What To Do With My Wooden Deck

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Hi. I have an 11x15 wooden deck (pressure treated) that's maybe 25 years o ld. I am on Long Island (not too close to the water - about 3 miles) and the de ck is east facing if that matters.
Structurally, it's in good shape and is really solid. But the surface of t he wood floor is in pretty tough shape. The boards are PT 2x6 and the sur faces are getting pretty badly splintered. One piece is starting to peel t he top layer off. There's no rotting - just very worn top surfaces.
Question is, what to do with the deck. I was thinking of using a deck rest ore product like Behr Deckover or Rustoleum Restore but have seen very mixe d reviews. It seems that peeling is a big issue with these products. A pa inter friend suggested using a solid stain instead. He said the stain will soak into the wood and do a better job protecting the wood, and it should last about 3 to 5 years before it starts to peel. He thinks the Rustoleum and Deckover products will last a year or two at the most before they fail and start peeling.
Any advice how to proceed? Another option is to just do nothing. I could leave it alone and replace the deck boards several years from now with comp osite material when they get really bad. Keep in mind I have no desire to walk barefoot on the deck so the splintering isn't really a problem in and of itself. I am just looking for advice from a maintenance standpoint, and also what will last the longest. There's no point in using a product that will fail in a few years and make the deck look worse than it does now.
Any advice is appreciated. TIA!
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On 8/25/2015 10:58 PM, FTR wrote:

I have no experience with the deck resurfacing stuff.
Are you sure the deck is 2 x 6? That is much thicker than normal decking material.
Have you considered replacing the top of the deck? If the framing is solid, consider taking up the deck boards and replacing them with other material and you are set for a few more decades. I did that two years ago and put down tigerwood. This is what I have http://www.advantagelumber.com/tigerwood_decking.htm Figure about $48 per board. It should last 40 years or so.
I did mine by taking up 3 boards at a time making it easy to keep the same spacing.
You have to decide if you want a quick fix for a couple of ers to fixed right for the rest of your life.
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On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 11:33:10 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

surfaces are getting pretty badly splintered. One piece is starting to pe el the top layer off. There's no rotting - just very worn top surfaces.

mixed reviews. It seems that peeling is a big issue with these products. A painter friend suggested using a solid stain instead. He said the stain will soak into the wood and do a better job protecting the wood, and it sho uld last about 3 to 5 years before it starts to peel. He thinks the Rustol eum and Deckover products will last a year or two at the most before they f ail and start peeling.

composite material when they get really bad. Keep in mind I have no desire to walk barefoot on the deck so the splintering isn't really a problem in and of itself. I am just looking for advice from a maintenance standpoint, and also what will last the longest. There's no point in using a product that will fail in a few years and make the deck look worse than it does now .

Yes, the boards are 2x6 - I know thicker than what is typically used. My painter friend looked at them and said I could really just leave them al one and they'll easily last atleast 10 more years because they're so thick.
I'd kinda like to make the deck look nicer though, which is why I'm conside ring paint or stain. I'm hesitant to get into a cycle though where I apply something and I need to keep doing it every few years because it starts to peel and look really bad.
I did consider replacing the boards with composite but they're pricey and I figured for now, I'd rather spend much less and just keep what I have goin g. So far, I spent about $150 on screws and some replacement railing piece s. I tightened everything up with screws (the nails were popping out all o ver the place causing the whole deck to feel shaky) and the structure is re ally solid and stiff now. I'm just considering what to do next, if anythin g, or just leave well enough alone.
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On 8/26/2015 12:08 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'd avoid paint as it has to be repainted too often. Consider flipping the boards over if it is just top surface damage.
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On Tue, 25 Aug 2015 21:08:31 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you want to protect the boards, use an OIL based stain or paint. Latex dont penetrate so it's just a cover over the surface. You could just coat the whole thing with something like linseed oil if you dont want color added.
I'm not suggesting this for your deck, but about 5 years ago, I noticed some steps on a shed (on my farm) were starting to decay (rot) in one small spot on one board. They were build with un-treated wood. I dug out the rotted wood and put some auto drain oil on it. It made the wood look almost like a walnut stain. I decided that since I had about 3 gallons of drain oil, why not paint the whole stairs with it. I wiped off all dirt, and painted it with that drain oil. The next day I gave it a second coat.
Now it's 5 years later and although that brown color has faded to look like just plain wood, there has not been anymore rotting or checking of the wood. Oil protects wood, and this cost me nothing since it was just old oil drained from my vehicles.
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The original formula works better than anything I've found. Spray it on with a garden sprayer and let it soak in.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 3:54:08 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

drain oil??
the feds must declare your home a super fund site after first evacuating the neighborhood. sadly you will get no compensation for your home. it must be demolished and all materials including your personal possesions sent to special landfill.
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On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 11:33:10 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

surfaces are getting pretty badly splintered. One piece is starting to pe el the top layer off. There's no rotting - just very worn top surfaces.

mixed reviews. It seems that peeling is a big issue with these products. A painter friend suggested using a solid stain instead. He said the stain will soak into the wood and do a better job protecting the wood, and it sho uld last about 3 to 5 years before it starts to peel. He thinks the Rustol eum and Deckover products will last a year or two at the most before they f ail and start peeling.

composite material when they get really bad. Keep in mind I have no desire to walk barefoot on the deck so the splintering isn't really a problem in and of itself. I am just looking for advice from a maintenance standpoint, and also what will last the longest. There's no point in using a product that will fail in a few years and make the deck look worse than it does now .

