10 Best Paint Removers for Wood Deck

best paint remover for wood deck

 It’s time to give your deck a new look – you know it! 

best paint remover for wood deck

And the best way to do this is to repaint it in a fresh color that is attractive and durable.

 But Wait! 

Before you go shopping for new paint, let me remind you about getting rid of the previous strain first. You cannot get the desired look at your deck if you don’t remove the paint from your wooden deck before applying the next coat.

You’ll need the perfect paint remover for wood deck you can find.

But which paint remover will express the love you have for your wooden deck?

Take a look at our deck paint remover reviews to help you decide.

 But before that 

Some Factors to Consider

Things to consider before buying a paint remover will always depend on your requirements and priorities, but generally, these are the things you should look out for.

  • Usage: You should know what you’re going to use it for, as whatever kind of paint stain you’re trying to remove from your deck will tell what kind of paint remover you should buy. Whether it is a solid paint stain or a semi-transparent one, you’ll have to ensure the paint remover you’re choosing is perfect for the job.
  • Biodegradability: Choosing a biodegradable paint remover is vital for a lot of reasons. Biodegradable products are much safer to be used in a garden as they are the least dangerous to your plants and grass. They also contain no toxic elements for the environment, as after you wash off your deck, some product will surely go into the local water pipes. Biodegradable products are safe for your family. If you have kids or pets that play in your garden, you will feel safer knowing that any paint remover that remains in your garden is not toxic and will go away after some time without causing any harm to our health.

Keep Scrolling for the Deck Strippers list

  • Application: You need to know if any special equipment is needed to apply the paint remover on the deck. You should always be aware of this to find the required equipment or pick some other paint remover. While a pressure washer is great to wash away most of the stains on your deck, it isn’t required all the time. Checking the recommendations by the manufacturer will let you decide on this, and checking the user reviews will help you know which application method is the best one.
  • Quantity: Before you buy your paint remover, you should check the size of your deck so you can get the right amount of product that you need for your deck. It would help if you were prepared so you don’t have to go back to the store during the process and also, you don’t want to buy an excessive amount of the paint remover as it will go to waste.

 Now Let’s Dive in 

What's in this article?

Best Paint Remover for Wood Deck 2023:

Here are our picks for the top paint remover for wood deck.

Paint Removers for WoodWoody RatingCheck Price
Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 333210/10
[Editor’s Choice]
Check Price
DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper8.5/10
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#1 Deck Wood Stain Stripper8/10
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MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper7.5/10
Check Price
Check Price
Woodrich Heavy Duty7/10
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Citristrip QCSG8017/10
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Sunnyside 65732A7.5/10
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Woodrich Cleaner6.5/10
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DeckGeneral 40216.5/10
Check Price

1. Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

Why We Love It:

    • Composed of a cutting edge Biodegradable formula
  • Is free of methylene chloride
  • Is safe to use around children & pets
  • Tackles strong stains with tremendous ease

Safe for healthTough stains might need multiple coats
Removes multiple layers
Strongest remover on the list
Doesn't damage wooden surfaces
Works for interior & exterior

2. DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper

DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper

Why We Love It:

  • Is a really reliable brand
  • Comes ready to use with no need for preparation
  • Treats relatively tougher stains

Easy to applyNot for solid stains
Restores wood
Optimal results

3. #1 Deck Wood Stain Stripper

#1 Deck Wood Stain Stripper

Why We Love It:

  • A reliable brand that’s highly rated
  • Comes ready to use with no need to mix
  • Great at removing & penetrating strains

Restores natural lookCan be costly
Improves adhesion

4. MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper 1 Gallon

MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper 1 Gallon

Why We Love It:

  • Tackles tough stains
  • Works well on multiple surfaces
  • Free of Methylene Chloride and NMP

MultipurposeTakes time to work
Gentle for wood 
Can be used indoor

5. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper

[Editor’s Choice]

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper

Why We Love It:

  • Ideal for exterior surfaces
  • Restores old wooden surfaces efficiently
  • Works well on stained wooden decks
  • Produces 5 liquid gallons of paint remover

Eco-friendly formulanone
Restores natural look
Extremely cheap
Wide coverage
Easy to apply

