Best Deck Prep? Clean, Strip, or Sand the Deck? 4.2/5 (13)

by Deck Stain Help
Best Deck Prep? Clean, Strip, or Sand the Deck?

Best Deck Prep? Clean, Strip, or Sand the Deck?

What is the Best Deck Deck Prep 2019

In this article, we help by guiding consumers in finding the best way to prep their deck for an application or reapplication of a deck stain or deck coating. Not all scenarios are the same and this article with some input and pictures from you will help determine the proper way to prep.


What is the Best Deck Prep? Clean, Strip, or Sand the Deck?

This is the 2nd most popular question that deck owners have on this website with the first being What is the Best Deck Stain? Prepping your deck is the single most important aspect in the deck restoration process and will determine your final appearance and the stain longevity. Not prepping properly can lead to premature stain failure and overall poor appearance results. How to best prep your deck could vary on numerous scenarios:

  • Is the wood new or old?
  • Does it have a previous coating on the wood?
  • Are you recoating with the same brand and colors as last time?
  • When was the last time it was stained?
  • What type of stain was it coated with before?

A better way to approach the deck prepping question is to ask, “what is the best deck prep for my deck due to its current condition and age”?

The three main ways to prep a deck are:

  • Deck Cleaning followed by Wood Brightening
  • Deck Stripping followed by Wood Brightening
  • Power Sanding
  • Or a combination of the above.

What is the Best Deck way to Prep My Deck?

We will ask a series of questions. Based on your answers to these questions we will be able to provide help as to the best way to prep your deck before applying a deck stain.

  1. New Wood or Older Wood?
  2. Does the Deck have a Current Coating?
  3. Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color?
  4. Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know.
  5. What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain?
  6. Mold or Mildew Issues?
  7. Reason for Previous Stain Failure?
  8. You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition.

Post a comment below and make sure to include the answers to the above questions. Feel free to include any additional information that would be useful!

Ask in Comment Section Below. Make Sure to Include Answers to the above Questions.

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Ben
Ben

New Wood or Older Wood? – Older Wood (Redwood I think) Maybe 30 years old.
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? – I was told it was initially sealed with Thompson’s Water Seal. I don’t know how often it was sealed over the last 30 years. I’ve had to replace some rotting boards (patches photo below), but other boards look to be in great shape. Rotting was happening around nail holes on certain boards, where water was falling from the roof. Deck and railings have been completely pressure washed recently. The pressure washer cleaned down to what looks like the bare wood on about 90% of the deck and railings. For the other 10%, there are some spotty areas which seem to still have the old sealer hanging on. The pressure washer didn’t have an impact on these areas. Should I sand these areas down to bare wood, or strip everything and start over?
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? – I’d like to get some advice as to whether I should keep applying Thompsons or switch brands. I’d like to keep the stain transparent.
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. – Thompsons Water Seal (Clear)
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Thompsons WaterSeal Clear
Mold or Mildew Issues? – I think so, yes. Mildew. The deck gets very slippery when wet.
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? – Time. Neglect.
You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition. – See below.

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Michael Nomura
Michael Nomura

Should there be a difference in pigment of the wood when stripping with RAD compared to power sanding? I am trying to remove 5 year old Behr semi transparent. It seems to be difficult to nearly impossible using the RAD stripper. The power sanding takes the wood down to its original color. Should the RAD stripper do the same or will it leave a pigment of the old stain?

George
George

My Ipe deck is just being finished. The boards acclimatized for three weeks before we started installing, and another three weeks has elapsed while we finished the decking and the rail system. I plan on using a light oak stain called ready seal which does not require a wet edge and can be applied at low temperatures. They told me new Ipe has a glaze from milling than needs to be removed prior to staining, and that a store bought bleach solution will do that effectively. I’ve read that the bleach can damage the lignin cells of the wood. I was planning on bleaching, rinsing, and then using an oxalic acid rinse to brighten the colors before staining. I did some test pieces today and am waiting to see how they look tomorrow. Any thoughts if that process is good, over kill, or harmful to the Ipe?
George

Matt
Matt

New Wood or Older Wood? New PT – weathered about 4 months
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? No

Planning to do wash, brightener and then stain after a few days, but I still have some mill markings on some boards. I’m thinking I need to sand these off, but where in the process should I do so? Planning to use superdeck semi-transparent as I already bought it prior to discovering this blog.

