Once you receive your DIY deck kit, you are ready to beautify your hard earned investment. These instructions will also be sent with your kit.

Here are the tools for the job: (available separately)

  • Two Gallon Pump Up Sprayer
  • Garden Hose With Pressure Spray Attachment
  • Wraparound protective eyewear and gloves
  • 5-gallon empty bucket
  • Stirring stick
  • Optional Equipment:
  • A Second Pump Sprayer (not necessary if you choose to rinse properly between steps)
  • Pressure Washer

You will receive two separate containers in your kit. One will be red labeled and marked Step 1 "Cleaner". The other will be blue labeled and marked Step 2 "Brightener". THESE TWO CONTAINERS ARE NOT TO BE MIXED


1) Put on your optional safety gear (protective eyewear, gloves, and mask) The chemicals in R-A-D are mild but can irritate those with sensitive skin. For liability reasons, we recommend always wearing safety gear.

2) Open the red labeled container marked "Professional Grade Cleaner"

3) Fill your 5-gallon bucket with warm water. Leave some space at the top to allow for foaming and stirring without spillage.

4) For aggressive cleaning or when mold growth is present, pour one red labeled container (Step-1) into the bucket and stir contents until dissolved. If you are going to reseal with the same sealer that is presently on the wood and there is no visible mold growth, you can use half of a container. This will yield milder cleaning action. On grayed wood always use full strength.

5) Prepare the area surrounding the deck by wetting all vegetation and soil generously. If you have landscaping directly under the deck, you may prefer to use plastic to cover. Though biodegradable and not harmful to soil Ph this cleaner may cause temporary browning of plant life. The plants regenerate in about four weeks but we understand this may not be desirable. Use your discretion. In our experience, keeping the vegetation wet with clean water prevents this from happening altogether.

6) Spray the entire surface to be cleaned with Restore-A-Deck cleaner. Apply generously.

Note: It is very important to keep the wood wet with solution. Work in small sections and go back and re-wet any sections that appear to be drying.

7) Let Restore-A-Deck dwell for 15 minutes (new construction or no previous sealer on wood) to 20 minutes (mold covered or previously sealed). Keep the solution wet by re-misting frequently. If the product dries, it is not working. You will see Restore-A-Deck cleaner's foaming action pulling the dirt from the wood fibers.

Note: While the product is dwelling, it is a good time to re-wet surrounding vegetation.

Note: Depending on the level of care your deck needs, heavily grayed wood may need brushing especially if you are not using a pressure washer to rinse.


deck18) The rinsing process is critical. If you are comfortable using a pressure washer you may speed up your rinsing process by using one. Keep your tip at least 12 inches from the wood surface. If you are using a garden hose, set your hose attachment to the strongest setting and rinse slowly and thoroughly. Error on the side of caution. When you think you have rinsed the deck thoroughly, rinse it one last time.

9) As a final step rinse everything that has come in contact with the solution including siding, windows, or plant life. It may seem like overkill, but doing the job correctly should be your goal.

  • Any leftover cleaner can be used to clean sidewalks, vinyl siding, or lawn furniture.-


The deck brightening stage is where the magic begins to happen. 

Follow the same steps and mixing process as above using the blue labeled "Professional Grade Brightener" being sure the pump up sprayer you are using is clean. We recommend using two separate sprayers, one each for the cleaner and the brightener. You may use a single sprayer doing a triple rinse process making sure no cleaner remains in sprayer tank or hose.

You are now ready to apply the finish of your choice. We recommend using a high quality,  semi-transparent stain for maximum durability.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Felix · 08/30/2022
    After applying brightener, Do I need to rinse it off later or just let it dry? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/30/2022
      You must rinse for 30 minutes to fully remove all suds. Directions are on the packages.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Scott Reitz · 08/02/2022
    I will be applying cleaner, brightener and semi-transparent stain the same day hopefully. Do I need to wait til the wood is dry (after brightener) before applying stain?
    2nd question - If I can't get everything done in one day. How long after brightening do U have to apply stain?
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    Gregavi · 05/26/2022
    I have a couple of questions. My first question has gotten me a couple of different answers, but would like your opinion on filling cracks.
    1. What should be used, if anything, for cracks that are several feet long and up to a 1/4" wide? (see photo #1)

    I will use the RAD Stripper and Brightener and then staining with Armstrong Clark Semi-Transparent. The folks at AC told me not to fill cracks. I seem to remember reading (on this thread possibly) that cracks and/or gouges should be filled with latex caulk. What say you?

