My name is Anthony, my wife and I recently purchased our first home last fall and I am a novice with DIY projects. We live in upstate New York, our deck/house was built in 2008, and we in are in need of some advice. The deck consists of a large, full sunlight area and another area with a pavilion in mostly shade. The deck is inaccessible from underneath as it has boards going all the way down all around and is attached to the house I believe.
I stumbled upon your website when I noticed that my deck was peeling (the deck was coated with an Olympic maximum burgundy red solid stain/sealant) after winter, when I was searching how to take care of a deck. During the early spring we had noticed that the deck was accumulating a lot of water next to our deck patio door and underneath the deck also, which in turn was also making the stain failure more apparent. We also had noticed that the stain was put on a month or so before we had bought the house, based on the receipts for updates, as per closing disclosure, and my guess is that the stain was not properly applied and that was one of the reasons for its failure. Upon further investigation I also had noticed that there was little to no spacing in between some of the boards (especially around the patio door). The house was recently built in 2008, so the deck/house are fairly new. I believe the deck is made from pressure treated lumber. I have gone through so many trips to Lowe’s/Home Depot/ace etc in order to try and get the right tools for the job and speak with people who could help me but have led me in so many disjointed directions, and I just had a few questions about where to go from here if you’d be willing to lend me your expertise.
I bought and applied a superdeck stripper ( 3 whole gallons were needed for the deck and still need to apply the brightener), and removed it with a pressure washer (Simpson 2800 PSI). Unfortunately there are some small pieces of stain near the edges under the pavilion on the deck where I cannot get to and also there are still some pieces in between boards that I cannot get to either... I was hoping that you’d be able to help me figure out what to do...
I don’t know if I should use a circular saw and try to widen the board gaps to 1/4” or if I should just try to clean, as best as I can, between them with a backerboard scoring knife... and if that’d be sufficient. It looks as though the boards are attached with nails and there is one power outlet that I have to be careful about if I use the circular saw, but it looks like a straight shot back to the house; it’s located under the pavilion.
At first we had hoped to utilize the stain the previous owners left us and We called Olympic to see if we could restain with the same coating so I didn’t have to take everything off, but after I started just the sanding process (using the porter cable 6” random orbit sander with only 120 grit) the stain was coming off rapidly, so we didn’t that stain was unusable and we needed to get down to the bare wood. The stripping of that Olympic deck stain using the liquid stripper and the pressure washer took me 19 hours to complete the whole deck and it just seems like we’re putting so much more time and effort into this than we had planned ( like I said the deck looked in good shape at the time of purchase). We also found another gray colored stain (? Maybe), which I didn’t know was underneath it, so we had 2 layers to remove. I did a complete sanding (random orbital sander, 60grit) on the surface of the boards as well trying to get any remaining stain left one the deck.
In conclusion I would appreciate any feedback on the following questions after all the background information:
I attached some pictures of deck, to try and visually describe what I was saying to. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you soon. Any help you could give we’d be very grateful for.
1. Yes, you will be fine. See this for sanding tips: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-to-sand-your-wood-deck/
2. No need.
3. No, just leave as is. Widening really does not work very well and could lead to an unsightly appearance. Replacing a few boards every so often is a lot easier.
4. If you are going to use a semi-transparent then yes, get all off. More sanding is the only way.
5. One of these brands: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/the-5-best-deck-stain-reviews-and-ratings/
6. Sand the rest, clean and brighten for final prep, let dry, then stain. Do not sand again.
Thank you very much for the reply, I’m not sure why my photos weren’t attached to my previous post.
I was hoping to go with the semi transparent Armstrong one.
Would the same apply for a semi solid stain for 4?
And lastly what would be the best way to get build up out from the deck boards that are spaced too close together.
Thank you again I really appreciate your advice.
Yes. Try a screwdriver to remove the debris or google "crevice cleaning tool"