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How to Remove Thompson's WaterSeal From Painted Surfaces

Julie Keyes

Thompson's WaterSeal is a popular product for protecting and staining wooden decks, stairs or other outdoor wooden structures. This inexpensive substance places a waxy film on the wood to keep out damaging effects of the elements. When decks are directly against houses or when the water seal is used in sprayers, the product can get on painted surfaces. Although it won't damage the paint, it can make it unsightly for a time. How to remove the seal depends on how long it has been there.

Water sealer doesn't damage painted surfaces but can discolor them.
  1. Pour a cup of laundry detergent into a full bucket of warm water. Mix the detergent and water completely and dip a soft bristle brush into the water. Rub the painted surface vigorously with small, circular motions. Rinse the area thoroughly.

  2. Add 1/2 cup of ammonia to warm water and mix. Use a soft brush to scrub the paint lightly with the ammonia. Rinse thoroughly to dilute the ammonia left on the paint when done.

  3. Pour chemical stripping compound onto a damp sponge. While wearing rubber gloves, wipe the paint in smooth, long strokes, always in the same direction. Rinse the cleaned area with strong spray from a garden hose to force the chemical stripper away from the paint.

  4. Attach a fan-spray wand to a pressure washer. Set the washer to no more than 2,500 PSI. Stand back from the painted surface approximately 5 feet and spray the water seal to remove it.