    I have used the stripper on my 1000sq ft 18 YO redwood deck previously stained with a semi-transparent product. I first wet the deck, sprayed with stripper, rinsed and after it was mostly dry re-applied stripper while keeping it wet with stripper for about 15 minutes, used a pressure washer to blast which created stain colored foam (which I assume is the stripper breaking down the stain) brushed with push broom and then started rinsing with pressure washer, and rinsing, and rinsing… It seems like I could rinse until next Thursday before I would get all the stain colored foam off. If I do a small section, I can eventually get the rinse water to be clear but will take A LOT of rinsing (and water) to do the entire deck. Finally my question:

    2. Should I continue rinsing until all my water is clear?

    I got some stripper onto the bottom rail and the lower portion of the balusters and it turned the bottom of the balusters really dark (see photo #2).
    3. Should I spray the entire railing with stripper to even out the color or will the brightener fix that?

    Thanks in advance.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/26/2022
      1. Leave the cracks alone. They are normal. Never use a caulk unless you are using a solid stain.
      2. Rinse to mist suds are gone and then brighen as that neutralizes the stripper.
      3. Brigtener should fix that.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Amanda L · 10/06/2021
    Can I wait several days between RAD Step 1 and Step 2?  
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    Daskjs · 07/15/2021
    Did step 1 and couldn't get to brightener step because of time and overnight rain. The deck dried and left white marks around most if the knots in the cedar. Will brightener fix this or do I need to do step 1 again. Thank you for your quick responses 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/15/2021
      That is oxidation/graying that did not come off fully during the prep. Might want to reclean to get more off. It is normal though for knots to be lighter in color somehwhat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Daskjs · 07/14/2021
    Can you let deck dry after rinsing cleaner and before doing brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/14/2021
      Best to apply the brighten as soon as possible after cleaning while wood is wet. if you cannot for some reason, you should still apply as soon as you are able.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    cisley · 07/13/2021
    I have a 1100 sq ft deck. Should I clean one section at a time to ensure it stays wet? Same question for the brightening.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/14/2021
      Clean in sections of 200-300 sq feet at a time. Rinse well when all done, brighten all at once and rinse after.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Daskjs · 07/13/2021
    Directions on container of RAD, step #1, say add 6 oz. to warm water.  This site says 8 oz. Which is correct? But, container also says it makes 5 gallons and it contains 32 ounces of powder. Neither 6 nor 8 oz. will make exactly 5 gallons?.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/13/2021
      6-8 oz per gallon will work and yes if you add all to 5 gallons of water, it will work great!
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    Leonard MacKey · 06/23/2021
    I have a 20 year old vertical cedar fence that is approximately 1850 sq. ft. in area. Naturally, it is weathered a dark gray with some lighter areas of sprinkler damage.  I plan on using Restore-A-Deck Cleaner and brightner before applying Cabot Australian Timber Oil.  How many kits will I need, and are two coats of cleaner required?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/23/2021
      About 3 of each of the Cleaner and the Brightener. Only one application.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Leonard · 06/23/2021
        Got it!  Thanks for the quick reply!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Luis · 05/29/2021
    I have just finished applying the cleaner to a large deck followed by pressure washing. Out of nowhere a storm came by and I was not able to apply the brightener. Would I be ok waiting  day and applying the brightener tomorrow?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    WG · 05/21/2021
    Do you wet the deck first before applying brightener?
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    David · 05/12/2021
    What are the proportions to use for mixing RAD cleaner/brightener if you don't need 5 gallons?
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    Ron Holland · 05/02/2021
    Hello, I have Sikens stain on the railings and spindles..  will the cleaner and brightener strip the old stain off?  I replaced the old decking and railing cap last summer, now I am going to stain the decking and railing cap.  Please advise. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    deck2deck · 04/23/2021
    I ordered the stripper, cleaner and brightener... two of those bags came together sealed in a plastic outer bag and it appears that one inside bag is torn (there are about 2-3 tablespoons of loose granules inside the outer plastic bag). Do I need to worry about this throwing off the granules-to-water ratio or won't that small amount make a difference?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/23/2021
      Sorry about this, you can still use the spilled product. Ratios will be fine. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Julie · 03/19/2021
    Hi we have a 17-year-old pressure-treated deck that was stained with Olympic oil-based clear sealer 2 years ago. The wood is super dry. Would we need the stripper or the cleaner?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    RT · 03/14/2021
    I need to remove some sort of stain that is wearing off on different sections on my mother’s deck — it looks like water base, but not sure. Will this product remove the stain?

