Do-It-Yourself Wood Restoration Made Simple!

Restore-a-deck.com

Power Washing Tips

by The Sealer Store

If you don’t already own one of the many commercially available pressure washers for a homeowner, you can rent one from your local home center. Seek out the highest GPM (gallons per minute) machine they have available. This will make the job go considerably faster. The pressure is not important as high pressure should not be used to clean wood. A simplified analogy is to think of cleaning a dirty dish with a spray bottle (higher pressure/lower flow) versus using the water from a faucet (lower pressure/higher flow)

A pressure washer is a serious tool. Damage to property and person can occur if you are careless.

Damage from using high pressure can vary from splinters and raised grain to visible lap marks in the wood (these show up more after sealing) Just using a pressure washer without a proper detergent like Restore-A-Deck can also yield unwanted results. The pictures below show examples of a homeowner using no cleaner and just high-pressure water to clean.

damage

After you have allowed the oxygenating power of Restore-A-Deck to work its magic, it’s time to rinse. While you are at the home center renting your machine, try to have them give you a nozzle which will lower your effective pressure to 800 psi. If you do not have access to interchangeable nozzles, you will need to keep the tip of your gun at 12-18 inches from the surface.

Start the flow away from the wood surface and bring the gun slowly into the position to start rinsing. Start at one end of a board and walk your way to the opposite end keeping the nozzle the same distance from the surface the entire way. This will prevent lap marks. If for any reason you need to stop in the middle of a board, start the process from the beginning (at the end of the board) until you pick up where you left off. Take your time and always keep conscious of the distance between the spray tip and the wood. Be extra cautious on spindles.

walkin

When you are finished cleaning, apply your brightener and rinse. You may use the pressure washer again or a hose may be faster for you. No pressure is necessary during this final step.

Note: You may experience some small fuzzies that appear after the wood dries. This is normal to a small degree (especially on cedar). Often times these will dry up and fall away during subsequent rainfall. If you are planning on sealing as soon as is possible, these can be sanded away.

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Christine
Christine
5 months ago

Neighbor had 1/2 in. Skinny dog ear . It’s graying, pine treated fence. We put up board on board 8 months ago. Still looks newish wood color. We powerwashed her fence with no cleaner just water it still looks grayish. But clean. I want to stain hers and ours but want it to blend. We used no cleaner because of plants. We did just a easy rinse on our newer fence.should I put something else on her at this point to make it look like new yellow looking wood like ours.?

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Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  Christine

Post some pics.

Sarah
Sarah
6 months ago

We used the cleaner and brightener with a power washer. Is there such a thing as overpower washing? The deck still looks wet over 12 hours later. Should I let it dry and then mist it before staining? Or is it good to go?

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Admin
6 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

It should be good to go. Apply to dry or damp wood by misting it with water.

Toby
Toby
9 months ago

I just stripped previous AC stain with restore a deck and I am planning to brighten and then use Restore-A-Deck semi-transparent stain after brightening. I just realized I have quite a few wood fuzzies. Do I need to sand these off for a nice finish or can I just brighten and stain?

RAD Products
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  Toby

Up to you. Many people just go ahead and stain.

Mary Jo Lewis
Mary Jo Lewis
11 months ago

i am using the solid stain/paint stripper on an old deck an using a pressure washer to remove the stain. Some is coming off OK but some is not budging. I’ve power washed every surface at least three times. Is it ok to recoat solid stain over the old stain that refuses to come off?

RAD Products
Admin
11 months ago
Reply to  Mary Jo Lewis

Yes, it is.

RAD Products
Admin
1 year ago

Yes.

shane
shane
1 year ago
Reply to  RAD Products

yes to staining over the fuzzies with semitransparent stain?
or will it end up blotchy it is cedar?

RAD Products
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  shane

Yes, you can apply over it. There is no way to tell if it will be blotchy, but typically it is not.

Tim
Tim
2 years ago

Hello,
The Pressure Treated decking on my dock was replaced last year and will soon be cleaned/brightened/stained for the first time with Restore a Deck semi transparent stain.  The bare wood was exposed to the sun last summer and fall, and then all of the decking was moved into a garage for the winter and spring.  
Should I plan on treating and staining both sides of the decking (water side and top), or would I be wasting my time and money on the bottom?
  

