Best Treatment For Old Wood Deck – 7 Easy To Go Steps

Treatment for old wood Deck

Last updated on December 31st, 2021 | By: Grady Galvez

There is not any rocket science or a secret to maintain your old and weathered deck. But following the right process, tips, and tricks certainly makes the task easier and results that last-longer.

I will direct you in the most appropriate and convenient way.

The reason why I am so confident is my love for wood and of course in turn its maintenance too that keeps it in its best shape.

The area I put-up is really tough on decks. And after years of tackling and dealing the decks I have felt that most of them get worn out or weathered as they are the victims of neglect. The right maintenance, care, and timely treatment certainly rejuvenates the old decks.

I have much conversance in dealing with dull, old, and weathered decks. So, I am keen enough to share my honest experiences in treating a deck.

Also Check how to restore a weathered Deck

The best treatment for old wood deck is divided into 7 easy-to-go steps.

Before we get started you need to have some tools for the right wooden decking treatment mentioned as below:

best treatment for old wood deck

Tools Needed

  • Bucket

  • Paint Tray

  • Paint Scraper

  • Paint Roller

  • Paintbrush

  • Pump Sprayer

  • Roller Sleeve

  • Safety Glasses

  • Stiff-Bristle Brushes

Material Needed

  • Deck Stripper

  • Deck Finish

  • Plastic Sheeting

  • Painter’s Tape

Bring Back The Shine: Cleaning And Staining Deck

One always remembers the day when a personal new deck gets ready, the excitement, the zeal is beyond words.

But just think after five years down the line when your deck gets faded, wood turns gray, rotting starts, and more.

So how to treat a wood deck?? No need to panic!! For deck treating you just need to keep some tools and do the cleaning and stripping.

Step 1

Check The Deck Thoroughly Before You Treat It.

Scraping-off the Stain/sealer

The old finish residue should be scraped off properly from the deck and deck railings too. Semi-transparent or solid color deck stains the old and damaged finishes flake off with ease.

Don’t get confused with the details as the deck stripper does the work wonderfully. The rotten wood can also be handled with a screwdriver and the fibres on the surface will pull easily.

A. Deck Cleaners

These are formulated for cleaning the surface of the deck, be it a sealer or stain. Examine the deck boards properly and use a stripper on them and railings in the same manner. The stain finishes are easier to spot than the sealers which are hard to spot.

The deck strippers work wonderfully to lift off the old finish, stain/sealer.

B. Choosing The Deck Strippers And Cleaners

Old and loose stain and deck sealers are removed by deck strippers before cleaning and brightening them. These help in removing the old and applying the new.

Deck cleaners are of 2 types:

  1. Liquid oxalic acid or powdered hydrogen peroxide:- Used to remove a thin layer of gray, dead wood fibres from the surface. The whole process exposes the fresh wood beneath.

  2. Bleach Base:- This is used to treat the green and black stains from the surface like the mildew. Ensure to remove all mildew from the surface of wood.


You can prepare a deck cleaner yourself with a simple DIY (do-it-yourself) technique. This works great for dirt and mildew and is also recommended by the US Department of Agriculture.

  • Household Bleach 1 qt. sodium hypochlorite solution

  • Powdered laundry detergent- ⅓ cup

  • Warm water- 3qts.

Take a bucket of 5-gal and the detergent and bleach should be added to water and the cleaner should be brushed onto the deck. After applying a finish, one should rinse thoroughly.


A detergent that contains ammonia should never be used as the combination of ammonia and bleach can react to form a natural gas.

Wood Deck Restoration

Step 2

Use The Right Tools As Mentioned Above

Ensure your Plants are Protected

  • After soaking your plants in water, you should cover them properly with plastic sheets. You should not tighten the plastic sheet.

  • Though most of the strippers don’t ruin your plants and are eco-friendly.

  • Using rubber gloves and rubber boots is highly recommended. Then wear safety glasses, use pump sprayer, stiff-bristle nylon scrub brush for scrubbing the stripper.

  • This job should be skipped on a hot and sunny day as the strippers and cleaners tend to evaporate quickly and leave everything ineffective. So dry and hot days are a big no! You can go and enjoy the beach instead.

  • If you are short of time then you can divide your deck work and do whenever you remain free.

Step 3

Essential To Keep The Strippers And Cleaners Wet

  • The railings of the deck should be stripped first and then scoured.

  • The surface should be kept moist and you should not get ahead of it in any case. The striper should be applied with a brush or a paint applicator.

