Our 3rd Annual RAD Wood Restoration Contest is open! You can see prior years here:

Restore-A-Deck 2019 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2018 Contest

RAD Contest BUTTON 2020 smallThe RAD Wood Restoration 2020 Contest is closed!

First Place

Ethan (Page 3)

First Place = $500 + 5 Gallon Pail of RAD Stain of your choice!

Second Place

S. Tyler (Page 4)

Second Place = $250 + 2.5 Gallons of RAD Stain of your choice!

Third Place

Tom Z (Page 3) 

Third Place = $100 + 1 Gallon of RAD Stain or 1 RAD Prep Kit of your choice!

Thanks to all the entered this year! All entries were excellent and that made it very hard to choose the winners!

We will be contacting the winners via email.

Restore-A-Deck 2020 Wood and Deck Restoration Contest Details

  • All Restore-A-Deck Prep and Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain must be purchased first from this online eCommerce site (Restore-A-Deck.com) between January 1st - September 7th, 2020.
  • The Restore-A-Deck 3-Step Process must be used.

RAD Stain Steps

  • The deadline for entry is September 20th, 2020.
  • The winners will be decided by September 30th, 2020 by our team.

The RAD Contestant Winners will Receive

  • First Place = $500 + 5 Gallon Pail of RAD Stain of your choice!
  • Second Place = $250 + 2.5 Gallons of RAD Stain of your choice!
  • Third Place:= $100 + 1 Gallon of RAD Stain or 1 RAD Prep Kit of your choice!

How To Enter Contest

  1. Enter by September 20th, 2020.
  2. In the comment section below, post a short description of your deck/wood staining project, the Restore-A-Deck products used to prep, and the Restore-A-Deck Stain Color used. Was the Restore-A-Deck Stain applied the same day as the prep? Yes or No?
  3. Examples of wood projects that can be entered: Decks, Fences, Wood Side Homes, Log Cabins, etc.
  4. 1-2 pictures before the prep of the wood. You can still enter if you do not have the before pictures. 
  5. 1-2 pictures after the prep of the wood using the RAD Prepping Products. You can still enter if you do not have the after prep pictures. 
  6. 2 pictures after the staining using the Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain must be included.
  7. If having trouble uploading the pictures, please make your picture(s) size smaller (below 3 MB).

Any questions or issues posting, please ask in the comment area.

We look forward to all the entries!

*Disclaimer: All products must be purchased from Restore-A-Deck.com. The contest is not open to products purchased from other online dealers or from physical stores. All 3-Steps in the Restore-A-Deck system will need to be used to win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place: Step 1: Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper. Step 2: Restore-A-Deck Wood Brightener. Step 3: Restore-A-Deck Wood Stains.

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    Maria · 09/09/2022
    We moved into this house 2 years ago, I have no idea how old the deck and fence are but they definitely needed an upgrade!
    First we used the clean/brighten kit on the deck and fence and were blown away by how fresh the wood looked after!  It was a very easy and quick process, we got it done during our toddler's 2 hour afternoon nap (Saturday).
    The next day we stained the deck using CEDAR.  We love the colour!!  Staining was also very easy, once again we got 2 coats done during our son's nap (Sunday).
    We were so proud of ourselves that we got it all done in one weekend, and it was so easy!!
    We ended up painting our fence to match our gate colour.  Painting turned out to be a huge pain in the butt, took us multiple weekends to get done.  While we like the colour contrast between the fence and the deck, whole time we were painting the fence I was thinking, "We should have just used restore-a-deck to stain this fence, we would have been done so much sooner!"
    Thank you restore-a-deck.  As a certifiably UNhandy couple with no DIY experience, you made the process of upgrading our backyard easy, fun and affordable!  Would definitely recommend.
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    Cheryl · 07/01/2022
    This product is amazing! We were looking to replace deck but can’t seem to find any available contractors to replace it…I guess that’s great that everyone is so busy. I decided see if I could restore the deck myself and came across the video on YouTube. Followed the directions exactly as the gentleman did and what a difference wow!! I just finished the brighter process yesterday. I will let it dry over the 4th of July weekend and then will begin to do the sanding and punch in nails and will stain. Not sure about the stain color yet. But will follow up with finished photos
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    Caitlin Weiler · 10/27/2020
    Used RAD on our front porch and absolutely love the results! The cleaner and brightener made such a difference. I wish I had a before pic, but these are after the cleaning and staining.
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    Sandeep Kor · 09/21/2020
    Cleaning in progress photo which did not get uploaded in the original post...
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    Sandeep Kor · 09/21/2020
    Couple of photos which did not get uploaded in the original post...
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    Sandeep Kor · 09/21/2020

