How to Remove Deck Over Paint

Are you trying to restore your once vibrant, beautiful deck but find yourself facing endless coats of old and cracked over paint? If so, we fully understand how intimidating the task may seem. But don’t worry – removing deck over paint is not as daunting a job as it appears! Here we’ll provide all the necessary information and steps on how to properly remove that top layer of paint from your outdoor space with ease. 

How to Remove Deck Over Paint

If you’ve been looking for an easy way to freshen up your outdoor living space, then look no further than removing deck over paint. Deck over paint is a thick coating that can be painted or rolled on easily and will help protect your wood surfaces from extreme weather and wear and tear while also giving it a fresh new look. But sometimes the original idea doesn’t quite come out how we planned, leaving us with a surface that needs to be removed in order to make changes in the future. So today we’ll take you through the steps of how to remove deck over paint safely and efficiently!

Why Do You Need to Remove Deck Over Paint?

There are many reasons why you may need to remove deck over paint. Such as:

1. To Prevent Weather Exposure

One of the most important reasons to remove deck over paint is to keep your outdoor space shielded from the elements. Deck over paint can easily chip, crack, and peel due to rain, snow, and heat exposure. Removing this paint can help protect your decking materials from further weather damage.

2. To Improve Home Value

Removing peeling paint from your deck can also increase the value of your home. A well-maintained outdoor space is an attractive feature to potential buyers and can be a major selling point.

Increase the Value of Your Home

3. To Enhance Appearance

Removing deck over paint will also improve the look and feel of your outdoor living area. Without faded, chipping paint, you can enjoy a fresh, inviting outdoor space that is sure to be the envy of your neighbors.

How to Remove Deck Over Paint in 7 Easy Steps

Step 1: Prepare the Area

The very first step is to make sure the area is clear and well-ventilated. Remove any furniture or decorations that may be on the deck and cover any plants nearby with plastic to protect them from chemical degreasers.

Step 2: Clean the Surface

Using a pressure washer, thoroughly clean your deck of dirt, debris, mold, and mildew. This will help to remove the paint and increase the effectiveness of any degreaser used. Also, make sure to wear eye protection and protective clothing while using the pressure washer.

Step 3: Apply Degreaser

Once you’ve finished cleaning, spray a degreasing product onto the deck. Allow it to sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush. This will help remove any grit or dirt that may have been left behind.

Remove Any Grit or Dirt

Step 4: Rinse the Deck

Rinse off the degreaser with a pressure washer or garden hose to remove any residue. The deck should now be fully cleaned and ready for painting. But you have to make sure that the deck is completely dry before proceeding.

Step 5: Apply Paint Stripper

Apply a heavy-duty paint stripper to the deck using a paint brush. Working in small sections, allow the stripper to sit for several minutes before scraping off with a paint scraper. It will take several passes with the stripper and scraper to remove all of the paint.

Step 6: Rinse Again

Once you’ve finished scraping, rinse the deck thoroughly once more to remove any residue from the paint stripper. Allow it to dry completely. If you do not, the paint could peel off again. So make sure to let it completely dry.

Step 7: Finish with Sanding and Painting

Using an orbital sander, sand the deck smooth and make sure to remove any remaining paint particles. Once it’s all been sanded, you can apply a primer before painting it a new color of your choosing!

And there you have it—seven easy steps to removing deck over paint. With a bit of elbow grease, you’ll have your old deck looking good as new in no time.

Some Additional Tips to Remove Deck Over Paint

1. Do Not Use a Pressure Washer

This is a big no-no when it comes to removing deck over paint. Pressure washers can cause serious damage to the wood and could even strip away more than just the paint layers. Also, there is a risk of the high-pressure water causing splinters in the wood as well.

2. Try Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits can work to loosen up the paint and make it easier to scrape off. Apply a generous amount to the surface and let it sit for around 10 minutes before scraping away any remaining paint with a putty knife.

3. Use a Chemical Paint Stripper

Chemical paint strippers are commonly used when it comes to removing deck over paint. Apply the chemical to the surface and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before scraping away any remaining paint with a putty knife or other tool.

Apply the Chemical to the Surface

4. Sanding Can Help Too

If you’re dealing with stubborn paint, sanding can help to break down any remaining layers. Start with a medium-grit sandpaper and work up to a fine-grit sandpaper. Make sure to wear a dust mask and protective eyewear when sanding!

5. Give Heat Treatments A Try

For particularly stubborn paint, try a heat treatment. Be careful when using this method, as it can damage the wood if not done properly. Use a heat gun and move slowly to evenly distribute the heat across the surface. This should loosen up any remaining paint for easy removal.

By following these additional tips, you can remove deck over paint safely and effectively. Don’t forget to wear protective gear and be sure to follow any safety guidelines laid out by the manufacturers of any products you choose to use. With a little bit of patience, you can have your deck looking like new in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Prep Work Is Required Before Removing Deck Over Paint?

Before removing deck over paint, it is important to properly prepare the surface. This includes pressure washing to remove dirt and debris, scraping away any flaking or peeling paint, and sanding down any rough areas. Additionally, you may need to repair any damaged boards or joists before continuing. Once these steps are complete, you can begin safely removing the deck over paint.

What Is The Best Way To Remove Deck Over Paint?

The best way to remove deck over paint is with chemical strippers or a heat gun. Chemical strippers, such as those containing methylene chloride, will soften and lift the paint from the surface. Heat guns will melt and burn away the paint. If using either of these methods, it is important to wear protective eyewear, gloves, and clothing as well as follow all safety instructions carefully. Also, avoid using either method around open flames or in enclosed spaces as the fumes can be hazardous.

Can I Pressure Wash Deck Over Paint?

Pressure washing can be an effective way to clean and remove some of the paint from a deck surface, however it is not recommended for removing all of the paint. The intense pressure of the water can loosen boards or cause damage to the underlying wood, which will require repairs before continuing. If you do choose to pressure wash your deck, use a low-pressure setting and be especially careful around edges and joints.

Use a Low-pressure Setting

Can I Remove Deck Over Paint Myself?

Yes, it is possible to remove deck over paint yourself with the proper tools and safety precautions. Wear protective eyewear, gloves, and clothing and make sure to follow all instructions carefully in order to avoid any accidents or injuries. Additionally, be mindful of your local environmental regulations regarding the disposal of paint and chemical strippers.

Should I Use A Professional To Remove Deck Over Paint?

If you are inexperienced with removing deck over paint or are concerned about safety, you may want to consider working with a professional. A professional can provide assistance with the preparation and removal process as well as advise on any necessary repairs. Additionally, they will have the right tools to safely and effectively complete the job.


Now that you know how to remove deck over paint, you can tackle this project with confidence. Be sure to follow the safety precautions and take your time for best results. With a little elbow grease, you’ll have your deck back to its original glory in no time.

If your deck is in need of a facelift, removing paint is a great way to give it new life. Although the process may seem daunting, with the right tools and technique, you can have your deck looking like new in no time. With these tips to remove deck over paint, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your newly refreshed space.

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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