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Removing dark stain from ipe porch floor

14 years ago


I installed and stained an ipe screened porch floor (T&G) using Woodzotic in late summer 2007. I was never very happy with the color, which came to a very dark chocolate brown when first put down, and seems to have grown even more dark over time. (I have since read that apparently there was a "bad batch" of woodzotic at some point with black pigments, I have to wonder if I might have gotten some of that).

Anyway, I'm growing tired of the drab dark color, and want to brighten and rejuvenate the floor. The porch is covered with an overhanging roof and gets very little direct sun, so there has been no "silvering" of the ipe in 2 years, and as I mentioned, if anything the color has even darkened a bit (maybe just dirt and grime). Now I understand that woodzotic/woodtux/woodrich are intended to be recoated over top and not stripped. But I'm assuming that in order to lighten the floor, I'm going to have to remove the old dark stain, right?

Which is where I'd appreciate some advice. The porch floor is T&G and the porch is trimmed out with white (painted azek) columns and screen frames that reach to (and are permanently attached to) the floor, so this won't be as easy as just spraying off a deck. I have to get rid of the water somehow, and the only place is to sweep it out the door on one end of the porch.

So do I use a deck cleaner/stripper product? A pressure washer? Sand the stain off with an orbital sander? I guess I'd prefer a technique for removing the old stain that will generate the least amount of water, since the water will be trapped until I sweep it out, and I don't want to flood the porch. Also, I need to strip the stain right up to the painted trim at the floor level, without harming the painted finish.

Sanding would address the water issue, but I'm concerned that sanding will require me to remove a whole lot of the wood surface to get down past where the stain penetrated. Is sanding an advisable method for removing stain in a situation like this? Any pitfalls?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



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