When to use Stain Stripper
If the stain on your deck is weathered and peeling, the first step in renewing your deck is to remove all the stain. Deck stains, protect wood decks and look great when new; but even the best eventually flake and wear away. At that point they need to be scraped and stripped off before the deck can be recoated.
First, reset any nails or screws that stick out from the wood surface. Next, strip the deck with a special deck stain remover (1 gallon covers 100 sq. ft.). Tape plastic over nearby siding, cover or wet down bushes and grass around the deck, then spread a heavy coat of stain remover over the stained boards. Cover 20 to 30 sq. ft. at a time, keeping the wood wet until the finish is soft enough to be scrubbed off with a stiff brush. One warning, stripper can be very slippery. The deck may be slippery because the finish is literally coming off the boards. It comes off as brown sludge, but after rinsing you can really see the wood grain reappearing.
Rinse the residue off with a hose and allow the deck to dry. After everything is stripped you should follow-up with a wood cleaner. This will brighten the stripped wood and most importantly, neutralize the stripping chemicals. Use a pump sprayer (1-part water & 1-part cleaner, per the instructions) and spray away. Proceeded by giving the deck one last good rinse down to hopefully rid it of any residual stripper and cleaner.
Finally, stain you deck with a semi-transparent stain, similar in color to the previous color. The main lesson: even if you have a rough looking deck, some elbow grease and patience might just save it. Either way, you’re one step away from breathing new life into this deck. Deck stain, here we come!
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