The reason the majority of products fail are:
- A product is applied too thick, over a previous coating, or a solid color stain/paint was used resulting in a film forming coating. A film forming coating is a product that does not penetrate into the wood completely. A product that does not penetrate can result in premature peeling and or flaking. All of our stains penetrate into the wood.
- The deck/wood is not properly prepped for application of coating resulting in the stains not penetrating into the wood.
- New wood is not dry and/or prepped for application of stain. You cannot stain a brand new deck/wood without applying cleaners to open the pores.
- Unless absolutely necessary (removal of solid stain and/or paint), never power sand a deck. This will close the pores of the wood and your new stain may not penetrate properly. If you must, try not to use a grit finer than 60 grit. You can lightly sand by hand or with de-felting pads on low-speed orbital sanders to remove splinters and/or raised the grain of the wood.
We suggest that only experienced professionals use a power washer when deck cleaning or exterior wood cleaning. That being said, it will obviously make your deck cleaning a lot quicker if you do use a power washer. If you use a power washer please follow these guidelines:
- Always use a deck cleaner and or a deck stripper. The cleaners do 90% of the work.
- Use the power washer as a high pressure rinse off. Never as the only tool to remove or clean the wood.
- Wash with a motion similar to sweeping of broom (pendulum motion). Wash with the grain of the wood. Exaggerate your sweeping motion, never stop and reverse your direction without sweeping up. Not doing this will result in a "stop" mark on your decking. Never use more than 1200 psi of pressure. This does not mean you cannot use a 3000 psi machine. It is only 3000 psi if you are washing from 1 inch away. If you are 8-12 inches away you will be using about half the amount of pressure.
- Always use extreme caution when using a power washer. Improper use could result in severe damage to wood. If you do not feel qualified, contact a professional in your area. OPW services the Metro Detroit Area. For a list of qualified professionals across the country please go to:
New or Gray looking Decks/Wood
If your deck/wood is new or does not have a previous coating follow these steps:
- When cleaning decks, use a cleaning product similar to Restore-A-Deck or the Defy Wood Deck Cleaner. This will open the pores and remove any graying and or dirt. Use a power washer or hand scrub to clean the deck.
- After cleaning, apply a wood brightener. Wood deck brighteners are essential to the process and is the easiest step. Wood brighteners neutralize the cleaner and lighten/brightens the wood. For all types of wood, we suggest the Restore-A-Deck or the Defy Wood Deck Brightener.
- Next, apply a deck staining or sealing product of choice. We have been in the deck/wood restoration business for 15 years and the stains we sell are by far the best that we have seen in the industry. We recommend applying the finish using a stain pad or a stain pad/sprayer method. The use of a stain pad allows the person applying the finish the ability to "push" the sealer/stain into the wood. If you are going to use a sprayer, make sure that you back wipe any puddles so that the sealer/stain is applied evenly. *Make sure that you follow all manufacturer's application directions.
Previously Coated Decks/Wood
If your deck/wood has a transparent stain or sealer, follow these steps. Transparent means that you can still see the natural grain of the wood. If you cannot see the natural grain of the wood then you probably have a solid color (opaque) stain or paint. See below for further info for solid stains/paints.
- Clean wood with a Deck Stripper. A wood stripper will "soften" the previous stain or sealer. Use a pressure washer or hand scrub to rinse the "softened" coating. Depending on the thickness of the previous coating it may be necessary to strip it more than once. Typically, most stains and sealers will be removed with one strip. We suggest either HD80 or Defy Stain Stripper.
- Follow the stripping process with a wood deck brightener. This is essential to the process and is the easiest step. A brightener neutralizes the stripper and lightens/brightens the wood. For all types of wood, we suggest the Citralic or the Defy Deck Brightener.
- Now apply deck staining or sealing product you like. We have been in the wood and deck restoration business for 15 years and the products we sell are by far the best that we have seen in the industry. We recommend applying the finish using a stain pad or a stain pad/sprayer method. The use of a stain pad allows the person applying the finish the ability to "push" the sealer/stain into the wood. If you are going to use a sprayer make sure that you back wipe any puddles so that the sealer/stain is applied evenly. *Make sure that you follow all manufacturer's application directions.
Solid Color Stains / Paints
For the majority of cases, solid stains/paints cannot be completely stripped. If you want to completely remove the coating you will need to either power sand the wood decking or strip it an unknown amount of times. You cannot apply any of our coatings over solid stained or painted decks.