Deck Stain Removers 4.4/5 (16)

This post was updated on January 19, 2022

Best Deck Stain Removers

We appreciate you visiting Deckstainhelp.com as we continue to be your go-to source for the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics through 2022. Below, we talk about Deck Stain Removers. Feel free to leave a comment below with any pictures you may have.


For the best results when cleaning and maintaining a wood deck, removing all the old deck stain is crucial. Deck stain is meant to penetrate into the wood to provide protection. When an old stain remains on the wood it prevents any new stain from penetrating. The newer stain will instead remain atop the old stain and will be prone to peeling and flaking.

To ensure the new deck stain dives into the wood and provides adequate weather protection, any existing deck stain must be removed. During the wood cleaning process, a deck stain remover should be used. When using a deck stain remover it is not necessary to use a deck cleaner. The deck stain remover will not only remove old stains but dirt, grime, mildew, and graying as well.

There are many types of deck stain removers on the market. Liquid and powdered forms are the most common. The liquid forms are usually ready to apply while the concentrated powder forms require mixing with water.
Deck stain removers can be applied to almost any exterior wood surface or deck to aid in proper cleaning and prepping for stain. Stain removers are commonly applied using a garden type pump sprayer but may also be applied using a soft brush.

Deck stain removers are very aggressive and will emulsify most semi-transparent and semi-solid deck stains. For hard to remove stains several applications may be necessary. Deck stain removers may not remove all deck stains especially some solid stains or paints.

The deck stain remover is a great way to aid in proper cleaning and prepping wood for a new stain application. The lack of removing deck stains leads to excessive buildup, darkening, and peeling. Deck stains do not adhere well to other deck stains, so removing a failed deck stain prior to a new application is definitely the best option to ensure excellent results.

Always wear protective gear when handling any type of cleaner or stripper. Protect landscaping, windows, concrete and other non-targeted areas with plastic or tarps prior to cleaning. Follow the recommended directions per the product label for the best results. Use caution when cleaning wood with pressure washing. Getting too close to the wood can cause permanent damage.

It is best to apply a wood brightener to the deck following cleaning or stripping. This will reverse the darkening effect on the wood and will ensure proper stain penetration.

Have A Question about Removing a Deck Stain? Ask Below.


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Tina
Tina
11 months ago

Not sure what to use to remove old paint/stain from my deck. I moved in a couple of years ago and not sure what products the previous owners used. Do you recommend a stain stripper? or go right to sanding or power-washing?

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Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Is there a product out there that would safely remove “Valspar Clear Deck Stain” from my eastern red cedar fence…. without damaging?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob
Tami Lucy
Tami Lucy
1 year ago

Hi, please let me know what stain remover I should use. I have used Pittsburgh Paints and Stain Ultra Advanced Stain and Sealant Semi-Transparent acrylic oil formula cedar color on pine wood–about 10 years of recoats. Bar none the worst stain I could have ever picked. I’ll never use an acrylic stain again. I have used Cabot wood stripper and Wolman and they just don’t seem to do the job that well — used several recoats and lots of scraping and power washing. I have done about half of the deck but still have half to go. I know by the pic it looks like it should come off easily, but do not be fooled, it does not. Thanks for any input you have.

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Tami
Tami
1 year ago

It actually is a semi-transparent. Says right on the can.

Tami
Tami
1 year ago

Okay, one more question, please. I would still like to strip as much as possible before sanding. So, what stripper do you suggest in that case? Thanks.

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

how do you remove deckover?

Lee Lemon
Lee Lemon
2 years ago

What brand of wood stripper works? I wasted a gallon and entire full afternoon using Behr Wood strain stripper which did not work. What would you suggest

Lee
Lee
2 years ago

Behr SemiTransparent- weatherproof all in one Wood stain and Sealer

Jack
Jack
3 years ago

When removing the deck strip what is the recommended PSI for power washer so as not to damage the wood?

Jack
Jack
3 years ago

Trying to determine a safe PSI–so is a pressure of 1750 a safe range?

Joy
Joy
3 years ago

I need to remove old stain from my vinyl siding. Is this safe to use? If not, what would you recommend?

