Best Stain for an Old Deck 4.7/5 (89)

by Deck Stain Help

Updated February 2020

What is Best Stain for Old Wood Deck

We appreciate you visiting Deckstainhelp.com as we continue to be your go-to source for the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics through 2020  If you are looking for honest deck stain ratings, look no further. Below, we mention some tips for restoring an old neglected wood deck. Feel free to leave a comment below with any pictures you may have.


Best Stain for an Older Wood Decking

Best Stain for an Old DeckWood decks can be a beautiful addition to any property but when neglected they can also become an eyesore. When a deck goes too long without being maintained sun and water damage occur. The wood loses its natural oils and becomes very dry and porous. Cracking, splitting, warping, and graying are all signs of an old deck that has not been protected against weathering.

Here are the steps needed to make your old tired deck look new again:

Repair First

Do a thorough look over for any rotten boards and replace them. Check for loose boards and railings and tighten these up as well with decking screws. Check the foundation for any structural damage.

Clean and Brighten Deck

It is not impossible to bring old wood back to life. A little care and maintenance can revive the most neglected decks. If the deck is still in a good structural condition the grayed wood can be cleaned using a wood deck cleaner.

Use a scrub brush or pressure washer with the deck cleaner to remove unwanted mold, mildew, dirt, and graying. The transformation of washing an old deck back to clean again can be amazing. After using a wood cleaner it is important to use a wood brightener. While the wood is still wet, apply a wood brightener to the surface to enhance the wood’s beauty and open the wood pores for better stain penetration.

Apply Penetrating Stain w/Non-Drying Conditioning Oils

Once the deck dries choose the best stain for an old deck. Because old wood decks are extremely dried out, a wood stain the conditions the wood is essential. We use stains like Armstrong Clark for an old deck. This type of wood stain contains non-drying penetrating oils that help rejuvenate the wood cells. These conditioning oils stay deep in the wood to replace the wood’s lost natural oils.

The stain also contains drying oils that separate from the conditioning oils. These drying oils remain on the exposed surface to cure locking in the conditioning oils and providing a layer of protection against weathering. This conditioning of the wood’s cellular structure and weather protection are the keys to reviving an older wood deck.

Maintain Every 2 Years

Repeat the cleaning and staining of the wood every 2 years to keep up the look and extend the life.

Many deck owners think an old deck may have to be torn down and a new one built to replace it. This is not always the case. Old decks can be cleaned up and coated with stains specifically designed to rejuvenate old wood. It may just be possible to bring your old wood deck back to life and get many more years of use out of it.

Questions? Please Ask Below


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Kelley Winsor
Kelley Winsor

What is not only the best stain for an older deck, but also the fastest drying stain.

Thanks for your help.

KSW

mary yurkovich
mary yurkovich

my deck is not old [5/6 yrs] but i painted it with the wrong stuff and it peeled and blew in the wind….. i power wash it and did some sanding now i need to do something to get it too look better… there is some residual paint that won’t budge what should i do ????????

Karen
Karen

Water based vs oil based stain for an old deck

Ken
Ken

We have a four-year old redwood deck that has weathered natural gray ( which we like) but we are concerned the the wood is drying out. What is the best product to nourish the wood while keeping the weathered look and color?

Ann
Ann

Our deck is about 24 years old. We refinished it in 2012 but can’t remember (and kept no record!) of the product used. Based on pics taken during that application I’d guess it was a semi-solid, and the color is fairly dark.
My husband just power washed the entire deck and railings, with better success on the deck floor than the verticals in removing the previous finish. I’d prefer to go with a lighter / medium color this time, and am ok with some of the darker previous stain showing thru.
I rather impulsively bought TWP 100 Cedartone after reading lots of great reviews and comments here. Was that a mistake?
The power wash, done with water only, also raised the grain a fair amount.
How would you suggest we proceed: 1) since we don’t know what the previous product was; 2) in terms of the color change; and 3) given the roughed up grain?
Thank you!

Mike
Mike

After pressure washing, there is still a lot of old stain left on railings. Does this need to be stripped off before using your products? Do I have to mask around deck to protect siding, doors, etc. or is it washable?

