How to Get Rid of Burn Stains on a Deck

Sal Marco

When entertaining friends, family and neighbors, you want your deck to look its best. Drifting embers from a grill or fire pit cause burn marks on the wood that detract from the visual appeal. Burn stains leave the surface looking unkempt and dirty.

Save money by repairing wood decks yourself.

Strategically positioning a piece of furniture, plant or small rug only hides the stains. Repairing the burn marks is a permanent solution that will keep your deck looking neat and tidy.


Coat decks with penetrating wood sealers to protect them. Two-part epoxy putty comes as two separate tubes. One tube contains resin and the other tube contains a hardener that together form a hard surface.


Wear eye protection and gloves when repairing burn stains on a deck.

Surface Burn Stains

  1. Sweep the deck with a push broom to remove the dirt.

  2. Mix a 1 teaspoon of grease-fighting liquid dish soap with 1 gallon of water in a bucket. Wet the deck with the spray from a garden hose. Submerge a stiff-bristled scrub brush into the soapy water and scrub the stained area of the deck. Rinse the deck with water and let it dry.

  3. Cover a sanding block or an orbital sander with 120-grit sandpaper. Sand the burn stain on the deck following the grain of the wood until the burn mark disappears.

  4. Sweep the sanding dust with a small broom and collect the debris in a dustpan.

  5. Paint on a coat of penetrating sealer to the repaired section with a paintbrush if the rest of the deck has a coating of sealer.

Deep Burns

  1. Sweep the deck with a broom.

  2. Wash the deck with grease-fighting dish soap and water. Rinse the soap residue off the deck with water and let the deck dry.

  3. Hold a butt chisel at a low angle to the burn stain with the cutting end facing the stain. Lightly tap the handle of the butt chisel with a mallet or tap it with the heel of your hand to shave the stain out. Continue to chisel the burnt wood until you reach bare wood.

  4. Dip a paintbrush into penetrating wood sealer and apply a coat over the chipped-out area. Let the wood sealer dry for about six hours.

  5. Mix two-part epoxy putty, according to the putty manufacturer's directions. Scoop up repair putty on a putty knife and press it forcefully into the chipped-out wood until the putty is flush with the surrounding deck. Let the repair putty dry for about six hours. Cover a sanding block with 120-grit sandpaper and sand the putty surface smooth. Apply penetrating wood sealer around the repair.