This post was updated on April 10, 2023
How To Remove a Solid Deck Stain 2023
We appreciate your input here at Deckstainhelp.com as we continue to be your go-to source for the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics through 2023. This is a revised article about how to remove a solid deck stain. They are can be very difficult to remove and take time and patience. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Help With Removing a Solid Deck Stain
Once a deck has been stained with a heavy pigmented or solid stain it can be hard to maintain. Solid deck stains are like paint in that they form a film on the wood surface to provide weather protection. Once it is time for maintenance, a good cleaning and recoat are necessary. After several years the solid stain begins to build up and has trouble adhering, thus it begins to peel and flake constantly.
To stop this negative effect from occurring, or to switch from one deck stain to another, it is best to remove the solid deck stain completely and start with bare wood again. But removing a solid deck stain takes patience and a little bit of work.
To remove a solid deck stain you need to start with a deck stain remover. Stain strippers contain aggressive ingredients to help break through and soften tough to remove deck stains. Once the stain begins to emulsify it can then be pressure washed off.
Pro Tip: The Best Stripper to remove a solid color deck stain is the RAD PaintStrip Solid Stain Stripping Gel
More Info on Solid Stain or Paint Removal
Start by covering any nearby plants and landscaping. Put plastic and tape over windows and any areas that aren’t being stripped. Wear protective gloves and eyewear. Coat the deck with the stain remover in a uniform manner by applying it with a brush or a pump sprayer. Allow the product to remain wet on the wood for 10-15 minutes. For harder to remove solid stains longer dwell times may be necessary.
Once the solid stain begins to break loose from the wood surface, use a pressure washer at 1500-3000 psi to remove as much as the solid stain as possible. Reapply the stain stripper and repeat the process if stubborn areas remain. Rinse thoroughly.
It is very hard to remove all of a solid stain with a deck stain stripper. Once you remove as much as you can, let the wood dry and then power sand to remove the remaining solid stain.
After you are satisfied with the results it is important to apply a wood deck brightener. After the wood is stripped it will appear very dark in color. This is due to the caustic stripper raising the pH of the wood. This is the case with using a stain stripper or wood cleaner and is normal. To reverse this effect, apply an even coat of deck brightener to restore the wood’s natural color and pH levels to a more neutral state. This will enhance the grain and open the wood pores for better stain penetration. Rinse thoroughly.
Allow the deck to dry for a minimum of 48 hours before applying a new deck stain.
Have a Question? Ask Below
Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
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- Solid Color Deck Stain
- Walnut Deck Stain
- Home Depot Fence Stain
- Stain Colors For Pressure Treated Wood
- TWP Deck Stain
- Deck Stain Remover
- Defy Extreme Semi Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
- Water Based Stain Vs Oil Based Stain
- Best Semi Transparent Deck Stain
- Best Deck Restore Paint
- TWP Deck Stain Reviews
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
Pro Tip: The Best Stripper to remove a solid color deck stain is the RAD PaintStrip Solid Stain Stripping Gel
This is much easier than power sanding your deck.
Which type of sander do you recommend for removing leftover dark stain? I am in the process of stripping and it’s turning out to be more difficult than I anticipated.
See some tips here: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-to-sand-your-wood-deck/
I just had most my deck replaced, leaving only the structural posts. In the past they’ve had solid or semi solid stain that I want to remove before applying stain to the new wood. (I know it’s not going to exactly match).
The contractor is going to stain the new wood. Since only the posts have the old stain on them, I was planning to remove it myself to save some $. He suggested just using a sander, but I keep reading about deck remover-brightener – and in this article, power washing. I was hoping it wouldn’t be this labor intensive. If he was just going to sand anyway, I could probably do that.
What are the drawbacks and advantages? Is it worth hiring a handyman to do it? (Assuming a handyman would charge less than a general contractor.)
The only way to remove a solid stain effectively is to sand it all off.
We have a 5 year old deck that had been previously coated with a transparent stain. We had it power washed and sanded. They put a solid stain on instead of a transparent one and it looks like paint. The wood grain is gone. It’s orange and terrible. Is it realistic to believe that it can be restored and refinished regardless of the time and effort?
You will have to sand it off if you want to get it down to bare wood. It can be done but it is a lot of work.
