When to use Restore-A-Deck Stripper vs. Restore-A-Deck Cleaner
One of the keys to having a beautiful, healthy stained wood deck is regular maintenance. Putting in the time and effort to regularly prep and stain your deck with high-quality products such as Restore-A-Deck will make enhance your deck for years to come.
The first step in the wood staining process is to prep a wood surface by applying either Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Stripper to the wood surface. How do you know when to use a wood cleaner or a wood stripper? Here are some guidelines to determine which formula is right for your situation.
Restore-A-Deck wood cleaner is ideal for prepping an old or new wood surface that has no stain that needs to be removed. The cleaner breaks down dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and mill glaze to make it easier to remove when scrubbed or power washed. It washes the wood to reveal a smooth, even surface ideal for staining. The Restore-A-Deck Cleaner is also excellent for “Maintenance” coats or prepping for applying the same brand and type of stain that was used previously.
Oftentimes, wood decks will have peeling or discolored stain already on it that you wish to remove for proper application of a new stain. This is when it is recommended you use Restore-A-Deck Stripper. The wood stripper has an aggressive caustic formula that emulsifies and breaks down most deck stains so they can be easily removed when scrubbed or power washed. The stripper also removes all of the dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and mill glaze that would have been removed by using a cleaner, so it is recommended to use either Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Stripper, not both of them.
Sometimes, it is hard to tell if a deck already has stain or sealers on it. When you are uncertain, splash some water on the wood surface. If the water beads up, there may be an old stain that is present on the wood surface. If the water absorbs into the wood quickly, there is little or no wood stain on the surface.
Follow either Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Stripper with Restore-A-Deck Brightener. The Brightener will restore the wood surface to its original color, neutralize the pH, and open the wood pores, revealing an ideal surface perfect for the stain.
Any questions? Please ask below!
I bought 1each of the stripper, cleaned and brightener.
The stripper didn’t remove all the redwood semi-transp stain, can I now go w the cleaner and perhaps it will remove most of what little stain is left?
Post some pics in the comments.
My pressure treated wood deck is 3 years old. It has been stained twice with CWF Flood deck stain in natural color. A distillery has recently expanded in my area and I have the black fungus on the floor and tops of the rails now. I want to re-stain with a darker color (maybe redwood) hoping it will help hide the black “pollution” from the distillery. I pressure washed it but it’s not really clean. What steps should I take? It’s a second story deck and about 500 square feet so I want to get it right the first time. Can I use a different brand of stain and should I go with water base or oil? I believe my current stain is water based.
You will need to remove the Flood. Send some pics in comments for help.
The gray is worse than it looks in these pics. The sun is shining right on it now so it’s a little bright.
Use this kit for prep: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/order-restore-a-deck/rad-kits-best-price/restore-a-deck-stripper-brightener-kit/flypage.tpl.html
Stain with Dark Walnut after: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain/restore-a-deck-wood-stain-5-gallon/flypage.tpl.html
Is there a redwood color? I don’t want to go as dark as walnut. And is oil base or water base better?
Light Walnut is a reddish-brown color. The RAD Stain only comes in water-based.
My deck is 6 months old. No stains or paint to remove however the sun has darkened it considerably since it was first built. How can I bring it back to its original color before sealing it with clear stain? Also, should I wrap the aluminum balusters before using your product?
Use the Restore A Deck Cleaner first and then the Brightener. For the stain you cannot use a clear sealer as that will not protect from UV graying. You need a tinted stain for UV protection. Use the RAD Natural Semi Transparent color for proper protection.
I have a 1000 sq ft redwood deck (see photos) I planned on sanding the entire deck using orbital sander but maybe not necessary? Which product do you recommend? When using your product, is it best to brush, pressure wash or both? I have a pressure washer. Thanks in advance.
Use the RAD Stripper Kits: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/order-restore-a-deck/rad-kits-best-price/restore-a-deck-stripper-brightener-kit/flypage.tpl.html
We would also suggest the RAD Stripper Booster and Gel: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html
You probably do not need to sand but you can lightly after stripping and before the brightening. Apply the stripper with a pump sprayer and then pressure wash off.
Can you use the cleaner as maintenance for a semi transparent stain in between stripping and restaining? I have cedar deck that i will be using the stripper and brightener but i have cleaner product left over from previous purchase. The dealer locator wasn’t working for me but is this product sold in Ohio?
Yes, you can use the cleaner for prep of maintenance coats. Online only for sale.
Will the RAD stripper remove Cabot semi-solid stain? Should I use an additive with the stripper?
Post some pictures here in the comments.
The deck was stained about 10 years ago. I want to re-stain it using the same color stain used previously, i.e. Cabot semi-solid “New Cedar” deck stain. One-third of the deck is unprotected and shows the worse wear. The other two-thirds is protected by a roof. I have attached pictures as requested. Please advise what products I should use and whether you recommend the additives. Thanks.
Use the RAD stripper with both additves and then the brightener. I may not remove 100% but it will prep it enough that recoating with the same color and brand will make it all blend.
This is our deck. We are in the process of sanding the deck boards down and will be sanding all of the white paint off. At that point then do we use the RAD stripper and brightener combo kit to prep the deck for new stain?
After removing the old stain do I have to use anything else before restraining? I don’t care about Brightener as I’m using a solid stain.
If you are stripping you need the brightener to neutralize the stripper when done.