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Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Just the top side is needed. 

Avatar photo
2 years ago

Do electric pressure washers supply enough water and power for deck stripping? 

RAD Products
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to 

Depends on the difficulty of the strip but typically no.

Terry
Terry
2 years ago

I have a large deck, is it okay to strip/brighten half one day and complete the other half the following day? How soon after can I apply TWP 100 if the weather is dry ( mid 60s during day)?

RAD Products
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry

Yes, you can do this. 48 hours after prep to apply.

Marc
Marc
2 years ago

I just “finished” the stripping step and have been rinsing for an hour and it is still very slippery.  Is that normal?  Can I just move on to the brightening step?

RAD Products
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Marc

You are okay to brighten. 

Em
Em
2 years ago

Hi, we extended out our fence with cedar and kept the existing fence, that was here when we moved into the house. Seems like the older fence it is dipped pine but we are not sure. We are now wanting to stain the entire fence so it looks as cohesive as possible. Which semi-solid paint would you recommend and how should we strip/clean the fence so the colors blend in as much as possible?

RAD Products
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Em

Strip and brighten the stained section. Clean and brighten the new wood. Teh RAD stain in Butternut would give the closest to the current color.https://www.restore-a-deck.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain/restore-a-deck-wood-stain-5-gallon/flypage.tpl.html

Ray
Ray
2 years ago

If I use Restore-A-Deck semi-transparent and want to reapply in say 2 years, what would I have to do in preparation?  Could I just clean it and apply or does it have to be completely stripped?

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Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray

Clean and brighten when reapplying.

Ratcliff
Ratcliff
3 years ago

do you need a power washer to do the stripper?
can it all be done by hand?

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Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Ratcliff

Pressure washer works best.

Caitlin
Caitlin
3 years ago

We moved into a house last year with new stairs but never stained/sealed them. We want to stain, but for prep should we use a cleaner and brightener or does it need to be stripped too?

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Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Caitlin

Clean and brighten the wood.

Jeanene Mehrer
Jeanene Mehrer
3 years ago

Deck was previously stained with Thompson’s semi-transparent stain. I stripped and brightened deck last fall with RAD products but weather got too cold to stain. I want to put solid stain on rails and semi-transparent on floor. Can I just clean and brighten? Also, some boards are scratched due to dog’s nails. Should I sand?

RAD Products
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeanene Mehrer

Yes, just clean and brighten the wood. No need to sand.

L. G.
L. G.
3 years ago

Can the cleaner and brightener be used in the soap injector on the pressure washer? If so, what ratio do I mix to concentrate it properly?

RAD Products
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  L. G.

No, they cannot.

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

I just power washed my deck today. I plan on ordering some stain. Should I get some brightener as well? Do I need to do anything if the ideal time to use the brightener was today?

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Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe

If you do not have any previous coating and the wood cleaned up okay then you should be good.

Dennis
Dennis
3 years ago

Hello, posted earlier but not finding any post…seeking guidance on feasibility of using RAD on a 6-ft white pine plank fence that is 10 year old and has been power washed and treated with boiled linseed oil for about 8 of the past 10 years.

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Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

Yes, you can use the RAD on this fence. Prep looks good.

Debbie
Debbie
3 years ago

Hello, I’ve been working on restaining my deck and came across your website. A sealer was put on part of the wood and it spotted. How would I remove this and what do you recommend going forward to brighten and stain. I’m interested in the one day method.

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Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Debbie

You will need to strip and brighten for the prep prior to applying the stain.

Scott Neal
Scott Neal
4 years ago

I have cedar timbers that have a little graying and sun damage from waiting to long to stain. What is the best thing to do

Scott Neal
Scott Neal
4 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

What should my expectations be on the look after do this

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Scott Neal

It preps the wood for stain and removes any mill glaze or oxidation.

Scott Neal
Scott Neal
4 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

You think it will bring back some of the luster from when it was original because the sun has faded it some

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Scott Neal

You have to stain the wood to do that and prevent UV graying.

