How to Strip a Stain From a Deck: A Complete Guide

Do you have a stubborn stain on your deck that you can’t get off? If so, you’re not alone. Cleaning wood is a tricky proposition, as water is often the enemy of this type of surface.

This is especially true for cedar, which is a soft wood and more prone to warping and molding when water is left in its grooves.

Do you need help with how to strip stain from deck? If so, read on to learn all about the process.

Gather Materials and Safety Gear


It’s important to first gather the necessary materials and safety gear. You will need hammers, screwdrivers, putty knives, a heat gun, a pressure washer, a special cleaning solution, drop cloths, safety glasses, gloves, a respirator, and chemical-resistant boots. Preparing an area for the work and protecting yourself from the caustic materials is essential.

Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area and have laid down drop cloths. Put on safety glasses, gloves, and a respirator to protect yourself from the strong fumes. Put on boots that are resistant to any caustic materials you will be using. Have a fire extinguisher and provide a shock-free path out of the working area to satisfy safety requirements.

Choose a Suitable Day

The best days to stain stripper from a deck are dry, sunny days with temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too hot, the stain remover will work too quickly and potentially damage the surface. If the temperature is too cold, the removal of stains won’t be as effective.

Humidity levels are also important; if humidity levels are too high, the deck may not dry properly, which could lead to issues later on. Choosing a suitable time of year is important; many areas have strict laws about using potentially hazardous chemicals during certain times of the year.

Prep the Area

Start by sweeping away any debris or dirt from the deck. If you have a pressure washer, lightly spray down the surface with warm water. Make sure to rinse away any soap that may still be on the deck.

After prepping, check for any previous damage or weak spots. If you find any, fix them before continuing. You can do this by scrubbing the old stain away or giving it a light sanding.

Apply Deck Stain Stripper


To apply a deck stain stripper, start by preparing the surface, which includes sweeping away dirt and debris and pre-wetting the wood. After the wood is prepped, mix the deck stain stripper with warm water according to product instructions. Apply the stripper solution to the deck using a soft-bristled brush or a foam paint roller.

Depending on the type of solution, the application may require a second coat. Allow the stripper solution to work for 15-20 minutes, and then start scrubbing the wood with an orbital sander. Once all the finish or stain has been removed, rinse the deck with a garden hose. Allow the deck to dry before applying a new finish.

Allow Dwell Time

Allow dwell time is the amount of time that a cleaner or stain removal product must remain in contact with the surface in order to be effective. This is especially important when removing a stain from a deck, as the time necessary for the product to penetrate the wood is longer due to its dense composition.

Before using any cleaner or stain removal product, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the dwell time. Soaking the deck with the cleaner and allowing it to work for 15 to 30 minutes should be sufficient, but every product is different, and the house’s climate and wood type can influence the time needed.

Scrub the Deck

Scrubbing the deck is the first step in removing a stain from it. It is important to use a pressure washer to get the best results. Work in a circular motion in order to avoid creating a pattern of streaking. If the stain persists, use a bristle brush to scrub the deck until the stain is completely removed.

Use a plastic-bristle brush instead of metal bristles to help avoid any potential scratches from the metal brush. Once the stain is gone, blow off the excess water or mop it up.

Use a Putty Knife or Paint Scraper


Use a putty knife or paint scraper to gently scrape away any existing stain on the deck. Scrape as much of the stain away as you can, carefully avoiding gouging the wood. Depending on how much stain is remaining on the deck, you may need to repeat the process a few times.

Once you’ve scraped away all the excess stain, use a heavy-duty cleaner like trisodium phosphate to deep clean the surface. For stubborn stains, let the cleaner sit for up to 10 minutes.

Pressure Washing

Prior to power washing, thoroughly inspect the deck and any areas of painted surfaces. Make sure the power washer is set to at least 1500 PSI. Begin pressure washing slowly, moving the wand in a horizontal direction. Make sure to keep the wand moving in a consistent direction; otherwise, you risk damaging the floor.

Move in an up-and-down pattern, overlapping each pass with the previous one. When completed, power wash the deck a second time with a detergent or a deck cleaner, then rinse thoroughly. Power washers with adjustable fan pattern settings are ideal for this, as they can make the job go faster.

Seek Professional Painters

To complete the task of returning your deck to its original, un-stained glory, a professional painter may be your best option. They are experts in the field with the right tools and skills to remove the stain with minimal damage to your deck stains.

Remember to seek out a professional painter that can provide you with the best advice and service to return your deck in tip-top shape. They’ll be able to assess the condition of your deck and proceed with the appropriate techniques to restore it. Check out this link today to take advantage of their expertise and high-quality services.

Start Removing A Strip Stain From Deck Now


A strip stain from deck can be challenging and time-consuming; however, with proper preparation and tools, it can be done. This guide provides all the materials and helpful tips you need to confidently strip your deck’s stain to create a clean canvas that you can start to refurbish.

Don’t wait any longer, and start stripping your deck’s stain today!

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