Yes, the boards are 2x6 - I know thicker than what is typically used. My painter friend looked at them and said I could really just leave them al one and they'll easily last atleast 10 more years because they're so thick.
I'd kinda like to make the deck look nicer though, which is why I'm conside ring paint or stain.
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2X6 is the most common decking material around here 5/4 is fence board.

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On Tue, 45 Aug 2018 19:58:43 -0700 (PDT), FTR

That sounds painful! You must have needed a 1000lb woman to sit on it to "Pressure Treat" it.
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A lot depends on your taste. The newer resurfacing products are dubious. I've heard of them peeling. And they're water-base, which is never good outside. From the samples I've seen, they also don't look very good.
Stains: *Do not use water-base exterior stain. It's basically just watered down latex paint and will wear away in less than a season.* I use Cabot's solid oil deck stain on our deck, but I'm not sure that's still available. Due to changes in EPA reguation, oil base deck stains don't have enough drier, making semi-transparent dry slowly while solid has been pretty much discontinued. That means there is no usable solid color product for exterior except urethane reinforced alkyd paint. Don't use that. It's not a good idea on old wood. Even on fresh wood, it will eventually peel and then it's a nightmare to scrape. But if you *can* find true solid, alkyd (oil base) deck stain, that's the best option for looks and wear. It will peel a bit over time, but it's easy to scrape and recoat.
So what's left, otherwise? Semi-transparent stains and transparent alkyd stains. The trouble with those is that they won't provide color coverage. On old, gray wood, whether you get a "cedar" red-orange or a blue-green, it will look gray and muddy on top of grayed deck boards. But it will at least protect the wood. People make the mistake of thinking PT lumber doesn't need to be stained. It does. Besides being ugly, it breaks up and cracks with sun exposure.
Some of the companies selling oil-base deck stain don't recommend 2 coats because of the EPA-required lack of drier. I recently did a fence with Benj. Moore's version of Australian Timber Oil and the clerk at the paint store insisted I couldn't do 2 coats because it would never dry. I asked if she'd recommend Japan drier. She got angry! Benjamin Moore can't put in enough drier, according to the paint clerk. But they have no business saying only one coat can be used. One coat doesn't provide even coverage. They're apparently just saying it because they don't want complaints from customers about long drying times. (Note, also, that Benjamin Moore was bought out by Warren buffet's Berkshire Hathaway. Buffet is not in the paint business. He's in the money business.)
Anyway, I used 2 coats of the Moore "timber oil" stain and didn't have a problem. But with a thick coat on a horizontal surface you might wait days for semi-transparent or "semi-solid" to dry.
The problem with most paints these days, especially exterior, is that technology has not caught up with fume regulations. There's no such thing as a high quality water base trim paint for interior. It just doesn't settle well and it's soft. (I've been experimenting with "waterborne" alkyd paints for interior trim, but at this point I'm going back to using oil, despite only being able to buy quarts. The waterborne alkyd is very thin and scratches *very* easily.)
There's no such thing as a water base *anything* that can stand up to moisture outside. It's fine for body stain, but not for trim. (The paint companies know that. They often recommend oil base primer.) Water base deck stain is the worst joke of all. It doesn't peel, at least. It just wears off after a few times walking over it. And it's a flat finish, so it shows dirt and scuff marks badly.
If you're feeling ambitious, you can experiment. I've had good luck in the past with a blend of gloss exterior oil paint, boiled linseed oil and paint thinner. The paint provides color and driers. Linseed oil is what's used to seal wood gutters and used to be used on decks/steps. The result is a glossy, solid stain. But try it first to make sure you like the result. Exterior oil paint isn't what it used to be, but the linseed oil is the main ingredient, so that shouldn't really matter.
Wood: A better solution would be to replace the wood and then stain that. (Wait until late Fall or next Spring for PT.) You could use 1 1/4x6 PT decking. That should be the cheapest. I like 1x4 "mahogany". It looks much nicer and is usually cheaper than fir. It also soaks up the stain better. 1x4, fir or mahogany, gives you a more elegant look that you just can't get with PT. PT looks utilitarian, like a boat dock. Fir and mahogany are finer, planed woods that give the appearance of a porch. The plastic decking, like Trexx, is another option, if you like it. It's fairly expensive. Personally I think it looks tacky and ugly. Like vinyl siding, it works, but you can never make it look good. Ironically, Trexx was originally marketed as an environmental product, recycling plastic milk bottles. But since it doesn't break down well it's not a recyclable product. And the colors are less than inspiring. The choices seem to be basically shades of dog food or plasticky gray. (I repaired a plastic-composite deck railing recently, and actually, that was so ugly that I didn't really notice how ugly the floor was. :) 1 1/4 x 6 cedar is also nice, if you can find it, but it's somewhat expensive.
And of ocurse, if you have a railing on your deck that will also affect options, at least aesthetically.
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On Wed, 26 Aug 2015 09:27:42 -0400, "Mayayana"