    Cleaning and Staining 35 year old Cedar wood Shed, never stained previously (Stain applied same day as prep)
    Shed Dimensions: 8' width x 8' length x 10' height

    Products Used:

    Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain 5 Gallons and Cleaner/Brightener Combo Kit (Light Walnut, Semi-Transparent), Restore-A-Deck Wood Staining Brush, 2 x Pump Sprayers (one for Cleaner, one for Brightener), ladder, paint tray, electric pressure washer

    Project Description:

    1) Ordered RAD Semi-Transparent, Light Walnut Stain along with the Cleaner/Brightener and the RAD Staining Brush. The order arrived within a week, just in time for a few days of good weather - overcast with 70 degree temperatures and no rain forecast for the next few days.
    2) Started at around 8 am - First off prepared the Cleaner solution by mixing the Cleaner thoroughly in the pump sprayer ensuring that all crystals dissolved. I lightly sprayed the wood shed with plain water and the applied the Cleaner using the pump sprayer.
    3) I let the Cleaner sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then using the pressure washer, started cleaning the wood. The transformation was remarkable - the black layer on the wood washed away revealing the beautiful cedar grain (compare Before Prep picture with ones after Prep)
    4) Once the shed was clean around 11 am, I mixed the brightener in a separate pump sprayer, again ensuring that the powder dissolved completely. I applied the brightener to the shed and allowed it to sit for 15 minutes, ensuring that the surface never dried completely.
    5) Following this, I rinsed off the brightener from the surface thoroughly using just the hose without the pressure washer. I went over twice or thrice so as to remove all brightener suds.
    6) This was completed by 12:30 pm. I took a break at this point and let the shed sit for 3 to 4 hours. This way I could also avoid the warmer afternoon sun for the staining. (See pictures After Cleaning and Brightening)
    7) I restarted the project at around 4 pm by lightly misting the shed surface.
    8) I poured the stain in a paint tray and then using the RAD brush started staining the shed siding, one face at a time, from top to bottom. I applied 2 coats in quick succession without letting the previous coat dry completely. (See pictures after Staining)

    Very happy with the product, the stain color, the ease of application, the ability to complete the project in a day and most of all how my shed looks after staining!

    Name: Sandeep Kor
    Email: sandeep_kor1985@yahoo.com
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    SKDAHL · 09/20/2020
    more images...
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      SKDAHL · 09/21/2020
      - images of stained fence: Semi-Transparent "Natural"
      (the short video referenced on my original post of finished fence did not post; "format not recognized"
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    Joseph Smith · 09/20/2020
    My wife and I bought our first home last summer. A big reason we bought this house was because of the huge deck(800 sqft) it had under a beautiful oak tree. The only problem was that the deck had a solid red/brown stain(unattractive), which badly needed to be refinished. In addition, the finish on the deck boards was wearing off, as you can see in the before pictures.

    Refinishing the deck was my summer-long project. I knew it would be quite time consuming, having to remove the old stain and apply a new color. To start off we tested a couple of deck stains bought from the big box home improvement stores. We were not overly impressed with any of them, luckily we came across Restore-A-Deck. After testing and liking the dark-walnut color we ordered the three-step RAD combo pack.