Ken
Ken
3 years ago

Is Wolman deckstrip allowed in Canada

Tom Vought
Tom Vought
4 years ago

2 yrs ago applied Sikkens proluxe semi transparent stain to new cedar decking..blistering off.. would like to strip and use another brand of semi transparent stain.What stripper would you use? I was thing of using TWO 1000 stain.. any thoughts Tom .. My location N.J

Nadine
Nadine
4 years ago

Trying to remove acrylic semi transparent sealer from posts on the deck. Used bleach and water as we have aluminum railings and tsp would damage them. Some sealer remains and sanding is not doing the job. Any suggestions?

Nadine
Nadine
4 years ago

It was a clear stain. A thin film is present and when sanding it just clogs up the paper.

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Katie
Katie
4 years ago

which product would you recommend to strip the solid Behr Premium Waterproofing Stain and Sealer stain off the deck?

Cliff
Cliff
5 years ago

After deck remove applied can you pressure clean

Terri
Terri
5 years ago

I just installed a new cypress fence with pressure treated posts and crowbars. How soon can I stain it and what is the best penetrating stain. I know to stay away from the box store kind. Thank you

Susan
Susan
6 years ago

When it was two months old, our deck was stained with Preservawood Redwood (lighter than Pacific Redwood). I couldn't be near our house for 3 weeks the smell bothered me so much. I am desperate to switch to Defy or another very low odor stain, but it seems so complicated and prone to failure of one sort or another. I found a deck restorer who has never used Defy, but he is willing to try. Another deck guy said, "once oil, always oil," What do you think I should use? If we can make the switch, should we sand as well as strip? How can we test to see whether all the oil stain is gone?

Sue
Sue
6 years ago

1. Is there a product available for stripping an 8 year old, semi-transparent, water-based stain from a pressure-treated pine DOCK and GANGWAY on the lake?
2. If I use RAD stripper, should I protect the painted steel frame that holds the boards in place?

Sue
Sue
6 years ago

I don't know. I would guess Behr.

Sue
Sue
6 years ago

I was hoping to use Defy stripper since it is biodegradable and this will be applied and powerwashed on a dock (not deck) over the lake. Defy Is rated 9 for removal of old stain (TWP) while HD80 is rated 8 (Olympic oil). Perhaps an extra application of Defy stripper would work for what could be an 8 year old semi-transparent, water-based Behr stain?

Sue
Sue
6 years ago

Thanks! An amazing site!

Kevin
Kevin
7 years ago

I have a fairly old deck with three generations of pine decking, original boards, replacement boards (2 yrs old) and new boards. What is the best approach to remove the existing semi transparent stain and restain and have a consistent color to the deck? I want to restain with a semi transparent stain.
Thank you

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

2 weeks ago I stained my cedar fence with Sherwin Williams oil based semi transparent stain. This was a horrible experience. Not only was there a huge inconsistency in color but also in the stain, only one side of my fence actually looks like it was stained the rest looks like paint. not only does my fence look horrible but I used 20 gal of stain on a fence that should have only took 10 gal, and the fence isn't even finished. I just want to know what would be the best way to go about removing this stain. Thanks

Eric
Eric
7 years ago

Bought Behr "Premium" gel stain remover to remove some old acrylic stain from previous owner. It was a horrible experience. You can read my review on Home Depot and some rants on this site. DON'T BUY BEHR. Follow the sound advice from this site the first time and save yourself a headache from wasted time and money. You will also save yourself from some alkaline chemical burns by wearing proper protective equipment. Buy Restore A Deck. Higher concentration and longer dwell time took acrylic off nicely with power washer.

wjmooney
wjmooney
7 years ago

I just finished staining my deck and it looks great. But I made a mess of the concrete walkway. Any suggestions what can I use to remove oil based stains from this?

Tap Sum Bong
Tap Sum Bong
7 years ago

What is the best deck stain stripper available in Canada?

Lee
Lee
7 years ago

Hello, I love your site and wish I had run across it ages ago! I (along with many others it seems) applied the awful Behr Semi-Transparent stain, and 2 years in, it looks awful. I'm trying to get rid of it, but I'm having the hardest time doing so.

What's the best way to get rid of this awful product (taking into consideration both time and cost-effectiveness)?
A) Buy a better stain remover? (The Behr stuff from Home Depot didn't even take off their own product!) If so, it seems like HD80 works best on acrylic stain like Behr, is that right?
or
B) Rent a belt sander? (Will this remove all of the stain below the surface?)
or
C) Replace the wood? (With the work I have already put in stripping 25% of the deck, I could have bought lumber and replaced the entire surface of the deck by now.)
or
Some combination of the three?

