Top 11 Best Deck Strippers In 2020

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

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.

Pros
  • It leaves the wood looking freaking good.

  • It removes dirt and sealers quickly.

  • It also works on the siding.

Cons
  • You may need to soak for a while for excellent results.

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#2 Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper

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.

Pros
  • It works on latex and oil-based finishes.

  • It comes with directions.

  • It has an eco-safe formula.

Cons
  • You need protective gear when using it.

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#3 DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper

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!

Pros
  • It works on any wood species.

  • It does not require mixing.

  • It is very easy to use.

Cons
  • It does not work on all coatings.

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#4 Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper

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.

Pros
  • It is a complete kit.

  • It tackles even the hard-to-remove coatings.

  • It is three times more effective.

Cons
  • Since it’s a kit, expect to spend more on it.

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#5 Sunnyside 65732A Multi-Strip

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.

Pros
  • It uses non-flammable and low-odor formula.

  • It works on interior and exterior surfaces.

  • It can remove up to 15 layers.

Cons
  • You must follow the instructions to the letter to get good results.

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#6 Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip

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.

Pros
  • It is very effective.

  • The product is biodegradable.

  • It allows for multiple application options.

Cons
  • You have to leave it for 24 hours.

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#7 Saver Systems Deck Wood Stain Stripper

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.

Pros
  • The directions are easy to follow.

  • It does not keep the user waiting for too long.

  • It is affordable.

Cons
  • It dries out quickly when using in hot sunny weather.

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#8 DeckGeneral Deck Stripper 4021

DeckGeneral Deck Stripper

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.

Pros
  • It is available in different capacities.

  • The unique formula is biodegradable.

  • It breaks down the old finish in less than 20 minutes.

Cons
  • It is not the most inexpensive deck stripper on the list.

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#9 Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

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.

Pros
  • It is free from the toxic methylene chloride.

  • It works on wood, masonry, and metal surfaces.

  • It does not produce any toxic fumes.

Cons
  • Some users wish that the citrus smell as a little concentrated.

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#10 Woodrich HD80 Heavy-Duty Wood Stripper

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.

Pros
  • The kit contains the stripper and a brightener.

  • It works on solid stains.

  • The coverage is impressive.

Cons
  • You still need some scrubbing when using it to remove solid stains.

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#11 Woodrich Brand Heavy Duty Wood Stripper

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.

Pros
  • The coverage of 3000 square feet is unparalleled.

  • It works on all types of wood.

  • The neutralizer brightens the wood without bleaching it.

Cons
  • It’s caustic so ensure that you have protective gear on before using it.

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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.

Verdict

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.

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