In all cases, we’d recommend trying a sample to test for the touch time before embarking on the whole job. This means working out how long it is going to take for the coatings to lift.
Stripping wood oils from decking
If your wood is coated with wood oils, whether that be teak oil, linseed oil or another type of wood oil we’d first and foremost recommend you strip them using Aquanett. It’s designed specifically for removing wood oils and it’s a gel formula so it’s easy to use.
To use Aquanett to strip wood oils from your deck you simply apply it, leave it to work for up to 5 minutes (maximum) and then scrub the surface whilst rinsing with the highest pressure water source you have available. After using Aquanett you need to neutralise the wood with Net-Trol to prevent the stripper from remaining active in the wood.
You can also use Prepdeck for removing some wood oils from decking, it can be left to work for longer and it is a liquid rather than a gel but otherwise is applied in largely the same way. Aquanett does perform better on oils like teak and linseed. We would recommend it over Prepdeck in those cases. You also need to neutralise the wood after using Prepdeck too.
Stripping paint and opaque finishes from decking
If you’ve got a decking paint or an opaque finish to remove then we’d recommend Dilunett. Its a gel formulation so it won’t run and it can remove up to 8 coats of paint in a single application – it also doesn’t dry so you can leave it on for up to 12 hours for particularly stubborn coatings. You apply the Dilunett, leave it to work and then rinse whilst scrubbing in the direction of the grain. Again you will need to neutralise the wood with Net-Trol after use.
Before applying Dilunett to the entire area, carry out a test to see how long the ‘touch time’ will be. This means applying the Dilunett to a small area and waiting for a short while for it to work. Give a little scrub at the edge to see if the coatings are lifting. If not then leave for a while longer and try again. Continuing in this way until the coating is lifting will give you the ‘touch time’. This will help to determine how long to leave the Dilunett to work. Always work in manageable areas which can be completed within your touch time.
You could also use Prepdeck for this but Dilunett performs better on paints.
Help – I don’t know what coating is on my deck!
If you’re not sure what you’re trying to strip – we know it’s not really at the top of your mind to ask what decking coating was used when you’re exchanging the keys for your new house – then don’t worry. For decking, our first recommendation would be to purchase a sample of Dilunett and try it out on a small area to see if it will lift the coating. As Dilunett will lift paints with ease but will also lift oils, it’s a good place to start.
If you find that even after leaving the Dilunett for its full working time of 12 hours your coatings are still not lifting then we would suggest trying a sample of DSP 800. It’s a more powerful stripper which can even remove 2-pack paints but you don’t rinse it with water you have to use a scraper or scrubbing brush so for decking it’s a last resort really because the removal will be more onerous.
Hopefully we’ve given you some helpful hints for how to strip your decking. In the next part of our stripping guide we’ll be explaining the process for stripping fencing and cladding.