This was the first image, for some reason it didn’t post in my original message
Hi, moved into this house but don’t know the history of the deck other than it seems like staining/sealing is well overdo. Boards are fairly rough (raised grain) so I’ve started sanding these down in the far section in the first picture but it’s taking a long time so I’m considering just cleaning and staining the rest rather than sanding the whole thing since we spend most of our time in the section I’m working on. You can see still some of the old stain on the rails, posts and ballusters and I’m wondering if we need to strip this or if we just need to clean and restain/seal. I’m hoping to use a lighter semitransparent stain but would also appreciate any recommendations on that.
Strip and brighten all. Use the Stripper Additives: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html
Last year I used Restore a Deck system (cleaner, stripper, brightener and semi-transparent stain) on my 3 year old deck. What do I need to do this year to maintain my deck? How often should I repeat the 4 step process?
This year just use the Cleaner for prep and apply one light coat if needed. If not needed, wait until next year.
I have the same situation as Eileen. So I only need to use the cleaner, not the brightener before applying a maintenence coat of stain?
That will work.
Pic 3 of 3
Pic 2 of 3
These are pics of my deck. It has not been maintained well over the last 10 years. You can still see old stain in some locations. What product do you recommend for me to restore it.
Use this to strip: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/order-restore-a-deck/rad-kits-best-price/restore-a-deck-stripper-brightener-kit/flypage.tpl.html
Also, see this about new wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-for-new-wood.html
Thank you. I didn’t realize that I needed to let the new wood weather before staining. So I can strip and brighten and then go through the summer before I stain it, correct?
Best to just let it sit and then prep all prior to staining.
Made the mistake of not ordering enough stain. Had more than enough for the railings but when I went to do the deck flooring ran out about 3/4 of the way on the first coat. We’re moving and wont be back in the area for a few years so I want to get two coats down. I’m assuming I need to remove the stain I’ve put down to get to bare wood and start the process over on the deck flooring. What is the best way for this? I used RAD Semi-Transparent Natural wood stain. Should I use a stripper, power wash, deck cleaner? Or is there a chance that the boards might absorb a second coat a week after the first coat? (gotta wait for shipping).
Yes, use the RAD Stripper and then brightener for the floors. No need for the cleaner. A second coat will not work after the first coat has cured.
I have an Ipe deck and rails that was stained a few months ago with Deckwise Ipe oil. It’s already very faded from the South Texas sun, ready to switch to TWP-100. Stripper and brightener then Stain, or will I need to sand?
Stripper and brightener will work.
Hi there! New to this whole process, and want to stain the deck at my house.
The deck is redwood and 30 years old, mostly shaded with limited rain/mostly good weather (I live in the Bay Area, CA).
Questions if you dont mind:
1. Should I use a stripper or cleaner here?
2. Based on others recommendations, I’m leaning towards TWP1500- is this a good choice for my case?
3. Is it best to power wash lightly, then strip/clean, the brighten, and stain two coats after wood dries?
Advance thanks! (See photos)
1. You have a solid stain. You will need to sand this off fully.
2. Once you fully remove the current stain, the TWP 1500 is the right choice for CA.
3. Sand all first, clean and brighten, then two coats of stain.
I just bought your stripper. I have a deck that has many coats of old stain. By far, this has been the best stripper I have used. Question: If I use your stripper, does it matter which of a cleaner or brightener I use afterwards? Or should I use both (hopefully not, thats a lot of work)? Thanks.
You need to use the Brightener after the stripping. No need to use the cleaner.
The previous homeowner stained our deck with Behr semi-transparent stain. Based on the attached images, can you tell us whether RAD stripper or cleaner is more appropriate?
You will need the RAD stripper.
Is the cleaner safe on grass and plants? I plan to use it on my fence and live in an urban area. I’m concerned the cleaner might damage my neighbors lawn or flowers.
It is eco-safe but make sure to rinse any soap residue and dirt from the plants when done.
My house is Hardy Board, will the deck stripper damage it.
It shouldn’t but always pre-wet first and rinse right away any over spray of the stripper.
i put Behr semi transparent stain on my deck 4 years ago, it is peeling terrible. It peels up when I wash it with the hose. Will restore stripper remove the stain? It is not oil base. I will never put anything but oil if I can get this off.
Behr is one of the most difficult finishes to strip. The RAD stripper will work but you may need to strip it a few times to get it all off.
I cleaned and brightened my cedar deck three weeks ago but haven’t been able to stain it because we’ve had nearly constant rain ever since. RAD Package instructions state that stain needs to be applied within two weeks. I’ve now got a week of dry weather ahead to finally get it done. Do I need to both clean and brighten again, or only brighten?
Lightly wash the deck with water. You should be okay to stain then.
I have a newer deck that has not been stained yet 2 years old out of PT wood
but I have railings above the new deck boards that had been stained prior with a oil based stain (SW) do I need to do anything prior to protect the base non stained deck – like spray with water. Wash rails with stripper then wash deck and rails with cleaner? Then do the whole thing in brightner?
What type of stain is on the railings? Can you post a picture? Need to make sure it can be stripped off.
You do not have to protect the flooring. Assuming the SW can be stripped, your steps are correct.
It’s a sherwin Williams deskscape waterborne stain
maybe 6 years old
Type? Solid stain, semi-transparent, etc. Please post a picture.
It’s a semi transparent stain custom mix
I have tried loading pictures but not sure working
This mix means it is an acrylic latex filming stain. Based on the pictures and type, it may be difficult to fully strip off. Use the Restore A Deck Stripper for this but you may need to sand some after to fully remove.
We posted the pictures for you. Did you receive an error when uploading? What browser are you using?
I have read that your Restore-A-Deck cleaner can be applied with a garden sprayer, then simply washed off with a hose. No scrubbing or pressure washing is needed. Can you comment? Thank you.
Sorry, but no that is not true. You have to scrub or pressure wash after applying the cleaner.