Learn if it is better to powerwash or sand a wood deck before painting or staining. When using a pressure washer, find out why using the lightest pressure possible can make the job turn out better.
LESLIE: We’ve got Dawn from California. What can The Money Pit do for you today?
DAWN: Hi, I wanted to know – we want to spruce up my girlfriend’s deck
and it has paint peeling. I wanted to know whether we should powerwash it or sand it.
LESLIE: I think you’re going to have to do a little bit of both. So you’re seeing a lot of – is it paint or is stain that’s on there?
DAWN: It’s paint.
LESLIE: OK. And so you’re seeing bubbling and blistering ...
LESLIE: … and things are just popping up.
LESLIE: You want to first start off with your pressure washer
. And don’t be too overly aggressive because then you can damage some of the wood fibers that are underneath that paint and cause it to splinter and stand up even more but damage to the wood rather than the paint. So you want to make sure that with the pressure washer you get as much of that stuff off as you possibly can. Then …
DAWN: How far away should we hold it?
LESLIE: What, like 18 inches, Tom? Is it like two feet?
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, that’s about. Twelve to 18 inches. But make sure you use the right head on it so it doesn’t have too much pressure.
LESLIE: And then once you sort of do that, you know, you might be able to get all of that off with the pressure washer and a paint scraper. If you’re having a hard time and it’s really not coming off you can go ahead and use a chemical stripping product to get the rest of it off because the goal is to get as much of the old product off so that when you go to put new stain or paint or solid stain onto this deck it’s going to stick because it’s all about adhesion and prep. And then once you get it down, you know, if you find that you’ve got to go with a chemical stripping agent, go ahead and use that; rinse it off well; get rid of everything and let it dry out.
Then I would recommend, instead of paint, using a solid stain. Because paint is designed, when you put it on something it sort of sits on the surface; whereas a solid stain is going to be as opaque as a paint but it’s meant to saturate into the wood itself. So it’s going to do a better job of sticking on there. And the Flood Company
makes a variety of solid stains and the good part about their stains is that they feature something called Emulsibond, which is a built-in primer. So it’s a primer and the solid stain all in one and it’s an oil-based primer and a latex topcoat, so you’re really getting the best of both worlds. And if you do the right prep it’s going to last around five years on a horizontal surface.
DAWN: And that’s called Ultra Bond?
LESLIE: It’s called – Emulsibond is their additive but it’s the Flood Company and they make a ton of – it’s called CWF Solid Stain and I think they offer 65 different colors.
DAWN: Oh, wow. OK. Can you spell the name of that company that makes it? Flood?
LESLIE: It’s Flood. Just like what happens when there’s too much water. (Tom chuckles) F-l-o-o-d.
DAWN: OK. Great. Thank you very much.
TOM: Dawn, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.