How to Pressure Wash a Deck to Remove Paint?

How to pressure wash a deck to remove paint? Are you planning to refurbish the exterior deck paint? And paint it fresh for the upcoming summer season. There are a few things you should know before you get into the job directly.

Most people assume that there is no need to remove the old paint properly. And you can coat a fresh layer over the old one. Well, let me tell you that it is quite a wrong assumption.

It can cause you a lot of trouble. As the finishing will be not much different than the stage where you started. It will look more patchy and unpleasant and all your effort may run in vain.

Save yourself from such unwanted outcomes and plan properly to tackle the job on hand. The proper way to strip the deck is to remove the old chirpy paint, sand, and clean the deck to remove all the remains and stains of old paint, and then move towards the new styling.

How to pressure wash a deck to remove paint?

There are multiple ways to get rid of old paint stains from the deck. You can remove it using paint strippers, sanding and scraping the deck, or pressure washers for exterior paint removal.

You can use either of these ways but manual procedures like paint stripping and sanding will take more time and effort. And still, there may be a few spots left that are required to remove to get a nice finish.

Therefore, we suggest you use a pressure washer to remove the paint from the deck to save time and better outcomes. It will be faster and less backbreaking that you should pressure wash the deck to remove the paint.

If you have no idea how to remove paint from a wood deck with a pressure washer, do not worry. We’ve explained everything you need to know, and how to do it with best practices in detail.

Why there is a need for stripping paint?

Although paint stays on deck for a longer period than stains, with time cracks, peeling and chipping are bound to happen.

People who enjoy spending summers in their outdoor spaces are more into refurbishing their deck areas from time to time. This replenishment gives a new fresh look to outdoor scenery. Not only does it give new look it also increases the longevity of the wood and helps to get rid of cracks and peel-off.

But for a fine ending, you must have to ensure the proper removal of old paint, as the new paint layer will not adhere to the base. And you won’t be able to enjoy the color and fine finishing as you had in your mind.

Thus, you may end up wasting more money and time repairing the damage. Wouldn’t it be better to take precautions beforehand and make your life easier?

Why it is good to use a pressure washer than other methods?

As stated above there are plenty of options to strip the paint off from the deck. From paint strippers to sanding and scrapping, pressure washers, heat guns, and many more. But pressure washing would be the best choice among all.

Considering manual ways will require more effort and time from your end. And results won’t be up to the mark. And other options like heat guns are less desired due to the fragile surfaces of the deck. They can do more damage than help.

Therefore, pressure washing your deck or removing the paint from the deck using a pressure washer is the best method so effective and time-saving.

Can You Strip A Deck With a Pressure Washer?

Yes, you can use a pressure washer to strip a deck paint. It is one of the recommended ways to use as an exterior paint removal for the deck. A pressure washer with a range of 2000 PSI to 3000 PSI will give you an efficient result.

If you’re a newbie and do not how to use pressure for stripping the deck. We’ve explained the process in detail below go give it a must-read.

Things Required:

  • A Pressure washer ranging between 2000 to 3000 PSI.
  • Safe clothing with long sleeves
  • Safety gloves, glasses, and shoes as per advisory for power equipment.

How to remove paint from the deck with a pressure washer

To remove the paint from the deck with a pressure washer, follow the below procedure.

  • Choosing the right pressure washer

Pressure washers are categorized into two categories; gas and electric pressure washers. We’ll recommend going with electric pressure washers for deck cleaning and paint stripping. The pressure range varies with the condition of your deck. If it needs minimal cleaning then you won’t require to put much pressure, a pressure washer with 1200-2000 PSI would do the job.

But if extensive cleaning is required you can use up to 2500 PSI pressure washers. Do not exert high pressure. As the deck surface is fragile, high pressure may damage the surface.

When choosing the nozzle tip for stripping the paint from the deck, 15˚ and 25˚ tips are the best suitable. Water spray of 40˚ tip won’t be sufficient enough to strip the paint and 0˚ tip is not at all recommended for its extreme pressure.

  • Preparing the deck

Whenever you’re planning for renovation, you have to prepare the concerned area. Similarly, you have to remove all the unnecessary items from the deck. Sideline all the furniture, toys, or any equipment that can act as an obstacle while pressure washing.

Cover all the nearby plants and trees to protect them from any incidental damage or debris and stripped paint. Sweep the area for your ease. Check for areas that are damaged. Avoid those areas from high pressure while pressure washing.

You don’t have to be concerned about damage as when you’re planning to renovate. It is always a good option to replace the damaged parts instead of covering them again until the problem grows.

  • Applying paint stripper

Oil-based and latex paints are tough to get rid of. For such circumstances, apply paint strippers to the area and let the paint soften.

Apply generously to all corners and rails. And let it stay for half an hour until the paint starts dissolving. Keep a keen eye do not let it dry.

Also, ensure your safety as the floor will be slippery, and avoid walking on it until pressure washing the surface.

  • Pressure Washing

Now you can start pressure washing the area by adjusting the nozzle for spray. Use nozzle tips of 15˚ and 25˚ and keep it at a distance from the surface.

Start from corner areas to check the pressure. For avoiding damage do not exert high pressure at once. Unless extensive cleaning is required.

Tips To Remove Paint From The Deck Using a Pressure Washer

  • You should be aware of the surface you’re pressure washing. As the pressure washer is recommended for wooden decks, aluminum, or vinyl surfaces. But is not recommended for window cleaning.
  • So make sure to avoid spraying on such fragile surfaces from a pressure washer.
  • You should be aware of which type of paint you are trying to remove. Oil paints and latex are hard to get rid of. While water-based paints are thinner and come off easily.
  • Select the right pressure washer with appropriate PSI and nozzle tip to avoid damage.
  • Keep a keen eye on the pressure washer while operating. If the wood sprints out or observes cracking around the wood. Change the pressure washer setting to low.

Do’s – How To Pressure Wash Your Deck For Paint Removal

  • Always start with the lowest settings of pressure washers.
  • Start with small patches and one section at a time.
  • Wear safety wearing and equipment.
  • Turn off power washers when not in use. And when changing nozzle tips.
  • Maintain some distance of 5-10 feet from the outlet when spraying around power lines.

Don’ts – How To Pressure Wash The Deck To Remove Paint:

  • Avoid using it in direct sun exposure
  • Do not use it on unbalance places like ladders etc.
  • Never place your hand in front of a pressure washer while operating
  • Avoid using pressure washers to remove or strip paint from cars or other vehicles.


We sincerely hope you get all the information required to strip off the paint from the deck using a pressure washer. If you follow the tip and rules you’ll get the best outcome in no time.

But we would always advise you to do the paint stripping with a lot of care. Little negligence with electric power devices can be fatal. Keep your surroundings, family, and pet safe by simply the following procedure as instructed.

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Flinn Milan

Flinn Milan is the content director at Washwith. He is responsible for developing helpful content in collaboration with other hard-working team members. Over several years, his content strategy is mainly focused on describing and highlighting every product with its positive and negative points

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