Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
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Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

Posts Tagged ‘Deck Stain Stripping’


Prior to staining a wood deck it is necessary to properly clean the wood for the best results. Removing all the dirt, mold, mildew, and graying will help the new deck stain to penetrate better and last longer.

When dealing with a deck that has an old failing deck stain on it, a simple wood cleaning is not enough. In this case a deck stain stripper must be used to emulsify and soften the old stain so it can be removed more easily. Wood stain strippers are more aggressive than a typical wood cleaner.

Some of the best deck stain strippers that we have found contain a mixture of Sodium Hydroxide and other surfactants and typically come in a concentrated powder formula. Once mixed with water they can be applied using a pump sprayer.

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The difference between deck cleaning and deck stain stripping is simple. With deck cleaning you are simply washing the wood to remove any dirt, grime, mildew, and graying. With deck stripping the same contaminants are removed but you are also removing any old remnants of deck stain. In many cases deck stain stripping is better because you are removing old deck stain in addition to other contaminants like dirt and graying.

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Stripping an Old Deck Stain

Failing Deck Stain

When it comes to restoring an older wood deck, it’s extremely important to prep the wood correctly. Not doing so can lead to premature failure of the new deck stain. No matter the brand or cost of a deck stain, it will not last as long as it should if it isn’t applied to a perfectly cleaned and prepped surface.

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Wood Fuzzies on Deck After Prepping? Why it happened and how to fix.

Before applying a deck stain or sealer you should prep the wood properly first. Prepping is the most important part to the deck stain’s longevity. When evaluating the prepping process you should look at two options. Does the wood need to be cleaned or does an old stain need to be removed?

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Peeling Solid Deck Stain
Removing a Solid Deck Stain

Peeling Solid Deck Stain

Help With Removing a Solid Deck Stain

Once a deck has been stained with a heavy pigmented or solid stain it can be hard to maintain. Solid deck stains are like paint in that they form a film on the wood surface to provide weather protection. Once it is time for maintenance, a cleaning and recoat are necessary. After several years the solid stain begins to buildup and has trouble adhering, thus it begins to peel and flake constantly.

To stop this negative effect from occurring, or to switch from one deck stain to another, it is best to remove the solid deck stain completely and start with bare wood again. But removing a solid deck stain takes patience and a little bit of work.

To remove a solid deck stain you need to use a deck stain remover. Stain strippers contain aggressive ingredients to help break through and soften tough to remove deck stains. Once the stain begins to emulsify it can then be pressure washed off.

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Deck Stain Stripping vs. Deck Cleaning

Knowing the difference between deck stain stripping and deck cleaning can be vital to your deck maintenance or restoration project. It’s important first to understand why cleaning a wood surface is necessary.

Besides the obvious of overall appearance and curb appeal, a wood deck should be cleaned and sealed every couple of years to prevent structural damage. Water and moisture wreak havoc on wood inviting mold and mildew which can lead to wood rot. The sun’s U.V. rays also damage wood fibers and turn them an unsightly gray. In colder climates freeze/thaw occurrences can warp, crack, and split boards ruining a deck in no time.

By cleaning the wood and protecting it with a quality wood stain, you are locking out moisture, blocking sun rays, and protecting the deck from the environment. This ensures a better overall appearance and a longer lasting wood structure.

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Defy Deck Stain Stripper
Defy Deck Stain Stripper

Defy Deck Stain Stripper Review

Defy Stain Stripper RatingDefy Exterior Wood and Deck Stripper is designed to remove transparent and semi-transparent exterior wood and decking stains. Defy Stripper is a biodegradable deck stain remover that restore wood to a like new appearance that will work on both water-based and oil-based stains.

Defy Wood Brightener is needed to neutralize after using the stripper

Defy Stain Stripper Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– Defy Stain Stripper removes general dirt and graying with relative ease. The deep penetration of the stripper softens the dirt and grime so it can easily be rinsed from the wood.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

– We used 4 gallons of Defy Stain Stripper for the 600 square foot deck. Cost for the 4 gallons was $80, or $.13 per foot. This is average for a stain stripper. Better then most liquid gallons but much more then a powder concentrate.

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HD80 Deck Stripper Review

HD80 Deck Stripper Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– HD80 as with most stains stripper scores exceptionally well when it comes to removal of dirt, grime, and mold.

Cost Per Square Foot: 9

– Scores very well when it comes to cost effectiveness. One container of stripper sells for $23.99 and makes 5 liquid gallons. This translates to about $5 per liquid gallon. Each gallon covers 150 square feet.

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Behr Stain Stripper
Behr Stain Stripper

Behr Stain Stripper Review

Behr Premium Stain and Finisher Stripper is designed to remove exterior latex, oil-based and 100% Acrylic coatings on Wood Decks, Siding, Fences, Shakes and Shingles.

Behr Premium Stain and Finisher Stripper Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 7

– Behr Stain Stripper removes general dirt and graying with relative ease. The deep penetration of the stripper softens the dirt and grime so it can easily be rinsed from the wood.

Cost Per Square Foot: 6

– Cost to use the Behr Stripper was high in our opinion since it did not work to remove the wood stain from the deck.

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Deck Stain FailureThere are many types of Exterior Wood Deck Stains on the market. They range from slightly pigmented sealers to solid color stains. One thing is for certain, they all fail after years of neglect, rain, snow, and UV degradation. In many cases it is possible to use a deck cleaner and re-coat over an old stain. This is not practical though if the old stain has failed by wearing unevenly, peeled or if switching brands of stains. In these cases you will need to use a Deck Stain Stripper. Stain strippers contain a more aggressive “caustic” then a typical deck cleaner. This caustic breakdowns the bond between the cellular structure of the wood and the old stain. This makes removal of the stain easier with scrubbing or a light pressure wash.

Theses are basic steps needed to strip a failed deck stain:

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.