Restore A Deck Stain Stripper Instructions and How To Help
Maintaining a wood deck will ensure you get the longest lifespan and most use out of the extra outdoor living space. To maintain the appearance of a deck it should be cleaned and recoated every couple of years on average.
When preparing a deck for refinishing it is vital that it be cleaned properly. It is important to remove any old stain or sealer remnants that may be on the deck that would block the new stain or sealer from penetrating the wood properly.
Restore A Deck Stain Stripper is a specially designed two-step system for stripping old transparent and semi-transparent deck stains from wood prior to refinishing. There are some basic step-by-step instructions for stripping a deck with the RAD Stain Stripper system.
Restore A Deck Stripper Steps
1. Be sure air temperatures are within 45-90 degrees before starting.
2. Remove all furniture and décor from the deck and the surrounding area. Move at least 20 feet away and downwind from overspray.
3. Although RAD products are Eco-Friendly it is still recommended to cover any sensitive landscaping, shrubbery, and/or plants or pre-wet with water. Make sure to rinse well any overspray that may get on plants.
4. Cover any windows, doors, and other areas of the house with plastic or pre-wet with water.
5. Be sure to wear personal protection equipment such as eyewear, gloves, and clothing.
6. Mix Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper by following the suggested instructions. Mix until all the crystals are fully dissolved. If using a pump sprayer to apply, mix in a separate bucket first and transfer to sprayer to avoid clogging of sprayer inlet tube.
7. Option 1: Mist fresh water onto the deck then apply RAD Stain Stripper using a pump sprayer or scrub brush. This is the most effective way.
8. Allow RAD Stain Stripper to sit on wood for 10-15 minutes or until the surface becomes slippery. Keep misting deck with water so is not allowed to dry.
9. Gently pressure wash at 1500-2000 PSI or hand scrub vigorously the deck until all dirt, grime, and gray fibers are removed. Rinse deck, shrubbery, and surrounding area with fresh water. Pressure washing is more effective.
10. Reapply RAD Stain Stripper to any stubborn areas repeating steps 7 & 8 to remove old stain or sealer as much as possible.
11. While wood is still wet apply Restore-A-Deck Wood Brightener following the mixing instructions and using a pump sprayer. The RAD Wood Brightener does not need to be washed or scrubbed, simply rinse off after 10 minutes of dwell time. Make sure to rinse the RAD Brightener thoroughly for 20 minutes until all soap suds are removed after the 10 minutes dwell time.
Important Note: Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper may not fully remove Solid Color Wood Stains, Paints, Varnishes, and Excessively Over-Applied Acrylic Semi-Transparent and Semi-Solid Coatings. To remove these deck and wood stain types, use the RAD Paint & Solid Stain Stripper
Need Help Stripping an Old Stain? Ask Below!
Do you Have a Difficult to Remove Coating?
Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper Additives
I had to strip off the RAD semi-transparent stain that was applied 2 years ago (due to flaking). This left some fuzzies, so I lightly sanded them off using an orbital sander with 60 grit paper. I’m about to start brightening, then will stain tomorrow. I’ve read many discussions on the forum, and am confused as to how many coats of RAD semi-transparent stain I should apply. Some answers say only one. Others say 2 light coats wet on wet. Could you advise, please and thank you.
Since you sanded, just one coat.
I have stripped my deck and rails (they look great) I don’t think I’ll have time to complete the project this weekend. Should I brighten now or wait till right before I stain it a week and a half from now?
Can I use Restore-A-Deck Stripper and Brightener on old wood that doesn’t seem to ever had any stain on it?
I just finished using RAD Stripper, Brightener and Stain on my deck and have lots of supplies and stain left over. I’m planning on staining a fence that has never had any finishes on it during the 18 years we’ve been here. I don’t have time to order RAD Cleaner, so I wondered if I can just use the stripper leftover from the deck. If not, I’ll have to use some type of locally available deck cleaner and follow up with the RAD Stain.
The Stripper alone is not designed for never stained wood as it can “furr” it up.
