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How to Restain a Deck?

I stained the deck 4 years ago, and now the floorboards need more stain. However, if i just put the new stain on top of the old, the color is too dark and it looks glossy. Do I really have to completely remove the existing stain before I reapply? If so, how do I do that?

Re: How to Restain a Deck?

you'll have to sand it with a drum sander, basically you have to resurface the decking, however you will be removing a considerable amount of wood which may weaken the decking and make it more prone to sagging between joists

Re: How to Restain a Deck?


I assume that you know what was used originally. Most deck coatings can be refreshed if the deck has not deteriorated too much. Most true oil stains want you to give yearly refreshing coats.If the manufacturer of your stain makes a transparent version of what you used, you would probably be able to use it, or mix it with the original stain to lessen its color intensity.

If your deck coating is too far gone, stripping it is an option, either by sanding, or by using chemical deck strippers. The chemical strippers are caustic, requiring you to take personal protection against chemical burns. Unlike normal paint strippers, the deck strippers dissolve the old finish within about 30 minutes. The residue can then be rinsed away. The deck is then neutralized with a mild acid. The acid will also brighten the wood to almost its original look. Behr makes both a deck stripper and a deck cleaner/neutralizer, as do many other manufaturers.

Stripping is kind of messy, especially if your deck is elevated and the underside is visible. It is difficult to control the stripper and residue from marring the underside of the deck. In this case, sanding might be the lesser of the evils.

Once the deck has been stripped and neutralized, finishing it is much the same as by new wood. A side benefit of the stripping is that any mill glaze that might have been present in the virgin wood is completely removed. The caustic stripping solution opens up the grain of the wood so that new stain will be able to deeply penetrate.

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