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I will soon be staining my porch deck which is made from pressure treated lumber. What is the best way to clean the porch prior to staining. What steps should I used to get my finish product? Want to do it right the first time. Never done this before. 



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Hey, Buck.  Good question.


Cleaning will depend on what's on there.  Usually a good power wash with a sodium percarbonate cleaner (oxygenated bleach) will do the trick.  Test any cleaner you use in an inconspicuous area first to make sure there will be no discoloration.  Discoloration generally only happens with high tannin woods (redwood in particular).  But with pine, cedar, etc., that's not usually a problem.  Nonetheless, always test.  If power washing isn't an option for whatever reason, floor sanders can be used to get rid of small amounts of leftover stain (if any) and sun damaged wood.


Once the power wash is done, be sure to let everything thoroughly dry.


I'll leave the discussion about which stain to use to others, as I don't really have an opinion on it.  Just be sure that, whatever you use, you're applying it to a good clean surface.   That's what will make the biggest difference in longevity.


Hope that helps with part of your question, at least.


Have a great day!


Charis w/ Sashco - -


Buck, Charis always has good advice which could be ignored at your peril. My 2 1/2 cents worth tells me that there is simply no stain that works on decks unless one were to wear slippers all of the time. Footwear picks up dirt and grit which effectively sands off the surface pigment. Use a product that does not peel which makes it easier to re-apply the stain next year and the year after that and so-on. Tim


Hmmm, Charis thanks for the advice about cleaning the porch deck but Tim you got me thinking. Would I be better off not to stain the porch deck at all? I just didn't want it to turn gray but I surely don't want to deal with peeling or scratches a blind man can see. Thanks again for the advice.




You want to stain the deck. Period.
Peeling results from a few factors:
1. Not following the directions on the paint can.
2. Not maintaning the stain job.
3. Hiring a professional who does not know what they are doing...see 1.
4. Homeowner do-it-yourselfer...see 1.
5. To much moisture in the wood...see 1.
6. Staining in the sun...see 1.

After the deck is with any type of paint or stain, there is a cure time. Before the finish is completely cured it is "soft" meaning it is more susceptible to scratches and so forth. Let it cure before you put heavy traffic on it. Wear and tear will happen....but its the nature of the beast.

Not staining the deck will result in top layer issues. As the green treat wears out it leaves the wood susceptible to mold, mildew, and rot. The green treat only protects for so long before it weathers out. If in a dry climate or area, the boards will dry out. Start twisting and splintering.

$100 and a day or 2 of your time is generally all you need to maintain your deck.

I'm always willing to provide free advice. Its just my labor that costs!


Ill give you some of my input.
This is how I do decks for my customers. Ill preach my method to anyone and everyone. I care about 1 thing when it comes to meeting the needs of my them the best bang for their buck and I would consider myself far from being a "bargain," " good deal," or "low bidder" contractor.

Products I mention are products that I found work. Only my opinions.

For getting your deck ready, I would use Sherwin Williams Deckscapes REVIVE (bleaching agent).
Mist your deck with don't want it soaking wet....just "damp." Basically, wet it down and wait. Apply the REVIVE with a garden pump sparyer. Wait 5 mins and apply again. If you have some left it again. Keep it wet with product. You can scrub if you so desire.
Ready for rinsing; rinse off with a lot,a lot,a lot, and a lot more water.
Once again, make sure you rinse it with a lot of water.
Let it dry, as per directions.
Staining....the fun part!
I use Cabot...I always have and always will, unless of course homeowner requests otherwise but its not often.
Follow the directions on the back of the can.
With a spayer I will work a run of 4 or 5 boards....spray and brush all the way across. If your just applying by brush, 2 maybe 3 boards is all you want to tackle. Apply the stain evenly, and brush,brush,brush. If you see brush marks in your may be applying too much stain or you just need to brush more. Keep a wet edge to avoid the choppy lap marks.
The key to a quality, long lasting stain job..... apply 1 coat of stain each year for 3 years...then you can wait 3 years before you stain again. If you follow these directions, your deck will last a lot longer and look better than most everyone elses.

Hope this helps.


Do NOT use an acrylic or paint on your deck, especially on the floor. To make your life easier, use a blended oil, that will moisturize and lock the pigment near the surface. We suggest either Armstrong Clark, or TWP.


We used to love Cabot's Australian timber oil but in our climate it became problematic after the 2005 VOC law changes. We do like the solid decking stain, but only on the verticals. Keep your floors as described above. Trust me on this, you'll be far happier in the long run.



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I used a product called X-180 made by Wisconsin Building Restoration in Franklin, WI. I see that Schroeder log Home Supplies sells it in their catalog by a different name ( Log brightner or something to that effect. You spray it on with a garden sprayer, let it sit for 10 minutes then rinse and green treated looks like a new 2x4 from the lumber company. It lightens up the treated so your stain match with the logs looks much closer than otherwise. Be sure you check moisture levels in wood deck before staining with an oil based stain.

Do not stop mid way on deck then start  up later. You will see the lines where you stopped and then later started.

I do decks for a living, about 50 to 75 every year pretty consistently. Here is what we do :

Thanks, John

Brilliant Coatings Painting Co.

For almost 30 years, we pressure wash the porches, make sure they are dry, then seal with Thompson's.   Never had an issue.

On a porch you should be fine with that product, you are not getting the UV since the floor is largely going to be covered. However for an exterior deck that has no cover, especially one in full sun, you need an oil that will moisturize and replenish lost oils, as well as protect from UV exposure.



We like to use Lovitt's Cleaner & Brightener Kits, each kit restores about 1000 SF and only costs about $40.  It is a 2 step process of cleaning and neutralizing the wood to leave the wood at a balanced PH and the woods' natural color.  We have been using this product for 15 years with excellent results, see it on Lovitt's online store    Good Luck on your staining project!


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