We recommend that all wood be brightened and neutralized when performing any type of wood restoration. The brightening process, if done properly, makes the wood as light as it can be. This means that the true color of the sealer will show through with the grain of the wood, creating the prettiest results possible. The brightener is an acid, so it leaves the surface slightly acidic (which allows oil sealers like Ready Seal to bond better and last longer). Brightening is a critically important step if you use a strong caustic stripper, because the brightener stops the chemical action of the caustic. Because of this, brightener will minimize ?fuzzies? on a deck, too.
Most good brighteners are a combination of several acids, each of which contributes in some different way to the end result. Wood Britener is a very strong concentration of three acids because we wanted a powerful punch. Although many of our customers use it as directed, there are some who have figured out that they can dilute Britener quite a bit more than we recommend and still get OK results. We suggest a jar makes 5 gallons, but some contractors mix a jar with as much a 10 gallons of water in a pinch. The stronger the product, the more brightening effect you will see. Keep this in mind when you are trying to get the best results.
Apply the brightener while the deck is still wet from washing. This permits the brightener to work slowly on the surface as the deck dries. If you apply Wood Britener to wood that is just damp (or even dry), you have to rinse it off with a hose after 20-30 minutes or it may leave white powder marks on the wood.
Brightener can be applied with your Deckster or even with an X-Jet, but be careful when you do that. Brightener, since it is an acid, can etch any windows it dries on (if not removed with a week or two). Be sure to rinse all windows in the vicinity of the brightener application to prevent problems for your customer and for your reputation.