Loretta
Loretta

What is the best stain for a 20 yr old deck

Dawn Tucker
Dawn Tucker

Hi here is a 22 year old treated wood deck. The deck was stained after one year with a redwood stain. Obviously that is completely gone. There was a Thompson light stain application ~5 years ago soaked right in, a few dark spots. Other than these couple of stained applications I’ve maintained the deck by cleaning every year with diy cleaner. Now I would like to properly stain. What type of sanding equipment/grit and cleaning/staining methods and products would be recommended? Need start to finish advice. Thank you!

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Anthony
Anthony

We recently moved in to a house with an old deck (assume 20+ years?). The deck looked unfinished and had many splits and a few damaged planks. I sealed the larger splits with polyurethane and replaced the damaged planks. A year later, I stained it with a solid-color stain using a sprayer. Looked great. A year after that, most of the stain starting flaking off. I wanted to start over so I quickly (one-pass) power washed off the remaining stain, though some bits did not easily come off. (Please see attached pictures, to see the deck in this current state).

My question now is: can I re-apply solid-stain without removing the little bits currently on the wood? Also, I have not cleaned the deck with any chemicals (I imagine I’ll have to fully remove all stain before I attempt to clean?) I plan on applying the stain with a brush/roller instead of a sprayer this year- hopefully that will achieve better results?

Thanks.

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Kathy
Kathy

I have a 30 year old deck in fair condition. I have used Thompson clear deck sealer in the past, most recently last season. I want to apply a color to hide the imperfections of aging, but do not want to use paint. After power washing deck, can I use an oil stain ? What would you recommend? Is sanding necessary? Thank you

Gayle Whitehead
Gayle Whitehead

After wood cleaner & brightener, is there a good CLEAR stain I can use? This is for exterior redwood shelf that I have sanded…but it still shows gray lines in it. Thanks!

Tom
Tom

Hi all

I have a pressure treated deck railing that was installed two years ago. About 5 months after that is was partially stained using a white solid stain. I have the stain that was used originally and want to finish it, but am wondering if i can just finish staining. I was just going powerwash. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Bill
Bill

When can you not stain and seal old deck, temperature wise?

Marianna Chryst
Marianna Chryst

An old deck that has some old gray stain .I need to preserve the wood. What can I use to cover .??.

Phycilla
Phycilla

I have had my deck steps repaired so now I have old and new pine. What can I stain with and do I need to wait before staining?

James S
James S

Sorry about posting incorrectly below.

This is where I need help. I have an old weathered deck in good condition. I have power washed it. It appears it has not been stained previously. It is treated wood about 12 yers old. I want to apply a solid stain. The paints store has recommended I apply Fresh Start, a sealer prior to applying the stain.
Anybody have an opinion on this approach? What about using a brightener too?

Thanks for any thoughts on this project.

James S
James S

Anyone us Fresh Start sealer on their deck?

Steve
Steve

I just bought a cabin in Crestline, CA with an apparently 30 year old deck. The owner who owned it 5 years ago (he lives down the street) said he used to use Superdeck 1906 oil based stain, but after reading the reviews I’m going to go with something else. There’s extreme weather as it’s on a really windy ridge that gets snow, rain, and sun. Any recommendations? It’s redwood and brown in color but pretty faded. It seems the owner of the last 4 years didn’t do anything with it. I’m leaning towards the TWP 500 or 1500, but I’m wondering if a semi-solid Armstrong clark would be better to cover up the battered quality of the wood. Any input appreciated!

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Cheryl Sutherland
Cheryl Sutherland

Hi, I hired a laborer to work on my deck. He’s replaced about 15 boards with new pretreated boards. We’d like to stain the entire deck with a transparent stain. However when we started the color on the new boards was very light, and the color on the older boards was very dark, so my deck is looking like a stripped zebra. I made some inquiries and getting a lot of conflicting information. I’ve been told I should wait 6 months before staining to allow the new boards to cure which will give it a more uniform look. I’ve also been told that I’ll never get an uniform color across old and new boards and should use a solid stain (which I don’t care for). Your advise please.

