Restore A Deck Prep and Staining Steps

We understand that everyone needs help with their wood/deck restoration and that not all projects are the same. Different species of wood, the age of wood, and types and brands of previous coatings make it difficult for homeowners to determine what is needed to restore their exterior wood or deck correctly.

We will ask some specific questions and reply to what you will need to do in your restoration process and the appropriate products and amounts to purchase, so it receives the proper prep and treatment required.

In the comment section below, you must include:

  • Square Footage of Area to be Restored:

-For Decks, use the calculator in the right column (scroll down) for desktop or below this article/comments on mobile

-Fences: Length x Height x 2 (for both sides) = Total square footage

-Homes: Do each side Lenght x Height, then add up all sides.

  • Type of wood if known:
  • Approximate Age of Wood:
  • If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type (Examples of Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Solid Stain, Oil-Based, Water-Based): 
  • If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained:
  • Wood Type to be Stained (Deck, House, Fence, etc.):
  • Do you have access to a pressure washer:
  • Miscellaneous Info:
  • *Must Include 1-3 Photos of Restoration Project. There is a link to upload photos in the bottom right corner of the comment area.

Restore A Deck Stain Application Tips

 

 

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    bcwoody · 09/22/2019
    We have a 3 year old cedar deck in a rainy part of the PNW. Half is covered by an upper floor deck and half open to the elements. It has never had a stain or coating on it. We need something to resist slipping as it gets like an ice rink when wet especially a long damp winter. Can we add a product to help with anti-slip properties and what is the best way to clean the green build-up? Is bleach a bad idea? We would like a semi transparent finish not a paint if possible.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/23/2019
      You cannot add an anti-slip into a penetrating stain. No need. Never use bleach on a deck. Prep with our RAD Cleaner/Brightener Kits.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Edward Kron · 09/20/2019
    We had a contractor stain our new PT Pine deck and railings. We used the solid classic white stain on the railings. The deck is in full sun and two coats were applied. I notice today that there are spots and splotches of green on the top railing. What do you think the cause is? We did have a heavy dew last night and the splotches wipe off with a damp rag. Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/21/2019
      It is not from the stain but from something from your environment. Not sure what is causing it.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Adam · 09/19/2019
    About to pull the trigger on this, but had one question. My PT pine deck is a little over 1 year old with direct sunlight all day. Would I still apply stain like new wood directions(1 coat) or will I need to do 2 coats?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    swopo82 · 09/17/2019
    So I started stripping our the deck at our new to us house because it seemed like the existing stain had become worn and was greyed. As I started stripping I started realizing that it might have been a solid grey toned stain that was supposed to be grey? I found evidence of old oil based semi-transparent stains in the garage and figured one of those had to be it and that it had just weathered and was old. However, as I started stripping I started seeing the evidence of other old stains that had been previously partially stripped and things started looking rather ugly. The flooring cleaned up alright however my railings have lots of blotches and strain colors/patterns from the years of previous stains. Also, so far I've had a difficult time getting the grey stain off of some of the verticals.

    I'm considering doing a two tone if I cannot get the railing looking better. I have purchased more stripper and the booster and gel to try this weekend. Is that worth my effort or might I be better off just going with a solid stain on the verticals?

    Planning to use Dark Walnut for the flooring. Was thinking white or desert taupe for the railing. Any inputs on which combo looks better?

    I'll have about 95 feet of railing to do. How many gallons would you estimate would be needed?

    The pics of the deck are after having stripped and before brightening. Planning to brighten this weekend and then stain. I'm hoping the flooring will brighten up and look decent with a dark stain since it does have many imperfections. Am I on a good track here?

    Thanks so much!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/18/2019
      Go over all wood again with the Stripper and both additives and assess then if you want/need a two-toned deck or not. You will get more off. About 2-3 gallons for the solid stain if you end up doing this for the rails.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 09/18/2019
        We would love to see the final pictures after staining.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeff Rose · 09/17/2019
    I have pressure treated 1 yr. old. Some areas are green. Do these need additional prep before brightener and light walnut semi transparent stain? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/17/2019
      You will need to use the RAD Step 1 Cleaner and pressure washing for prep then the Step 2 Brightener.
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    Betty hall · 09/17/2019
    Constructed in 2005 of redwood, my p0rch with 5 steps and railing is 83 sq. feet. It has been pressure washed, then stripped and cleaned using Behr's Wood Stain and Fish Stripper and All-in-One Wood Cleaner.Do I need to also use the RAD Brightener before applying RAD Wood Deck Stain in Natural?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Luis · 09/16/2019
    I just received my cleaning, brightener a a stain. The deck is sanded and I am ready to go but didn’t get the free brush. Can you please send me the brush?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/17/2019
      Hello, the brush is not free. Under the brush order, it says it will ship free with no shipping charges if you order stain. That does not mean the brush is free completely.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom · 09/15/2019
    We are getting ready to stain our deck. The deck and stairs total 660 square feet of cedar, a combination of new and 20 year old boards. The old boards have never been stained. The railing length is 84 feet, and is new pressure treated pine wood. The deck was recently pressure washed.

