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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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve Olszowy · 06/28/2021
    Hi, I have read so many of these replies from RAD but am still confused... I am going to use your solid stain on a previously stained porch. I believe they might have used a semi solid. We bought the house 9 years ago and do not know what brand they used. They did the deck and railings. Half of the porch is covered so the stain is still good. The other half is weathered  with a lot of stain fading or removed. Do I have to use your stripper as well as cleaner and brightener and in what order? Also I would like to use a sprayer for the solid stain. What type or brand of sprayer do you recommend? Thank you for your help!!! We are planning to do this in 2 weeks. How long does it take for ordered items to be delivered?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2021
      Strip all and then brighten. The only way to apply the solid stain with a sprayer is with an airless paint sprayer. Shipping time depends on where you live.
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    Steve Olson · 06/24/2021
    Should have also mentioned I have stripped and brightened. My mistake was not getting the gel. I have some stubborn spots on my cedar deck and have ordered more stripper, booster, brightener and the gel.  My question is can I spot treat the stubborn spots or is it best to do whole deck again?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/24/2021
      You can spot strip but you will need to brighten all to even it out.
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    Steve Olson · 06/23/2021
    I have a cedar deck that stands 6 feet off the ground.  It has been stained before and I will be stripping and brightening before staining. Is it recommended to do the bottom side of floor boards and headers if possible?
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    Richard Dew · 06/21/2021
    I want to refinish my 2-year old deck. Cabot Australian Timber oil was used when the deck was built. It has not performed well especially in areas that get a lot of sun. My painting contractor recommends removing the previous finish by sanding rather than using a stripper and brightner. Is there a problem using sanding as preparation for your stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2021
      Sanding will reduce the stain's ability to soak into the grain. If you sand, do not sand any finer than 60-80 grit and when done, use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener to open up the wood grain as the last prep. Only one coat of stain to sanded wood.
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    lcj · 06/19/2021
    Hello,..please see the image I posted of a portion of my deck.  Can you please suggest the products I should use? thank you !
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    Jody B · 06/09/2021
    If I have already used a cleaner and power washer, do I still need to do the cleaner or stripper and brightener before staining?
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      RAD Products · 06/10/2021
      Depends on the condition. Post a picture of your prep.
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        Jody B · 06/12/2021
        A few areas are protected from the sun so the boards look better there.
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          RAD Products · 06/12/2021
          You still have old stain on the wood. You need to remove it if it is not RAD Stains. Use the RAD Stripper and then the Brightener.
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            Jody B · 06/12/2021
            Thanks.... expect my order soon!
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    Joe · 06/04/2021
    would like to clean up and restore the color to these cedar shingles. start with restore -a-deck cleaner and then the brightener ? do i need to cover any plants or lawn when using it ?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/04/2021
      Use the Cleaner and then the Brightener. Cover plants or prep and rinse well when done. 
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    Tracy · 06/02/2021
    We purchased a home in Northern Michigan last year.  The deck was finished with Cabot Acrylic Solid Color Acrylic Deck stain.  I have worked really hard at scraping and power washing and have only gotten about 40% of the deck stain removed from one portion of the deck.  The deck is HUGE!  I have never refinished a deck before and I need some advise.  I thought that I could use a semi transparent stain which would somewhat soak into the wood, but I don’t think I can get all of this deck stain off and semi transparent would show the solid color underneath.  What is your advise on how to prep this and what to use to refinish it?  Thank you!
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    Al · 06/02/2021
    I would like to have a two tone look for my decks. I am going to sand, clean and brighten the decks and then use a solid stain. The railings and balusters are in relatively good shape with no peeling or cracking; however, they have been previously stained with Benjamin Moore's solid Oxford Brown stain and I would like to use RAD's solid white stain. Would this be possible using just RAD's stripper, cleaner and brightner, as sanding the bottom rails and balusters would have to be done almost entirely by hand?
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      RAD Products · 06/02/2021
      You can use the stripper on the railings/verticals where the RAD solid stain will be used. Remove as much as possible and then you can cover the current solid stain that is not peeling with the RAD Solid Stain. 
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        Al · 06/02/2021
        Will I need to use the brightner in addition to the stripper before I stain?
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    PB · 05/25/2021
    Hi - Can you help me figure out the best process and products to restore my partially covered deck. I’m not sure what kind of wood it is (there are some knots) nor what was used on it (paint or stain) but it was likely built in 1995. 
    As you can see, the area under the welcome mat still beads up water vs the exposed slats. It has a couple cracked areas I need to smooth out prior to refinishing.
    Thanks 
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    Al · 05/24/2021
    What is the procedure for prepping a deck after it has been sanded, with the intention of using your solid stain ?
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    Sarah · 05/21/2021
    Plan to use RAD cleaner and brighter with additives to strip and clean deck. How do I know if I should sand? 