Jonathan
Jonathan

Big mistake.should either replace all the boards on your deck or go find old weathered deck boards if he was a painter he should have known this you will never get it all looking the same

Joe
Joe

I have a two level old wood deck that I want to stain. It was previously painted. I am sanding the deck down to bare wood as much as possible. I would like to stain it with semi-transparent stain. I like the reviews of both the TWP 1500 series, and Armstrong Clark. The Armstrong Clark has two types of oils, one that penetrates and one that drys. Would this cause the flooring of the deck to become more slippery when wet from rain? Also, should I use a semi-solid stain? I am under the belief that semi-solid does not hold up as well as semi-transparent.
Thank you for your help with my project.

Ron
Ron

Have a deck that was put down in 1979, have sanded it completely and put down Sikkens stain which has pealed. Want to know what the best deck over product is out there.

Monika Malgorzata Didluch
Monika Malgorzata Didluch

Hello , what brand of the semi-transparent stain would you recommend for 15 years old pressure treated deck? The deck is in ok condition. Striped, cleaned, power washed and brightened but the wood is very dry and by the pool. I live in zone 5 where winters are brutal and summers hot. The deck gets full day of direct sun and is exposed to rain and snow as well. In previous years I have used Sherwin -Williams due to their yearly sales. Is it anything better/new on the market that you recommend? Thank you.

S. Gibson
S. Gibson

I have 3 buckets of olympic deck paint never opened. Its 3-4 years old. Is it good?

Jason
Jason

Hi! Thank you so much for taking my question. We moved into our house about 4 years ago that had an existing deck built in 2006. They had a solid cedar stain that they might have just slapped on over something else before they sold the house and it started flaking off soon after. I stripped and sanded as much as I could with some tough spots still visible, plus the railings undone. We really didn’t like the solid color that had almost a pinkish hue and would love something darker, but aren’t sure what could look good other than another solid stain which may not be ideal for walking on. Please let me know your advice when you have a minute and thanks again!

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alice waldo
alice waldo

we have an old cedar deck that needs re staining… what do you recommend????????? thx alice

Dian
Dian

What is the best deck stain for cedar deck that previously had Cabot semi stain. Deck has lots of morning sun and afternoon shade from tree in middle of deck. My deck guy wants to use Sherwin Williams Super Deck semi.
I had all the boards replace and stained with Cabot 4 years ago. Please advise for northernDetroit Suburb.

Dennis Franklin
Dennis Franklin

We stripped deck but some areas still have some color on them that wont come off especially the posts. What kind of stain should we use to cover it all?

Jim
Jim

Will the staining be uniform if a few new deck planks are used?

Ken O.
Ken O.

My current cedar deck which is about 20 years old has a semi transparent oil based stain on it that was done by a local company. I’m going to do the deck myself this year. I will still stay with the semi transparent stain. Do I need to strip the deck or just use a deck cleaner and then brightener?

Prinz Celeste
Prinz Celeste

Old boards with old stain still does not look good with the replacement boards. Done that before and ugly. Hired painter wants to use opaque hybrid stain. Do you know anything about that ?

SHARON Brown
SHARON Brown

My deck needs to be stained every year and the stain won’t stay on can you recommend something to cover the deck and stay on

Helene Miller
Helene Miller

we have a large cedar deck that is about 5 years old and in good conditon but the stain peels off in some spots every year. We are getting tired of maintaining it by sanding and staining yearly. How can we maintain it wihtout so much work. My husband wants to cover it up but its thousands of dollars wasted if we do that, Please any suggestions would be helpful.

Gene G.
Gene G.

We have a pressure treated deck that has been covered with a solid stain. I have pressure washed the deck and rails. I plan to sand the rails, for better adhesion. We are looking for a recommendation on a brand name product that will not have a flaking problem.
Our selection might be a solid or a semi-solid stain.

Amy
Amy

Also why is the treated decking rotting? Is it the chlorine? We have tried a couple different stains and they just peel off. We have replaced 3 boards and think we should sand it all and then restain but don’t know what is the best thing to use.

