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
    Steven · 05/31/2020
    I am restoring a deck that has previously been stained. The previous homeowner did not leave the stain buckets behind, but it looks like transparent or semi-transparent. The old stain is fairly spotty - some places it has adhered well and other places there is no stain at all. My plan is to put on a darker coat of semi-solid stain. I was planning on using the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner and then staining - skipping the Brightener altogether because I am putting on a semi-solid and darker coat. Is this a good idea? Or should I still use the Brightener product? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      You have to remove the current stain fully first. Post a picture for help with this.
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    Mary Ann · 05/31/2020
    Last year we used the cleaner, Brightener and semi-transparent stain to a 1 year old deck. This year I want to stain again. Do I just use cleaner before I stain or do I need to use Brightener too.
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    al osoba · 05/31/2020
    what is the best clean up method for the restore a deck wood staining brush? there seems to be a lot of dried on stain/sealer.
    Al
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    Gary · 05/31/2020
    I have a worn 1200 sq ft pressure treated deck and a 200 sq ft dock. Thinking of using stripper and brightener first, then cedar stain. How much do you suggest. Was going to do TWP but we are in rainy season.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      2 Stripper/Brightener kits and 12-15 gallons of stain for two coats.
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    BO · 05/31/2020
    We have never stain or seal a deck before so please bear with my questions and reply back asap so we can decide and place order today and start staining next wknd. We recently bought house and dont know history of deck other then house is about 12yrs old. Last wknd we pressure washed whole deck and hand scrub extremely dirty/green algea areas. Yesterday hand sanded whole deck because entire floor was rough and had spots of splinters even before pressure washing. Here are my questions...

    1. Are my pics of deck good enough to go straight to staining or will i still need to do which one: RAD stripper+brightener or RAD cleaner+brightener?

    2. Want to choose something with longest protection yrs and least amount of maintenance work. Does a solid stain provide a longer protection vs semi transparent stain? If so how many more yrs compared to semi transparent?

    3. We like the look of solid stain but is that more work maintenance wise? Would we have to strip off and also sand off entire color before putting on another RAD solid stain (either same color or darker color)? We may opt out of this choice if there's more work involved every time to maintain (vs semi transparent) so plz explain in detail work involved so we fully understand what we're getting ourselves into.

    4. Do all RAD semi transparent stains and solid color stains have a sealer in it already? Or would we have to add a sealer to mix with your stain? Or do a sealer coat as last step on top of any of your stains? What does it mean RAD stain does not repel water but shed water.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      1. No pic.
      2. They last the same.
      3. Just clean and reapply as needed down the road.
      4. Deck stains are sealers as well. You cannot add more sealer into or on top of a deck stain. Sheds water as they are breathable coatings. They do not bead water.
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    Hank · 05/31/2020
    Is there a dealer in Chattanooga, Tn.
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    chris brew · 05/31/2020
    In may 2019 I stripped my old stain, sanded, cleaned, brightened and applied two coats of Restore a deck semi transparent cedar stain. This past winter took its toll and need to apply a coat for maintaince. I have searched the forums on how to do this but have read different opinions on this. The stain is not peeling just looks like I applied to thin of a coat last spring. Can I just clean the wood with your cleaning product and re-stain?
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    Sandy W · 05/31/2020
    How do you clean up the brush after applying the stain? Soap and water or ??
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    Brian · 05/31/2020
    After prepping my fence with RAD cleaner and brightener, rain is expected here and there during this week and next. If it continues like this for next 2 weeks, do I need to re-apply the RAD cleaner and brightener? How long can I delay on applying ArmstrongClark semi transparent stain before I need to re-apply the RAD cleaner and brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      Just lightly clean if longer then two weeks.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Brian · 05/31/2020
        Thanks. What solution do i use to lightly clean? I have a pressure washer that can push out either 800, 1000, 1200, 1500 psi. Which psi should i use for light cleaning? Or do i use some other means?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/31/2020
          Use the RAD Cleaner and lightly pressure wash.
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    Jennifer Miller · 05/31/2020
    I just finished applying the first coat of semi transparent stain on my deck but i dont have enough to apply a second coat. Can i apply a seccond coat once it is delivered?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      No. The second coat needs to be applied wet on wet. It would be better to apply a maintenance coat next Spring.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jennifer S Miller · 05/31/2020
        Would fall be too early to apply the second coat or should i just wait until sprong? And before i apply the second coat should i clean it with your cleaner?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/31/2020
          Clean first and then recoat. Spring would be best.
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    Marcia · 05/31/2020
    Our deck is 16 x20 with an additional 5 x 20 walkway, 30 years old, treated lumber. It has been coated with latex paint annually, most recently using Valspar latex deck paint. The boards are in decent shape, and we've stripped it with a commercial paint stripper, power washed, and sanded. There is still some paint in the grooves that we're attempting to remove, but we may not be able to get it all up. We would like to cover it as thoroughly as possible, but don't mind if some tiny specks of paint are still visible. We would like to use a light gray (cottage gray looks about right).