Here are the answers to the 5 questions I've seen in other threads, in case that helps:
Deck Location State: Illinois
Half Partial Sun, Half Full Shade
Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Mold or Mildew Issues: A little
Reason for Previous Stain Failure: Peeled

Thank you so much for your help!

Marcie Christensen
Marcie Christensen
7 years ago

I applied Behr Transparent weather proofing wood finish to my deck 2 and a half years ago. It is 100% acrylic. It is faded, flaking and peeling. Can you offer any advice on what kind of stripper I could use. Already sanded with a deck sander, but still remains large areas and splotches. I still have railing and 2 stairs to do.

Thanks

Ritch
Ritch
8 years ago

In 2011 I stripped a 100% acrylic deck with Wolman's ASR. It required a lot of product to strip the acrylic, but I did it. I sanded, washed and used a brightener. I stained with One Time Deck Stain. After it cured, I noticed what appeared to be inconsistent saturation. In Jan 2013 I stripped my dock, sanded, washed & brightened. This time I waited a month before I stained thinking my deck problem was because I hadn't thoroughly rinsed the stripper. I applied Wood RX Ultra and now have the same problem: inconsistent saturation. The mgf thinks the wood won't accept the stain because it wasn't properly neutralized, but I used Restore-A-Deck brightener. Any idea what's causing this problem?

Bob
Bob
6 years ago
Reply to  Ritch

Wood some times will have a different density due to the grain. Maybe the tree the wood was from went through a drought and grew slowly for a few years then grew faster. This causes the grain to be more dense in certain areas. Maybe you might want to think about using a solid color stain instead of a transparent or semi transparent stain.

I have a large deck that was stained with a product called flood, it was a solid color stain and it lasted 10 yrs. About to strip it and refinish and I'm going to use flood solid color stain again, hope it works as well this time ad it did 10 yrs ago.

Sharon
Sharon
8 years ago

we have a 2 yr old pressure treated wood porch that my husband painted Flood solid stain on and we want to remove it. We have tried the Flood wood finish remover and have gone through 2 gallons and does not seem to work all that well. Do u have any recommendations on what brand to use to finish. We live in Washington state at the base of Mt St Helens SW Washington where we get lots of rain and some snow. We do get some freezing temps in Jan-early March. Thank you for your quick response.

Ritch
Ritch
8 years ago
Reply to  Sharon

I stripped Flood Deck and Spa 100% acrylic stain using Wolman's Acrylic Deck Stripper (ASR). It was difficult and time consuming, but I got it done. I had to use several applications, kept it covered with plastic, used a two hour dwell time and pressure washed. I then sanded it. It was a nightmare. Plus, the wood now won't consistently hold the new stain.

Dave
Dave
8 years ago

I've read comments thread and agree with all. It's unfortunate there are so many problems related to decks, particularly when it comes to removing old stain.
My worst experiences have been decks I treated with Cabot SPF (since discontinued). After a coat or two nothing else will hold, no chemical removes and only recourse has been alot of deck sanding.

GatorSig
GatorSig
8 years ago

I have an older dock out over the water and for years used Olympic semi-transparent stain. Two years ago I switched to a Cabot semi-transparent oil-based stain, and have not been happy. I now am ready to re-stain the dock again, but need to strip the combination of old Olympic and Cabot stains off before applying a new stain. Any suggestions?

janell
janell
8 years ago

I have a solid behr stain on my deck that I need to strip. I cant find the info here on what stripper works best for solid stain- any recommendations?

Yariv
Yariv
8 years ago

I find your website to be extremely helpful, I have a new (2 month old) pressure treated pine deck and as recommended in this site I'm planning to use the Restore-A-Deck kit before staining for the first time. My question; I have grass and flowers bordering the deck, when rinsing these chemicals can they harm the greenery?

Tired Momma
Tired Momma
9 years ago

I used ONE TIME natural finish on mahogany decking 1×4 tongue and groove. We followed the manufacturer's directions, but the product failed to hold both a finish (flaking) and color (uneven fading/water spots). I have power washed the decking, but do not know how to remove the OneTime from the boards or what to use to NOW protect the boards and bring back the color. I think I am going to use TWP or Armstong Clark preservative. I would like to ask how to remove the ONE TIME an prep for the TWP or Armstrong Clark.

Ritch
Ritch
8 years ago
Reply to  Tired Momma

I had the same problem with One Time. I stripped it with Wolman's ASR, but I now have a problem with another stain saturating the wood,

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