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Old 06-19-2015, 07:03 AM   #1
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Default How to stain a wood deck?

So, yeah... always have done commercial work. Never before have we done residential decks. I know how to finish/refinish wood, just not outdoor decks. Any advice? Steps? Tricks? I'm asking because an acquaintance of mine wants me to bid on a 4-deck condo, and I really don't know what to do hahaha!

I appreciate all your help!!
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Anchors Aweigh Paint View Post
So, yeah... always have done commercial work. Never before have we done residential decks. I know how to finish/refinish wood, just not outdoor decks. Any advice? Steps? Tricks? I'm asking because an acquaintance of mine wants me to bid on a 4-deck condo, and I really don't know what to do hahaha!

I appreciate all your help!!
Bid extremely high. Offer no warranty.
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:19 AM   #3
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Run far and fast.


Sorry, this week has really made me question humankind's ability to protect and preserve decks at all in climates like mine...
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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Default How to stain a wood deck?

-Find out what's on the deck.

-Find out what the customer wants as a top-coat, (semi-trans, solid, etc).

-Based on that info, determine your game plan.

Stay away from film-forming finishes if at all possible, since they're prone to peel, flake, and nearly impossible to strip. Look into TWP or Armstrong Clark's oil stains. There are other good ones too, just depends upon your area. Bakers makes a good stain, as does Ready Seal, Timberland, Wood Tux, etc.

After you find out what's on the decks and whether they're looking for a semi-trans or a solid, post pics here. We can help ya thru the whole thing.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:09 PM   #5
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-Find out what's on the deck.

-Find out what the customer wants as a top-coat, (semi-trans, solid, etc).

-Based on that info, determine your game plan.

Stay away from film-forming finishes if at all possible, since they're prone to peel, flake, and nearly impossible to strip. Look into TWP or Armstrong Clark's oil stains. There are other good ones too, just depends upon your area. Bakers makes a good stain, as does Ready Seal, Timberland, Wood Tux, etc.

After you find out what's on the decks and whether they're looking for a semi-trans or a solid, post pics here. We can help ya thru the whole thing.
Indeed I will - thank you
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:45 PM   #6
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In addition to finding out what kind of top coat they want, also ask them what kind of maintenance they plan to do (and try to see how much you think they'll actually do, not just what they say).

If they plan to do nothing at all, a semi-transparent has the best all around protection and durability in my opinion, and can probably last the longest without needing replacing and without damaging the wood.

If they're going to take good care of it and clean it multiple times a year (with product, not just rinse it off), and want it to last a decent amount of time, a semisolid or solid has good color retention and protects the wood itself better than any of the others by blocking more UV.

If they're going to take good care of it and clean it multiple times a year and want natural wood beauty and are okay with replacing it fairly frequently, a semi-transparent or translucent can look gorgeous and protect the deck well, assuming they reapply fairly frequently.

If they want it done for $ 25, dump a jug of Thompson's on it and change your phone number.

Just my opinion, and everyone's got a different one for decks. Like I said before, I've kind of lost faith in wood decks these days.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:20 PM   #7
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And if they say they want a semitransparent, make sure to ask if they want a nice stain that will make their wood look awesome or if they want a box store semitransparent that will make their wood look like someone smeared baby poop on it. I didn't even know this was an option until a couple of days ago.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:07 PM   #8
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All sound advice. I would only add make sure the boards are very dry. Moisture can cause premature failure. Pound in nails or tighten screws that loosened over the years.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:20 PM   #9
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I've done decks for over 30 years. It is the one paint project I absolutely HATE. Can it be a win-win? Yes, but the road to get there can be filled with more potholes than a northern city street. I've tried every single (well, almost) product out there from high-priced to low-priced, from clears to solids, and I can tell you with a certainty, none of them last more than 2 years. Now, having said that, if you can come up with a system that will give you 2 years, offers you opportunities to do a maintenance coat after that time, well, you might be onto something.

I use CWF-UV from the Flood company for the most part. It's inexpensive, gives me the two years, is easily cleaned and recoated, and offers you at least a fighting chance at making some profit.
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Surreal Painting View Post
All sound advice. I would only add make sure the boards are very dry. Moisture can cause premature failure. Pound in nails or tighten screws that loosened over the years.
Yep, a moisture meter is a painter's best friend. (Forget Fido; he poops too much.)

Also, reading the TDS for the product that you end up using will note the coating's tolerance for wet application.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:25 PM   #11
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I've done decks for over 30 years. It is the one paint project I absolutely HATE. Can it be a win-win? Yes, but the road to get there can be filled with more potholes than a northern city street. I've tried every single (well, almost) product out there from high-priced to low-priced, from clears to solids, and I can tell you with a certainty, none of them last more than 2 years. Now, having said that, if you can come up with a system that will give you 2 years, offers you opportunities to do a maintenance coat after that time, well, you might be onto something.

I use CWF-UV from the Flood company for the most part. It's inexpensive, gives me the two years, is easily cleaned and recoated, and offers you at least a fighting chance at making some profit.
That's a popular deck coating here, also. Where are you located, Gymshu?
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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That's a popular deck coating here, also. Where are you located, Gymshu?
South of Canton Ohio, Slinger.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:10 AM   #13
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South of Canton Ohio, Slinger.
Did you get a little rough weather a couple of days ago?
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:50 AM   #14
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Did you get a little rough weather a couple of days ago?
Hit just north of us, Proalliance. Possible tornado touchdown in Alliance which is East of Canton.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:48 PM   #15
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I've built two decks off the side of my house 5 years ago. I haven't put a bloody thing on them and I'm never going to. If the wood falls apart in 10 years, I'll replace the decking and that's all she wrote folks.

I'd rather sit on the deck with a bevvie than crawl around on my hands and knees sanding, scraping and recoating every year or two.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:19 PM   #16
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#1 issue with decks is nobody wants to pay to have them done correctly. #2 is no one wants to maintain the finish once it's on there. I generally steer people towards solid color unless their deck is brand new. There is a lot to learn about decks and stains and pressure washing.. oh and repairs. Here are pictures of one we finished today. It had unsightly reddish purple behr solid color stain that peeled and wore off over 8 years. Haggard boards. There are drainage and pitching issues. I almost wish I would have walked away from this job.









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Old 06-25-2015, 11:15 PM   #17
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Sully, what product did you use?
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:29 AM   #18
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It is BM's Arborcoat solid color stain. Color is hidden valley.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:03 AM   #19
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I salivate when I see those. Good job Sully!
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