Thanks for your quick response. I used some deck/fence cleaner left over from a prior project. Fence looks good and I’ll apply the stain after today’s forecasted rain clears out.
Hi I have a 20 yr old PT deck. First used semi transparent then went to solid Behr stain. Deck is in good condition, but having peeling,and bubble issues with bare wood underneath.. I`ve been spot staining after peeling. Can you tell me the order of processes ? I am wondering if it is possible to get to all wood. If I sand ,PW ,or use RAD on the rough spots can I use solid again over the rest or just try to get it all off? Its about 40X10 . From the amazing information available it seems like I would be able to get to the bare wood again ,use a solid like on the spindles , but seems like a huge job..Like alot of things.Thanks
You can remove this but it will be a lot of stripping and or sanding to get down to the bare wood. Easiest would be to strip off what you can and then apply the RAD solid stain over the intact stain that is not peeling.
Have a 20 year old deck that has several layers of semi transparent stain on it that is now starting to look real bad. Just wondering if i can just use the stripper or will I need to get the booster as well to remove the old stains?
You will need this to get it off: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-paint-solid-stain-stripper-5-gallon.html
I need to sand my deck in places. At what point in process should this take place? I pressure washed it already and have an order in for your stripper, booster and brightener.
You can sand first and then prep products after.
I have a small deck (6X8) that was treated with thompson’s advanced semi transparent in cedar 2 years ago. Some areas are good but much has washed away over the 2 years (mainly due to winter snow). Do I need to strip or can I use the cleaner and then the Brightener? The spindles and rail are in good shape so I hope to stay with the same colour as just the deck and steps need to be re done. Also I know there is a fee for shipping to canada but are there duty excise fees also added? thank you
You will need to strip. Post some pictures for prep advice. Our shipping is all included when you checkout. No additional fees when it arrives.
Not a lot left on it … and only 2years.
This is the deck as it is now. Not a lot of stain left.
Sorry for the double post, it said the pic did not load so I reposted. Oops!
Use the RAD Stain Stripper with both additives: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html
Would 1 gallon of stain work? It is not a large deck and I am only doing the floor and steps (not spindles / railing)
Yes, it is plenty.
One last question (sorry). I was just at a lumber store and they had different product that is well rated. I asked about it and they said if you have used Thompson’s Water Seal you cannot change. They said that there is a wax or oil in the TWS that takes at least 5 years to wear off. Will not be removed by stripping or even sanding as it penetrates. Is this true? the TWS has not been a great product but I don’t want to put out the money to change it only to discover it peels off.
No, they have no idea what they are talking about. It can be stripped and then recoated with a different stain brand.
I have a narrow window of opportunity to apply the Stripper & Brightener. Rain follows the next few days. Should I cover the deck when it rains? I won’t be able to apply stain for at least 2 weeks. Thanks
No, the rain will not harm the prep.
I’m gonna use the Rad paint strip on my deck but I want to power wash all the debris off first. Can I apply the rad paint strip while deck is wet? Or do I have to let the deck dry first?
It can be damp or dry but not soaking wet.
Okay thank you
I’m about to restore an old Redwood deck, treated 1 year ago with Thompson’s Water Seal. I’ll use Restore-A-Deck Stripper, followed by Brightener. How long should I wait before applying stain?
You can apply the RAD stains to dry or damp wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/how-to-restore-a-deck-stain-to-damp-wood
I have IPE furniture that has turned black from a previous costing of Penofin about 3 years ago. Will Restore a Deck strip this finish? I am hoping to clean the IPE and let it gray naturally. How would I estimate the amount of Restore a Deck needed?
Yes, use the RAD Stripper and then the brightener. Post some pics of all furniture for advice to amount needed.
Purchased my home December 2021. Prior homeowner installed a cedar deck sometime within the last 10 years and most recently applied Sherwin Williams Superdeck clear sealer probably within the last 3 years. It is likely clear sealer was used for prior treatments since the cedar has not grayed, but there were some areas that were becoming black (see picture). Before doing much research, I power washed with ZEP deck cleaner and then deck brightener, but I ended up having to sand many of the black sections (60 grit). Should I go back with RAD stripper to ensure the clear sealer is completely removed and brighten again before applying RAD stain? I’ve also included a picture of the current state of the deck after sanding.
