pressure treated wood deck?
Janet S. Scott , April 07, 2010
re: so much confusion about best prodct type
Some clear sealers offer UV protection. The best would be Defy Extreme Clear. A tinted stain will do much better though.

Oil based stains typically penetrate better then water based. Mainly because an oil based stain molecule is "smaller" then a water based. Defy also has the best penetrating water based stain.

Multiple coatings of semi-transparent stains can be stripped. Solid stains (opaques) cannot be stripped in most cases.

Thanks for the praise!
TheSealerStore , March 31, 2010
so much confusion about best prodct type
so let me get this straight :
the only way to achieve uv protection so that i can at least make my horizontal deck last 2 years is to have my stain tinted and so that eliminates clear finishes and sealers
next if I need penetration and not film build up then i need an oil based product and not to leave much on the top so probably I need one coat only.
decks that have build up of multi coats or solid stain are probably impossible to have stripped so i probably will have to recoat with a solid deck stain

thanks---great info and fantastic manner in which you share your expertise
frank macneil , March 31, 2010
re: how to stripp opaque stain?
It is not usually possible to strip opaque (solid color) stains. Most likely you will need to:

1. Sand the stain off.
2. Strip then sand the rest off.
3. Strip multiple times. This can vary widely as it depends on the stain and how many coats.

Unfortunately there is no easy solution to removing solid stains or paints. As a restoration company in Metro Detroit, we will not do them as it is very difficult.
TheSealerStore , March 28, 2010
how to stripp opaque stain?
i have opaque stained wood deck.[i do not know what kind because i just bought this house] it needs restoration. how to strip the opaque stain?
i saw the regular stain stripper will remove transparent and semi transparent stain only.
nita , March 28, 2010
re: DAMAGED WOOD
I am sorry but there is no way to undo the damage that you created. Your best bet would be to sand the entire deck as much as possible to smooth the wood or replace.

Paint is not strippable but transparent and semi-transparent stains are.
TheSealerStore , March 18, 2010
DAMAGED WOOD
I USED THE RED TIP ON MY PRESSURE WASHER AND THERE ARE GAUGES IN THE WOOD,AM I SCREWED.IS THERE ANY WAY TO UNDO THE DAMAGED OR DO I HAVE TO REPLACE THE WOOD.DID THIS LAST SUMMER,NOTICING IN SOME SPOTS THE PAINT IS GONE.ALSO REALIZED I COUNDN'T SPRAY THE PAINT ON,HAD TO USE A PAINT BRUSH TO DO IT.CAN I JUST STRIP THE PAINT OFF AND JUST REDO IT.IF SO WHATS THE BEST WAY.THANKS,LEARNED A LESSON
kaz , March 17, 2010
re: Boat dock
Behr and Olympic are poor to average products at best. TWP is one of our top selling products and in most cases will last 2 years on a horizontal surface. Defy typically lasts about the same as the TWP (2 years). The newer Defy Extreme has shown even better results.

For maximum UV protection make sure to use a stain that is tinted. The tint acts as a UV blocker, prolonging the graying of the wood. Make sure that all previous coatings are removed prior to using a different brand of stain.
TheSealerStore , March 04, 2010
Boat dock
I have a dock with a full sun deck on top. I have used TWP, Behr, Olympic, etc. Nothing I have tried will last more than 1 year. I saw your ad about Defy product and wondered if it would last and if anyone has used it on their dock.
Ebb Scott , March 04, 2010
re: neutralize or not
Yes if you use an Oxygenated Bleach you will need to use a Wood Brightener. The active ingredient in Oxygenated Bleach is Sodium Percarbonate. This is a caustic that will "darken" the wood. The Brightener is a mild acid that will neutralize the caustic and "brighten" the wood. You do not "add" together. They are two separate steps.
TheSealerStore , March 02, 2010
nuetrualize or not
If I were to use a oxygen bleach product on a deck that didnt need to be stripped do I need to use a nuetralizer for brightning or will the bleach do that for me?And also is oxygen bleach sufficant on its own to clean the wood or do I need to add an ingredient to it to help get the results I want? Thanks Doug
bossking , March 02, 2010

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