I live in the Washington, DC area and have a 12-year old deck
constructed of Western Red Cedar.
I have had it refinished by so-called Professionals (pressure washed
and treated with a good product of my choosing (either Flood or
Wolman). The results when the "pro's" did it were fine. The results
when I did it were excellent.
When I did it, I first used FLOOD® WOOD CLEANER PREMIUM CLEANER AND
BRIGHTENER, cleaning this off with an electric power washer capable
of 1,750 psi, followed by Wolman’s F&P Transparent Rich Oil Finish:
Two years ago, when I tried another 'Pro", he pressure washed it and
again applied Wolman’s F&P Transparent Rich Oil Finish: Cedar #14416,
and he noted how surprised he was at how little product was required.
48 hours after he applied it, it still wasn't dry so I wiped those
boards that had still not dried with a rag wet with mineral spirits.
My conclusion was that there was still a lot of product left in the
boards and this was why so little additional product was requried and
why it hadn't dried after two days.
Well this will be the third summer since that guy did my deck and I am
going to do the deck this year myself. Given the deck's age, would I
be better advised to apply Flood Wood Stripper/Cleaner (instead of
their Cleaner and Brightener) in order to rid the deck of more the
accumulated product and bring it to a point where what I put on will
dry without my having to go over the deck a few days later in order to
wipe it off because it won't dry?
It sounds like you've answered your own question, Gunni. Stip and Clean
should get you deeper into the wood. I would have to question if need to do
it this year allowing another year without cleaning would allow better
penetration without the need to wipe off any excess. I don't do mine yearly
but I'm using a semi-transparent (meaning more opaque) so it's a different
situation. Only you know how dirty your wood is getting and if you feel
that another year would be a set-back not only in terms of appearance but in
difficulty of future cleaning. Best of luck to you.