    The biggest issue with this deck has always been peeling, so that's what we want to avoid at all costs. I know the solid stain will provide better coverage, but I'm concerned it will peel. Does the semi-transparent stain sound like the best way to go with this project?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      You will need to remove all of the paint and you still have a decent amount left before using the semi-transparent. It will not work unless you get it all out of the wood grain.
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    Sandy W · 05/31/2020
    Will the transparent stain stop sap from bleeding through?
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    LindaR · 05/31/2020
    In my previous post, I said I had put on one coat of solid stain last fall and ran out of time for the second coat. We wanted to darken the color this spring and you advised to put on two coats. We decided we like the deck color, and are changing the color of the house instead.

    1) Do I only need one coat on the floor now if I'm staying with the same color?

    2) Do I just use the cleaner on the floor?

    3) Clean and brighten the rails that weren't painted? Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mathew · 05/31/2020
    Hello! I am expecting RAD stripper and brightener along with RAD stain to arrive early next week. Thanks for all your help up to this point. I had to sand the deck to remove previous water based stain (eco wood treatment from Home Depot) that was only applied less than 4 weeks ago along with rough wear patches on some boards. The deck is 6 years old, pressure treated. I used 60 grit sand paper. (Before and after pic attached). Another question: how many coats should I apply of the dark walnut stain? Thank you for your help.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ethan in Atlanta · 05/31/2020
    Thanks for your time to answer my questions. I'm getting started in morning.

    Questions:
    1. What’s best way to strip stain from rafters on the covered porch? Roof is SunTuf polycarbonate.
    2. Will stripper damage Hardie board siding?
    3. Will RAD semi trans stain damage Hardie board?
    4. Should I strip, brighten, stain all the deck or just half of it? It'd look odd to have one half of the deck (the uncovered/weathered portion and the exposed surfaces) be RAD cedar stain and have the other half (covered/unweathered) be the existing stain. And it'd be a pain to try to prevent stripper from getting on to the covered portion of the deck when stripping and rinsing the weathered exterior surfaces. Am I correct?
    5. Can I walk on deck during the 30-45mins it's stripping? For instance, to mist other areas?

    Current plan:RAD stripper with additive gel via pump sprayer then power wash (after an unsuccessful Behr stripper effort).RAD brightener.RAD semi transparent in cedar via pump sprayer + backbrush. 2 coats, wet on wet.

    My Deck:
    Square footage of surface area: 1,281 sq ft including deck, stairs, railings, support posts.
    Type of Wood: PT pine (I think)
    Wood age: 4 or 5 years
    Previous stain: Behr Semi-Transparent in Castle Gray (Does this seem right?)
    Previous stain applied: Not sure. Not in past 3 years.
    Pressure washer access: Yes.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      You will not be able to strip this fully as the Behr on the wood is opaque, like a solid stain. You will have to either sand this off or use a solid stain to cover what you have.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chuck Smoley · 05/30/2020
    I decided to use a solid stain. If I fill some cracks and knot holes with wood filler, will the solid stain cover the filler?
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    Ramcharan Richard · 05/30/2020
    I cleaned my deck today and will brighten tommorow but due to the size of my deck I will not be able to start staining untill next weekend, is it okay to that and if so any additional prep prior to stain?
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    Josh · 05/30/2020
    Silly question-do I shake the stain container and pour in paint tray or pour in bucket and stir first?
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    Costa · 05/30/2020
    I have a covered porch, that is painted grey with an unknown product. I was prepping the service by sanding - but the old paint is stubborn and won't completely come off with 20 grit. I'Ve removed all the loose flake, and am wondering if I can apply the RAD solid stain (coastal grey) overtop of the remaining paint, after RAD application of cleaner and brightener?

