Deck refinishing - What would you do?

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Old 05-29-14, 06:55 AM
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Deck refinishing - What would you do?

I have a 3.5 year old PT deck that was covered in Cabot semi-transparent acrylic stain. My deck gets tons of direct sunlight, 85 lb lab claws, and decent amounts of snow. At this point the finish is flaking up badly on the floor and starting to fade on the railings/spindles. I have powerwashed the floor in order to remove the loose stain. I purchased a deck stripper and was prepared to use it to remove all remaining stain on the floor. I also bought 2 gallons of Sherwin Williams DeckScapes semi transparent colormatched to my existing finish. My plan was to stain the floor and top rail but now i am unsure of the best way to proceed. The color match isnt perfect so my preference would be to remove ALL stain from floor, railings, and spindles and re-coat with new. However, i am not so confident in this stripper/power washer combo being able to easily remove all the stain from the rails. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 05-29-14, 07:24 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

As long as the color is close it shouldn't make much difference if you don't remove all of the existing stain ..... as long as you remove what's loose and the rest is clean, it should be fine.

Post some pics after you get it clean and we can confirm if it's ready for stain.
 
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Old 05-29-14, 07:41 AM
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Thanks

Thanks for the reply Marksr. I thought the same thing. However, the new stain is a bit more transparent than the Cabot was. So, the old finish comes through (see pic). Im afraid it all needs to come off. Maybe its just because the floor has been coated a 2nd time and looks a bit more like solid stain at this point.
 
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Old 05-29-14, 09:21 AM
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Solid stain might be the simplest solution. Some sanding might make the semi-transparent more viable.
 
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Old 05-29-14, 09:22 AM
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Getting down to raw clean wood is always better BUT that's a lot of work and IMO not worth the extra effort. I'd concentrate on getting the decking as good as I could and plan on double coating any areas on the railing that don't quite look right.
 
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Old 05-29-14, 01:29 PM
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Thanks guys. I figured as much. I dont think it will be a huge effort to get down to bare wood on the floor but the rails will be a nightmare. Going along with what Marksr said... do you think i could get the floor and top rail bare and coat with new semi transparent. Then hit the rails with something clear to protect it?
 
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Old 05-29-14, 01:36 PM
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Sure, that could work - it's not uncommon for the railing to be a different color so as long as the rails match each other they don't need to match the deck necessarily.
 
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Old 05-29-14, 02:40 PM
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hit the rails with something clear to protect it?
What kind of clear? I don't know that something like Thompson's WaterSeal would help much and spar poly would become a nightmare - sooner or later. I'd recoat the railing with the same semi-transparent stain and if it looks a little different than the rest - so be it.
 
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Old 05-30-14, 06:30 AM
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Ok so it sounds like the 2 best options are to 1) Get floor down to bare wood and apply the new semi-trans stain i bought or 2) Apply a solid stain to the whole deck. Im thinking the solid stain might be the best option because it will look uniform and will be the least amount of work.

I only have one gallon of tinted SWP DeckScapes semi-trans so I wont be wasting a ton of money if I dont use it. The others are still just base so I can return. What stain do you all recommend? Is SWP Deckscapes even any good? Should I go Acrylic based? Water based? Oil based?
 
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Old 05-30-14, 07:49 AM
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While I've heard some complain about DeckScapes, I've used a good bit of it and never had any complaints with the results. Solid stain would be a lot easier. You can mix you gallon of semi-transparent with the solid stain providing they both have the same base [oil with oil, latex with latex]

Latex and waterborne tend to hold up better in the southeast and are less likely to fade than oil base stains. Oil base seals the wood better. It would be best to check with locals to find out what works best in your climate.
 
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Old 05-30-14, 04:02 PM
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Ok so i got out there today bc it was a perfect overcast day to strip the deck. I must say, it came pretty good. Marksr... you have me leaning towards doing the whole deck in solid stain. I know i probably didnt need to strip the floor down to the bare wood if im going solid but i want to make sure i have the best possible adhesion. I still need to do the SWP Revive brightener.

Im thinking of doing a two tone look. Maybe a solid gray for the floor and solid white on rails. Thoughts? Also, there is a sale at SWP until 6/16 so i can get the Deckscapes solid for $34. Home Depot also has Sikkens Rubbol Solid for $34 after mail in rebate. Which would you pick?
 
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Old 05-31-14, 02:48 AM
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I've never used Sikkens but they have an excellent reputation.

While it doesn't hurt, there isn't any need for the wood brightener if you go with a solid stain. I rarely ever use a brightener but I normally just use a bleach/water solution which lightens up the wood as it cleans it. Brighteners can be important when using transparent stains but aren't needed with solid stains.

I've done a lot of 2 toned decks over the years. A grey deck with white railing should look nice. SWP has software that can take a pic of your house and insert their colors to give you an idea of what the color change will look like. I don't know if it works with decks but it wouldn't hurt to ask them. That way you'd know in advance how the proposed color scheme will look when combined with the exterior colors of your house.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 10:38 AM
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Thanks MarkSr. If I go solid I will return the brightener. I'm still on the fence whether to go semi trans or solid on floor boards. I like the look of a dark wood semi trans with solid white railings or a grey solid on floor boards with white solid on rails. Wife is undecided as well. I have never used a solid before. Is it harder to remove when it does fail? Is my dog going to rip it up with her claws easily?
 
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Old 05-31-14, 02:12 PM
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For the most part a solid stain will wear longer than semi-transparent but it will show signs of wear sooner. It's easy to switch to solid stain but difficult to switch back to semi-transparent.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 09:29 AM
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It's easy to switch to solid stain but difficult to switch back to semi-transparent.
Exactly, I'd definitely go with the semi. Pictures in #11 look pretty good to me.

Through my own stupidity I ruined my deck and had to go to solid stain. I HATE it, it looks like it is just painted. The wood can't rot fast enough so I can go ahead and build a new one.

Just my opinion.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 10:21 AM
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On your size deck I would be tempted to simply replace all the rail posts instead of sanding them. The other option is to do semi transparent on the floor and sold on the rails.

I'm dealing with the same issue, but my deck is about 800-900sqft. The railing will either take days to sand or $150 to replace the railing plus a half day's work.
 
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Old 06-03-14, 06:06 AM
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I hear you about replacing but not sure I would be willing to waste all that perfectly good wood. Plus it would cost me about $200 to do plus the tear down/rebuild. I never intended on sanding the rails anyway. Im gonna put a solid on it. My dilemma is over the floor in which i am leaning towards doing a semi transparent as you suggested. Thanks for all the replies.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 09:02 AM
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Checking in

Ok, some time has elapsed and since my last post, I have finished stripping the deck boards and top cap rail. I have cleaned (not stripped) the rest. I did this because I decided to go with a semi transparent on the decking and the top cap rail (matching) and a solid on the balusters, posts, fascia, lattice, etc. Im leaning towards doing something like a cherry colored semi trans and a white solid (see pic). So Im trying to now decide on which brand of stain to use. Im looking at Sikkens, Flood, SWP's Deckscapes, and BM's Arborcoat. Any suggestions? I would like to get this project finished in the next two weeks.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 11:01 AM
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Sikkens has a great reputation but I've never used it. I really like the look of Flood's CWF but it doesn't hold up as good as it should, especially on decks. I've had good results with DeckScapes. I don't remember if I've used the Arborcoat line but have had good results with BM deck stains.
 
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