Preparing Exterior Wood Surfaces for Staining

Proper surface preparation is just as important as proper stain application. Taking the time at the start will ensure professional results at the finish.

Our wood care preparation solutions live up to the same dependable quality as all of our Dulux Professional Wood Finishes.

Dulux Wood Stripper

Makes short work of removing previous / failing coatings, mould, mildew, dirt and grime from wood surfaces and composite materials.

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Dulux Deck Wash

The perfect start to any stain project. Cleans coated and uncoated wood and composite surfaces, and brightens grey or weathered wood. Ready-for-use - no mixing required.

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There are a few main differences to preparing exterior wood surfaces for staining with semi-transparent or solid stain.

Plus, our expert associates at your local Dulux Paints store are ready to help walk you through the steps to get outdoor wood surfaces set for staining.

Stripping existing, peeling stain or other coating.

The existing coating need not be removed if sound. If it is peeling excessively or has been treated with a waterproof product containing wax, strip with Dulux Wood Stripper, following the product use instructions.

TIP: Semi-transparent stains can only be applied over existing semi-transparent stains or properly prepared (resurfaced) bare wood.

Removing mildew spores. Scrub affected areas with a mixture of 1L of household bleach and 3L of water, rinsing thoroughly.

Cleaning good, greyed or new wood. Clean with Dulux Deck Wash and rinse thoroughly. Scrape off any exuding resin and clean with methyl hydrate or alcohol.

NOTE: Never mix bleach with Dulux Deck Wash.

Sanding all wood types. Once rid of mildew and clean and dry, sand exterior wood surfaces along the grain, brushing the whole surface when done to remove any sanding residue. An extension pole with a sanding pad on the end is quicker, better and smarter - and kinder to knees! Use a hand sanding block in difficult-to-access areas.

NOTE: Wear the right protective equipment when sanding and staining. If sanding pressure-treated wood, always wear a mask.

TIP: Use the right grit sandpaper for the job – coarser if stripping off old coatings or on rough-sawn timber, medium grid to finish or on smooth planed in good condition.