How to Restore-A-Deck in One Day!

Restore-A-Deck’s three-step process makes it possible to complete a wood staining project in a single day. The stain is safe to apply on damp wood, perfect for those who are busy and want to achieve same-day results for their exterior wood staining projects.

Here’s a rundown of Restore-A-Deck’s three-step process, it’s components, and how they work together to produce an immaculately stained wood surface.

RAD Stain Steps

Step 1: Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Wood Stripper

Are you working with a wood surface that has not previously been stained? If so, use the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner. The Wood Cleaner works hard to remove dirt, grime, mold, and mildew better than the competition after one application. It restores the natural beauty of exterior wood to its original appearance without harming wood fibers, pets, grass, and most plants.

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner can also be used for maintenance coats when using the same brand stain as before.

If you are working with a new wood surface that has previously been stained or painted, strip the wood surface using Restore-A-Deck Stripper. The Wood Stripper quickly and efficiently removes most oil and latex based finishes including clear sealers, transparent stains, and semi-transparent stains. On top of removing the stain, the Wood Stripping formula takes off collected dirt, mold, mildew, and mill glaze.

Both come in a concentrated powder form that is convenient to transport and is extremely cost effective. Can be mixed on site with water then applied directly to the wood.

Step 2: Restore-A-Deck Brightener

After you complete step 1, using Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or Stripper depending on your situation, we recommend you follow up with Restore-A-Deck Brightener to neutralize the pH of the surface to allow for proper application of the stain. This formula works hard upon initial application to brighten the wood surface as well as remove stubborn rust stains and tannin stains caused by fallen leaves. Restore-A-Deck brightener will give your deck or wood surface a clean looking finish ideal for applying the stain.

Step 3: Restore-A-Deck Stain

The final step in this three-step process is the Stain. Restore-A-Deck Stain uses the latest in water-based wood staining technology to create a formula that allows for better UV protection, excellent penetration into the wood stain for long lasting beautiful results, and the ability to apply to damp wood for single day project completion or to dry wood the day after prep. The Wood Stain comes in four radiant semi-transparent colors that highlight and enhance the natural wood grain.

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain is best applied the same day as prep typically 2-4 hours at 70 degrees F and less than 50% humidity. Make sure that all standing water has dried off the surface prior to application. 

See here for: Wet on Wet Application Tips

See here for tips on new wood: Restore-A-Deck Stain and New Wood

See her for hot sun application: Restore-A-Deck Stain Hot Sun Application

If you have used the Restore-A-Deck in one-day system, we want to hear from you. Feel free to leave a review and don’t forget to include pictures.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom · 07/10/2019
    Can solid stain be applied same day as using the cleaner and brightener? I seem to have read can be done in one day and also need to wait 48 hours.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/10/2019
      Yes, it can be applied the same day as the prep.
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    Marie · 07/03/2019
    I am planning on using RAD solid stain on my 280 sf pressure treated deck. It was previously stained using Behr semi solid stain (Ugh). I am a little confused as far as how much old product must be removed. The verticals are not peeling. My preference is to pressure wash then sand instead of strip. Can I give it a light sanding & use cleaner or do I have to sand to bare wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/03/2019
      When applying the solid stain you do not have to remove all the previous stain. Pressure wash for prep to remove dirt and the loose or peeling stain but you can leave the stain that is not peeling and cover over.
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    Michelle · 06/28/2019
    our deck is approx 30 years old but we have been power washing and cleaning every 2 years. We have used TWP cedar tone. I am trying to find something that will last longer than 2 years. If we switch to RAD semitransparent stain do you think it will last longer? Also must I strip it, and brighten it before staining it?
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      RAD Products · 06/29/2019
      When switching brands, you will have to strip and brighten. The RAD stain lasts about 2 to maybe 3 years for most scenarios. Nothing will last longer.
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    Jimmy Bryant · 06/20/2019
    Can you use TWP 100 over a cleaned but previously alkyd product?
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      RAD Products · 06/21/2019
      No, previous coatings have to be removed when switching brands of stain.
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    Jay · 06/06/2019
    I'll be stripping, brightening and staining this weekend. The exterior of the house that abuts the deck is standing seam. Will any of the products damage the metal siding? I plan on wetting the standing seam prior to RAD product application. Same question for perennials around the deck. Thanks!
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    Nettie · 06/05/2019
    After 2 coats of wet on wet stain application, how long do we need to wait before placing furniture, walking on it? Thks!
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      RAD Products · 06/05/2019
      24 hours is normal. Just make sure it is fully dry.
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    Richard · 06/04/2019
    I sanded to remove Behr oil based stain and scrubbed the deck. 95% of the stain was removed but some remained in the grain beyond the reach of the sander. Can I use stripper to remove?
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    Jay · 06/04/2019
    I have about 625 sq.' of 2 year old pressure treated deck I'd like to stain with RAD. It was treated last year with TWP and developed a slight coating of black mildew in numerous places. My plan is to do a wet on wet application of two coats. What quantities would you recommend for stripping, brightening, and staining? Many thanks!
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    Chris · 05/30/2019
    I just finished power washing our deck and handrails. Is sanding necessary prior to applying the Brightener and then the stain?
    thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2019
      No need to sand after using the cleaner or stripper before the brightener.
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    Jerry · 05/28/2019
    How long does RAD need to set after staining before use ? I finished last night
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    Kevin · 05/26/2019
    Have a rare stretch of nice weather here and I have RAD semi transparent at the ready but I still need to brighten and only have Cabot Wood Brightener 8003. Can I still do same day application with Cabot Brightener and RAD stain? Thanks!
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      RAD Products · 05/27/2019
      Not sure as we have never tried that combo. Most likely okay.
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    Casey · 05/20/2019
    I just finished cleaning my 500 sq. ft. dock with the RAD cleaner, and it looks great. It's too late in the day to apply the brightener. Should I wet the dock a bit tomorrow before I apply the brightener?