Scott Neal
Scott Neal
4 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

I am asking will your product make a noticeable differece to the current condition of my wood.

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Scott Neal

It removes the graying.

Lindsey
Lindsey
4 years ago

I have purchased the stripper and brightener. How do I apply this?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Lindsey

Apply with a pump sprayer and then pressure wash off.

Lindsey
Lindsey
4 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

Okay got it! One more question. Is it okay if I clean the deck and strip it this weekend and then stain it next weekend?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Lindsey

Yes.

Zak
Zak
4 years ago

I just purchased the stripper. I understand it is a powder. What is the best way to dissolve the power? Cold or warm water? How long can I store any unused stripper once I’ve added the water?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Zak

It does not matter if cold or warm water. Shelf life is about a year.

George
George
4 years ago

We installed an L shaped grade level deck that is 70’x 12’ on the long end and 12’ x 16’ on the short end with a 20’ walkway that is 5’ wide. The wood came from two different suppliers so there is a visible difference in the PT wood color. Also, due to time issues and design changes I’m adding posts and railing in the fall now. What do you recommend I do in the spring to match/blend the wood to stain and protect the wood?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  George

Clean and brighten for prep and one coat of the RAD Stain for new wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-for-new-wood.html

George
George
4 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

Thank you, I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Avatar photo
4 years ago

I have two new decks built in summer 2018 out of PT Pine – was told to wait a year before treating, but it very unfortunately escaped me until recently, and I’m hoping with Western NY weather I’m not too late…

1. If we don’t get another dry day over 45° before snow hits, will my deck be ruined from then going thru 2 winters unsealed or is that not out if ordinary? Can I safely push that 45° at all to get it done?

2. Does it matter, application-wise, if one deck is for an above ground pool? (My neighbor saud they were told to seal every year vs. 2-3 due to chlorine?)

3. The prep we did was as novices and after we cancelled a professional doing it with SWilliams/BMlore brands and before we learned of your brand/website so not sure if we have to clean again and brighten now?… it consisted of a different brand of deck wash followed by a power washing day almost 2 weeks ago. We obviously didn’t do great at the power washing as there are still gray spots, but not sure if we have to now sand the missed gray spots off first? or if stain will cover it (thinking Cedar or Light Walnut). Sample photos attached.

4. Does the deck/stain darken over time and how much? I’d really prefer a light colored deck but Natural color seems too yellow to me, wondering how these look after a few years and coats.

5. Any other advice for this age of unfinished PT deck headed towards winter #2?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to 

1. You can wait until Spring.
2. You have to redo every 203 years no matter if around a pool or not.
3. You should redo the prep. Both cleaner and brightener.
4. It does not darken over time.
5. If you cannot do it this year just wait until spring to prep and stain. Not an issue.

Avatar photo
4 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

You just saved me SO MUCH stress! Thank you very much! One more question I thought of afterwards, my father-in-law had already added some MinWax wood filler to some knots & big splinters so that they wouldn’t collect water and I think I read on another thread here that RAD won’t color wood filler? PLUS one random board that leaks sap… Will I need to replace all those boards or is there another way to fix them so the stain covers evenly?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to 

You would have to replace the boards. Best to do those now so they can weather over the Winter.

David
David
4 years ago

How about for wood siding or logs? Will restore a deck just as well as it does on decks

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  David

Yes, works great!

Thomas
Thomas
4 years ago

Just received my RAD cleaner and brightener today. My 30 year old cedar deck is dirty and grey but cleans up nicely with pressure washing alone. I’m thinking of pressure washing first; applying RAD cleaner; and then pressure washing again after the cleaner sets. Brightener applied as recommended after the second pressure washing. My logic is that the cleaner will work all the better if I first remove the worst of the dirt.

