ugly deck maintenance

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Old 07-23-12, 11:05 AM
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ugly deck maintenance

Our back porch is an old ugly deck that looks like it was probably built using that "wolmanized outdooor wood" maybe 20 years ago or so. It's in decent structural condition and I'm not wanting/needing to rebuild it but do want to improve it's looks and add some weather protection. It's been many years (if ever) since anything like paint or stain or anything like that has been applied. Most of it is generally covered from the overhang of the house/porch, although part of it (last photo shown below) is in the open where it gets directly rained on (and it rains here a lot).
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1858.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1859.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1857.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1856.jpg
Anyway it was getting black mildew spots and algae etc on it and was generally looking pretty bad (worse than the pictures) and at least in need of a good cleaning, so I pressure washed it good yesterday and got all that type of crud off it, so now it looks like what's shown in the pictures. What are some suggestions for what to apply? I don't want to go too crazy trying to get it any cleaner than it already is, I just want to slap something on it now that should help preserve it, maybe repel future mildew/algea buildup, and make it look better. I don't expect it to look great like a new deck or anything, but just reasonably decent for a back porch hardly anybody ever sees anyway, and something that will maintain it to an extent that should maybe help longevity . Something that will last at least several years before I have to re-apply it. At the store there's like a hundred different products to put on decks. What makes sense for this situation? Any comments/advice appreciated.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 11:19 AM
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Solid body deck stain would be my choice.

FYI, here's how I clean a deck: spray wet with the hose, spray on a 50/50 bleach/water solution, scrub the horizontal surfaces with a brush, rinse off with the hose. Obviously, your pressure washer could be used as well, I just don't own one.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 11:33 AM
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I used some solid body deck stain on my front deck/porch (also exposed to elements) and it's okay for a few years but starts flaking bad enough after that time that I always need to scrape off the flaking and re-stain it again with the same stuff. It too, was an old ugly deck like my back one. Probably with the the old wood decking and had neglected maintenance that's as good as I can expect to achieve. I was wondering if I do go with deck stain that maybe some semi-transparent instead of solid body deck it would penetrate better and not have as much of a tendency to flake off after a while.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 11:38 AM
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Nope, all other things being equal, the solid body is going to give you longer wear than the translucent or semi-transparent.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 11:44 AM
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Okay. How about the idea of trying to use something like Thompsons Water Seal, should I bother with that?
 
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Old 07-23-12, 11:46 AM
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I cannot stress strongly enough I would never consider buying that product.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 11:59 AM
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Okay, solid body stain it will be. That's fine, at least plenty of colors to choose from. What I used before on the front deck was a Woodsman brand solid deck stain, water-based (soap and water cleanup). Maybe I should try to find an oil-based solid deck stain and it might not end up have the flaking issue I described? Thanks Mitch17 for your input.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 12:36 PM
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The stuff I use is oil based but I don't know that it's necessarily any good. Cabbot, Sikkens, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams seems to get the most endorsement around here.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 04:03 PM
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Either semi-transparent or solid stain would be good for that deck. Solid stain should last longer although a semi-transparent might not look as bad as it starts to fail. Getting a long lasting finish on a deck where rain/snow can lay on it for awhile is always a challenge. Oil base seals a little better than latex but will fade quicker. It also needs to wood to be good and dry before application and takes longer to dry. Latex is more fade resistant, dries quick and easy clean up.

As with any coating, the cheaper the coating, the shorter the life - you get what you pay for.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:09 PM
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Okay thanks guys. Based on replies here and what the paint guy said at the local paint center, I ended up choosing this: Semi Transparent Deck Stain | Stain Colors | Flood
I started staining with it already this afternoon; looking a lot better that's for sure. And probably for a good while, I hope.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 06:47 AM
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I've never used that line but I know Mark uses at least some of their products.

You do know we need pictures again when you're done, right?
 
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Old 07-24-12, 09:12 AM
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I never used the "Flood" line either but for whatever reason that's what the main local paint retailer here sells now as far as deck stain products. Wasn't cheap stuff either, cost-wise anyway; a gallon can was 30 bucks. Says on the can it has a "3 year limited warrantee" when applied on decks, 5 years on siding. I chose a brown color called warm earth.
And I'll post pics here when I'm done, since you need them.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 09:19 AM
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It's been a while since I read this but someone once posted a rule of thumb that you get a year of life for every $10 you paid per gallon of product. Roughly said, Mark's 'you get what you pay for' line is pretty accurate.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 10:00 AM
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I'm afraid inflation has taken away the 1 yr per $10 rule of thumb

While I've used a lot of Flood's products, I think their semi-transparent and solid stains are fairly new. I hadn't ever seen them until a few yrs ago.
 
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Old 07-28-12, 08:13 PM
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Old 07-29-12, 05:29 AM
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Looks good !
 
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Old 07-29-12, 06:41 AM
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Wow that does look good. Made quite a difference!

Re: Sikkens. I've only used it once. Someone told me once though that if you use that product, you've kind of locked yourself into using it as nothing else will stick to it. I really don't like the idea of being stuck with one product in case your local supplier discontinues carrying it.

Re: Thompsons. No, it doesn't hold up as well as some products, however like MarkSR said if you live in a climate with loads of snow, cold/hot weather finding something that does hold up can be difficult.

We get intensely hot summers and very snowy/cold winters where I'm at. The general opinion around here is that if you're going to apply anything, even a great product it will only last for a couple of years before you may need to reapply.

Thompsons does sell a factory tinted product these days with a small choice in colours. You just have to shake/stir regularly as the solids settle out quickly. I used it on a customers deck at their request recently and it looked great the next day. Will probably have to redo it in a couple of years though.
 
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Old 07-29-12, 10:57 AM
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Might have turned out nicer if maybe I'd prepped it beyond (or instead of) just the pressure washing, maybe done some scrubbing of it using 50/50 bleach or used some of that deep cleaning wood deck cleaner product(s). The pressure washer I used was a good serious duty machine and seemed to clean it pretty well though, or well enough.

Glad to hear you guys think it looks good. My wife says so too. Can't really call it ugly anymore, (at least for a few more years or so anyway). Thanks for the help/input here.
 
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Old 07-29-12, 11:00 AM
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My wife says so too
That's more important than anything we have to say
 
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