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See all Wood stains & finishes how-to »

How to Prep Wood with Peeling
Stain or Finish

Skill:  Advanced DIY'er

Any existing stain coating on your wood surface can prevent full penetration of your new finish or coating.

For Best Results:

Use BEHR PREMIUM® Stripper and Cleaning Products to help strip the old finish and allow the new coating to fully penetrate the wood surface. This will help ensure a longer lasting, more durable finish.

Once the surface has completely dried, coat with a BEHR Stain or Finish product.

Suggested Supplies
  • Bucket
  • Broom (Stiff Bristle)
  • Brush (2"-2½")
  • Bucket Grid
  • Chemical Resistant Gloves
  • Drop Cloths
  • Extension Pole
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Hose
  • High Pressure Nozzle

  • Paint Can Opener
  • Paint Tray
  • Paint Tray Liner
  • Painter's Tape
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Pressure Washer
  • Protective Apparel
  • Pump Sprayer
  • Rags
  • Roller Cover and Frame
  • Stir Stick
WoodSmart by Behr

Learn about product selection, preparation, and how to's for your stain project with WoodSmart by Behr.

Start Woodsmart >>

Stripping a Coated Wood Surface

  1. Step 1

    Start with the BEHR PREMIUM® Wood Stain & Finish Stripper to remove all of the previous coating.

  2. Step 2

    Apply the finish stripper product to your wood surface.

  3. Step 3

    Wait 15 minutes then scrub slightly with a stiff bristled broom.  Rinse.  You are now ready to clean your wood surface with BEHR PREMIUM® All-in-One Wood Cleaner.

    The BEHR PREMIUM® All-in-One Wood Cleaner will neutralize the stripper product and clean and brighten your wood prior to coating.


  1. Step 1

    To apply the cleaner, wet the wood surface.

  2. Step 2

    Apply the cleaner product with a pump sprayer.

  3. Step 3

    Wait 15 minutes then scrub the wet surface with a stiff bristled brush. Rinse the wood surface thoroughly.

  4. Step 4

    Once the wood surface has completely dried, you're ready to apply a wood stain or finish product.