Wood Fuzzies (Furring) on Deck  4.9/5 (97)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

Remove Wood Fuzzies on Deck

For 2024 and beyond, Deckstainhelp.com vows to remain committed to being your go-to source for deck staining tips and the latest industry news on the internet. Pesky wood fuzzies/furring may show up when you are prepping your deck. If this happens, we have some suggestions on how to fix the problem. If you have any further recommendations we may have left out, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Also, we encourage you to share pictures of your completed super deck projects.


Deck Furring

Deck Furring

Wood Fuzzies on Deck After Prepping?

Why it happened and how to fix it.

Before applying a deck stain or sealer you should prep the wood properly first. Prepping is the most important part of the deck stain’s longevity. When evaluating the prepping process you should look at two options. Does the wood need to be cleaned or does an old stain need to be removed?
When To Use A Deck Cleaner
-Best to prep with a deck cleaner if you do not have an old stain, the wood is heavily grayed, the wood is new, or you plan on applying a maintenance coat of deck stain.

When To Use A Deck Stain Stripper
-Use a deck stain stripper if you need to remove an old stain that has failed unevenly, was over-applied, or are planning on switching stain brands. This will allow the new stain to properly absorb into the wood grain.

One of the negative effects of using a Deck Cleaner or Deck Stripper is it is possible to get “wood fuzzies” or “wood furring” when finished. This looks like very small raised wood grain fibers or hair on the decking boards. When you are prepping a deck you essentially remove a layer of oxidized or damaged wood cells. The more you need to remove, the greater the chance of making the wood look “fuzzy” or “soft”.

Here are a couple of examples of when there is a greater chance of this happening:

Heavily Grayed or Neglected Wood
-When the wood is left to gray (oxidize) from the UV you will need to remove all of the damaged wood cells. The grayer the wood, the more you will need to remove from the surface and the greater the chance of getting the “fuzzies”.

Multiple layers of Older Deck Stain is Being Removed
-Deck Stain strippers are mild caustics that may also create a furry look to the wood grain. The heavier or stronger the concentration of the deck stripper, the greater the chance of the wood fuzzies showing

Preventing Wood Fuzzies
-Only use as strong of a concentration of the cleaner or stripper as needed.
-Minimize the wood fuzzies from showing by using a wood brightener as soon as you are done with the deck cleaner or deck stain stripper and while the wood is still wet. This will neutralize the cleaner, leaving the wood in a neutral state.
-Do not let new wood sit too long unstained.

Buffing Pad.jpg

Buffing Pad.jpg

How To Remove Wood Fuzzies
-Make sure that when you are done with the prepping that you rinse the wood extremely well to remove all excess wood pulp from the decking during the washing.

-After the wood has dried, you can remove the fuzzies by lightly sanding or buffing the wood. As contractors, we like to use sanding buffing pads. They are not aggressive and will smooth the wood without over sanding. You can use these buffing pads on floor buffing machines that can be rented from your local rental yard. We can remove the wood fuzzies from a 500 sq. foot deck in 10 minutes with a floor buffer. Use a smaller pad and handheld buffer for the railings if needed.

Questions on this Topic? Ask Below

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author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
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.

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Wayne
Wayne
2 years ago

This web site has been very helpful in my process of cleaning and staining my deck. What seemed to be just a labor intensive chore required knowledge I did not have and every question and obstacle was answered by deckstainhelp. Sometimes what appears to be a simple job is more detailed than first glance.
Thank You
Wayne