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Charles
Charles

Have 12 year old multiple IPE decks– occasionally power washed — never stained.
Started to develop fine splinters. Applied Deckwise cleaner and then Ipe Oil hardwood deck
finish ( Voc 250) to a small deck as a sample area hoping it will renew the wood and limit splinters ( no more power washing and subsequent sanding) and extend the life of the deck. New at this and contractor did not apply the brightener after cleaning and before applying the Ipe Oil. If I leave as is for now what negative impact will it have if any. When we revisit do I have to strip first and then brighten or just clean and brighten.
Also contractor put Ipe Oil on a few sections of lumber without prior cleaning and brightening. Should we strip and brighten those sections and proceed to clean and brighten the rest which are the never stained Ipe pieces. Or can the Ipe oil be removed with
cleaner and the brightener.
What is the recommended temperature range for application. It is now in the 50’s our area of NJ.
Wished I had found your site earlier.
Appreciate your input.

Donn
Donn

These questions are based mostly out of ignorance and confusion.
Refurbished deck. (Old one lasted 16 years with mostly neglect re: maintenance on my part)
I have looked at quite a few sites re: “how to;when to;what to” prep & stain or seal a new deck – deck is 30 days assembled – I have no idea how long the wood was “in the yard”.
Home Deport – WeatherShield – southern pine with a cedar toned-color infused. (whatever that means)

I’ve read your article on Update Staining New Decks in 2019.
Your recommendation is wait 3 months. (or whatever the stain manufacturer recommends)

Seems to be 3 differing opinions as to “when to”
(Home Depot says wait at least 6 months )
– right away
– 30-90 days
– 1 season

Does the wait period depend on the area of the country ? I live in Illinois near Chicago.
The weather is probably going to force the issue as it is no longer ideal to prep and seal or stain, so I was thinking maybe next May\June – warmer weather ?

Regarding “what to; how to””:
Some advocate power wash, then sanding then brightener.
Some others recommend any\some combination of the three.
You all do not recommend sanding new wood. Why not ?
When is new wood no longer considered new wood ?

Sun beats it up pretty good so we are thinking stain.

Thanx for your time and help and insight.

Mark
Mark

1. Newer wood, 4 years since deck was built
2. No current coating, never been coated
6. Yes some areas are mostly shaded and get mildew

I already pressure washed my deck and then came across your site while doing research for a stain. Do you think I need to go back over with a deck cleaner and a brightener?
Also what stain would you recommend? The deck is in Northern Virginia, most of the deck gets full sun but some is mostly shaded and it is pressure treated pine.

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Jeff
Jeff

I plan on re-stain a house redwood sidings. There seems to be two type of stain used on the house. What would be the best way prep before a coat of stain for increased protection. I’m not trying to change the color. Most likely going to apply Armstrong Clark.

1. Old wood. 30 and 15 years.
2. There is a stain on it.
3. Unknown existing stain. Best guest would be Superdeck.
4. Deck Stain Brand Previously used is Unknown.
5. I think it’s oil-based semi-transparent for the light one and semi-solid for the dark one.
6. No Mold or Mildew
7. Stain Failure is due to direct sun exposure.

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Dana
Dana

1. Old wood (20 yrs).
2. Stain remaining on vertical surfaces and a few spots on floor.
3. Switching to whatever brand stain you recommend in semi-transparent cedar or brown.
4. Last stain was Sherwin Williams Deckscape
5. semi-transparent cedar (oil-based I think)
6. Yes, mold/mildew (pics below)
7. It’s just been a while since last stain.

