Monday, November 10, 2014

Youtube deck restoration videos: A Light Hearted Review

If I was to one day adopt an ascetic lifestyle, live minimally on the beach, catch my food from the ocean, and sleep a hut on top of a hill, I would probably refinish my deck in this manner. A warm childhood movie watching memory, and so far the best deck sanding video I have seen on youtube:

Searching how to refinish a deck on youtube yields lots of results from reputable companies. Big box retailer Lowes produces a deck refinishing video, as does The Home Depot. Most refinishing techniques involve chemical strippers, acid washing, and staining in semi-transparent deck stains.

In certain cases you can actually do best by acid and pressure washing, like this deck:

This deck already had a nice stain on it when they began. This is essentially our maintenance process, minus the stripping part, which seemed unnecessary. They are calling it restoration, but really its just maintenance.

Many of the videos involve decks that already have a nice translucent penetrating stain on them, and are really describing maintenance, not restoration.

The problem I see with these videos is that chemical stripping and using high pressure washing on redwood is harmful to the boards, delivering an uneven finish in most cases unless increased pigment is used. Once you have a nice finish on the deck, all that is required is washing and staining.

We have developed a super efficient maintenance process involving several crucial but simple steps that are much less work that what you see on youtube.

Read more about our restoration service 

Paint removal

These guys are in over their heads attempting to remove paint from this deck. Notice there is no ending, and the last you see of the deck it still has 20% paint on it:

These guys are working way too hard. They must have done 10 passes with the stripping chemical to remove the paint on this deck. Our guys could have sanded 100% of this paint off in one day without any stripping, and the deck boards would have been restored to a smooth surface, and a deep red hue as they were when they came from the mill. 

This guy also uses rotary sanding to finish the remaining paint, which sands deep into the wood. Unless rotary sanding is done uniformly throughout the deck it will be uneven when a professional quality coating is applied. 

This scenario in my opinion is hilarious: 
"Restore Your Deck Using Behr Deck Over"

This guy is showing you how to restore your deck with Behr Deck Over, which is a super thick, (elastomeric) textured paint designed to resurface the deck. So, we are restoring the deck to it's original highly toxic painted surface, in the color of our choosing, just as it came out of the forest?

I think I will stick to my earlier statements about Deck Over and other "deck restoration" paints. I saw 3 different cases of severe failure this summer where this type of product was peeling off in sheets after one year.

Here is a Deck Over failure after one year:

Not only does this stuff fail, but the texture and gooeyness in the material makes it much more difficult to sand, and the areas that are still in tact are even harder to remove, and often leave darkened deck boards from lack of breathing. I could go on and on about this method of so called "restoration." 

This guys went as far as to film his like a public service announcement, for anyone thinking of using Restore: 

Friends don't let friends use Deck Over. And not just Deck over, any so-called "deck restoration" paint.

Some videos like this one show a little more sanding:

This is orbital sanding, which is only a final stage in our sanding process. This type of sanding is not restoration since it will not remove all of the top coat, and generally only sands to a surface layer in the wood that is still blonde from bleaching by the sun. If there are high spots in the deck from rigidity in the boards the result with this sander will be tiger striping. Again, not a true restoration technique.

Read more about our restoration service 

Ahh the old, sand the deck with a belt sander struggle: 

I remember one of the first decks I sanded was with a 4" belt sander. Took 4 days on my knees and 3 belt sanders, which kept dying due to overheating. Please do not try this at home, or hire anyone who offers to belt sand your deck. 

None of the videos I have seen on youtube show a true restoration, in the sense that you would be restoring the redwood boards to their original color and hue, the reds and blondes present in the wood as it looks on the shelf. None of these methods shown would result in an even finish if the decks were painted or stained with multiple coats of a film forming stain.

The bottom line is you can't remove more difficult coatings an oxidation using strippers and pressure washing without severely damaging the wood. Most of these guys will err on the side of caution and only partially remove the topcoat, then add pigment in the form of a solid or semi solid product, but some, as we have seen, will get aggressive with the pressure washing and severely damage the wood.

To understand more about what we do go to our web site:
Read more about our restoration service 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ipe with reclaimed timber railing

This was a railing we designed and built in the Park Meadows area of Park City.

We used ipe slats with a narrow gap for low light transmission due to privacy needs, reclaimed trestle wood from the Great Salt Lake railroad trestle (salt trestle) from a company called Trestlewood. They are Utah owned and operated and provide a large inventory of reclaimed timbers. 

Trestlewood has done a great job on their web site also: 

We look forward to doing business with this company in the future. 

Thanks to this client for giving us license to create!

View from below 

No stain on the post although we may add steel caps down the road. 
These post caps will weather over the winter to a grey patina.

The brackets are custom welded steel left to rust. All galvanized hardware.

This deck was also painted when we started. We sanded and stained it properly for easy maintenance in the future. This is a high performance finish type. 

By the way we are doing a version of this railing on all of the interior railings of the house in December. Pics to follow! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Photo contest

We started a photo contest this month and have generated some sweet entries. This weeks winners get a gift card to Larry H. Miller Megaplex theaters to view a film of their choice. 

In first place was "Rockin' Ipe" 

In second place was high gloss timbers 

Friday, June 27, 2014

New redwood deck

This deck was a fun project. All new redwood top sheet with sikkens SRD natural oak, new facing, new step and large extension. Great clients, great crew, fun project. 

Deck extension with restoration and new railing

This customer wanted to tone down the round log look and go with some 8" square timbers. We used powder coated balusters to give it an elegant look. Deck extension of 2 feet added a lot of usable space and blended well with the restored portion of the deck. 

Stain: sikkens srd mahogany on timbers, cedar color on deck. 

Best customer ever!

Our customer do love us, but this is over the top...