g girl
g girl
3 years ago

HI! I have been reading this website when my huge deck project started in 2018. First, pressure washers, in my experience, should be banned. They ruin wood, cause leaks in windows, split cedar, spelled, expensive, etc. I began with my Insurance underwriter and mortgage company writing me up for “unsafe deck due to no stair rails and some rotted boards. I did not know where to start. My deck was old redwood, 1200 square feet, electric, benches, speakers built by a talented carpenter in the 1980s before the now, 9 pages of deck code, chapter 507 of the IRC. I got estimates of up to 50,000 for a rebuild. Yikes. I studied your website, the code, Professional Deck Magazine, YouTube videos, the, bought tools. Cutting to the chase, after lots of rain, cold, heat, and Covid, I am at the end of rebuilding my deck to current codes. Did, I say, since the original deck had been built, 3 trees dumped leaves, algae, mold, and were never cleaned. I have, so far, spent over 15,000. on materials, including twp stain, brightener, cedar, pressure treated framing, hardware now required, copper naphenate, now required, and am, after 400 hours, almost finished. I hired a few helpers for a week to push the project along and had to redo their work. If you want your deck done correctly, study and stand over any carpenter that you hire or your inspection may fail. Wood, especially cedar, and forget getting redwood in the northeast, has become irreplaceable. Mills are shut down and those still in business are working at 50 to 25% capacity plus the fires on the west coast. I wrote this so that homeowners will take care of their decks. My neglect could have caused me to lose my house. Decks are high maintenance but make a house so much more enjoyable. I bought my house partly because of my deck and then took it for granted. Follow the great advice on this website. An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure!😎

Jackie
Jackie
3 days ago

We stained over Wood fuzzies and are considering redoing it. Do we need to strip and brighten again or can we sand over freshly stained Tigerwood?

William
William
17 days ago

Hey, thanks for the article Do you know if a buffing pad for a 5″ orbital sander?

Becky King
Becky King
1 month ago

Hi. We had our contractor stain our deck. New wood, PT pine (had weathered for 8 months), full sun. They sanded and then used Restore a Deck cleaner and brightener, waited a week for the elements to cooperate, and then stained with TWP 100 Cedar 101, one coat as the TWP website says. We followed everything per that website, but it came out splotchy and uneven. Please advise what might have happened and how it can be fixed. Thank you. (attaching pictures for help)

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Becky King
Becky King
1 month ago

Thank you for your answer. Does “grayed” mean it had actually turned a grayish color? Ours had not, it was actually much lighter than when built, like the sun had bleached it out… I was actually wondering if we needed to brighten but did so per their website’s instructions.

tom
tom
8 months ago

Will the fuzz on rough cedar siding after stripping go away with time or not

Justin
Justin
9 months ago

I tried this technique this weekend using a Clarke Ultra Speed Pro 1500 and red buff pad. Even with light pressure the pad was leaving the red coloring on the deck from the pad. Any thoughts as to why this would be? Ultimately I had to use an Osborn brush which removed the coloring and fuzzies. Thank you for this website. Incredible resource

Ruth Refalo
Ruth Refalo
10 months ago

hi i would like to know whether i can use this product on my furniture, as i have this white furring and is very hard to polish with a cloth when dusting the furniture. this furring smells like mould. i have no humidity in the room and has light. i keep the door always open. Is there any special polish or anything i can apply pls? thks

Mike
Mike
11 months ago

Kiln dryed cedar deck & railings, how long should I wait before staining with A/C semi-transparent? What about prep and best way to apply?

Bailey
Bailey
1 year ago

I need some help please!! I did a fence this morning and fuzzies are showing up all over as it dries. Do I need to use more pressure to get them off or do I need to sand? This fence is probably 5-7 years old and I don’t think it was ever sealed or stained. Do I need to talk to management company about sealing after I clean it? What steps do I need to do to get this fixed? Thanks for all advice!!

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bailey
bailey
1 year ago

The property manager wants to think about seal long or staining. with that being said, do I need to go and rinse off as much of those dead fibers as possible, get a brush, or go and sand it?

bailey
bailey
1 year ago

Now that it’s dried, the fence is almost white. Did the oxalic acid not neutralize? or do i need to go rinse harder? i’ll attach some photos, please help me! this is a commercial contract i’m trying to secure for flatwork and the fence was just a one time addition but now i’m worried!

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Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago

Just powerwashed/cleaned/brightened and am now left with some wood furries. I am thinking i will sand, but, is it safe to just stain over this in this state? (see pictures). I’d rather skip sanding if it will be of minimal consequence. Thanks Scott!