Do you think my hand railing should be replaced (it’s splintered and one piece a little warped on end). I plan to sand, strip and brighten with RAD, and stain with whatever you suggest. Thanks for the advice, great resource!

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Mike
Mike

1. New Wood or Older Wood? – At least 15 years old.
2. Does the Deck have a Current Coating? – Yes, but it is almost completely gone in much (most) of the deck.
3. Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? = No idea what was used previously, from what I can gather it was last stained 8 or 9 years ago.
4. Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. – Unknown.
5. What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Appears to be a semi-transparent stain. Owner says it was a water based stain.
6. Mold or Mildew Issues? – No
7. Reason for Previous Stain Failure? Neglect.

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Scott
Scott

This is a fence, not a deck.
1. New Wood or Older Wood? Older wood
2. Does the Deck have a Current Coating? Seems like a flaking solid or semi-solid
3. Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Don’t know what was used so probably switching
4. Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? unknown
5. What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? I’m guessing semi-trans, semi-solid or solid
6. Mold or Mildew Issues? no
7. Reason for Previous Stain Failure? not sure just bought the house a few months ago and it was like this
8. You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition.

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Archie
Archie

New Wood or Older Wood? 2 year old wood
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? Yes
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Staying w/Same brand & color
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Ready Stain – Clear
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Clear. Not sure if it’s oil or water based.
Mold or Mildew Issues? No
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? General Wear

How would your answer/recommendation change if I wanted to switch brands and go with a semi-transparent stain?

Thanks!

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Scott
Scott

Hello, been in house for 3 years so don’t know what is on deck now. It is pressure treated wood. I want to use similar color to re-stain. Do I need to use a cleaner or stripper? Also, does it currently have semi-solid or semi-transparent? I would use the same.

Thanks!

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Mike
Mike

New Wood or Older Wood? Older
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? Yes,
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Staying w/Same Brand/Color
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. Sherwin Williams Super Deck
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Solid Acrylic
Mold or Mildew Issues? None that I know of
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? General Wear,

My real question is that there are specific areas which have failed. Is it necessary for me to strip the entire deck down to bare-wood or just the failed areas if I’m re-covering with the same product?

John M McIntosh
John M McIntosh

Just used the restore a deck cleaner on a new PT #1 deck. It says it will leave it darker. My wood is much much lighter. I followed all the directions to a T

Joe
Joe

New Wood or Older Wood? Older, ~20 years
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? No. Just removed it with a daimabrush, then used a square buff sander (36) and belt sander (50 on benches, edges) to smooth it out.
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Switching.
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. Behr Deckover
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Very solid (before we removed it with the daimabrush)
Mold or Mildew Issues? It has rained a time or two during the removal / sanding process, and we saw some mildew on the untreated wood. Sanding seems to take that off. We did not notice mildew on the deckover.
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? It was Behr Deckover.

I keep reading about cleaner / brightener. I’m wondering if we need to do that if we just sanded in the last couple week, and it’s rained a few times.

Photos in order… Deckover after a year or so when we bought it. It hasn’t failed yet. Photo after removing hottub — you can see peeling deckover too. A couple years later. The last two are today, after daimabrush and sanding.

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Kevin
Kevin

Looking for some prep advice, do I need to sand and/or strip my pressure treated deck? Very large size.

I have older wood, and stained with Olympic “Maximum” oil-based semi-transparent about 2 yrs ago and have some peeling occuring. I would prefer to keep same or similiar color because the rails are in good shape and would prefer not redoing. After reading through here, learning that peeling with Olympic is somewhat common and would be open to switching a brand if color can be similar. I’m also open to go over the semi-transparent with a semi-solid stain.

Thanks for any advise

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Henry
Henry

This is a follow up to my prior question.

