Built the deck....now what's the next step?

Old 08-18-02, 11:45 PM
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Question Built the deck....now what's the next step?

I completed construction of my deck, about 275 sq. ft made of con heart redwood. I'm facing three possible steps next, and I need advice of which to do and in what order:

1) Sand the decking - There are definitely spots that need to be sanded to smoth out rough spots or fix imperfections in the wood. However, most of the deck is fine, other than tannin bleed (I think...dark, coffee looking stains)

2) Clean with oxylic (sp?) acid cleaner, either Cabot or Wolman

3) seal/stain

My questions are:

I believe that cleaning with the oxylic acid will remove all tannin bleed and prep the surface well. Should I still sand the entire surface of the deck, or just the areas that need sanding (will sanding the entire deck greatly increase absorption of sealant or stain later on?) Or alternatively, would I be better off sanding the entire deck and skipping the oxylic acid cleaner and go right to staining?

Also, I have several large pockets of sap or resin on the boards that needs to be cleaned off. I've read that turpentine or mineral spirits will do the trick, but before I try them, I wondered if the oxylic acid treatment would remove them, and if the turpentine and/or mineral spirits are safe to use on redwood?

And my final question, since this is my first deck, I'm pretty sure I want to use Cabot Decking Stain, but I'm a little unclear about the difference between the 1400 and the 7400 series. Also, I like the color of the redwood deck, and I'm hoping that a lightly tinted stain will enhance the color, not cover it entirely or make it look ridiculous (I've seen some scary orange-ish decks in our neighborhood). I've also read & heard that while spraying and rolling on stain are easier, the best looking application method is by brush. Am I on the right track with this thinking?

I greatly appreciate any advice that any of you can give. I appologize for the long-winded post.

Last edited by glyons; 08-19-02 at 12:31 AM.
Old 08-19-02, 12:49 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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Next Step!


Here is a site to answer your first question.


I would recommend talking to a good paint store about what you are proposing to do and get professional advice before buying things that may not work.

Good Luck!
Old 08-19-02, 11:37 PM
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Nest Step....


I would lik to inform you of a reply from Fewalt...it is regarding the site that I gave you. Fred indicated that it was not the best site and his reasons seem valid to me;

"After scrubbing with Oxygen bleach and TSP ( trisodium phosphate ) use Oxalic acid to lighten the wood prior to sealing or staining. "

Al's website is not exactly the best information available.

TSP is not usually rquired.

Oxalic is the preferred cleaner for cedar and redwood, not generally needed on PT lumber.
Wolman's(and others) sodium percarbonate(oxygenated bleach) is a cleaner and brightener - Oxalic not needed.

Please take this information to heart and as suggested before, seek some professional advice. We all want to make sure that everyone is getting the best we can provide. I appreciate Fred giving me information that I was unaware of.

Hope this helps...thanks Fred

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