Thank you for responding. Even with detailed sanding will the screws and grooves between boards ever not be orange?
Only if you get it all out. Your other option is to use a solid stain that is more pleasing to you and cover what you have.
Can you recommend a deck stain stripper that will remove Behr solid color waterproofing stain and sealer from a wood deck? I tried Restore a Deck stripper with the Booster and Gel and it was totally ineffective. I read that Sunnyside Multi-Strip Advanced removes paint, stain, and other finishes. Are you familiar with that product? Thanks.
You cannot strip a solid stain fully. You will have to sand it off.
Thanks for getting back to me. Time to buy a sander.
Our deck has several coats of a solid stain that’s an orangey pink color. We applied a stripper (don’t recall which one) and power washed. We repeated the process. There was still quite a bit that didn’t come off. We then used a diamond brush and got most of it off. We’re going to sand it to get the rest off. Now my problem…How do we get the stain off between the boards? I tried to hand scrape it off with a putty knife when we used the stripper with little success. I’m at a loss what to do next. Thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice.
Thre is no effective way to get it off between the boards. Sorry.
Not exactly the answer I was hoping for but thanks for responding.
It is possible to remove. We used a 7inch polisher/sander. Try different grits until you find the one that works. It worked great! We have never refinished a deck before and had some stubborn solid stain. We managed to remove all of the previous stain.
I’ve got a deck with a light gray Cabot solid stain. I have improved my skills but apparently not enough as the peeling has started again 10 months after staining it the last time. Though I like the look of a solid stain, I’m ready to throw in the towel. How effective will the restore a deck stripper (with additives) be on this Cabot solid stain? Thanks for taking the time.
You cannot remove a solid stain effectively with any deck stain stripper. You can use the RAD stripper to remove the loose and peeling stain and then cover the rest with a new solid stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
We have a wrap around deck which last saw love in 2016 when we found a local company to come out to do the work. They put solid acrylic stain on it (Flood Pro Series), which at the time was sufficient since we cared more about getting it done fast since we were new homeowners and wanted something new looking, lol. Since then, the deck has been peeling for the past couple of years. We were about to start on it this week, but due to the 100+ California days, have decided to put it off until the fall when things cool off. After finding your site, we also see recommendations of waiting until it gets below 90.
We are looking for any suggestions as we plan to take on this project ourselves and this is our first time staining. We have approx. 900 square feet of Douglas fir deck, with pressure treated 4x4s that hold up aluminum railings.
Based on other suggestions we have seen, our current plan was to get RAD stripper (with additives) and brightener. Next would be to power wash. Hoping this is all we need to do (not sure if sanding is part of the process), we would then apply TWP 100 stain (currently like that Rustic color).
Couple of questions:
Do you think we will need to sand? If yes, should we rent a drum sander vs. belt sanding ourselves?
Will we need to strip twice, or is once sufficient?
How should we handle the 4×4 pressure treated railings?
Should we plan for 2 coats of stain?
-You can not strip a solid stain fully so yes, you will have to sand to get it all off. Best to see how much comes off with stripping to determine the equipment needed to sand.
-Depends on how much comes off with the first pass.
-You might want to do a two-toned deck if you cannot get the solid fully off the rails. See link below.
-Yes but the TWP 100 is not allowed in CA. You will need the TWP 1500 Series.
Link for Two toned deck tips:
Our deck is stained in Behr semi-transparent stain, which is peeling. We have pressure washed the whole deck and used a stripper on half of the deck, but at least 50% remains on the area that was stripped and most stain remains in the area that was just pressure washed. We’re thinking of giving up with the stripper and sanding the whole thing. Then we would use a cleaner/brightener before staining. Would you advise a different method?
Also, if we get all this stain off, we’d probably want to use a different brand/type. This Behr stain has been a pain from the get go. Overall we prefer to be able to see the wood so we want to stay away from a solid if we can, but we want longevity, so if that means a solid, we’d do it. This isn’t a fun job. What stain would you recommend?
Last thing…our pergola has the same stain, but isn’t peeling. We’re thinking of painting it solid white. Would you recommend paint or stain? Brand? What prep would need to be done?
That’s a lot, but I would appreciate your input.
That would be best to remove it all if the stripper is not getting it all off.