1. I don’t think I was clear about my question in my prior post. Do you recommend deck stripping and brightening or just deck cleaning and brightening. After having done additional reading, I suspect you are going to suggest stripping and brightening.
2. You recommend TWP 100 semi transparent stain. ZThe TWP 100 Cape Cod is more a semi solid than a semi transparent apparently. Do you have any concerns about the TWP Cape Cod?
3. Given the condition of my deck, do you suspect that I should assume about 150 sq ft per gallon?
4. I replaced the railing cap on all the railing with pressure treated wood about 8 months ago. Cleaning and brightening before staining?
5. In your experience, how much loss due to overspray should I assume if I use a hand pump pressure sprayer to stain the railings?

Thanks

Henry

Henry Ridgely Horsey
Henry Ridgely Horsey

Please advise
New Wood or Older Wood? – Older wood probabaly 20+ years
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? Mosy of it yes. Some know because it was stripped off using a pressure washer.
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Will be using TWP 100 series
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. Unknown
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? My guess semi transparent.
Mold or Mildew Issues?a little but washes off.
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? Age?
You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition.

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Lynn
Lynn

New Wood or Older Wood? Both. Mostly old. However, I have replaced rotten boards > 6 months ago.
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? No
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? NA – No current coating.
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. – NA – No current coating.
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? NA – No current coating.
Mold or Mildew Issues? – Yes. Rains a lot here. Deck is shaded in summer by trees.
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? – NA – No current coating
You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition. See 4 pics below.

Some boards I’m leaving because I had to stop replacing boards at some point. Can I use Minwax Wood Hardener? I plan to use a Oil based, Semi-Transparent penetrating stain, so I’m thinking no.

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Michhael
Michhael

Needing to re-finish cedar deck. South facing with lots of sun exposure in Vermont
Installed 3 years ago
Painted it a few months after installation with Storm category 3 semi solid
After the first winter most of the paint pealed off. So I pressure washed it last year and did not re-finish. I am now cleaning and washing aagain and plan to stain or paint is soon.
While cleaning the wood is “splintering” very small,, soft and flexible fibers. Almost like hair. One issue is that the grey paint will not come up off the knots but will everywhere else.
Recommendations on product?
One coat or two?
I assume I need to stay semi-solid or solid due to the knot issue?
Thanks Mike

Michael
Michael

Shop that sold me the storm stated that I should have sanded it to get the mill finish off or at least that may have been the issue. They stated that I should now sand it now to get the grey wood and mill finish off then use the storm

Shea
Shea

I’m helping a friend out by quoting a deck restore and potentially doing it for him so I’m just wondering what the best approach would be. The wood is just starting to crack due to neglect and no protective coating and it’s graying and weathering pretty bad. I’ve seen great results with certain cleaners and a scrub brush online and I want to avoid sanding if possible because of how much more work it would be but I’m just wondering if sanding is necessary or if just a good quality cleaner and a solid scrub will restore it back to natural? Thanks so much!

Is the wood new or old? Exact age unknown but at least 3-5 years.

Does it have a previous coating on the wood? No previous coating by the looks of it.

Are you recoating with the same brand and colors as last time? N/A

When was the last time it was stained? Never been stained

What type of stain was it coated with before?None

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Rick
Rick

I live in Portland Oregon. We have an older cedar deck that is pretty solid but ugly looking. The deck is heavily shaded. The dark discoloration didn’t want to come off even with a pressure washer.
1. Older cedar deck guessing about 6 years old.
2. Current Coating: probably but not sure. Bought house about 6 months ago.
3. I would assume we are switching brands.
4. unknown brand.
5. unknown.
6. There is some mold/staining from honeydew deposits from tree above that has left dark color to wood below the tree.
7. Reason for Previous Stain Failure: age and lack of maintenance.
I appreciate your help! Great website!!!
–Rick

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Kate
Kate

New Wood or Older Wood? Older
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? Yes
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color?switching brands
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. TWP 1500
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Oil based, semi transparent
Mold or Mildew Issues? Some mildew that I pressure washed off
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? Has been 2-3 years since applied
You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition.

