Sunday, December 5, 2010

Exterior Stain Trouble Shootings

Dilute a quart of laundry bleach in a galloon of water mixed with a cup of TSP substitute. Use full strength, bleach can chemically burn the wood. Brush it onto the deck surface, and rinse before the solution has a chance to dry.

Penetrating stains don't peel. This only occurs on finishes that form a film like solid-color stains. Causes of peeling are wood decay from rot or sun, poor prep work, water vapor getting underneath the film and lifting it, and UV damage to the finish itself. The only cure is to remove the peeling stain and start over on a sound, clean surface.

This one is a good indicator that it's time for a new coat of penetrating stain or waterproofer. Fading is the inevitable effect of the sun and foot traffic.
To test your deck for fading, test the wood by pouring some water on a shady spot of your deck and see how long it takes to soak in. If the water disappears in 5 minutes or less, the wood is ready for a new coat. If a finish is fading too quickly, use a stain with more pigment.