Beach Deck: Stain or Paint?
LESLIE: Don in Pensacola, Florida, you’ve got The Money Pit. What’s going on at your house?DON: Hi, I’ve got a house on Pensacola Beach and it’s 14 feet in the air and I have stairs and a deck in the middle. And I’ve painted this thing continually. It seems like even cleaning it, priming it, painting it with – sometimes we have high tides and it gets flooded but hurricanes; you know, we’ve had water as high as 11 feet but the paint just …LESLIE: It’s your forever project.TOM: Yeah.DON: Yeah.TOM: No end.DON: It seems like I paint these stairs every year-and-a-half, two years.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Three weeks?TOM: (chuckling) You know, that’s why I don’t like paint for an application like this; I much prefer a solid stain because it’s …DON: Well, that’s what my question is.TOM: Yeah.DON: Should I go with stain? Because that’s what I decided to do and – but it’s so labor-intensive, getting all that paint off of these decks and the stairs.TOM: The problem is you have so many layers of paint on that right now that you have a real serious adhesion problem.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) It’s going to take forever.TOM: So what I would recommend is you get that old paint off, use a solid-color stain – oil-based, if possible – and I think you’re going to find that it lasts a lot longer and it’s certainly not going to peel.LESLIE: Well, what about this as an option, Don? I mean I don’t know how many steps you’re dealing with and what the condition of the lumber is, but what about replacing not the stringers and not the support pieces in the pressure-treated but just the wood that’s the treads and, you know, flat surfaces that are easily replaceable. It might be, you know, more beneficial for your time and effort to just start fresh with new lumber.DON: Well, yeah. I have replaced some of the treads because they have become so deeply cracked; you know, they just suck up tons of paint and I guess you never get that moisture out of there or something. But, in fact, the deck portion I’ve replaced probably 90 percent of the lumber for this time. But I think I’m going to go with the oil-based, as Tom was saying, because I just – you know, since I’ve had this house, the painting, it never looks great.TOM: Yeah.LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You’re going to have to strip all that paint off though, Don.DON: OK.TOM: Yeah, but I think you’re going to be happy with the oil stain. Just use solid color. It’s got plenty of pigment in it. It’s very durable. Use a brand like (inaudible at 0:22:35.1) or something like that; works very well.DON: Thank you very much.TOM: Alright, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.