Can you Stain over a Painted Deck? 4.8/5 (12)

This post was updated on April 5, 2022

Remove Solid Stain on Deck

Remove Solid Stain on Deck

Apply Stain over a Painted Deck?

Can you apply a deck stain to a deck that is painted? The answer is not immediately.

Whether you are looking to change the color or brand of stain on your deck or you are simply looking to treat your deck with a fresh coat of stain, you absolutely must remove all layers of paint or solid stains that are already on the wood. Otherwise, the quality and performance of your paint job will be compromised and you will end up having to stain all over again. So, just remember to remove any existing paint from the wood surface before tackling a new deck staining job and you will be all set!


There are two ways to remove the existing stain on a deck and you may need to do both to remove all of the solid stain or paint off your wood.

The first way is to try using a high-quality deck stain stripper. Choosing a high-quality stripper like Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper makes removing deck stains a breeze. To prepare the stain stripper, follow directions on the packaging and mix until crystals are fully dissolved. If you are using a pump sprayer, mix the stain stripper in a separate bucket before transferring it to the sprayer to avoid clogging. To apply the Stripper, mist a layer of freshwater onto the deck then apply the stripper to the wood surface using either a pump sprayer or scrub brush. This is the most effective way to apply the stain stripper. Allow the compound to sit on the wood surface for 10-15 minutes or until the surface becomes slippery. Pressure wash or vigorously scrub by hand until all the dirt, grime, and fibers are removed. We recommend power washing over hand scrubbing, as it is easier and more effective. Repeat this process to most or all old stain or sealer over stubborn areas. After stripping as much as you can of the solid stain, apply Deck Brightener to neutralize the pH and restore the natural beauty of the wood. This doesn’t need to be power-washed, simply rinse off after applying.

The second way to remove a solid stain or paint from a deck is by sanding it. If your wood deck has many layers of paint from projects over the years and withstands damage, you must sand the wood down to its original surface before applying stain or paint. We recommend renting a drum sander to make the job a little less laborious. After sanding is complete, you may use a deck cleaner and wood brightener for the final prep.

Do you have any suggestions for removing the old stain from a deck? Leave a comment below

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Susanna
Susanna
3 months ago

i have tried a paint stripper on my deck but only the cracked edges are coming off, can I paint on top of the old paint I cannot remove? It is not peeling.

Andrew
Andrew
8 months ago

You suggest Restore-a-Deck stain stripper, but the label on it says, “not designed to strip solid opaque stains.” Did they just mean that it doesn’t fully remove the stain? Does it do a good enough job at prepping for another solid stain?

Jep
Jep
1 year ago

Confusing. Title says stain over existing paint but article switches to paint over stain, then stain over paint and so on.

David
David
1 year ago

Best way to remove old deck paint from railings and vertical pieces of the deck. Currently using the Diamabrush on an angle grinder to tackle the deck floor and horizontal part of the rails.

David
David
1 year ago

So it appears to be some latex type of paint on the deck. Would it be possible to use some sort of primer over it (the railing parts) and then put some colored stain (like white) over the primer.

David
David
1 year ago

Would you say my best bet is to just prime then hit the railings with white deck paint? We only need this to last a few years before we replace the deck as it is quite old already.
Do you have any recommendations for deck paint? I see lots of stain recommendations on here.

David
David
1 year ago

I understand the problems with deck paints of any sort. Any specific ones you recommend staying away from at least?

Jeannie Longanecker
Jeannie Longanecker
2 years ago

I am in the process of sanding the old paint off my deck. I’m seeing quite a bit of sap from the boards and it is gumming up the sand paper. Is there anything I can put on it to remove the sap? Should I stop sanding and just use a stripper on the rest of the deck?

E.K. Dean
E.K. Dean
2 years ago

What should I do if someone just power washed our deck thinking that was enough, then stained a darker solid color over the top of the old chipped stain? He used Behr solid deck stain. And, he started to paint the posts cream to match our house trim as I wanted that contrast look, but it looks horrible. All the cracks and bumps in the wood show. He thinks we should stain it a lighter solid Behr color instead of painting it because the stain fills the cracks in the wood better. What would you suggest for both of these problems?
Attached 2 pictures, One of our deck with the floor and top done in the new dark walnut stain. The other picture is what inspired me to do the contrast look. If it would be better to keep it all dark, I could do that. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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E.K. Dean
E.K. Dean
2 years ago

If I decide to do a lighter color on the posts, do you think I’m better off with a stain or paint? And, do you think the imperfections show up more the lighter the paint or stain?
Thank you!

V. Guarin
V. Guarin
2 years ago

How do I renew a not-quite 2-year old solid color deck coating? (Behr Deck-Plus) . The slate colored coating over new redwood has held up well, and the color has remained true on the vertical surfaces; but all the horizontal surfaces in both sun and full shade have become equally powdery/chalky-appearing. Hosing and brushing clean does no good- it looks great wet but becomes chalky-looking again as it drys. Is there a top coating available? Thanks for any help!

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