    Then plan to apply TWP dark oak 1503. How long does the deck need to dry before I apply the stain?  I should or should not let the stain dry in between coats?  How long do I wait in between coats? 
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      RAD Products · 05/21/2021
      Only sand if you cannot remove all of the old stain. Let dry 48 hours after prep to install the TWP Stains. TWP is applied wet on wet or second coat goes on 20-40 minutes after the first coat.
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    Dan · 05/20/2021
    I need to restore my deck, but I don’t know what kind of stain was put on.  I have no clue where to start and what to use. Here are a few pics of my deck now, and hopefully you can point me in the right direction to having a beautiful deck to relax on.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/21/2021
      What you have on the deck cannot be stripped off fully, as what you have is on top of the wood like a varnish. Also, why it is peeling. Option 1 is to strip what is loose or peeling, spot sand if needed after for same, cover all with the RAD Solid Stain. Option 2 will require power sanding to remove this fully. Clean and brighten for final prep. Use the RAD Semi-Transparent stain.
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        Dan · 05/21/2021
        Thank You for your response.  I was able to contact the previous owner and they told me they had put a product called Deckall.  Now if I use Rad stripper with the additives, would it take it off.
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          RAD Products · 05/21/2021
          We would need to see pictures. Post them here in comments.
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            Dan · 05/21/2021
            Here are the pics of my deck of how it looks today
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              RAD Products · 05/21/2021
              You cannot strip this. It will have to be removed by sanding. 100% will need to come off.
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                Dan · 05/21/2021
                My deck is 16’x26’. What kind of sander would you recommend.
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    Stephen D. · 05/20/2021
    Just stained my new 275 sq. foot pressure-treated pine deck (installed 8 months ago) with Driftwood Gray semi-transparent stain, carefully followed the prep with cleaner and brightener, making sure that deck was rinsed thoroughly. After stain application and two days of drying, hardly any of the stain seems to have been absorbed. The color of the deck looks essentially unstained, with just faint coloration. I put on one light coat as recommended for new wood, but did not skimp. Any ideas on why I got the result I did and can you suggest a way to remedy this? For example, although I've read in other comments that a second coat cannot be put on after the deck is dry for another 6 to 12 months, is there anything you can suggest for now? Also, can/should a sealer be put on now? Thank you.     
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2021
      Hi, you cannot apply another coat now but you can in the Spring. A sealer cannot be applied over a deck stain.
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        Stephen D. · 05/20/2021
        Thanks but any tips for ensuring the stain soaks in better when I do it again next spring? 
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/20/2021
          Final color is determined but your wood type and the age of the wood. New wood is less absorbent so colors will be lighter. As the wood ages it will become more absorbent and richer in color.
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    Cathy A · 05/17/2021
    We sanded our deck, then cleaned, brightened, and stained with your semi-transparent cedar.  It was difficult to see how much stain was going on, as the damp wood looked nearly identical to the stain as it was being put on (we used a stain pad). Perhaps it was a bit "too damp"?  As a result, we have some splotchy, heavy/light areas.  What do you suggest to "fix" this issue?   
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/17/2021
      Those as brush marks form not applying evenly. You cannot remove them outside of stripping all and starting over. They will fade though and be less noticeable shortly.
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    Cathy Kamm · 05/15/2021
    The green mold color of our deck will not spray wash off in many places. We sprayed cleaner and are power washing with 1500 PSI. What went wrong?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/16/2021
      The prep removes anything that is on the surface of the wood. If the green is deep in the wood grain, then it will not come off with a cleaner. Apply the brightener and then let dry. It will most likely go away then.
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    Jeff · 05/13/2021
    the old deck has numerous cracks in the boards. I want to use a semi-transparent stain. So do I need to fill all these cracks? If so what do I use. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/13/2021
      No, never use a filler with a semi-transparent stain. It will fail and will not blend with the stain. Just leave, as is. It is normal to have cracks.
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    Jim · 05/13/2021
    1. what should I coat rusty nails with?2. Is any primer needed on bare wood.3. Is the finish smooth?  Non Slip?Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/13/2021
      You cannot use the RAD Stains over a primer. Nothing we know of will prevent rust from bleeding through. Need to replace the nails.
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    Jay Several · 05/03/2021
    We have a mahogany front door on our shore house. The builder failed to seal the solid mahogany door during construction and the rich brown color faded! The builder stained the door to restore the color, and it looks terrible! Can we use your stripper, brightener and sealer on the door to bring back the natural rich mahogany color? Please advise
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/03/2021
      Not sure what the builder used on the door so not sure if the stripper will work. You may have to sand it all off. In addition, the RAD stain would work on unstained Mahogany but many people want their doors shiny. RAD will not give you a shiny look and it cannot be top coated with a polyurethane.
