Note: The RAD stain can be applied to damp or dry wood but is best applied to damp wood. Easier and will avoid potential Hot Sun Application Issues.

Today we will outline some things you need to know about how to apply Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain to damp wood for best results. Recent advancements in wood stain technology have allowed for a number of benefits, including better UV protection against the sun’s rays, excellent penetration into the wood grain for long-lasting results, and the ability to apply the stain to damp wood the same day as completing the prep steps. Since staining damp wood may be a new concept to some of you, as it has not been a possibility before, we have some tips and things to take into account so you can achieve the best-finished product.

New Wood Note: New wood is not the same as "damp" wood and needs to weather and be prepped before staining. Restore-A-Deck Stain and New Wood

Before you start your wood stain project, ensure your temperature conditions are optimal for best results. The surface temperature should be between 45 degrees F and 90 degrees F. Check the weather forecast and do not start the staining process if the temperature is expected to drop below 45 degrees or if rain is a possibility in the next 12 hours.

If the weather is on your side, first, complete steps 1 and 2 of the Restore-a-Deck in a day process by applying either the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Stripper depending on whether there is already stain on the wood surface, followed by the Restore-A-Deck Brightener. Allow the wood surface to dry for 2-4 hours before tackling the staining process.

Make sure you mix Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain well initially and periodically throughout the staining project. Protect all non-target surfaces with cardboard or drop cloths. For equipment, you can use the Restore-A-Deck Stain Brush (if using the RAD Semi-Transparent Stains), hand brushes, or staining pads to apply. Apply the stain to vertical surfaces such as railings or posts first, and protect the horizontal surfaces from the excess stain. Apply stain to the full length of the board, making sure to not break in the middle of the board. Apply 2 coats wet on wet for older wood and 1 coat only for newer wood.

Restore A Deck Stain Application Tips

And there you have it. We recommend allowing the surface to dry for 24 hours before walking or placing furniture on the surface.

Have you completed the Restore-A-Deck 3 step process in one day? Any tips we are missing? We want to hear your reviews. Be sure to comment with any photos and let us know how the project is holding up over time.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    T Geoghagan · 09/23/2020
    I have a couple of areas that appear to have been overapplied (24 hours since application).

    What is the safest way to remove excess?

    Thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/23/2020
      You cannot spot remove the excess and not harm the rest of the stained board(s). It will not blend.
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    Sarah · 09/21/2020
    Solid Stain-- Can I wait longer than the 2-4 hrs to apply 2nd coat? Like wait a few days between 1st and 2nd coats?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/21/2020
      Best to do it the same day for best results and ease off application but you can do it 1-3 days after the first coat. Just make sure it is clean.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Marki · 09/21/2020
    Should a regular pad painter (like Shur-Line) work for applying semi-transparent stain to a cedar railing?

    I'm certainly glad you people are here to answer my questions so quickly. Thanks very much,
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    DJ DeYoung · 09/17/2020
    Hey,
    I applied Cabot Australian Timber Oil to 2 sections of my never treated 12 year old fence a month ago. Water beads up and rolls off in rain.
    I cleaned another 4 sections of fence with all in one cleaner, brightener from HD a month ago. (Powerwashed). This week used 2 step cleaner/ brightener from your site. Powerwashed clean, looked like brand new fence!
    The weather was cloudy for cleaning day, 70’s temps, cloudy next day. Fence still felt slightly “damp” when I applied your natural, water based restore-a-deck stain on day 2. Soaked in well, repeated second coat 30 minutes later. Fence looks Super!
    However, why does rain not bead up on this cured product 3 days later, but rather appear to soak in as usual with untreated wood?
    Thanks,
    DJ
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/17/2020
      The RAD is a breathable stain and is not designed to bead water but sheds water.
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    Tom Amato · 09/05/2020
    Hi. I have a deck with remnants of an oil stain on it that were under an outdoor carpet. I've ordered the stripper, brightener and RAD stain but should I sand the carpeted areas first before using any product?
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    Dan Hartsough · 09/01/2020
    Hi I'd like to get solid stain shipped to me in Illinois by this weekend, 3 - 4 days. Any chance if I order now? Can't get through by phone.
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    Brad LaVictor · 08/11/2020
    I stripped and refinished our deck last year but it didn’t seem to winter well so I will clean & brighten before Re-staining. On brightening instructions it says wait 48hrs before staining and elsewhere it says wait 4hrs then stain. What is recommended for best results?
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    Karen Tusa · 07/18/2020
    Solid stain can be applied after prep if wait 2-4 hours right? How long do i wait before applying second coat?
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    Mitch · 06/30/2020
    We have had 2 days of steady rain (approximately 1,5") so our dock is pretty well soaked but forecast for the next 2 days is 42-63 on first day and 42-72-45 next day with slight chance of rain. My plan is to clean and brighten on day one then apply 2 coats RAD stain on day 2. The dock was stained with 2 coats of RAD last summer and definitely needs a new application this summer. A little disappointing but understandable I guess since this is a floating dock on the water and subject to harsh weather conditions year around. We are in western MT so year around temperatures can vary significantly with temps ranging from 95 in summer to -40 in winter with significant snow and a frozen lake. I have 2 questions:

    1 Is the dock to wet from the rain to clean and brighten or should I wait another day before starting this project?

    2. Do I need to go through the full process of cleaning, brightening, and applying 2 coats of RAD again this year? The stain and color is the same as what I applied last year.


    Thank you,

    Mitch Huffield

    mhuffield@msn.com
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/01/2020
      1. You can prep if the dock is wet or damp.
      2. Yes.
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    Shannon · 06/12/2020
    I pressure washed 5 coats of paint off of my wraparound porch during my Covid-cation (sadly gouging the wood to get the paint off, but I guess that is what it is at this point). I'm now down to the bare pressure treated pine. This is a covered porch so it doesn't have any of the damage that an open deck would. Do I need to do any of the prep steps, or can I just move forward with the semi-transparent stain? Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Karen · 06/08/2020
    Hi - after cleaning our pergola we decided to sand it to completely remove stain & apply a different brand. Except that some stain was difficult to remove in the hard to reach areas so I hit it with a bit of the stripper & booster — problem is my helper put brush marks all over the 6x6 columns & it didn’t wash out. It remains dark in areas. What do I do now please?? We worked too hard to have it left like this.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2020
      Did you brighten the wood after using the stripper? You have to.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Karen · 06/08/2020
        Yes I did just before sending question - It was doing nothing, hence the question, then when I went back outside to rinse it erased some of the areas like there was no stain, (miracle!) but in other spots it has left a yellow or green hue in the wood. Will this translate through to the stain? For future, was it the stripper or the booster that caused the darkening on sanded wood.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/08/2020
          All strippers darken the wood and raise the pH. That is why you neutralize with a Brightener. You should be fine to stain now.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Karen · 06/11/2020
            Thank you! After 48 hrs drying time we stained & there was no noticeable difference !! Btw love your products!!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Laura · 06/03/2020
    We cleaned and brightened our deck today...stain was scheduled to be delivered this afternoon. Just discovered there is going to be a one day delay...so deck will be dry by the time the stain arrives. Do we need to keep it damp until the stain gets here...Or just apply it on a dry deck...or dampen just before applying? This was a new deck...was installed last August.


