About our Deck Painting Services:
We are a North Atlanta deck cleaning, and painting company. Some thoughts on deck painting:
Considering painting your deck?
There are many schools of thought about painting VS staining. I'll lay out some scenarios, and my recommendations for those scenarios:
If I had a new deck i’d never paint it- When I refer to paint I am talking about a solid-color deck stain. A solid stain is totally opaque, will show zero of the wood grain, and behaves pretty much like a paint. New decks are perfect candidates for Oil based semi-transparent stains.
Decks with existing peeling paint If you purchased a house with a solid stain and notice it it starting to peel this is a good candidate for proper preparation and re-application of deck paint/solid stain.
Decks with water-based semi-transparent stains. The biggest culprit in this realm is BEHR. Behr stains look great at first, but down the road - not so much. Re-application is possible but as stain is re-applied (maintenance coats) it becomes less, and less translucent. This problem is made worse by painters who over-apply the semi-transparent stain making stripping behr near impossible, so BEHR would be another good candidate for applying a solid stain over. While we’re at it put Superdeck in that category, and any other semi-transparent water-based stain with a few exceptions.
There are other instances where a solid stain or a porch and floor is a better choice:
Covered front porches, screened in porches Covered front porches, or screened in porches are great candidates for either a porch and floor paint, or a solid-body deck stain. They will hold up very well to dog traffic, hill be a breeze to clean, and will stand up extremely well to UV degradation.
With a few exceptions when mentioning and recommending a semi-transparent stain I am referring to a quality oil-based semi-transparent stain. These stains I recommend without reservation , and there are many to choose from – TWP, Cabot, Rymar, as well as Armstrong-Clark, Penofin, etc. And although semi-transparent stains are great they aren’t perfect. Below i’ll list the pros as well as cons of using a deck paint vs semi-transprent stain.
PRO for painting your deck, porch
- >Super easy to clean – A deck with solid-color stain, or porch and floor paint is a breeze to clean. It can be done in about an hour’s time. This comes in really handy after the spring pollen season.
- >Infinite amount of color possibilities. You can pick a wide range of paint colors.
- >Holds up well to dog traffic- performs very well in screened porches, and covered porches.
- >Decent service life (if applied according to MFR specifications)
That’s about all the pros I can think of, now the cons
CON: for painting your deck, porch
- >Once you paint your deck you cannot go back to bare wood again. Over the years we’ve had many, many requests to strip solid stains. Unfortunately we’ve found that acrylic stains have become near impossible to remove. Solid oil-based deck stains are easy to remove, but acrylic-based stains are impossible without using nasty strippers (methylene chloride based) which we refuse to use as they destroy the wood cell structure, are known carcinogens and will burn skin on contact, not to mention the runoff, and what it does to your yard, and god forbid your dog, cat ever takes a whiff of the remnants.). Some may use toxic strippers on acrylic-solid stains, we don’t.
- >Unless your deck is covered, it will chip, or peel. That’s unavoidable (unless you check every single spring, or fall for the first signs of chipping , peeling and fix it right away . Acrylic solid-stain decks (especially if you have water collection zones, an under-deck system where moisture will constantly permeate through the deck floor-boards) will peel. Leaf debris, bird feed, even dog hair caught between the floor-boards is enough to cause an accumulation of moisture and peeling. Don’t paint a new deck that will be exposed to the elements – at least not the flat areas (floor, stair steps, handrails).
- >Acrylic solid stains and paints trap moisture Most painters usually (with good intentions) over-apply deck paints, and stains – as in too thick an application , then compound the damage by not waiting long enough time between coats. This nullifies the stain’s ability to allow moisture to permeate through its barrier and winds up having the opposite of the intended effect by creating a vapor barrier which is a recipe for disaster. And if the paint was applied to a damp deck it will be even worse as you'll have trapped moisture and mildew resurfacing.
I believe the cons outweigh the pros here. But that's just my opinion.
When painting your deck (Either DIY or when you hire out): - Remember:
> Prep is everything! Using the proper chemical when cleaning a new deck prior to painting is a crucial first step that many unfortunately get wrong. Chlorine bleach on raw (unpainted, unsealed) wood will create a recipe for disaster. Bleach destroys the glue (lignin) that holds wood fibers together. We use and recommend using a mild oxygen-based wood cleaner followed by an oxalic-acid based brightener ensuring both have surfactants to allow the gentle, yet efficient cleaners to dwell on the deck surface . Using a brightener achieves two things - it opens up the pores of the wood (allowing the deck paint bonding agents to penetrate the wood and STICK like glue as paint engineers designed) and it also balances the PH of the wood so any remnants of the cleaner are 'neutralized' and won't attack the new stain paint job. These two steps if not done will ensure your deck stain and paint will not perform as intended by the manufacturer. Deck stain and paint preparation as in properly pressure cleaning is the foundation everything else is built on!
