Deck repair/repaint advice needed

I bought my first house last spring. It has a large deck that appears to have been painted (quite awhile ago) with a sort of "redwood-looking" paint-type finish (have I got enough modifiers in there?) To me, the finish looks more like paint than anything else (I think of "stain" as something that colors the wood without covering it up), and it has worn off to bare wood on much of the deck's surface. One (mostly exposed) board has started to warp significantly.
Clearly, I need to do something about this. I've been told to start with power washing; I've been told NEVER to power wash (bad for the exposed wood). I've been told just to clean off any loose paint and dirt and paint it again; I've been told NEVER to paint it without completely stripping it first. I've been told I can repaint/refinish with whatever I like; I've been told I must ALWAYS match the type of product last used. You name it, someone has probably told me it's the only way to go.
I would rather have a natural looking wood and if I had my druthers (and a lot of time or money), I think it would look best if all the finish were stripped, the wood scoured back to "raw," stained, and varnished (or whatever finish is used on a deck). Advice? Opinions? Donations? Thanks in advance, Jo Ann
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i have the same stuff,its latex water base barn/fence stain.but is more like paint.it comes off very easy with pressure washer . thats how ive done it and it worked out fine.redo mine about every 5-7 years.. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Every five to seven years!!! Where do you live? Alaska?
Five to seven years exceeds by four years the best results that Consumer Reports has achieved in its ongoing test of deck treatments.
Please...what brand do you use and which finish, by name.
Thanks, bob
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Your "Never" to do list is wrong. Powerwashing just cleans quickly. If the surface finish is not peeling leave it on. Your "paint" is most likely semi transparent deck stain and going over it with such wont affect anything, stain does not peel like paint unless improperly applied. You can take a sample to a real paint store they can find out what it is. To use Paint you need a primer coat, not so for stain. Needing product matching is an uneducated statement. Go to a real paint store, one that only sells paint, use what they recommend and say, not the wrong information of products that you have learned.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

solid color stain, not semi-transparent stain. Either way its likely some type of colored stain. Despite what m said, he would likely agree that if it was a solid color stain going over it with a semi or non-colored stain would be futile to achieve a good looking job. That could be what the person meant when they told you to use the same thing as before. So, you can always add a more highly pigmented stain over a less pigmented stain but not the other way around.
So, if you think you had a lot of color it was solid color stain, if a hint of color then semi trans stain. If semi trans get another semi trans or solid color, if solid color get another solid color (Unless you are stripping)
Get your stain, pressure wash, let dry (Really dry), and apply your stain. Renew every so often to keep looking good.
Sikkens makes some good products that I have been happy with.
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pressure wash, dry for a week of warm dry weather while you replace the bad pieces, and add your coating of choice wich will only last 2 years. don't waste money on water repellant oils.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Sounds like solid stain, which really shouldn't have been used on the horizontal walking surfaces (but people do). I had the same problem. You're kind of stuck with it at this point.
Sounds like the condition of my deck, too...

Forget natural until you replace the deck. Wash down with hose, then use a floor brush with TSP, rinse well. Let it dry really well (check the weather long term forecast in planning this job). Then use a solid stain which is at least as dark as what's there now. BTDT.
I knew one person who gave up on the stain on a small deck, washed, primed, and painted. High-maintenance! Needed new paint every couple of years on the horizontal surfaces. But it wasn't too bad as the deck was small.
Banty
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Thank you, everyone! Yes, it does sound as though this is solid color stain (and thanks for the tip about taking a piece to the paint store and finding out for sure) and yes, they did apply it to the walking surfaces (including the floor of the large, wrap-around front porch, where it is also wearing off badly, but that's another story....) The deck is big, about 50 x 25 with two sets of stairs, handrails, spindles, ball tops, etc. etc. Sounds like more of the same stain is the way to go, as I would definitely like to avoid frequent repainting, especially with all of the other projects I have to do! (Not to mention learning how to do them!)
Thanks again! Jo Ann
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A complete test and education on stains can be read at Consumer Reports, it is an ongoing longest life test.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Solid suface coatings, as some have said, don't wear well and peel easily. That is probably, in part, due to underside of board being bare. May be worth your while to pressure wash the top, take boards up and clean and finish all sides. Just a thought. Turning them over might allow you to use a penetrating stain if that is what you prefer.
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