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


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. If you used a different brand of stain but still prepped with the RAD prepping products you can still enter to receive a 5% credit (max credit of $20) towards your purchase from Restore-A-Deck.com.

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    TomZ · 07/01/2020
    Strip, Brighten, and Stain
    Restore-A-Deck Light Walnut, Semi-Transparent
    Completion: 1.5 days

    I have about 750 square feet of deck and stairs that had been neglected for about 5 years. I started on the project by doing a light pressure washing on the surface to remove the years of grime and muck. The deck had previously been stained with Behr semi-transparent oil-based stain, so I started with the RAD stripper, followed by the RAD Brightener. I was doing this job myself and didn't want to spend a lot of time continually pumping my garden sprayer, I purchased a Ryobi battery powered garden sprayer to apply the stripper and brightener. It definitely saved me a lot of time and energy, and I highly recommend you use either a powered sprayer or a backpack sprayer with a piston pump. The RAD stripper was followed by a pressure washing to remove the remainder of the embedded gunk, and brightener was applied. The products did their work, and my deck was clean of old stain when I was completed.

    As I was getting ready to apply the stain, a rain storm blew in. Weather.com called for no rain until after 9 p.m. the following evening, so I decided to wait until the following day to stain. The next morning two coats of RAD light walnut stain was applied wet on wet using the RAD deck brush - great product and made the staining process move along quickly. Also, the Wooster Wide Boy bucket made the brush dipping easy. I also used a Woodmates Flex Core stain applicator for my 6x6 support posts and for staining the deck under my railings - great on vertical surfaces and low clearance areas.

    The deck was looking great and everything was going well until weather.com got it wrong once again. After drying for about three hours, the sky opened up and we got about 30 minutes of a heavy, hard rain. I was keeping my fingers crossed that the deck had dried enough to survive the drenching. The next morning I mopped off the standing water and let the sun bake the deck. The RAD stain had survived and the deck came out looking great!

    Completing a 750 square foot project in a single day is possible for one person, but it will be a lot of work. At 70 years of age, I'll take a great completed project in 1.5 days!
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    Clayton Meyers · 06/27/2020
    So my deck is a little more than 500SqFt. Much larger than a 2 or 3 day job to clean strip, brighten and stain. I used the 5 gallon Natural Stain Kit. With the Stripper and Brightener. First I power washed the entire deck top to bottom. Then I Used the stripper, I didn't think this would do more than the power washing did but to my surprise A LOT of old stain rushed out of the wood. I used a tank sprayer to apply it let it soak for about 20 minutes and then used the power washer again to rinse it. The wood looked almost new after this step. The brightener was my next step. This seemed to work better than I expected also. The wood looked new and super clean when I was done.

    The staining took me a couple of days by itself. With such a large deck there a LOT of spindles. I used a brush for the spindles to avoid the overspray from a pressure sprayer. Once the spindles were done I used the tank sprayer to finshe the floor boards and large paint brush to give it an even distribution. This went much faster. 5 Gallons of stain was not enough for my deck and I had to order a sixth gallon. I was able to finish it off after waiting about a week for the last gallon to come in. (COVID delays)

    If you are wondering just what kind of difference the stripper and brightener make. Look at the 3 railing sections directly over the pool in my pictures. I didn't want the chemicals dripping in to the pool so I skipped applying the stripper and brightener to these 3 sections. It is very noticeable and they look dirtier and older than the rest of the deck. They don't look bad by any means but they do stand out. In hind sight I should have put up a barrier to keep the chemicals from dripping into the pool and sprayed them anyway. Next time I guess.

    One more point, before I restored my deck I had to replace the stairs. They were cracking and starting to fall apart. I did not use the stripper or brighter or cleaner on the stairs, I just put the stain directly on the new wood. Again to my surprise the stain matched the rest of the deck beautifully even when applied to fresh pressure treated lumber.

