We occasionally get calls about repairing spots of finish that have peeled from logs, handrails, etc. In most cases the peeling is associated with checks or small fissures that have opened up after the finish was first applied. When this occurs rain water soaks into the bare wood on either side of the check and when the sun beats on the area the water turns to vapor which has enough force to push the finish right off of the surface. If the peeling is limited to a few small areas, touching them up is not very difficult.
Before we get started on the best way to perform the repairs there is one thing we need to cover. If you have leftover products that's over two years old you need to obtain enough fresh stain and topcoat to accomplish the repairs. Using old product is risky and unnecessary. Give us a call and we'll see if there is anything we can do to help.
Following are the recommended procedures for touching up peeled areas:
Sand the peeled areas with 60 to 80 grit sandpaper. Do not use a finer grit. We want the stain to have something to grab onto. Be sure to sand off any surrounding stain film that looks like it may have lost its adhesion.
If it's just a few small areas wipe down the sanded spots with a damp rag. For larger spots or multiple areas on a wall it's best to wash the entire wall with a two cups per gallon Log Wash solution. Allow the wall to dry.
If the peeling is associated with checks that 1/4" or more wide, seal them with Check Mate 2 after sanding and cleaning but before staining. This will help make the Check Mate 2 less visible.
Using a rag not a brush, apply one or two coats of stain to the bare wood. You want to apply enough stain to match the color of the surrounding wood. Since the coarse sanded area may be more absorbent than the original surface one coat of stain may be sufficient to match what's already there. Using a rag helps avoid lap marks and gets some stain down into any unsealed checks as well as small cracks and fissures.
Once the stain has been applied and the color matches the surrounding wood, one or two coats of Advance Topcoat can be applied with a brush or rag. Lap marks are not much of a concern since the Advance is clear and colorless.