Best Deck Stain Strippers 2022 4.9/5 (91)

by Deck Stain Help

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 Stripper Booster and Thickening Gel

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.

Manufacturer: Restore-A-Deck
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: 4.9/5 (8)
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

Best Deck Stain Stripper Review

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.

Manufacturer: Restore-A-Deck
Product Type: Powdered Concentrate Deck Stain Stripper
Available Sizes: 2 Pound Container Makes 5 Liquid Gallons
Consumer Star Ratings: 4.6/5 (43)
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 Wood Deck Stain Stripper

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: 4.3/5 (14)
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.

The Best Deck Strippers Video – DeckStainHelp.com

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Joe
Joe
5 months ago

Hi I like the info on your website! Very helpful.
Can I use RAD on the siding of my home? I have a Pan Abode cedar home. I have areas where black spot mold has developed on the wood. I coated one side of my home in Sikkens SRD about 8 years ago, but I need to redo that side due to weather and spot mold areas. I would rather not sand it off, if RAD will work. Thanks in advance for your input.

Joe
Joe
5 months ago

Thanks for the response.
The wood is a combination of Pan Abode Cedar wood and then 6’x1.5″
I look forward to your input.
I’m thinking First-RAD Stripper/Brightener.
In addition both RAD additives for vertical siding, and to penetrate the mold and former oil base stain sheen coat from older reapplication coats.
I don’t see the using the cleaner if I’m just going to use Stripper on this removal. I’m thinking of going with a water base stain for the next round of stain. Suggestions?

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Joe
Joe
5 months ago

Thank You. So with the concept- difficulty of the shine, in mind would it be better if I did a reasonable pass with an orbital sander 60-80 grit to knock down the shine and then did the stripping? Or just longer dwell time and no sanding? Or will I have to scrub after I applying the Stripper to get into the mold? I do appreciate your input!

Joe
Joe
5 months ago

Good advice thanks! I ordered up on the RAD stripper, additives and stain. I’ll post my findings.

John
John
6 months ago

I have to spot treat with the RAD stripper. Some drip marks from a previous attempt to strip won’t come off with either cleaning or sanding. The areas needing treatment are vertical and really aren’t large enough to spray. Can I brush the product on? Thank you.

John
John
6 months ago

thanks

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John
John
6 months ago

An update….I ordered and received the RAD Stripper and Gel.
Wanting only to treat a small area, I mixed 1/2 cup of stripper into
1/2 gal of water and then 4 oz of gel. After two applications, and brushing,
my ‘drip’ stains remain. Can you offer any advice? I can send pictures once the wood dries. Thanks.

Monica Whitaker
Monica Whitaker
6 months ago

My boyfriend and I bought a house and don’t know what stain was used on our porch. Is it a solid stain? The elements have nearly gotten it off, and we would like to restain it to help us sell it. We’ve never done anything like this before and are not sure what product would work best to get the remainder of the old stain off with minimal sanding. Any advice??

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Marina Torok
Marina Torok
7 months ago

We stained our deck 2 years ago and after reading all these comments realize that it probably looks as bad as it does because of improper prep. That being said…time to redo it. We originally used Cabots Australian Timber oil and are leaning towards using a solid stain this time. I started power washing and there’s still a lot of stain left behind..do I need to strip, use a cleaner, sand or just finish power washing and proceed with solid stain? Pictures sent..1st pic is pre power wash!
Thanks

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Kristi Soto
Kristi Soto
7 months ago

Purchased a home with a HUGE wraparound deck ( 30×18, 10×21, 4×21) and would love to replace- but am hoping we can squeeze a few more years out of this one. Currently, the largest deck has multiple layers ( atleast 3) of badly cracking, Peeling, lifting Sun Proof Acrylic latex solid stain from previous owners. We have tried pressure washing, scraping using CitriStrip- and nothing will penetrate to bare wood. Unsure what to do. Suggestions?

