Cedar deck with dark spots around nails
I'm helping a neighbour restain their 3year ~550sqft cedar deck beside the ocean in Victoria BC.
They're considering Restore-A-Deck to replace the previous stain.
Some parts (almost all knots) never absorbed the stain and most nail holes developed dark spots.
They waited 3 months before powersanding it with 80 grit and applying 2 coats of SealOnce's NanoPoly SemiTransparent Stain. Another coat was applied last year and it currently looks like this:
They've experimented with the upper deck:
Washed with 9:1 bleach and Dawn soap (to remove black mold from hummingbird water drips) - then powerwashed (90% of stain flew off) - then orbital sanded it with 80 grit - then used SharkSkin's Cleaner and Brightener (Link) with a scrub brush. It now looks like this:
Most nail holes still have dark spots.
I tried orbital sanding some of the lower deck's stain and it disappears in seconds...so it's looking like an easy removal if sanding is required.
1. Can the dark spots around nails be removed or improved somehow? Should anything be done to the nails to prevent/reduce future dark spots developing?
2. The knots and grain that rejected the stain are a mystery to me - should anything be done to them?
3. They're interested in a light coloured stain - RAD's Semi-Transparent looks great - would that be the best to use? or another product? The deck gets sun all day and rarely seaspray during windstorms during the "tropical" winter Victoria has. SealOnce performed well except for the bare knots not looking attractive.
4. Does the lower deck need sanding or would RAD's Stripper work?
1. That is rust from bad or the wrong nails. You can remove this with a brightener but it will come back once water gets to it. The only way to fix is to replace the nails.
2. Knots are light in color due to the density of the wood there. Nothing you can about this.
3. The RAD stain would work well or TWP 200 Series.
4. Stripper and brightener should work.
They're going to go for RAD ST Natural.
Upper Deck (powersanded and sharkskin brightened 2 weeks ago):
1. Is this the correct action plan: RAD Cleaner > RAD Brightener > RAD Stain?
2. 1 or 2 coats of RAD Stain?
3. 7 boards are occupied by a BBQ and Table which are too heavy to remove: Can those 7 boards be cleaned/brightened/stained after the other boards have been stained and dried? or would that end up looking not uniform?
Lower Deck (will be RAD stripped and brightened):
1. If sanding is needed after using the stripper: I do that before the brightener?
2. 1 or 2 coats of RAD Stain?
Does two coats deepen the colour at all? They want it to be a light as possible.
To be sure before purchasing RAD's ST Natural stain:
You mentioned the knots/grain that remained white/bare after SealOnce -
- will turn out that way again.
1. Would using a different stain have a better chance getting into those knots?
1a. Armstrong Clark's in Transparent Natural?
1b. Woodrich's Timber Oil in Warm Honey?
1c. Cutek Extreme's Browntone?
1d. Another product?
(TWP200's colours seemed too dark and the Clear offered no graying protection)
2. When the stain begins to fail: no peeling/flaking is desired...will RAD peel/flake?