Use a penetrating semi-transparent stain for best results. TWP, Armstrong Clark, Restore A Deck, etc.
Solid color deck stain for the pergola: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Thanks!! Can I go directly over the stain that’s on the pergola? Should I just prep it with a cleaner first? I really appreciate your input.
Pressure wash and remove any loose solid stain. You can cover over the rest with a new solid stain.
Perfect. Thanks for your help!!
What’s the best solid cover stain strippers
You cannot strip a solid stain effectively. You will need to power sand to get it all off.
Just put semi trans parent from cabot on today, totally hate it. I’m hearing just power wash it off, would it be that easy?
Also, I attempted to use a graco sprayer, and I saw where u had dipping and runs on my railing. I tried to brush them out, but it appears I didn’t get to it in time. Will that that most likely be noticeable?
Thinking of doing the extra work to clean it up and do it all over again, any advice is appreciated
You cannot just pressure wash it off. We would need to see some pictures here for help with removing.
I just stained my deck using a tinted solid stain. I don’t like how light the color turned out, can I apply a second coat with a slightly darker tint of solid stain? Will I need to do any further prep work?
You can do this now.
Looking for some advice on how to treat my deck going forward to avoid “peeling.” 3 years ago, we painted over the old homeowners stain color with a Behr solid color waterproofing stain and sealer. It worked out well, but we notice peeling every year and have to touch it up. We are trying to avoid this peeling on a yearly basis and we’re wondering what you suggest doing before we recoat the deck again with this Behr product. We just power washed the deck last week, and I also have been using a wire brush to get up most of the loose wood fibers that keep peeling, but we weren’t sure if you suggest using a “paint or wood stain stripper/remover”? I see mixed reviews on these products, and some people just suggest power washing and sanding off as much as you can before recoating with the stain again. We have had multiple people tell us to just power wash, sand and recoat, and we have had others tell us to apply a deck stripper and then power wash, sand and recoat. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Pics are attached as well for reference too. Thank you for your help!
Deck stripper and then power wash, sand and recoat is probably your best option but not guarantee it will not happen again. Your main issue is that your base coat is the Behr, and it is just not a good brand. Only correct way to fix is to remove all and start over.
Do you recommend a certain deck stripper to remove the coats? We are getting mixed reviews from everyone on certain ones to buy.
Try the Restore A Deck Stripper with both additives and RAD Brightener after: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/restore-a-deck-stain-stripper-booster-thickening-gel-review/
Awesome! Thank you so much for your help! Ordering it now. We have been all over the place and have talked to so many people so I really appreciate your help!
Quick question on the brightener/cleaner to neutralize the wood after stripping. We stripped/power washed most of the deck yesterday (it worked well on a solid stain actually after a few attempts of it), but we still have more to do today (couldn’t get it all done yesterday).
We plan to strip the remaining wood today, but we noticed that rain is in the forecast for the next two days. If we use the cleaner to neutralize the wood right after stripping, will we need to reapply the cleaner a few days after the rain is done to neutralize it again?
We just didn’t know if we needed to reapply a cleaner to the wood after it rained and before we stained the deck. Our plan was to strip, clean to neutralize, let it dry for a few days, and then stain it, but we didn’t know what your suggestion was now that it will rain for the next two days.
Thanks so much for your help!
You need the brightener to neutralize, not the cleaner. No need to re-clean or brighten again after rain.
Thanks, again for the help. We spent two days stripping as much as we could, power washed, and neutralized it yesterday when we were done. We weren’t able to get all of the old stain off, but we stripped as much as we could. See pics.
We had a couple more questions before we stain. We noticed that you included an article for best solid color stains (Restore-A-Deck, Defy, and Flood), but we were wondering if it will be ok if we switch to one of these brands with small amounts of the old brand still present? We plan to sand a bit more before staining, but expect to not be able to get everything off. We don’t want to use the Behr product anymore (since it is the main issue and isn’t that good), but we just wanted to know if it would be ok to color match our old Behr color to a new one with Defy or Flood and use the new stain on top of this after.
We just want to make sure it is ok to switch to one of these better brands with the same color to avoid some peeling down the line. Let me know what you think.
Pics are attached.
You can use a solid stain over this, just make sure none of the stain that is left is peeling. Any color you like will cover it. Does not have to be the same color.
