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Best Deck Strippers 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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A method for stripping a deckWhen swimming season comes, you’re looking forward to pool time, but first, you need to refinish that deck! Before you do that, though, you’ll have to get the previous stuff off. With so many deck strippers out there, it’s tough to tell which one will work best for you. There are also deck cleaners, which are similar to deck strippers but are not quite the same. We know not everyone has the time to do the necessary research, so we hope these reviews of the six best deck strippers help!


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

ModelPriceCoverageEditor Rating
Restore-A-Deck
small Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper
Best Overall

Check Price
500 - 1000 sq. ft.4.85/5
DEFY 300187
small DEFY 300187
Best Value

Check Price
100 - 250 sq. ft.4.65/5
Woodrich Brand EFC38
small Woodrich Brand EFC38
Premium Choice

Check Price
3,000 sq. ft.4.60/5
SaverSystems 300521
small SaverSystems 300521

Check Price
100 - 150 sq. ft.4.35/5
Dumond Chemicals Inc.
small Dumond Chemicals Inc. 3332

Check Price
45 - 50 sq. ft.4.30/5

The 6 Best Deck Strippers – Reviews 2020

1. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper – Best Overall

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper

While Restore-A-Deck hails itself as a stain stripper for decks, it significantly undersells itself in this regard. As a stain stripper itself, it’s top notch. Able to take off clear, transparent, semi-transparent, and semi-solid coatings, Restore-A-Deck packs a wallop. You’ll also be surprised by the yield, as one bag of this will produce up to seven gallons of stain-stripping potion, which is good for a project of up to 1,000 square feet. If the project you are working on requires extra-strength deck stripping powers, this product has you covered as well.

This stain stripper is also a cleaning agent. Restore-A-Deck can remove a variety of dirt and debris, including mildew, mold, dirt, and mill glaze. If you don’t feel like scrubbing, this product is safe to use with a power washer.

Of course, with a product this powerful, you’ll want to take care of the things that reside around it. Plants need to be thoroughly covered or moved altogether, and areas of wood that are not going to be treated should be taped over or covered with plastic sheeting. The surface you are working on also needs to be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the first step in a three-step refinishing process from Restore-A-Deck.

Pros
  • One bag produces five gallons
  • For projects up to 1,000 square feet
  • Power washer safe
Cons
  • Deck must be 50 degrees
  • Move your plants!

2. DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper – Best Value

DEFY 300187

If you are looking to restore the natural beauty of your wood deck, then this is a great product at a great price. It won’t strip any paint or any color stains, but if you stained your deck with its natural beauty in mind, then this is the stripper for you. Feel confident going into your project that you have a product that is formulated to be compatible with any species of wood.

For those of you who prefer to do your projects quickly, this product works pretty fast. Once you spray the solution on the area you wish to strip, wait for 20 or 30 minutes, then break out the power washer! Not only does it act fact, but you won’t have to fuss with mixing it up either, unlike other deck strippers out there. This product comes ready to use, so you can pour it directly into a pump-up sprayer and get going. You’ll also be pleased with DEFY’s ability to remove mill glaze, dirt, and deck stains. This product is one of three of a deck staining and restoration kit.

This stain stripper will not remove paint, colored stains, or film-forming coatings. There are no recommendations for temperature, but working in the worst of winter or the dead of summer won’t do you any good. One gallon of this product will finish a project of roughly 150 square feet. Give it a try, and you’ll see why we deem this to be the best deck stripper for the money.

Pros
  • Best value
  • Works fast
  • Comes ready to use
  • Removes mill glaze, dirt, and deck stains
Cons

3. Woodrich Brand Wood Stripper – Premium Choice

Woodrich Brand EFC38

Woodrich provides a versatile wood strippers that is meant to be good for the environment. Because of this, EFC38 is deemed safe to be used around plants and even pets. Don’t be mistaken, though: Just because this stuff won’t kill your houseplants, that doesn’t mean it isn’t strong or won’t get the job done. This will easily peel away weathered wood affected by direct sunlight and remove mill scale and mill weed from new wood.

Once applied, the Woodrich Brand stripper will start protecting and nourishing your wood because works as a stripping agent as opposed to a finish. The product is buffered, so once applied, even during the stripping process, it will nourish the wood that it is treating. While this product is wonderful for work on your deck, it is also great for fences, sliding, and log homes.

With all that said, this is not a heavy-duty deck stripper. It will get the job done for light to moderate projects, but it will not work on heavy stains or oil and acrylic paints. Once mixed, one bucket of this will be able to handle projects of up to 3,000 square feet, so you are definitely getting good bang for your buck!

Pros
  • Pet and plant safe
  • Versatile product
  • Removes mill scale and weed
Cons
  • Not heavy duty
  • Won’t work on paint

4. SaverSystems Deck Wood Stain Stripper

SaverSystems 300521

This is another good product for the price. You don’t have to add any water or worry about creating a mixture — you can just open up the bottle and get to work! The SaverSystems deck stripper won’t remove paint, but it will remove stains and prepare your deck to be taken to the next level. As it gets rid of previous stains, it has a wonderful side effect: This stripper will enhance the adhesion of your wood, so the next stain you put on will be that much more vibrant, healthy, and long lasting.