6. Woodrich Heavy Duty Wood Stripper & Wood Cleaner for Wood Decks

Woodrich Heavy Duty Wood Stripper & Wood Cleaner for Wood Decks

Why We Love It:

  • Available in various different sizes
  • Works against multiple coats

Budget-friendlyRequires careful handling
Removes solid stains
Easy to apply

7. Citristrip QCSG801 Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

Citristrip QCSG801 Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

Why We Love It:

  • Multipurpose formulae that are versatile
  • Free of toxic fumes rendering it hazard-free
  • A one-step application that makes it convenient to use

Eco-friendlyApply multiple times
Usable on multiple surfaces

8. Sunnyside 65732A Multi-Strip ADVANCED Paint & Varnish Remover

Sunnyside 65732A Multi-Strip ADVANCED Paint & Varnish Remover

Why We Love It:

  • Can tackle up to 15 layers of coat
  • Free of methylene chloride and NMP
  • Suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces

Adheres to vertical surfacesNeeds extra care to get done
Low odor

9. Woodrich Cleaner – Wood Cleaner & Mild Stripper

Woodrich Wood Cleaner & Wood Stripper for Wood Decks

Why We Love It:

  • A budget-friendly option that doesn’t break the bank
  • Applicable on both new and weathered wood
  • Protects wood’s natural sugars

Removes mill scaleWorks against limited stains
Gets rid of mildew


10. DeckGeneral Deck Stripper 4021

DeckGeneral Deck Stripper 4021

Why We Love It:

  • Environment-friendly formula
  • Tackles various stains including tougher ones

Restores woodExtremely corrosive
Biodegradable formula

Best Paint Remover for Wood Deck – Buying Guide

best deck paint stripper

When you plan to renovate your deck, you know that you are up for a challenge. There are several steps in the process that have to be followed for the best results. And you know that these steps will take days to complete. Sometimes, you question if it is worthwhile to change the stain or color of your deck.

All you want to do in such situations is to apply a new coat over the old varnish after cleaning the debris. But then you think about the refreshed look of your deck with the present with the new color you have planned for it. This thought urges you to take up the challenge and get started. Let’s see some common questions you would have while you are trying to figure out the whole ordeal.

What are the main things to look for in the perfect paint remover? Let’s know the specifications of the best paint remover for your deck.

Antimicrobial Formulation

You should search for antimicrobial formulation products to save the deck from mildew and mold. This factor is mainly essential for lakeside and coastal decks. Without this feature, your deck might develop a wood rot, so you will have to repair or replace your wooden deck.

Spray Bottle Application 

Some removers are sold in handy spray bottles. You hook the hose on your spray bottles and turn on the water. Then, you pull the trigger on your spray bottle, and the water pressure mixes with the water automatically in the correct ratio. Most of these products with spray bottles are perfect for cleaning roofs, and they also make cleaning your deck a convenient task.

Premixed or Concentrate? 

Some paint removers have premixed formulations for using it right from the container. They offer a pour-on application and manual scrubbing to remove tough stains. Concentrated formulations are designed to be used in pressure washers. Just add the amount of concentrate you prefer and start your pressure washer to start the application of the product on your deck. Choose the paint removers that are seal safe and have O-ring.

Value for Money 

Cost should also be considered when buying your paint remover. Some products are more costly than others. If you’re purchasing a paint remover that has a spray bottle application, you should know that they’ll be more expensive than a premixed, pour-on remover. Also, some products come in value packs that allow you to get more economical products with the same quality if you buy in bulk.

Requirement of Scrubbing

Some paint removers need scrubbing on the deck, while some need to be washed off with your hose. Know which method your paint remover will be opting for. Most of the formulations that need scrubbing are premixed ones suitable for use just when you open the bottle. You’ll have to scrub the tough stains on the deck and then leave the paint remover to go inside the wood before washing it off with your garden hose.

Trusted Brand

When buying the perfect paint remover according to your requirements, we suggest you only consider the most trusted brands. All the products mentioned in our review are the most reliable manufacturers in the paint remover, adhesives, and paint industry. These companies are reputable in the market for manufacturing great quality products for your deck.

