Restore A Deck Stain Stripper Instructions and How To Help

Maintaining a woodRAD STRIPPERdefault 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-part 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.

   Option 2: Use your chemical injector to apply RAD Stain Stripper for medium to light stain removal.

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 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.

Note that RAD Stain Stripper is not intended for use to effectively remove solid deck stains or paints.

Need Help Stripping an Old Stain? Ask Below!

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike · 03/14/2021
    Hello. We have a six year old, kiln dried treated pine deck that surrounds half of a chlorine pool. We used the Camo hidden screw system. I mention this because we almost immediately had serious cracking. The deck was installed in the fall and we had it stained in May of the following year. We used Sherwin Williams SuperDeck solid stain. The deck has needed to be re-stained every two years due to peeling. This year, I plan to switch to Defy Extreme solid (so I can color match the fence). My plan is to RAD strip off what I can and sand what remains. Since the deck will need to dry before sanding, can I apply the RAD whitener after sanding (which may be a couple of days after using the stripper)? Will this reduce the effect of the brightener? I wish that you have a color match option for your stains!
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    Jim · 10/29/2020
    I just purchased solid stain and stripper. I didn’t purchase brightner - is this a requirement or suggestion? Alternatives if I need to use a brightner for this weekend?

    BTW, thanks for the fast shipping and excellent packaging!
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      RAD Products · 10/30/2020
      The brightener should be used to neutralize the stripper. There are not alternatives locally that we know of.
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    Jeff · 10/23/2020
    I misapplied my sealer on my new deck, do I need brightener after stripping off sealer on new wood?
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    Lacy · 10/08/2020
    Do y’all sell a pump sprayer to use to apply the stripper?
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    Bob W · 09/26/2020
    Hello,
    I'm stripping a Mahogany Deck using RAD products and following your instructions carefully. After several attempts using either brush or Power-wash there always remains residual stain in the Wood’s fiber. Extensive sanding would be required to remove it and would also add substantial work, to say nothing of the damage to the wood. Incidentally, the repeated pressure washing is removing wood fiber.
    Your thoughts,
    Thanks,
    Bob W
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    Shannon T · 09/20/2020
    Hi, I have a 4 month old cedar deck which I cleaned with oxyclean and a scrub brush, rinsed, applied Thompson's Water sealer and after it dried, had a bunch of wood gray fuzzies where the sealer didn’t soak in- you recommended to “strip, brighten, and lightly buff the fuzzies and use RAD semi transparent stain” - I have a power washer and have ordered the RAD products. What I need to know is what do I use to “Lightly buff the fuzzies?”
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      RAD Products · 09/20/2020
      Rent a floor buffer and buff with a sanding pad.
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    Mel Adams · 09/17/2020
    Is it possible to re-wet the deck and apply the brightener the day after using RAD stripper, rather than trying to keep the entire area wet throughout the entire stripping/brightening process?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/17/2020
      Yes, but for max results, brighten the same day as the stripping.
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    Franklin T. Whitaker · 09/01/2020
    Can I purchase only the stripper? I already have brightener.
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    Carolyn Howison · 08/31/2020
    Will Stripper remove splatter/spray residue left to dry on a soapstone counter after the person applying RAD Semi-Transparent in Natural failed to cover the countertop during application? Some dishware was on the counter at the time leaving perfect circles of dried stain along with the splatters everywhere. Tried mineral spirit soak and scrub to no avail. Will Stripper work or do I have to somehow grind down the countertop? This formerly glossy black countertop looks horrible now.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/31/2020
      It depends if it soaked in deep or not. Also, you will probably have to reseal the countertop after. Try a test spot and see if it removes it.
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    richard · 08/25/2020
    i just striped a deck and log home put 116 pro on the house rustic did part of the deck with cape cod gray dont like it how can i get it off thought it was the same semi trans
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    Janine Bay teske · 08/15/2020
    do i need to use the brighter immediately after stripping? I have not received the brightner yet and wanted to get started.
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    Carolyn · 08/11/2020
    Hi- The deck that we need to refinish is above a walkout basement and concrete patio. Does the patio need to be fully covered with plastic to prevent any damage from the stripper? Thanks!
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      Paul · 09/01/2020
      Yes I would if you don't want any on the concrete. Or you will need to pressure wash it before it dries good.
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    Dan · 07/31/2020
    Pictures of my cedar railing..
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    Dan · 07/31/2020
    My main deck and stairs are TREX, but by railings are cedar with aluminum posts. I want to clean, brighten, and stain the cedar railing ONLY. Can you tell me if the RAD stripper will harm either the TREX decking material, or the aluminum posts? Seems like it would be difficult to protect the TREX and all the posts. I don't want to strip any color from the TREX or the aluminum posts. Please advise.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/31/2020
      The prep will not harm the Trex but make sure to rinse well to remove any dirt, soap suds, etc.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Dan · 07/31/2020
        I'm glad to hear the prep will not harm the trex. HOWEVER, will the prep damage the painted aluminum posts? Do I need to protect them? I am planning to use the RAD stripper, and then the RAD Brightener.
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    Frank · 07/20/2020
    I stained my deck several years ago with TWP walnut stain. I was complacent in keeping up with the deck maintenance and now I’m in the precess of restoring my redwood deck. Some of the boards were damaged (by dogs), so I decided to reuse the damaged boards by turning them over as seen in the photo. I am going to stain using a lighter stain (TWP Honeytone). I have cleaned (pressure washed) the deck and now going to use RAD stripper and brightener to complete the deck prep. On my deck that is 300 sq. ft., what ratio should I use for each (stripper & brightener) for 300 sq. ft. as I don’t want to mix the whole lot and waste it, and do I need to make the stripper solution stronger since I will be removing a darker stain? Also, after proper mixing of each, can stripper and brightener be applied with a pressure washer using a low pressure nozzle? Last question, Is there any wait time between stripper and brightener application?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/21/2020
      Mix stripper at a normal ratio of 8 oz per gallon. Apply with a pump sprayer and pressure wash off after 15 minutes. Rinse well and apply the brightener right after with a pump sprayer. Do not apply products with a pressure washer.
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    Terry · 07/15/2020
    Hi, I inherited a deck that had Behr Semi Transparent waterproof stain put on it about 4 years ago, a lite beige color( it didn’t cover very well, it might have been put on too soon after deck was built). I bought the Restore a deck stripper and the additives and it has gotten most of it off but not all of it with the help of a pressure washer. It’s a 10’ x 24’ deck with railings. My question is if I don’t want to sand the rest off, after I apply the Brightener and wait a few days, can I just go over it with a darker semi transparent or a solid or should I put back what was on there, the Behr.

    Thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/15/2020
      If you cannot fully strip off then you will need to use the RAD Solid Stain to cover.
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        Terry · 07/15/2020
        Thank you for the quick reply. I hope you don’t mind answering a few more questions. I looked at your solid colors, what would you recommend to cover up the beige that would be remaining and the deck is 10’ x 24’ with 3ft high rails going around, how much stain? I thinking that’s probably between 350-400 square feet? Thank you. Oh also, can I do the rails with a Wagner sprayer if it’s a little diluted?
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          RAD Products · 07/15/2020
          4-6 Gallons of the solid stain. Any color you like. You cannot dilute it.
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    Joe G · 07/10/2020
    I plan to strip Sikkens oil semi trans stain from deck. See attached image. Question - in what order should I apply + sand. Stripper, brightener, sand (80 grit), and then stain? Or should I sand before brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/10/2020
      Use both additives when suing stripper for this: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html

      If you sand, do it after stripper and before brightening.
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        Joe G · 07/10/2020
        Thanks. so it is okay to let deck dry after strip / before brightener so I can spot sand?
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          RAD Products · 07/10/2020
          Yes.
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            joe g · 07/11/2020
            Also, I did some light power washing this morning (no cleaner just water) to see how/if it cleans up in prep for the stripper. There is heavy moss in some sections. Do I need to clean first or will stripper (plus additive) take care of this?
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    Corie · 06/30/2020
    We intend to use RAD stripper on our cedar deck (new last year and has one coat of Penofin). Do you sell the "scrub brush" for application? We do not use sprayers.
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      RAD Products · 06/30/2020
      Best to scray it on and then pressure wash off. Much easier.
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    Brandon B · 06/25/2020
    I would love the deck to look like this after sealer/stain/protector. Is it possible? would the wood fade to gray without a tinted stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/25/2020
      The RAD Stain does not come in a Clear. Clear sealers will not provide any UV protection from graying. It must be tinted and that will enhance the grain. So no, it is not possible to maintain this new look.
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    Brandon B · 06/25/2020
    I want it look like this. No color in the stain, just a sealer or wood protector if possible.
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    Brandon B · 06/25/2020
    The new deck before stain.
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    Brandon B · 06/25/2020
    I wanted my deck to look as close to the natural cedar as possible, it turned out orange after using Cabot Semi-transparent New Cedar color stain. Will using stripper and brightener restore the deck to a new look? What stain would be the least amount of tint? I would prefer it to be completely clear but haven't found one. All these stains I tested were either yellow or orange- a slight brown tint would be acceptable.
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    Merland L. Clark · 06/24/2020
    I stained our deck yesterday. It looks good. This morning I noticed that I had accidentally left two drips on the boards. Can I need to sand that off or what do I do?
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    Jen · 06/23/2020
    Looking for a couple days in a row of weather meeting the temp and humidity requirements to do this project. Is the humidity an issue for the stripper and brightener stage? I'm hoping the stain is the humidity constraint. Thank you for all your help!
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    Kevin · 06/22/2020
    I have replaced my old wood railings with new aluminium railings. Will the stripper and the brightener damage the paint/finish of the aluminium railings? Do I have to wrap up the railings before I apply the stripper and brightener? Thanks
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      RAD Products · 06/23/2020
      It should not but always do a test spot first to be certain.
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    John · 06/22/2020
    I bought your stripper, cleaner and brightener. In what order should I use them on the deck?? Do I need to use a cleaner if I use the stripper?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/22/2020
      No need for the cleaner if using the stripper. Brightener is last.
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        John · 06/22/2020
        Thanks for the quick reply...
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    Paul · 06/20/2020
    Does this product also remove paint?
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    Jen · 06/20/2020
    Received our order today. Several days of possible rain in the forecast but I'm concerned about temps getting too high. Is it okay to strip and brighten on rainy days?
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      RAD Products · 06/21/2020
      Yes, that us fine but not in a heavy downpour.
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    David · 06/20/2020
    Thanks for the your response. To clarify: I'm refinishing a large ipe deck surface, doing sections at a time. If I mix up a batch of stripper, use some and put the rest in a plastic sealed container, how long will the mix still be usable for applying on the next section? Same question for the brightener.
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    David · 06/19/2020
    what is the shelf life of stripper mix in plastic containers?