getting ready to restain a deck in Raleigh home, stained and prepped by Oak City Coatings.

How to Restain a Deck | Professional Tips for Restaining a Previously Stained Deck

A well-maintained deck can be the highlight of your home, providing a space for gathering and relaxation as well as increasing the curb appeal. However, the high exposure to the outdoor elements is sure to take a toll on your deck over time. Deck stains don’t last forever, and after so much wear and tear, you may find yourself needing to restain a previously stained deck. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to restain a deck and share professional tips to get the job done right!


How to Restain a Deck

Choose the Best Conditions

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to restain your deck, you’ll want to look ahead to the weather forecast so you can block off enough time for the entire process where you’ll have optimal weather conditions and no rain, snow, or moisture. 

This ensures that the wood and stain can properly dry at each step of the process. 

When done right, this is a multi day process from clearing the area and potentially stripping the old stain to drying, possibly sanding, staining, and drying again. 


How to Prep a Deck for Stain

When it comes to restaining a previously stained deck, proper preparation is KEY! A well-prepared surface is the difference maker when it comes to adhesion levels and achieving a smooth, even finish. 

The level of your prep depends on the current condition of your deck and the type of stain used. 

If the deck has a previous coating, such as a solid or semi-transparent stain, varnish, or water sealer, etc, this will ideally need to be stripped away or sanded before restaining. 

If the deck is made from Brazilian IronWood or Ipe, its recommended to strip or sand the stain first. The level of prep depends on the condition of the wood. If there’s wood damage from previous pressure washing, scratches, scrapes, etc, sanding is the preferred method. If the wood is in great shape, using a sealer remover and then reapplying the stain should work just fine and give you great results. 

If your deck has a peeling solid stain, we recommend sanding and scraping the areas that are peeling and flaking before applying a new stain.

For a previously stained semi-transparent stain, there are a few different options for preparing the deck for restaining. You can clean the deck with a deck cleaner and reapply the stain in the same method as the original by applying to rejection and removing excess. If you want to change stain colors, a full strip of the previous stain is recommended. For the absolute best results, we recommend doing a full strip, although most people elect not to do this. 

A mistake we see often is going straight for the pressure washer to remove the old stain, mildew, and debris and using a lower degree tip and start blasting away. 

You absolutely DO NOT want to pressure wash your deck too hard because it will scar the deck and the wood. Then, you would need to use either a full solid stain or a full sanding to get it back into the condition to where you could apply a semi or transparent stain. It is recommended that you do what’s called a soft wash of the deck as to not cause damage to the wood. 


Tape Off the Area

Once you’ve prepped the deck and it is completely dry, tape off the area using Frog Tape. This helps avoid staining unwanted areas, such as edges, railings, and any surfaces near the deck. Stain is not fun to get off of surfaces, so don’t skip this step!


Choose the Right Deck Stain

Before you start restaining the deck, you’ll want to ensure you choose the right deck stain. Opt for a high-quality stain that’s ideal for pressure-treated wood. While many companies will claim their stains are “long-lasting,” it’s important to do your research and go with a high-quality product from a trusted company to ensure you get the most years out of your stain. 

You can learn more about choosing the best deck stain color for your home in this blog post


Apply the Stain

With your deck properly prepped and nice weather in sight, it’s time to apply the new stain. Apply it evenly and be sure to stain in between the boards for full coverage. Allow it to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the stain. 

Once your deck is restained, be sure to clean and treat your deck often to keep it well-maintained and looking nice for years to come! You may also consider covering your deck in times of harsh weather to protect it from the elements.

By following these professional tips, you’ll be well on your way to restaining your deck and restoring its beauty!


If you’re looking for a professional to assist you in restaining your deck and ensuring everything goes smoothly, from prepping your deck to choosing the highest quality products and applying it with the best techniques, visit our contact page to learn more about how we can help you get the job done right!


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