Restore A Deck LogoSee independent customer how-to videos for the Restore-A-Deck Wood Prepping and Stain Products. All videos have been made in the field without any compensation from Restore-A-Deck, by actual consumers.

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How to Prepare A Deck for Staining with Restore-A-Deck Products

Products Used

  • Restore-A-Deck Cleaner
  • Restore-A-Deck Brightener


How to restore a 30-year-old deck with Restore-A-Deck Products

Products Used

  • Restore-A-Deck Stripper
  • Restore-A-Deck Booster Additive for Stripper
  • Restore-A-Deck Brightener
  • Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain


How to prep and apply a maintenance coat of stain with Restore-A-Deck Products

Products Used

  • Restore-A-Deck Cleaner
  • Restore-A-Deck Brightener


How to clean and stain Decks and Retaining Wall In One Day with Restore-A-Deck Products

Products Used

  • Restore-A-Deck Stripper
  • Restore-A-Deck Brightener
  • Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain

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    Don · 11/14/2021
    After I stripped and neutralized/brightened my deck yesterday the weather changed and I wasn't able to stain.  It might be a long time before I get a long enough dry spell with a daily low above 45 degrees.  The pores of the cedar wood are very open with some raised grain here and there.   The wood looks normal when dry but almost black when wet.  Will leaving it as is until spring ruin the wood?   Any advice on how to proceed?  What are the potential downsides of staining in too-cold temperatures or when there might be fog or dew overnight versus letting it weather until I get proper conditions for staining, which might be 3-4 months from now?
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      RAD Products · 11/15/2021
      You will have to wait until temps are warmer. Next Spring if needed. Clean and brighten for prep before you stain.
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    Ronnie · 10/31/2021
    Just purchased your cleaner,brightener & stain. Live on 3rd floor condo… no pressure washer or access to hose. Deck is almost 6 month old & has a fair amount of green streaks in the boards… some almost iridescent? Do not know what kind of wood was used. Should I be concerned and is it unrealistic to do this jub with a bucket & brush? 
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      RAD Products · 10/31/2021
      You can scrub and rinse but you will need a hose to rinse. Hook a hose to your kitchen sink or utility sink.
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    Sue · 10/08/2021
    We used the stripper without the booster, it supposedly only had one coat of stain on it.  As you can see by the pictures some of the stain came off really good, but others not so much.  We hate to continue if our new new stain won't stick what do we do with this?   
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      Susan Reimer · 10/08/2021
      It's old stain in the indentation in the wood.  And we have not used the brightener yet. 
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        RAD Products · 10/09/2021
        Strip it one more time and then apply the brightener.
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      Sue · 10/08/2021
      Here are a couple of pictures since it has dried. 
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        RAD Products · 10/08/2021
        What are the white spots and did you brighten the wood yet?
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      RAD Products · 10/08/2021
      Send pictures when the wood is dry. Cannot tell from these.
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    Cornelius Harrison III · 10/04/2021
    After using the Restore -A- Deck Stripper and Brightener, afterwards am I able to Stain my deck with another Stain/Sealer Product? The name of the Stain/Sealer is "Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer".  Didn't realize you guys sold Stain as well until after the purchase. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/04/2021
      You can use any brand of stain after our prep products. Be careful of the Ready Seal. It has drying issues and rubs off. Also does not last more than a year.
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    Bo · 09/29/2021
    My understanding is that if I strip and brighten one day and stain the next day or even a week later that I should moisten the surface before staining. Correct?
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    Bo · 09/27/2021
    My intention is to strip one day, brighten the next day and stain the following day because of time constraints. Any problem with that approach? Thank you.
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      RAD Products · 09/27/2021
      Strip and brighten the same day. You can stain the next day if you want.
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    Carolyn · 09/27/2021
    I scrubbed, then used an orbital sander to prep my very small 8X12 deck on my townhome.  Do I need to wait until spring to stain?  Do I have to use the cleaner / brightener before staining if I wait until spring?
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      RAD Products · 09/27/2021
      You can clean and brighten and then stain now. One coat.
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        Carolyn · 09/27/2021
        So I need to use your cleaner even though it is sanded? 
        P.S. I am in Portland OR, ordered your stain onrline.  I'm guessing I will need to do the same with the brightener and cleaner - i.e., no distributors here in Oregon?
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          RAD Products · 09/27/2021
          You need the prep products after sanding to open up the wood pores. We sell online only.
