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Stripping and Sealing a Wood Deck: How-To Guide

deckingLong summer days, as well as frequent foot traffic, will eventually cause wear and tear to your deck’s surface. This is why it’s important to seal your deck periodically.

Some people choose to fully strip their deck at some point, so they can re-seal it in a different shade. Let’s take a look at the steps necessary to complete this task.

Learn more here about Restoring Your Deck to its Original Color.


First off, the best method for cleaning your deck is pressure washing. However, you want to take some crucial steps beforehand to make sure it’s done correctly. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure it goes well.

To start, you want to give the deck a good sweep with a broom to remove any surface debris, mud, or dirt. This will give you a better view on the condition of the deck as well as the wood.

From here you want to setup your power washer with a decent spray nozzle. Set it at a pressure that is around 100-150 bar, along with a distance from the deck of about 2 feet.

If you get too close you can actually damage the decking and splinter the wood, so keep an eye on the distance of the pressure nozzle to the wood.

Make sure you keep the nozzle moving, as keeping it in the same place for a long period of time can also damage the decking. You want to use a nice sweeping motion with the nozzle throughout the cleaning process.

Visit our Decking service page to learn more about how LRJ Lumber can assist in building and maintaining the perfect deck for your home.


If you’re stripping the old sealant before applying a new stain, you will then want to apply a deck stripper or use a power-sander. For either choice, you will want to wait until your clean deck is fully dried.

Deck strippers will soften the old stain so that it will come up easily with a second round of power washing. But for the removal of solid paint, you will likely need to use a sander.

This video takes you through the step-by-step process of stripping and cleaning your deck.

Staining and Sealing

Once the deck is fully dried and swept (in the case of using a sander), then it is ready to be stained and sealed. Applying these products before the wood is completely dry puts you at risk of them not soaking fully into the decking as they’re supposed to.

If you choose to stain the deck, a roller on a handle is a great tool to use. Cover the whole deck and wait for it to dry. If it’s still too light for your liking after the initial coat, you can do another coat to darken the hue.

Once you have reached the desired color of the deck, you are ready to seal the wood with sealant. This will prevent the sun from damaging the decking, as well as decreasing damage from foot traffic. For most wood types, sealant lasts around 2 years before it needs to be reapplied.

Just like applying stain, a roller is a perfect tool to apply the sealant. Apply a decent coat to the decking, and be sure to cover the outer edges as well.

Final Touches

Make sure to give the decking time to dry, then check the condition of the sealant. It’s normally a good idea to do a minimum of two coats. However, you can do more if you want to add that extra protection for the decking.

Once the sealant is completely dried, your deck will be ready for potted plants, patio furniture, and anything else you enjoy using to brighten up your outdoor living space.

1 thought on “Stripping and Sealing a Wood Deck: How-To Guide”

  1. There are many different considerations when trying to find out how much does decking cost. The various characteristics of your terrain and the height of your deck above ground can change the quote significantly. However, if you have detailed measurements and ideas at the beginning of a job you can hopefully avoid hidden costs popping up much later. In short, the best price decking job is one that can be performed by a reputable company with reasonable quotes and cheap is not necessarily good in this sense.


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