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Discussion Starter #1
alright DIYers...

just bought our first house this past December. The house is 7 years old, but the deck was never really taken care of very well or so it appears. The floor of the deck does not appear to have any stain on it. The railings however, have either been painted or had a solid stain on it, not really sure which or how to tell. I am in the process of replacing the horizontal hand rails at the top of the railing. The paint/stain was peeling and some of the boards were warped on the ends. I have also replaced a couple rotted boards on the floor of the deck, the rest seems to be solid, but not the best condition.

So, I looked into doing the Restore/Rescue/Deckover stuff, but all of those had terrible reviews.

I have decided to do a semi-transparent stain on the deck and solid stain on the railings. I am going to try to do a two-tone color scheme with the floor being a dark brown and railings being white.

Where I need help is, what do I do with the current paint or stain on the railings? Can I paint or use the solid stain over that, or do I need to try to strip it?

My deck is 512 sq. ft so it is a pretty large deck so looking for the best/easiest way to take care of the paint on the spindles and railing.
 

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use a putty knife to remove any loose/chipping paint, pressure wash, and then follow regular preparation process.
 

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Post a pic, I say this because I absolutely HATE our white railings and stained floor boards. The white needs so much upkeep to stay fresh looking and IMO depending on the house it often looks better to keep a more natural (only stained) look.
 

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Post a pic, I say this because I absolutely HATE our white railings and stained floor boards. The white needs so much upkeep to stay fresh looking and IMO depending on the house it often looks better to keep a more natural (only stained) look.
I will try to remember to get one today, we have seen pictures of it and like the look. I am not sure that we can even stain the railings and spindles because not sure I will be able to get all of the paint/solid stain off. I am sure not going through all of them and scraping them with a putty knife if it doesnt come off with paint stripper and a hose/pressure washer.
 

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Sounds like a job for Maaco where poor preparation is their policy.

If it's not done right, you'll likely be doing it again after the rainy season when it all begins to peel and chip but at least it gives you a good reason to try different types of stain. ;)
 

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I will try to remember to get one today, we have seen pictures of it and like the look. I am not sure that we can even stain the railings and spindles because not sure I will be able to get all of the paint/solid stain off. I am sure not going through all of them and scraping them with a putty knife if it doesnt come off with paint stripper and a hose/pressure washer.
You shouldn't have to strip it. I would hit it with a pressure washer, then go through and scrape any loose paint/stain with a putty knife, you can sand and feather any areas where the paint came off if you want. It would be nice to know what product is on there but since your going white you could probably prime (oil maybe) and then paint with a quality exterior paint.
 

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came across this:


looks alright to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks guys.


going to pressure wash tomorrow(today) and see what happens.

the picture above is what we are going for, just not in the composite decking, that stuff is crazy expensive!
 

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Not bad looking. Low maintenance too, I don't think any of that is real wood (no paint/stain).
Looks like TREX. That stuff needs to be fastened to joists in small intervals or it will warp and have waves in it.




I would be sure that the wood is completely dry after powerwashing before staining. A solid body stain is a smart choice. It will cover imperfections.

A product I like is a wood petrifier/hardener. After rot is is scraped out then paint the hardener in. Then bondo.
Minwax has one and their are others.

The principles are the same as automotive.

Remove loose rust(major wood rot)
Rust convertor-ospho(wood harder)
metal patch(replace some decking)
bondo(wood putty/2 part hardener)
sand(random orbit is what I use for the decks)
paint/stain

I've done a lot of wood and rot repair here in the salty, humid climate Kauai has. Prep is everything. Just like auto painting.
 

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You have to make sure that the old stain is not oil based if you're going to use a water base.
If the old is oil base and you want to use water base it's a pita. You'll have to use nasty chemicals to clean it really well and remove the old oil stain, or else the the new water base will not penetrate. If the old is water based then go to town, just strip it/power wash, suds, dry and re-stain with either oil or water, but read on regarding using oil based on top of water based...
If the old is oil based and you want to stick to oil based then the same applies, just a cleaning before re-staining.
The aforementioned problem with oil based is that it's being phased out. As goes California VOC law so goes the nation. If you can then stick with water based as the new water stuff is comparable in quality to the old oil based stuff.

And yes, that photo is Trex. If you want THAT bold of color then definitely go with a solid (non-transparent) stain. They last way longer than semi-transparents, it's really just highly durable paint for decks.

BTW, reviews for any deck product suck. Mostly due to people not prepping properly. If you prep it well, and follow the rules (no water over old oil), and use a semi or solid transparent, it will hold up well (sun exposure dependent).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
well went ahead and decided to strip it completely off using the behr paint/stain stripper and a pressure washer. Total PITA and after the entire weekend, i am still not done with all of the railings.

How do you tell if the previous paint was oil or water? Bought the house in December, so no idea what was on it before.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well, but applying stripper and pressure washing to strip old paint/stain off railings for the past 4 days. Worked most of the day Saturday and Sunday and then worked on it for 3 hours or so after work Monday and today. Have another solid 3-4 hours left. By far the worst project I have ever done. I will either hire someone next time or tear down the whole thing and rebuild it.
 
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