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Prepping an ipe porch floor for stain

15 years ago

I'm nearly finished installing a T&G ipe porch floor for my small (10 x 14) screened porch, and am starting to think about sealing/staining it. Still trying to decide between TWP 516 and Woodzotics for the stain, but that's another matter. For now I just need to understand what pretreatment (if any) is required.

1st Question: Do I need to use a cleaning treatment like Restore-A-Deck? I received the ipe from the mill only about 6 weeks ago, and since then it has spent most of the time under a porch roof so has seen little sun or rain. The wood still looks pretty good, not really much sign of weathering, but maybe the color has faded just a little bit. I do plan for some light sanding to remove high points and ridges where boards meet. So can I get away with not using a cleaning treatment prior to staining/sealing?

2nd Question: If it is recommended that I use a cleaning treatment, would it be appropriate to use a product like Restore-A-Deck on a porch floor? I'm a bit worried about drainage/drying, since you spray the first stage off with a hose and need to wait for it to dry before applying the 2nd stage. With a T&G floor, there are no (or very small) gaps between the boards, and I wonder if it's a good idea to give the floor a thorough soaking. (The roof of the porch overhangs by 18 inches on each side, so in normal use the floor would not normally see a soaking rain, and most of the floor shouldn't ever receive much more than a misting). Would it be ok to use RAD if I sweep all the water off and blow a high powered fan over the surface to promote drying? I am still concerned about giving it such a complete soaking, is there a risk of the wood swelling and buckling?

Appreciate the help!

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