Removing Old Paint from a Deck

by Kevin Garton
(Vineland, NJ)

How to I remove old flaky paint from my deck boards?

I have 4 layers. I have tried stripping it off but it did not work. What are my options? My deck is 12yrs old.

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Aug 26, 2012
Help Us Find a Good Deck Paint Stripper
by: Anonymous

We need to strip the deck, which is a large one, of old paint.

We have tried several paint strippers and it seems none of them work. My husband tried the power washer and got some of it off but there is still a lot of paint on the boards.

Can anyone tell me of a product that actually works to strip off the old paint?

Mar 19, 2011
Old paint
by: Anonymous

Rich thanks for the info.

I tried to power wash the deck before I tried stripping it.the loose paint comes right up.the paint that's solid doesn't move.

I have 4layers of paint. That's the problem.I thinking about ripping the whole decking surface off and replacing it. It kills me to do that because the wood is in great shape but that's what I get for painting it . Thanks again.

Mar 19, 2011
Here are my suggestions
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

The simplest way to strip off old paint from a wood deck surface if it is old and already flaking off is to use a pressure washer. But I caution you to be careful and not set the pressure too high nor spray the wood from too direct (ie straight down) and angle.

The risk is you damage the wood fiber and in some cases carve out grooves in the wood. Or at the very least you will raise the grain and the boards become fuzzy which requires a total sanding to fix.

The power washer is ideal if the paint is already loose.

If it is not loose you will have to use some kind of stripping agent which is readily available in any building store. This is a big job for a stripping material though because a deck is a very large surface area. And you have to physically scrap it off afterwards.

The other issue is the gooey remnants of paint and stripper have to be removed and disposed of properly because of the harm to the environment.

So try the power washer first and if that works, apply a wood conditioner that replenishes the wood fiber a bit and makes it look new and ready for the next application of stain. Use a stain that penetrates, not a paint. Paint is not a good choice for a deck surface.

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