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Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago

are you saying wood fibers leftover from the first powerwash? so basically, just needing to rinse them off? like a light powerwash? thanks

Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago

Thanks so much Scott, awesome site you have here and the quick replies are outstanding. I rinsed a few times after, just not the spindles. 🙂 I’ll do a spot check but i don’t want to reset the drying phase as my window to stain in MN is closing.

Mike
Mike
1 year ago

I had my large IPE deck power washed and it turned a yellowish color with fuzzies.
What caused it to turn yellow?
Can the yellow be removed?
How do you remove the fuzzies as well?

André M
André M
1 year ago

Hi Scott. Cedar deck exactly 12 months old. Let it weather for a year. It’s on south side of house so received lots of sun. After using cleaner and brightener it looked great. And then lots of fuzzies showed up after it dried (see pic). I didn’t sand at all. OK to go ahead and use TWP cedar stain now? Or should I sand first? Thanks !

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André M
André M
1 year ago

Thank you ! PS when you say “new wood” should only get one coat of TWP, how do we define “new”? 3 months old? 6 months old? 12 months?

André M
André M
1 year ago

Thanks Scott ! Your website is truly invaluable, thanks for all that you do. PS the deck turned out great I think (used TWP 1500 cedar, one coat).

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Gary
Gary
1 year ago

Hello – refinishing vertical barn doors, looks like rough cut pine wood. I used RAD stripper + brightener. There are some fuzzies left on the doors. I plan to use RAD semi-transparent light walnut finish.

Should I try to hit these with 60-80 grit palm sander or go directly to stain? Or maybe try to modify the buffing pad from above to fit on orbital?

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Gary
Gary
1 year ago

Thank you. 1 coat or 2 if using RAD stain? Or personal preference?

Candace Stevens
Candace Stevens
1 year ago

After cleaning pre treated wood and there are fuzzies. Can I just stain with oil base stain and protector or do I need to sand.

Candace stevens
Candace stevens
1 year ago

Thank you , I went ahead and orbit sanded it and now I’m ready to stain.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

Hello! I’m hoping you can help with a major fuzzy issue. I wish I read some of the below questions and answers prior to staining. I have a 1.5 year old 250 sf mahogany deck that I was just able to get stained for the first time over the weekend (wish I were able to do it sooner). I cleaned and prepped with the RAD cleaner & brightener and scrub brush, not a power washer, and stained with AC hardwood. The fuzzies were not apparent after cleaning however there was graying and oxidation remaining and I didn’t realize that would be a problem. There are now a bunch of fuzzies that are making the wood look really bad. Is it possible, now that I have already stained it, to go over it with a buffer just to remove the fuzzies, or will that ruin the stain and I will need to start all over again? I’m willing to do this by hand if its a better option than renting a buffer. Thanks!

Julie Ball
Julie Ball
1 year ago

What grit do you use with the floor buffer sanding pads?

Julie Ball
Julie Ball
1 year ago

What if there are nail heads that are slightly above the surface? I have tried to countersink them with a punch, but they are still not below the wood. Can you still use a floor buffer then?

john
john
1 year ago

experiencing small patches of the furs on deck after prep. can i just buff the affected areas or do I have to buff the whole deck. never realized how widespread this is…

Matt
Matt
2 years ago

I have a customer that had another company come to clean an ipe deck that we installed several years ago. It was never stained and had no finish applied to it. This other company seems to haphazardly power washed it. It now has all sorts of white streaking and obviously visible signs of power washing. I have used the 2 part cleaner and brightener previously but I’ve never gas to address this type of damage. Wondering if I will need to sand this all out or not

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Bobby Kroupa
Bobby Kroupa
2 years ago

