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[Sticky] Properly Cleaning a Deck Before Staining

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(@g_tixq6zjd_67-184-242-234)
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I'm confused on how well you have to clean a wood deck before you can seal it. Is just sweeping away the debris and dirt enough? Do you have to use a pressure washer? If so, what is the proper procedure for cleaning the wood.

I'm looking for the best results possible without having to hire a deck cleaning contractor.


   
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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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The proper way to clean a deck is with a deck cleaner and a wood brightener. The deck cleaner will remove the dirt, mold, graying, etc. The Wood Brightener will lighten the wood to it's natural pH balance.

You can use a stiff scrub brush and or a pressure washer at low pressure when using the cleaner and brightener.

See here for Deck Cleaner Ratings

Does you deck currently have a stain on it? Do you plan on re staining?


   
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(@g_tixq6zjd_67-184-242-234)
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Topic starter  

The deck cleaner ratings are very helpful, thank you. The deck has never had any stain on it. It is currently just sun faded and grayed out. I do want to apply a good deck sealer though after I clean it properly.


   
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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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I would look at the top deck stain ratings in the right column. You can find the products on the links below:

TWP 100 Series
Defy Extreme Stain


   
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(@g_ttaboqda_75-66-136-181)
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I need some ammo here ... I believe that there is alot more to the wood prep than just using the pressure washer and bleach mixture. My wife is convinced that this is enough.

Please educate me on the cleaner/ brightener process so that I can do this right.

Thanks in advance!


   
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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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Bleach is actually bad for wood. It can break down the lignin that holds the wood's cellular structure together resulting in exposed damaged wood cells.

Best way to prep is with a sodium percarbonate based cleaner that is designed for wood followed by a brightener. This is much safer for the wood, better at cleaning, and eco friendly.

Restore-A-Deck systems are our top choice for a cleaner and brightener as it works very well and is cost effective.


   
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(@g_ttaboqda_75-66-136-181)
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HUGE!! Thanks for your help!


   
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We are in the process of scrubbing our 20 year old cedar railings with sodium percarbonate before applying stain. The UV rays and harsh winters have destroyed the cedar deck itself. Is it necessary to also apply a brightener before staining the railings? There are plants and flowers very nearby. I had almost decided on Ready Seal, but read its poor 2 year performance. Is Defy Extreme the logical choice?


   
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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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Yes you should use a wood brightener on the deck. It will lower the pH balance to neutral, allowing you stain to perform better.

Ready Seal is known as a stain that needs to be reapplied every year. It is easy to apply but just will fade very fast as it never actual dries or cures.

The Defy Stain will hold color longer then Ready Seal.


   
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(@g_eef8sxat_173-80-94-149)
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Can you apply Defy stain OVER a conditioned and brightened deck when the previous stain was oil-based? Sure would appreciate an expert reply.


   
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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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If the previous stain is removed, then yes. If not you will run the risk of the Defy Extreme not adhering properly.


   
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 Wade
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My deck is a just under a year old and it has never been stained and it is made out of pressure treated pine. Do I need to wash it or can I just sand it with 80 grit sand paper


   
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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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It would be best to use a wood cleaner and a wood brightener to prep your one year old deck.


   
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 Wade
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What would you recommend to clean it with and should I sand it after I clean it?

Thanks again, Wade


   
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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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I would not sand. The Restore-A-Deck Kits work very well!


   
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