Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
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Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

Posts Tagged ‘prepping your deck’

New Smooth Wood
Staining a New Deck

New Smooth Wood

Over the past year, we have numerous questions asked on the site, but none was asked more than “What stain or prep is needed for my new deck”? There seems to be an opinion among homeowners that is okay to stain new wood right away or even before the deck is installed. This is incorrect for most wood types and stain brands.

In this article, we will cover the required prep and the waiting period needed before applying a stain for the first time.

New Smooth Decking

New smooth decking boards are not porous enough for most stains to be able to penetrate properly. This is mainly due to:

  • Mill glaze when cut
  • High moisture content
  • Chemicals in Pressure Treated Wood

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CLEANadvicetipsROLLOVER

How to prep and clean your wood deckExterior wood decking when left neglected oxidizes from the Ultra Violet rays from the sun. This will patina the exposed layer of wood cells turning the deck gray. Cleaning the deck first will a deck cleaner will remove this layer of graying wood cells while removing accumulated dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and algae.

Prepping your wood deck is the singular most important step when it comes to getting maximum performance out of your deck stain. Failure to prep and your stain will fail faster then it should and will not give the wood it’s natural beauty.

This article will go over the needed steps to properly clean your deck prior to applying the stain.

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Restore A Deck Kits

Restore A Deck Kits

Restore A Deck Kits

Important Note: This is our 2nd Review of the Restore A Deck Kits. See Here for First Review: Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit

Restore A Deck cleaner is a specifically designed two-part system that is best used to clean and prep a wood deck prior to staining it. The Restore A Deck cleaner system consists of a wood cleaner that will remove dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and grayed wood fibers. Step 2 is a wood brightener that corrects the pH of the wood and brightens/lightens it up prior to applying a wood stain or sealer.

Restore-A-Deck comes in a powdered concentrated formula. Each 2 lb container makes 5 liquid gallons and can clean and brighten up to 1000 sq. feet. Simply pour each into a five gallon container and add water to dissolve the powder concentrate.

The Restore a Deck Step 1 Cleaner contains an EPA registered ingredient that helps in the removal of mold, mildew, and algae.

Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

The Restore-A-Deck Step 1 Deck Cleaner works wonders at removing dirt and graying. The active ingredient creates a slight foaming on the wood once applied. Once the graying and dirt has softened, we find it best to use a pressure washer at a low setting of 1500 PSI to “lightly wash” off the dirty slime.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

Powdered deck prepping products are the way to go. Cheaper and more effective than bleach-based solutions. We have found that the Restore A Deck Kits are the best on the market today when it comes to price. Cost to clean and brighten an average 800 square foot deck is less then $.07 a foot.

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Deck Brightener On Bottom
Deck Brightener On Bottom

Deck Brightener On Bottom

Wood deck maintenance is important to the life span of any deck. Proper cleaning and staining are necessary on a regular basis to protect the deck from the harsh environment. Prior staining the surface needs a good cleaning. A clean surface will ensure proper adhesion and stain penetration. Cleaning a wood surface prior to staining will also enhance the beauty of the wood and give you a better end result.

There are several necessary steps in the wood cleaning process to prepare the surface for a new coat of stain. The first step is to clean the wood with a quality wood cleaner to remove all the dirt, grime, mold, mildew, graying, and mill glaze. The aid of a deck cleaner will help breakup and remove these contaminants that may prevent the new stain from performing.

Most all quality deck cleaners contain caustic soaps that make cleaning a deck both easier and more effective. The downside to a caustic cleaner is that is raises the pH level of the wood and makes it appear very dark in color. Let’s explore some reasons why this is not ideal if not dealt with and how using a deck brightener can restore the wood.

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Hiring Tips for a Deck Restoration Contractor

When you have come to the conclusion that deck maintenance is not for you or that bringing a deck back to life is too much work, you can always hire a contractor. Hiring a deck restoration contractor does not have to be difficult but you certainly want to do some research prior to making a decision.

Painters vs. Deck Restoration Professionals

Do not hire a painter to restore your deck unless he has extensive knowledge on the subject. We have found that many painters do not have the experience or know how of the proper preparation and application of a wood stain. Best to hire a professional who specializes in exterior wood deck restoration.