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    Jay Several · 05/02/2021
    We have Ipe decking that has turned grey. Can we use your cleaner, brightener, and sealer to restore the natural rich brown color?
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      RAD Products · 05/03/2021
      Yes, clean then brighten. Stain with the RAD Stain in Light Walnut.
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    Jay Several · 05/02/2021
    We have a mahogany front door on our shore house. The builder failed to seal the solid mahogany door during construction and the rich brown color faded! The builder stained the door to restore the color, and it looks terrible! Can we use your stripper, brightener and sealer on the door to bring back the natural rich mahogany color? Please advise
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jay R Several · 05/02/2021
    We have a solid mahogany front door and side lights that was not sealed by our builder and faded. The builder had the door stained to bring back the color. It looks terrible!! Can we use your stripper, brightener and sealer on the mahogany door to bring back the original natural color?
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    Alice · 05/02/2021
    Should I use a deck brightened before applying a solid deck stain
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    JJ · 05/01/2021
    Good morning, What process would you suggest for restoring this 3 year old deck? The material is hem/fir pressure treated and stained with a water based stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/02/2021
      Prep with the RAD Stripper and Brightener kits and then stain with the RAD Stains. 
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        JJ · 06/19/2021
        Do we need to cover and tape adjacent areas before stripping?
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          RAD Products · 06/20/2021
          To be safe, yes. Typically it will not harm the siding or paint though if you prewet and rinse over spray right away.
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        JJ · 05/07/2021
        Will the stripper remove the Sunwood water base stain and mold/mildew?When should I sand the rough spots?What tip number for pressure washing?What do you use to apply the stain to the vertical spindles?When can I apply a second coat of RAD light walnut stain? 
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          RAD Products · 05/07/2021
          Use the stripper with both additives. Only sand if needed. Use the green tip. Use a stain pad to apply. See here about wet on wet application: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-wet-on-wet-application.html
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            JJ · 05/07/2021
            If we can’t apply a second coat while wet what is the procedure? if sanding is needed is it done before or after the stripper. Will the additives harm the painted Hardy Plank siding? Do you sell the stain pads?
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              RAD Products · 05/07/2021
              You cannot apply a second coat once the first coat dries fully. You would have to weather it for 6-12 months and then redo the prep. Sand after stripping, before brightener. Stripper does not remove paint unless it is peeling. Rinse ant over spray. Pads are here:https://www.restore-a-deck.com/decktools.html
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                jj · 06/17/2021
                We just received our kit, stripper, both additives, brightener and dark walnut semi transparent stain. Yesterday we sanded the railing and spot sanded the deck as some of the wood was splintering. As I reread your directions you say to strip first then sand. (I know read directions first!) Are we ok to go ahead with stripping and brightening today?
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    David · 04/29/2021
    I need to clean and refinish a deck that surrounds an in-ground pool with a vinyl liner.  
    Are your products (Stripper, Brightener, Stain) safe to use around pools?What steps should I take to ensure my pool is not damaged or discolored?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/29/2021
      Yes they are safe but you will want to wash away from pool to minimize dirt and grime from getting in the pool. That will make your cleaning of pool easier. Also always check pH of pool when done and balance if needed. 
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    Ted · 04/25/2021
    I have a pressure treated deck and it's been stained several times over the past few years. The stain is now peeling. I've started using a pressure washer and stiff bristle brush to clean it. I'm hoping I don't have to sand the entire deck and possibly use a striper to help remove the peeling material.I'd like to apply new stain after removing the old peeling stain. Would would you suggest?
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      RAD Products · 04/25/2021
      Yes, you will have to power sand off this old coating to remove fully. What you have on there is acting like a varnish and cannot be stripped fully.
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        Ted Glover · 04/25/2021
        Thank you for your quick reply and advice.  In your expert opinion should I continue to remove as much of the old peeling stain off using a pressure washer. Then follow up with a deck stripper material and power sand it? This deck is made of pressure treated wood. 
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 04/26/2021
          You can try to apply the stripper and then pressure wash off what you can. Let dry and sand the rest off. 
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    Robert Moody · 04/23/2021
    We have an 8 year old pressure treated pine deck. We had previously used solid stain which was peeling, so we used a hand sander to sand down to bare wood. Would you recommend the stripper or the cleaner before the brightener?
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    Freddie · 04/22/2021
    Are there any deck re finishers in Eugene, OR with RAD experience?
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    Freddie · 04/22/2021
    what is coverage for 5 gal. stripper with gel and booster and 5 gal. brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/23/2021
      Averages to about 750 sq feet for the stripper and the brightener.
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    Matt Plachta · 04/11/2021
    Last fall I stained my lower deck with Restore-A-Deck stain.  Last year I also replaced the deck boards on my upper deck.  I plan to clean, brighten, stain the upper deck this year.  Do I need to cover the lower deck to protect the stain I applied last year when I clean and brighten to upper deck?