How to remove solid stains from the wood deck

The first time a deck is stained, it appears lavish and magnificent. While the stain can help protect the underlying wood, it is still subject to deterioration due to exposure to the elements. You may notice that your deck isn’t as shiny as it used to be after a long period of exposure to the elements which makes the need arise for question yourself How to remove solid stains from the wood deck to make it beautiful once again, which we have discussed in detail below

However, if you’d want to give your deck a new lease of life, it’s not as simple as reapplying a layer of stain. To begin, you’ll need to remove the previous stain and get to the bare wood. An excellent start is by learning to remove stains from a wood deck.

removing-wood deck-stain

Paint vs. Stain

Before you begin stripping your deck of its old stain, double-check to ensure that what you’re removing is, in fact, stain. Paint and stain have many similarities, but they are very different materials. How can you tell if you have one or the other on your deck?

The purpose of paint is to cover a surface with a fresh coat. It forms a coating that adheres to any surface it applies. A paintbrush can be used to paint on any surface, unlike stain.

Different principles apply to stains. Stain is absorbed into the surface rather than drying on it. As a result, the stain can be used on only one type of material: wood.

Look for the grain in your wood to determine if it has been stained or painted. When compared to stain, paint effectively hides the wood’s roughness, but stain brings out its grain and makes it more noticeable.

Can you stain over the old finish?

Even though this is an excellent idea, you shouldn’t do it since it will fail miserably. The stain has the added benefit of protecting the wood from the elements, especially water, by sealing the exterior and absorbing it. Stain creates a barrier between wood and water, which is terrible news for wood.

Your deck will not be able to take in any more stains if it is protected by the same barrier preventing it from deteriorating.

The former finish may have deteriorated, flaked, cracked, or even worn off in certain places. However, if you stain over the existing stain, you’ll get an uneven, spotty finish that looks bad at the very least. None of the stains may soak, so cleaning up will be a significant problem.


Let’s get to the guide to remove the stain on the deck.

Materials required for stain removal from deck

  • Wood deck brightener
  • Protective gloves
  • Goggles
  • Protective boots
  • Pressure washer
  • Paintbrush/ roller/ spray
  • Stain stripper
  • Plenty of water
  • Firm-bristled brush
  • Tarps or plastic sheeting

Stain Deck Removal – Using A Pressure Washer

To get rid of tough stains from your deck’s wood, use a pressure washer, also known as a power washer. But remember that mishandling a pressure washer might harm your wood or brick.

Remove any mobile furniture from the area to prevent any damage to the flower beds or grass on the deck’s perimeter. To avoid damage to the siding, place a plastic sheet over it.

Wear your boots to protect your feet against water pressure and sliding. Keep dogs and youngsters away from your deck when the power washer is running.

wood deck cleaning with pressure washer
cleaning terrace with a power washer – high water pressure cleaner on wooden terrace surface

Keep the washer nozzle at a constant distance from the wood surface. After that, follow these instructions.

  • Decide whether your deck will be softwood (like Pine or Cedar) or hardwood like Mahogany.
  • Once you’ve found it out, you’ll need to determine what water pressure you should use. When working with softwood, aim for water pressure of 500 to 600 psi (pounds per square inch). Hardwoods can withstand pressures of 1200 psi or more.
  • Ascertain that the revolving fan on your pressure washer nozzle ranges from 40-60 degrees. While you pressure wash your deck, this will cover a wide area at a time. Adjust the water pressure based on how well the stains are being removed.
  • Sweep the old and flaky stains off your deck with sweeping strokes while holding the pressure washer wand approximately 12 inches away from the surface. Follow the grain of the wood when sweeping.
  • Work on a portion at a time until all the solid stains have been removed from the deck. If the stains are very tenacious, avoid over-spraying the area with the cleaner to loosen them. You might inadvertently harm the timber.
  • Allow enough time for the wood on your deck to cure so that any persistent stains may be seen.

Use a deck stain remover once the wood has dried thoroughly. The instructions are given below.

Deck Stain Removal – Using A Deck Stain Stripper

To remove persistent stains from your wood deck, you should use a stain stripper. You can use this chemical product when pressure washing fails to remove wood deck stains.

When working with this chemical, always remember to put on your gloves. It’s fine, though, because you’re working on something outside.

Seal off everything that this stripper could come into touch with. A sheet of plastic and some tape will do the trick. 


Here is the guide:

  • The discolored deck should be thoroughly stripped using a thick layer of stripper. Several tools are at your disposal, including a brush, a roller, and a pump sprayer. Make sure the stains are entirely covered with whichever instrument you choose.
  • For best results, let the deck stripper lie on the surface for around 20 to 30 minutes (or longer), depending on the individual product you choose. Spray the stripper with water if it starts to dry up too quickly.
  • Remove the softened stain off the wood with a pail of water and a firm-bristled brush. This procedure can wash a pain in the neck if done incorrectly since stains and strippers can get stuck in your brush. Ensure that you have enough water on hand to clean the brush.
  • You can also use a pressure washer if you don’t mind the brutal nature of the task. Release the trigger on the pressure washer wand while holding it 12 inches above the wood surface. This will allow you to wash away any loose spots.
  • The greatest results are achieved by sweeping motions that follow the wood grain. If you concentrate the pressure washer on a persistent stain, you risk destroying the deck planks.
  • Remove any remaining water with a wet mop to fasten the drying process.
  • Repeating the previous stages is possible to remove very tough solid stains.