Awesome! Thanks so much for the help. Is there any other solid stain that you would recommend or are the three in that article the best ones to go with?
Those are the best ones in our experience.
Hello. We have gotten wood stain on our non wood deck. Will these products work?
Here is the deck
No, a deck stripper will not work. Not sure what will remove this.
I would like to remove the solid stain on top of my railings and floor and just go with a transparent one instead to give the deck a more natural look. How should I go about this?
Sand it all off.
My deck is 5 years old and has been finished twice with Cabot solid stain. Both times, it started to peel after 1 year and now 2 years after the second application, it is peeling off in sheets. It was power washed today and more “stain” came off but most of the deck is still just peeling. I want to refinish it with deck paint this time. How can I best prep the surface for paint? The “stain” has never actually stained the wood, it just sits on top of it and peels off to reveal bare wood.
You will need to sand it all off at this point to fix this deck. Paint for a deck is not a good idea, it will peel as well.
Thanks–it seems that sanding is the only answer in this forum, so I guess I should have expected that answer as well.
Three more questions. If solid stain or deck paint will both peel, what should I use? I hired someone to finish my deck, but he is concerned that there will not be enough good weather days in his schedule to strip, then stain or paint before winter. So, should I go ahead and sand it down now or leave the half-peeled stain on over winter and finish it in spring? Is it OK to leave the wood bare over a Wisconsin winter? My railings are “stained” solid white. They still look pretty good. Can I lightly sand and reapply the solid stain or paint over the stain, or do I need to totally strip those down as well?
You can sand now and then stain in the Spring after a good cleaning. It will be fine. A quality solid stain when prepped and applied correctly will not peel like a paint. You can cover the white solid stain with a new coating as long as the solid stain is intact and not peeling. Pressure wash for prep.
I used Wolman’s Extreme acrylic sealer on my deck 20 years ago. About 3 years ago, the man at Home Depot recommended Behr Deck Over to seal over the old Wolman’s without having to go through the entire process of stripping it. Now the Behr Deck Over is failing and it all needs to be stipped. Believe it or not, all but 2-3 deck boards are in decent condition & I think I can get another 5 years out of it before having to replace. I’ve begun the stripping process using a Behr acrylic sealer stripping product and pressure washer and it has done well to remove the top layer of the Deck Over, but I have sizable patches of the Wolman’s Extreme that are not budging. Any suggestions for something stronger than the Behr stripper? Or is there another method to strip the Wolman’s Extreme?
PS – I will NEVER use another acrylic based sealer again; lesson learned!
You will need to power sand it to remove it.
Hi have a deck that is about 10 years old The deck stain was restore by restore Liam I believe which I believe is an acrylic stain.. The floor of the deck had the restore acrylic with sand in it… well now after me owning the home it’s starting to peel and come off… I tried power washing and most of the railings Stripped right off which didn’t have the sand in it.. But as for the floor of the deck with the sand in the acrylic paint my pressure washer at 1300 psi won’t take it off… what can I put on the floor of the deck to peel the stuff up so I can pressure wash it off?
The only way to fix and remove is to power sand it all off.
I am currently replacing my deck floor, rails and stairs so that I can stain it with a semi-transparent brown. The brown replaces a solid red stain the previous owners had and I prefer to see the beauty of wood grain. Can I go over the posts and front decorative boards with a solid brown stain and have it stick or do I have to try to strip it all off? They are in great shape and not peeling. Thanks!
You can use a solid stain over your current solid stain. Pressure wash first. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Stripping semi transparent stains and power washing work pretty well. Strippers are acidic so neutralize after use and keep plants and bushes wet during the work. Have seen strippers peel areas around deck on painted houses. As noted below, strippers have little effect on solid stains. Solid stains act like paint the more coats you have the more problems you have.
Strippers are not acidic but are caustic. You neutralize with brighteners to restore the pH balance when done.
I just recently re finished a deck that had multiple coats of solid stain. There was excessive peeling so we scraped first to avoid a mess. Then used the Dima deck/paint grinder to remove all the remaining stain. I borrowed a grinder and purchased the disk from SW.
I could not believe how well it worked. We completely removed all the stain. The process took some time and clean up, but we saved the deck from the burn pile. The tool roughed up the cedar a bit, so we sanded with 100 grit, vacuumed between some tight boards and power washed with deck revive.
