It has been years since you stained your deck. The coat has held up very well more than you were probably expecting. However, in the past few days, you have noticed that it has begun to peel and your deck is slowly losing its beauty.
Well, as a responsible homeowner, it’s the right time to breathe some new life into the deck. But before you even apply a fresh stain, you need to remove the old paint. Getting rid of the old finish ensures that your new maintenance coat penetrates the deck correctly, increasing its performance.
So, how are you going to remove that old stuff? Well, this is why you need to have a deck stripper. A good deck stripper will remove paint, sealer, varnish, and stains. It will also clear the deck of mold, algae, grease, dirt and more to guarantee a long-lasting performance of the new finish.
Unfortunately, choosing the deck stripper to buy is one of the challenging decisions that you will have to make. Luckily, this article makes work easier for you by revealing the 11 best deck strippers in the market.
Top 11 Deck Strippers
#1 Woodrich EFC-38 Wood Cleaner & Wood Stripper
The first pick on the list is the Woodrich EFC-38 Wood Stripper. This remover uses an effective formula that works on all types of wood. Therefore, whether your deck is of cedar, redwood, mahogany, or any other wood, you can buy with the confidence that this stripper will work perfectly with it.
Also, you can use it on siding, fence and any other wooden surface around your home. The stripper offers impressive coverage of 3000 square feet. For this reason, if you have a large deck or just want a stripper that will go a long way, this remover needs to be on your priority list.
Woodrich EFC-38 Wood Cleaner & Stripper comes in a powder form that mixes easily in water. By allowing you to make your own solution, this remover gives you greater flexibility than other options that come in solution form. And since it’s safe for plants and pets, we are safe to conclude that it is one of the cleaners that are made with safety as a priority.
The easy-to-use product is effective on sealers and most semi-transparent. Also, it removes mold, mildew, grime, and gray wood to ensure that you get a fresh surface before you apply your choice deck coat.
#2 Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper
Whether your deck has a clear, semi-transparent or semi-solid coating, expect this stripper to give you a fresh-looking surface in no time. Like the previous option, it comes in a powder form and will make up to 5 gallons of solution.
With this amount, you will find it cheaper per gallon than most of the alternatives we have out there. However, in case you are dealing with difficult to remove finishes, the manufacturer recommends that you mix at a stronger ratio- 3 gallons at maximum will be good.
The 5 gallons will keep you going for about 1000 square feet- a pretty nice coverage for the cost. Hence, if you are a low-budget homeowner in need of a deck stripper that will provide an impressive coverage without stepping outside your budget, here comes the perfect deal for you. Apart from the fence, you can also use it on other exterior wood surfaces. Hence, expect it to come in handy in most of your outdoor resurfacing applications.
The Eco-safe formula means that it is safe for humans, cats, and plants. However, the manufacturer warns that you should not expose the full strength product to plants since it can burn foliage.
#3 DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper
This high-quality stain stripper will remove the old and worn finish to restore your deck to its original look. Unlike the two previous options that come in powder form, this remover arrives in a ready-to-use solution form.
Therefore, all you need is to pour the solution in a sprayer and then apply it on the intended surface. Hence, in case you want to avoid the hassle of mixing, or maybe the risk of mixing the product incorrectly, you can consider giving it a try.
The commercial-grade product breaks down the worn-out finish and removes it along with the collected dirt, mold, and algae to leave the deck looking like new. However, it does not work for paint, solid color stains or any other layer-forming finishes.
To get excellent results, the manufacturer recommends that you apply it using a pump-up sprayer and then leave it for about 20-30 minutes. After this period, use a pressure washer to remove the stain, and that’s it- you won’t even need a brush!
#4 Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper
This pack contains everything you need to prepare your wooden deck before applying a fresh coat. It includes wood stain stripper, stripper booster additive, wood brightener, and stain stripper thickening gel; more than you will find in any other kit.
The stripper uses an advanced formula that is tough on finishes but very gentle on the wood. The highly effective cleaner also removes dirt, mill glaze, and mildew to restore the wood to its original look. The booster additive makes the remover 300% more effective, allowing it to break down even the difficult-to-remove finishes in no time.
The wood brightener mixes readily in water to form a solution that brightens your wooden deck and restores its natural beauty. The biodegradable brightener is effective on all types of wood. Thus, it will not only work for a deck but also other wooden exterior surfaces.