    Also, how long should I wait before I finish with the semi-transparent cedar RAD stain?

    Thanks!
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    Gary · 04/30/2019
    I have a 12'x24' shed sided with t1-11 built almost 4 yrs ago. The contractor used an Olympic water based semi-transparent stain. I want to re-stain it with your product as it hasn't really held up very well. Do I need to use the stripper then brightener, or is the, cleaner/brightener OK?
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    Sandra Jones · 04/22/2019
    We stained a one-year-old deck in May 2018. Question: What to do this year? Today’s photo is attached. We used the Natural Semi-Transparent stain — loved it. Thanks for advice on steps to take now to make it look great again.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/22/2019
      Use the RAD Cleaner for prep and apply one light coat of the stain.
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    Wayne · 04/18/2019
    I've purchased stripper, brightener & stain for old deck. Due to many old coats, I'm pressure washing & sanding to bare wood first. Question: I've got to do deck in two sessions, days or weeks apart (due to deck's size, planters, etc. having to be moved back-and-forth). The split will cross the middle of deck boards. Any advice for feathering the two separate applications where they meet? Or should I tape off a line between the sections and just live with a visible break?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/18/2019
      You can prep separately but if you stain separately, the break will show.
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    Jason · 04/08/2019
    I have purchased RAD cleaner and brightener, I am planning on applying the cleaner to my 800 sf deck and pressure washing instead of brushing. The instructions say to work in small sections of 100-200 sf. Does this mean to perform the whole process (ie. Wet, apply cleaner, wait, pressure wash) to each small section?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/08/2019
      Apply cleaner in sections of about 200 sq feet. Pressure wash off. Move on to the next section and repeat until all is cleaned. Rinse well and then move to the Brightener. Apply the brightener all at once.
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    C Scott · 04/01/2019
    I have an Undercover Deck System below my deck, and the company suggests using this product for cleaning the deck above it. The previous owners painted the deck. Can your product be used on painted surfaces? Thank you.
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      RAD Products · 04/01/2019
      RAD stain cannot be applied to a painted deck.
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        Teresa · 07/19/2019
        This is a photo of the project I am undertaking, which now sounds like I just spent a bunch of money that I can't use. I honestly thought I had done my due diligence and asked all the right questions.
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        Teresa · 07/19/2019
        I feel sick. I have been researching and asking questions. Deckstainhelp.com told me that I could apply solid RAD stain over our previously painted deck. I have power washed it to "almost" bare wood, but some of the paint is adhered and will not come off with just power washing. They told me that I had nearly all the horizonal surfaces clear so it would be fine to stain over. it. I literally just purchased all my products about 30 minutes ago. Did I just waste my time and money?
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          RAD Products · 07/19/2019
          Most of it is off. Sand the rest off the floor and you will be okay to use the solid stain. A little bit of the gray on the floors will be okay. The rails will be okay if you still have some leftover gray on there.
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            Teresa · 07/19/2019
            I was going to do the vertical rails in white with coastal gray on the horizontal surfaces. Do I need to work to get the verticals to bare wood? We were also going to do the overhead boards in white, but they are completely bare wood, so I don't think there is much problem there. We just need to powerwash them and use the cleaner/brightener on it prior to stain. I'm not completely finished with powerwashing, I just noticed that not all the paint was coming off so I started asking the question about paint vs stain application. This is a huge job for me and I definitely don't want to have to repeat it soon!
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              RAD Products · 07/19/2019
              No, you do not have to get all off the verticals.
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        C Scott · 04/01/2019
        Can RAD CLEANER be applied to a painted deck? I just want to clean it. Thanks.
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    doug · 10/11/2018
