Deck Refurbish with TWP

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richlife

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Rich
This long post is sort of a followup to Rob's thread on "Deck Rebuild" http://ncwoodworker.net/forums/showthread.php?p=372939#poststop. I hope it's helpful for some of you -- even if you have a slightly smaller deck.

Maybe you should view this more as a followup on Rob's use of TWP (and other posts here about TWP). I just finished (with a lot of help from my wife, Sheila) refurbishing our large decks -- well, not quite finished, but the "decking" and rail surfaces are all done. Old dry decks need more stain than new wood as Rob had. This application used a total of 30 gallons (5 6-gallon cans of TWP) -- generally that is 100 sq ft. of TWP coverage per gallon. (The extra was for rail spindles, etc.) The entire project has been actively in progress since mid-July and has taken most of our time.

Our decks range from 15- to 19-years old for the most part with a few small parts added 5 - 10 years ago. Our house is passive solar and most of the decks are on the South side in the direct sun and there are multiple levels some of which provide summer shade for the windows below. You can see a couple of pics here http://www.beauhavenwoodworking.com/other_work.htm and one here near the bottom of the page http://www.beauhavenwoodworking.com/bh_views.htm . In addition, there are some outlying steps, decks and landscape timbers that we included to pull the whole yard into a common color tone.

The total decking/stair surface stained is 2500 sq. ft. plus 240 linear feet of rails and about 200 linear feet of timber top surface as well as about 100 sq ft. of timber wall. (After all the work on just prep, I wanted to know EXACTLY what I was covering, so for the first time, I actually made the measurements and calculated the surface areas.) I'm a sucker for punishment, so we decided to hand paint everything with a brush. The advantage is outstanding and thorough coverage of all surfaces. (I did the same thing with a different opaque stain on our house 7 years ago and that stain is still holding up very well even on that south side.)

Before any staining (it had been about 6 years since the last deck stain), I drove all nails and screws to below or at surface, used an old blade in a circular saw to clean out the spaces between deck boards on the original decks that were set too close together. (When I build my own decks -- about 2000 sq ft. of this total -- I leave good wide spaces. No spiked heels on this deck! And that allowed us to brush well the edges of the deck boards.) When needed, I replaced a few bad boards. I also added 5/4 decking to the top of the southern stair rails which have been savagely checked by the sun. After all that, I pressure washed the entire deck trying to remove any remnants of old stain. There were some parts that wouldn't come off without destroying the deck, but that was mostly under rails and benches. Overall, this TWP Cedartone did a great job of integrating all the previous treatments.

An older deck like this that has been sitting in the sun all those years just DRINKS TWP. I used a good Wooster 4" stain brush, dipped it in the TWP, splashed on the deck without any draining and it would spread over only about 12 - 16" of deck board. We applied the TWP according to directions -- allowed 15 - 30 minutes for soaking in and then laid on a second coat, another 15 - 30 minutes (you can tell when it's ready) and added a third coat. After another 15 - 30 minute wait for absorption, we rubbed off all excess from the surfaces. We did this for all horizontal surfaces of the deck -- decking and rails. Vertical surfaces generally got one coat except where it clearly needed more -- then we used two.

I still have some ladder work for the outside edges and trim and for the outside face of the spindles. My last delivery of TWP comes tomorrow (thankfully).

After doing all this, I think our timing was pretty perfect. The instructions say to apply only between temps of 50 and 90*, and I refused to abuse the finish by painting while the sun was directly on the surface. Fortunately our surrounding trees and just the sheer amount of surface allowed us to work somewhere on the deck for all but about 3 - 4 hours during midday. We got some breaks on the hot weather this summer. (Despite having to wait on the rainy days -- no painting on damp surfaces or when rain is expected within 48 hours. The couple of times when it rained unexpectedly and contrary to forecast, I covered the newly painted area in plastic -- seemed to work well.) And we still have more time before it gets too cold. I didn't want to paint at all during pollen season or on the 90+ days so the heat pushed us to Fall -- and acorns and leaves are easy to blow off. Now we'll have a nice deck through the winter season (I'm outdoors year round) without the summer heat to damage a young finish.

I can't speak for the longevity (yet), but using TWP was a joy for a woodworker -- especially one who likes finish work. It was very much like putting an oil finish on wood furniture and absolutely transformed the deck. The resulting warm, brown color makes it look like some exotic wood. We got the TWP online for less than $30 a gallon. The other stains we used before cost about $20 a gallon and all were crap as far as I'm concerned. We had used both transparent and surface stains previously. I will never use anything but TWP in the future. (And I have no stake in the company.)

BTW, during those days I couldn't paint, I added 60 uncovered sq ft. to my shop deck for better lighting (that deck is not included in the house deck measurements) and put stairs down to the forest floor. (LONG stairs!) This was the year for major renovations at our house (lower drive and replacement southside windows also). Since I did all the deck work and we finished the window trim ourselves, all this managed to stay affordable (though still expensive, yes). And I think the brush painted deck will wear for a very long time.

Rich
 

farmerbw

Brian
Corporate Member
Pretty close Tom, Total Wood Preservative which is manufactured by Gemini Coatings. TWP website.

Brian.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
Joe, I used TWP stain on the exterior of my old Sears kit house here on the farm. They make great products, and I highly recommend them.
 

richlife

New User
Rich
Yes, that's them -- Total Wood Preservative at twpstain.com .

It's a penetrating oil stain that soaks in, seals and stains at the same time. It's intended to have at least two coats "wet on wet" (successive coats within 15 - 30 minutes so that the next coast will penetrate before the sealing takes place) and then should be wiped to remove any excess and ensure a hard seal.

My procedure was long and arduous for that much surface, but the results were well worth it.

Rich
 

richlife

New User
Rich
As an FYI for anyone interested, I finally actually completed this project yesterday. It's hard to say just HOW HAPPY I am to be done with it! :eusa_danc

Rich
 
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