Mar 15 2012

Wood and Deck Strippers – Removing Failing Deck Stains

To properly restore a deck it’s necessary to first clean the wood. This includes removing any old failing deck stain that may still be present. When old stain is left on a deck the new stain can’t penetrate the wood properly and you simply worsen the problem. It’s essential to strip a deck back down to bare wood to open up the pours so the new deck stain can dive deep into the wood and provide lasting protection.

To remove old failing deck stains you have to use a quality deck stripper. These deck strippers are strong enough to remove most clear and tinted semi-transparent stains, film forming clear sealers, and water sealers along with pollutants like dirt, mold, mildew, and mill glaze found on newer wood.

Peeling Deck Stain

Peeling Deck Stain

When dealing with a solid deck stain or paint there are no guarantees. The big box stores offer some of the worst deck stains you can use. They are usually 100% acrylic or silicone enhanced products that always end up peeling but are extremely tough to remove once they’ve been applied.

Your best bet is to apply a strong deck stripper and allow it to dwell for 30 minutes sprinkling it with water to keep it active. You may have to repeat this step several times. Remove as much of the deck stain as possible for the best results. Areas where the stain might have been over applied to begin with may need to be sanded to reveal bare wood again.

The best way to avoid a problem with solid stains or deck paints is to not use them in the first place. They are time consuming and expensive to rid once they have failed. If you are dealing with a stubborn deck stain, a quality deck stripper and a lot of patience is your best bet but beware there are no guarantees.

Once a deck has been stripped, it’s best to apply a wood brightener. This will brighten the wood back to the proper pH level allowing the new deck stain to penetrate properly.


1 Comments on this post


  1. Wade said:

    Do I need to mask or protect the siding of my house where it meets the deck, and the painted rail before applying the deck stripper, or is it safe if some overspray gets on the paint?

    May 30th, 2013 at 11:15 pm


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