After 24 hours we applied two coats of super deck Sw
Over many years the build up of stain coats becomes the real problem. Even sanding old coats down and re finishing may not stop older coats from lifting. ( multi coat failure) also weather and traffic become a problem. Not to mention moisture and insects. When a deck gets older removing the old stain is a plus.
How did you remove the solid deck stain from the sides of the boards? I’ve been able to get off all layers of the stain from the top surface, but there is still stain on the sides of the boards. Because the space is very small ( 1/4“ to 1/2”) I cannot easily get to the surface. I followed a detailed process of applying the stripper, covering with tyvek, letting is work for 24 hours, removing tyvek, wetting, scrubbing with a stiff brush, scrubbing the sides as best I could and then power washing. Some of the stain came off the sides, but I still had about 50% left. I have a 2500 sf deck with multiple levels, steps, benches, planters, bar and more. It will take me a lifetime to get all the stain off from the sides of the boards at the rate I’m going. Any advice????
Keep doing what you are doing or sand it all off.
What is the best way to remove a single coat of freshly painted Behr semi-translparent acrylic stain? I know some sanding will be necessary, but would you recommend using a stripper first? I’m also debating whether to try to remove the stain now, while it is very fresh, or wait a few months or a year when it has broken down some from the sun and rain. I’d like to remove ALL of the stain so that I can use a much more transparent stain that will show the wood. Any and all advice is welcome!
Strip off what you can first and then sand if needed to remove the rest. Brightener would be last. it does not matter if you remove now or later. Either way, it will be hard to remove the Behr as it lays on top of the wood like a paint.
Hi there. I run a deck restoration company in the U.K ad someone is telling me that Ammonia will strip multi-layered acrylic deck stain off a failed solid colour.
No, it will not.
Many thanks for your reply. I help moderate a group to help and advise on deck restoration and pressure washing .Having learned in the states Westchester .I knew the answer .But unfortunately Someone has tried to tell the community that Amonia is the key to a quick fix and my methods of stripping are not good .Which personally after 20years I find is a bit of an insult but as a man who still likes to learn from the land of decks I thought I would check before I comment on his posts. Basically he is saying a multi layered deck can be stripped with a diluted ammonia and recoated with 2 coats of any stain the client wants .Although he cannot produce any proof with before and pictures. In the states you guys dont really deal with grooved decking ,but over here it’s a cheap alternative. I just want to get my facts right before I comment further which is why I have asked the experts My way would be to strip the original coating of by means of sanding and use a stripper for the grooves . Then apply 2 coats of a deck stain rather than paint .If you would like to look at my work and comment then please feel free to check out my Facebook page Deckcleen .I really value input from people who know what they are talking about . Which is why I came to you guys for advice
I have a deck with solid stain (chocolate) and there is no noticeable peeling. I also have a few brand new pieces of pressure treated decking that have not been stained yet. I would like to remove the old stain and apply a new color (Mahogany). What stain remover would you recommend to remove the stain so the new coating looks the same on new and older decking?
I am nervous about the chemicals in Restore a Deck as I have kids and pets.
You cannot strip off a solid stain, you will have to sand it off. RAD products are eco-safe but will not work for you in this scenario. No stripper will.
I have a 20+ year old deck that is in ok condition (I’ve replaced a handful of boards this year). It has been stained in years past with Cabot semi solid stain. To get a few more years out of the deck I’m thinking of using a solid stain (Defy). Is power washing alone a sufficient prep?
As long as the stain is not peeling, you can cover it with a solid stain: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Thank you for the quick response! It’s not peeling, just fading. Is a good power wash a sufficient prep?
I am redoing a deck for a customer. She has Behr 5 year solid stain on her deck and has been on for 8 years. Its tinted barn door red. She wants a new color and has chosen Olympic Max autumn grey solid stain and sealant. Ive power washed and am going to use the R.A.D stripper with boosters. My question is, if there are still bits of the old solid stain that remain, do i need to make sure they are completely removed or can i put the new solid stain on top of the old solid stain? Thank you for your help.
No, you do not have to remove all when recoating with a solid stain. Just make sure that whatever is left is not peeling.