To get good results, the surface to be stripped needs to be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, the user needs to use a pump sprayer when applying the eco-safe deck stripper. However, as with the preceding pick, this kit will not work for paint, polyurethane or over applied acrylics.
#5 Sunnyside 65732A Multi-Strip
With more than 125 years in the industry, Sunnyside Corporation is one of the long-serving manufacturers in the industry. She focuses on producing high-quality paints, paint removers, paint additives, among other products that bring to your home beauty that is hard to beat.
Sunnyside 65732A stripper is one of their iconic products. This Paint & Varnish remover offers an easy and safe way to get rid of the ugly old finish of your deck. It uses an enhanced formula that penetrates deep to remove up to 15 layers of coat, whether oil or water-based.
It is powerful enough for use on difficult coatings such as urethanes and 2-part epoxy, something you can’t achieve with ordinary stain strippers. For fewer layers of paint or varnish, the manufacturer recommends that you apply a light coat of this remover.
Most users around the world like that this stripper is non-flammable and that it has low odor. Therefore, we can think of it as one of the most powerful yet safe deck strippers you will come across out there. And since it works on both interior and exterior surfaces, it will come in handy in most of your projects more than any other remover we have out there.
#6 Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover
This revolutionary paint remover is also very powerful and will wipe multiple layers of coat in a single application. It does not contain methyl chloride or any other toxic compounds you are likely to find in other removers that deliver comparable performance.
Like the initial option, Dumond Chemicals 3332 Advanced Paint remover will tackle up to 15 coats of any coat. Hence, whether you want to get rid of varnish, water/oil-based paints, urethanes, or any other type of finish, you can count on it to get the job done correctly.
The high-quality option works well for both interior and exterior surfaces. It is effective on concrete, metal, plastic, glass, wood, brick, and other materials. Thus, expect it to turn essential in all your paint removal projects. The remover is pH-neutral so that it does not affect wood or the material where you apply it.
You will like that the biodegradable remover has low-odor to give you an easy time when applying. You can apply it using a brush, roller, or an airless spray. However, since it comes in a 1-quart canister, you may be forced to grab several if you have a large area to strip.
#7 Saver Systems Deck Wood Stain Stripper
Saver Systems uses state-of-the-art technology in their production process to deliver products that beautify and reliably protect what you have invested so much on. This stripper is for use with a pump sprayer. It comes ready to apply in a one-gallon jerry can.
With this much, the remover will cover 100-150 square feet depending on how much you apply. Although this is a nice coverage, it may not be enough if you have a large deck. Hence, if you need it for applying over a large area, you may need to grab several of these canisters.
The stain remover will work for siding, fences, and other exterior wood surfaces. Hence, you can order as much as you want without the worry that it will go to waste in case you have some left after working on your deck.
The wood stain stripper uses a special formulation that breaks down stain in less than 60 minutes. I mean, with this remover, you won’t keep waiting for long. It doesn’t work on solid stains, paint, and film-forming finishes, however, so you will have to settle another option on this list if this is what you want to get rid of.
#8 DeckGeneral Deck Stripper 4021
Restore the beauty of your deck using this premium-grade deck stripper. Like other options on the list, this stain remover also does well on wooden fence and siding. Therefore, you buy it knowing that it will give you maximum value for your money. Our hand-picked option comes in a 1-gallon container but it is also available in larger quantities in case you need more of it.
The Deck General 4021 Deck Stripper makes use of an exceptionally powerful formula that removes the old stain without leaving any traces of coat. This maximizes the performance and beauty of the new coat.
The industry-grade remover is effective on latex and oil finishes, water sealers, varnishes, polyurethanes, and other finishes to bring your deck back to life. Moreover, unlike some options that require sanding before applying, this remover does not require any prep work before spreading it on the surface.
This deck stripper is also straightforward to use. You can use it as it is or dilute it in an equal amount of water depending on the nature of the coat you want to remove. After this, apply it on the surface and leave it for 15-20 minutes to penetrate deep before power washing the stripped surface.
#9 Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
This stripping gel is one of the best-selling options we have in the market. As one of the homeowners’ favorites, we can already tell that it’s one of the options that won’t disappoint easily.