It’s also possible to use a random orbital sander to remove all traces of stain from your wood. Sand the surface using coarse sandpaper after setting up your sander. Once all stains have been removed, use fine-grit sandpaper to polish the wood.

The procedure is the same if you have access to a little piece of sandpaper. Remove the dust by wiping the wood with a moist cloth. After the wood has had time to dry, apply your preferred deck stain.

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Deck Stain Removal: Using Wood Deck Brightener

A pressure washer and a stain remover can leave your wood deck looking weathered and shabby once the stains have been removed. You don’t need to be alarmed; it’s normal and can be remedied.

Because you’ve stripped your wood, you may wonder why it looks dull and worn. A chemical in deck stain remover raises the PH level of the wood, making it appear darker.

A wood deck brightener aims to make up for the PH imbalance and return the wood to its original color. Oxalic acid and oxygen-rich formulas, which neutralize and maintain the wood’s PH levels, are the main components of this treatment.

deck stain removal with-Wood-Brightener

The wood deck brightener may be in powder or mixed formula form, so you’ll need to add water to mix it. Regardless matter how they’re packaged, always follow the directions that come with them. Goggles, gloves, and boots should be worn before you undertake any heavy-duty work.

Pump sprayers allow you to quickly and efficiently cover a broad area. Applying the deck brightener with a paintbrush yields the same results.

Using a deck brightener, you can restore your wood’s natural color tones step-by-step.

  • To brighten your deck, use the deck brightener and give it a coat. The wood’s pores are opened, allowing a new coat of stain to be absorbed.
  • Clean your deck by rinsing it thoroughly with water.
  • Before re-staining your deck, allow it to air dry thoroughly for at least 48 hours. Your wood will appear as though it has been lightened to your vision.
  • Don’t stain your wood until it’s entirely dry to avoid color and intensity variations. 
  • Spray a small amount of water on an inconspicuous wood area to see whether it’s dry enough. In this case, the stain has dried and may be applied to the board. But if the water pools and soaks into the wood, wait for it a little longer to dry off.

How to prevent a wood deck from staining?

The best idea you should consider is to avoid the stain in the first place. Preventing staining on your wood deck is far easier than removing existing stains.

  • Your deck should be cleaned and maintained to its fullest extent. Remove furniture from time to time to check the wood for moulds, mildew, and wood fungus and to clean it.
  • Using a putty knife or a firm-bristled brush, remove any dirt accumulated between the deck planks.
  • To avoid damaging the wood, use a light detergent and the optimum water pressure while pressure washing your deck. 
  • To avoid rot and decay, ensure the wood on the deck is allowed to air dry completely before using it.
  • To protect your wood deck finish and the wood itself, switch to oxalic bleach instead of chlorine while cleaning the deck.

If you make an effort to keep your family’s favorite hangout in good shape, it will likely serve your family for longer.


Staining your wood deck may seem daunting at first, but it’s not as difficult as you would think. Having the right equipment and a well-thought-out strategy is essential. To evaluate how much stain can be removed, give the deck a good pressure wash first. Pressure wash it off again, then let the stain remover do its thing. To maintain its original appearance, your deck should appear as new as the day it was installed.


Can a pressure washer be used to remove stains off a deck?

Pressure washing a stained deck may be done with a pressure setting of 600 to 1200 psi, depending on the kind of stain. Spray from a height of 12 inches or more. Then use sweeping movements along the wood grain to remove the spots. Avoid harming the wood by focusing a sprayer on a small area.

What is the best deck stain remover?

You may pick from various stain removers to remove old stains from your wood deck. They all have varied abilities in getting rid of stains on your clothing. Defy Wood Stain Stripper, Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper, Citristrip Paint &Varnish Stripping Gel, Woodrich Wood Stripper and Cleaner, and Max Strip Paint and Varnish Stripper are some of the best-rated strippers on the market today.

How can I remove the deck stain?

Solid deck stains may be removed using a power washer and deck stain remover. First, apply a coat of stain remover to the solid-colored deck planks that have been stained. Soften for roughly 15 to 30 minutes. After that, clean your deck with a pressure washer set to 600-1200 psi to remove any loose solid stains. If the stain persists, repeat the procedure.

What is the best way to clean a stained wood deck?

You may protect your home’s siding, lawn, and other valuables by covering them with plastic sheeting and tape. After that, cover the stained deck planks with many coats of deck finish remover. Allow the stripper to work for 15 to 30 minutes if possible. After that, pressure wash or scrape the loose stain off your deck with a stiff-bristled brush.

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