    The deck had started to look really ratty...the cleaner and brightener really worked miracles! Want this next step to go well, though.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gary Jannarone · 05/31/2020
    Can you use a spray gun for the railings with a semi-transparent stain?
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    Merland L. Clark · 05/28/2020
    You say to apply 2 coats, wet on wet, on old wood. How do you apply the second coat without walking on wet stain?
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    Paul · 05/27/2020
    I have 850sqft of deck and will therefore be using multiple 2.5 gal containers of semi-transparent stain. Do you recommend mixing the containers together, or is the stain color consistent enough to not to have to do that? Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Becky Swenson · 05/25/2020
    What do you recommend for an old deck that has had some boards replaced and various stains over the years. In other words, a patchwork of shades of woods/stains and we appreciate the “historical” look of the hodgepodge, but want to clean it up and seal it without an opaque look. Thinking semi-transparent? Strip or clean?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/26/2020
      You cannot use the semi-transparent stain over what you have and you also cannot strip off what you have as you already have a solid opaque stain on your deck in spots.
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    Irene Garipoli · 05/25/2020
    I need clarification, please: Will a 2nd coat be essential (solid stain) if the 1st coat provided good coverage? Will a 2nd coat give a better seal, maybe? Can I wait upwards of a week or two between each coat if 2 coats are necessary? Will the solid stain peel off as time goes on or just wear off in walking areas? How resistant is the solid stain to having the deck get a lot of water run off from our roof during the winter snows? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/26/2020
      You need two coats and best to apply the second coat on the same day. Eventually the stain will wear. Typically needs to be redone every 2-3 years for a deck floor.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Carroll · 05/22/2020
    What is the best implement to use to apply the RAD solid stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anne · 05/19/2020
    Hello - I'm in Canada and had my brightener and stain shipped to a rental cottage to avoid the taxes, duties, and shipping charges. (The 40% exchange is painful enough!) I applied it on a one year old new cedar deck. It's two years now and the flat surfaces are very worn. I have enough stain to redo it but no cleaner. Would it look bad if I just applied the stain without Restore-a-Deck cleaner? Or is there some way to clean it with regular household cleaners that would improve the outcome?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/19/2020
      You have to prep it with a deck cleaner or you could have issues with adhesion. Household cleaners will not work very well.
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    Vickie B · 05/19/2020
    Can you give me an idea of an acceptable moisture content (using a pin type moisture meter)
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    Ken Kapp · 05/11/2020
    I will be re-staining my deck w/ RAD semi-transparent stain. I live in NC and the weather forecast for day of staining is high between 79-82 w/ low of 61 but a 20% chance of rain, not ideal. If it were to rain overnight within the 12 hours after staining, how will this affect the stain and what should I do if anything to correct?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/11/2020
      It could ruin it if the stain is still wet and it rains on it.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark M · 05/05/2020
    Using the solid stain on old wood, if we use rollers do we need to back brush? I read that pads are for semi-transparent mainly. Planning on applying 2 coats, using wet on wet application calls for 20 min to 1 hr between coats. Is this correct?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/05/2020
      No need to back brush of using a roller. Solid stain is not applied wet on wet. Must be dry for the second coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Vickie B · 04/27/2020
    I have a deck where part of the boards are covered and never have sunlight. They are pretty wet and don't really ever fully dry. Can I use RAD on this?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/27/2020
      No, RAD can be applied to damp wood after prep but not wood that is always wet internally.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Peter · 04/14/2020
    How long has restore A deck SOLID stain been out and how many years after applied was tests as far as peeling and fading and wear rated??????
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    dennis · 09/03/2019
    How does this product work on Redwood
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Justin · 08/30/2019
    I have seen a few youtube professional painters that recommend to roll/brush on and wipe off with a rag - is this a recommended step for this product?

    I am staining a fence with a brush and will likely due two coats due to the age but I have a covered front porch made of ironwood (just in case this wood type carries a different recommendation)
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/30/2019
      No. Do not roll. Use a sprayer, stain pad, or brush. Do not back wipe with a rag. Just one coat for the Ironwood.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rich · 07/19/2019
    Closer pic after brightener
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rich · 07/19/2019
    I cleaned and brightened a 3yo deck (previously applied RAD after ~1 yr weathering) this morning. The deck looks good, but has some very rough spots that I didnt really notice until I was cleaning. Can I do some light maintenance sanding now before applying stain? I’m worried about splinters!

    Secondly, some boards showed different coloring marks around the knots (pics below)... why did this happen? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/20/2019
      Yes, but do not sand finer than 80 grit. Brighten again after.
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    scott · 07/16/2019
    I used RAD cleaner and brightener on my four-year-old cedar deck that had been previously stained with Benjamin Moore arbor coat semi transparent stain. My original goal was to re-stain with the same product. When I was Lightly power washing after applying the cleaner I noticed most of the stain peeling up so I was committed to taking the stain off. I was surprised that 95% of the old stain came off without the stripper. After I used the brightener the deck looked great. I lightly sanded the fuzzies and some old stain. It has been almost 2 weeks since I did this. Now I want to re-stain with RAD semi transparent cedar stain since I was disappointed with Benjamin Moore which had been peeling shortly after it was applied. My question is should I use the stripper for small amounts of stain that remain? And should I use Brightener again before staining? Also my deck is large 45 x 20 but no rails. Should I use two coats and how much stain should I buy?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chris · 07/16/2019
    Couple questions:

    1. Wood needs to dry 2-4 hours between brightening and staining? If I wait overnight, I should give the deck a light misting 1-2 hours before staining?

    2. Best to apply stain with a brush? I was hoping to spray it on with deck pump sprayer and follow up with a brush to spread stain and eliminate any puddling.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/16/2019
      1. You can lightly mist with water prior to staining.
      2. Use a stain pad or deck brush for applying. https://www.restore-a-deck.com/decktools.html
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Chris · 07/16/2019
        Thanks. One last question...What's the shipping turnaround? I have a chance to do this project this weekend. If I order today, when can I expect deliver to the Chicago area?