>Allow proper time for the deck to dry before painting - This is extremely important for decks. Over the years i have had so many calls from homeowners that mention mildew resurfacing, or their stain peeling. After a little research - it always pointed to their previous contractor not allowing enough time for the deck to dry before painting. Something that simple can , and will have a huge effect on long term deck paint’s performance.
>NEVER skimp on quality products!- A top of the line Cabot, Ben Moore deck paint, deck stain are well worth the money considering how great they'll look and how long they'll last! Never use 'builder grade' stains or paints - it might seem frugal to do so up front, but will cost you dearly in the long-run.
>If you don't know- look it up and read all labels before starting a job! We will never claim we know everything about deck staining and painting. There are new products being introduced to the market daily. This is why it is important to read product TDS=Technical data sheets. These will guide you step-by-step how to get the best results possible and longest life out of your fence paint job!
>Best way to save big on a deck paint job is by doing it yourself! Seriously- i will never, ever not guide someone on how to do the job themselves. The best advice for someone who wants to paint their deck on the cheap is - buy the best materials you can afford, and do it yourself! You'll be glad you did. Never, ever go with the lowest bid or ask to have sub-par paint on your fence You'll regret it.
My deck is brand new - Do i need to pressure wash it if it is new?
Yes you do.
>First - Unless the deck has sat for at least 3 months it will have mill glazing- Mill glazing will not allow the penetrating bonding agents of solid stains, semi-transparent stains to penetrate the wood pores, thereby having all the bonding agents on the surface of the wood. Penetration is where these bonding agents stick, if it is a slick surface, you guessed it peeling will occur soon after.
>Second - The wood had a high moisture content for a long time while sitting at the lumber yard, etc. (pressure treated wood) so therefore there are mildew, mold spores, as well as fungus all over the wood. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not there.
>Third the deck will need to have surface dirt, grime washed off, as well as a wood brightener that will open up the pores of the wood.
There are many schools of thought, my personal opinion is to never, ever paint a deck until it has sat for at least 3 months preferably 6 months after being built. This ensures all moisture content in the wood has permeated away from the inside, and trapped moisture won't be a problem. You will also ensure that the first coat of deck stain/paint will penetrate as intended thereby laying down a sound foundation for future coats, and treatments.
If you're looking to save a little money painting your deck yourself, or just doing research and have questions I'd be glad to help. Just send me a quick message here . You can also visit our blog for current deck painting projects in the Atlanta, GA area.
If you'd like us to provide a no-obligation quote we'd be glad to help with that as well! Just drop us a deck paint estimate request here.
Many Thanks - George - Deck paint guru!
Deck Painting FAQ's
Q- Will I need to be home?
A: No, you don’t need to be home for any portion of the project.
. Q- Can we see color samples?
A: we can drop off appropriate deck paint, and stain samples (pressure treated, cedar, hardwood) as well as send you a link to our deck stain gallery. We can also apply samples to your existing deck (for a nominal fee) this step takes out the guesswork of how your deck will look with a particular stain and seal, or deck paint.
How often do we have to clean the fence?
A: A quality fence paint job usually requires once-a-year fence pressure cleaning. Using a gentle cleaner like simple green, or an oxygen-based cleaner should be enough to remove mildew, dirt , grim from all fence surfaces without compromising the fence paint job.
Q: Are the chemicals you use to clean our fence, deck toxic, or will they kill our plants, shrubs?
A: we try to use pet, plant safe deck and fence cleaning agents whenever possible. In the case of stripping old deck stains and sealers we use a mild caustic stripper which we pre/post treat adjacent shrubs, plants, as well as ensure not to leave puddles.
Why Choose Us?
25+ Year deck refinishing experience.
We have refinished North Atlanta's decks (Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Doravile) since 1993. We are North Atlanta'swood restoration, and fence painting specialists!
Cabot, Messmer’s , Penofin, TWP , Certified contractor.
We are certified by all major wood care manufacturers. Most imporperly trained contractors, handymen, etc under apply, or over apply the stain and paint leading to product failure.
We refurbish and stain & seal decks as well as fences as per manufacturer’s specifications . This means a more uniform, long lasting deck stain and paint finish.
Personal service, Deal with the owner, not a salesman!
From the initial quote, to the final walk-through you will deal directly with the owner, not a person on commission. Your satisfaction is my highest priority.
Service, value, professionalism is what sets us apart.
We try to offer a balance of unparalleled service, communication,
professionalism, know-how, as well as value!
>>Zero money is due up-front (no matter the size of the job)
>>Zero "progress payments"
>>Zero money is due until the work is 100% complete and to your complete satisfaction!
© 2018 North Atlanta Pressure and Seal - North Atlanta's Best Pressure Washing & Wood Restoration Service