Non-Slip additives 

If your deck is near a lake or an ocean, you’ll see how your deck keeps getting wet with ocean water. Search for a paint remover with a non-slip additive that leaves a non-slip layer on your deck. This will give your deck the grip to hold the product in even if it gets wet.

Compatibility with Pressure Washers

Some paint removers are found in spray bottles that you can connect to your garden hose for convenient application. Others have a concentrated formula that lets you use them in your pressure washers. Pressure washing your deck is also a convenient method rather than using your garden hose.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some really crucial questions addressed for you below.

How Do You Get Paint off a Wood Deck?

The method is simple and includes four steps of preparing, applying, rinsing, neutralizing, and preparing for a new finish. The first step of preparing for stripping involves clearing the space and moving the furniture. Also, you have to wash and clean the surface to get rid of debris and mildew. You also get safety gear to protect yourself against fumes and chemicals.

In the second step, we apply the stripper using a brush or roller. You have to leave the solution (or gel) on from 15 minutes to 72 hours depending on the stripper you are using. There is no hard and fast rule and often the best deck paint stripper also asks for up to days of the sitting period. Next, you wash the stripper using a pressure washer or only scrap the residue.

The third step includes neutralizing the wood to prepare it for the brightening step. The last step is about buying the new varnish and sanding the wood to prepare for the next coat.

What is the Best Paint Stripping Product for Wood?

The best deck paint remover is Citristrip. We love this stripping gel because of its eco-friendly formula and high-quality results. There are a few features that we should consider while selecting the best paint remover for a wood deck. These features include ease of application and processing, environment-friendliness, and strength on different types of varnishes.

We can get a detailed analysis of our potential products by looking at deck paint remover reviews and finding the best match for the varnish we want to be removed.

What is the Fastest Way to Remove Paint from Wood?

There is no shortcut to removing paint from wood. You have to start by preparing the surface and moving towards applying the stripper and then scrapping the residue off the surface.

Be ready! This task can be time-consuming.

If you are using a high-quality stripper, your labor input should decrease considerably. If you are working on new wood that can bear some pressure, you can increase your pace by using a pressure washer to clean the residue. However, beware that pressure washing can cause serious harm to weathered deck woods.

Can I Paint over Oil-based Paint?

The short answer is yes, you can coat water-based paint over a surface that was previously painted in oil. But you have to follow some steps to get lasting results.

Start with de-glossing the surface. You don’t want much oil on the surface because it will interfere with adhesion. Sanding should be the first step towards getting a water-based coat.

Next, you have to use trisodium phosphate to get rid of debris. You can make a skin-friendly and surface-friendly solution by mixing one cup of TSP into a gallon of water. Use protective wear before applying. After you have cleaned the surface, prime it. Use a couple of coats of water-based or oil-based primers according to the instructions. The last step is applying the coat which should be at least two to support adhesion.

Can You Pressure Wash Stain off a Deck?

Yes, you can but should be wary of the damage it causes to the deck. Still, it might be an option worth considering if you’re really tight on budget. But do consider the risk of damage to your wooden deck.

How Do You Remove Oil-Based Paint from Wood?

There are two most commonly followed methods to remove oil-based paint from wood. The first method includes the use of heat and the second method includes stripping chemicals.

In the first method, you use an infra-red paint stripper. Plug it in and scrape the surface keeping the stripper six inches away from the surface. Next, scrape the surface using a scraper or putty knife.

The second method uses a non-toxic stripper. Just like the best deck paint remover, Citristrip, you have to apply a coat on the surface using a brush or roller. Let it sit for up to 72 hours depending on the toughness of the stain. And then scrape it off. You can also use solution-based paint strippers to get this job done. Just be extra careful with your skin and eyes.


Wood Finishing & Refinishing: Removing the Old Finish

Finishing of wood

Amelia is a skilled writer with a deep passion for crafting. With a diverse range of crafting expertise, she brings a unique perspective to her writing. Whether it's woodworking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, or paper crafting, Amelia shares her knowledge, tips, and project ideas through her engaging articles. She inspires readers to explore their own crafting journeys and create beautiful, handmade works of art.​
Amelia Wilson

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