How to Restain a Deck Without Stripping

Last Updated on May 30, 2022 by Bright Calister


How to Restain a Deck Without Stripping? For those whose deck is starting to fade and wear, you don’t have to worry anymore. The best option is to learn how to restain the deck without stripping it. It is a fundamental solution to all your headaches.

Painting a deck and not stripping will enable you to give your deck the facelift it needs without spending so much time and money.

Also, restaining will save the stress of replacing the deck altogether. For example, to avoid stripping or sanding off the old stain from the deck. But, there are specific steps that you should follow before you can retain your deck and make it look good.

Deck adds lots of value to a home, but they need a little upkeep. Upkeep of deck includes the following – sealing, staining, cleaning, or repairing. Most likely, you have to do all these annually.

This article shall discuss the best method to employ when you want to restain your deck without having to strip the deck. Also, we shall answer some questions you may have about the whole process to make it easier for you to comprehend.


How to remove old deck stain

If you are familiar with deck staining, you will know that every step in the process is crucial, especially the preliminary prepping that precedes the stain. However, you need to know that much hard work is required, no matter the state of the deck you are using.

It is important to note that the deck’s health in the long term relies on you regularly restaining your deck. Caustic agents are utilized for stripping paints off the decks by first alloying them on planks of wood. The stripping cocktail is given between 3 – 5 hours to emulsify or disentangle the stain’s molecules from the deck.

Afterward, you can scrape the waster off, which will leave the wood exposed. It would be best to apply a centralized on the stripped wood to renew the PH. Also, it is crucial to clean any surface you plan to restain for, and decks are no different.

If the deck is covered in mildew or mold, it is best to use a mildewcide cleaner to stop the further growth of mildew on the deck. A decking that has weathered needs a brighter or restorative cleaner to bring a new look to it.

Typically, the most deck needs an all-purpose cleaner mixed with mild detergent to remove stains perfectly.
Cleaning and stripping decks are a similar process that someone can easily mistake for the other.

A cleaning agent is applied on the surface and allowed to remain on it for a short while, and you can wash it off. On the other hand, you need to allow the agent to stay long on the surface of the deck longer than in cleaning.

Then, it would help if you scraped it off with the use of a chisel-shaped tool. Stripping needs more time and is more meddlesome than cleaning.

Since stains are water-resistant and exist in either a water-based or oil-based form and transparent forms, transparent stains show the wood color, grain, and texture. On the other hand, solid stains obscure the color of the deck, but not the texture.

If you have a transparent stain on your deck, you need to tint it to protect the deck from sunlight. Therefore, you need to select a tint that matches the tone of the wood closely.

The degree of adherence of stain agents to the deck varies – some penetrate profoundly and get embedded in the wood fibers while some bind less.

If the previous stain in the wood embedded in the wood, it is best to strip or remove the stain then restain afterward. The new stain will not bind properly to the wild surface, which will cause peeling.

Old stains that respond poorly to stripping need sanding of the deck before you can restain them. This step will enable you to get a better result. Furthermore, you need to carefully read and follow the instructions on the cleaning agents before using any of them.

This is a crucial step because slight differences exist between different stain brands, and these discrepancies could alter their effectiveness when applied the wrong way. However, it is not compulsory to remove an old stain before applying a new one.

If you use the same color or brand of restaining agent, you don’t have to strip the former paint; the only thing you need to do is a quality deck cleaner to strip the present paint.

However, you need to ensure that the manufacturer did not change or introduce new ingredients to the cleaning formulas after your last purchase.

But, if you decide to switch stain brands, you need to strip old paint using a brightener for PH buffering. Afterward, apply a new stain brand. If you decide to change stain brands, you need to strip the old paint off your deck even if the new brand has identical color to the original stain.

If you decide to switch to a darker stain from another manufacturer, you should know that it is a difficult process. It is more difficult when you have to replace a darker stain with a lighter one.

Another complicated process is replacing a colored stain with a different color. For example, a blue stain with a brown stain. In all the processes discussed here, you need to strip the old paint, power sand, clean, and brighten before applying new paint.

If you notice a coarse or furry surface after cleaning or stripping, you need to die a light sanding with 60 grit sandpaper. Also, if the deck has uneven wear, and you want to use the same color of stain from the same manufacturer, it is best to strip the deck, brighten it before you restain.