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Jane H
Jane H
8 months ago

Will Restore-A-Deck stain stripper work on old film-firming stain and remove completely? Thank you.

Amanda Welge
Amanda Welge
9 months ago

I am looking to strip and then stain my deck. I think it has an acrylic type stain on it now, not sure as we bought the house like this. What type of stripper should I use? I see the Restore-A-Deck does not work on acrylics. Once the stripper is done, then I will use a brightener correct? Lastly, what is the best stain to use going forward… do I need to stick with an acrylic since that is what was originally used?

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Dennis
Dennis
9 months ago

What can safely remove flood cwf exterior stain off pine log home?

Dennis
Dennis
9 months ago

Yep Two coats flood cwf clear

Last edited 9 months ago by Dennis
Dennis
Dennis
9 months ago

Two coats cwf clear

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James Allen
James Allen
10 months ago

Do you know where I can purchase Stripex L deck stripper, I have been told its very good

James Allen
James Allen
10 months ago

Thanks, could you tell me exactly which products I need to strip old stain from my pine decking then please, thanks

James Allen
James Allen
10 months ago

Hi tried to attach pics but not sure it’s working, the product I used was ronseal decking stain

Hattie
Hattie
1 year ago

Will the deck wood stripper barn vynal rails

Silvia Vega
Silvia Vega
1 year ago

Hi there,

I am desperate. After reading so much and wanting to do a good job on my brand new 500sqft cedar deck, I hate the stain I applied. Daly’s DechStain clear with a golden oak tint. It is supposed to be transparent to semi-transparent and the color is awful.

Long story short, I want to start anew if possible. Would you recommend a deck stain stripper such as RAD? Anything to keep in mind as I go thru the process?

Yes, I prepped the seasoned (2 months) KLDA New wood with cleaner and brightener. The results look like a solid stain rather than a transparent (see pic). I LOVE the natural look of the wood and just wanted a slight tone for protection. I screwed up.

Thanks for any advice.

Silvia

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Silvia Vega
Silvia Vega
1 year ago

Thank you!!

Kay vanHekken
Kay vanHekken
1 year ago

Where in Holland, Mi can I buy Boosts deck stripper?

Kay vanHekken
Kay vanHekken
1 year ago

Where can I buy Boosts Rad Stripper in Holland, Mi or any where near?

Amber B
Amber B
1 year ago

stained our deck with a semi-transparent stain and realized when we were practically done we forgot to wipe the stain off!!!! Looks almost like paint!! Can this be fixed? What should we do?

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Ron Bailey
Ron Bailey
1 year ago

I used behr stain on my new deck and it is niw turning grey in some sections

Frank D
Frank D
1 year ago

Pergola (12yr-old kit, ‘Sonoma Arched Wood Pergola Kit’) needs drastic attention: help! we don’t even know where to start with this project. I believe the wood species is Douglas Fir. Should we apply the stain stripper first? Multiple applications? Do we need to sand? If so, is there a recommended mechanical sander/sanding method/grit you might suggest? I have a 2400psi pressure washer at my disposal. Would sandblasting help? See pics. Thanks in advance

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Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

My deck is flaking bad and I need to remove what’s on there. Would a stripper work or do I need to sand? Let me know what approach is best! Thanks.

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Mike Lutz
Mike Lutz
1 year ago

Stained our deck with Sikkens Dek stain four years ago. This the result. Will strip and sand. What do you recommend to strip the deck and what stain would you recommend to finish? Also have a green treated rough plywood enclosure around the bottom of the deck. Would like to restain that also. What do you recommend to clean the deck enclosure?

Glenn Oborn
Glenn Oborn
1 year ago

Hi, I have a 12′ x 4′ ft bridge (built like a deck ) over a small creek that was previously stained with a Sashco product recommended by a builder. I now want to strip, sand, brighten and then re-stain the bridge with TWP or Armstrong. I’ve read that Restore a Deck Stipper/Gels/Additives and Brightener are all ECO friendly, but would you recommend anything special in the typical stripping and pressure washing process? (I can obviously use some plastic to provide some protection, but with pressure washing, etc, there’s a good probability that there will be some spillage). Thanks in advance.

