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
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
In the 30 years that I've owned homes, I've only had one contractor who
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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