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
    Heather · 11/02/2019
    On the RAD stain stripper side bar, it says application tools needed Injector, sprayer, stiff brush. What is an injector?
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      RAD Products · 11/02/2019
      The use of an injector is an option, not required. Most just use a pump sprayer for applying.
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    Brian Rood · 10/11/2019
    Will the RAD stripper remove Cabot semi-transparent stain? I had thought only solid stains could not be removed by the stripper. I ordered the whole package with additives but am having a hard time getting the stain removed. I have used a pressure washer along with the stripper and additives.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/12/2019
      Yes, it should remove this. Let the stripper dwell for up to an hour before pressure washing off. It does look like you are removing it in the picture.
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    Douglas · 10/05/2019
    Will the RAD paint stripper remove Behr 436 primer that was improperly applied to wet wood and will not dry?
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      RAD Products · 10/05/2019
      No it will not remove a primer.
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        Douglas · 10/05/2019
        Thanks. Would a solvent paint stripper remove the Behr 436 primer or is sanding it off the only way?
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    S.g. · 10/04/2019
    I have to strip stain off 1/2 of the deck (screened porch) with the RAD stripper. The other 1/2 of the deck (uncovered) has newer wood (3 years old) that was never stained.

    Questions:

    1. Can I use the RAD stripper on the 3 year old unstained wood as well without causing any issues, or do I need to buy both the stripper and cleaner?

    2. The instructions say do not let stripper/cleaner dry after application. What can go wrong if it does dry?

    3. Will the stripper cause any issues if it drips on the brick patio below the deck, or on the porch screen?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/04/2019
      1. Use the cleaner for the unstained deck and the stripper for the stained portion.
      2. Mist with water so it does not dry out. Letting it dry and you would have to reapply.
      3. No, it should not.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    James Michalski · 09/29/2019
    How long after I mix the stripper will it have to be used? Can I let it sit overnight?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/29/2019
      The Stripper and the Brightener do not have a shelf life after being mixed. Only the Cleaner does.
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    Judy T · 09/27/2019
    I was unable to apply the Brightener immediately after the stripper. What should I do?
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    Charles · 09/24/2019
    Will RAD Stripper remove Cabot’s alkyd base (includes petroleum distillates, linseed oil, paraffin, lecithin)?
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    Lotus Blossom · 09/15/2019
    I have a deck that's probably 25 yrs old. Previously used Sikken Cetol Dek in 1998 with follow up cleaning/coating of same over the years. More recently, the product changed and is lousy. I want to use RAD. Do I strip, clean, brighten or just strip and brighten then stain? Thanks in advance.
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    Zachary Bennington · 09/14/2019
    Will it strip polyurethane off mahogany door?
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    CorgiMom · 09/08/2019
    I have a similar question to another customer. I just applied a layer of Olympic semi-transparent stain and sealer and hate the color. What products do I need to remove it (600 square feet of deck). Also, it's an oil based stain...can I apply a water-based stain once I've stripped and brightened? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/09/2019
      Are you sure it is oil-based? Can you post a picture of the can of Olympic and the stain on the deck? This will help determine the correct prep products to use.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        CorgiMom · 09/10/2019
        Here's a photo of the stain and the deck. The stain was a bit too orange in color for my liking. It's an older deck (maybe 10+ years) and the wood has a lot of knots in it. I'm wondering if a dark solid stain might look better. Can RAD stain work if I strip off the Olympic stain?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/10/2019
          For the prep, use the RAD stripper and pressure washer to remove. RAD Brightener after. RAD Solid stains will work after.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    SG · 08/05/2019
    I applied a single coat semitransparent cedar stain to one rail of the deck. The color is terrible. Will this be effective in removing a newly applied stain?
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    Brooks · 07/02/2019
    My deck is about 4 years old. I've been using transparent Thompson water seal on it. Do I need to use your stripper product or just the cleaner/brightener combo? before using the semi transparent cedar stain ? Also its about 1200 sf with no railings or stairs. I'm trying to figure out if I need 10 gal of stain or 20 ?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/02/2019
      Stripper/brightener. About 10-12 gallons for two coats applied wet on wet.
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    2D · 06/24/2019
    Side note, recently got the house, so this is the shape the poor deck was at =\
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    2D · 06/24/2019
    I am planning on getting my deck back in shape. I don't think it was stained, but rather painted. What would you recommend on doing in this case or what products do I need to get? I'm thinking of doing the upper deck, stairs, and lower deck.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/24/2019
      Pressure wash with the RAD Stain stripper to remove the loose paint, dirt, and algae. It will not remove the solid stains fully so you will need to cover with the RAD Solid stain: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain/restore-a-deck-solid-stain.html
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        2D · 06/24/2019
        Thanks, I was wondering if it was a solid stain or a semi-transparent. Is there a way to completely remove the solid stain and switch to a semi-transparent? Is there a benefit to sticking with solid. Thanks again for the help, I am new to this whole deck world.
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          RAD Products · 06/24/2019
          The only way to switch would be to sand it all off.
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    Marc · 05/27/2019
    If you add the Stripper Gel additive to the Stripper mixture to aid adhesion, can the Stripper plus the Gel be applied to the surfaces through a garden sprayer? Will it be too thick and clog the sprayer? Does it need to be applied by brush only? Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/27/2019
      Yes you can spray it with a high-quality pump sprayer.
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    Matt · 05/25/2019
    I have 691 sq’ of what I believe is pressure treated pine. I last used Sikkens semi-transparent stain and I am not sure what was used prior. The deck is about 8 years old. How many gallons of the stripper, Brightener and semi-transparent stain will I need?
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    LA · 05/16/2019
    Just want to make sure, the stripper can be applied to a wet deck correct?

