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How to Strip a Painted Deck Without Harming the Wood

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright . Now we’ve got Britain (sp) from California on the line who’s got a question about a deck. How can we help you today?

    BRITAIN (sp): Yes, my husband and I bought a house about two years ago and it’s a beautiful deck. However, it looks like it hasn’t been painted in probably 10 to 15 years. It’s white. The paint has been severely weathered and chipped and then on top of that, it’s very intricate. It’s not just a typical, plain wood; it’s ingrained and everything. And my husband and I are trying to figure out how to go about to strip the paint without harming the wood and – so that we can repaint it nice, clean white.

    TOM: Well, first of all, you don’t have to strip it off 100 percent; you just have to get off all the loose stuff. And then after you get the loose stuff off, you can prime it. And the priming is going to take that old paint and really seal it in well and give you a fresh, new surface to put the top coat of paint on.

    And if you do those – that sort of two-step process – with stripping it down and getting rid of all of the loose stuff, then priming and painting, I think you’ll have a deck that can last many, many additional years.

    BRITAIN (sp): Thanks. My follow-up question would be: what’s the best way to go about stripping? It’s a two-tiered deck. I mean it has a lot to just have – be doing it hand – with my hand. Is there another way that I could do it without having to ask a professional?

    LESLIE: Oh, absolutely. If you head over to any home center and go into the painting aisle, they’re going to have a professional stripping product, which comes in a can. And you roll it on with a roller and you usually let it sit for whatever time the specified directions tell you on the can itself.

    And then you would go at it with a pressure washer and that’ll take off all of the paint. Or sometimes you have to scrape it off but there’s a lot of different approaches, depending on the type of chemical stripper that you get. And that’s really what you’re going to need; you just want to make sure that you protect any of your plantings around it, because some of it could be caustic to the natural items around it. So you want to make sure that you just do a good job of applying, following the directions and it’ll come right off.

    You may need to do it more than once but it’ll come off.

    BRITAIN (sp): Oh, my gosh. That’s so helpful. Thank you so much.

    LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

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