I have some SW deck cleaner/stripper and Revive that I’d Ike to use. Any other steps I need to take?

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Laura
Laura

Small deck of PT wood, 3 years old, never coated. Northwest Indiana, lots of sun exposure. Previous deck had solid color stain which peeled almost immediately. I want as much color as possible to match adjoining surface, but no peeling. How to prep for semi solid deck stain? Which semi solid stain has most color choices?

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Tom
Tom

Any comments on the steps involved in restoring a 20+ year old deck 1800 sq. ft. deck. I’m inclined to have deck sanding in the steps involved.

Should I sand first, then a cleaner followed by brightener or not sanding and apply a stripper then brightener.
The deck has Behr solid-color, waterproofing wood stain applied about 5 years ago. There are a few areas with some black mildew and splintering of deck boards. I would like to have some wood grain visible perhaps for semi-transparent stain to be applied.

I’m looking at Restore-A-Deck Package 600 if sanding should be performed and Restore-A-Deck Stripper/Brightener if sanding is not needed.

Comments appreciated.

Will Sousae
Will Sousae

New Wood or Older Wood? Old
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? Yes
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Maintenance cost
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. TWP 1500 series
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Oil based
Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Semi-transparent
Mold or Mildew Issues? No
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? Length of time
You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition.

Kyle
Kyle

Hi,

The deck came with the house so don’t have a clue about when it was made. The previous owner didn’t have any info either and just left it as is.
I decided it was about time to get of my butt and work on restoring.

Here are the answers to the Qs :
New Wood or Older Wood? Old
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? Can see traces of it in the picture.
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Will go for a lighter color or stain.
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. Unknown
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Unknown
Mold or Mildew Issues? Doesn’t appear so
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? NA

Picture is attached. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Thank you.

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Anna
Anna

Our cedar decks were built and stained in spring of 2017. We scrubbed and restained last year. We are not 100% sure which transparent stain was used, either Armstrong or Superdeck and are hoping the painter will be able to tell us. The front deck is 48′ by 6′ covered by a rood (more like a porch actually) with steps at either end. The ends are the problem. The second deck/porch is on the north side, in good shape except for the exposed steps and some traffic wear. I have not scrubbed it yet.

I have scrubbed the big deck with water and a brush. Where it is exposed to the elements and traffic, it is now bare wood, but in the more protected areas (most of the deck actually) the stain is in good condition. We would like to use semi-transparent stain this time, in hopes that it will last a bit longer. So, I have four questions.

First, is scrubbing with water and brush sufficient, or do I need to do it again with a cleaner?
Second, if the water is sufficient, do I still need to use a brightener?
Third, if the painter can’t tell me which brand he used, how important is it to strip?
Fourth, can I put semi-transparent over the transparent stain, assuming I can confirm that it is the same brand?

The images show an unwashed area, a washed area with some bare wood and some remaining stain, a protected area where the stain looks almost new, and the end of the deck and stairs which is bare wood.

Thanks so much for your very informative site!

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Anna
Anna

If I confirm with the painter that I am using the same brand do still need to strip?

Cynthia
Cynthia

I’m refinishing 700 sq.’ of decking (15-yr-old PT pine) using your VERY helpful recommendations. So far I’ve done two rounds of Defy stripper and there is still more finish left. I suspect there were various products layered on top of each other over the years. I’m not sure whether I’m going to do another round of stripper or try and sand off the remaining finish, but either way the wood needs sanding (60-80 grit) for a variety of reasons.

