LOUISE: Hey. We have a nine-year-old wooden deck and through the years we’ve pressure-washed it and stained it. But last year when we did it, the stain didn’t take and it looks like it’s peeling off.
TOM: Did you use a different type of stain last year than you’d used in past years?
LOUISE: (sighs) I really don’t know that. I don’t remember that. I think it’s Thompson – is it Thompson’s or Behr or something like that?
TOM: Well, there’s a lot of different manufacturers out there. It could be that there’s so much product on there from doing this every year that you’ve reached sort of saturation; now you’re having adhesion issues.
Leslie, it sounds to me like she’s got to kind of go back to the beginning here.
LESLIE: Yeah, unfortunately you really want to get rid of as much as you can by scraping, if that’s a good manner. If you see that things are already peeling off, you can scrape and sort of pressure-wash the remainder away. If it’s really being stubborn, you’re going to have to use sort of a chemical stripping agent. Every manufacturer makes one. Pick one that you feel comfortable working with, apply it, let it do its job and then strip it away with the power washer and get off as much as you can.
And once you get down to as much raw wood as possible, then you want to go ahead and let it dry very, very well and then you will want to apply the new stain on top of that. And if you find you’ve got a lot of uneven areas, a solid stain is going to be a better choice because it kind of acts like a paint, as far as its thickness and opacity; it’s not see-through but it sort of saturates the wood rather than sitting on top as a paint wood. So it’s really going to give you the longest life span as far as it’ll last.
TOM: Good luck with that project, Louise. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.