The gel comes in a 1-quart container that boasts great coverage. However, some homeowners with large decks find this amount to be too little to cover their entire deck and are therefore forced to buy several of them. Unlike some strippers that contain harsh fumes, this remover has a citrus scent to leave your deck not only clean and ready for resurfacing but also smelling great.
Citristrip QCSG801 does not contain methylene chloride like some of the options we have outside there. Thus, in case you are looking for a safe option for use on interior and exterior surfaces, this will be a good option to buy.
Its reliable formula remains active for up to 24 hours, removing multiple layers without having to apply several layers as with most options out there. Citristrip QCSG801 will also remove finishes from metal, masonry, and other common surfaces around the home.
#10 Woodrich HD80 Heavy-Duty Wood Stripper
Woodrich Brand remains one of the most trusted brands not only by home DIYers but also by professional contractors. And yes, coming from this reputable manufacturer, this is one of the deck strippers that you can buy knowing that it will do exactly as it promises.
The premium-grade stripper has a stronger stripping power than most of the options we have in the market. It works ideally for removing even the most stubborn solid stains whether on the deck, fence, siding or any other exterior surface around the home.
The cleaner breaks down the old coat to leave your wooden surface with that like-new look you were expecting right from the beginning. The kit contains 2 pounds of HD80 cleaner and an equal amount of wood brightener.
After using the cleaner, the brightener gives back your wooden surface its natural beauty. This kit provides enough supply to keep you going for about 750 square feet. Hence, if you have a standard-size deck, expect it to tackle the job and probably have some left.
#11 Woodrich Brand Heavy Duty Wood Stripper
This kit also comes from Woodrich Brand. Therefore, it is highly effective and will work well to prepare your wooden flooring for resurfacing. Like the previous suggestion, this option comes as a kit. Thus, you will have all you require to prepare your surface before you add a fresh coat of stain.
I mean, apart from the stripper, you will also get wood brightener for restoring the wood’s natural beauty. The heavy-duty cleaning power of the stripper removes the stickiest stains with minimal effort and time.
The citralic wood brightener is of a perfect blend of acids and surfactants. Hence, the neutralizer will brighten the wood without bleaching or causing damage.
The kit is also designed for use on other exterior surfaces such as fence and siding. And with the unparalleled coverage of 3000 square feet, it will be a great purchase for anyone intending to resurface a large area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Do I need to strip deck before re-staining?
Yes. Before you apply a new layer of stain on your deck, it’s important to get rid of the initial coat. Removing this layer allows the fresh stain to penetrate deep into the wood for long-lasting performance. Also, getting rid of the initial coat will ensure that it does not affect the appearance of the new paint.
Why is the stain on my deck peeling?
Poor adhesion is the major cause of peeling. It occurs when the stain has not properly stack to the wood. However, peeling can also happen when it rains in case you had over-applied the coat. Extended exposure to the sun is also another thing that can make your stain to peel.
How many coats of deck stain should I use?
When re-staining your deck, it’s advisable to apply as much as the wood can take. Some woods will absorb more stain than others.
Do you need to sand before you apply a deck stripper?
Well, it all depends on the stripper you are using. Some removers require one to sand while others don’t. Hence, read the manufacturer’s instructions keenly to know the recommended procedure.
Do solid deck stains peel?
Yes. Although solid stain will not change color with extended exposure to UV, it’s likely to peel or crack with time. Therefore, you will still need to get rid of the solid stain after sometime before you apply the new coat.
Deck stripping is an easy way to remove the old finish before applying the new coat. Of course, we have many deck strippers out there, each claiming to work perfectly.
Unfortunately, only a few can be counted on to live to their claims. That’s why we have prepared this content to act as a guide.
- Top 11 Deck Strippers
- #1 Woodrich EFC-38 Wood Cleaner & Wood Stripper
- #2 Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper
- #3 DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper
- #4 Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper
- #5 Sunnyside 65732A Multi-Strip
- #6 Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover
- #7 Saver Systems Deck Wood Stain Stripper
- #8 DeckGeneral Deck Stripper 4021
- #9 Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
- #10 Woodrich HD80 Heavy-Duty Wood Stripper
- #11 Woodrich Brand Heavy Duty Wood Stripper
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)