You should use the RAD deck cleaner and pressure washing one last time and then the RAD Brighener. No need to strip but you do need to do this to open the wood pores after sanding. One coat of the RAD semi-transparent stain for sanded wood.
I used the stripper on a section of my deck..I accidentally got some on another area that didn’t need stripping, and now there are spots(dots) in those areas that won’t wash off. What do I do?
If that is unstained wood then brighten all of it. You must brighten after stripping.
My deck was finished using a mixture of boiled linseed oil and paint thinner. Protected areas still have that finish but the rest of the deck is just weathered. Will RAD stripper remove the linseed finish so I can begin with the RAD system? I will also need to sand out some ridges created from previous pressure washing. Based on my research I believe I’ll need to strip, brighten, sand and then clean and brighten prior to applying RAD semi transparent stain. Am I correct in my assumptions?
Yes, it will strip it. Steps are correct.
Can you make a partial batch rather than a full five gallons of this product. I have a short length of fence covered with Thompson Water Seal.
Yes. Roughly 6-8 oz per gallon of water.
1 have 50ft X 8ft back porch deck, it is mostly shady only the very edges get any sunlight. i used Olympic maximum semi solid in Cedartone, about 3 years ago after completely sanding the deck down. My know it all wife, i can just use solid stain to cover it after only cleaning it. She now wants Defy Solid Gray to cover it. I really dont want to strip and sand that thing again. Can i get by just doing as she says?
Yes, just make sure to remove any peeling stain, and then you can cover the intact stain with the solid stain.
Are you saying it’s ok to just apply Restore a deck solid stain after cleaning and not stripping?
Can you tell me how much of the stripper, thickener, and booster I would put into the 2 gallon sprayer? Also, we would like to stain the deck with a medium gray semi-transparent when we’re finished. I don’t see this offered by RAD (the gray I see is too light). Do you have a recommendation or can we have colorant added to RAD stain?
You can put up to 2 gallons of mixed product into the sprayer. Premix all together into a 5 gallon pail. We do have a medium gray or can think of a brand to suggest. Thanks!
I stripped the deck today and also applied the brightener today. I will be sanding the deck in the 3 days from now, but noticed that you recommend to apply the brightener after sanding. Do I need to re-apply the brightener after sanding again.
Yes, and light pressure rinse after. This opens up the wood grain after sanding. Do not sand finer than 60-80 grit.
Can I use a pressure washer to apply the stripper, if so at what strength? My Simpson washer applies at a 7 to 1 ratio. When I use the correct soap on the pressure washer, there is very little pressure applied. If I use the pressure washer, will I still need to brush clean or will the application and subsequent rinsing with the pw be enough. I’ve used another brand of cleaner from a local shop at full strength and the deck was improved. There is still dirt in some of the grain of the wood but overall it is much better.
Would the stripper still need be applied with a sprayer?
No, do not use the pressure washer to apply the stripper. Use a pump sprayer and then pressure wash off.
pics related to my prior post
What was the question?
I have stripped and brightened my redwood deck . I have sanded off the furring on the rails however when sanding further with 36 grt paper I find a yellowing film underneath. I am thinking this may be old stain? I can sand it off (with alot of work) down to the redwood as I have done on the top of the step, but sanding all the railing would be a big job as sides of rails have to be done by hand. I plan to stain with a semi-solid stain as the prior semi transparent hasn’t stood up to the constant sun and heat. Do I have to do more so the new stain will absorb correctly?
Post a picture in the comments with the wood dry and a picture wet with water. Just mist on the water.
Sorry see the dry pics, please post pics when wet.
Our deck had a dark stain then the Restore was put on. We have a few problem areas that won’t come up with a pressure washer. (It is a covered porch and these areas did not get the exposure to the elements like the other areas.) Will the RAD Stain Stripper work on Restore and more of a solid looking stain?
