How To Strip Decking Back To Bare Wood?

Everybody wants to maintain their deck because it significantly impacts the entrance of your house. But it can be a costly process. If you are planning on repainting or renewing your wood deck, then removing your old finish is the best option that you have got for a long-lasting result. 

You can easily do it through strip decking. However, you might wonder how to strip decking back to bare wood.

To begin, remove furniture and plants from the deck. Apply deck stripping solution and allow it to sit for the recommended time. Then, use a pressure washer or scrub brush to remove the solution and remaining finish. Rinse the deck thoroughly and let it dry fully before sanding or staining.

These strip decking methods may sound fun but require expert knowledge and techniques. You don’t want to put your time and strength in it just to get disappointing results. So here I have discussed a detailed process of strip decking that might help you restore without damaging your wood or wasting your time. Keep on reading to know in-depth!

What is strip decking, and why is it necessary?

How To Strip Your Decking Back To Bare Wood; A Step-By-Step Guide 

Depending upon the size of your deck, the stripping process can take a few hours, a day, or a weekend. 

Here is a more detailed guide to strip decking that you can follow to remove stains and sealers from your wood.

1. Prepare Your Deck 

Prepare your deck by moving any furniture that might stop you from accessing the space. Make sure to check the weather update to avoid any interruption by rain. I suggest you choose a cloudy and cooler day to strip your whole deck without the stripper fully drying quickly. 

2. Wet Your Wood Deck

Before you start, use your hose to wet down any plants and greenery to protect them from the stripper. You can also save your plants and bushes with transparent plastic sheets. Although the strippers are usually biodegradable and easily washable, you still don’t want it to be sitting on your greenery. 

3. Apply Your Stripper

Use a good amount of your stripper and work in a small rather than a big section. After applying, the stripper waits for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remember that waiting time also depends upon your stripping solution and deck type. 

Make sure to apply your stripper with the help of a roller. Use a bucket or a deep paint tray for easily dipping your roller. The consistency of a stripper is usually like glue, which makes the application process very easy. As per the instructions, let it sit on the surface of your deck but do not let it dry completely.

How to strip your decking back to bare wood?

4. Scrub Off The Old Paints, Stains, And Moulds

Please give it a good scrub to remove any new and old stains on your wood. Pour some water on your deck and scrub it one more time. The stripper will remove all your old stains but needs some good scrubbing. 

Scrubbing oils and paints from your wood will require some physical strength. In this situation, a stiff-bristled boom can come in handy- The scrubbing part is usually the longest. Then it is ready for a full wash-down. Afterward, let the deck dry properly.

5. Neutralize And Restore Your Deck

Lastly, apply a deck cleaner or brightener to your wood. It will help neutralize the applied chemical. It will also restore the natural color of your wood. You can use a pump spray to apply this. It doesn’t have to be necessarily a thin or thick layer; ensure you have covered every area where you have used the stripper.

6. Get Amazed By The Result

It may take you hours or days to finish this process, but it will all be worth it. You will only see damaged or scratched wood if the stripping is done correctly. You can spot an apparent difference between the before and after of your wood deck. Hopefully, you will be impressed and satisfied with the result.

Stripping Solutions For Strip Decking:

Plenty of reliable and effective products are available for strip decking that will ensure quality results and help you restore your wood to its native form.

What are stripping solutions for strip decking?

Most of these solutions are biodegradable and can be used on soft and hardwood decking. Apart from cleaning dust, oils, stains, and paints, these products will help you protect your decking from UV rays. We suggest you choose a solution for your decking according to your wood type and deck size. 

Tools And Supplies For Strip Decking:

You may need the tools and supplies to strip your deck.

  1. Bucket – To pour your chosen stripper into it so that you can quickly dip your roller. 
  2. Protection equipment – Use rubber gloves, goggles, and masks because these strippers have potent formulations and smell.
  3. Brushes and rollerYou need a bunch of brushes and rollers according to the type and length of your wood deck.
  4. Hose – For spraying your fluids and water.
  5. Strip decking product – Buy a solution that fits your requirements and wood type. Also, try to buy a little extra to avoid any shortage.
  6. The pump sprayer – will help you spray with full power and pressure to remove the dirty surface. 
  7. Wood cleaner – Lastly, you will need a wood brightener for neutralizing and restoring the color of your wood.

The Alternative Of Strip Decking:

Sanding is an alternative to strip decking that can be used to remove oils, stains, molds and grimes from wood, and you can do it by using a powerful sanding tool. However, there is a high risk of damaging your wood if the sanding needs to be done correctly. Also, it needs a longer cleaning time as compared to the stripper. 

Is there an alternative to strip decking?

On the other hand, sanding by hand is extremely time-consuming, and impossible to achieve the craved results. 

Also Read: Why You Should Never Sand Pressure-Treated Wood: 7 Reasons Explained!


Following the process mentioned above, you can easily strip decking by yourself. It might consume your energy and time, but if done correctly, the result will fascinate you. The tools, supplies, and other instructions will help you choose the right equipment and solutions for your wood type. 

If your house has a small or large wood deck, then this blog can help you get all answers to your queries. Now all you need is a good quality stripper and the accurate tools to eliminate those old and nasty oil, algae, molds, and stains from your wood deck.

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