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Sanding deck and filling nail holes

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  1. #1
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    Default Sanding deck and filling nail holes

    Hi There,

    I am bitting the bullet and finally sanding my deck. My main problem is do i fill the nail holes with wood filler. The deck has no roof so get's hit with a lot of rain and sun. I'm worried that the wood filler plug's will pop out over time and/or just won't look good. What is the best way to do it. Wood filler or no filler. Any pictures or examples will be extremely helpful!

    I am also going to use Spa n Deck natural colour decking paint. The wood when sanded is a light yellow/orange colour. Anybody have any experience with these sort's or colours? Will the natural colour make the deck to orange.

    Thanks from the decking novice!

  2. #2
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    dont punch in the nails ! the putty will pop and it will wreck your deck. spa n deck is an AWESOME product, it does colour your deck to the colour you choose just have to apply it correctly. are you going the resurface the deck? because with spa n deck u dont have to sand it really ... u just hire a commercial power washer and use the power lift and deck clean and it strips it for you its great.

    hope this helps

    Glenn S & A Painting

  3. #3
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    Thanks for you reply. I tried washing it with the napisan treatment 3 times but still couldn't get all of the old oil of. I think the deck needs to be sanded. There are cracks on everyboard, and the deck feels really rough to touch.

    I have to punch the nails when sanding otherwise the sanding paper will get caught on it. Your answer was what i was looking for. Will the wood putty pop out over time and it look's like they will. I will just leave the nail holes. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like the deck is long overdue for attention. Punching the nails will probably result in further splitting especially near the board ends. Spa n Deck is indeed a good product, but you have to commit to keeping it looking good over the years. Good luck with it.

  5. #5
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    I agree with r3nov8or, you shouldn't sand it. Try and get hold of a new product call Qstrip from Quatum. Iv been using it to restore decks since it came out and its incredible what it can draw out of the timber. I removed about 5 years of stain and bought the merbau back to original. It's environmentally friendly (textured roller on and hose off after about 45min) and doesn't damage the timber at all! If you give Quantum a call they can answer all of your questions anyway. Good luck mate

  6. #6
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    Pouring rain here today on what they call the Sunny coast hence the deck I was going to work on today is not going to happen. Thought I would hop in here and offer yet again another opinion-suggestion just to add further to discussion.
    In reading through your intial posting and the suggestions you didn't state whether your deck is coated with a penetrating type oil ie (Cabots natural)or a film type oil (sikkens) or whether the coating was water based. This can play a major factor in which chemicals,strippers will have the desired effect.

    The key words that caught my attention is your description of the fine cracks and the timber feeling rough. Without seeing the deck one that has no cover and has small cracks and feels rough tells me it has probably been exposed for at least 3 or more years.

    I have used several strippers in the past along with Flood powerlift which is basically a liquid napisan detergent (30% sodium percarbonate) and various oxalic acid cleaners-brighteners. I would agree that experimenting with different chemical products along with scrubbing,hosing,pressure washing may get your deck to a state that you are then happy to coat. Easterndeck seems very happy with Qstrip which I have no experience with.
    However the one thing that chemicals, scrubbing,powerwashing etc doesn;t do is expose a new layer of timber to the surface and I have found this the key to achieving (to me) the best possible final results. I have seen decks where a pressure washer was cranked up way too high and although it removed the coating it also left the timber as furry as a bear. Once the deck dries it still needs sanding.
    After trying to perservere with the other methods I moved to sanding and instantly discovered my final outcome was the best I had achieved.
    I have learned that as soon as I mention sanding most folks think, too hard,too costly,to dusty,. I don't find it hard to do and my gear is approx97% dustfree as the gear is well designed to collect the dust. However ,good gear and abrasives don't come cheap but they work. I can sand a deck faster than I can strip it with chemicals and water. The nails that are above the surface either have to be punched down and this has its associated issues (unwanted splits) or removed and replaced with countersunk stainless steel screws.
    A lot of this discussion depends on the decks condition and how fussy- pedantic you are ,budget,time. So in conclusion if I was asked to fix it up I would deal with the nails,sand it to 80 grit,hose off the dust and coat it.
    I just finished sanding a new deck that has just been laid several weeks ago. I am trying to figure out how to get these images up . (I admit to being a total computer gumby) They show how dark timber can get once exposed to air. Several days after sanding you can see the timber going darker. I have found the brighter the timber is at the coating the better the final outcome. Hopefully I can post them in a new thread.

    jimj restore-a-deck

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by easterndecks View Post
    I agree with r3nov8or, you shouldn't sand it. ...
    Well, I didn't actually say don't sand it, just gave a warning that punching nails may cause splits.

  8. #8
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    It was coated with feast watson merbau colour about 14 months ago. Came up looking great. About a month later though the water didn't pool as much and looked to be sinking into the boards a little. I think the dog and direct exposure to the rain/sun helped this along. Still looked good though. I put 3 coats on but i think because the deck was in a bad state and furry it really sucked in the oil. The house had renters in it since the deck was built which was about 8 years ago and i am guessing only ever oiled or water based once. There was a bit left under a hand rail that i think was water based that the napisan and pressure wash didn't wash out. I just oiled over it. The oil didn't soak in that well in these 2 part's which were probably about 20cm long under the rail. I didn't really care as you couldn't really see it and was protected by the railing and whatever protection was left on it. Here's a photo of the deck when i brought the house.