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    Justin · 09/24/2021
    Hello.  I've purchased the cleaner/brightener/sealer kit for my cedar fence.  My plan was to do all three steps on a single day but due to circumstances I was only able to get through the cleaning step.  This took place two weeks ago.  I plan on finishing up the project this weekend.  Do I need to do a quick clean again?
    What is the max time between applications of the brightener and sealer?
    Thanks!  BTW, the cleaner worked very well!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/25/2021
      Wash lightly with water and then brighten the wood. Stain within two weeks of prep.
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    Jim · 09/23/2021
    Thanks for your confirming that after stripping my cedar deck this week, I can wait until spring to take the next steps.  This lets me avoid the stain degradation that will surely occur over the harsh Chicago winter.  Just to confirm, the next steps in the spring will be cleaning, brightening and staining, with no need to strip or power wash again?
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      RAD Products · 09/24/2021
      No need to strip but you do pressure wash lightly when cleaning. 
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    Karen · 09/17/2021
    Hello,I ended up sanding my deck because it had too much of the previous stain on it. 
    Originally I purchased the stripper, brightener, semi-stain. Deck is about 30 years old.
    ...The deck looks really good after sanding.
    ...I have not been able to find a power washer to rent.
    ...If I had the cleaner I would use it, but I don't...should I still use the stripper to hose it off or skip it
    ...I need to get this done tomorrow, and I did not realize how important the power washer was or how hard it was going to be to find one. 
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    Kelly Caudill · 09/10/2021
    I just applied the deck cleaner to my deck which about 2 years old, never stained. It now looks fuzzy and didn’t seem to get all the mildew looking stuff off. I sprayed an area then took a broom to try to scrub. I then rinsed with power washer. What else do I need to do? Don’t want to neutralize yet as I don’t feel it got clean enough!! 
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      RAD Products · 09/11/2021
      Reapply the cleaner and then pressure wash off, not just rinse. Brightener after.
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        Kelly Caudill · 09/11/2021
        So yesterday I ended up going to get a deck scrub brush. Once I wet down the deck again I was able to scrub a lot of oxidation off. I did power wash after to rinse the product off. I went ahead with the brightener and rinsed as directed. Today I’m just not sure if I got enough oxidation off or do I need to repeat these processes again? There is some white still on the boards but also the fuzzies. Are these boards sufficient to start to stain? 
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    Obed Juarez · 09/10/2021
    Here is another pic
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    Obed Juarez · 09/10/2021
    My covered deck is 9 Feet off the ground and serves as a porch from the underside. Do i need to stain the underside? Deck is 10x24 Never been stain or sealed Its about 10 month old How much product do i need?  Transparent is what i think in using.Please advise.Thank you.
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      RAD Products · 09/10/2021
      No need to stain undersides unless you want to for appearance only.
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    Obed Juarez · 09/03/2021
    I have an year old cedar deck that has black spindles 1inch wide  x 1/4inch thick attached to my cedar rails. Do i need to remove or protect them during the cleaning, brightening or staining with the semi-transparent process?  
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      RAD Products · 09/03/2021
      You should be fine with the prep. Do not get the stain on them. 
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    JBR · 09/03/2021
    We have a new-wood deck-zilla with 450 deck railing spindles.We have to stain it ourselves because no local contractors are familiar with RAD products.
    1. Can I use a paint/stain mitt to apply RAD semi-transparent stain to deck railing spindles? 2. Can I use a mitt to apply cleaner and brightener to spindles?3. Can I use a mitt to rinse off the brightener from spindles?If not, what’s best to use?3. I don’t have a power washer. Can I use a strong spray from a regular water hose?Thank you.
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      RAD Products · 09/03/2021
      Yes on stain no on prep products. Use a sprayer and then pressure wash off. You need a pressure washer for best results. 
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    JBR · 09/02/2021
    We have a rebuilt deck of PTP. The railings have a lot of wood components: verticals and cross pieces. What would be the best tools and procedure to use for the cleaning, brightening and RAD semi-transparent staining?
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    Edward Vargas · 08/30/2021
    Finally getting a break in the weather and ready to do the 3 step process. The deck wood is 12 months old and has never been stained. It is graying a bit and is exposed to hot sun. Should I still apply only one coat? Secondly, do you recommend applying the semi transparent stain with the wood damp or dry? Does it really matter? Is one better than the other? 
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    Carolyn Cassel · 08/28/2021
    An unexpected rain fell on my deck about 6 hours after applying the second coat. This morning it had areas of white liquid. I swept off the extra water and the white areas smoothed out. What do I need to do next?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/28/2021