On the other hand, if you want to use a darker color but the same manufacturer, clean the deck before you restain it.
If you notice a faded or sun-bleached deck, and you wish to use the same color and manufacturing to return it, you should use a cleaning agent before using a brighten board, then restain.

How to get a deck ready for restaining


Before you apply a stripper, restaining agent, or clean your deck, you need to take the following steps. These steps will give your floor an excellent finish, while some are necessary to ensure safety during the restaining process.

You need to know that getting a deck ready for cleaning is different from prepping it for deck staining. However, there are few similarities between the two processes.

You need to follow the steps below to get the deck ready for restaining.

  • Remove all the furniture, rugs, planters, BBQ, and other materials from the deck surface.
  • If you have a garden around the environment, it is best to cover it with plastic to protect the plants from contamination that comes from run-off. However, you should remove the cover immediately after finishing.
  • Cover all surrounding glasses and metal surfaces using plastics or polyethylene to protect against splashing from chemicals and aerosols.
  • If you have items stored under the deck, get rid of them or cover them properly.
  • You should sweep the deck surface to get rid of dirt and other garbage.
  • You should tighten any loose bolts and nuts, and screws and get rid of nails that stick out on the surface.
  • Remove and replace any wrecked or rotting planks from the deck.
  • Ensure that you clean or remove spots and scars to stop them from sticking permanently. You should use detergents or soap and water. Also, use a degreaser if it is necessary, and brush with stiff bristles before you rinse thoroughly.

Power washing the deck
Rather than clean the deck superficially, you should deep-clean it through power washing. However, caution is needed here. Power washing is an effective way of cleaning decks before restaining them. Nonetheless, if you don’t do it properly, it will cause severe damage to the deck.

When you hold the sprinkler nozzle too close to the floor, you can carve the plank using high water-jet pressure, which will destroy some of the boards. When cleaning decks with a power washer, ensure the pressure is low. If you use softwood, the ideal pressure range should be between 500 Ibs per square inch to 600 Ibs per square inch.

On the contrary, if you are working with hardwood wood like oak, maple, the fan handle higher pressure range between 1200 and 1500 Ibs per square inch. If you don’t want to use a power washer, the garden hose is an excellent alternative.

Why you need to restain the deck

Decks are damaged by difficult weather conditions and other factors, no matter how good they were made. An excellent way to protect the deck is by staining it often. Here, we shall look at the reasons for staining a deck.

To prevent sun damage.
Unprotected or untreated wood is susceptible to damage from sunlight. Excessive ultraviolet rays make the deck lose its color and lead to the loss of vital oils of the wood. Consistent restaining of the deck reduces evaporation which preserves its integrity.

For appearance
Stained wood always looks better than unstained ones. Hence, staining ameliorates the texture and grain of the wood. Several options exist when you want to stain a plank of wood – some stains are translucent, others protect the floor of your deck like paint.

Also, you can find various shades of stain tones which will allow you to match the deck stain to the remaining part of the house while it maintains the natural appearance of the wood.

Fend off moisture
Similar to other paints, deck paints shield the wood from extra moisture and water. Stains create a protective barrier between water, moisture, and the plank of wood. When water soaks timber, it makes it easier for mold and mildew to grow and promote rotting, which weakens the deck.

When this happens, it will cost a huge sum to repair the damage to the deck. You can prevent this from happening by restaining the deck often.

Stops cracking
Most people think that sealing timber with a sealant takes care of all the wood problems. This doesn’t seem right because cracking is a significant issue that sealants don’t care about or prevent.

Wood often cracks due to excessive heat and stress. Staining agents stop cracking problem as it keeps the extra moisture trapped inside the wood planks, preventing unwanted moisture entry.

ConclusionHow To Restain a Deck Without Stripping

For you to maintain the longevity of wooden decks, ensure constant maintenance practice is followed. These practices will mitigate against the grain, color, sparkle, and rotting of the deck.

The deck is exposed to heavy loads throughout the year, challenging weather such as slow rain, excessive sunlight, and sleet. The effect of this stress is wear, fading, and cracking.

Restaining the deck at least every year will prevent the damage brought by these elements mentioned earlier. Additionally, restaining is a cost-effective measure because replacing the deck is expensive and labor-intensive.

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