Allen
Allen
2 years ago

I plan to use RAD Deck Stripper, Brightener & semi-transparent stain to update cedar flooring (35 yr) of screened in porch. The current stain is Cabot semi-transparent applied 9yr ago.

1) Is my small power sprayer (pic) sufficient to power wash rinse after stripper?
2) What duration of dwell time do you recommend for the RAD Stripper (no additives)?
3) any recommendations on preventing discoloration of screens during this process?

Thanks

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Mardi
Mardi
2 years ago

Hi, one more question to go with my previous post. Reading another of your answers to someone else , you said use brighter “after” sanding. On our new deck I have brightened before sanding. Am I supposed to brighten after Sanding too? New and old? Or just with old? Thanks again!

Mardi
Mardi
2 years ago

Hi! I have a year and one half old huge 2000 square foot redwood deck we need to stain now. Th tannins turned it very gray. We have pressure washed it and applied Preserva “Renewer & Cleaner” wood cleaner and brightener. It did bring back nice clean color. Next we will sand it and then stain. Also we have two much older redwood decks, but still ok, adjacent to the new one, that have been stained several times over the years with semitransparent stain, either Superdeck or Cabots. Questions: 1.) what is best stripper to use to try to get old decks looking like the new? (We plan to pressure wash, use Preserva Renewer and Cleaner, and sand the old ones too after the stripper). 2.) What type of sander is best, drum or orbital for the flooring part? We have to rent it. Included are pics of new cleaned, but not yet sanded deck next to the two old ones. Thanks!

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Charles
Charles
2 years ago

Can RAD stripper be applied to the remaining, original stain directly after a pressure wash (ie – while wood is still damp)?

Sharon
Sharon
2 years ago

I have a treated wood deck. I waited 18-24 months for the new decking to “dry” then applied Sherwin Williams semi-transparent stain. After a couple of years, the deck stain is showing a lot of wear. I used a deck cleaner and power washer to prep it for new stain. I think I need to strip or sand it before I can reapply stain or clear coat. Which would you recommend? What type of stripper or sander?

Also can’t decide whether to use stain or just apply a clear coat finish. Any suggestions on this would be appreciated.

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Maria
Maria
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon

Did this Sherwin Williams come off well with the stripper and power washing? Did it come off the verticals?

James
James
2 years ago

Hi there, I have a deck that I’ve sanded down with heavy grit sandpaper but is still showing some green. It was treated about 4 years ago with copper 2 green wood preservative. Will a stripper help remove the remaining green? Or Is there anything else I can use to remove this remaining green? Thanks!

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James
James
2 years ago

Yeah i figured as much, should I just give it another year or do you think I can put a solid stain over it?

James
James
2 years ago

I’ve sanded down my deck with a heavy gritt power sander but there’s still a lot of green from the previous owner using copper 2 green preservative to treat the deck several years ago. Will a stain stripper work to remove the remaining green? Is there any other way to remove this green copper 2?

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Karla
Karla
2 years ago

I put a semi transparent stain on my deck and it is way to thick, looks more like a brown paint job because the grain of wood is not showing through. Is it possible to use a stripper to take some of the stain off and then maybe finish it with a transparent stain, depending on how much of the stain comes off? It the first time this wood has been stained. What kind of stripper would you recommend?

Pete Ackerman
Pete Ackerman
2 years ago

I have used a diamabrush to remove a large amount of paint from my deck but still have spots with paint..what paint remover do you recommend? I am then planning on staining the deck, what steps do you recommend? Thanks Pete

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Pete Ackerman
Pete Ackerman
2 years ago

I was told by sherwin williams that smartstrip pro should work, do you not think so?