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    April Carr · 06/23/2020
    We moved into a new home in June of 2019 and we immediately put "refinishing the deck" on our to-do list. After doing some research I started to notice Restore A Deck coming up over and over with glowing reviews. I decided to order the three step kit as well as five extra gallons to make sure I could definitely do two coats. I ended up using seven gallons total. In the end I could not believe the results. The pictures truly don't do justice for how beautiful the color is in person. Not only was I able to do this project entirely by myself but I did it in one day! I was completely shocked at how well the stripper and brightener worked. The wood looked brand new. I have had several neighbors stop by to complement the final results. Restore A Deck is the ONLY company we will buy from in the future when staining our deck.

    Project: Strip, Brighten and Stain 700sqft deck.
    Products Used: Restore A Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain 5 Gallons Stripper/Brightener Combo Kit
    Color: Dark Walnut
    Project Time: Completed in one day. (Took roughly 15 hours from start to finish)
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    Virginia McKinnon · 06/23/2020
    I finished our large deck, solo AND inexperienced in two days thanks to Restore a Deck!I’m so pleased with the results, I don’t believe a professional could have done much better!
    We purchased our lake home three years ago. The deck had not been sealed in at least 15 yrs. Mold and mildew was a constant, nasty battle. It was in such bad shape I was hesitant and overwhelmed with tackling the project. I tried many cleaners and nothing worked well enough to apply a stain. I knew there had to be an easier way or better products out there. After researching online, I came across Restore a Deck. I read many wonderful reviews and decided to order the three part 5 gallon system.(Cleaner, brightener and natural stain combo). It seemed like a value considering it was the same price as other highly rated stains alone. I was amazed how the cleaner removed the gray, sun damaged areas so easily. No scrubbing just apply, wait a bit and power wash in one pass! (I found it easiest to apply the cleaner with a rag mop and it didn’t waste much product) I cleaned and brightened in one day and stained the next. The stain really soaks in and was super easy to apply. (Order the stain brush head, it’s amazing) It turned out to be an EXTREME value bc the products go such a long way. I was hoping to have enough left over to do our dock as well and I do! So for $250 I will accomplish both! Also, clean up is super easy and none of my plants were harmed.
    I had many questions not having done this before and they were extremely quick with responses.
    I’ll never use other products again! You just can’t beat the results, customer service and price! Thank you Restore a Deck, you have a customer for life!
    Virginia McKinnon
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    William E Gonce · 06/22/2020
    Could not upload remaining photos or delete the one posted in error
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      RAD Products · 06/23/2020
      Photos have to be under 3mb in size to be uploaded.
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    William E Gonce · 06/22/2020
    Photos out of order and one added in error. Can’t figure out how to edit to label or remove the one posted in error. Below are repair, after stripping, after brightening and finished stain.
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    William E Gonce · 06/22/2020
    Bill 6/22/20
    Our addition and deck was built in 2004 to complement the pool for outdoor entertainment. The deck is large, 3 levels and traverses the length of the back of the house. It had previously been stained with a Benjamin Moore product by a contractor the last time about 7 years ago. With the new found time at home because of the pandemic, we did the research and decided to tackle the project ourselves. We calculated the square footage of deck, stair cases, handrails and spindles with the restore-a-deck calculator and it came in just over 2200sf. We ordered the recommended quantities of stripper, brighter and stain (Cedar) as well as the sprayer and brushes and got to work. We spent a full weekend pressure washing entire deck to get the green growth off. We needed to replace a few of the deck boards because of splintering which were a hazard to bare feet ... that was weekend two. It took us the 3rd weekend to strip And pressure wash again the entire deck which made a huge difference in the deck appearance. The brighter step was the easiest and went fairly quickly ... it took us 1 full day to apply and thoroughly rinse. Finally we got to the staining step within 5 days of the brighter ... it took a full day to do the handrails, spindles and steps and another day and a half to apply two coats of the stain to the decking. We understand that we should have waited for the replacement deck boards to weather but that was not in the timeline. We could not be more pleased with the results and even though it was a lot of work, it was worth what we figured to be about a $3k savings from what the contractor cost would have been. By
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    Joan · 06/15/2020
    In the summer of 1969 a young, new homeowner decided to take on his very first woodworking project for his wife by making her a picnic set for 12 to entertain family. The challenge was, up until then he only worked on car engines, built scale model airplanes from hunks of wood and even designed and built a flying saucer out of balsa wood (it worked; story for another day).