    First, I used the RAD stain stripper to remove the old red/brown stain that was still on the deck. Unfortunately, due to the size of my deck I was not able to complete all of the steps in one day. After the old stain was stripped off I used the brightener/neutralizer. We chose the Dark Walnut color for the deck floor and top rail and we chose to paint the spindles white. All of the RAD products worked very well and we are extremely happy with how the deck turned out!
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    SKDAHL · 09/20/2020
    Western Red Cedar 66' fence built in May, 2020 and left to weather until September. Ordered the kit: cleaner, brightener, semi-transparent stain in Natural tone. I spread the job over several days because of shorter daylight hrs, and I'm almost 70 and find it best to pace myself. Cleaned and brightened both sides on the first day. Your stain brush worked great and spread stain quickly and evenly on the flat side of the fence. The side with posts and 2x4 runners was a challenge for me to spread stain into all corners evenly - so I used a hand brush to stain that side over a couple more days.

    IMAGES: (All begin in '147' - if you can see the #s.)
    Before starting: #5306 and #5303
    After the right side was cleaned and brightened, the left side just cleaned: #5308 and #5309
    The morning after cleaning and brightening - #5312
    Short video shows misting water on the wood a couple hours before finishing staining - #5313
    Semi-Transparent 'Natural' really does look like "wet wood"! The panels to the left of me had
    been stained the day before, and I had just finished misting down the panels to my right to
    stain in a couple hours. I couldn't tell the difference, except there's cardboard under unstained
    [I would include more images of the completely finished fence, but it is contest deadline, and too dark to take them after cleaning up. Let me know if I should add more in the morning!]
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    cbsc · 09/20/2020
    RAD 2020 Photo Contest
    Name of entrant: Cindy Branscome
    Products used: Stripper, Brightener, and Light Walnut Stain
    Where: Deck floor, lattice, steps, landing, and bench.
    Did I finish in 1 day? No...I encountered weather issues and had to make adjustments. (700 SQ FT)

    I must start off by saying I just had my house appraised for a re-fi. When the appraiser went to the backyard, she immediately said to me, "It looks like you just added a new deck. When was this done?" I BEAMED and took that as a HUGE compliment! Thank you RAD for enhancing the looks of my landscape!

    I began my project when the quarantine came upon us back in the spring. I started off by using "some other brand" that a contractor recommended. BIG mistake! It was really thick and the color looked like red clay. Luckily I had not used too much of that product because stripping it was tough!

    I then researched online about other products and was thrilled to read all of the good reviews. I was also very impressed with the initial customer service I got when I had questions at the beginning of my project. RAD was quick to respond to my issues with square footage, what products I needed, and how much.

    My deck had been ignored for about 10 years, except for sporadic power washing. I knew I would have to strip whatever the previous homeowner had put on and that was the toughest part of the project. When some tough spots would not come up, I had to sand those areas. (recommended by RAD) After completing these steps, I moved on to the brightening. The deck was coming to LIFE! What a difference I saw in the wood!

    When it came time to stain, I started with the verticals. Applying to lattice is no joke! I finally resorted to a spray bottle and a staining sponge to get all of the surfaces. As you can tell from the pictures, I have a good deal of lattice, so that was tedious. Once I got to the horizontals, it was a breeze!

    I did my best to let my pictures tell the story. I am a 55 year old woman who took on this project alone with no prior knowledge or experience with stripping/staining a deck. The directions were easy to follow and as stated before, when I had a question, it was answered the same day. I cannot tell you how many compliments I have gotten on my deck. When I posted to my social media, folks were absolutely impressed with the outcome. (RAD- you might have had an increase in sales that week! Ha!) :)

    Thank you for you helping to renew my deck! It truly does look wonderful.

