restaining old deck-- Need to strip old stain?

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Old 02-25-14, 01:22 PM
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restaining old deck-- Need to strip old stain?

Hello,

I recently purchased a place and it has a decent sized deck in the back that has mostly old weathered wood. But, there is some reddish stain still left in spots that hasn't been weathered as bad. Also, I had to replace 4 deck boards that had a hole burnt in them so I have 4 new pressure treated boards, some boards that look old and weathered with no stain, and some boards with little bits of reddish stain on them.... So my question is do I need to go over the whole thing with a stripper first to try to make it all look even with new stain? Or could I get away with a good cleaner and then using a darker stain then the previous. I don't really want a sold stain I like semi-transparent. I will take some photos when I get home that may help someone help me out.... Thanks!
 
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Old 02-25-14, 01:58 PM
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Photos

Here are a few photos of the deck wood.
 
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Old 02-25-14, 02:37 PM
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So you are saying you want to use a toner or translucent stain??

First thing you need to do is clean the deck. I normally use a bleach/water solution, never stronger than 50%. I'll wet the deck with water and then spray the bleach/water on with a pump up garden sprayer, let it set but not dry and then rinse with a pressure washer [a garden hose will also work]

Once the deck is clean you can better assess the viability of using a toner stain. For a toner to work you need to have consistent wood color and it looks best if the wood looks fairly new. Sometimes applying a wood/deck brightner helps although I've had good results just using the bleach/water solution. Some will sand the deck to get to new/clean wood but that's more work than I'm willing to do.

I just reread your post and realized you wanted semi-transparent - I thought it said you didn't
You'll still need to clean the deck well! A semi-transparent stain should work ok, you will see a difference where it's really weathered and the new boards will show but it shouldn't be overly noticeable.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 08:56 AM
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Thank you for your reply,

Yes I really like the semi-transparent look maybe in a dark oak or something pretty dark colored to help cover some of the different coloring... Is that basically what is in those expensive deck cleaners is water and bleach? Is the water and bleach mix just as good?
 
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Old 02-26-14, 11:08 AM
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The commercially prepared deck cleaners use a bleach substitute which is more diy and environmentally friendly. Too strong of a bleach mixture can destroy wood fibers and care most be used so the bleach run off doesn't harm vegetation BUT bleach is cheap and very effective! If you wet and rinse the vegetation as you go it is highly unlikely it will be harmed. As long as you don't apply bleach/water mixed stronger than 50% and rinse it before it dries it won't harm the wood. I always mix my bleach/water at 40-50% bleach, if you go less than 30% it's not likely to be effective. Stubborn areas might require a 2nd treatment or a little scrubbing. If using a PWer care must be used to not get too close or use too much pressure which can chew up the wood ..... then you need to sand
 
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Old 02-27-14, 02:56 PM
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Usually they use bleach and related products for restaining the deck. Even I once hired a deck cleaner which used very strong bleach that just burnt a wide area of my deck. After which I was not happy at all.
 
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Old 02-27-14, 02:59 PM
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Unfortunately not everyone who works in a given field is a knowledgeable professional Whenever hiring a contractor it's a good idea to check his references!

almost forgot welcome to the forums alan!
 
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Old 03-10-14, 09:19 AM
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Thank you for all the info. It's warming up here so I will probably get to work on this soon. My plan is to

1. Power wash the entire deck with a low setting.
2. Spray the entire deck with a 50/50 bleach mixture.
3. Scrup with a stiff brush and let sit for 15 minutes.
4. Power wash off.
5. let dry for a couple of days.
6. Use a sponge applicator and brush to stain the deck with a dark colored semi-transparent stain.
7. Cross my fingers and hope for the best!!
 
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Old 03-10-14, 09:34 AM
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I don't know if it's necessary to PW first but it won't hurt any. Not sure how well a sponge applicator will work - I'd expect it to snag on nail/screw heads and splinters. I'd use a roller and then back brush it.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 09:46 AM
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okay good tip, my deck wood is pretty weathered so I bet your right about the snagging. I'm now thinking since I have some different colored boards and they are pretty weathered I will just a semi-solid instead of a semi-transparent so it will cover blemishes and colors a little bit bitter. Does that seem like a good idea in your opinion? I have some pictures below of the wood.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 09:52 AM
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I like to let the condition of the deck [once cleaned] determine which stain to use. Translucent and semi-transparent stains are great for new decks but it usually makes sense to switch to a solid stain [never used a semi-solid] when a deck gets old. Generally the more pigment a stain has the longer it will last ..... assuming the stain's quality is the same.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 09:59 AM
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Okay thanks,

I see you say never use a semi-solid. I was hoping to keep some of the wood grain showing through without having to use a full solid. So, could you please elaborate a little on why not to use a semi-solid? I will use a full solid if there is a good reason why.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 12:11 PM
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I never heard of semi-solid until after I retired. Solid stain looks more or less like paint although it does allow the wood grain/texture show thru. I assume semi-solid is kind of a cross between semi-transparent and solid stain. I wouldn't be hesitant to use semi-solid providing it was a brand I had confidence in.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 10:22 AM
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Now I've come up with another question. When cleaning the deck do I want the liquid bleach like clorox or do I want that powdered bleach like Ajax?
 
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Old 03-12-14, 11:50 AM
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I'm not familiar with the powdered Ajax bleach. I've always used whatever bleach was cheapest and never had any issues related to using a lower priced product.

Some/all of the commercially prepared deck cleaners use an oxygenated [?] bleach which is more user and environmentally friendly - less likely to burn vegetation or harm the wood but I've always been well satisfied with using regular bleach.
 
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Old 03-13-14, 07:14 AM
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It is working pretty good! The wood still looks old and very dark but is not dirty, black/gray anymore, and it is even getting rid of some of the bits of old stain.

Do you think I should apply a wood brightener as well to brighten the boards up or would this be a wasted step and a waste of money since I'm going to use a semi-solid to cover it all up anyways?
 
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Old 03-13-14, 07:22 AM
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I seldom use a wood brightner because the bleach/water normally lightens up the wood. IMO there is no need to use it if you are going to apply a semi-solid stain. The main reason for having the wood light in color is so it won't have an adverse affect on a transparent stain. As long as the wood is clean and dry - any stain should adhere fine.
 
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Old 03-13-14, 07:44 AM
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That's kind of what I figured, If I was using a clear or light colored semi stain it would probably make sense. Thanks for all your help I will post a finished product!
 
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