unfinished treated wood deck surface

I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and I have a couple of questions.
I figure it is very overdue that I finish the surface of the 12' X 16' ground level free standing wood deck, beside the house.. It is constructed of 5/6 treated decking (green coloured), and treated 2 X 6 exterior framing. I built it in late July of 2001, hence it is truly overdue (it has lost some of it's green color since then, but still looks ok).
question #1: Should I use some type of deck wash or cleaner to prepare it for finishing? Would TSP be enough? Any suggestion of brands I could use?
question #2: I'm not sure if I should: a) just put on a water repellent treatment ("Thompson's Water Seal", etc.. suggestions?) or;
b) treat it with a transparent, semi-transparent or solid color stain? I like the look of wood grain, which might rule out the solid stain (suggestions?).
Any comments / advice / tips / suggestions / websites you could give would be great!
Howie Regina, Sask.
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I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and I have a couple of questions.
I figure it is very overdue that I finish the surface of the 12' X 16' ground level free standing wood deck, beside the house.. It is constructed of 5/6 treated decking (green coloured), and treated 2 X 6 exterior framing. I built it in late July of 2001, hence it is truly overdue (it has lost some of it's green color since then, but still looks ok).
question #1: Should I use some type of deck wash or cleaner to prepare it for finishing? Would TSP be enough? Any suggestion of brands I could use?
question #2: I'm not sure if I should: a) just put on a water repellent treatment ("Thompson's Water Seal", etc.. suggestions?) or;
b) treat it with a transparent, semi-transparent or solid color stain? I like the look of wood grain, which might rule out the solid stain (suggestions?).
Any comments / advice / tips / suggestions / websites you could give would be great!
Howie Regina, Sask.
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There's lots of deck brighteners out there, or you could just use a mixture of laundry soap and bleach, but definately give it a wash before you put something on it. It's dirty and you don't want to seal that into the wood.

That all depends on what you want, not what I want. I'd go with a light stain/sealant, probably not Thompson's (check the archives because this gets discussed every year, ad nauseum).
--
Jim Sullivan
seattle, washington
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I put semi-transparent stain on my pressure-treated wood deck in red-wood kind of color. I like it for the following reasons:
- It looked very nice, especially after it was freshly painted. It held up well after the first year.
- It looked OK after wear and tear. In some high traffic areas, the stain started wearing off after two years. But it didn't peel off like paint. Therefore, it doesn't look as bad as paint when the paint start peeling off. My friend used paint on his wood deck, and the paint looked really bad when it started peeling off and chipped.
I doesn't want to use normal wood sealer on my wood deck. The reason is that I am under the impression that wood sealer doesn't alter the base color of the wood, and I don't like the greeny base color of pressure-treated wood. I probably would have used wood sealer if the wood deck was made from real red wood.
I am about to re-stain my wood deck, and of course I will continue using semi-transparent stain.
Hope you find a good way to finish your deck that you like.
Jay Chan
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