Sealing Older Decks and Fences
LESLIE: Heading over to Texas to chat with Levi about a deck project. What’s going on?LEVI: Yeah, hi. Thanks for taking my call. I was calling because I have a wooden deck, of course, and a wooden fence and it was never sealed or stained or anything like that. And so now what I have is a couple years of weathered, old, gray, wood look and I’m wondering how do I bring that back; refinish it to …?LESLIE: How old is this that we’re talking about? How many years has it been sitting there?LEVI: I really couldn’t say. I bought the house and none of it was sealed or stained when I bought the house and I’ve lived here for two years.TOM: So you like sort of the fresh, pressure-treated, green look? Is that what you’re looking to get back, Levi?LEVI: Yeah, I’m just looking to, you know – I know I can sand it down and get back down to the fresh wood and …TOM: Yeah, but you know what? Listen. If you do that, it’s not going to last for long. You’re talking about oxidation on the surface of the wood and what we would recommend is that you apply a stain to that wood. You can either go with a semi-transparent, which will show more grain, or a solid color. And then choose the color of stain that you really like. I mean if you want a green color, fine; if you want it to be gray or brown or deep red, mahogany, you can choose that color and that’s going to protect it and the color will stay that way for quite a few years.LESLIE: If you want to give it a shot before you go ahead and apply a solid stain or a semi-transparent; if you want to see if you can sort of get the gray out of the weathered wood – I mean I don’t know if this will work on something that’s been weathered five years or more – Flood makes a product called the Wood Cleaner Premium Wood Cleaner and Brightener. And I believe you roll it on, you let it sit on there and then you rinse it off. But it does a great job of sort of getting that gray out and I know it works fantastic on wood that’s aged a year or two years. So it’s worth it to give it a shot.You know, it’s one product that you invest and give it a whirl and see. And if it works, then you want to go ahead and put some sort of sealant on there, a natural looking stain; something just to protect it from UV, mold, moisture, everything. If it does not work for you, go for the semi-transparent or the solid; depending on how you want it to look. I mean you can pick a color that’s as natural as you like and that’ll be the best way to make it look as good as it can be.LEVI: OK, thanks a lot. I’ll give it a shot. I appreciate it.TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.