Pete Ackerman
Pete Ackerman
2 years ago

Okay thanks..also heard possibly citristrip could be used? Have you heard anything about that? The spots that still have paint on them will be incredibly hard if not impossible to reach with a sander. Some are in between boards

Pete Ackerman
Pete Ackerman
2 years ago

This is what is currently on it

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John
John
2 years ago

I have an older cedar deck. The pictures show it after pressure washing. The peeling boards are from replacement boards put on one year ago. The whole deck was then covered with Sikkins water based semi-solid stain. I want to remove the Sikkins and wondering if I can use a stripper first (will it damage the unfinished spots?) and then spot sand before using a brightener. Thanks

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Jeff
Jeff
2 years ago

I have 10 year old pine soffit with a clear finish. I suspect it was sealed with Profin oil based sealer (but am not certain). The soffit has aged and there are a few mildew spots. It actually looks pretty good considering. The house has a lot of soffit and I’m not looking forward to sanding it all or stripping it. What would you recommend? I live in Bellingham, WA.

Thanks for your help
Happy 4th

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Michele Donohue
Michele Donohue
2 years ago

Hi. We have an Ipe tongue and groove covered front porch which is usually treated with Cabot Australian Timber Oil every 1-2 years. It was scheduled to be done this year. We did a very light sanding to rough up the surface. Unfortunately we used Sikkens Cetol and I absolutely hate it… how can I remove it?!?! We looked into having it sanded but last time the floor guy took too much off so that is no longer an option. I contacted Sikkens but they were not very helpful – just said use a stripper for oil based stain. I did try Circa 1850 stripper and it appears to have lightened it a bit. Only left it on for a few minutes. Any assistance is greatly appreciated, just sick over it. It’s only been on there for 48 hours

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K Johnson
K Johnson
2 years ago

We put Behr Semi-Transparent waterproofing stain and sealer on our deck 2 years ago. It is peeling off all of the flat surfaces, but on the vertical posts etc…We would like to remove it all and start over with a new stain. Will a wood stripper work or will we need to sand the areas that are not peeling?

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K Johnson
K Johnson
2 years ago

Here are a few photos

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K Johnson
K Johnson
2 years ago

Great, should that remove all of the stain?

Julie
Julie
2 years ago

I use spent my weekend washing, sanding, and staining two new porches (seasoned for a year) but I really don’t like the color (semi transparent but too dark) and did a poor job with the application (some lap marks). How do I fix this?

Julie
Julie
2 years ago

I used Valspar one coat Exterior Stain and Sealer, semi-transparent. The overall color is much darker than the picture.

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Ralph
Ralph
2 years ago

Have a deck surrounding a pool with IPE wood that was finished with Penofin Hardwood Formula, usually used jomax deck stripper, then a brightener then re-oil it, of course waiting for it to dry in between each step. What can i use to replace the Jomax to strip the deck. none of the local stores carry it

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

How do I remove Behr Semi Solid stain (dark brown) applied 3 years ago? Will stripper take it off or will I have to sand? Made my deck too hot to use here in Atlanta. Thanks.

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

We used Flood CWF – UV (cedar) to finish our new deck 3 year ago. It now looks dull and has spots where the finish has come off. Should I strip it and re-finish? What product would work best to finish it. We would like to see some of the wood grain.

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Len
Len
2 years ago

I am striping cwf Flood what should use

Ann Sirochman
Ann Sirochman
3 years ago

We used Behr semi solid stain on our deck. The deck was properly washed and sanded prior to stain application. We woke up to a blotchy mess because we did not apply it correctly. How do we remove the stain? We want to rent an orbital sander but not sure if we need to strip or sand?

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Ben
Ben
3 years ago

Hello. If using a stripper is too harmful to the local environment, can pressure washing thoroughly then brightening suffice for prep?

If not, are there any eco friendly strippers? (I’m guessing that’s probably not a thing.)

