Update 2019 for Why Rinse a Wood Deck Brightener
Deckstainhelp.com remains committed to being your number one reference for deck restoration professional tips and industry news. 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 overall appearance and 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 that you are using.
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