Thank you so much. Your website has been such a huge help!
i have an orange ish acrylic stain on my deck,can i put a darker stain on top of it ? im using a power washer to clean and strip all i can get off. the stain is wolman and is approximately 9 years old
No, you will have to remove the Wolmans fully first.
Unless you want to use a solid stain on top.
I just pressured washed our huge deck. We have different areas of quality- some of the deck looks great and brand new with no old stain, some has lots of stain still. The boards aren’t in the best of shape, but we would still like to get 4-5 years out of this deck before we replace with composite.
What would you recommend to do now- will sanding matter? Solid stain or semi-solid? Should we even bother with brightener?
I like the color of the raw wood as opposed to the heavy color in the before photos, but the quality of the boards/leftover stain won’t allow a clearer stain.
You will need a solid stain to cover this and have it even: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
I need some helpful advice. I live in a condo and have to depend on the association to repair and stain my deck. Unfortunately, the association is not a strong one. I have been trying to get my deck properly cleaned and stained for the past three years. I have old boards, some previously used brown stained boards and two weeks ago, 4 brand new boards were added. What is the best method to get this stained properly? I only get the run around when trying to get answers from my condo association.
Post a picture.
Here’s a pic of the deck floor. I don’t believe they can properly wash and stain at this stage, but need more information before I go back to the association. I appreciate any information you can share. Thank you very much.
You already have a solid stain on some of the board so the easiest thing to do is pressure wash for prep and apply a solid stain to call so it looks even: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Thanks so much.
Hello, I have used chemical stripper, power washed, and run an orbital sander three times, twice with 40 grit and once with 60 grit. Any suggestions on what to do? Could I put solid stain on top of this?
I have used chemical stripper, power wash, and orbital sander with two runs on 40 grit and one run on 60 grit and this is what I am left with. Any suggestions? Can I just go over this with a solid stain?
I have used chemical stripper and an orbital sander with two runs of 40 grit and one run of 60 grit and this is how it looks. Can I just go over this with a solid stain? What else can I do?
When renewing my deck the parts on my deck where I scraped off show up
Without seeing a picture we do not know what the issue is.
Can you recommend a stripper that will handle a solid stain???
No stripper is guaranteed to fully remove a solid stain. You can remove some or possibly most in some cases but you will need to sand. Try the Restore A Deck Stripper with both additives. Apply, let dwell for an hour and the pressure wash off. Make sure the stripper stays wet for that hour: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/restore-a-deck-stain-stripper-booster-thickening-gel-review/
Thank you for the info. Keep safe
This is all really helpful, but I’m a little confused. The article is Removing a Solid Deck Stain, and rates strippers, but many of the comments from you say strippers wont work and to sand it off. Is there a situation where stripping is helpful as opposed to sanding?
A little about my project: very large deck, about 750 sf. I am not the original owner. I would guess the deck is over 20 years old, and appears to be pressure treated pine (though I cant be certain on the pressure treated part). Has had numerous coatings of solid stain, and given that I am not the original owner I don’t know what they all are. Most recently I have used Olympic Maximum solid stain in a light gray.
I want it off – absolutely hate the stuff and the constant need for work. I want to get to bare wood and use a high quality lightly tinted stain as I have on my other decks. So much confusing info out there on whether to sand or strip, pressure wash or some combination. What do you recommend? If I need some combination, in what order? And if stripper plYs a role, what type do you recommend? Thanks!
Stripping is always helpful first as in some cases it will remove much or possibly most. Reapply depends on the brand of solid stain and how many coats. Try these additives with the Restore A Deck Stripper:https://www.deckstainhelp.com/restore-a-deck-stain-stripper-booster-thickening-gel-review/
Apply and let sit on the wood for an hour. If needed keep wet by misting with water during that time. Pressure wash off.
You might want to look at a two-toned deck as well. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/advantages-to-having-a-two-toned-deck/
Thank you for clarifying. Just out of curiosity, when I went to order I noticed RAD has this on their website: “Will not remove solid color stains, paints, polyurethanes, or excessively over-applied acrylic based coatings.” I have solid color stain – will this work for me?
They are protecting themselves as there is no way to say for certain if a solid stain can be stripped fully or not. Stripping will definitely get some off and make the sanding easier to get the rest off.
