This post was updated on January 14, 2022
Update 2022 Best Deck Stain Strippers
What is the Best Deck Stain Stripper?
This is a very popular question that we get here at Deck Stain Help. Those who are familiar with the deck staining process are aware that you must properly prep your deck before staining for beautiful results. In this article, we discuss the best deck strippers on the market.
We always appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below with pictures of your deck stain projects.
The Top-Rated Wood Deck Stain Strippers
1. Restore-A-Deck Deck Stripper with Booster/Thickening Gel Additives
Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper Booster Additive is a special blend of solvents that is added to premixed 5-Gallons of the Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper. The Restore-A-Deck Stripper Booster will raise the effectiveness of the stain stripping up to 300% by helping to break down the surface tension of difficult to remove wood stain finishes.
Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper Thickening Gel is a special blend that is added to premixed 5-Gallons of the Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper. With a longer dwell time, Restore-A-Deck Stripper Thickening Gel will raise the effectiveness of the stain stripping by adding the ability to cling to vertical and horizontal surfaces for up to 1 hour. Works especially well on improving the performance of the stripping on vertical wood such as wood railings, wood fences, and wood-sided homes.
Product Type: Deck Stain Stripper Additives to boost overall effectiveness.
Available Sizes: 16oz. Add these into 5 Liquid Gallons of RAD Stain Stripper.
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 9.80
See Review Article Here: Restore-A-Deck Booster & Gel Additives Review
2. Restore-A-Deck Stripper Rating
Note: This rating is without the Booster and Thickening Gel Additives
Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper is a biodegradable, powdered concentrate that quickly removes worn finishes to restore wood surfaces. Stains and varnishes are removed along with collected dirt, mold, mildew and mill glaze.
Product Type: Powdered Concentrate Deck Stain Stripper
Available Sizes: 2 Pound Container Makes 5 Liquid Gallons
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 9.40
See Review Article Here: Restore-A-Deck Stripper Review
3. Defy Wood Stain Stripper Rating
Defy 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 restores the wood to a like-new appearance that will work on both water-based and oil-based stains.
Where To Buy: Select Stores and Online
Product Type: Liquid Wood Deck Stain Stripper
Available Sizes: 1 Gallon Pre-Mixed Liquid (Not Concentrate)
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 8.25
See Review Article Here: Defy Stain Stripper Review
Best Deck Stain Stripping Tips
Prior to staining a wood deck, it is necessary to properly prep 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.
To get the best results using a wood stain stripper you need to let the product dwell for several minutes after applying it to the wood. This allows the stain stripper to penetrate and break down the old stain. The amount of dwell time depends on the type of existing stain. For instance, most semi-transparent oil-based stains will remove more easily than a semi-solid deck stain.
For hard to remove stains such as acrylic or silicone-based stains, several applications and longer dwell times may be necessary. In extreme cases when dealing with a solid deck stain or paint, some sanding may be needed to fully remove the existing stain.
Once the failing deck stain seems to have been softened it is best removed with a power washer using light to moderate pressure. The caustic stripper will raise the pH level of the wood during the stripping process causing it to appear very dark. Following the stripping process with an application of a wood deck brightener will restore the pH and brighten the wood. This brightening process should not be skipped. It is a crucial step to getting optimal results from the new deck stain and a more natural appearance.
Using a quality wood deck stain stripper will give you the best chance of removing the existing deck stain. Once the old stain is gone the new deck stain can fully penetrate the wood for maximum protection and lasting results.