I am a Painting Contractor, and refer to this site frequently. Thank you for many years of sound advice! I am preparing to re-stain the sunny front of an old Victorian. The house may be old, but it has merely 12 year old, pristine 3 1/2″ wide cedar tongue and groove all over the front from a complete remodel. I could not find the old stain can the previous contractor used, but the existing stain sure looks like a latex, slightly-colored transparent stain on the surface, probably Arborcoat. The stain is almost all gone on the sunny front, with occasional little crystals of stain sitting up on the surface. I am not looking forward to making the pristine wood fuzzy when I strip! Also, the cedar profile, though not fuzzy, is no longer smooth, as the ‘ribs’ of the grain protrude, likely because the latex stain failed so long ago that the wood weathered down. I like the look, but I think using a sanding sponge after stripping and using a a wood brightener are sound advice. Will the stripper remain the vertical surface? I’m alternatively considering just sanding and brightening, without the stripper, but then the profile may not look so great. Thoughts?

There is a protected entry stairs where the walls are also stained, but the stain looks perfect here, except for the beginning of the entry, where the boards start out weathered, due to the sun reaching the beginning of the entry. Will I even be able to strip the sound protected area?

There is a big ipe deck we are not touching, except they want the ipe fence cap painted. I see the specs call for 2 coats oil-base primer for painting ipe, followed by 100% acrylic paint, and prayers!

Jackie
Jackie
2 years ago

I have some one working on my deck and there are some rotted pieces of wood that needs to be replaced. The guy started removing the some of the rotted woods then changed course and said he should power wash the deck 1st and then remove and restore the new planks. Is this the correct way to go about it?

b3ll0v1c
b3ll0v1c
2 years ago

Do you have any recommendation of what floor buffer to purchase. I am not a big fan of renting any large equipment. Alternatively would a drywall sander do it? Thanks.

b3ll0v1c
b3ll0v1c
2 years ago

I saw you also recommended a sanding pole in other posts. Sanding poles are mainly made for drywalls and tend to swivel a lot which makes it difficult to keep it straight on a deck board. I tried. Any suggestion? Great site, BTW, very useful!

Margie
Margie
2 years ago

Does the wood have to be completely dry before buffing out the fuzzies? Or can it be damp?

Tom L
Tom L
2 years ago

I am going to put a maintenance coat on my 20×14 deck. I prepped yesterday using the Defy wood cleaner and brightened with the Defy brightener. For the cleaning, I used a deck brush and garden hose with nozzle, not a pressure washer. I was concerned with fuzzies in areas.

This morning, we had fog and dew, so the deck is still wet. There are some areas where I can see fuzzies on the wet boards; the majority of the deck does not. I would rather not rent a buffer for just those areas (seems overkill), but I will if I need to. Can I lightly sand with 60 grit sandpaper on a sanding block and call it a day, or will the sanded areas stick out from the rest of the deck?

Thanks!

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Tom L
Tom L
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom L

If I do buff the deck after it is dry, can I just go and re-stain with the maintenance coat (PPG Cetol SRD RE)? If I need to brighten again, then the deck needs to dry again, and here in New England, the days remaining to stain is getting shorter.

Tom L
Tom L
2 years ago

Thanks. I am thinking of using a hand sanding sponge or pad instead of sandpaper on a sanding block (more give with the sanding sponge and even more with the pad). Would I see comparable results using 80 grit instead of 60 grit?

Last edited 2 years ago by Tom L
Tom L
Tom L
2 years ago

Thank you! This site has been a great source of information.

Keather
Keather
2 years ago

Hello, I hope someone can help me. I have a major nightmare with fuzzies. I am halfway through cleaning/brightening a new 500 square foot deck. The deck wood is only 6 months old and our builder told us to wait until the fall before we stained it. I followed all the directions on the Armstrong RAD kit, keeping the deck wet as I was working. I only used 2/3 cup cleaner per gallon of water. I used a garden hose and rinsed it several times. This is a weekend project and I will have to find a another good weather weekend to finish. How long can I wait before sanding/fixing the fuzzies? Will I have to start over again? I’m hesitant to use the RAD product as well. Any recommendations?

Pat nichol
Pat nichol
2 years ago

the bottom of my outside porch looks like the wood is shredding. its vey light when i scrap it off. what is causing this?

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