Raccoon footprints on stain!!

This summer I decided to stain our shabby looking deck. I bought 5 gallons of Cabot Australian Timber stain in a beautiful color. I completed the deck and stood back and admired my hard work.
That night while the stain was still a bit tacky a family, Mom and 4 babies proceed to come out from under the deck and dance across the freshly stained deck. This is the first time I have ever seen raccoons in our yard. The next morning when I went to let our dog out I saw the damage. There are hundreds of muddy raccoon paw
prints all over the deck.
I have tried just hosing them off, Dawn blue detergent applied with a scrub brush, Awesome cleaner sprayed directly on and wiped off and Mineral spirits wiped on with terry cloth and wiped back. NOTHING has taken the 🐾🐾🐾 off.
I really don't want to have to re-stain but if I do I hope one coat will cover the footprints. Does anyone have any ideas of something else to try?
  6 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 23, 2016
    Sorry for that ,however I don't think there is any way to remove the prints.You will have to strip the stain and start again.
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Aug 23, 2016
    Thanks Janet, Not sure I want to strip a deck. I have about 2 inches of stain left in the very last can. I may just try to paint some on the far side of the deck where I had scrubbed and tried mineral spirits to see if that works.
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 24, 2016
      Weel I know it is a lot of work,however having gone through staining our deck this season I will tell you the areas that did not take well were re-stained on top of the other stain and it actually is very visible.I would hate that to be your case.
  • Linda Santo Linda Santo on Aug 23, 2016
    I doubt you'll have to strip the deck. I would try giving it another heavy coat in an out of the way spot. The stain might just be enough to loosen the first coat and then you can even out the prints. It's worked for me with stain before because it may work as some type of solvent. Think of it as putting another coat of nail polish on your nails to even out that fingerprint you got on the first coat. Worth a try and if it works you may need to buy another can but may save yourself a ton of work.
    • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Aug 24, 2016
      Thank You Linda Santo, that's probably exactly what I will end up doing. Those darn raccoons ! I had never seen raccoons around here. I was told by our local animal control that after a a lot of rain the raccoons come out of the sewers and into yards to hide under decks until the water levels drop in the sewers. UGH. We did trap 2 and relocated 2 out of the 5 raccoons
  • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Aug 24, 2016
    Maybe lightly sand the damaged area first before restaining? Since there is already stain there another coat may make those areas darker than the rest of your deck. So, after very lightly sanding figure out what is needed to dilute the stain enough so it won't go on so dark. I hope you can fix it without too much time or money!!! Those darn rascally raccoons!
  • Charly Charly on Aug 24, 2016
    You could try restaining it with a darker shade of the stain that you used and this should cover the footprints.
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Aug 24, 2016
    The stain I used is a dark magohany color so I don't think I can go darker, but thanks for the suggestion.
Your comment...