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  1. #1
    Distinguished Professors Junior Undergraduate
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    Oct 2001
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    Ipe Deck restorations

    Just stripped my sister's Ipe deck this last weekend. Its always fun to get back out on a deck and show off.

    One thing that struck me was that my brother-in-law had already used a stripper to remove some of the old sealer in a small section of this 1200 sq. ft. porch. The wood looked dull and a little grayish, and I was concerned if it had been damaged somehow.

    I took a minute to go over that area with a little brightener and checked it after the wood was dried by the sun about an hour later. The wood looked rich, very light, and reddish in color (like it was just milled yesterday). Using brightener is a huge step for professional results.

    I talk to a lot of wood guys every day and I think too many guys tend to skip this step. I'm sure they think I am just trying to get them to spend a little more money when I tell them that brightening is one of the keys to beautiful wood (a vendor trying to sell more stuff? ) .

    Ipe contains a lot of tannins that turn the wood dark during the washing/stripping process. That is why my brother-in-laws wash job looked gray and dull.

    So, if you aren't currently brightening every deck you clean I recommend that you re-think your process. Brightening isn't optional on my work. It is mandatory on every wood after every cleaning.

    Anyway, the entire deck looked brand new (literally) when I finished, and ready for sealer. No need to tell you what sealer I'll be using.
    Last edited by Ron Musgraves; 01-18-2011 at 07:06 PM.
    Pete Marentay

  • #2
    JL Pressure Washing 3000 PLUS POSTER jlpressure's Avatar
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    Well where's the pictures????

    I don't do wood anymore at all and never did a lot, but brightener was a must, it always made it look great. I took pictures quite often and I always liked the pictures when the wood was still wet and just brightened

  • #3
    banned 3000 PLUS POSTER Clean County PW's Avatar
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    We always brighten all wood restoration jobs that we do. Whether its a small bleach job or a huge stripper job when it comes to wood we always brighten and for the last bunch of years we went for the better brightner which is the Oxalic brightner. Citralic is safer but the Oxalic works better and faster so we use what works best for us.

    Cleaning wood if you don't bring that PH level back by using a brightner then the cleaned wood can and will at most time look grey so a brightner like Pete has stated is a must when cleaning wood.

  • #4
    Member Graduate Student
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    Reading, Pa
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    I agree totally. Last year was my first year on decks and applying the brightener made me stand out when the finish product was produced. Sometimes people said "Why don't we just leave it the natural way it looks now" lol

    I had a lady once say that her neighbor told her I was too expensive and that she could do it herself by renting a PW from HD and using their strippers....Got a call later as she stained without pH balancing and she asked what she could do and I said you could have punched your neighbor in the mouth and took the advice of a professional and laughed to play it off. I told her if she did not like the first price she would be beside herself with the second and told her to have all the luck in finding someone to restore the mess...
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  • #5
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Marentay View Post
    Just stripped my sister's Ipe deck this last weekend. Its always fun to get back out on a deck and show off.

    One thing that struck me was that my brother-in-law had already used a stripper to remove some of the old sealer in a small section of this 1200 sq. ft. porch. The wood looked dull and a little grayish, and I was concerned if it had been damaged somehow.

    I took a minute to go over that area with a little brightener and checked it after the wood was dried by the sun about an hour later. The wood looked rich, very light, and reddish in color (like it was just milled yesterday). Using brightener is a huge step for professional results.

    I talk to a lot of wood guys every day and I think too many guys tend to skip this step. I'm sure they think I am just trying to get them to spend a little more money when I tell them that brightening is one of the keys to beautiful wood (a vendor trying to sell more stuff? ) .

    Ipe contains a lot of tannins that turn the wood dark during the washing/stripping process. That is why my brother-in-laws wash job looked gray and dull.

    So, if you aren't currently brightening every deck you clean I recommend that you re-think your process. Brightening isn't optional on my work. It is mandatory on every wood after every cleaning.

    Anyway, the entire deck looked brand new (literally) when I finished, and ready for sealer. No need to tell you what sealer I'll be using.

    Great Stuff Pete, was reading about these on TGS recently.
    Ron Musgraves


    Text Me if you need Help 4805225227

  • #6
    Member Senior Undergraduate jon chapman's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysAqua View Post
    I agree totally. Last year was my first year on decks and applying the brightener made me stand out when the finish product was produced. Sometimes people said "Why don't we just leave it the natural way it looks now" lol

    I had a lady once say that her neighbor told her I was too expensive and that she could do it herself by renting a PW from HD and using their strippers....Got a call later as she stained without pH balancing and she asked what she could do and I said you could have punched your neighbor in the mouth and took the advice of a professional and laughed to play it off. I told her if she did not like the first price she would be beside herself with the second and told her to have all the luck in finding someone to restore the mess...
    sometimes having the last laugh is worth not landing a job

  • #7
    Member Associate Professor scottwash's Avatar
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    Palm Coast fl
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    Pete that deck must be about paper thin by now, on the amount of times you have cleaned it. I have read past theads and post, you doing this for years.

    Unless you have alot of sisters that have wood decks.

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