    Thanks in advance,
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      Yes.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Costa · 05/31/2020
        Great thanks, last question again in regards to RAD solid stain - should I apply 2 coats, and is it wet on wet or let first coat dry then apply second coat.

        Cheers,
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/31/2020
          Two coats and the second goes on after the first coat fully dries.
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    mark · 05/30/2020
    Will your product remove Olympic Rescue-it wood resurfacer stain?
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    Jan Garvey · 05/30/2020
    I saw a 2 1/2 gallon size of the stain on your website earlier today for around $79.99. Now I can't find it. Do you still sell a 2 1/2 gallon size of the stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      Sorry, but we have never sold the 2.5-gallons on our website.
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    Rog · 05/30/2020
    Is your product recommended for Florida pressure treated wood dock? It is over brackish (mild salt) water. 4 years old and no history of prior finishes or coatings. I have lightly pressured washed the surface going along the grain and it is very clean looking, a bright tan color now. Please advise.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kate · 05/30/2020
    Will be applying solid stain. My deck is in full sun most of the day. Can I apply in full sun if temps are below 80 degrees?
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    Mike bur · 05/30/2020
    Will Restore-a-deck remove layers of old semi-transparent stain ? Any specific directions n what product to use .?
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    Irene Garipoli · 05/30/2020
    Still need clarification: I am using RAD solid stain on railing, how should it be used in full sun? Your tips on application do not specify between different stains being used, so I'm thinking to just follow what is being stated. Dampen the wood and proceed. Wait about an hour and give 2nd coat. Is this correct?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2020
      With the solid stain, wait until first coat is fully dry and then apply the second coat. You can apply the solid stain to damp or dry wood, does not matter.
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    Bryan · 05/30/2020
    Once my deck has dried (24 hours), is it too late to apply second coat? What is shelf life for unopened RAD stain/sealer?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2020
      Shelf life is a few years. Do not let it freeze. As for the second coat, it will not take right now since it has fully cured. You can clean and recoat down the road.
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    James · 05/30/2020
    We are in the process of re-shingling the siding of our house with Western Red Cedar shingles (rebutted and rejointed). We would like to stain them to preserve the color and prevent them from turning grey and then black. Can your product be used for that purpose and when is the right time to apply? I read that new wood needs to age but then I also read that cedar shingles need to be treated within two weeks. Also for this project do we need to pre-treat or not since the wood is new? So how would proper application look?
    Thanks for your help!
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    Melody · 05/29/2020
    Can I use your product on the inside of my vegetable garden boxes? Will there be any harmful chemicals that will leach into the soil?
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    Barry · 05/29/2020
    Shipping issue: I was prepared to buy a complete kit and brush (free shipping on about $250 worth of products) but I also added a pad and groove brush (which cost $19 more) - then I saw, that by adding these two extra items you were going to charge me $20 just to ship the extra pad and groove brush! The shipping of these two extra items cost more than the two extra items themselves! And it would have been part of a larger order which could have all shipped together....so I cancelled everything while I decide what to do. Very frustrated at this bizarre billing practice.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      Hello,

      We just tested this and there are not any shipping charges when you have a combo kit, yellow stain brush, and a crack and groove tool.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Barry · 05/29/2020
        I wish I had a screen shot - it added $20.01 shipping to my order when I added a pad and groove tool....I'll try it again.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/29/2020
          Screenshot it if it happens again.
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            Barry · 05/29/2020
            Here is the best I could get for a screen shot....It tally the total as $258.99...then it add $20.01 for the extra items? Only after I enter the shipping address....is this tax??
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 05/30/2020
              Your issue is the 7" pads. You never mentioned you had those in the cart and since they cannot fit into the same box as the rest, shipping is charged as it has to go into a new box. If you remove those items there would not be any shipping. We cannot give free shipping on items that have to ship separately.
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    Cindy v · 05/29/2020
    I was going to strip the solid stain and re-stain. However I am reading your articles and it says that your stripper will not remove solud is that correct? What are your suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      Yes, no stripper will remove a solid stain. You will have to sand this off it off if you want to fully remove it.