  • You should target a section of 6-ft of a deck railing, so that the stripper should not be given a chance to evaporate before you scrub or scrape it.

  • A synthetic stiff-bristle brush should be used to scrub-off the loosened finished.

Step 4

The Gunk Should Be Blasted

  • By using your garden hose, you should rinse the old finish with a vigorous water stream. There may be a need to reapply a stripper in case of any left-out finish.

  • Some of the home owners make use of a pressure sprayer (set at 1000 psi), but this could actually ruin the soft wood-fibre.

  • Spray nozzles and regular water pressure works wonderfully.

Step 5

Using The Deck Cleaner And Scrubbing The Deck

  • After you are done with your railing then you should spray the deck surface with a deck cleaner. This should be done after a day of you completing the railing.

  • Using a sprayer apply the deck cleaner on the railing too as the darkening may have occurred due to stripper.

  • Fresh and bright wood look will be brought by the cleaner.

deck refurbishing

  • After applying the cleaner, the loose wood fibres and residue should be scrubbed away.

  • In the direction of the wood grain the brush should be made to work deeply. A firm spray should be used to rinse the deck thoroughly and the surface should be made dry for at least two days.

  • The stripper is required to be kept in contact with the wood for 15 minutes. Later to it scrubbing should be done.

  • The cleaner should be nixed according to the manufacturer instructions. Additional water may be required by the deck cleaners that are concentrated. The mixture should be stirred with a clean piece of wood and the top should be put back on.

  • Until you feel resistance use the pump sprayer and grab the wand to spray the solution on the deck surface.

  • Before starting the scrub, it is advised to wait for 15 minutes. Garden hose sprayer should be used to flush the sprayer till the deck looks clean. approach should be of dealing with small sections first for avoiding drying of the solution.

Step 6

Quality Finish Should Be Applied To Protect Your Deck

The Railing should be Stained

  • The stain should be brushed on the railings. Tape or plastic should be used to cover the deck and catch the drips.

  • A semi-transparent oil stain is recommended to be used as solid color stains have heavy pigment. Heavy pigments could be tougher when it comes to refinishing an old wooden deck.

The Final Step

Step 7

Sealing The Deck

  • A roller should be used to roll-on the deck sealer. A clear finish should be used to warm the deck coloring.

  • Tightly spaced decks should be made to use a brush to cover in-between the spacings.

  • Before applying a stain or sealer the deck should be left to dry properly for a couple of days.

  • For clear finish semi-transparent oil stain is the best option as the finish wear looks great. You should avoid using stain on the deck boards as this may show wear soon.

  • Keep good maintenance of your deck by checking, repairing, cleaning, and staining whenever required.

  • A well-kept and looked after deck will last more without the occurrence of much damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How to Get Rid of Discoloration and Stains?

Ans: You’ll have to handle stains and discoloration on your deck, whether it’s made of wood or composite. Mold, particularly in composite decking, can cause this. When your deck is in a shady area or is wet all day, mold will become an even greater issue. Mold, on the other hand, isn’t exclusively a concern with composite decks. Mold, algae, and mildew are all problems that wood decks face.

Q. How to Prevent Slippery Decking?

Ans: Mold and mildew could not only stain your deck, but they can also make it slippery. Use a water-repellent stain after removing the mold or mildew and let it cure for at least 48 hours. When you living in a humid or rainy climate a mildewcide can be added to the stain for added safety.

Q. How to Restore a Warped Deck?

Ans: Warping is one of the most typical issues with hardwood decking. This normally happens if the deck hasn’t been correctly weathered or if it’s been exposed to a lot of harsh weather. Boards that are severely warped will have an excessive curve and will most likely have nails protruding from them. If you go up to eye level with the deck, you can easily detect boards that are just beginning to warp.

Q. How to Fill Decking Gaps?

Ans: Although it might be tempting to utilize wood filler or caulk to fill up gaps in your decking, the natural motion of the boards will eventually cause the products to come away, making the gaps worse. Rope, on the other hand, can be used to quickly fill in the gaps. You may easily refill it with a new rope when the size of the gaps varies.

Q. How to Replace Deck Boards?

Ans: When any of your deck boards are broken, you can change them with new pieces to maintain your deck robust and attractive. To begin, use a jigsaw to cut off the damaged components. Replace the problematic pieces using the same species of wood when you require your new boards to resemble the old ones. After you’ve removed the board, sniff it to see if you can figure out what species it belongs to. If not, bring a sample to the hardware shop with you and a worker will assist you in matching the board.