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What's the most important thing you can do to a deck before you seal it? As those old do-it-yourselfers, Devo, might say, "You've got to strip it." Stripping is essential first step for creating an even surface that the new sealant can adhere to. If the high-traffic areas of your deck have worn down, but there is still sealant remaining in other areas, you should strip the entire deck before you re-stain. If you are changing your deck's colors, stripping is absolutely necessary. Traces of an old color left underneath will affect the way a new color appears. So which stripper is right for your job? Depends on what you need to do. If you are removing clear and toned finishes and sealers, you'll need less stripping power. If you are removing semi-transparent or opaque stains, you'll need more power. Check the manufacturer's instructions to determine which stripper will work best for you.