DAWN BLOSS
DAWN BLOSS
3 years ago

Hello. We applied solid color paint for a deck and 2 years ago reapplied the paint. Since then it has been flaking off and looks bad. I hired someone professionally to do it. Costing me 2700 to remove the paint and replace a few boards and then have it restained. It took him forever and still is not completed. Come to find out, he fell through a small board and now is suing me. He told me that he applied 12 Strippers on my deck. He then came to the conclusion that I need to replace my deck that it is unsafe. I am out 1350 which is half of the job and never finished it and looks like crap still. He could not tell how bad my deck was until he fell through. Could that be the case. Could all that stripper weaken the boards and that why he fell through. Just trying to get another opinion on this. They only sanded one small area. Just need your opinion and expertise. Thanks for listening.

Gary e Wilmoth
Gary e Wilmoth
3 years ago

Removing old layers of solid stain on deck bench’s need good solid stain removal do you have any recommendations. Thank you

colin boland
colin boland
3 years ago

can you recommend a stripping brand to remove old decking oil? I tried the ronseal stripper from woodies and used a power hose but that did not work. The oil is really deep in the decking and is about 3 yrs old. Thanks

Randy Morgan
Randy Morgan
3 years ago

New deck using the usual 5/4×6 treated deck boards. Sanded using 220 grit paper. Rolled Superdeck semi-transparent oil. Many sticky patches weeks later. Any ideas how to fix this ?

Monica
Monica
1 year ago

We used Superdeck too. It is the worst ever. We are on round one of stripping and it looks like we need another coat in most spots. The we will use a brightner. Can we use a non oil after we complete all of this?

Kim
Kim
3 years ago

I had someone stain my porch but I don’t like the color, so I’m trying to figure out if I need to strip what he did or if I can stain over it. He used Cabot semi-solid deck stain extra pigmented oil stain. I want a darker color but semi-transparent because I don’t like the way the semi-solid looks. Thank you!

courtney0626
courtney0626(@courtney0626)
3 years ago

I have a similar question/concern- we stained an area of cedar on our new porch/deck and it is Sherwin Williams Woodscapes Extra White Solid- I want a neutral cedar color and not sure if we can sand the white off, or try to use another solid darker stain over it?

diane weidt
diane weidt
3 years ago

HELP!!!! We have a 5 year old deck that I had used a Behr solid deck stain on after waiting a year for it to “dry”. I put 2 coats on but last year decided I wanted a darker color so I just stained over it with another Behr solid color stain. This spring, “surprise” it started peeling in some spots so I started the awful task of trying to remove the stain and start over. I power washed and made a mess of quite a few boards and it hardly made a dent in the removal process. Then I rented a vibrating plate sander to try to remove the remaining stain. Again, there was a great deal of stain left behind! Then, like an idiot, I thought I could just paint over it with another brand of solid stain and now I basically have a “leopard” deck with various finishes from where the original stain was left behind, to the bare boards. I understand now what I should have done in the first place, and that is SAND the entire deck again. My question for you is, which grit do I start with to remove the actual remaining solid stain and then how do I proceed as far as when and to what grits to I switch to in order to get my deck back to a state where I can actually use a semi-transparent stain on it. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
“moronic mom in MN”

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Erick
Erick
3 years ago

What is the best paint stripper… I inherited a painted deck…

john white
john white
3 years ago

Will strippers harm the finish on the aluminum deck posts

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago

Trying to remove some Behr deck over on my deck. After 1 year it started pealing. Is there a stripper that will soften this stuff before I pressure wash?

willie scott
willie scott
3 years ago

will deck stripper hurt vinyl siding if it gets on it.also can you get solid oil base stain(dark brown).

Pat
Pat
3 years ago

Just sanded deck and applied new semi transparent stain. I made a very poor choice of not testing the color. Now I want to remove the new stain. I really do not want to sand the entire deck again. Would a chemical stain remover and pressure washer do the job?

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