    Built of solid redwood, the 90”x 35” table, accompanied by 2 benches, 2 side stools and 3 side tables took months to complete; in time for their first family picnic. Fast forward 50 years later, Dad died in November (2019) and I inherited the picnic set. It was in excellent condition structurally; it just needed a refresh.

    That’s where RAD comes in.

    Mom wanted to change the set from the traditional, tired-looking redwood stain to gray but we didn’t know which products on the market were suitable for our project. We looked everywhere on websites, spoke to pros, and even corresponded with RAD on your Q&A page. After much consideration, we decided on RAD and selected your Coastal Gray Solid Stain.

    Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Mom (77 years-old) and I went to work. Prep consisted of cleaning, power washing, sanding and staining two coats of solid stain on each piece. Not a small task. We completed the four benches and three side tables for seating in one day and the main picnic table the following day.

    Application of RAD Solid Stain was a pleasure. The self-leveling stain went on even, smooth and dried to a beautiful, soft gray. Exactly what my Mom envisioned.

    This picnic set is a representation of Dad’s legacy—his many talents, his love for entertaining family and friends, years of fun and laughter sitting around the table with his children and grandchildren, and his everlasting love for his wife (and my Mom).

    Mom wanted to preserve that legacy for 50 more years and thanks to RAD’s Solid Stain product, I am hopeful Mom’s wishes will be realized.

