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What to do if Stripper or Cleaner Raises the Grain of the Wood

by RAD Products

Cleaning a wood deck prior to staining is the best chance of getting professional like results. Dirt, mold, mildew, wood graying and any remnants of old failing stain needs to be removed. Getting a deck back down to bare wood will help guarantee proper stain performance and help you get the most out of your deck care. Wood fibers are delicate and can be damaged easily. The most common way a deck is damaged is by excessive pressure from a pressure washer. This can leave lap marks, splinters, and raised grain (fuzzing).

Sometimes during the wash process wood takes a beating. Strong chemicals, strippers and high pressure can all take its toll. In order to remove an old failing stain you might have to use a strong mix of cleaner or stripper. Perhaps you got too close to the wood while washing and furred it up in some areas. If cleaner or stripper raises the grain of the wood and furs up the deck it is not the end of the world.

Light sanding the deck will rid it of the furred wood grain. Buy or rent a floor buffing machine and perform a light sanding with a “Sanding Pad” in the fuzzy areas. Once you knock the raised wood grain back down you should clean the debris off the deck prior to staining. A leaf blower or broom can be sufficient. If you did a lot of sanding and there is dust everywhere you may have to rinse the deck with water and let it dry again before applying stain.

To reduce the chances of raised wood grain try not to mix the cleaners stronger than necessary to do the job. Do not let the cleaners dry on the wood prior to rinsing. Be sure to brighten (step two of RAD kit) while the deck is still wet after washing. If the deck dries prior to brightening it could raise the wood grain creating this fuzzy appearance. Try to use 800 psi to wash the wood. If you do not have access to a nozzle that will put out 800 psi and have to wash with high pressure be sure to hold the tip of the gun at least 12-18” away from the wood while washing.

author avatar
RAD Products Owner
Scott only carries wood deck stains and wood restoration products that perform best based on his experience using the products and his 30+ years of helping others. Scott has been approached about selling numerous restoration products through the years but selects only the products he has used and trusts to perform.
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Joe
Joe
2 years ago

Won’t sanding using a buffer leave swirl marks? If not, what grit sanding disk do you recommend?

Megan
Megan
2 years ago

If after cleaning, but prior to brightening, you can tell there is furring, should you let the wood dry and sand prior to brightening?  Or would it be better to brighten, let dry, and then sand?

sam
sam
4 years ago

Painter pressure washed deck and applied semi transparent stain. Looks awful and noticed a lot of the bad parts are the fuzzing as you describe. Can I sand the fuzzy spots and restain those areas or will that look bad?

Enes Lessway
Enes Lessway
4 years ago

I used RAD stripper on my deck. It did absolutely nothing. My deck was stained with Sikkens semi transparent stain. The deck is stripping in sections. What do I do?

Enes Lessway
Enes Lessway
4 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

The gallon of Sikkens stain says “semi transparant”

E
E
6 years ago

We have a black locust deck without any finish. It tend to get dirty with algae and mildow. We like the silver color aged finish but not the black spotting. Is there a product that will clean the black spots and leave the surface with its silver finish?

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