This post was updated on April 5, 2022
Why Use a Wood Deck Brightener?
Deckstainhelp.com remains committed to being your number one reference for deck restoration professional tips and industry news for 2022. It is important that when done applying a wood brightener that your rinse the wood well with water to achieve maximum results.
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Exterior Wood Deck prep is key to the longevity and appearance of the deck stain brand that you choose. Prior to staining the surface needs a good cleaning and or stripping of previous coatings. A properly prepped surface will ensure proper adhesion and stain penetration into the wood grain. Cleaning or stripping a wood surface prior to staining will also enhance the beauty of the wood and give you a better end result. The downside to a caustic cleaner or stain stripper is that it raises the pH level of the wood and makes it appear darker in color. The way this darkening of the wood is reversed is to simply apply a wood brightener. This mild acid formula known as deck brightener or deck neutralizer cancels the condition of the caustic soaps and restores the wood’s pH balance to a more neutral or acidic state. This also “brightens” the wood and enhances the wood grain.
One issue we have noticed in recent years is not rinsing the wood brightener well when done. Failure to rinse the wood well after using a wood brightener will leave the wood in a low pH balance and in a highly acidic state. This will, in turn, create possible deck application issues with the overall appearance and the spottiness of the deck stain.
We did some test boards that show the results of not rinsing the wood brightener well using the Restore A Deck Wood Stain in Dark Walnut, Both test boards were applied with the wood damp to the touch after the prep.
-On the left, you will see the RAD Stain after rinsing the Wood Brightener for 20-30 Minutes.
-On the right, you will see the RAD Stain applied to the wood without rinsing the Wood Brightener.
As you can see, there is a clear chemical reaction that shows poor adhesion and appearance.
To summarize, it is very important that when done applying a wood brightener that your rinse the wood well with water to achieve maximum results and appearance. We suggest rinsing with water from your hose or pressure washer for a minimum of 15-30 minutes. This does not matter what brand of deck stain you are using.
How To Brighten A Deck Video – DeckStainHelp.com
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As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.