Rust-Oleum Deck Restore? Nothing can remove that product. It is a deck resurface coating. You will have to sand it all off.
I only have a 320psi power cleaner wand. After applying the stripper should I scrub it first and then use the power cleaner?
No need to scrub unless it is a hard to remove coating.
I get that the 2 LBS bag makes 5 gallons but how do I only make 1 gallon at a time only because my pump sprayer is 1 gallon
6-8 oz of powder per gallon of water.
Perfect thank you
Thanks again ! Would 3 months on the Kiln dried be ok? Stairs.
Thank you ,, Cedar deck previous A/C stain . Going to strip every thing except new stairs. Only clean and brighten stairs. They were K/D.
Seem like the right way to go?
Thanks again !
Yes but you cannot stain the new wood yet. See here: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-for-new-wood.html
Sorry I’m on an iPad, not seeing upload link.?
Where is it located.?
The bottom left of the comment box. Looks like a paper clip.
Thank you !
How to upload pictures?
Click the upload link in the bottom left.
I have an above ground pool deck 12×12 that was stained about 15 years ago with no other up keep. I have pressure washed the main deck which really has no stain left on it, but the rail, spindles, lattice around the base and steps do. Would it be better to paint on the stripper with gel additive on lattice and spindles than spray?
No, just spray on.
Hello. We have an old deck that came with the house. Unsure of what it was previously stained with. We have low pressure power washed and then sanded the main horizontal surface. We did NOT use cleaner/ stripper/ brightener. There are small patches of old stain in the tight corners which we cannot sand except by hand. Will be replacing the horizontal handrails but leaving the verticals. Here are my questions:
Regarding Main horizontal –
1. Do we need to clean, strip or brighten the main sanded horizontal before staining with RAD Dark Walnut?
2. Can/ should we spot strip the small patches of old stain or will they “blend” when stain is applied to the rest
3. How many coats of stain is needed on freshly sanded?
Regarding prep for verticals –
4. Will using stripper only on verticals only be effective?
5. What if there is stripper backsplash onto main horizontal?
6. Will it be as easy as brush on/ wipe off or do you think we will have to sand as well?
7. What should we use to apply stripper if spot treating, brush?
Photos to be posted shortly…
We would need to see pics to help and answer your questions.
They are in the next post. Couldn’t reply to this one with them for some reason
1. Strip all is the easiest way.
2. Do all wood.
4. Do all wood.
6. Probably do not need to sand.
deck or railing first
My deck has the Cabot Australian Timber Oil -Natural on it.
I last applied it 12 months ago. A lot of the deck still has some good water resistance/
pooling/puddles. My issue is that the deck has gotten darker over the years -I believe its a combination of the oIl and the aging in the wood. I need to take it back to as much of the natural wood that I can
. Can the RAD stripper and Brightener handle this product, especially considering that section of the deck seem well sealed ? Thank You
Post some pics in the comments so we can see the condition of the deck.
It is pretty thick on the wood. Use the RAD stripper with both additives and let dwell for 45-60 minutes and then pressure wash off. RAD Brightener is last:
HERE YOU GO THANKS
Will the Stripper or Brightener harm the gate hardware on a fence?
The hardware is all Black and the fence will be Natural Stain.
I do believe I need to protect the hardware from stain, but am not sure if I need to protect from the Stripper/Brightener.
It should not harm the hardware but always test spot first.
Last year I prepped and stained (with semi clear transparent) RAD products my new eastern cedar deck. I didn’t like the clear color since it was yellowish and lost the redish color I was going for. Some of the stain came off after a year and I decided to strip the entire deck so I can apply the cedar color semi transparent stain from RAD.
I followed your directions and used the stripper yesterday and ran out of daylight before I could add the brightener. This morning the deck has some deeper darker colors and doesn’t look ready for the brightner I think? It was raining a tiny bit yesterday so the deck is still a bit wet. Should I strip again or just go ahead with the brightener and then stain? Thank you for all your help so far! I did not use any additives…
We have pre stained wood fence panels that are now fading after ~1.5 years. Maintenace instructions for similar products say to clean and brighten before applying your selection of stain. Should we use cleaner + brightener and apply a RAD semi-transparent stain that color matches the original stain? Or should we use stripper to remove the original stain first?