    We wonder how it would look if we stained the flooring (either light walnut or cedar) and solid stained the railings, using coastal gray. Can you tell from the photos if that combination will work with the house color? Also your recommendation on quantity and application method( such as roller, brush, etc.)
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/15/2019
      Yes, a two-toned look would look nice. 6- 7 gallons for the floors. 2-3 gallons for the rails.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ross · 09/15/2019
    Hi, I'm interested in your RAD semi-transparent stain in light walnut color for my raised deck in Canada

    The deck is about 500 sq feet, not including the underneath frame and tall posts

    Q1: What is the best method to completely remove the old product?

    Q2: Can the RAD product be easily re-applied every few years? - without having to completely remove?



    Here is some data as posted to the deck stain help forum (with 2 pictures)

    Deck Location State: Montreal, QC
    Full Sun, Partial Shade, Snow/ice
    Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
    Mold or Mildew Issues: Only minor underneath deck
    Reason for Previous Stain Failure: Peeled and turned LIGHT in color (only horizontal surfaces ever failed)
    Previous Stain Brand and Type of stain: CIL Woodcare Distinction semi-transparent tan base

    Raised deck, new June 2016
    First application Summer 2017 with CIL Distinction
    Failure after winter (see photo) – Contractor did apply in hot conditions
    Failure only on horizontal surfaces (ice/snow/full sun)

    Second application Fall 2018 with CIL Distinction
    CIL rep told us we had to completely remove the product first
    Extreme prep – deck wash, sanding, apply on cool cloudy day on dry deck
    Failure after winter (see photo)
    Failure only on horizontal surfaces (ice/snow/full sun)
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lotus Blossom · 09/15/2019
    Sorry if this is a duplicate post. I have a 25+ yr old deck. Don't know what type of wood but I've used Sikkens Cetol Deck on it since 1998. I want to change to RAD. Recommended process? Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    JJ · 09/15/2019
    What should the day and night temperatures be for restore a deck optimum results, as it is getting late in the year for our climate.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/15/2019
      When applying the stain, 55-90 degrees. Night time temps do not matter.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Don Lavin · 09/14/2019
    This spring I used your deck cleaner
    followed by deck brightner then coated
    with your sealer. The covered portion still looks great but the area that gets sun
    looks terrible (see attached photos).
    What can I do to restore the deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/15/2019
      Looks dirty. Clean the deck with the RAD Cleaner and then apply one coat of the stain. You can do this now or in Spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    DANIEL J CRAWFORD · 09/13/2019
    I have a 16x16 deck that is about 30 years old (Southern Pine PT). I recently pressure washed, wood is still in good shape, down to bare wood with no stain or paint. Railing on 2 sides is just top and bottom rail. I'm not interested in showing grain so I'm considering RAD solid Cypress. Was wondering if I need 2 coats or is one coat sufficient. Also, how much do I need, I live in Western NY, is this the right product for me. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/14/2019
      You will need 2 coats. We would need a total sq footage for all wood that is to be stained for help with amount needed?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Carl Linden · 09/13/2019
    Discrepancy?
    The Instructions on the back of the 2# package state, “Wait 48+ hours after using Step 2 Brightener before applying stain.”
    How can one do the complete process in one day as advertised, #1 Clean or Strip, #2 Brightener, #3 Stain if the package instructions state wait 48+ hours?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/14/2019
      48 hours if using a different brand of stain that is not RAD stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeff · 09/13/2019
    We have cedar plank siding on our building. 3 years old. We have used Thompson Clear water seal. Re-sealed 16 months ago. We have a power washer. Im guessing its about 800 sqft.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/14/2019
      Strip off the Thompsons and the brighten the wood. About 7-8 gallons of the stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Doug Kaleida · 09/13/2019
    one last question. with a 710sf deck, how much of the solid stain and how many coats? Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Doug Kaleida · 09/13/2019
    Also, What do you recommend to use to apply the solid stain? as all your tools say "Does not work with solid stain". Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Doug Kaleida · 09/13/2019
    DO you guys have a 5 gal of your solid stain? I have a 710sf treated pine deck built June 2018, and she's ready :) Thank you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    LT · 09/13/2019
    I have approximately 450sqft of old what looks to be never stained wood. Either pressure treated pine or cedar. I also have another 60sqft balcony that’s new pressure treated pine weathered for 4 months now. There is 60-70 linear feet of 4 month old pressure treated pine railing with aluminum balusters. How much cleaner, brightener and stain will I need? Will I need to sand any of the wood, especially as the old deck had a couple boards replaced 4 months ago? Would light or dark walnut or cedar RAD semi-transparent stain hide the differences in wood color better?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/13/2019
      Hi, what is the total sq footage of all wood that is being stained? Sanding is not needed. Darker typically blends better.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        LT · 09/13/2019
        450 old wood and 200-250 new wood including railing. So 650-700sqft total.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/13/2019
          One of the Cleaner/Brightener Kits and about 6-7 gallons of stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    DiannKysar · 09/12/2019
    If I order more than I actually use, can I return unopened containers?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve + CoCo · 09/11/2019
    The total area of the deck(s) is 432 sf. The decks surround the cabin, but are not contiguous.
    Probably have never been treated, stained, etc - and only swept clean for 12 years or so. There may be some borate spray residue from some preventative dry rot treatments in years past.
    I will only be staining the floor of deck, railings/stairs are already stained and look good.
    Want the natural semi-transparent stain.
    Planning on 6 gallons of stain, 1 container each of cleaner and brightener.
    These decks are primarily redwood. Some small patching may be Douglas Fir, not sure.
    Will have a 1700PSI 1.7GPM pressure washer.
    Exterior walls of the cabin are cedar shingles, most stained.