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails decking.jpg  

  9. #9
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    The saying that a picture tells the story certainly applies here. I expected the decking too look much worse than it does. As I mentioned in the earlier response I would sand it. Others will no doubt suggest chemicals and highpressure cleaning or stripping,scrubbing and hosing.
    This is a nice deck the only real challenge is getting under the rails. I have a sander that goes under this area but is still a challenge.
    The readers of this thread will enjoy hearing how it finally was turned around. In saying that from the many decks I see, there are a lot of people where I live that wish their deck looked this good.

    jimj restore-a-deck

  10. #10
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    i'm actually a little confused as to whether the photo is 14 months old or 8 years old...

  11. #11
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    The photo is 14 months old. Since then i put on a feast watson oil and just recently tried to clean it of with napisan but i couldn't get it of. Now some of the boards have lot's of merbau coloured oil stuck on them. On a section of the deck i used napisan 3 times, 1 x cabot's deck cleaner and pressure washed the area each time. Most of it came of but there are still visible patches of merbau coloured oil and to get to this stage i had to put the pressure washer to close to the deck. Could there be any reason that the oil won't come out on my boards? Did i apply it wrong? To thick maybe? You might not be able to tell but from this picture but the deck fells very rough to touch and doesn't fell good under you feet.

    I'll take some photo's tonight

  12. #12
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    It is quite possible that the roughness you mentioned could have been partially from the pressure cleaning to hard and close. Too hard of pressure breaks up the timber fibers and when dry feels and looks furry. Napisan( sodium percarbonate) has its place as well as oxalic acid but in many cases it will not solve all of the removal issues.
    Prior to me being invited to inspect a deck the owners have already tried these methods only to tell me it didn't work as well as they were told at the shop it would. They also express their aggravation at spending a day trying to prepare the deck only to feel they made limited progress.
    I am sure you will see quite a nice change once the sanding begins and is finished.

    jimj

  13. #13
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    Here's some photo's of how it looks at the moment. Do you think the new feast watson formula with the water clean up made it harder/impossible to napisan off? From the photo's what do you think sand or try other cleaning methods like qstrip?

    img_0220.jpgimg_0221.jpg

  14. #14
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    IMO the red you see is left over stain that colours the oil, not left over oil itself. The timber looks very dry and 'unnourished'. It really comes down to what you are prepared to maintain - if you want a showroom shine you have a job ahead of you and ongoing. If you just want a deck that looks decent, well nourished, is fuinctional and the odd mishap won't drive to mad then that is more achievable, but any finish must be maintained.

    If the second photo is as bad as it gets, others will disagree and suggest sanding, but I would flood the deck with 2 coats of a pentrating merbau coloured oil that will blend in with what remains. If you keep the oil up every 12 months you should be able to forget the tint ongoing so it doesn't get too dark over the years.

    I don't have before photos, but I can get photos of a deck that looked similar and how it looks now after a good dose of tinted oil.

  15. #15
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    I have a 10ltr tub of spa n deck merbau colour already. Would that apply over the left over stain? Not sure if i want to take the risk.

    I have a pro sander who is going to do the job for $400 and a slab. With a 40 grit paper then a 80 grit. He owes me a favour so it's a good price. It's not to much coin so it's really the $ v the benefit of having it sanded and then covered with spa n deck.

  16. #16
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    I think you'll find the left over red stain will be removed by sanding, but maybe not from all the deeper splits. As Spa n Deck is a solid coating sanding is the way to go I think.

  17. #17
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    Sanding will bring up new timber and you can be totally certain that your new coating will not be compromised. For someone who knows how to sand this is not a big deal to do. Just needs good gear,good abrasives and good methodology. When I first start restoring decks (beginning at my house) I thought and used chemicals (various strippers,sodium percarbonate (pure 95%) no name napisan,powerlift, deck cleaner(oxalic acid) and oxalic acid cystals diluted , a 4000.00 3600 psi 13 hp spitwater pressure cleaner and a Austrian Rotowash scrubbing machine. After 6 months of trying everyway I had read and experimented with I realised its limitations. This method may remove certain things from the surface but it will not expose a new layer of timber to the surface and leave the deck smooth . I put away the pressure cleaner and went to sanding only. That has been for 6 years now. Stains are designed to let us see some of the timbers features. It can't work out what is good to look at or poor to look at. The areas that look nice will generally look good but the old coatings that havn't been removed MAY look blotchy through the new coating.


    My starting position in preperation is when I finish sanding and hose down the deck it should look like a hardwood floor inside a home. I totally agree with r3nov8or that once it is coated the maintenance -upkeep is crucial. Different coatings , different sun exposures, location in country all play a factor.
    Pretty simple now in my mind sand,clean,coat

    jimj

  18. #18
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    after seeing those pics that deck isnt ready to coat like that has to been sanded and have the guts sanded out of it for the deck to look new. sure you can coat it like that and it may blend but really wats the use u have spent a fortune on the deck best to restore it. thats the thing when giving something a pressure wash and a scrub you can try it out and if it doesnt work then u have no choice but to resurface the deck. resurfacing the deck is always the best method. if your going to go this gang busters on it make sure you give it a lite sand between coatings, it will reduce the furryness others will say it then becomes slippery but everything can be sliped on when wet.

  19. #19
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    It's getting sanded tomorrow so i'll post some pictures up.

    Thanks everyone for there help

  20. #20
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    Got the deck sanded. Came up looking good. The boards were cupped so the sanding didn't get right down into the middle of the boards as much as i hoped. I guess that's what you get when you pay $400. The photo of the sanded deck doesn't look as good as it did for some reason. The boards were more white and clean than the photo suggest's.

    We used the merbau colour for the first 2 coats but it was a bit to orange so we used Jarrah for the 3rd and 4th coat. Came up great and is very smooth.

    Photo's were taken yesterday afternoon so there are a few dog foot prints already on there

    img_0222.jpgimg_0228.jpgimg_0229.jpg

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