    And secondly, is this harmful to vinyl siding?


    thirdly, I likely wont be able to perform all three steps at once: strip, brighten and stain. how long can I go between steps if this is the case?

    thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sandra · 05/08/2019
    Will your RAD Stripper used with a pressure washer remove Behr Deck Over? This product was applied about 7 years ago. It is a 19 year old deck and the Behr product is cracked and peeling.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/08/2019
      No. No deck stain stripper anywhere can remove the Behr Deckover paint. You will have to sand this off.
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    Cynthia · 04/28/2019
    I have 822 sq.' of 15-year-old PT pine decking, with decks on the NE, SE, and SW sides of the house. The last two times it was stained w/ Olympic Wood Protector / Sealant / Clear; don't know prior to that. There is tremendous variation in the amount of stain left (see photos). Should I order 1 or 2 containers of stripper? For areas that have more of the old stain should I do a second application of the stripper or mix it stronger and do it once? THANKS!!!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    lma · 04/22/2019
    more precise deck info: 5y.o. pressure treated pine, 750sf deck with 14 steps (2 sets of 7steps) 3ft wide steps, approx. 120ft of 3ft high railing/spindles. Will be stripping off twp500 stain. Live in MA
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/22/2019
      What is the total sq footage of all wood added up?
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        lma · 04/22/2019
        according your calculator, 1052sq ft
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 04/22/2019
          What are you trying to strip? Brand and type of stain? Pictures would help.
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            lma · 04/22/2019
            twp100 prairie gray.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 04/22/2019
              10 Gallons of Stain
              2 Stripper/Brightener Kits
              2 Booster Additive
              2 Thickening Gel Additive
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    lma · 04/22/2019
    does the stripper work on vertical surfaces?