Before you get to that step, however, you’ll get to admire the natural look of the wood you used for your deck, as SaverSystems does a wonderful job of bringing wood back to its natural form. While certain deck strippers are unable to remove solid color stains, this deck stripper can. It won’t come easy, though: You’ll have to do several rounds of treatment to get your wood back to natural. Once the stripping process is done, you should wait two to three rain-free days before moving on to the next step.

This product works best in cool/warm temperatures, and if you can shade your work area, that would be ideal, since this product dries really fast. The SaverSystems wood stain stripper is also not the easiest to use, as you might find yourself having to go through multiple applications, but it gets the job done. One container of this item will be good for projects up to 150 square feet.

Pros
  • Brings wood back to natural form
  • Enhances adhesion
  • Comes ready to use
Cons
  • You’re gonna need to put some elbow grease into it

5. Dumond Chemicals 3332 Smart Strip

Dumond Chemicals Inc. 3332

Next on our list is another environmentally safe product. There’s one general thing to note about environmentally safe products: While they do their job well, you have to work just a little bit harder for it to be effective. On the other hand, you can rest well knowing that your beloved animals and house plants won’t be harmed with this stuff around.

What separates this product from others on this list is that Dumond Chemicals is a paint stripper, not a stain stripper, but the results speak for themselves. Another unique thing about this product as relates to our list is that it can be used on all sorts of materials, not just wood. You can use it to remove paint from almost anything, including concrete! This stripper will remove layer after layer of paint, up to 15, in fact.

Dumond also won’t be harmful to you, as it contains no methylene chloride and is non-carcinogenic. Do you hate the smell of paint remover? Good thing this product is 100% odor free! It is also 100% biodegradable. Once the surface is stripped, it will not need to be neutralized, and this product won’t affect the levels of pH at all.

It does seem, however, that for this product to be really effective, you need to use a great deal of it. This comes in one-quart cans, and depending on your project, that might not be enough. Once applied, you’ll want to wait overnight before removing the coat and the paint, but the paint should come off easily!

While this is a popular product, especially among those in the industry, the directions are difficult to follow, which is why we had to put it so low on our list. It also isn’t used for decks that much.

Pros
  • Works great!
  • Won’t affect pH levels
  • 100% biodegradable, environmentally conscious product
Cons
  • Must use a large amount

6. Woodrich Brand Heavy Duty Deck Stripper

Woodrich Brand

For our last entry, we’ll turn back to stain strippers. Woodrich says that this is heavy duty, so you’ll want to take precautions when using this product. At a minimum, we recommend using gloves, but you should also probably wear safety glasses and a mask. Coming as a powder, mix this stuff with five gallons of water, and you should be able to tackle projects of up to 750 feet.

The amount of time it takes for the stripping process to complete is around average, and it certainly gets the job done. Why is it the last entry on our list, then?

First, the danger behind it is a little alarming. We understand wanting a job done quickly and well, but we regard our health as more important than our deck, so we prefer stain strippers with a little less consequence. Second, on the bottle, it claims that it can tackle semi-transparent and solid stains, which simply isn’t true.

Pros
  • Covers 750 square feet
  • Heavy duty
Cons
  • Says that it removes semi-transparent and solid stain but does not
  • Hazardous to health

Buyers Guide

When refinishing your deck, you want it to look great. There are many ways that you can do it properly, but unfortunately, there are also many ways that it can all go wrong. Stripping your deck of its old stain or paint isn’t simply a matter of throwing a chemical down and scrubbing; you’ll want to do some research. So, here are a few things to consider when looking for a deck stripper.

What is your preferred method of use?

Take stock of the equipment you have at home. Some deck strippers want to be wiped off, while others work better with power washers. The way you remove the stain really does matter because the manufacturers made their product a certain way for a certain reason.

How much can it take off?

What was the stain you previously had on your deck? There are different levels of stain, and different deck strippers are better for varying levels. Some stains are much more difficult to remove than others, so you probably need to use heavy-duty stuff.

How safe do you need to be?

You should make sure that you have all the safety gear you need for the project at hand. While harmful chemicals are starting to be phased out in the deck-stripping industry, they still readily exist. At the very least, you should have a pair of gloves, though we prefer a full set of gloves, glasses, and masks.

How big is your job?

Part of buying a deck stripper is doing math. You will need to figure out the area of the surface you need to treat and how much you need of whatever product you choose. Some of the products on our list can be used for impossibly big jobs, while others can only do a measly 150 square feet, which could get expensive.

What are the added benefits?

While the main purpose of a deck stripper is exactly that, certain deck strippers come with bonuses like extra cleaning capabilities! Some will vanquish nasty grimes, others will enhance adhesion, and still others will restore the wood to its natural state. Make sure you read the bottle carefully!

Conclusion

It seems that there are many ways to strip a deck! Some are easier than others, but they all have their advantages. We hope that you found these reviews helpful in your research for best deck stripper. So, which one will you pick? You could buy the offering from Restore-A-Deck, as it sure sounds like that company knows what it’s doing, and we like their deck stripper so much, we made it our top pick. Or, you could go with awesome value and check out the product from DEFY. Whichever way you decide to go, we hope your deck turns out marvelous!


Featured Image Credit By: SaverSystems 300521, amazon

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!