    I think the question from martin answered my question. I had to really strip off the old stain sealer and had to sand the deck too ( from power washing to get the stuff off) looked great after cleaning deck only 4 years old (old stuff will not name the "B" stuff it promised long lasting but failed after 2 or so years. I had to use the aggressive stripper 2 coats and power washer aggressively and cleaner brightener). I placed 2 coats using a stain pad as per direction but i think i was too lean and worried about applying too much (done that before). Looks great now but not seeing much beading up. I used about 2 gal on a 10x 20 area 2 coats. When can I apply another coat?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/11/2018
      You cannot apply another coat at this point. It will not soak in. As for beading, the RAD stain is breathable and is not designed to bead water but shed water.
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        Doug · 10/11/2018
        One more thing then how can I tell if I did a great job or a bad job. Getting the right amount on
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Doug · 10/11/2018
        So how long must I wait and should I use a cleaner first
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    Martin · 10/05/2018
    When I was applying the second coat on my deck I started leaving footprints on the first coat. Can I stain over the footprints without striping the deck and starting over again? Yes, I followed all the directions for the 3-step process. I stained my dock a month ago and it looks great. Where did I go wrong?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/05/2018
      When doing the wet on wet application, you can walk on the stain while wet but you have to immediately back wipe with your second coat, smoothing out any footprints. Staining over it now will not remove the footprints. Try a light coat next Summer.
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    Tom · 10/05/2018
    I have small 8x10 porch area with steps to door. Old mahogany, which has just been power washed. No grey wood appearance anywhere. Can I skip cleaner and use brightener and then stain. I have both left from treating and staining my deck and if i can skip the cleaner it would speed the job up.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/05/2018
      If clean and free if any previous coatings, you should be okay to stain.
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        Tom · 10/09/2018
        Should I do one coat or wet on wet application.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/09/2018
          Just one coat for the Mahogany wood.
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            Tom · 10/10/2018
            Just curious. Why one coat for mahogany and not wet on wet application?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 10/10/2018
              Mahogany is considered a dense hardwood. Two coats will not penetrate well into the wood because of this.
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    Adam · 09/20/2018
    Hi there I know it's late in the season to be staining but I must do it I'm hoping we get some warmer weather this fall in Ontario Canada but do you have any tips or is there any issues for staining in cooler weather
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      RAD Products · 09/20/2018
      Just make sure the temps are about 50 f and is does not drop below freezing at night.
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    Alfred Gomez · 09/15/2018
    RAD Team - I have about a 950-sf pt deck that's 5 yrs old. First time used TWP, next two times used Ready Seal pecan. Been staining every year past couple of years, and plan on staining again this year (in Oct). Was hoping I could get away with staining every 2-3 yrs, but no luck so far. Anyhow, saw the great ratings and reviews for your products, so I want to try your RAD products. Especially like the idea of doing everything in 1-2 days (vs. a couple of weekends). Based on size of our deck, I "think" I need to get 2 ea containers of the RAD stripper, 2 ea containers of RAD brightener, and maybe even 2 ea of the 5-gal containers of RAD light walnut stain. Do those amounts sound right?? Then I plan to spray down with stripper, then power wash. Then spray with brightener. Do I put the brightener on while still wet? And do I simply rinse off the brightener with a hose after it's sat on the deck for a while? Lastly, it sounds like your most recent RAD stain formula will allow me to begin staining the deck even before it dries, is that right? Or do you recommend letting it dry first? Sorry for all the questions. Sorta frustrated with all the deck work I've had to do these past 5 years, and there's so much literature out there on do's and don'ts of staining a wooden deck, my head hurts after a while. Appreciate all your time and assistance. Once I get these questions squared away, I plan to place my order for the applicable amount of RAD products. Thanks!! -Al
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/16/2018
      Hello,

      Yes, the amounts sound correct. Best to get our combo kits so you can save a few dollars as well.

