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Question DetailsAsked on 6/3/2016

Used rust o Leum about 4 yrs ago and now it's peeled and looks terrible, how to restore?

Deck is over 20 yrs old and have maintained with stain until used the rust oleum, but now want to know do we power wash or can we sand a deck with nails or do we have to replace with screws?

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I hate to say it because I generally like Rustoleum products (for metal especially), but from all I have heard their deck restore product sounds like a mistake. Have not used it myself (I would not use that type product on a wood deck, which I presume yours is) but have seen it fail on decks, and have not heard of a case where it did NOT fail - sounds like another case of them getting to far away from their area of expertise, like they did with the DIY bathtub refinishing kits - what a joke.

Typical problem - a heavy body paint or coating like this on wood decks invariably fails fairly quickly, because there are always pinholes and cracks in paint on wood, so standing washing and rain water and snow melt gets into the wood and saturates it, but cannot readily evaporate through the same small entry points, so you get bubbling and peeling of the paint surface and potentially rot - especially if the underside of the deck boards are painted so, preventing any evaporation from that surface.

With a peeling paint you have to remove it - chemical stripping or pressure washing, scraping, abrasive disc or pad removal, or sanding - commonly you run through most of the options - like scraping or pressure washing (carefully to avoid gouging the wood) to remove the loose material, then scraping or abrasive disc removal (which may be a paint removal disc like 3M makes for disc grinders or a carbide flooring finish removal disc on an oscillatory or rotary floor sander, then finish sanding with rotary or belt sander. Scraping works best on wet wood, chemical stripping and sanding or abrasive best on totally dry materials.

On the abrasives - 3M and others make a "brillo pad" type paint and finish removal disc that works fairly well, for disc grinders (like are used with abrasive grinding and cutoff wheels in auto work - you need a fairly good, heavy duty one for this type of work, not a lightweight cheapo - decent one about $50-70. aka Angle Grinders). NOte the 3M pads do NOT fit the standard 11mm threaded shaft - there is a quick-change adapter you have to buy to use the pads.

The floor sander (looks like upright disc type floor polisher) can use sandpaper for finish sanding, but for paint removal will clogs the expensive disc almost immediately - a carbide tooth paint removal blade is what you need if using that - a light cut one, and you have to be careful because it will cut right down through the wood readily if let sit one polace or too many passes are made. Does not clog up with burnt paint like a sanding disc.

Yes you can sand a deck with nails - remove any loose ones (which would generally only be if broken or in rotten wood), use a straight-edged snow shovel or such to run over the deck to find any nails sticking up and hammer them down slightly below the surface. When sanding if you see the tops of nails being polished hammer them down a bit further.

Here is a link to another similiar question about that product with a number of responses - none very positive about it -

One amendment to my comment in that one - the copper napthenate/napthelate/azeole type ground-contact treaatments from Copper-Green and Cupreanol and others now come in all the treated wood colors - Green (like the older CCA/ACC/ACA wood), Brown (like some treated Southern Pine products), and Orange (like the Wolmanized landscape timbers and treated wood). Can be blended (within same manufacturer's product line) to intermediate colors, or can be stained darker (not lighter) with oil-based paint dyes and tints designed for mineral spirits based paints. Of course, you have to be real careful about color changing to be sure you mix enough and mix all cans/bottles together before starting, to get consistent color. Unless you mix by a quite small measuring cup and keep a record, don't count on being able to get the same color again in the future, so I would paln on mixing more than you need by a quart to more usually a gallon (depending on deck size) for future use. They will last decads if sealed, because they are not a paint - basically a stain color in a paint thinner base with a few percent copper compound added in, so all it does with aging (as long as not allowed to evaporate from the can) is the coloring agent and copper agent settle to the bottom and need a good shaking to remix.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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