Deck Stain - Transparent or Opaque?

We refinished our deck 2 years ago with a transparent, colored stain. It looks hideous now (it started to weather after one winter). We are wondering if we should do an opaque stain this time around, but even though opaque colors last longer, I hear they are really difficult to strip for a re-finish. The problem we have is that we cannot sand down the wood to refinish (because each piece of wood on the deck is rounded on the edges), so the stain must be removed with chemical stain remover.
How easy is it to remove an opaque stain with a chemical remover, TSP and a power washer? The ideal situation for me is to have to refinish the deck as infrequently as possible. I don't care if it takes a few hours longer to strip when I do re-finish it - that's why I am thinking opaque is best - but I really have no idea.
Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks! Paula
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Decks typically need an application of a good water seal every year or so. So, after putting on that stain, did you then apply a good waterseal (and I don't mean that crappy Thompsons, go with something good like Cabot)??
John
On 17 Jun 2004 10:24:36 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca (Paula) wrote:

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stain.
We are

even
difficult to

sand
deck is

chemical
remover, TSP

refinish
a few

I've been using cabot's solid stain on my deck for over 12 years. I've never considered stripping it. I just recoat every couple years after a light pressure wash. I did sand the top surface once - the stuff came easily off - nothing like paint.
Bob
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Stain is supposed to "wear off" as opposed to "peel off". Being a horizontal surface subject to everything mother nature chooses to throw at it, it isn't good for long. As long as you avoid the solid color stains (which you did), the next coat should be a simple pressure wash and re-coat. The old should blend in nicely with the new but try a sample first to see if I'm right. Just be prepared to have to do it every year (or two if you're lucky). Never tried Cabot but my SWMBO just hit ours with a Sherwin Williams product that is more of a water-proofer than a stain but contained just the right amout of color and it came out very nice.

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I have used Penofin on my Cedar deck for the last three years. The first application lasted 2 years. Last spring, I pressure washed and re-stained the deck. Less than a year later, the finish looks terrible. I am curious about the Cabot line of stains. Anyone do an A-B on deck stains?
Matt
Bob wrote:

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I used Wolman's Deck Stain with Water Repellent, semitransparent, in August of 2002. It will need to be redone this year. It looked beautiful when I finished it, better than the "professionals" I had do the deck. I used a Wolman's product to lift the old stain off and it too worked very well.
bob g.
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Generally speaking, you NEVER put an opaque stain on a horizontal walking surface. Solid stain is, in effect, soft paint and it will wear easily if walked upon. You see worn paths in just a few months.
Use Semi trans on flat, horizontal surface, solid on vertical (posts, rails, slats), if you wish.

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