To slow the aging process of a deck many deck owners turn to a protective deck stain. Protecting the wood from many adverse weather conditions can prolong its life and also enhance the appearance and natural beauty of the wood.

Most decks need regular maintenance every couple of years consisting of a light wash and a recoat of protective finish. If you have decided to go with a different look or you simply want to switch brands of deck stain there are a few things worth noting. Any existing stain should be removed from the surface before a new deck stain is applied. To understand this better it might help to know how a deck stain works.

A commonly used semi-transparent penetrating deck stain works by diving into the wood pores to lock out moisture and UV rays. Penetrating stains do not stay on the surface of the wood. Therefore, the wood needs to be clean and free of any existing stain. When any old stain is present the new coat of stain cannot penetrate correctly thus jeopardizing its performance and integrity. This most often results in premature stain failure.

When using a film forming type of deck stain, it is still important that all existing stains are removed from the wood. These types of stains form a film on the surface of the wood and adhere to it to provide protection. When other remnants of stains are present the new deck stain will not adhere well and will fail.

Any old deck stains or sealers remaining on the wood will harm the performance of the new stain or sealer. This is why you need to remove a deck stain if switching brands. Removing an old deck stain can be done using a deck stain stripper. Apply the stripper as directed and use a pressure washer or scrub brush to remove stain remnants. Additional stain can be removed using a sander once the wood is dry.

After removing an old deck stain, you are then free to switch brands. Once you are back down to bare wood and have a fresh start apply the new brand of deck stain. This will ensure the new deck stain will perform as expected and give you optimal results.

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