for Cold Climate Housing and much more

Last Updated: , Created: Sunday, January 14th, 2001

My deck is too slippery.

Linda from Kirkland Lake, Ontario has sanded and finished her deck with an opaque stain and finds it impossibly slippery. She has tried painter's sand, but it doesn't work. What to do?

The opaque stain is the problem, together with too much sanding. A finely finished kitchen table is slippery too. First of all, opaque stain is not a finish that is meant to be used as a wear layer, so it will wear off quickly. Secondly it is much thinner than paint, hence it will not hold the painter's sand to create a non-slip surface. But it does fill in the uneven parts of the wood and creates a film on the top of the surface -- and that is why it is slippery.

If you use transparent stains and/or water repellents, they soak in rather than forming a film on the wood. This leaves the natural unevenness of the wood, which greatly reduces the slipperiness.

The opaque stain should be removed by sanding, deck restorer, or power washing. Once you are down to bare wood, don?t sand the deck any smoother than 80 grit sandpaper -- you want to leave the wood "open" to take in the finish. How do you get 80 grit sanding to look good? Use a belt sander and sand with the grain. It looks fine on a deck.

If you want the solid colour, use a deck paint, and sprinkle the painter's sand on between coats.


Keywords: Decks, Finishing, Finishes, Stains, Environmental, Safety

Article 1093