How to Strip & Re-stain a Deck


A stained deck may last several years without need of repair, but sooner or later, the harsh outdoor elements will weather the deck. Thankfully for homeowners, a complete replacement is not needed. Instead, you can properly clean, then re-stain the deck with a basic process and revive the wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloths
  • Broom
  • Deck cleaner
  • Garden sprayer
  • Nylon-bristled brush
  • Power washer (3,000 psi)
  • Fanned tip (40 degrees)
  • Bleach (non-chlorinated)
  • Deck stain
  • Foam pad
  • Deck sealant
  • Cover surrounding plants and vegetation with drop cloths or plastic gardening sheets to protect them during the project.

  • Remove all objects from the deck and sweep loose particles from the surface.

  • Fill a garden sprayer with a mixture of wood deck cleaner and water as instructed on the packaging, then apply it evenly to the deck surface. After 15 minutes, use a nylon bristled brush to clean the deck. Rinse the cleaner off the surface with a garden hose.

  • Add household bleach to a clean garden sprayer and dilute it with water using the ratio1:2. For example, if you add 2 cups of bleach, dilute it with 4 cups of water.

  • Spray the bleach mixture onto the wood deck. Wait 15 minutes for it to break apart mildew.

  • Equip your power washer with the fanned tip, then spray down the deck with long sweeping motions along the length of the wooden planks. Keep the tip of the power washer 6 inches away from the surface at all times to avoid chipping the wood.

  • Wait two full days for the deck to dry.

  • Fill a clean garden sprayer with deck stain and spray the stain onto approximately five wooden planks of the deck using overlapping motions. Once applied, immediately work the stain into the wood with the foam pad. Apply the stain five planks at a time until the deck is complete.

  • Wait two days for the deck to dry.

  • Spray deck sealant over the stained planks of wood using a clean garden sprayer. After 24 hours, you can resume use of the deck.

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  • "Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual: Completely Revised and Updated"; Editors of The Family Handyman; 2005
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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