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
    Kurt · 09/10/2022
    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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/10/2022
      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.
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    Jennifer · 08/28/2022
    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? 
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      RAD Products · 08/29/2022
      If that is unstained wood then brighten all of it. You must brighten after stripping. 
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    Shane · 08/26/2022
    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?
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      RAD Products · 08/27/2022
      Yes, it will strip it. Steps are correct.
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    Dennis · 08/11/2022
    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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/11/2022
      Yes. Roughly 6-8 oz per gallon of water. 
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    Craig · 08/05/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/05/2022
      Yes, just make sure to remove any peeling stain, and then you can cover the intact stain with the solid stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Steve · 09/03/2022
        Are you saying it’s ok to just apply Restore a deck solid stain after cleaning and not stripping?
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    SF · 07/25/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/25/2022
      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!
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    Andy · 07/15/2022
    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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/16/2022
      Yes, and light pressure rinse after. This opens up the wood grain after sanding. Do not sand finer than 60-80 grit.
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    James Haggarty · 07/09/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/10/2022
      No, do not use the pressure washer to apply the stripper. Use a pump sprayer and then pressure wash off.
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    Barbara L Cline · 07/07/2022
    pics related to my prior post
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/07/2022
      What was the question?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Barbara L Cline · 07/07/2022
        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?
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          RAD Products · 07/08/2022
          Post a picture in the comments with the wood dry and a picture wet with water. Just mist on the water.
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            RAD Products · 07/08/2022
            Sorry see the dry pics, please post pics when wet.
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    Kathy · 06/27/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2022
      Rust-Oleum Deck Restore? Nothing can remove that product. It is a deck resurface coating. You will have to sand it all off.
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    Erin · 06/26/2022
    I only have a 320psi power cleaner wand. After applying the stripper should I scrub it first and then use the power cleaner?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/26/2022
      No need to scrub unless it is a hard to remove coating.
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    patrick wheeler · 06/21/2022
    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 
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    Lee · 06/13/2022
    Thanks again ! Would 3 months on the Kiln dried be ok? Stairs.
    .
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lee · 06/13/2022
    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 !
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lee · 06/13/2022
    Sorry I’m on an iPad, not seeing upload link.?

    Where is it located.?
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      RAD Products · 06/13/2022
      The bottom left of the comment box. Looks like a paper clip.
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    Lee · 06/13/2022
    Thank you !
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lee · 06/13/2022
    How to upload pictures?
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      RAD Products · 06/13/2022
      Click the upload link in the bottom left.
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    jane · 06/03/2022
    I have an above ground pool deck 12x12 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? 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jenn M · 06/01/2022
    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 will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2022
      1. Strip all is the easiest way.
      2. Do all wood.
      3. One
      4. Do all wood.
      5. N/A
      6. Probably do not need to sand.
      7. N/A
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2022
      We would need to see pics to help and answer your questions.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jenn M · 06/01/2022
        Trying again
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jenn M · 06/01/2022
        They are in the next post. Couldn’t reply to this one with them for some reason
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    chuck · 05/16/2022
    deck or railing first
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    KEVIN G Keating · 05/05/2022
    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   
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Earl · 04/13/2022
    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.
    Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/13/2022
      It should not harm the hardware but always test spot first. 
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    Felix E Luengo · 03/18/2022
    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 will reply to your comment shortly
    AP · 12/18/2021
    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? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 12/19/2021
      It should be removed first so strip and brigthen.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        AP · 12/19/2021
        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. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mercedes · 09/23/2021
    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?
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    Lizzie · 09/06/2021
    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
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    lizzie · 09/06/2021
    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? 
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    lizzie · 09/04/2021
    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
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    Dennis · 08/27/2021
    I applied a coat of semitransparent stain on a cedar deck a few weeks ago. Can I now apply another coat?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/27/2021
      No as it will not take to newly applied stain once cured. Wait 6-9 months and prep first to apply another coat. 
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    Dennis · 08/25/2021
    The photo is a cedar deck with one year old restore a deck after washing and brightening. Should it be sanded before restaining?