    Should I mask along the house/deck border?
    Sliding glass doors (aluminum, and some wood trim) .

    Should I mask along the door/deck border(s)?

    We live under the redwoods, and the summer/fall transition mean pounds and pounds of tiny redwood "duff" -- needles, small branches, squirrel "treated" seed cones (ground up).

    Should I clean all the duff from between the deck boards before applying any cleaner product? (all decks have boards spaced at about 1/4 inches)

    thanks

    steve
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/12/2019
      Mask the surrounding areas as needed and clean between the boards as best as you can to remove the "duff".
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    CJ · 09/11/2019
    My deck is very weathered pine. It’s grey, splintered and cracked. We recently power washed it with water and plan to revive it in the spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    CJ · 09/11/2019
    I think my deck needs sanding in addition to cleaning and brightening. What order should I proceed? I’m thinking...Sand clean brighten stain. Is that correct? If not, what order should I use?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
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      RAD Products · 09/11/2019
      Those will not come out with any of the products we sell as it is deep in the wood. Might need to replace those boards.
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    Rebecca Pendergast · 09/10/2019
    How do I remove these oil stains from the deck before staining?
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    Joe · 09/10/2019
    I have a 25-year old PT deck. A few days ago I used a mix of oxygen bleach and Borax to clean off the mildew and rinsed with a power washer. Is it still necessary to use the RAD Brightener before using RAD solid color stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Shannon · 09/10/2019
    Moved into this house almost exactly a year ago. Deck looked worn but it is only 3 years old, had the deck power washed and stained last fall at this time. It began to wear again pretty quickly. The neighbor says when it was built, they stained it right away which may be part of the problem. What do you suggest based off of these pics? Can I get it looking nice again?
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    Grey Petzinger · 09/10/2019
    Good afternoon. We stained our deck about a week ago. It just rained last night and we are seeing this brown residue streaking all over the deck and will it will not rub off. What can fix this, did we do something wrong? Please advise ... thank you!!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/10/2019
      Looks like something from or in the rain is running down the sides as it dries. It does not have anything to do with the stain as it is on top of the stain. Try cleaning it off with a water-based Goof off.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Gray petzinger · 09/10/2019
        Do you think applying some type of clear sealer over the white stain might help? If so, what kind would you suggest
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/11/2019
          No, it is not possible to add a clear sealer over a stain nor ould it do anything anyhow to prevent the stains from running or dripping on top.
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            Gray Petzinger · 09/11/2019
            Do you have any other suggestions?
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              RAD Products · 09/11/2019
              Since it is coming from above, there is nothing that can stop it. Try touching up the stain and hopefully it does not happen again.
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    eddie · 09/09/2019
    Do you have retailers in the Denver CO area? Thanks!
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    pat · 09/09/2019
    what is the manufacturers warranty