      1. Apply stripper and pressure wash off. Rinse well.
      2. Apply Brightener while wood is wet. Let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse for 10 minutes when done until all soap residue is gone. Make sure to rinse well.
      3. Stain with RAD Stain to damp deck (2-4 hours after prep) or dry deck. Wood can be damp to touch but not visibly soaking wet.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Alfred Gomez · 09/16/2018
        RAD - 3 more questions please. And I attached 2 photos for reference.
        1) I plan to apply 1 coat of stain. Will that suffice? And if I need to do 2 coats (but hopefully I don't), do I need to increase the amounts of products I'm ordering (per original post)?
        2) As you can see in the photo, there is algae on the composite boards which trim the deck. Can I use the stripper on the composite boards to remove the algae when I'm stripping the wooden boards?
        3) There are a lot of spindles. A lot! Guessing I need to strip and brighten each one of them, correct? :-(

        Thank you,
        Al
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/16/2018
          1. 2 light coats applied wet on wet is what is best and the amount you have is enough for both. Only need to do this to the horizontals. No need for the two coats on the verticals.
          2. Yes, it should remove this.
          3. Yes.
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            Alfred Gomez · 09/16/2018
            RAD - sorry for more q's, but thanks for your help. Okay, so I'm sure I'll need to use a small paint brush for staining the spindles, right? Or do you have any other suggestions? And for the horizontal deck boards and steps, we've used a paint brush roller in the past, along with a paint brush to get in between the boards. I see you have a RAD staining brush and a Padco Deck and Stain Pad (7" & 10"). And you also have a Speed Mop Kit. Suggestions for the easiest, most effective method? Or should I just stick with a small paint brush for the spindles and paint brush roller for the deck boards & steps? I'm trying to make an unpleasant task a little more bearable. Thanks! -Al
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 09/16/2018
              Use the RAD stain brush for floor and a stain pad for the verticals.
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        Alfred Gomez · 09/16/2018
        RAD - thank you very much for the prompt response and steps' breakdown!
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    KevinM · 08/21/2018
    Have a 20yr old PT deck,980 sq.ft, Northeast Ohio, direct sun 8am until 4:30pm,originally had Behr semi transparent stain tinted gray, changed to Behr solid stain tinted gray in hope that it would last longer. Semi transparent stain had to be re-stained every spring after pressure washing the winter grim. Solid stain looked good after 1st year but various family members started applying the stain heavy and closed up the gaps between boards, stain started lifting, did not adhere due to heavy applications. This year we have stripped with pressure washer and Zep deck cleaner, hand scraped areas that didn’t come off with PW. Renting a drum sander, will sand deck boards against the grain and final with the grain, to get the remaining tough spots and replacing rotted boards. Old screws are rusting and heads snapping off, re-screwing with new deck screws. How long before new PT boards can be stained? What can I use to plug old screw holes? Exterior wood filler? Would the dark walnut hide rust stains? Does chorinated pool water affect the stain?
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    Doug · 08/19/2018
    I have removed "BEHR restore", replaced some bad cedar boards and then sanded my deck. There is a little gray on some boards. Can I move forward with cleaner, brightener and stain or should I wait ?? months to start the finish process? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/20/2018
      Wait a month and then clean, brighten, and stain.
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    Kathy Hand · 08/12/2018
    If I use RAD stain, do I need a sealer.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/13/2018
      No need. Just an FYI, you cannot add a sealer over a deck stain. Will not work.
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        Kathy · 08/13/2018
        That’s great news. Thanks for your help.
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    Susan · 08/07/2018
    I am needing to take up an old semi solid stain. Is it alright to use another brand of stripper (already purchased) and then RAD brightener, and stain afterwards? Also, if I need to sand, would I need to do that before the stripper, or if after the stripper how long would I have to wait until I can sand(do you sand after its completely dry)?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/07/2018
      Yes that is fine. Sand after the stripper but before the brightener. Has to be fully dry when you sand.
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    Dennis Patrick · 07/30/2018
    I followed the 1 day restore process yesterday. After the second coat of stain was applied, it dried in direct sunlight at about 90 degrees. Then we had on and off rain through the night, sometimes heavy. Rain predicted on and off though today. Water seems to be beading up....what do I do now?
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    Ujjaval · 07/21/2018
    I have decks which has been stained by previous owner sometime in last 4 years. The stain was applied in an unprofessional manner and only 50% area shows some stain on wood.
    What should I use cleaner or stripper?
    i want to stain my decks with RAD
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/21/2018
      You will need to strip and sand to remove fully. Brightener after. The reason you will need to sand is the stripping will not remove the previous coating fully. It is a solid or semi-solid coating that will not fully come off with a stain stripper.
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    Sal Gordon · 07/16/2018
    How long does the deck need to cure before we can move furniture etc. onto it? Thanks.