    (750sf deck, 3ft high railing, 14 (2 of 7steps ea) 3ft wide steps)
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    Dan · 04/08/2019
    Can I use an airless sprayer such as the Wagner power painter to apply the stain?
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    Warren · 03/15/2019
    I have metal balusters between ipe handrail and bottom rail. Do I need to cover/protect balusters? Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/16/2019
      Most likely no but always test first to be certain there is not a reaction.
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    Alex · 02/25/2019
    Is it necessary to tape off adjacent areas that have a solid stain? Also, for the top of the handrails - can these be stripped with the RAD stripper or do they need to be sanded? I am removing TWP btw.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/26/2019
      The RAD stripper does not remove a solid stain unless it is already failing or peeling.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Alex · 02/26/2019
        Thanks for the reply. For the top of the handrails - can these be stripped with the RAD stripper or do they need to be sanded?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 02/26/2019
          That depends on what brand and stain and type of stain that is on the top of the handrails? Post a picture if you have one.
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            Alex · 02/26/2019
            Twp 1500 on the handrails and floor solid stain is the accent color.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 02/26/2019
              You can strip the tops of the railings. Make sure to rinse the overspray of the stripper off the solid stain on the spindles well when you are done. Same with the brightener.
              • We will reply to your comment shortly
                Alex · 02/28/2019
                Will the stripper or brightener cause discoloration to the solid stain at all? Should it be rinsed off right away?
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                  RAD Products · 02/28/2019
                  It shouldn't but always rinse right away.
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                    Alex · 02/28/2019
                    would taping and putting up plastic to protect the solid stain be overkill?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alfred Gomez · 10/06/2018
    RAD – for starters, the stripper is doing it’s job. See the photo of our deck that’s only about 1/3 done with stripper & brightener! However, there’s some furring. See other two snapshots. We followed the directions ……. stripped with RAD stripper, then went back with RAD brightener. I will say it reached upper 80’s today in Centerville OH, so it was hard to keep the wood wet/damp between power washing off the stripper and then pump spraying the brightener ……… and then rinsing off the brightener. So, couple of questions. Do I need to do anything about the furring before we apply the stain next weekend? … RAD light walnut stain is what we’ll be using with the RAD pads (verticals) and brush (horizontals). Second question. We’ll be stripping and brightening the remaining 2/3 of our deck tomorrow (Sun). Anything we should be doing differently to prevent the furring? Hoping to hear back from you tonight or by early Sun morning. Thanks as always! -Al
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/07/2018
      Try using a less concentration of stripper. 4-6 oz and brighten as soon as possible. This will reduce the chance of furring. As for the furring, this can easily be buffed off with a floor buffer and sanding pad. The furring does not always show through when stained.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Alfred Gomez · 10/07/2018
        RAD - thx for the quick reply! I saw it before starting Sun morning. Just finished with the stripping and brightening; we're staining next weekend. Ref the furring, as opposed to the floor buffer, can I use my Mikata palm sander with 80 or 100 grit and simply sand where there's furring? ... 950 sf deck, so I definitely don't want to sand the whole thing. Thanks for your help! -Al
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/07/2018
          Spot sanding could result in the stain taking lighter there. This could have a blotchy appearance. We would not suggest this. Either do all or not at all. Never sand with finer than 60-80 grit.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Alfred Gomez · 10/12/2018
            Not much fun, but we decided to go with sanding the deck (again, 950 sf); sigh. We started yesterday, and should finish this evening around sunset. We plan to stain tomorrow. There's now a 50% chance of rain around midnight for maybe a 2-3 hrs, then supposed to be mostly sunny high 54 tomorrow/Sat. Hopefully we'll be okay to apply the RAD light walnut stain Sat morning even though we're sanding today and it may rain this evening. Yes? (As a reminder, our initial two steps were the stripper and brightener last weekend.) -Al
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 10/12/2018
              As long as the wood is not visibly soaking water, you should be okay to stain. Just do one coat since you are sanding.
              • We will reply to your comment shortly
                Alfred Gomez · 10/12/2018
                RAD – as luck would have it, it started raining several hours earlier than forecasted, and I found out you can’t sand even slightly drizzled on wood whatsoever. So, our situation is that we still have 2-3 hours of sanding left to do. If it dries out Sat, we’ll finish sanding Sat, then stain Sun (that would be optimal). Otherwise, we’ll probably finish sanding Sun, and then stain the first dry day we get. Any issues you see with either plan? Not like I have an option; dang Mother Nature! Thanks for any feedback, RAD. -Al
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    chris · 09/25/2018
    I purchased a home with a 15 yr old PT deck. I've replaced some very worn boards, though still have some that need sanding. I found an old can of Cabot semi-solid (1406 neutral base) in the basement, so I'm assuming that's what's on the deck. Couple of questions 1. Will the stripper remove this? 2. If the stripper does remove, should I just sand the problem boards, then strip and brighten everything?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/25/2018
      You have a solid stain on the deck and this cannot be stripped. You would need to sand this off fully as a stripper will not help. Once 100% sanded, clean and brighten for the final prep.
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    cheri · 09/12/2018
    will your stripper strip raw linseed oil. I am stripping off In-Wood which has been discontinued.
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    Sandy · 08/18/2018
    Will stain stick to new boards that the stripper and brightener has been used on?
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    Ed · 08/17/2018
    Hello, I have a couple Ipe (I think) decks and stairs (railings and risers are painted) that I believe are finished with Sikkens Cetol SRD by previous owner (that is the can I found and assume was used at least). Plan is to use RAD stripper, scrub, lightly pressure wash off, then brightener, lightly pressure wash, wait a couple sunny days and then apply AC black walnut. My main question is about the needed for a sprayer, what is the advantage of using a sprayer for the stripper/brightener as opposed to say using my deck staining brush? Also, please let me know if there are any concerns with the plan!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/18/2018
      You will not be able to apply the prep products very well or efficiently with a brush. You should use a sprayer to apply. The SRD can be slightly stubborn to remove so you may have strip it twice in some areas.
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    Patty · 07/29/2018
    Will resotre a deck stripper remove Defy water based stain?