Staining a deck that is already stained? Things to know

staining a deck that is already stained

Wondering if you can stain over an already stained deck? Many homeowners face the challenge of updating an aged or fading deck, but the good news is that it’s entirely possible.

In this blog, you’ll find everything from selecting the appropriate stain to the essential preparation techniques, application processes, and maintenance tips. We help you refresh your deck effectively, enhancing its appearance and longevity.

Prepare the Deck for Staining

If you are staining a deck that is already stained, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a successful restaining of your deck. Follow these steps to ensure the deck is ready for a new coat of stain:

  • Clean the deck: Sweep the deck thoroughly to remove all debris, dirt, and old flaking stains. Then, use a deck cleaner or a pressure washer to deep clean and remove any mildew or embedded dirt.

  • Dry the wood: Allow the deck to dry completely after washing. It normally takes 24 to 48 hours, depending on weather conditions.

  • Inspect and repair: Check for damaged boards, protruding nails, or other structural issues. Make necessary repairs to ensure a smooth and safe surface for staining.

  • Sand the surface: Lightly sand the deck with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth rough areas and open up the wood’s pores for better stain absorption.

  • Remove dust: After sanding, thoroughly sweep or vacuum the deck to eliminate all sanding dust and particles, ensuring a clean surface for the new stain application.

Pressure Washing your Deck

pressure washing a deck

If your deck is in relatively good condition and doesn’t have severe staining, pressure washing with the right equipment and technique is typically sufficient and safer for the wood.

Follow these tips to pressure wash safely and effectively:

  • Choose the right pressure washer: Use a pressure washer with the appropriate PSI (pounds per square inch) rating to avoid damaging the wood. Typically, a medium-duty pressure washer works well.

  • Use proper technique: Hold the nozzle about 12 to 18 inches away from the deck surface and spray in a consistent sweeping motion to avoid gouging the wood.

  • Apply a cleaner: For optimal results, apply a deck-cleaning solution recommended for pressure washers. It will help lift stubborn stains and prepare the wood for staining.

  • Rinse thoroughly: Ensure all soap and debris are thoroughly rinsed off the deck to avoid residue interfering with the stain adhering.


Power washing might be better if your deck has tough stains or heavy mildew growth. The hot water can more effectively break down these materials. However, you must be cautious about the pressure and temperature to avoid damage to the wood.

Choose the Right Stain

Choosing the appropriate stain for your deck enhances its curb appearance and lifespan.

Consider the following when choosing a stain:

  • Type of stain: Decide between transparent, semi-transparent, or solid stains. Transparent stains show more of the wood grain, while solid stains provide more durability and a uniform color.

  • Color matching: If you are applying over an existing stain, choose a color that matches or is darker than the current color. Testing the stain on a small, inconspicuous area can help you see the final look before full application.

  • Weather resistance: Look for stains that offer UV protection and moisture resistance, especially if your deck is exposed to harsh weather conditions.

  • Eco-friendliness: To minimize environmental impact and maintain air quality around your home, consider environmentally friendly stains that contain low VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Apply the Stain

Do you know how to stain a deck? If yes, then you know the initial process of applying the stain.

When applying stain to a previously stained deck, choose a stain that complements the existing color or use a darker shade for better coverage. Precision and the right technique are key to achieving a successful outcome.

Use a high-quality brush, roller, or sprayer for an even application. Begin at one end of the deck and work systematically to the other, ensuring every area is evenly saturated. This method helps avoid streaks and provides a uniform finish.

Drying Time

Generally, it’s best to allow at least 24 to 48 hours of drying time before using the deck or applying a second coat.

Different stains have varying drying times, which can be affected by humidity and temperature. Check the stain manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific drying time and ensure your deck is completely dry to the touch.

Second Coat Application

If your deck requires a second coat for optimal coverage and protection, ensure the first coat has dried thoroughly. Check the stain manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended drying time before proceeding. Applying the second coat too soon can lead to tackiness and improper curing.

For the second application, use the same technique as the first, maintaining a thin, even layer. This additional layer will enhance the deck’s color richness and extend the life of the wood.

As per the manufacturer’s instructions, allow the second coat to dry fully before using the deck. Or, you can hire McCoy’s Pressure Washing for the perfect deck restaining service.

Call McCoy’s at (615) 290-6013 today!

Maintenance Tips After Restaining

Proper maintenance is crucial to extending the life and beauty of your restored deck.

Follow these tips to keep your deck looking great year after year:

  • Sweeping your deck regularly will keep it clean and remove debris such as leaves, dirt, and pollen, which can trap moisture and cause wood to deteriorate.

  • Periodically, wash the deck with a mild soap solution or a specially formulated deck cleaner to remove dirt and potential stains.

  • Inspect your deck for signs of wear or fading each year and touch up the stain as needed. It keeps your deck looking fresh and adds a layer of protection against weathering.

  • Ensure your deck has proper drainage and that water does not pool on the surface. Check for clogged between-board spaces and clean them to prevent water accumulation. Apply a water-repellent finish to help prevent moisture penetration and rot.

  • Mold and mildew can be a problem in humid climates. To combat this, ensure your stain includes a mildewcide or apply a mold-resistant treatment as needed. Trim plants and shrubs back from the deck to improve air circulation and reduce moisture buildup on the deck surface.

Take away

Deck restaining is possible if your old stain is just faded or needs a complete color change. Remember, proper prep, the right stain, careful application or hiring the Murfreesboro deck staining service are your keys to success. The maintenance tips we’ve covered will ensure your beautifully refreshed deck looks its best for years to come.


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