Opinions seem to be evenly divided b/t random orbital and belt sanders. Fans of the former say belt sanders are too aggressive; fans of the latter that you’d be insane to do a whole deck w/ a small RO sander. Questions:

1) Which of these would you recommend?
2) Would I need to brighten again after sanding?
3) Would it be a problem if it rained after I sanded but before I stained?
4) How soon after sanding would I need to stain?
5) Anything else I need to make sure of?

I’ve never taken on a project like this before but think it’s going to be worth it when I finish up with the TWP. This is my third post as I move through the process and I THANK YOU once again for all your help!

Dan Sethner
Dan Sethner

How to prep new pressure treated wood for staining

Andrea Coover
Andrea Coover

I have a 25 year old mostly covered deck and stairs that I had upgraded last year. The covered part is still in very good condition and new boards and railings were added last year for all the uncovered areas. I have used Cabot New Cedar stain (either opaque or semi-opaque and I think oil-based) for all the previous refinishings. The new wood is now 11 months old. I want to basically keep the color the same but not use a solid stain. I would like some grain to show. What is the best method and products to use considering the multi ages and conditions of my wood. As you can see by the photos it rained this morning and I have had pots on the new areas for the last year. The new boards are the edge six, two of which are under the overhang and four are exposed and wet.

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Dan Sethner
Dan Sethner

I have read that Cabot is not recommended on some deck stain reviews

Steve P.
Steve P.

Looking for help in answering the question “What is the Best way to Prep My Deck Floor for a New Solid Stain?” My answers to your questions are:
1. Older wood
2. Yes, solid stain or paint, not sure which.
3. and 4. Switching color and possibly brand; don’t know what brand the previous owner used.
5. Current coating type is likely water based but not sure. It’s a solid stain or paint.
6. Very minor mildew; not an issue.
7. Unknown.
Pics attached. After these pics were taken, I power washed the deck floor but just for gross cleaning. Then I tried Behr Stain Stripper on a portion of the deck but that didn’t work very well. Then I tried Citristrip gel on a couple boards and it worked much better but it would be very time consuming. I’m not sure if Citristrip, then sanding any remaining coating, then stripper afterwash is the best way to go or something less than that before applying the new stain. I want to try to make sure I can get 4 or 5 years before more maintenance; planning to use Behr Advanced DeckOver. Deck gets about 3.5-4 hours of direct sun (~10:30/11 – 2:30) in summer; Northern VA.

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Derek Livernois
Derek Livernois

New Wood or Older Wood? New (3-4 Months)
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? No
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? No
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know.
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or
Mold or Mildew Issues? No
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? No
You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition.

Matt
Matt

I have a cedar deck with water based solid stain. I will be staining with twp 100 when done. I used RAD stripper with both additives and got over 90% of old stain off. I will be sanding the remaining off. Do I brighten before or after sanding? If brightened after sanding, will grain raising be an issue? Do i need to use cleaner first before brightener since I was not able to get it done immediatly after stripper?

Gauri
Gauri

We have old mahogany. We used to stain it ourselves but had the house painter do it last (?5 years ago), did not specify and he painted over. We want to take the paint off and stain it. Tried sanding with a hand rotary sander, but paint came off only in parts. Do I need to strip and clean, then sand and stain? I’ll need to rent a big sander to do the job. Please advise.

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ray horine
ray horine

SEE BELOW FOR QUESTION / ADVISE — I PROVIDED INFORMATION PER THE ABOVE
New Wood or Older Wood?– OLD WOOD
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? YES
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? USING SAME BRAND AND COLOR – SEMI TRANSPARENT WATER BASE.
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Enter unknown if you do not know. DEFY SEMI TRANSPARENT WATER BASE
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? DEFY SEMI TRANSPARENT WATER BASE
Mold or Mildew Issues? NONE
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? HAS BEEN 2 YEARS SINCE LAST MAINTENANCE COAT
You Must Include Picture(s) of the Current Condition. SEE ATTACHED
DO IN NEED TO COMPLETY STRIP THE DECK. DECK IS SCREWED DOWN FROM THE SIDE USING CAMO SCREW SYSTEM. DECK WAS INSTALLED NEW 4 YEARS AGO. WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
THANKS IN ADVANCE
RAY