Water based is not an issue for outdoor use. The paint on your car is water based if it is less than 10 years old..
As for the looks? That is subjective. Will it last? or peal? I used the Rez product on my deck, and within less than a week I had one spot peel. I scraped that area and primed it with Zinzer primer, and recoated it. It's looking good now. We will see what it does in a year, 2 years, etc. I did go back to the retailer with pictures of the peeled area and got my money back. If it peels I'm still stuck with the clean-up - - - -

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Thanks Mayayana. That's very helpful.
Maybe I'll skip the paint and just go with Linseed Oil. It seems like the b est option.
How often do I need to apply it? Is once a year sufficient? Also, should I do it in the fall to prep the deck for the winter, or just wait until Spr ing to do it? Should I use one coat of the oil or let the first coat soak in and then apply a second coat?
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Maybe I'll skip the paint and just go with Linseed Oil. It seems like the best option.
How often do I need to apply it? Is once a year sufficient? Also, should I do it in the fall to prep the deck for the winter, or just wait until Spring to do it? Should I use one coat of the oil or let the first coat soak in and then apply a second coat?

I'd thin it a bit and put it on now. (Watch out for the newer "thinner replacements". I have no idea what they're actually made of, but they're clearly not just thinner.) It should dry in a couple of days. That won't help the looks, but it sounds like you don't really care about that. And it won't help with UV breakdown of the wood. But it should at least reduce the speed of the splitting and checking. Once a year is typical for fir gutters. Remember before deck stains how everyone's steps were gray, then eventually splintered away and had to be replaced after a few years? That was 1x4 fir with linseed oil. I think, though, that most people never got around to putting on a second coat, or didn't know they should. Otherwise the steps probably wouldn't have splintered so much. A yearly coat on gutters keeps them lasting for decades.
If you have sharp splinters now you might want to deal with those, and perhaps do a little belt sanding of rough spots, first. ... if anyone goes out there barefoot.
Something like the "timber oil" (BM has a nice teak color that's not bad for old wood) would be a way to add a little color. I think that product is mostly linseed oil, anyway. But if you really don't care then linseed oil is certainly the cheapest option.
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On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11:36:17 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

Thanks. Sounds like I'll be using linseed oil. Seems like the best approach.
How much do you think I'll for two coats to cover an 11x15 deck with 37' of 42" tall railing?
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| Thanks. Sounds like I'll be using linseed oil. Seems like the best approach. | | How much do you think I'll for two coats to cover an 11x15 deck with 37' of 42" tall railing?
Railing, too? Hard to say. It depends on how dry it is. I'd start with a gallon of each. Add the thinner as maybe 20%, or whatever seems to give you a thin but still oily consistency.
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That sounds like a good option. You could run a belt sander over it, or the bad spots before applying the oil. I'd apply TWO coats the FIRST time. Then one coat every year afterwards (if needed).
If you want to add a little color, there might be a way to add a colorant to the linseed oil, but I'm not sure. You could go to a Professional paint company (not Lowes or Home Depot), and ask. However, they will likely try to sell you some other product, so they can get more from your wallet....
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On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11:36:17 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

I found this is Lowes - Jasco Slow-to-Dissolve Linseed Oil - http://www.jasco-help.com/product/boiled-linseed-oil1
Should I use this stuff or is the thinned down stuff you said to avoid?
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| I found this is Lowes - Jasco Slow-to-Dissolve Linseed Oil - http://www.jasco-help.com/product/boiled-linseed-oil1 | | Should I use this stuff or is the thinned down stuff you said to avoid?
It just says boiled linseed oil, so that looks like the right stuff. (The raw linseed oil takes a long time to dry.) Then you add some thinner to that. By itself the oil is very think and will gum up. To make soak in and dry well it needs to be thinned a bit. You can experiment to get it right. I like to go for something that's still oily but also watery enough to soak in.
It's the thinner "replacements" I'd avoid. I don't actually know if they're a problem because I don't know what's in them. I've just seen these products. They claim to be better, less fumey thinner replacements, but the labels don't indicate what's actually in them. I accidentally bought one container and ended up with a whitish liquid. It may or may not work well to clean vrushes, but I don't dare use it in paint because I don't know how it might affect the end result. So you want something that's clearly "paint thinner" and not "better paint thinner" or anything else that implies a different product.
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On Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:52:22 -0700 (PDT), FTR

by spring (at least mine was when I tried it many years ago)
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