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How to make my deck planking *pop*

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So I WOULD use a stain, but I have so many hidden glue spots on my deck that I fear the stain would highlight them considerably. Is there some sort of clear coat I could put on it to make the wood maybe one shade darker and bring out the lines and the grain of the wood. I also want it to look more flat, right now it looks like each plank is sort of rounded on the top, I tried sanding it but it doesn't help a whole lot, I think it's just the way basswood or whatever this is looks. I want it to look less like the first picture and more like the second. Thanks for any help!



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One trick I do is once I am done, before I stain I will take some alcohol and just lightly wipe down the area enough so the alcohol wets the wood but doesn't soak it.    This can often show those nasty glue splotches,  the alcohol won't soak in where there is glue.


Also, if using PVA (white glue) a rag dampened with alcohol can sometimes be used to clean up glue splotches.


If everything looks good,  I take a wood conditioner and wipe down the whole area.  This does two things, one it is a slightly darker "wet" look and will again show any glue splotches which may hinder the appearance,  and if there aren't any it pre conditions the wood for stain.



If you are fairly certain the glue is going to be a problem no matter what,  then Brian's suggestion above is a good way to go.  It richens up the wood color without exposing glue mishaps.

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Well there is absolutely no way to get the glue off, I've tried sanding, using uncure, nothing works. So is there something that will make it look more "hardwood" like? Without having the glue show up? Is there something that will make it slightly darker including the glue? For example paint would turn the glue the color of the paint as well as the deck plank. Is there some sort of clear coat that will turn the wood a darker shade and make it look more... Shiny? More like a hardwood floor like the sample picture I showed.

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I have used scrapers and chisel scalpels to remove glue stains as mtaylor has mentioned. Just be very careful not to use a lot of force when scraping. As Brian C has mentioned also, rip up and relay the planks as a last resort. I have also done this in the past. Hope this helps

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