Life's Dirty. Clean Easy.

Prep Outdoor Surfaces for Painting, Staining or Sealing

By Wet & Forget

Planning to refresh your deck, driveway, or other outdoor surfaces? It’s important to start with a clean, growth-free surface so your paint, stain, or sealer will perform well and last for years to come.

Here we’ll cover prepping your home’s outdoor surfaces for painting, staining, or sealing.

Why do I need to clean the surface first?

Moss, algae, mold, and mildew left on the surface and covered with paint, stain, or sealer will grow to eventually make its way to the surface. Over time, ugly black and green stains will show up on your completed project.

Will Wet & Forget Outdoor interfere with paint, stain, or seal coating products?

No, Wet & Forget Outdoor doesn’t contain any bleach and is non-acidic, so it will not harm or discolor new paint, stain, or seal coat finishes.

How long will I need to wait after I apply Wet & Forget Outdoor to paint, stain, or seal outdoor surfaces?

You’re free to paint, stain, or seal as soon as the moss, mold, mildew or algae has come off the surface. Greenish algae stains usually disappear within a matter of days.

Moss and black mold stains may take a month or longer. This time period will vary according to the amount of growth and weather conditions.

The more rain you receive in your area the better, as this will agitate the surface to lift up the growth and stains. You can help speed up the process by rinsing the surface with a hose on a jet setting on a weekly basis.

How soon can I seal coat my driveway after applying Wet & Forget Outdoor?

It’s a good idea to seal coat asphalt driveways once a year and concrete driveways every three to five years. Seal coating protects your driveway from the elements and the re-occurrence of ugly growths.

You’re free to seal the surface after applying Wet & Forget Outdoor as soon as the green and black stains have come off the surface.

Protecting your driveway with Wet & Forget Outdoor

Moss, algae, mold, and mildew aren’t just an eyesore. If left untreated, these invasive growths can damage your driveway

  • Moss growing in cracks and crevices can speed up the deterioration of your driveway.
  • Lichen can mar the surface of some driveway surfaces.

Wet & Forget Outdoor eliminates moss, lichen, algae, mold, and mildew – no bleach, scrubbing, or pressure washing required. Just spray on and leave!

Wet & Forget Outdoor’s gentle, non-caustic formula works with the wind and rain to wipe out unsightly growth over time, and keeps them away for up to a year or more.

Wet and Forget Xtreme Reach™ Hose End makes cleaning expansive and high-up surfaces easy. Simply attach Wet and Forget Hose End to your garden hose, spray the surface, and walk away.

Wet & Forget Outdoor plus the wind and rain does the cleaning for you. And, applying Wet & Forget to your driveway is quick and easy – a driveway can be treated in 2 minutes or less with Wet & Forget Xtreme Reach™ Hose End.

How soon can I stain or paint my wooden deck or porch after applying Wet & Forget Outdoor? 

Looking to shake things up by changing the color or touching up on your deck? Staining and painting your deck can help to add an extra layer of protection to your wooden oasis from the outdoor elements.

Free feel to stain or paint once you notice the moss, mold, mildew, and algae are no longer present on your deck or porch. 

What outdoor surfaces attract moss, mold, and mildew the most?
  • The roof and siding on the north side of a home.
  • Surfaces that are near or on the water such as watercraft and camping gear.
  • The more damp or porous the surface, the more likely moss, mold, and mildew will take hold.
  • Mold and mildew are attracted to warm, humid environments and are found in shady, damp areas.

Wet & Forget removes moss, mold, and mildew stains over time, without damaging the surface. Unlike bleach, which can potentially discolor outdoor surfaces, Wet & Forget’s gentle, nearly pH neutral formula is safe to use on any outdoor surface.

Wet & Forget is ideal for roof cleaning, deck cleaning, and for cleaning the shady north side of the house, which is known for mold and mildew growth. Wet & Forget’s gentle cleaning action works with the wind and rain to clean surfaces over time, keeping ugly stains at bay for up to a year or more.

Make sure you are properly prepping your outdoor surfaces before painting, staining, or sealing with Wet & Forget. Check out Wet & Forget’s Outdoor Xtreme Reach™ Hose End for quick and easy cleanup.

Use our Store Locator to find a store near you that carries Wet & Forget. Or, give us a call at 888-727-8524, M-F 8:30am-5pm CT.


Before you paint, seal, or stain, make sure you don’t trap any green or black stains! Check out this article on how to prep your outdoor surfaces before breaking out the paint brushes.