  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Patti · 10/14/2020
    Do you have to apply a sealer after applying restore a deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/14/2020
      No, and you can never apply a sealer over a deck stain. It will peel.
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    Marty · 10/05/2020
    I have a small spot that chipping restore a deck exterior stain product. I think a kid hit it with his toy. How should I fill it in?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      marty · 10/05/2020
      I don't think that answers it. Should I paint with restore a deck directly over the spot?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/05/2020
      Use an exterior wood filler or caulk.
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    Brandon · 09/29/2020
    How long should I wait after I use the brighter before I apply a stain?
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    Barbara · 09/15/2020
    Can I use it with a power washer that has a mixing bottle?
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    Cami · 09/06/2020
    Does Cabot Timber oil contain any ingredient that may conflict with the brightner. I thought I read that you shouldn't use a stain with a certain ingredient in it, in some of your information somewhere.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Michael Stanko · 08/12/2020
    Used RAD stripper and Brightner on my porch floor. Results were perfect! Porch floor is about 8" above the ground. Just looked under the floor for the first time and unfortunately there is a lot of runoff stains on the painted walls/etc. (I know, this wasn't smart not to wash off immediately after stripping but I never thought of it.) Tried to remove with pressure washer then soapy water, then vinegar/soap and water with no effect. Sprayed bug and tar remover on a test site and with lots of elbow grease most came off; not a good solution because the area is rather large. Rater than continuing my experimenting I though I would ask the experts. So, what do you recommend.

    Michael Stanko stankom1@comcast.net
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/12/2020
      No easy way to remove it. It takes a lot of water and something to soften it but you have to not strip the paint. Sorry but no advice is 100% goof proof on this one. In theory, you can spray the strip on it and rinse well after 15 minutes but not sure what would happen to the paint.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Mike · 08/12/2020
        Thanks for the response. While waiting to hear back I thought I would give trisodium phosphate a shot. It works like magic on mildew, general accumulated pollution grime etc, I thought I was wasting my time but mixed a gallon on the high end of the recommended TSP. Dipped a brush in the bucket and started scrubbing. lite stains came off immediately. Medium stains took a little more scrubbing. Heavy stains required some soaking and a second scrub. Finished with a power wash with just water. Took a few hours and I'd guess I got 99% off. Good enough for under a porch that is home to mostly spiders and canoe storage but can be seen and looked really ugly so something had to be done. Again I would like to repeat that the RAD and brightener worked perfectly. I will recommend it to anybody needing to strip a deck!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John · 08/07/2020
    I just sanded my deck. Do I need to use the entire container for both cleaning and brightening on a 350 sq ft cedar deck? Or should I use half? Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tim · 08/05/2020
    Will RAD cleaner/brightener damage or miscolor PVC trim boards? I'm preparing a new deck for staining which still has old lattice-work, and PVC trim boards on all sides and step kicks. Do I need to tape these off to prevent the RAD cleaner/brightener from coming in contact with them, or should I not worry? I'm worried with the amount of spraying and rinsing involved that it'll be impossible to keep the solutions off of the PVC. Thanks for answering!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/05/2020
      It should not harm PVC but always test spot first. Keep the stain off the PVC.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Monica · 05/30/2020
    Here are some pictures.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Monica · 05/30/2020
    I used this product 2 yrs ago and completely strip/cleaned, used brightener and applied two coats of semi transparent stain. Now the areas (top railing and some of the deck floor boards) have almost bare wood now showing due to extensive sun exposure. The areas closer to the house look like the day we stained. My question can I use a cleaner then the brightener all over the entire deck, stain just the deck floor boards and top railing to “touch up those areas”. I also want to put a sealer on it, Like Thompson’s Especially for the areas that get extreme sun exposure but not sure what kind of sealer to get or and if I can apply it once the stain has dried completely. Thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2020
      You cannot apply a sealer over a deck stain. Only used the prep products if you plan on recoating the wood so if you do not want to stain the spindles, then do not use the cleaner there.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mary · 05/25/2020
    Can I use the brightener bought for a wood deck in vinyl siding?
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    Megan · 05/25/2020
    I will be using the cleaner and brightener on a deck that is right up against my steel siding. Will either of these products damage the factory paint on the siding. I don't think it will be possible to keep the products from dripping down.