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    Veronica · 09/20/2020
    Our porch was very much in need of some love. It had a red stain that was fading in places and that made the porch very dark. We settled on the Restore-A-Deck dark walnut stain and bought the First, we applied the restore-a-deck stripper a pump sprayer, having mixed it with the booster additive. After letting it sit, we then used a scrub brush and power washer to remove the old red semi-translucent stain. Next, we used the brightener, which really brought out the grain. Our porch is pretty big so that was enough for day one. The next day we sanded. The third day, we applied the stain with a staining pad, and here are the results!
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      Veronica · 09/21/2020
      Whoops, I meant light walnut!
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    Don and Jackie · 09/20/2020
    Fully prepped
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    Don and Jackie · 09/20/2020
    Our 30+ year old deck was is good shape but needed stained 2 years ago. We had always used stain. Went to Sherman-Williams and were talked into a product that was supposed to be superior. We are very diligent about proper prep and following the instructions. It was very expensive and it started peeling up the very next year! Luckily Sherwin- Williams knows us and our diligence to do it correctly and made it right with us. We were researching reviews for deck finishes and came across your product. The reviews were excellent and we decided to try it. After much hard work, we sanded the old finish completely off and used the Restore-a-Deck cleaner, then brightener. Two days later, we applied the Coastal Gray stain. It looks brand new!
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    Natasha · 09/20/2020
    Additional photos
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    Natasha · 09/20/2020
    400sq ft treated pine deck. Cleaned and brightened one weekend and stained the next using RAD semi transparent in Cedar
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      Natasha · 09/20/2020
      Note: this is a new deck, installed in June 2019 and allowed to weather for approx 15 months. Completed 1 coat on railings and 2 on flooring.
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    Judith Martin · 09/20/2020
    THANK YOU SO MUCH. My maybe never stained deck has gotten worse over the years but I’ve always been too intimidated to try to do anything. I used the the stripper (in case I was wrong about it being treated before) and the the brightener and the semi transparent stain. Everything went EXACTLY as you said it would. It’s turned out wonderful.
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    Donna Olson · 09/20/2020
    We used the restore a deck products for our never stained deck boxes and steps using the restore a deck cleaner, brightener, and stain. We also used the stripper, Brightener and stain for our gazebo. we did not apply the stain the same day as prep.















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    Barbara Lutterbein · 09/20/2020
    Please note that the stain I ordered on Sept 8 was for a different project - front porch. My original order covered the back deck. Thanks again! So glad I used your products and proud that I was able to do this myself!
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    Barbara Lutterbein · 09/20/2020
    During prep. Sorry these didn’t load with before and after
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    Barbara Lutterbein · 09/20/2020
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    Barbara Lutterbein · 09/20/2020
    My deck had been stained once in seven years. Definitely time for RAD. I calculated the surfaces I was staining with RAD to be approximately 600 square feet. I started by using the cleaner-brightener combination and switched to the stripper-brightener and used a power washer. I restored my deck in sections over a number of days since I was doing this by myself (and I’m 67 ?). I brushed on 2 coats of solid color Desert Taupe. This color was perfect for my house color. I was very happy with the results and your great customer support.
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    Denise Creedon · 09/19/2020
    Finally able to make my before picture small enough to upload. Getting the stripper and power washer ready.
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    Rob T · 09/19/2020
    After a bit of research, my 92 yo Dad and I decided to use RAD products to rejuvenate the pressure-treated deck (5 x 14 ft) on my sister's house. Back in June, we pressure washed the deck and cleaned it with a name brand bleach cleaner, then we discovered Restore-A-Deck products when we looked into what stain to use. The customer service and good reviews of RAD convinced us to use their products. The deck was around 20 years old and hadn't had anything other than sweeping done to it in years.

    On August 20, 2020 at about 10 am, we started with RAD cleaner. We ended up cleaning twice because it didn't seem to bubble much the first time. The second time, we wiped off extra water with a towel before applying the cleaner and it seemed to work much better. The deck is in the shade so it doesn't dry very fast. We finished cleaning (twice) and brightening at noon.

