How to Strip Old Paint Off of Decks

Decks coated in old, peeling paint can diminish the overall look of your landscape and exterior living areas of your house. If your deck appears faded and old, you can’t make it look new again until you remove the old paint. Old deck paint may sometimes come off using a scraper and a solid blast of water, however, a chemical stripper often is necessary to eliminate all the stubborn paint stuck in the wood grain and involving the boards.


Before removing the paint out of your deck, then remove all furniture and cover nearby vegetation with plastic sheeting. Safe vinyl sheeting to sidingwindows and masonry along the deck with painter’s tape. Sweep the deck using a push broom to remove leaves, dirt and other debris. Wear safety glasses, rubber gloves and a painter’s mask when working, and scrape as much peeling or loose paint in the wood as possible using a paint scraper or even stiff-bristle brush.

Applying Paint Stripper

When choosing a chemical stripper to your deck, then avoid products containing methylene chloride. Though these work fast, they are extremely effective and should only be utilized by professionals. The least toxic strippers to use are limonene-based strippers. To begin stripping paint in the deck, start in 1 corner of the deck opposite your exit point. Use the stripper to a small section of the timber using a nylon brush or roller. Do not use stripper to a department that is larger than you’re able work within a 15 second period. Leave the paint stripper on the timber for 15 to half an hour or before the paint bubbles or lifts. Employ more stripper as needed to keep it wet in that time, then scrub the softened paint in the wood using a stiff-bristle brush or scrape it off using a paint scraper. Continue using stripper and scraping until the entire deck, including railings and spindles, is clear of paint.

Rinse and Neutralize

Wash the deck with clean water from a hose or a pressure washer. This will remove both the remaining pieces of paint and any residue in your paint stripper. Pressure washers are not usually suggested for use on older wood decks because the wood is easily damaged. However, if you choose to use a power washerkeep the nozzle tip at least 9 to 12 inches from the timber to avoid gouging. If you would like to decorate the timber using a bleaching agent, neutralize the timber after stripping by applying a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Never mix some chemical products like strippers and bleaches because harmful reactions may occur.

Sanding and New Finish Preparation

Permit the wood to completely dry and then sand the deck using fine-grit sandpaper, for example 120- or 150- grit to get rid of fine specks of paint to smooth the wood in preparation for a new coat of finish. Sand in the direction of the wood grain and sweep away sanding dust prior to applying a new finish. After all the paint is eliminated, nail heads, and holes or gouges may be more noticeable. Countersink raised claws with a hammer, and fill gouges or holes with exterior wood filler prior to painting or staining.

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