    Also, I have an area that currently has peeling, solid stain on it. I plan to sand this off. So I still need to use cleaner or brightener on sanded wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/25/2020
      No, it should not harm the siding. Yes on using the prep after sanding.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Stephen Luck · 05/21/2020
    5-21-2020: Great site, with good direct answers.

    I have an almost new 600-sq ft deck SURFACE of ground contact rated pressure treated southern yellow pine (SYP). It replaced an 8-yr old deck surface of pressure treated and kiln dried SYP (KDAT) that the builder said would last almost forever. Sadly, it didn't. I had cleaned and sealed the KDAT with your products the fall before it started rotting. I do not believe the rotting had anything to do with your product, but instead with poor KDAT quality control. After a year of delays, the pressure treating company eventually paid for all the wood used on the deck surface, and several of the joists. We completed the resurfacing last October, but this time I used ground contact rated pressure treated SYP to indeed get a deck that should last forever. I decided to allow the deck to weather through the winter, then clean and seal it with your product. I'm now at the point that I'm ready to do the cleaning and sealing. (If you will check your records, you will find that I ordered the cleaning and brightening products and 10-gallons of your sealing stain, with the date on the 2nd 5-gallon of HONEYTONE TWP 115-5 shown on the pail as 1-25-17. I had planned to reseal the deck the next spring after the original sealing, hence the need for the 2nd 5-gal, but then the rotting started. The 2nd 5-gal had a dent in the bottom seal that was leaking upon receipt, so I stored it in my sunroom upside down. I have another bucket I can pour it in should it still leak when turned upright). I have just finished filling and sanding the hundreds of knot holes and wood imperfections earlier this week, before the continuous rain arrived. I've attached a photo of the deck, which is still wet from rain.

    Here's my questions:

    1- I expected the deck to turn slightly gray during the winter, which I would strip off using your cleaner, but it's still the same beautiful yellow tint it was when it was installed (see photo). I know I need to clean the original railing wood, which has mildewed, but I'm not sure about the deck surface. The 2x6 SYP boards have shrunk slightly since last October, as witnessed by the 1/8" to 1/4" gap between boards that were tight together last fall. Do I still need to clean the deck with your cleaner? How much will I need for deck, railings, etc?

    2- I remember using your brightener on the old 2x6 deck surface, railings, etc after I cleaned it with your cleaner. I still have an unopened 2-pounds of RESTORE-A Brightener, but I do not have any cleaner. If I need to clean the new deck, what cleaner and how much do you recommend. Based on the label, I believe I should have enough brightener.

    3- I have a cheap sprayer I bought to spray the sealer on the deck posts, rails and supports, then toss the sprayer if I can't clean it. Just to be sure, can I use an airless sprayer with your sealer?

    4- Finally, I've had the unopened 5-gal pail of TWP HONEYTONE 115-5 sealer stored indoors since it arrived in early 2017. If I open it and the contents appear to mix okay, is there any reason not to use it? As you can imagine, I hate to throw out an unopened 5 gal of your product.

    Thanks for reading this epistle. I look forward to your response.
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    Josh · 05/14/2020
    Hi - love this site! Two questions I couldn't find answers to: 1 - our new deck (8 months old) has some stains from squirrels eating black walnuts on the new PT pine. Will cleaner/brightner/powerwashing be enough? 2 - we have vinyl railings. Do I need to tape/mask these off? If I get stain on them will that be a problem? THANKS!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/15/2020
      It should be able to remove those stains from nuts. You cannot get the stain on the vinyl so mask or be very careful.