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Jared
Jared

New Wood or Older Wood? Old
Does the Deck have a Current Coating? No
Are you Switching Brands of Deck Stain or Applying a Maintenance Coat of the same Brand and Color? Will be applying Restore-A-Deck products
Deck Stain Brand Previously Used? Unknown
What is the Current Deck Stain Type? Oil-based or Water-Based? Clear, Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, or Solid Stain? Unsure
Mold or Mildew Issues? No
Reason for Previous Stain Failure? Left untreated too long

Current deck is older and has some cracks/splintering (tried to power wash the splinters away)

Will provide picture tomorrow

crystal
crystal

We have a 1.5 year old cedar fence that is ready for stain. We have received multiple quotes from different vendors and they all recommend different products and bash the others… We have been recommended thomspons, olympic, and cabot. We want this to last a couple of years if possible! some told us to just use a clear water sealer, but Ive read that the grey will surely come through with that process. I love the look of the cedar boards, but think some tinting is necessary. We paid a lot for the fence so would like to start with a strong product! we are looking for a semitransparent.

Scott
Scott

I installed a 600 sq ft pressure treated pine ramp in April 2018. Three to 4 months later I stained the ramp with Velspar one coat exterior sealer. Prior to staining I used Velspar interior/exterior fast prep.
While the ramp still has some stain color (mostly on railings), there is virtually no waterproofing left and ramp deck is graying. Also mold and mildew. Also this ramp is completly shaded by trees and gets very little direct sun.
So I want to restrain the ramp but need some help with prep process. I was going to restrain with restore a deck (rad) semitransparent wood stain and was thinking of using RAD stripper with booster prior to staining. However not sure if I should sand and power wash and if so which do I do first. Also should I use RAD cleaner and/or brightener first.
Can u help me with the steps I should do and the sequence.
THANK YOU
Ps – because the ramp is shaded I assume is more prone to mildew and should I be using water based stain?

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Caitlin
Caitlin

Hi,
We are in the process of trying to remove old stain with a wood stripper and need advice on what to do to prep the deck for new stain. Do we need to change directions and sand or apply the wood stripper again?

1. Older wood
2. Yes. We tried to use a stripper just now because there is a previous stain, but it’s difficult to get off. We just tried using Defy.
3. Switching brands.
4. Behr. I know “embehrassing”. Behr minimum!
5. Semi-transparent water based.
6. Little mold was growing on it.
7. Slight peeling, black spots (mold) and uneven application.

Thanks for your help!

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Caitlin
Caitlin

Also to make note-we live in Portland, Or and the deck is not currently covered.

Mimi
Mimi

Is the wood new or old? 1.5 year old.
Does it have a previous coating on the wood? Yes, but Cabot Wood Cleaner Concentrate is removing some to all of the coat I applied exactly one year ago.
Are you recoating with the same brand and colors as last time? Yes. I am doing prep work for what is meant to be a maintenance coat.
When was the last time it was stained? Exactly one year ago. I stained it with one coat two months after the new railing was installed, using the steps recommended on this web site. (Sanded off the mill glaze and the stamped labels, then cleaned with Cabot Wood Cleaner Concentrate, brightened with Cabot Wood Brightener, then applied one coat of Cabot oil-based semi-transparent stain with staining pads.)
What type of stain was it coated with before? Cabot oil-based semi transparent deck stain (0306: higher VOC), barn red. I will be be recoating with same color Cabot semi-transparent oil deck stain.

The first three photos show, from left to right, the degree to which the deck cleaner is removing the initial coat of stain from a year ago. The fourth photo shows the brush I’m scrubbing deck cleaner with, and it shows the current condition of the cap rail. I live at 8,600′ and this is southern exposure. I am diluting the deck cleaner 1 part cleaner to 4 parts water per manufacturer’s instructions, and spraying it on with a pump garden sprayer.

