Help Please - Large Wood Deck


Hello, thanks for any advice you can offer. We have a large wood deck that surrounds our pool. The previous owner painted (not stained) the deck way back when. Well, it's peeling in many places and looks bad with some boards rather exposed. I had a deck guy out last night and told him I wanted to strip and clean it and then seal it. He looked at it for 2 seconds and said he wouldn't recommend that. He said it was possible, but it would take a lot of time and money, he would need to mix up some very strong stuff to get the paint off, and he just didn't think it was a good idea. He said it would near impossible to get it all off without ruining the deck. He told me because the previous owner painted the deck and all the railings (a lot of them) I was kind of stuck repainting it unless I had a lot of money to spend. He recommended I call a painter. I thanked him for his time. I have heard from others paint on a deck will always peel again so I am worried about spending money on something that will need to be redone again soon. I would clean off the areas that are peeling before repainting. Is there anything that needs to be done to prepare the wood before painting? Any other advice or tips you can give me. Thanks, I really appreciate it!!
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snipped-for-privacy@ync.net writes:

I'd pull up the deck boards and replace them with composite.
Depending on how the railings are attached you may need new railings.
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I also agree with what the deck guy told you. Once the deck has been painted, it's going to be be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove all the paint and have wood that will look good with just a sealer. The real questions to be answered first are what shape the wood is really in and why it's peeling. If it's sound and their is no underlying cause of peeling, like the wood is directly on the ground, has trapped moisture, etc, and you're OK with how it will look, then I'd paint it. If not, then it's time for other alternatives, like a new deck of some type.
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I would use a floor drum sander with 100 grit paper and sand it off in one pass. I would then follow up with a good weather stain. The hand rails could replaced with new wood or done with a hand sander and some 80 grit followed up with 120 to smoothen and remove any burrs. A neighbor of mine make the mistake of painting his deck with white paint, he nearly went blind when the sun came out, he used a pressure washer to strip the paint off, when it dried he went with a darker stain..

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I also agree with the paint guy. You didn't say what color of paint is already on the deck, that might affect my answer somewhat, but for the most part I'd stick with a good grade of Deck Paint. Glidden makes a grade, labeled, "Porch and Floor" that is really good.
I used the stuff on my cement porch and walkway, and it has remained looking good for 4 years now. I selected a shade of gray, that was nearly identical to the original concrete color, which had became badly stained in areas.
Glidden "Porch and Floor" is supposed to be really good on most high traffic and outdoor areas.
I would also power wash that deck before I did anything. . .Sanding, priming, or painting/staining.
Myrl Jeffcoat http://www.myrljeffcoat.com
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Another thing that may work is to clean as best you can then coat the deck with a solid "stain" made for decks. It is sort of half way between paint and stain. I have used it where it will cover paint yet it will colour the wood without building up a thick layer, good for where you have both bare wood and painted wood to refinish.

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I must agree with you. . .A few years back I owned a rental property that had a small wood deck in the backyard. It had been painted a chocolate brown color. I ended up power washing it down, and then used a solid "stain" as you say.
The product didn't have the usual transparency of most stains, and was a nice compromise. If I recall the product was put out by Olympic, and I chose a color, that was also a compromise between the old chocolate colored paint, and a dark redwood. It looked really nice when it was finished. And it was very durable.
Myrl Jeffcoat http://www.myrljeffcoat.com
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. As a followup, I had a painter and 2 more deck guys come out to give estimates. The painter was $1850 including prep and paint. Deck Tech was $2500 to strip and seal. Another company was $1450 to strip and seal. Because we wanted the natural look, we went with the guy for $1450. He started powerwashing it about 10 days ago and has most of the railings done. But he only works on it about every other day, though he did work on Sunday. When I asked him about that, he said the work is tougher and longer then he thought and he has other decks to do. He has been hitting it with 3100 psi and says he will need to sand before sealing because he has no choice but to beat it up a little bit. I guess I just assumed he would be working on it every day until finished (weather permitting). And they don't start any earlier than 10am, sometimes later. It's looking good so far, but it's taking forever.
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Well, things have stalled and he didn't show up today when he said he would. He is probably only 60% finished with the job after nearly 2 weeks. He is really giving contractors a bad name in my book. He told me that he because he blew the estimate he won't make any money from my deck and will likely lose money. So he is off doing other decks before he finishes mine. If he doesn't have the deck stripped by Tuesday I am going to tell him to keep the deposit and never come back and get another estimate to finish the job. Is it common in this industry to move on to other jobs before you complete the one you're working on?
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Is it common in this

DIDN'T do that. He was the only guy to finish on time, properly, and without bitching that he didn't charge me enough. That guy was great, local, had been in business for nearly 50 years, and not much more expensive than the hacks. Unfortunately, he retired shortly after I found him. If you can get your contractor to finish it at all, consider yourself lucky. I had to sue two years ago, to get my deposit back, and even though I won, the creep still hasn't paid the $5,000.00, and he appears to be "judgment proof" since there is nothing in his name.
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no it's not normal. give the guy a week's notice to get back & if he isn't there every day until it's finished, get rid of him. smart move NOT paying him in full.

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