    In honor of all the amazing fathers here and in our memory, Happy Father’s Day.
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    Mathew · 06/10/2020
    I had stained my deck in early may with a product from Home Depot that claimed to turn your deck into a nice grey colour. It turned out to be terrible. I spent hours online over the course of a week to try and find the best stain and I landed upon Restore a deck. I purchased RAD stripper, brightener and the dark walnut stain. The pictures of the finished product don’t do it justice. This deck is 6.5 years old, pressure treated wood and I had to sand off the prior wood treatment. After waiting 2 weeks from sanding (80 grit) I finally had some clear weather here in Edmonton. I started the prep with RAD stripper at 8am and was finished staining by 1:30pm. The deck is 10x18. I couldn’t be happier with the result. It even rained at 6pm, (this wasn’t in the forecast and it rained hard for 5 minutes, soaked the deck) 4.5 hours after I finished staining. The rain didn’t have an effect on the finish, the RAD product is the best I’ve used, thank you! 3 photos of the deck prior to any product, 2 photos of the stripper, 2 of the brightener, 1 pre stain and finally 2 post stain photos for anyone looking to buy this Stuff I hope this helps.
    - Mathew
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    Ethan · 06/01/2020
    My wife and I bought a small cottage on a lake and the deck had never seen much love. Just the two of us, we used RAD cleaner, brightener, and light walnut stain. We intended to do it all in a day, but the prep work nearly killed us! We had more work to do than we thought, but we managed to do all the prep in one day. Weather conditions spread the actual staining out over a few days, but we couldn't be happier with the results. We are confident we never would have had the same results if we had hired someone to refinish the deck. All the neighbors are jealous!
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      Ethan · 06/05/2020
      Sorry I forgot to say! Yes, the RAD expert is correct. It is light walnut.
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      Kristen A · 06/05/2020
      What color is this stain?
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    David Kenney · 05/29/2020
    Wife and I completed staining our deck that I built last April (2019). We are very pleased on how it turned out.
    Products used:
    1. RAD Cleaner
    2. RAD Brightener
    3. RAD Cedar Semi- Transparent Stain.
    4. Did all the cleaning one day and the next morning we applied two coats of stain.
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    Krysten Jenkins · 05/28/2020
    (It only let me post 2 pictures on my last comment, so here are the After pictures!)
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    Krysten Jenkins · 05/28/2020
    Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve been getting to enjoy more days and evenings at home. With two toddler boys, we’ve spent a lot of time in the back yard watching them play. We have a (mostly) covered deck that looked pretty rough when we moved in a few years ago, and now we finally had time to re-do it! I had power washed it in April because I was tired of it getting really slippery when it was wet, but then read a lot of reviews about RAD products and decided to give it a try. It shipped quickly, despite the pandemic. We set aside May 20th to get the project done. We used the RAD Cleaner and Brightener as directed, then applied two coats of the Light Walnut stain. It was a simple process and took from about 9am to 3:30pm to complete the entire project. We are so pleased with the results (and even more pleased it was such a quick process)! The wood really came back to life with the prep, and the stain made it feel like it was new. I love getting to sit out there now and enjoy all my time with the boys rather than being annoyed with the ugly old deck. We are so happy we found RAD!
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    Linda Massi · 05/28/2020
    Adding Step 2 Brightener picture. Did a great job.
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    Linda Massi · 05/28/2020
    My project was on 18 month new untreated pine replacement front stairs in beach environment. It was a big project for me and done over multiple days. Each Restore A Deck step was done over different days due to rain delays. I use 2 stain colors - Light Walnut and Opaque White. The Light Walnut needed to match the front porch stain applied in 2018 on very old wood. very happy with the color match! Step 1 was sprayed on with pump sprayer and removed with a pressure washer. 4 days past before Step 2 Brightener could be applied due to rain but it really was worth the step and worked well. I started Light Walnut stain on vertical area stair sides and piers first and the the steps as my last step. I applied the White Opaque stain after the walnut verticals. I am a 66 year old woman so anyone can use the Restore a Deck products!
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    Lisette Barton · 05/27/2020
    We bought an older home on the water that was then nearly destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. We rebuild the entire backyard, restored the old decks which were never stained in the past, and stained/sealed the new wood decking, dock, retaining wall, and fencing. It is absolutely beautiful! We are asked all the time about which product we used and how it was applied. We had a friend tell us about Restore-A-Deck and after researching many other products, we elected to use the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner, Brightener, and Natural Semitransparent Stain. We used the products on the same day and applied to a damp surface.
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    Crystal Baker · 05/25/2020
    Light walnut semi transparent
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    Crystal · 05/25/2020
    Our deck and pool are 28 years old, but the pressure treated deck boards were replaced in 2013. It sees full sun until early evening and this deck is used daily for 8 months of the year. I stained 3 years ago with Pittsburgh Ultra Advanced deck stain in semi transparent grey, although there was nothing "ultra" or "advanced" about it because it was the worst product we had used since building our deck in 1992. It began to wear off within the same summer. When I began this spring, very little stain remained and I power washed the remainder off before beginning the search for a new product and deciding on RAD. This is a big job, and products that don't perform well anger me. Huge loss of time and money. I applied RAD cleaner and brightener with a sprayer, and followed the next day with the semi transparent stain in light walnut using the brush. We are thrilled with the color, and I was impressed with the application of wet-on-wet and the use of the deck brush. Many people have asked where I purchased this stain. We think it's beautiful, and I'm very hopeful that it wears well. We are staining our daughter and son-in-law's next with the same product!
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    Justin · 05/24/2020
    Note: Prior to stripping and brightening - the porch was heavily grayed and some areas (steps and front 2 porch boards) were heavily covered in surface algae. Stripper knocked those out fast combined with that of a scrub brush and power washing. Heavily recommend one of those circular 10-12" surface cleaning attachments for your power washer - our surface cleaning attachment was the Ryobi from Homedepot.
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    Justin · 05/24/2020
    Bought our home in 2018, Ipe deck is 100% covered and exposed to indirect sunlight (angled sunlight from porch awning). The prior product we believe was a semi-transparent Ipe oil with a UV sealer, I went back and forth on whether to do Ipe oil or just some UV clear coat but we didn't want to risk it not really knowing what was the basis of the stain.

    Now that we have RAD Semi-Transparent Stain (Light Walnut) on our porch, we know what we can do in the future - reapply or modify as needed. Products used were the RAD Stripper (when in doubt, strip it), RAD brightener, Defy stain brush (basically a car wash brush), and a flat 3" brush for the hard to reach areas and for starting the boards near the end pieces - I will be honest that the stripper felt more effective than the brightener but with our porch being Ipe - after stripping there probably wasn't much to remove and correct.

