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Question DetailsAsked on 2/27/2016

How to remove nonskid wood deck paint

We used Deck Restore non skid deck paint on backyard deck. Prepped it properly. Applied according to directions. Done in spring and started peeling in summer. Following summer attempted to remove the gritty thick paint with soap/detergent, then powerwash, then combo, then paint seemed to only "help" remove the large strips of this awful paint that were already loose before I began the process. Nothing seems to get clumps of hArdened grit or the main problem of trace paint throughout the deck. Help. Should I sand, how deep, and will it really work without ruining retreated wood deck?

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You are far from the first person with this sort of experience - the heavy body "paints" are the pits on wood decking.

If scraping does not do it, you can use chemical stripper - being careful to keep off house and not damage any stuff under the deck. Otherwise, heat gun and scraper is usual means - followed by disc sander to remove most of the rest of the shallow penetration stuff left in the pores. 3M also makes a really aggressive paint removal pad for disc grinders which works amazingly well on some paints, just clogs to heck kwith melted paint in no time with others, but you could try it -

Note some require quick-loading attachment, others have standard threaded attachment.

You are unlikely to want or be able to (because of nails/screws) sand deep enough to eliminate all the residual paint in the pores of the wood, so after removing it you will have to cover with something that will cover the paint staining left in the wood, and with enough "body" so it conceals the uneven tone between the clean sanded hard grain wood and the more porous wood with residual staining. Short of taking the decking off and planing it to cut deep enough to get down to completely clean wood (which is more expensive than new wood for all but expensive exotics), I doubt you will get it clean enough to look acceptable with a light or clear stain or penetrating finish - you will need a dark one at least, and most likely a heavier body rather than pure penetrating stain.

One other alternative I have done - more work with nails but not too bad with screws - strip and scrape the paint as well as feasible (to expose most of the wood), then remove the decking and flip it over and use other side. Will likely need sanding to look acceptable due to staining.

BTW- on sanding - you have to drive the nails or screws deeper first or you will destroy the sanding medium very quickly - plus fire risk from the sparks. Also, unless boards have essentially zero gap between them, do not use the flap-type large floor finishers, they will gouge off the edges of the planks. Diamond, carbide, and sandpaper OK with wider gaps, though of course they may clog quickly depending on paint characteristics - having run into several different deck restoration paints, I would guess that except for final sanding after all the paint film is off, will probably not work well due to clogging.

On the refinishing - as you discovered, heavy body paints are the pits on wood, because there are invariably small cracks and pinholes in the paint over time which rainwater and snow meltwater can get into as liquid, but cannot effectively evaporate back out from - so you end up with saturated wood causes paint peeling and eventually rot.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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