    Around 2:30 pm we started in with the stain applying two coats wet in wet. My Dad used the 4 inch Wooster brush on the larger boards, and I used a staining pad on the rails. We finished two coats and cleaning up everything at about 7 pm. We found that for our short floorboards (5 feet), the brush held too much stain. Next time we will try a pad.

    We used the RAD cleaner/brightener and a gallon of Light Walnut semi-transparent stain. We probably have enough stain to do our maintenance coat next spring. We'd have enough cleaner too if we hadn't done two passes.

    It's been a month now since we rejuvenated the old deck (about 75 sq. ft. including stairs), and it looks great. Thank you to RAD products and their excellent customer support.

    [Note: I tried to post our entry several times a month ago but had trouble getting the photos to upload until I resized them all; I asked RAD support to delete my previous entries.]
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    Gmax · 09/18/2020
    Entrant Name: Max Gilbert
    Email: gmax47@gmail.com
    Photos: Gmax47 Photos 1-8 attached separately and labeled per preprep, during prep and after prep stages

    Deck Area Coverage: Approx. 450 SF
    Deck Railings: Approx. 43 Linear Feet.
    Deck Construction: Ground level. 15 month old deck not previously stained. Grade #1 ground contact pressure treated pine.

    Project Description/Comments:

    The restore a deck in one day marketing claim did not influence my purchase decision. A do-it-in-a-day concept was never a prime consideration. Personally, at age 72 and working alone, I planned to accomplish my project in sections. Additionally, I’m typically a very details oriented and quality-motivated person. I conducted hours of careful research before ordering RAD. So after committing to a substantial investment in the product, I was determined to take my time!

    Another consideration for working in stages was my anticipated application during the month of August. The manufacturer’s instructions for such a hot weather application was thorough and much appreciated. I decided to time most of my work processes between 6-10 a.m. During the more moderate days I also worked between 5-8 p.m. I thus avoided most temperatures over 90 degrees. As extra precaution, I also hosed some portions overnight, or misted during the day as suggested to help ensure a wet-on-wet application.

    Still another circumstance for dividing the job into parts was because I needed to allow a critical window of time to apply a second coat before the first had completely dried, as RAD recommended for the age of the wood involved.

    Other factors that convinced this former oil-based stain user to try RAD were: (1) a thorough explanation of the water based technology; (2) the quality specifications and product descriptions; (3) user’s overall exceptional reviews and shared experiences; and (4) the responsive website and professional answers at restore-a-deck.com. These dedicated resources gave me the confidence to place an online order and wait nearly four weeks for delivery of a previously unheard-of product. The RAD items arrived as promised in a heavy duty, well-packed carton with no damage.

    My first step was to divide each of the Cleaner and Brightener packages into five equal smaller bags measured to mix one gallon of solution each. I encourage doing this if you plan to work incrementally. It helps avoid waste. Proportioning the powder in this manner also facilitates a visual gauge as you go to help confirm if there is sufficient amount of the product to finish the job. For my project, I wound up using 5 gallons of cleaner and slightly under 4 gallons of brightener.

    I allotted myself one day to perform the manual cleaning and rinse, one predetermined section at a time. I then scheduled the next day to perform the brightening. I timed the rinse late in afternoon to allow partially drying overnight, in order to begin staining while still damp the next morning. For the cleaning, I used scrub brushes, which took more time and energy, as my power washer had an untimely break-down. The brightening went much faster, since no scrubbing was required. I used two separate pump sprayers for the cleaning and brightening applications.

    The northern exposure of my deck on a tree-shaded lot creates partial to direct sun during mid-day hours, while a portion next to the house remains in nearly constant shade. The shady areas especially presented green mold to be an obvious problem in the months following construction. Although the remainder of the deck fid not yet have the appearance of gray weathered wood, I was very impressed how much newer everything looked after the cleaning and brightening—a dramatic testimony to the take-no-shortcuts recommendations amplified on the RAD website.

