Since we had a nice weather day on Saturday we decided to strip the old stain off the deck. It had only been on the deck for about two years, but for some reason the stain was starting to wear off in spots, which leaves the wood unprotected and ugly.
Removing the stain wasn't as bad of a project as we thought it would be. It was a little time consuming (we went non-stop from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.), but not really difficult or back breaking. One word of advice- this stuff is very toxic and harmful to your skin. Protect every inch of yourself because if it gets on you it immediately causes burning and blistering (my torn up hands can prove this).
These are the simple steps for deck stain removal:
1)Apply deck stain remover (we used Jomax Zinsser from Lowes- good stuff) with brushes or rollers to a small section of the deck.
2)Wait 15 minutes for stain remover to penetrate the stain and do it's job. Reapply stripper as needed to keep the area from drying out as you wait 15 minutes (this is very important).
3)Use a power washer to wash away stripper. I had read that you may need to scrub the area before using a power washer, but in our case this was not necessary.
4) Repeat steps 1 through 3 until the whole deck has been stripped.
5) Use a deck brightener/cleaner to neutralize the acidic component of the stripper and prepare the wood for stain or sealant. We haven't done this yet. We were going to wait until it was closer to when we were going to put sealant down.
Here is the deck after:
We are not going to use a tinted stain ever again; instead we are going to use a clear wood sealant and give the deck a good cleaning every year or two. We have to wait until the weather warms up and dries out to get everything completely finished.