This post was updated on April 25, 2023
Update 2023 Best Deck Stain Strippers
With over 30+ years of restoring decks as contractors, we have done extensive research to find the best deck strippers and put together a comparison of the positives and negatives of each brand and type of stripper. However, if you’re still not sure which deck stripper is best for you, our experts are here for you: Just post a comment or question below and we’ll reply as soon as we can.Click to Read More
DeckStainHelp.com is a help and review site with the goal of offering advice to homeowners with the laborious task of restoring their exterior wooden decks, docks, and wood homes. We have been prepping and stripping exterior wood decks since 1993. We have tried them all and have compiled a list of the top wood and deck stain strippers.
Need Help Finding the Best Deck Stain Remover?
There are lots of deck stain strippers on the market today, but which deck stripper will work well without damaging your wood? See Below our list of the best exterior wood and deck stain strippers and removers.
#1 Best Wood Stain Stripper/Remover
#2 Best Wood Stain Stripper/Remover
#3 Best Wood Stain Stripper/Remover
What is the Best Deck 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): 9.8
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): 9.4
See Review Article Here: Restore-A-Deck Stripper Review
3. RAD PaintStrip Stripping Gel Rating
Note: This product is designed to remove solid color deck stains and paints. While it will remove all other stain types, it is not always needed.
R-A-D™ PaintStrip is the right choice for almost any paint or sealer stripping project. R-A-D™ PaintStrip is eco-friendly, works fast (starts working within 5 minutes), and removes up to 5 layers of most paints in 30-45 minutes, and up to 15 layers in 24 hours.
Product Type: Solid Color Deck Stain and Paint Stripping Gel
Available Sizes: 1 & 5-Gallons
Consumer Star Ratings:
DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a Scale of 1-10): 9.2
See Review Article Here: RAD PaintStrip Review
4. 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 Defy Store
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
Common Questions About Wood Deck Stain Strippers
Do You Have to Strip a Deck?
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.
What are Active Ingredients in a Deck Stain Stripper?
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.
Instruction Tips for Stripping a Deck?
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.
Do I have to Brighten after using Deck Stain Strippers?
Following the stripping process with an application of a wood deck brightener will restore the pH, brighten the wood, while neutralizing the deck stripper. 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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Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.