Am I scrubbing too hard? I am concerned that I will have varying coverage once I apply my maintenance coat. Do you have advice?

TIA!

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Ivan
Ivan

I am staining my deck with a solid stain (same or darker than what was on before) I have stripped the deck to 80% free of paint using stripper gel. Do I need to sand the remaining stain away before I clean and lay on stain. (I have seen some comments where you say its ok to paint over old stain with the same stain brand.) Is there any benefit to letting new replaced boards weather before I stain them as well?

Richard Shane
Richard Shane

Working on relcaiming a painted (oil base) deck. Had to do a lot of sanding. Put stripper (Restore a Deck) on deck three weeks ago, and still need to do some more sanding ( areas where got to aggressive with pressure washer) and then will put on brightner and stain. Question is, since it has been more than two weeks since I used stripper, do I have to go back and use again before using brightner (Restore a Deck)? Or is it that I have two weeks to stain after using brightner? Please adivise and thanks for a great site!!!

Yev
Yev

Hello!
I’m looking for some advice in terms of prep and paint/stain selection for redoing my deck. I bought the house last summer, and luckily am in contact with the previous owner so have some background info on its history.

The deck was built over 5 years ago from pressure treated pine. The previous owner used BEHR PREMIUM Porch & Patio Floor Paint Low-Lustre Enamel for the floor boards and railings are BEHR Deckplus Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain applied about 5 years ago. They both say acrylic based – so I’m guessing this means water based?

The stain seems to be holding great on the railings but the floor boards are looking horrible. There are no mold / mildew issues from what I can tell, but some of the boards do have some green (algae?).

My goal is to make the deck look nice again. I do love the look of natural wood so I was thinking of going with a semi transparent stain, but it would need to be dark and similar to the existing brown color (so it matches the accents on the rest of the house). I was thinking about going with BEHR Premium Semi Transparent Stain & Sealer but have seem too many negative things about it online so am reconsidering.

In terms of prep – I have a random orbital sander and oscillating tool with sander attachment – I was thinking to rent a floor drum sander or belt sander in and sand everything down. Reading your site, I’m starting to reconsider my strategy. Any help is appreciated!

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Yev
Yev

Forgot to add – I am in the Poconos, PA

Edie Morgan
Edie Morgan

I want to redo this deck but don’t where to start. Do I strip it or sand it?

6 years old. Stain was put on it three years ago but didn’t do it correctly perhaps as it bubbled and flaked off. I want it to look its best. I’m inexperienced but willing to do hard work. Help. Thanks

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Zack
Zack

What’s the difference (chemically speaking) between a stripper and a cleaner? Can you give some general tips on when it’s appropriate to use one or the other?

Sean
Sean

Hi! We bought our house about 2 years ago and the paint on the deck has started to peel. I hadn’t paid much attention to the paint on the deck until I started researching new stain. I’m not certain but I think the previous owner used deckover paint for a quick, easy job prior to selling. Attached is a picture of the peeling paint. My plan is to get the deckover off and stain the wood rather than paint it a solid color again. What’s the best way to accomplish this?

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Ronelle
Ronelle

We recently bought a house with decks built in 2017. I believe all they had was a transparent stain on them. We want to put a semi transparent stain on them. There is no flaking that is visible. What prep do we need to do?

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lwg
lwg

My current deck was re-stained 2 yrs ago but some boards are peeling. Several rotten boards have been replaced last week with new pressure treated lumber. I want to use the same Behr Transparent Natural Cedartone (water based). Part of the deck is under a cover and those boards still look good and water does not seem to absorb. Exposed boards definitely need new stain. Do I have to strip the entire deck or just the boards where the stain is peeling? Will I also have to strip the covered boards before re-staining. After any stripping, do I apply cleaner and brightener or just one or the other.

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