Home Improvement--General/Deck and railings


How would you clean, treat, paint pressure treated wood abt 40 years old.  Deck was painted 4 yrs ago with Sherwin Williams solid  alkyd stain light grey and currently in ok shape.  The railings were also painted 4 yrs ago with Sherwin Williams exterior oil base paint Williamsburg blue and now have 2-3 layers of paint peeling off.  Thanks, Edith


The first step is to pressure wash all of the wood thoroughly down to bare wood.  Then let it dry completely. To make the cleaning process a little easier I would suggest using a cleaning product then pressure washing it off; it makes lifting dirt and grime off the wood a little easier.  Perma-Chink Products makes a product called "Log Wash" which works as good as any commercial product; you can only buy it direct from the factory or from authorized dealers such as my company.  There are other commercial products available from paint stores, Home Depot, etc., but I'm not as familiar with their performance since we use Perma-Chink products almost exclusively, because we know how they perform after using them for almost 30 years.

Generally, it is not recommended using a water borne finish over an oil based product, but if the washing was thorough it can be done successfully.  Plus, the alkyd is a synthetic resin base and water borne products can successfully be used after cleaning.  Today's water based products are generally recommended over oil based if possible because they perform so much better.  I would discuss this issue with the paint store rep to get his recommendation.  A very important issue is to select a stain or paint that is formulated specifically for horizontal surfaces and foot traffic.  Regular exterior latex oil based stains and paints do not perform well when used on wood subjected to foot traffic and horizontal applications because of the abuse of foot traffic and weather affects.  Most manufacturers make a product specifically for decks, fences and wood siding.

I would tell a paint store rep. my situation, as you did in your question, then tell him/her what you would like to accomplish: a water borne product specifically formulated for foot traffic and horizontal surfaces and ask which products are available to accomplish your goal given your circumstances.  Then go for it.  Good luck.

Len Kroll
Wood House Log Homes LLC

Home Improvement--General

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Len Kroll


I can provide advice on the proper design, construction, maintenance, restoration, preservation, cleaning and waterproofing of log homes. Questions concerning proper cleaning, sealing, staining and waterproofing are within my area of expertise. My expertise includes new construction and existing log structures. Chinking application or restoration, log replacement and repair are also in my area of expertise.


40 years experience in the log home and construction industries, 10 years in specialty contracting, 30 years in the log home field. We have designed, produced, supplied and built over 3,000 log homes and restored/repaired over 600 log homes. See more information at our web site: www.woodhouseloghomes.com.

Authored a monthly column expressing the Vice President and General Manager's "Observations and Insights" distributed to 300 employees and management.

BS degree in accounting, University of Illinois, 1963. Master of Business Administration degree, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Numerous relevant seminars including an intense two week business administration seminar, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, 1978. National Home Builders Association Graduate Builders education program.

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society Student, Illinois State Academic Scholarship, Dean's List.

Past/Present Clients
References on request

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.