What is the best way to strip stain off a deck? Some stains on a deck are hard to miss since they are noticeable and obvious. These unwanted marks dent the appearance of your once flourishing deck. 

There’s nothing to worry about since it can happen anytime. For instance, a freshly opened can of paint spills on the board. Also, you may want to get rid of old stains from a deck to apply a fresh coat. 

Whatever the situation, you can eliminate stains easily while maintaining the quality of the wooden deck. Also, it is better to strip wood deck to improve their appearance. In this discussion, we highlight the key steps to follow when stripping stain off a deck. Let’s get started.

Have the Materials Ready?

Like most projects, it’s essential to have the tools ready. Here is what you’ll need:

  • A screwdriver
  • Stripping discs
  • Paintbrush
  • Cordless drill
  • Nails
  • Stiff brush
  • Old rag
  • Desk stain remover
  • Stain/finish
  • Masking tape
  • Wood conditioner or brightener
  • Synthetic drop cloth

Besides the above items, you’ll also need safety gear such as a dust mask, knee pads, rubber gloves, and safety glasses.

From the list, most of these materials are handy tools in your workshop or home. You don’t need to spend a lot of money since you can substitute with home tools. For instance, if you don’t have stripping discs, you can use a stiff brush. 

Likewise, you can use an old rag to wipe off water and protect surfaces. It’s vital to have everything ready as this saves you the time taken during the project. Lastly, put in your safety gear before embarking on the project.

Wash the Deck

The first step is to wash the deck thoroughly to get rid of mildew, dirt, grease, or mold. You can use cold water and a washing detergent. However, a deck cleaner will do a perfect job. 

Eliminate all the grime from the wood and allow it to dry. You can wipe off the excess water with an old rag. Now your board is ready for stripping.

Scrubbing off the Stain

Once all the dirt has been eliminated, the next step is to scrub off the paint. Here, you’ll need to use the stiff brush in our recommendation list. This step aims to target the specific stain.

First, brush off the stain to scuffle the stain. Also, you can use a paint scraper tool to scrape the stain. Remember to reset protruding nails and screws from the board surface using a screwdriver or new nails.

Stripping the Stain

Washing the deck is not enough since older wooden decks may have stubborn stains that require stripping. In this step, you’ll need a deck stain remover or stripper to strip the wooden deck. 

A wood stripper contains Sodium Hydroxide, which, together with a wide variety of surfactants, produces a powerful agent compared to ordinary cleaning products.

Use tape to cover the area around the stain. Also, you may cover the area near the deck to prevent the stain from spilling over.

The next step is to apply the stain remover on the deck. Leave for some time for the stripper to penetrate the stain. We suggest letting it sit for about thirty minutes and then remove it. You’ll be amazed at how easily the stain breaks down when it’s wet.

You can use a roller or a regular paintbrush for this task. The process is straightforward as you’ll apply it like a regular paint job. You can also add some water and use a pump sprayer to apply the stripper. After softening, scrub off the stain on the deck and power wash with water to see if it has ultimately come off.

A stripping disk is more efficient than sanders or scrubbing brush. They are handy if you have a large project; however, a scrubbing brush is sufficient for home DIY.

Use Sandpaper to Remove Stubborn Stains

The stain might leave visible patches, which you need to polish up. Similarly, if the stain is still visible after this step, you can use a sander or sandpaper to get rid of it.

Neutralize the Stain Remover

It’s not ideal to leave your wood with the wood stripper as it can affect the paint job. It may appear darker since the stripper reacts to the wood and changes its color. Worry less as this condition is common with most wood strippers.

We suggest neutralizing or weakening the stain remover with a deck conditioner or brightener. In addition, a deck conditioner also restores back the pH of the wood and lightens it up.

Apply the conditioner evenly using a soft brush and wait for some time. It should restore the wooden deck to its natural color. A gallon of the brightener is sufficient to cover at least 200 sq.

Once you’ve finished applying the brightener, clean the wood thoroughly and leave it to dry. After the wood has dried, you can now re-stain your now clean deck. We recommend a clear finish since it doesn’t alter the original color of the deck. Further, you can apply once a year to enhance the appeal of the deck.

If you would like to apply another coat of paint or finish, you can wait for at least two days. Applying too soon may lead to some inconsistencies in the stain and create a dull appearance. 

It may look like a tiring process. However, it’s essential to wait for excellent results. After many hours, your deck is now free of the old stain and has a completely new stain for a fresh look.


Although solid stains are long-lasting, they can be difficult to remove. As you can see, the best way to strip stain off a deck is by use of a stain remover and brightener. However, it would be best if you made sure the wood is clean before starting the process. 

Clean water and brush help to eliminate the grime from the wood. The materials are easily available from the hardware store, while others you can get from home. At the end of the exercise, you’ll have a beautiful wood for outstanding performance.

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