Outdoor decks start to lose their color after some time. When that happens, you know you have to re-stain your deckIf you don’t know how to do it yourself, then dont worry. This article will help you to get the best stain on your deck. 

Even the best stain will vanish after some years, and then you will have to restain it to bring back that attractive feel. But when restaining the deck, many get confused between scrapping the old deck finish or to restain over it. 

Most deck repairmen say that the deck should be fully stripped of the previous stain before applying the new coat. So, let’s first discuss, when you have to strip the old deck stain and when you don’t have to. 

Why do decks need re-staining? 

  1. You must clean the deck and polish it every few years so that the deck doesn’t get damaged due to weather conditions. 
  1. Water and moisture can seep through the stain if it gets old. It can destroy the wood from the inside and act as a catalyst for mold growth. 
  1. Sun and UV rays can also damage the wooden fibers of the deck and turn it gray. 
  1. Snow and freezing temperatures can crack the deck and create splits between the boards, ruining the deck completely.  

A decent coat of deck stain every few years keeps the deck alive and refreshing. There are many stain coats available in the market, and any outdoor wood stain polish would do the job of coating the deck perfectly fine. 

When to Strip Old Stain from Deck? 

  • If the deck stain is already peeling off, then it is better to strip the deck completely of old weary stain. 
  • If the previous stain color is fading without getting peeled off, you should still scrap it 
  • If the old stain job was done over a previous stain coating, then it is better to strip the deck of the old stain and give it a completely new coat 

There is an easy way to determine if the stain already applied on deck can hold it longer. We call it the deck stain peeling test. 

Experiment: Checking if Deck Stain is Peeling Off  

Simply mark two points on the deck with your parker. Now apply duct tape and press it down firmly so that it sticks to the deck. Make sure that the duct tape doesnt have any air bubbles left in it. 

Once the duct tape is firmly stuck with the deck, peel it off. Now check the surface of the tape to see if there are any scraps of the old stain. If stain came off with the tapeit means that it doesnt have any holding power. 

In this case, you will have to scrap the whole deck and then reapply a new stain on it. 

When to let old stain stay? 

If the tape doesnt appear to have any scrapped edges, then you can let the old stain stay on the deck. You now simply have to clean it well and then apply a semitransparent stain over it. 

We use semi-transparent stains when we have to restore the old wooden deck, or when we dont want to strip the deck of the old stain. The semi-transparent stain is suitable for wood decks, doors, and railings. 

Once you have coated the deck with semi-transparent stain, clean it and let it dry for six hours. Now spray water on top of it. If the water stays on the surface and doesnt seep into the deck holes, then you have applied too much stain. 

If the stain absorbs the water within a few minutes after the spray, then you are good to restain with another coat. 

Here are a few tools that you would need to re-stain the deck. 

  1. Deck stain remover 
  1. Deck scraper tool or machine 
  1. Duct tape 
  1. Deck re-stainer  
  1. Deck sealant 

You should also note that if you are scrapping the deck to apply a new stain on it, then the deck needs to be cleaned so that no snippets of the previous stain are left on it while applying the new coat. 

Why Cleaning a Deck Is Important Before Restaining? 

The wooden deck needs to be free of dirt, mold, and stain. A stain applied to clean surface will keep it protected from wear and tear, weather, and will also enhance its beauty.  

You can clean the wooden deck with a deck cleaner or stain stripper solution. The solution needs to be applied on the deck and then scrapped thoroughly so that all fragments of the previous stain are removed from the surface. 

If the wood is old, you will need to use a good quality wood cleaner to clean the surface. If the stain is not getting scrapped off and the wood is old, then it is better to use a deck stain stripper instead of a wood cleaner. 

The stain cleaner will dilute the old stain and absorb them, giving the wood a completely new look. The deck stain remover can also remove dirt, mold, and any gray areas left on the deck.  

What if the Wooden Deck is Frail? 

If the wooden deck is frail, then you can’t rub it off. Rubbing will further weaken it. In that case, simply apply a stain remover to remove any remnants of the previous stain. 

Once done, you can apply the new stain and then add sealant on top of it as a finish. At least two coats of the stain are needed so that it sticks to the surface of the wooden deck. 

However, if the wooden deck is just too old for a new stain job, you will need a carpenter to fix the deck first. 


In this blog, we have answered the most common questions people have regarding re-staining. It is time to get in action and start applying that new coat of stain on your deck.  

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Ashley Rosa
Ashley Rosa
Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. Writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates.

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