LESLIE: David in New York’s cleaning. What can we help you with.
DAVID: I have a deck. It’s pressure treated wood.
DAVID: Wood stain. And I’ve got a few stains, on the deck, of vegetable oil from a deep fryer …
DAVID: … I got for Father’s Day. And I’m going to be re-staining the deck and I’ve tried everything to try to remove the stain, but I can’t. I was wondering if there was anything that I could do to remove those stains or if a stain will cover it.
LESLIE: Since you’re planning on refinishing, David, have you thought about sanding down those areas just to get some fresh wood showing?
DAVID: No, I haven’t. But I don’t know how deep the – I guess I could do that.
LESLIE: I mean because if you were going to try to use a bleach or something like that – like a heavy duty cleaner – you have to be really careful. Because it’s natural wood – it’s not a composite – you could actually, with the bleach, cause a discoloration in the wood which would then show up as well. So I think your best bet is really to try to sand it down a little bit; see how that goes. You know, don’t go too deep, too crazy. See how sanding it does. And then, when you’re getting ready to refinish, really use a good cleanser; don’t just use water and a pressure washer; use something that’s specifically made to clean wood decks. Clean that – because you’ve got to get rid of all of that dirt and debris. Get rid of any flaking surfaces that might be sticking up that might hinder the adhesion. And if you’re looking to go with a clear stain or something that’s a semi-solid, you want to really try your best to strip that old stain off and get to a fresh wood surface.
TOM: And David, when you choose your stain, remember that stains come transparent, semi-transparent and solid color. And the solid color and the semi-transparent have the most pigment in them. Of course, transparent …
LESLIE: Well, the solid color is really almost like a paint, even though it has a stain …
TOM: Yeah, except that you can see the grain through it.
LESLIE: Well, not always. You know, a solid can be really as thick as a paint; if that’s what you want. If you want to see the grain, go with a semi-transparent because that will give you a wash of color but a heavy enough deposit of color that will allow you to see the grain but not be sheer.
TOM: I don’t know. I kind of like the solid color because it seems to last a lot longer; more pigment, the longer it lasts.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah. And it’s better if your deck is older and in not the best condition because it covers up those imperfections. If you’ve got some beautiful wood, go with the sheer because you won’t see it.
TOM: And you know what you could do, David. You could always start with semi-transparent and if it doesn’t work, you can go solid on top of that. But you can’t do it the other way around.
LESLIE: And remember, with proper surface prep, a solid stain should be lasting you five years on a floor.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.