LESLIE: Linda in Maryland listens in on WJFK and you’ve got a decking question. How can we help you?
LINDA: Hi, I wanted to know how I should maintain my Brazilian Cherry deck?
LESLIE: Is it a brand new deck? Is there anything on it? What’s going on with it?
LINDA: It’s about three years old. There was a stain put on originally and it did not work out so well and I’m looking for a new sealant or a new stain or oil. And also, I had heard there may be a problem powerwashing it before I stain it.
LESLIE: Is the stain that’s on there now – is it sort of worn away in some places? Like do you think you need to strip it down to get a fresh start or is that where you think you are with it?
LINDA: Yeah. It’s pretty – it’s – the stain is basically gone now. There are just little spots of stain left. So I have to do something completely new.
LESLIE: OK. Well, if you can, try with a pressure washer, you know, to try to get rid of the last remaining bits of stain. If that’s not budging there’s a couple of products you can use. You want to, unfortunately, use a chemical stripper. And you want to make sure you get all of that stain off of it. And the reason why you want to get that stain off is you really want to get down to as raw or fresh of a wood surface so that whatever you put on top is going to adhere very, very well. And since you’re decking of Brazilian Cherry is only three years old, you shouldn’t have any problem with how the graining looks; how the actual decking pieces themselves are integrity-wise. They should look great so you should be able to put something clear on there to really showcase the beauty of the lumber itself.
So, for stripping you want to use something and Flood makes a lot of great products. First you want to use their Strain Strip Exterior Stain Stripper. It’s going to strip all stains, all finishes. You want to follow the directions; make sure you wear protective gear; let it do its job and clear everything off. Then let it dry very, very well once you’ve washed everything away. And then what you can use also from Flood is the CWF-UltraLast Premium Natural Finish. And this is made specifically for exotic hardwoods; for lumber types that are specifically very difficult to have stains penetrate into them. So you want to make sure you use something that’s really made for the exotics so it’ll saturate and seal and really stabilize the wood to minimize cracking and warping and even damage from moisture and the sun. If you do that, you should be great.
And the UltraLast Premium Natural Finish comes in a couple of different color options which are all natural. It’ll really let the lumber itself show how beautiful it is. And if you do that you shouldn’t have to do anything for five years.
TOM: And Linda, you mentioned about the cautionary advice you got with regard to pressure washing. That is spot on because pressure washing, if it’s done improperly, can really damage a wood deck. So I would use pressure washing only in the lightest possible sense. As you’re doing your cleanup to get ready for the staining procedure, I would not use too much pressure because wood is very soft. It’s going to really eat away some of that surface of the wood boards that you have. So even though you have hardwood, the pressure washer will definitely damage it if you don’t use it very, very carefully. So use the wide spray; the same one you use, for example, when you’re cleaning a car with a pressure washer. It’s great for putting on a lot of water in a reasonably good pressure for cleaning but not one that’s going to damage the wood.
Linda, thanks so much for calling us the Money Pit. The number is 1-888-666-3974.