It should be removed first so strip and brigthen.
Got it. How long after I strip and brighten can I apply the stain? Can I prep today and stain a week from now? It will likely rain in between.
Stain within two weeks of prep.
We followed the instructions of the stripper bag to clean our deck with it and it has been a never ending chore. My husband has been on it for 5 hours and he has only been able to clean100 SF. with a pressure washer. The temperature was right, the mixing too. What shall we do?
Post some pictures.
Hi this is Lizzie,This is in reference to my very recent question, i sent the wrong pics these are the finished product and would like to know if i need to sand and if so what grid of paper is to be used? also i only own a palm sander and a belt sander which should i use? thank you
Good morning,I have completed the stripping and brightening process on my deck, pictures provided. It turned out very well, I was thinking i need to sand? If I do all i have is a palm sander and a belt sander, which is best to use and what grid of paper should be used?
No need to sand.
hi I just did my deck with the stripper, it turned out pretty good, i put another coat of stripper on the dark boards, do i need to do the brightner same day? Lizzie
Yes, for best results.
I applied a coat of semitransparent stain on a cedar deck a few weeks ago. Can I now apply another coat?
No as it will not take to newly applied stain once cured. Wait 6-9 months and prep first to apply another coat.
The photo is a cedar deck with one year old restore a deck after washing and brightening. Should it be sanded before restaining?
No need to sand. One coat of stain.
I’m using the RAD stripper and brightened. When washing off the stripper with the power sprayer, what is the average time to spray it. It looks like I have it all off, then I go lightly over it again, and more “white” seems to come off. Also, by the time I get done cleaning the deck tomorrow, the first part will be dry (I’m not fast), should I keep the whole deck damp until I can use the brightener. I stripped only five boards today, many more to do but didn’t have time to use the brightener on them. We have some old painted on stain that needs to come off so it is taking longer than expected.
Rinse well for 20-30 minutes. Deck should be all damp when you apply the brightener
Before and after.
Is there a maximum time that you can wait in between the first and second of semi-transparent Restore A Deck stain.
No more than 60 minutes.
I stripped/sanded/washed/brightened/stained my deck with Restore A Deck Cedar semi-transparent last summer. Do I have to strip before washing and staining this year?
Clean and brighten for prep.
Hi, can I use this product to refinish a wooden door?. the door is stained.
Do you have pictures?
I applied stripper with additive but was only able to remove ~75% of the semi-transparent stain. Don’t think I sprayed a thick enough coat, and then my pressure washer stopped working midway through. Can I let it dry and restart the process?
Alternatively, could I just sand off the remaining stain? If I go that route, should I apply cleaner before brightener?
Yes, you can do this and then cleaner and brightener after.
There are “fuzzies” on the deck after stripping and drying. Can I proceed with cleaner + brightener, or should I sand off the fuzzies?
Sand first to remove the fuzzies and then brighten after.
just applied stripper with additives. i dont see any bubbling on my spindles only on parts of the floor of the deck.
The stripper does not bubble.
Hello, I have just purchased the rad deck stripper and brightner.. will it work on this semi transparent stain that is currently on the deck now? it was power washed already and much of the stain came off but seems to be thicker in some areas..
It looks fairly thick in areas. You will need both additives and let dwell for 45 or more minutes before pressure washing off.
I need to also strip my cedar railings and posts, is there any special process to use for vertical surfaces or the lattice structure I have at the end of the deck? Does it stay on vertical spindles long enough to be effective or does it take multiple applications? Thanks!
Use both additives with the stripper. https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html
Followup to previous question. If the stored solution is too thick for my pump sprayer, can I use the stored stripper plus additives with pads for my spindles?
Yes, that should be okay. Much easier to spray to apply though.