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

CLEANING / LIGHT STRIPPING


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.

deck3deck7


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.-

BRIGHTENING

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
    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.
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    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    William Ramshaw · 05/12/2020
    Do you apply Restore A Deck cleaner to a dry deck or do you recommend lightly prewetting it?
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    Mike McKoy · 05/08/2020
    Do you need to wait any amount of time between the stripper/cleaner step and the brightener step?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/08/2020
      No. Brightener goes on as soon as you are down with the stripper or cleaner.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    meredith holley-mier · 04/29/2020
    Two years ago I used your products to strip off old stain, clean and brighten, then added one coat of your semi transparent stain. I did absolutely nothing last year. I’m ready to work on my deck again. I have just your cleaner and your stain do I need to Brighten again? Overall it looks like a lot of the stain is gone and a few places are looking dirty and/green. Also can I use any brand of brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/29/2020
      Just use the cleaner this time for prep since you have a base coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tracy Johnson · 04/15/2020
    What is the preferred method for applying the solid stain on railing and decking? Brush, roller or pad? If there are areas that can only be applied with a brush or pad and everything else is rolled will there be a difference in the final dry appearance ?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/15/2020
      Brush and roller. Applies evenly after two coats.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeff Rose · 03/27/2020
    I used RAD stain on my cedar deck last year. It looked good all summer- fall. It developed a lot of bare spots over the Vermont winter. What should I do this spring ? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/28/2020
      Love VT. We ere just there a few weeks ago skiing!

      Prep with the RAD Cleaner and apply one coat of the stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Carol T · 03/09/2020
    Hi! I used RAD stain on a brand new deck last summer (just one coat, per the instructions). I plan to do a second cleaning and coat later this spring and was wondering, do I just do the one coat or two? Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    M Zwerling · 07/24/2019
    Have cleaned 350 sq ft cedar deck 2x, extensively power washed & brightened; silver fuzzies remain at knotholes. OK to proceed with stain? If no, clean & power was again
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/24/2019
      That is oxidation that was not fully removed. Best to go over it one more time with the cleaner and pressure washing, getting slightly closer to the wood while using the pressure washer then you did with the first pass.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dale · 06/30/2019
    I'm in the process of sanding all my cedar decking and Douglas Fir porch prior to applying restore-a-deck cleaner and brightener and then a Weatherwood oxidizing treatment followed by TWP-1500 in clear. Our house has cedar shingles that have aged to a classic grey but I'm concerned that the cleaner and brightener may affect the shingles near the deck. Should I try to tape them off before applying the cleaner?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/01/2019
      Yes as it will "clean" off some of the oxidized gray.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Dale · 07/09/2019
        Thank you. How long should I wait for my decks to dry after using the brightener to apply TWP and how long should it take to dry before it can handle rain - there is some rain in the forecast around the time I may be applying the stain so I want to make sure I get it right.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 07/09/2019
          You apply the brightener right after the cleaner while the wood is wet. Let dry for 48 hours to stain. No rain for 12-24 hours after application.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Dale · 07/11/2019
            Thanks for the tips. Should I wait until I have a 60 hour window of dry weather before I use the cleaner or brightener or can I use it, let the deck get rained on and wait until dry weather shows up?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 07/11/2019
              Use it, let the deck get rained on and wait until dry weather shows up.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Frank Crombeen · 06/30/2019
    I recently cleaned and brightened a 6 month old cedar deck to prep for staining. I’m left with a white residue on the floor boards particularly on the knots. Fence boards are fine. Did I do something wrong and how should I clean this up ( see photo)
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/01/2019
      That is the oxidation of the wood cells that was not fully removed. Best to gove over it with the cleaner again and light pressure washing.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    steve · 06/04/2019
    I have a 17 year old deck, that I just sanded and used a striper where needed. I am at the stage of using the RAD brightener, it is Tuesday with good weather for the last two day, however tomorrow Wednesday a 60% chance of shattered showers around and I would like to stain the deck this weekend and it need two to three days to get the moister level under 20% (we live in the woods). It should take me maybe a day in a half to stain it (14x28 with two build in benches using Armstrong and Clark semi-solid expresso) Should I brighten it today Tuesday or wait until Thursday?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Nettie · 06/01/2019
    I'm worried about the cleaner and brightener damaging a planting bed on one side of my deck. Which of these products is more harmful to my plant foliage? I do not want my plants to turn brown. Can I prevent this by shielding/covering them with plastic during the process?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2019
      Cover plants while doing the work and you should be fine. They are Eco Friendly but you do not want a bunch of dirt, grime or soap residue stuck to the plants.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    RT · 05/13/2019
    Hi,
    I installed a 6 foot high, 253 linear ft horizontal cedar about 5 months ago. The fence still looks pretty new. I plan on using Armstrong-Clark Cedar Semi-transparent stain. Two questions:
    1). Do I need to use both step #1 and step #2 for cleaning the fence?
    2.) Given the measurements — how much of your product would I need?

    Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/14/2019
      1. Yes.
      2. You have about 3000 sq feet for both sides. About 20-25 gallons for 2 coats applied wet on wet.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        rrezart beqa · 05/15/2019
        If I pressure wash the fence with 800-1500 psi first, do I still need to do both steps? And, what do you mean by two coats? Thank you!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/16/2019
          Yes, you need the prep products while pressure washing. Apply two coats wet on wet with the AC. Second coat goes on within 20-60 minutes of the first coat.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            RT · 06/01/2019
            What is the sign/reaction that tells me it’s ready for the 2nd coat? Furthermore, after the second coat, how long do I wait before pressure washing the second coat off the cedar?
            Also, how long do I have to wait for the second step, or can I apply it on the same day?

            Thank you!


  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Adam · 09/28/2018
    Cleaned & Brightened last night and then had a light rain.. am I okay after a few hours to stain the damp wood with my restore a deck semi no problem?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lye F. · 09/06/2018
    I cleaned and brightened my 4 month old deck. I have finished applying the semi-transparent Armstrong/Clark stain to my banisters/spindles, but not the decking. Its been 3 1/2 weeks since brightner applied - is it OK to apply the stain to the decking? If not, will the cleaner &/or brightener affect the banistrs/spindles already stained?? Thanks, Lyle..
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/06/2018
      Lightly brighten the wood and pressure rinse (not wash). This will not harm the rails.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Paul · 09/03/2018
    I plan to use RAD step 1, then step 2, through the cleaner dispenser on my power washer on my fence before staining with a different oil based product. Do I still dilute the powder 3/4 - 1 cup with 1 gallon of water, or should I make it more concentrated since the power washer will be mixing the cleaner with water coming in from the hose?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/04/2018
      The RAD Step 1 cannot be injected through a pressure washer. Needs to be pump sprayed on. The Step 2 could be injected at 1 cup per gallon.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Debbie · 07/09/2018
    We live in Northest Ohio where you can see all 4 seasons in one day! We are getting ready to apply our stain..all RAD products we purchased through you...however we have about a 50% chance of rain tomorrow..should we hold off until we are sure to have 48 hours with no rain or is it okay to proceed? Thank you!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Life Blumberg · 06/05/2018
    Despite our best efforts, some of the restore-a-deck wood stain hit our lock-dry aluminum decking in a couple places while we were staining the rails and dried instantly. The suggested soap and water do not work at all to get it off... What do you recommend for removing any spots where the stain has dripped onto surfaces during application?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2018
      Try a water-based graffiti remover. Should be in the paint section at your local store.
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    Rick · 05/23/2018
    The brightening directions above state "Allow three consecutive and sunny 75+ degree days. You are now ready to apply the finish of your choice. We recommend using a high quality, oil-based, semi-transparent sealer for maximum durability." This seems to conflict with the Restore a Deck in one day claim. Do I wait 3 days or not? Also, is the RAD stain oil-based, since this is recommended in the above Brightening instructions. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/23/2018
      The RAD perp and stain can be done in one day. This is an old article that needs to be updated.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    SierraBear · 05/18/2018
    Started using the deck stripper today on a redwood railing, prior to working on large deck. I let it sit for 15-20 minutes but noticed the product seems to dry on the old stain in less than 5 min. with the sun hitting on it, so I kept respraying over the area to keep it moist. I then removed the product with a scrub brush and it worked great. Super product! Question: will the product still work effectively if, after it is sprayed on, appears to dry in the sunshine prior to the 10-20 min before removing it? I hate to have to keep respraying the same area to keep the product wet on the redwood.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/19/2018
      If it dries you will need to re-wet to get it to work. If you have a pressure washer, it will be much easier and faster to keep it wet during the process and for removal. You will not need a scrub brush.