Deck Restoration Costs

The most common key factor for deck owners hiring a contractor for restoration is price. Deck restoration pricing can vary widely. The best thing to remember is most of the time you get what you pay for. This means the cheapest contractor, especially if they are way cheaper than anyone else, may not give you the results you expect.

The price a contractor charges for deck restoration work is closely related to his expenses. If a deck cleaning contractor is very low on price he may not be properly insured, use inferior products, or might plan to take shortcuts to turn a profit. Always be weary of a ridiculously low estimate for deck restoration.

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Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit
Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit

Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit

Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit ReviewRestore-A-Deck Cleaner and Brightener system is a powerful “eco-friendly” two-part restoration system. 100% Biodegradable Concentrated powder formula. Prep wood surfaces for re-coating with a wood or deck stain and restores weathered gray wood to natural color.

Note: We tested Gemini’s Restore-A-Deck Kit on a heavily gray and dirty fence that was neglected for 8 years.

Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– Gemini’s Restore-A-Deck Kit worked very efficiently to remove the graying from the fence. Even though the fence was severely neglected, the cleaner and brightener restored the wood to 90% of its original look.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

– Excellent! Gemini’s Restore-A-Deck Kit is a powdered concentrate that is hard to beat when it comes to cost. The kit can clean and brighten up to 1000 sq. feet. You would need 3-5 times as much if purchasing a liquid packaged cleaner or brightener.

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Restore-A-Deck Injectable Deck Stain

Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper

Best Deck Stain Stripper Review

Restore-A-Deck Injectable Deck Stain

Restore-A-Deck Injectable Deck Stain Stripper is the first and only stripper on the market that is designed to be injected through a pressure washer or can be applied with a pump up sprayer. The Restore-A-Deck stripper when injected, can remove transparent and semi-transparent wood stains. When applied through a pump sprayer, the RAD stripper is 2-3 times stronger and can remove most transparent, semi-transparent, and semi-solid deck stains.

The Restore-A-Deck Injectable Deck Stain Stripper needs to be neutralized with a wood brightener.

Restore-A-Deck Injectable Deck Stain Stripper Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– The RAD stripper easily cut through the dirt. All mold was removed from the deck.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

– Used as an injectable, the RAD stripper covers over 1500 sq. feet for the 2 pound, $25 a bottle. When pumped on with a sprayer you will get closer to 750 sq. feet. Either way the RAD stain stripper is a bargain to use for the cost!

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STRIPreviewsROLLOVER

HD80 Deck Stripper Review

HD80 Deck Stripper Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– HD80 as with most stains stripper scores exceptionally well when it comes to removal of dirt, grime, and mold.

Cost Per Square Foot: 9

– Scores very well when it comes to cost effectiveness. One container of stripper sells for $23.99 and makes 5 liquid gallons. This translates to about $5 per liquid gallon. Each gallon covers 150 square feet.

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BRIGHTadvicetipsROLLOVER
Deck Brightener

Use of a Deck Brightener

The use of Deck Cleaners and Deck Stains Strippers when prepping wood for a coat of deck stain will cause the pH balance to increase. This is due to the mild caustics (bases) that the cleaners and strippers use, making the products more effective in the cleaning process. The side effect is that the pH is changed and will “darken” the natural wood color. The Deck Brightener (mild acids) will neutralize the caustic of the cleaner or stripper setting the pH balance to a neutral 6. Using a deck brightener will increase the longevity of the stain as well.

Wood Deck Brightening is a much needed and easiest step in the entire prepping process.

The following steps should be used when applying a deck brightener:

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STRIPadvicetipsDEFAULT

Deck Stain FailureThere are many types of Exterior Wood Deck Stains on the market. They range from slightly pigmented sealers to solid color stains. One thing is for certain, they all fail after years of neglect, rain, snow, and UV degradation. In many cases, it is possible to use a deck cleaner and re-coat over an old stain. This is not practical though if the old stain has failed by wearing unevenly, peeled or if switching brands of stains. In these cases, you will need to use a Deck Stain Stripper. Stain strippers contain a more aggressive “caustic” than a typical deck cleaner. These caustics break down the bond between the cellular structure of the wood and the old stain. This makes removal of the stain easier with scrubbing or a light pressure wash.

Theses are basic steps needed to strip a failed deck stain:

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.

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