Amy
Amy

Our old deck is our pool deck so it gets wet a lot and with chlorine. What is the best kind of stain or pain to use?

karen
karen

I have a 20 year old pressure treated wood deck. I have kept it stained every 3 or 4 years. The last time I stained the stain is peeling off. The paint store tells me my wood is old and will not hold a stain and I should replace it. There are a few cracks but no rotting wood. What do you suggest.

Jose
Jose

Is it ok to apply Armstrong-Clark semi-transparent stain on an old wood deck if it’s previously cleaned?

Lynn Draves
Lynn Draves

how can i make my deck more slip resistant. its and old deck and we want to stain it again , it sometimes gets too slippery in winter and rainy days.any ideas?

Ashlei
Ashlei

I would like to get this to a very dark grey/slate color. Please help me with all that I need to do!

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Victor
Victor

Can I use mahogany stain on this 10 years old deck? what type of stain should I use.

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Lyanne
Lyanne

We have a lot of pressure treated decking that’s never been treated. I tried Ben Moore restore to try and bring it back but no chance it’s that weathered. Now I need to make it look good. Solid stain won’t wirk, too much water (by lake) and sun. Would semi transparent stain be best option and what color would look good over old grey pt? What brand would give best coverage to hide what’s under. Thx so much

Victor
Victor

I have an old deck that paint chip off for more than 7 years. What type of stain should I get, how many grid sandpaper

Brad
Brad

I powerwashed my old deck that was previously steined. The majority of the previous stein has been removed but the spindles and parts of the upright railing stein didn’t come off. Can I put a new coat of stein over the old stein? Also the deck was steined a red color can I use a darker color over the spots that still have red stein? I hate to replace all the spindles but would be easier then sanding them all down.

Sonja Miller
Sonja Miller

I have just power washed our very old deck. The deck was stained, but now after cleaning, half the stain is gone and half is still there in patches. Will have to sand all of the deck or can I stain over top of old stain?

Lisa
Lisa

Hello. I recently purchased a foreclosure home with a deck. I can’t tell if the deck was ever treated. I understand all the preparations, cleaning. My question, does any stain product fill in the cracks and cover the splintering wood?

Lesley Skinner
Lesley Skinner

Hi I live in Newfoundland Canada 🇨🇦 and we have all kinds of weather here and it can be harsh. We have full sun on the deck all day (when we have it lol) We bought a home and it’s pressure treated deck is 4 years old and nothing has been done with it in terms of stain. From what I have read would this be appropriate steps: (1) wood cleaner – oxygenated (2) wood brightener (3) semi-solid or solid stain (thinking it’s thicker and may last longer) and I’d use Armstrong clarke, or defy extreme (whatever is available in the area). Does this sound like a good plan??

Cathy
Cathy

We recently bought a house that has a deck made of pine, probably around 5 -7 years old. It is bare wood. We have cleaned and pressure washed it. We live in Cincinnati, Ohio. The deck gets full sun approx 8 hours/day. I want a grey color and Armstrong Clark did not have a good choice for that. Could I use the TWP 100 Cape Cod Grey?

Kirk
Kirk

We have an older deck at a house we just bought. It is at the shore and though the 1×6 pressure treated decking is solid, it s splintering in places and there are cracks in many of the boards up to 3/16″. The wood is bone dry and there has clearly been nothing applied for years. I started to sand out the slivers, and trim with a utility knife where appropriate.

The deck is also surrounded with beautiful flowers and herbs that I have been told are not to be messed with. wink

What approach to cleaning (including brands), prep, and what product would you recommend to properly protect the wood. I would VASTLY prefer to NOT re-deck!!!

Andy Lawrence
Andy Lawrence

Is there a sealing product that can be applied to dimensional cedar end cuts in addition to the stain before or after the stain that will further mitigate end cut rot and splitting? Urgently await your reply.

javen
javen

Ingot a 4 gal .bucket of deck stain about 2 gals left been sitting few years how do i got the skim off top got lumps in it how can I restore it to use