Lee Roy Jordan Lumber

How Do I Restore My Deck to its Original Color?

tigerwood tropical hardwood deckOver the years, heavy use, sun damage, and general abuse can cause your deck to fade, giving it a bad look. Weather-related damage and heavy foot traffic can dull its color and make it rough to the touch.

Looking to build a brand new deck? Learn more about top-notch decking materials we offer at LRJ Lumber.

If you’ve got a deck already, and it simply needs a face-lift, here are some tips and tricks to restore your deck’s surface, color, and overall resiliency.


First thing you want to do is clean the deck.  To start, you want to use a broom that has hard bristles, along with a detergent, to scrub off any dirt that has been imbedded in the deck from foot traffic.

You want to give it a good scrub but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Next, you want to strip the deck’s old stain and sealant. For this job, we recommend a strong paint stripper. Most home improvement stores have this item in stock.

You want to follow the instructions on the stripping solution for the best results. Once completed, the deck is ready for a final deep clean. This can be achieved using a pressure washer. You want to use a pressure washer that has roughly 100-150 bar of pressure. That is sufficient pressure to clean the deck without damaging it.

A height of about 2 feet between the hose and the deck surface is ideal for pressure washing. Work the water slowly over the surface of the deck. Make sure to avoid damage by not spraying against the flow of the wood grains.

Products like Oxy Clean this will help remove dirt and grime that insists on lingering. Give the deck a final wash over with the pressure washer to make sure it’s clean of any products you have used.

Read more about year-round deck care in our Seasonal Deck Maintenance Guide.


deck stain brush
Deck Stain Brush with Pole – Click to View Product

Once the wood is dry, we are ready to re-stain the deck. A great tool to make this easier is a deck stain brush. With this, you can apply the stain faster and more evenly.

Start with a base coat, and let it dry for several hours.  If it’s still too light once completely dried, you can add another layer of stain to darken the wood. Unlike paint, which “sits on top” of the wood, stains sink in and cause the wood to get gradually darker with each layer you add.

Keep in mind that tinted or clear stains won’t last that long. They look great, but only last about a year before they start to fade or deteriorate.

You want to start in a corner, and work your way around until the whole deck is covered. Using a stain brush, this can be accomplished quickly and effortlessly.

You need to let the stain dry until no wet spots remain. Once the stain is completely dry, you can seal the deck to prevent sun damage and water damage.


Just like you did when applying the stain, you can use the same brush and start in a corner.  As you work your way across the deck, make sure to apply a thick amount that covers the decking and soaks into any crevices. This ensures maximum protection against sun, heat and general wearing.

Once the sealant is fully dry, it’s safe to put back your flower pots and patio furniture. The wood should look like new, providing you at least 2 more years of beautiful decking!

3 thoughts on “How Do I Restore My Deck to its Original Color?”

    • Depends on the material and the condition. There are strippers and cleaners that work to some degree. Oxalic Acid is one of the better cleaners is is often the main ingredient in deck cleaners. Power washing is another option but one has to be very careful as the power washer can cut into the wood if not used properly. You must fan down onto the wood and again when you get to the end of a board. Sanding is the other alterative and is surefire but the most labor intensive. You will have to make sure the screws or nails are at least a little bit recessed into the deck boards or you will tear up your sandpaper an maybe your sander.

  1. I found it really helpful when you mentioned that a deck can be deep cleaned by using a pressure washer. I would imagine that it would be important to make sure that you use the right attachments on the machine so that you don’t strip the surface of your deck. If you want to pressure wash your deck without damaging it, you should probably hire a professional that knows what they are doing.


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