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HateHumminbird

Deck Rail/Post Staining - Cedar - Advice Needed!

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This has been an issue for almost a year now. The previous CW-something product I applied two years ago has since weathered away, and now I need to reapply something to preserve that cedar. My questions are as follows:

1. What product will provide me the longest-lasting, most maintenance-free finish possible. I wouldn't object to a solid color stain, but semi-solid with some of the wood-grain showing through might be preferable.

2. How to prep the deck, remove mildew, old stain, etc? Please tell me I don't need to strip the old stuff (where it still exists).

3. How to deal with these problems:

-Can't spill any on the decking, it's composite and stains (should I just spread this stain on the decking too?)

-I have aluminum spindles that are a terrible pain to work around. Any advice for working around those?

4. Application. Should I try spraying it on? Do I have to brush it on?

Last time it was well over 50 hours, and I wasn't necessarily satisfied with the results. This sucks. The fish I won't be catching are already mocking me.

Joel

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Joel,

You mentioned bothe cedar and composite in your post. I am assuming the decking is cedar.

I just started the every other year deck restaining project last weekend. I have yet to find a product/stain/finish that stays looking good for more than 2 years.

The last time I did this two years ago I let the sales guy at Home Depot talk me into some crappy Behr acrylic semi-transparent sealant/finsh. Never again.

This year I used a Pittsburgh Paints Deck cleaner to strip my deck. I applied it with a hand held sprayer. I then used a power washer to remover the cleaner and all the remaining stain and dirt. The stuff worked unbelievably well. Very caustic (don't get it on your skin) stuff but it didn't kill the surrounding grass or landscaping. The wood on the deck looks like new except a slightly lighter color. I completely cleaned a 14 x 40 deck with steps and cedar spndle railing in about 6 hours. The railing took the most time.

I will be using a Pittsburgh Paints oil based semi-transparent stain the year. I did a small 8' x 8' section last night and it looks pretty good. Time will tell if the stuff is decent or not.

Unfortunately wooden/cedar decks are a time sink from a maintence perspective. That is why I used a composite decking at our lake home. I want to avoid the maintenance during the retirement years... Fishing, hunting, golf and cutting the grass are all much betters uses of time!

Good luck.

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Last time it was well over 50 hours, and I wasn't necessarily satisfied with the results. This sucks. The fish I won't be catching are already mocking me.

Joel

If those fish are really mocking you, why not spend the extra dough and go full composite? They make 4x4 composite deck posts (Trex does at least) and 2x4's for deck rails. Expensive and not a great option though since it's already completed.

I wouldn't recommend staining the decking, then you lose it's best feature.

I don't have a lot of experience staining cedar, but I do know it's somewhat difficult for it to keep from peeling. I stained my cedar log swing with a brand of Olympic stain and two years later it still looks very good. Did 2 coats though so maybe that was the difference.

The fish aren't mocking my deck (full composite) but they are mocking the operational status of my boat smile

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Joel, you and I have the same problem brother... I have been through two different types of stain and still cant keep the dang stuff looking decent. The first one was Behr premium and the second was Sikkens. Both of them seem to want to peel off after about the first 6 months. My deck is on the south side, so UV exposure is pretty significant and I am thinking that might be the problem. After the first go around, I actually sanded off the original Behr and recoated with the Sikkens. Now I am wishing I had just sealcoated the deck and left it natural color since it did the same dang thing.

Not sure which brand we are going to try next, but I am going to look for something with really good UV protection. Anyway, good luck and let me know how it turns our for you.

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I personally never use a coat that seals,Only oils and than every fall waterseal.Only because the sun dries wood the oil soaks in it also water seals but its no competition with sun,the water seal eventually stops working.When the wood is dry again I reapply CWF,then after 1 year waterseal and keep repeting.

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fisher---

I also went to home depot for my deck project and was not happy although maybe my inexperience was to blame. I did buy stripper to remove old stain. i was having problems keeping it wet as directed and scrubbed with brush as suggested. after drying, my deck looked "hairy" and i was kinda in shock and the wife not pleased. so i then bought a cheap sander to try to smooth the hair appearance out. not sure if it was the brush or the stripper. i then went to get stain and "sampled" three, none of which met my wifes approval. i ended up going back to the contractor (roof to deck) to find out what product they applied since we liked the color. the product is called ready seal (semi transparent stain)and it is great with much better color than any local product. they have a 800 number and the guy was soo helpful in telling me what to do and how to do it. wished i had started with them. i still have some hairs but the stain was beautiful. they ship in two days. i used over 5 gallons (two coats for the flat decking) and man it looks pretty when it rains...get what you pay for i guess. i was trying to save the 1000 dollars and do it myself...i would do the power wash and match up a stain color that is close to what you have now... next time i need to stain, i just have to wash it with water and alittle bleach and apply the same stain...lessons learned !!i would highly recommend this product...now i can get back to fishing, something i am much more familiar and comfortable with

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Fishmn,

Sikkens is suppose to be a 2 part finish, first part being the stain and the 2nd part being a glossy overcoat to absorb the UV rays and to take the weather beating and keep the color under neat good. That stuff is suppose to last for 5 years.

I just bought some semi transparent stuff from hirshfields which is a vertical stain (supposed to be better than deck quality stuff) they claim to last 3 years. I just sprayed my fence with it this weekend so i dont know the durability of it. However from our old house with the cedar deck, we used olympic, and a few others and nothing lasted. But dude at hirshfields told me that this stuff is supposed to be good...i just cant think of the name right now.

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Interesting, the dealer I bought it from never mentioned anything like that. They are usually quite good on this stuff too. I will have to go back down there and talk to them again. Thanks!

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I had asked about the sikkens for my fence, but he discouraged me from doing it being I was going to be spraying it on.

That was when he told me about the 2 part finish and all that. I was just repeating what he told me on Saturday.

I work with a guy that paints on the side and he also recommended the sikkens but told me to roller and brush it on...he also said that it should last for 5 years.

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