      Let it dry out for a few days and it should go away.
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    Bruce · 08/26/2021
    After applying semi transparent stain with a sprayer does it need to be brushed or sponged in to be effective
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      RAD Products · 08/27/2021
      Yes, to ensure it applies evenly and dries correctly.
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    Judy · 08/14/2021
    I have stripper, brightener, booster and thickening agent left over from two years ago when I only did the base of my 200 sq. foot deck.  Is it still good to use when I re-stain my entire deck this year?  I don't see an expiration date.  Thanks.   
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    Nick Damaskos · 08/09/2021
    I had recently a cedar board fence installed I was interested in applying a clear sealer using your Restore-A-Deck finish however I would like to know if your product when applied turns yellow when applied?  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/10/2021
      We do not offer a clear sealer and a clear sealer will not provide any UV protection from graying. It must be tinted for UV protection and that means the color will be enhanced based on the color chosen.
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    Bo · 08/09/2021
    I have a 15 month old unopened container of Light Walnut that I plan to use this week.I am an 85 year old curmudgeon and hardly a weightlifter so…..My plan to mix it is to set it on the counter and slide it vigorously back and forth, sloshing the contents and rotating the container occasionally. How long should I slosh to ensure thorough mixing?
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    Bruce · 08/08/2021
    I have a deck of pressure treated pine. Last year I machine sanded it, cleaned, brighten and semi-transparent stained it. Would it help to hand sand it this year when I re-stain it so that it will absorb the stain better?
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    Bo · 08/06/2021
    This may be a nit picky question, but it has been a struggle so far and I do not want to make any mistakes. Is a 1600 psi pressure washer OK to use with the Stripper? I know that the directions specify using 1500 psi.
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    Bo · 08/05/2021
    Important addendum:
    The power washer that I used was borrowed and quite strong. However, it came with a nozzle with several settings. The setting I used was delicate. I think that using such a powerful washer was a mistake, even with the special nozzle. It appears that the pressure washer stripped away the layer of old stain in multiple places. 
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      RAD Products · 08/05/2021
      Using the stripper while pressure washing and then Brightener is the way to fix this and get the new stain and wood to be even when all done. 
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        Bo · 08/05/2021
        After stripping and brightening......can I apply two coats of stain? I am using Light Walnut
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    Roy · 07/29/2021
    I purchased solid stain from your company what type of brush to use on a deck about 1400sqft - is clean up water.- also drying time before you can walk on stain 
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      RAD Products · 07/29/2021
      Any quality brush and roller will work with the solid stain. Clean up is water. 4-6 hours drying to walk on it. 
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    Mjv · 07/26/2021
    Is it possible to over prep? I have physically scraped the dried sap from my untreated but 2.5 year old deck. I think I want to clean the clean the deck before sanding so I don’t gunk up the sander as much…and then can I clean it again before brightening? Not sure why I’m so nervous to do this. Haha.
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      RAD Products · 07/27/2021
      You cannot over prep but you can sand unevenly or over-sand resulting in an uneven application if that happens.
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    Robby · 07/15/2021
    is RAD solid stain recommended to be used on composite wood (Trex)?
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      RAD Products · 07/16/2021
      If a true composite, it should be fine. Some Trex decks are 100% plastic and not coatings will work on those.
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    Mike · 07/10/2021
    How long does it take for shipping 
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      RAD Products · 07/11/2021
      Depends on where you live but 2-5 days is normal.
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    Doug Bing · 07/04/2021
    I have a deck with a pergola over half of it. All was stained over 5 yrs ago (probably closer to 7-8 yrs!) and is in great need of restoring. I was planning on pressure washing, then using your cleaner and brightener before applying 2 coats of solid stain. Once I complete the pressure washing, how soon should the cleaner and brightener be added? Can cleaner and brightener be applied in the same day? Once they are applied, how much time do I wait before adding the stain? Example: I can pressure wash in a day. Then apply cleaner and brightener during one day? Then, do I wait a day or so before adding stain? Obviously weather plays a factor in all this.Thanks for your help!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/11/2021
      Sorry, we did not see your question until now. You pressure wash while using the cleaner, rinse, then apply the brightener all on the same day. You can stain the same day as prep or stain the next day.