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

You can do it this way but not really needed to pressure wash twice. It will clean up after the first pass of cleaner and pressure washing.

russ
russ
4 years ago

I have a 16 yo contractor’s deck of 60 sq ft, horizontal surface painted 5 yrs ago, peeled badly, so repainted w/same product (?) 2 yrs ago and again has peeled. Deck used only to access bird feeders so not too concerned about looks. Some ‘surface’ rot at ends of 2 boards, plan to remove most paint and rot w/my 2400 max psi, pressure washer, fill rot with epoxy if necessary and opaque stain everything, using Restore-A-Deck and RAD stain. I want to avoid sanding even if it means leaving some splotchy areas of ‘paint’ behind. Am I likely to need more than one gallon RAD opaque without running out and having to start over or should I order 2 gallons to start? I’m trying to make the project as painless as possible as I have NO help.

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Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  russ

One gallon should be enough for 2 coats and a 60 sq foot deck.

Liz
Liz
4 years ago

I just cleaned and brightened a cypress fence and it was rough sawn, so it has a lot of fuzzies like cedar would. Will this impact staining? Any tips for application due to fuzzies? Sanding is not feasible because of the shear amount of fence pickets.

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Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Liz

You should be fine with staining. The stain will darken the fuzzies.

Ruth
Ruth
4 years ago

Is the cleaner and brightener safe for surrounding grass and plants?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Ruth

Yes.

Avatar photo
4 years ago

And it’s old deck, not new wood, thus the 2nd coat. Already used stripper and brightener/neutralizer.

Avatar photo
4 years ago

I ran out of RAD stain while doing over 1000 sq ft of decks – one separate deck area just received a single coat (these deck soaked up 10 gallons like a sponge which is why I’m short…) I’ve just ordered more, will I be OK applying the second coat when it arrives in a few days? I know the instructions are to do the second coat 20-40 minutes after the first, but that’s not possible…

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to 

No, it has to be applied wet on wet when doing two coats. The first coat has already cured. Best to wait until Fall or Spring of next year. Lightly wash deck first to just remove dirt and apply the one coat then.

Gerry
Gerry
4 years ago

I have a deck that has been coated with Behr Deckover. The Behr product is peeling in many places. How do I remove the Deckover and what product do you recommend to stain the deck? Thanks

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Gerry

The only way to remove Behr Deckover is to sand it off. Once fully removed, you can then clean and brighten the wood for final prep before using the RAD Wood Stains.

Jim
Jim
4 years ago

Will the stripper damage metal spindles.

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Jim

It shouldn’t but always test a spot first.

Brian Dallyn
Brian Dallyn
4 years ago

My Deck is 300 sq. ft. including steps. I used Pressure Treated wood (spruce, pine, fir or SPF in Ontario) and it was installed in the summer of 2018. Left to over winter and not treated with anything as I wanted it to weather for a few months.
What do you suggest for treatment now, and how much stain would I need? Is RAD acceptable in Ontario?

RAD Products
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dallyn

RAD works in Canada well. See this about new wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-for-new-wood.html

Just one coat. About 2-3 gallons and the cleaner/brightener kit.

Dane Gray
Dane Gray
5 years ago

Any tips for an Ipe Deck? Need it to be cleaned first.

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Admin
paul gesche
paul gesche
5 years ago

Have a recently stained deck. Need to replace some boards. What is the staining procedure on the new boards?

Jim N
Jim N
5 years ago

I have a cedar fence that is new. Can I stain now or must I wait for fence to dry out for a while

Jim N
Jim N
5 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

Thanks. I will wait 6 months, until Spring.

Susan from Michigan
Susan from Michigan
5 years ago

I have a 25 year old red wood deck. I’m planning on using RAD Stripper to remove old stain. I’m concerned about using a power washer due to the age and type of wood. Do I have reason to be concerned about using a power washer?

RAD Products
Admin
5 years ago

Not if you use the proper techniques.

Susan
Susan
5 years ago
Reply to  RAD Products

What would be the proper techniques with pressure washer to avoid splintering?

RAD Products
Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan

That is in the article on this page.

ann
ann
6 years ago

Ours is a new (9 month old) 2×6 PT deck. We are planning on waiting until a full year is up to stain. The wood is not black or dark, so do we need to do the cleaner and brightner and pressure washer?

RAD Products
Admin
6 years ago
Reply to  ann

Yes that is correct. You will need Step 1 Cleaner and the Step 2 Brightener while doing the pressure washing.

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