How to Prepare to Restain a Deck

By Joanna Swanson

Wood decks provide outdoor living space. All of the walking and playing that happens on a deck wears down the finish, so every few years a deck must be re-stained. To make the stain adhere to the wood properly, the deck must be clean and smooth. Applying a borate solution can help protect the deck from mildew and algae and keep the wood from rotting.

List of Items Needed

  • Broom
  • Bucket
  • Pump sprayer
  • Wood cleaner
  • Hose
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Borate
  1. Sweep any excess debris off the deck. Remove as much dirt as possible so that the next step is easier.

  2. Mix wood cleaner with water in a bucket as recommended on the package. Pour the mixture into a pump sprayer. Wood cleaner is designed for use on outdoor decks and fences.

  3. Spray the deck with clean water through a hose before spraying on the cleaner. Pump up the sprayer and coat the deck with the cleaning solution.

  4. Wait 10 minutes and then begin scrubbing the deck with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse the dirt from the deck with clean water.

  5. Mix up a solution of borate and water in the bucket. Pour it into the sprayer and coat the deck with the solution. Do not rinse the solution off the deck; allow it to soak in and dry.

  6. Allow the deck to dry completely for two to three days. Sand any rough areas that remain before applying stain.

Tips and Warnings

  • In areas where a large bristle brush cannot reach for cleaning, like around railing and stair posts, a nylon brush attachment on a rotary tool will get into those small places and scrub them clean.

© Demand Media 2011