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How to Remove Paint From Decking Boards

  • M. John
  • July 17, 2021

Regular painting of your wood decking boards can make them more appealing and last longer. As time passes, the paint may look old and you may want to repaint your decking. You won’t want to add a new layer of paint to the old one as this can make your deck look rough. It is advisable to remove the existing coat(s) of paint before applying a new one.

Best Ways to Remove Paint from Your Decking Boards

If you want to strip off paint from your wood deck, you must sand your decking to remove any rough patches, thereby providing a clean and smooth surface. When your deck surface is smooth and clean, paints, sealers, or stains will adhere easily to your wood decking boards. Here are the steps to follow on how to remove existing paint from the decking boards.

Step 1

Get Your Material Ready

If you want to remove paint from your decking boards, first source the materials needed. You will need a deck cleaner, sander or sandpaper for smoothing your decking. You will also need a paint scraper, bristle brush, hammer and pressure washer to remove existing paint from your decking. Once you have all your tools and materials ready, you can now start sanding the decking.

Step 2

Prepare Your Decking

First, clear the surface of your decking of any items such as furniture, BBQs or plants. If part of your decking boards needs repairing, fix them before you start sanding the deck. If you notice any nails that pop up on your decking board, use a hammer to drive the nail back into the decking and subframe. Do the same for screws and screw down back into the decking boards and subframe. Once you have finished fixing your decking, proceed to cleaning.

Clean your decking boards by removing dirt and debris from the its surface. Use a deck cleaner and a soft bristle brush to clean your decking board then rinse and allow to dry. Once dry, you can now proceed to sand your decking boards.

Step 3

Remove Paint

Use a sander or sandpaper to remove existing paint and smooth any rough patches on the decking. If you are making use of an orbital sander, start with a medium grit sanding disk. Hand orbital sanders are suitable if your decking board is in place. However, if the wood is warped, use a medium grit belt sander to smoothen the surface of your wood decking.

After removing the surface paint with the medium grit sander, switch to a fine grit sander to smooth the decking. For hard to reach areas, like under the railings; use the hand paint scraper to remove paints gently. You can now use folded sandpaper to smoothen the area.

When sanding the wood to remove paint from your decking board, do it with caution. Sand the decking board in the direction of the wood grain and do it constantly to avoid creating a depression on your decking boards.  Once you have finished sanding the decking, clean any sanding dust from the deck. You can use a leaf blower or a hose to remove the sand from your decking and leave to dry. Once the existing paint is removed you can proceed to repaint or seal the decking surface.


If you want to remove paint from decking boards, you have to do it carefully. Start by cleaning the deck, then use a sander to remove any paint.

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