    For hardwoods, like Ipe and Ironwood etc - I would highly suggest to get no darker stain than the Light Walnut... not sure if the Cedar would be a good option but all in all the Light Walnut is what RAD reps were stating is the traditional choice with an Ipe deck.

    I wonder if using a UV clear sealer over top of a cured RAD semi-transparent would be beneficial? I know I can only generally expect +/- 1 year or so on Ipe so I wonder if a natural/clear UV would help extend to 2-3 years?
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      RAD Products · 05/24/2020
      You cannot add a coating over the top of a deck stain. It will peel.
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    Anita Johnson · 05/22/2020
    We built a new deck two years ago. I stained it 6months later and hated the color from the start. I thought oh well I will just see what two coats look like and remove it if I don’t like bc of course the “internet” experts say it’s easy. Well, I quickly found out that wouldn’t work out so well as claimed. So basically our deck set ignored and stained in an ugly color for another year and a half. I spent hours researching how to get this stain off and consistently saw positive reviews for your products. I ordered and decided to give this one more go before calling in a “professional”! I wanted to save myself the embarrassment. After reading numerous comments on your site I decided my plan of action. I used the Stripper with the booster additive and gel additive. I applied and let it sit for an hour taking care to make sure it stayed wet the entire time. I removed it with a pressure washer prepared to scrub also but that need never occurred. After that was done I used the brighten taking care to thoroughly rinse. We had a pop up shower so I held off staining until
    the next weekend. It turned out beautiful and I believe a few neighbors have ordered this product. I know for me your product did everything it stated it would so there will be no other choice.
    Before Pictures with ugly color:
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    S. Tyler · 05/19/2020
    This weekend we undertook our screened deck restoration project. We followed the Restore-A-Deck 3-step process. We applied the cleaner, brightener and espresso stain the same day. We are thrilled with the transformation and feel the deck finally complements our exterior colour theme. We are sharing our before, during and after project photos.

    Above and beyond how pleased we are with the RAD products, I also wanted to make mention of the exceptional customer service we received. We live in Canada and placed our online order when the RAD company was subject to COVID-19 pandemic protocols. Even while dealing with the challenges of processing and shipping orders with limited resources, RAD provided timely responses to our email inquiries and successfully coordinated our international shipment. Thanks so much to their staff members - your efforts on our behalf are greatly appreciated!
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    Jeff · 05/16/2020
    My 5 year old deck had never been stained so I decided to attack the process myself. I decided to use RAD products after watching the videos on the website and also having a friend tell me that he was very pleased with the results. I followed the three step method and posted some pics of the dramatic results of bringing the deck back to its former brilliance after step one and two. The cleaning was a lot of work, but it was worth it for the final result. I was amazed at how clean everything got. I chose the semi transparent dark walnut and posted several pics of of before,during, and after to show progress and final results. I did not apply the stain in the same day as the prep since the prep took several days to get the entire deck clean.
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    Zach · 05/11/2020
    I rebuilt my deck last year around a year ago. I just finished cleaning, brightening and staining last weekend. It turned out really nice. I used the the light walnut color on 1 year old PT pine decking. I didn’t stain the same day as it was very windy so I got it done the next day. Pics are before prep, after prep and a couple of the finished project.
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    Margaret · 04/16/2020
    I used dark walnut deck stain. I ordered 5 gallons awhile back . Due to floods and other bad weather in our area I wasn't able to start on the project until early spring this year. There were quite a few boards that had weathered pretty rough but we're not rotten. Kinda like myself ?. It ended up taking almost 2 additional gallons to complete the project. I'm very pleased with the outcome. I really like the contrast of the dark deck with the white painted railings
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    Patti · 04/10/2020
    I have an older deck. I had replaced the floor boards in the fall of 2019. I stained the deck railing and stairs but felt it was too dark for the entire deck. (I hadn't found this product yet) I thought I could salvage by treating the floor lighter. That's where you came in. I decided to give you a try. I power washed only, then rolled 2 coats of stain on. It went on easy and clean up was a breeze. I am very pleased with my lighter floor decision and the product to achieve it.