LESLIE: Mary in California needs some help with a deck project. What can we do for you?
MARY: Yes, we’re having a problem trying to figure out what to do to remove paint from the redwood decking. We have a big deck in front and back. And we don’t know – my husband doesn’t know what to use to get it off and he doesn’t know what to put on the redwood to make it look nice.
TOM: Well, Mary, the good news is that you’ve got redwood there as the deck material. I mean redwood is fantastic because it lasts forever; it’s naturally decay- and disease-resistant. Now, the unfortunate thing is that it was painted. So, the first thing we’re going to have to do is get rid of that paint and the only way to do that is going to be with a paint stripper. But once you get that down, then I think this deck would look fantastic if you were to stain it.
MARY: Do you have any products for the stripping of it?
LESLIE: Alright, Mary, now what I would do is once you’ve got all of that paint off, I would use a good wood cleaner just to try to get rid of anything that’s left behind. Now you mentioned a company. A great one out there is Flood. Their website is Flood.com. And I would start first with their wood stripper. That’s going to get rid of anything that’s left behind – all the dirts, all the remnants – and it’s really going to get you to a good, clean basis for that redwood to accept stain.
Now, depending on what your wood condition is, I would probably go with a solid-color stain – unless, for some reason, that graining and all of those planks are in fantastic condition; then you could do semi-transparent. Otherwise, I’d go with a solid-color stain. Flood makes a great collection of colors and the product name is SWF Solid Stain.
Now, you’re going to get 15 years on your vertical surfaces and 5 years on your horizontal surfaces; so it’s really going to last a long time. And the benefit of stain over paint is that instead of sitting on top of the wood like a paint would, stain is actually going to be saturated into the wood surface itself; so it’s going to last a long time. And there are great color choices, so you’d be really happy with it.
TOM: And that website also has great step-by-step advice on how to do all of these tasks. Again, that was Flood.com. Check out their finishing guide while you’re on that website.
Mary, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.