Previous owners used Sherwin Williams SuperDeck Solid, Waterborne Formula, Exterior Deck Stain and we had to replace a few boards. Rather than using the same ugly, solid stain, I want to make the whole deck semi-transparent. Please tell me I can get the solid stain off somehow! And how. Thanks.
You will have to power sand it all off to remove it fully.
What’s the correct order? I will power wash, then sand everything down, clean, brighten (I have the RAD products, use power wash again?) and stain? Is cleaning and brightening necessary after sanding?
Correct order. The cleaning and brightening opens up the wood grain after sanding.
Hi, I have a similar situation to above, but my Superdeck can is labeled Semi-solid, but seems to show like a solid. I will follow the order above, my additional questions are, do I try to strip it with RAD and the additives first before sanding? And what grit is needed to take the stain off? I’ve read 60-80, is that correct also for removing solid stain?
Do you have a picture?
What has come off so far came off from power washing a few days ago. It was 2 coats of the Sherwin Williams Superdeck semi-solid, 3 years ago.
You will have to sand this off. The RAD stripper or any stripper will not remove this. 60-80 grit.
Thank you! I appreciate all the info and help on your site and will be back when I’m ready to stain!
Hi, our deck has a solid stain that is peeling. We have cleaned, scraped, and finally sanded to remove all peeling. We are now planning to apply the defy extreme solid stain. After we have sanded to remove the peeling spots (about 50% of the surface is now sanded), do we need to use brighter before application of the new solid stain, or does solid stain not require it?
No need to brighten with a solid stain application.
🇺🇸 Hi can I apply a solid stain over a semi transparent stain?
As long as you prep first.
I forgot to ask will HD solid stain in cedar be a good stain to cover it with?
No, try one of these brands: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
What is the best way to prep it? The deck has both solid and semi transparent on it and it is peeling in a lot of spots.
We didn’t stain it but,we found 2 cans of Thompsons solid stain in cedar and one can of HD semitransparent in cedar and both all were opened and you can tell on the deck there is both stains on it because of the wood grain being visible in some parts and not visible in other areas.
Strip and pressure wash off all the loose stain. You can cover the intact stain after.
HI I started stripping the deck today and I found some rot and splintering in a few of the boards.
The splintering is on the top rails and I would like to replace them with new pressure treated 2×4’s and the rot is on one of the steps that I want to replace with a new 2×6 pressure treated board.
If I replace these boards how long di I have to wait to apply the new solid stain on them?
See this about new wood: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/staining-a-new-deck/
Will stain stripper and pressure washer remove just stained 6hrs ago
No stripper will remove a solid stain effectively.
Ok, so I see a lot of recommendations to power sand solid coatings off. I rented a power deck sander to redo a friends deck and it was worthless, what ever they put on the deck a few years ago is so rubbery and gummy it just sticks to the sanding pad rendering it useless in minutes. I have read that strippers or removers won’t remove this stuff. Not sure what to do, any advice?
Strippers will not work. If the sanding does not work then you are stuck as there are no other means of removal.
I’m sort of in the same boat. I have been thinking about flipping the boards over. I’ve read a few blogs and articles and do’s and don’t’s and am holding on this idea if I can’t get the stripping to work.
We moved to a new house in December down the Jersey Shore. It is a wooden deck of about 450 square feet with eight steps and a small landing to the lawn. The deck apparently is only 2 years old or so, but the previous coating is cracking and peeling and the wood takes on water and turns dark when it rains. I’m pretty sure the former owners left a can of the stuff they used: Behr DeckPlus Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain. I want to refinish the deck before it deteriorates any further.
I went to powerwash the old stain off, only the loosest parts came off, it didn’t really work on the good sections of wood. Either my little powerwasher isn’t strong enough, or it just needs to be sanded fresh.
So, I started sanding. I have a small 5″ hitachi hand orbital sander with a 2.0 amp motor. I went through six 60-grit pads just to clean one section of handrail, and it took me over a half-hour. A rough estimate gives me about 10 hours to get just the handrails alone, and countless more to get the actual floor and all of the spindles.
1. Do I need some kind of paint thinner?
2. Do I need a stronger pressure washer?
3. Do I need a bigger sander?
4. Do I have to sand it completely down to clean wood, or can I go over this stain?
5. Is this a normal amount of labor for this scale project?
6. Is there anything else I’m missing in the process?