    As recommended, I began the staining process by working the vertical posts and spindles, for which I elected to use a new lambskin mitt to apply the first coat. Restricting myself to only an early mornings/late afternoon timeframe, I stained the railings over a period of three days. I covered no more surface area at one time than I could complete in an hour, because the instructions indicated I should wait no longer than one hour before applying the second coat.

    One takeaway is I found no easy process to hand-stain the verticals. The stain seems to have about the same viscosity as water. It will run wherever gravity takes it, so you must try to achieve a balance between loading just enough stain to coat your objective, but not enough stain to drip. However, that is nearly impossible to control when you touch a tight cutout area to fill the corners on the hard-to-reach undersides—which inevitably squeezes out extra runs to chase down from whatever applicator you’re using.

    Another lesson learned is to dedicate ample time to fully cover not just under the railings, but all around the vicinity. I thought I had adequately protected everything, but still experienced unanticipated splatters of stain. Some far-flung droplets wound up on our new concrete siding in spots nearly three feet away. Such airborne hits on innocent targets interrupted the process for additional cleaning action. Also, if you have to use tape on your bare wood to hold down a plastic covering or mask around posts--use tape that does not leave residue--or you’ll likely be forced into more surprise casualty response time.

    I had mixed results using the hand mitt applicator. This was my first time using one, but whatever time it saved probably cost me in duplicate time, trying to correct the unknown runs on the blind sides opposite from me which I didn’t discover until too late. This probably led to over-application of the stain in some areas, as I tried to blend in the color tone to cover up my mistakes. I also attempted to use a foam brush and a bristle brush with limited success. That’s where the extra masking especially comes into play, for if not extremely careful--once a brush leaves the edge of the wood, it will flip stain into unimaginable far away places!

    Needless to say, staining the railings sections was an intense first introduction to RAD! But I persevered through my messes and got it done. Covering the flat horizontal decking was stress-free in comparison. Using the ten-inch wide pole brush purchased from RAD, the stain went on smoothly and evenly. I easily achieved both coats in one afternoon, completing each coat in an one-hour process covering about half of the deck at a time.

    I’m very pleased with the overall appearance. The Light Walnut matt finish provides a beautiful natural tone to the wood that we desired. Our deck is a proud renewal that RAD helped make possible after an extended delay to the normal wait period for new construction. Thanks RAD for your excellent product!
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    Karen T Heizer · 09/18/2020
    This is the deck before
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    Karen T Heizer · 09/18/2020
    I have finished my 1400 square foot deck. This is the first time using RAD products. I have to say your customer service and question, answer section is excellent, before I even started I was confident in all procedures needed to complete my project. I started my deck by cleaning with RAD cleaner followed with RAD brightener. I decided to go with a two tone look, railing is Espresso solid and floor boards Light Walnut semi transparent. Extremely happy with the results. my deck has never looked so good. I have included pictures before, after cleaning and final results.
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    Gmax · 09/18/2020
    Just uploaded my entry. I think I completed it okay, but so far have received no confirmation. I don’t see my entry online yet.. How do I know my entry was successfully received?
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    Brad · 09/18/2020
    Additional photos
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    Brad · 09/18/2020
    Bought the RAD 3 step combo kit to restore an old firepit deck in the back of our property. It didn't appear to have been taken care of for 10 years or more--long before we moved in. First had to replace rotting boards and allow them to weather. (Probable mismatch in wood type caused some minor color variance in finished product.) Applied Cleaner, scrubbed with a stiff brush, then pressure washed off. Amazing results! Then applied Brightener and hosed off (no photos of this step). Finally, applied the Light Walnut semi-transparent Stain, 1 coat on new wood and 2 coats (wet on wet) on old wood. It was a long 11 hour work day, but better than trying to time out each of the steps with the weather. I'm very happy with how it turned out!!
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    William · 09/18/2020
    sorry, they're only saving if I post them one at a time