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Bleeding sanded nail heads from resurfacing old cedar siding

We just finished sanding off the old stain on our cedar siding. The wood looks almost new, even though it's maybe 15 years old. We had no choice but to sand over all of the nail heads. When I hosed down a few boards to see how badly it'll raise the surface texture, I discovered gray stains around all of the nails.

We were going to clear coat the cedar, but have changed to a color to help mask this problem. I haven't started staining yet and was wondering if there's something I can do to prevent any bleeding on the pristine boards. They look amazing, but that will quickly change within 24 hours of hosing everything down to remove all the dust.

The house is 1200 square feet, so it's not a big deal if I were to use a leaf blower to remove dust and then wipe everything down with damp cloths. But do you have any suggestions on what we can do to protect those nail heads from staining the wood? We're using an excellent stain product, but it's not designed to permanently coat nail heads; just wood.

I'm guessing invisible shavings were embedded in the wood around each nail and that's why they turned gray when I watered the boards. I'm going to do some testing and wipe down a few boards with a cloth and see if they react to the moisture. But at some point they probably will darken the wood anway, so I'd welcome some feedback on what I can do.

Also, I noticed a lot of staining just from the water on the wood in another area on the house where I did some hosing. It undoes all of the hard work. I need to get the staining done before it rains.

Thank you!


Re: Bleeding sanded nail heads from resurfacing old cedar siding

We've noticed that some water that got on our sanded siding has stained big areas of it. We need to stain as soon as possible, but is there something we can do to stop the nail heads from turning the wood a dark gray?

Re: Bleeding sanded nail heads from resurfacing old cedar siding

I would suggest that you wash down and bleach your siding with a deck cleaner containing oxalic acid, Behr Deck Cleaner is such a product. Whether the stains are from mlldew or from the metalic dust from the nails, the oxalic acid should lessen it. I would wet down the whole wall first , then apply the deck cleaner, spraying from the bottom upward ( it is like washing walls of days gone by, you don't want streaks to form from cleaning solution running down dry surfaces). The cleaner should take 20 to 30 minutes to bleach out the stains. Don't let the siding dry down during this time, keep misting it. Finally, rinse down the siding. You can use a power washer, just don't get too aggressive and fuze up the grain!

Obviously, you will now have to let the siding dry down before staining, especially if you are going to use an oil stain. More and more I am an advocate of oil stains, especially in transparent stains.

Re: Bleeding sanded nail heads from resurfacing old cedar siding

The whole house was sanded. The wood looks new even though the siding is maybe 15 years old.

So, the stains were removed when I did more sanding. But when it rains they'll come back, right? Even with the Hemp Shield applied? It's a water based hemp oil stain, very transparent. I am chemically sensitive and don't have other options. My concern is ruining all of this hard work with bleeding nail heads. A neighbor said we sanded off the galvanized coating on the nails. Can I paint something on the nail heads to stop them from doing this? I'm feeling very discouraged.

Re: Bleeding sanded nail heads from resurfacing old cedar siding

Very tedious, but you could have a match color of oil paint mixed up and go around with an artist brush touching up the heads.

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