Superdeck stain sprayed on pressure treated wood... big mistake?

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Old 08-07-20, 06:58 AM
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Superdeck stain sprayed on pressure treated wood... big mistake?

So the gist of my situation is I am trying to get some bare wood stained for a dock and deck in time for a family get together. The wood used to construct the dock/deck has had several months to dry out. I found a contractor to stain the dock while I decided I would stain the deck myself, but after seeing his results I am worrying about several things should I try to tackle this myself...
  • From what I read, pressure treated wood will not stain as nicely compared to a hardwood so I already set my mind to that expectation, but even so, the color looks nothing like the sample. The stain is Superdeck semi-transparent SW 3507 Riverwood in an oil-base. Superdeck instructions says a second application may be needed to achieve the right color. If he hasn't applied a second coat, would that remedy the look/color?
  • To me, it doesn't look like the stain absorbed in some places and a lot of the yellow color of the wood seems to be coming through. The contractor said he pressure washed the dock and sprayed the stain on (I personally prefer to roll instead and planned to for the deck). There are also some places where the stain looks to be overlapped...
  • He mentioned sanding the wood, but I don't think he did because I still see pencil marks and stamps... would sanding have helped make drastic a difference?
  • In your opinion, would you pay for this sort of work? Is the result of this stain on par with what to expect with pressure treated wood?
Here's some pictures (also sorry about the quality it had recently rained). This is about 2 days since the job was done.

Uneven color (overlapped layers?) and pencil marks:



Uneven color:


Lovely stamps:


Mystery green goop:


Uneven colors:



 
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Old 08-07-20, 07:06 AM
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Pencil marks are easy to remove prior to staining but the ink stamps can be a royal pain. Some will scrub up with solvents but others not so much. IMO there is no excuse for leaving pencil marks.

Whenever I spray stain I like to back brush/roll it to work it into the wood. I often spray, roll and spray again. It is important to let the pressure treated wood to dry out from the PT process before applying any stain.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 09:30 AM
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Pressure washing soon before applying the stain may be part of the problem with the results.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 09:37 AM
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So I was able to ask the contractor a few things, however they conflict with some information Iíve found online. Obviously the web is not always right, but can someone weigh in on these claims? I would like to be as knowledgeable as possible when I tackle the deck.
  • Sanding: He has been doing this for 20 yrs never heard of anyone sanding their deck and would lose ⅛ to ľ inch of wood off the top and would ultimately destroy the deck.
  • Pressure treated wood: This type of wood cups easily and is the reason why the stain looks uneven.
  • Green stains: Coming from the pressure treated wood, due to the way wood is treated in the state of GA.
  • Stamps/Pencil: He would have to sand it and it would mess up the grain and thus why he did not remove them.
  • Rolling/Brush vs. Spraying: Would have made no difference and the result would look the same.
  • Uneven color: Completely the fault of the quality of the wood.

    Also, he says to get the color closer to what the sample looks like, he says he will have to put a 2nd coat and charge for more materials/stain. Estimate says nothing about how many gallons or coats, but doesn't seem right that I should get charged more to get the color closer to what I expected, but its probably not specific enough either. Before he even got started, I had a spare deck board I hand brushed and showed him before he went to work and the dock doesn't even match up with that. All this is more motivation to be a more avid DIYer.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 10:58 AM
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The only time I sand decking is when someone had gotten too aggressive with pressure washing and chewed up the wood.

Pressure treated wood has nothing to do with the stain being uneven. I believe it's uneven because some areas received more/less stain than others. The majority of decks I've stained over the years have been PT pine.

Not much you can do about any discoloration from the PT process, if it didn't wash off - it's there to stay.
If the ink stamps can be washed off easily - I remove them, when they don't - I leave them. Pencil marks are easy to remove either by a light sanding or scrubbing.

When you only spray the stain the stain mostly lays on top of the wood. Brushing/rolling insures it gets worked into the grain. It would also help insure more even coverage.

While the wood plays a part in how it accepts stain I don't believe your uneven coloring is because of the wood.

If customer provides me of a sample of what they expects the stain to look like I figure it's my responsibility to get it as close as feasible. Usually if it isn't feasible you'll know ahead of time and discuss that before starting the job.
 
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Old 08-08-20, 12:43 AM
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Whoever built your deck did a terrible job setting the screws, they are too close to the edge, surprised not seeing splits, and they are not straight, I noticed that first before even reading the post!
 
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Old 08-08-20, 05:51 AM
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  • Sanding: I doubt this would ultimately destroy a deck but I never sand before staining unless there are slivers etc. that have to be soothed out.
  • Pressure treated wood: Not sure what staining and cupping have to do with each other
  • Green stains: Yes this is common
  • Stamps/Pencil: I also would not sand it to remove these.
  • Rolling/Brush vs. Spraying: Cannot say. I always brush on the first coat so that the stain gets worked into the wood. I cannot say if this is better or worse it is just the way I have always done it. Logically though it does make sense to me to brush it in.
  • Uneven color: Also cannot say but I doubt it.
The blotchiness looks to me like it could be from sanding the wood unevenly. You would not see it unless you wet the wood or stained it. May also be from pressure washing it. You said he pressure washed it before staining. This does not make sense to me. Why let the wood dry out and then soak it just before staining it.
Sort of the same with sanding. My understanding is that you let the deck sit for a couple months before staining to not only dry out the wood but to allow the surface wood fibers to relax and open up so it takes the staining better. Sanding it just takes off those fibers.

As far as the screws being near the edges I cannot say if this will cause a problem in the future as I have never put them that close. Could be they were done that way to help prevent/delay cupping. Time will tell.
The screws look inline to me but it looks like there are offset stringers so they had to move the screws to hit the stringers on center.

I would not do anything right now. I would leave it for a year and let the sun/weather even out the finish.
Staining it now may lock in the blotchiness. I also doubt that staining it now will get rid of the blotchiness.
 
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Old 08-09-20, 04:00 AM
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he pressure washed it before staining. This does not make sense to me. Why let the wood dry out and then soak it just before staining it
It's a fairly common procedure to pressure wash a deck prior to staining, even if the deck is only a few months old. The stain will adhere better and look better when the wood is clean. It doesn't take as long for the wood to dry from cleaning as it does from the PT process. New PT wood that has been cleaned will generally dry out within a few days although it is weather dependent.
 
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Old 08-10-20, 03:02 PM
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That's a good eye there! For some reason I did not register the screws being so close to the edge until you mentioned it. I know on my deck that they are definitely more inward. The pictures I gave were for a dock and I am not sure if that makes a difference, but I'd be interested to know.
 
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Old 08-11-20, 02:28 AM
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While I've built several decks I know more about the staining portion than the construction. I always thought that deck boards were supposed to get 3 screws/nails per board at each joist. I wouldn't think a dock would be constructed any different.
 
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