Unique situation - Need advice


A good referral partner of mine has sent me a unique job to do. A customer had a tongue and groove porch installed and applied a oil based stain. They were not happy with how it attracted dust and dirt so they attempted to apply Thompson water seal over the oil base. Now its just pooled on the surface because of course it did not penetrate through the oil base. They just want the Thompson water seal removed so they can decide what to do from there.

I was thinking to use some soap or a mild degreaser and hot water but this is definitely a situation I have never ran into. What would you do?


I’m no wood expert but I would think that that needs to be sanded off and started over if they don’t like the finish. Maybe stripped with chemicals and sanded at the most.


a rented floor sander would give best results IMO


They just want the Thompson water seal removed. Its wet and gummy. It’s just sitting on the surface. It never penetrated the oil base. You can scrape it off with a putty knife


Do you have hot water? If so, maybe try just that first, no chems.


Theyre not looking to get bare wood, just remove the layer of thompson water seal that never penetrated.


yes, yes


This might be a case where leading the blind is easier then following them


I avoid wood but try talking to bob at pressure tek. I had a similar situation years ago and he guided me through it


10 years ago I would taken that in a heartbeat and I would have struggled with it for days…i had a few jobs that I thought would be done in a couple of hours.and it took a couple of days…lol when a $200 an hour job turns into a $10 an hour job…now I look at it and think…politely turn it down and refer them to someone else!.. if they weren’t happy with it before and then they added something to it and then really weren’t happy with it, no matter what you do you’re probably not going to make them happy with it… not always the case but sometimes.


If they are both oil based, you might have a problem.

If one is water based, the other is oil - you can use the correct chemical to dissolve the top layer only.


Sometimes the best lessons are learned the hard way. I’m with you!

I’m a cleaner and I stick to that, I hate trying to be the one to fix a problem… I avoid those situations at all costs.


Yea fixing someone else’s problem doesn’t always pan out how you hope. I’d walk away, right now im cutting back on tons of extra services and just focusing on a select few
If this isn’t your specialty then it’s probably not worth your time


What chemical would that be?


If it was a normal customer I would t even consider taking it. It’s for another company that subs several jobs out to me. Honestly I’m hoping to price myself out of the job. If not, I’ll be sure to do quality work to the best of my capabilities.

I have already told the customer that I’m not giving her a set quote but rather a wide price range. I’ve also set a wide range of expectations. Best case to worst case.

Just one of those things.


I used this product to remove a previously stained deck that had been poorly painted over and it had not adhered properly…


It removed the paint with medium pressure and a white nozzle - but it left the stained deck intact underneath.

I have some pics somewhere, I’ll post them up.


I got some advice from Southside. They recommend one restore at 1:3 and add some butyl. Protect painted surfaces and vegetation.

First I’ll try a test area of course. I’m hoping that it’s water based and a simple soap or mild degreaser will do the trick.


Looks promising. Can’t seem to find the sds. I’d be curious as to what’s in it being that it’s plant safe.


In this case, it was bubbled/peeling paint on top of a stained deck. I tested a spot and it went all curly and shrunk into itself after 10mins.

It was a simple matter of applying and then “peeling off” with the pressure washer.

It made a hell of a mess and I wouldn’t really do it again as I believe I was lucky it worked that way.

Food for thought though :slight_smile:


Thompson’s is basically candle wax. Walk away and you’ll be happier later.