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Old 06-01-2015, 09:18 PM   #1
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Changing Teak Decks

I was asked to ask the TF experts.

A friend of mine has teak walk ways that have been varnished in past years. He wants to go gray. So how would you:
  1. Strip the deck while protecting the rubber seams?
  2. Prepare the deck?
  3. preserve the reconditioned deck?

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Old 06-01-2015, 10:14 PM   #2
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I'd sand with a random orbital. 80 then 120 grit. Try not to take much wood beneath the varnish. Won't grow back! Sanding won't hurt the seams. I've read and agree it may actually helps them to be sanded to flush if they are a bit proud so they don't have lateral pressure pulling them away from the sides when you walk on them.

Depending on the age and depth many of the plugs will be vibrated loose by sanding so those should be popped out and replaced.

Wet the raw deck and watch it dry. Watch for areas on the seams and plugs that stay wet when the surrounding area is dry. That means it's leaking. Go to the site and Search for deck seam repair. Lots of great info.

I'd then treat / clean with nothing but salt water from that point forward. Maybe a little TSP once a year.

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Old 06-02-2015, 07:27 AM   #3
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I would first use a stripper like the citrus stripper sold at Home Depot or similar. It won't harm anything. We have used it many times.
Only sand if necessary (for the reasons stated above).
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:56 PM   #4
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NEVER sand a teak deck unless you have to. Wood cells that go away never come back. The absolute best thing your friend can do is let the varnish fail on its own-- and it will-- and then maintain the teak by doing NOTHING other than kerping it clean with salt water and a detergent like Lemon Joy.

The decks will look ugly as hell while the varnish fails and comes off, but that's the only way to do it without losing any wood to sanding or chemical stripping.

Using a chemical stripper or citrus cleaner, etc will hasten the loss of adherence between the deck seam compound and the sides of the grooves. This in turn will hasten the day moisture starts getting down through the the seams and under the teak planking.
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