steel wool and deck

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Blog entry by Mitch1947 posted 08-13-2009 12:54 PM 1106 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Big problem on new cedar deck.

I put red postes notes as markers on several boards in preparation to show contractor where there were problems with the decking boards. Before I had a chance to remove these pieces of paper, it rained. When I removed them there were red stained marks where the postes notes were. These would not wash off. I tried fine steel wool and water. This “worked” and I hosed everything off. The next morning to my horror there were blackened areas where I had steel wooled. To make matters worse, there are now areas with light black speckles – probably due to the hosing down of the deck that dispersed the steel wool particles. I have tried TSP without success. I am concerned that even if I get the stains out somehow for now, they will come back because of the steel wool particles lodged within the wood. I can replace all of the blackened boards at a small cost but I would still be left with the rest which are mostly speckled to one degree or another. (I know not to ever use steel wool again!!!)

6 comments so far

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3308 days

#1 posted 08-13-2009 01:21 PM

outside of sanding everything together ,
or trying some chemical wash everywhere ,
wood is wood and will weather outside .
eventualy it turns to barnboard grey .
even stain will fade ,
and paint will peel .
as it gets used , it will get scared ,
and take on a life of it’s own .
nothing i know of ,
can stop the 24/7 effects of sun and rain .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3901 days

#2 posted 08-13-2009 02:30 PM

Could you flip the boards over? That would be free :).

-- Robb

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4368 days

#3 posted 08-14-2009 01:27 AM

Both Patron’s suggestions of forget it and Robb’s suggestion of turn the board over will work. But if you’bve got black specks over the whole desk the option 2 may not be the best solution.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3493 days

#4 posted 08-14-2009 03:21 AM

What marks were you using the postit notes for anyways. What problems were you trying to point out?

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Mitch1947's profile


2 posts in 3176 days

#5 posted 08-14-2009 07:34 AM

cracks at the ends of boards seemingling caused by not pre-drilling before fastening down with screws, some minor, some major.

Since the original posting on this subject, I have hand sanded a small section of a speckled board – as an experiment. The spots have come out without going too deep. If I am lucky, I may be able to save most of the deck by sanding. The heavily blackened boards are the ones that have cracks, so they are destined to be replaced anyway.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3544 days

#6 posted 08-26-2009 07:07 AM

You might try some naptha first or some oxalic acid in a small test area first

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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