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
    Teresa · 05/20/2019
    Our western cedar new deck floor is 13' x 13'..we will clean and brighten. The deck has aged for 9 months..1 coat or 2 coats....with 2 gallons?
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    Vicki LaPinta · 05/20/2019
    I am looking for solid stain, not semi transparent. Do you have samples of the solid?
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    Vicki · 05/20/2019
    4 years ago I applied Flood water based solid stain. Now it is time to stain the deck again. I cleaned and power washed the deck. I did not strip the deck so there is still solid stain on the deck. Can I use your solid stain on my deck or do I need to do anything else before applying your solid stain?
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    Douglas · 05/20/2019
    I have a 4 year old cedar deck, approx. 800 sq feet. After the first year I applied Flood semi trans stain. I prepped the deck by the book using cleaner, brightener then applied 1 coat. Summer after the stain peeled again. I sanded sections that peeled and reapplied Flood stain again. Same problem but worse summer after that stain peeled in many sections. I plan to sand all the flood stain off this summer and apply a stain. In reviewing restore a deck website looks like I should first apply your cleaner, then brightener then stain. Is it important to let brightener dry before applying stain? The wet and wet application, does that mean even if rains after applying brightener can stain be applied? What is the best way to apply stain, roller, brush? Any other suggestions or advise?
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    Liz · 05/20/2019
    We have a large deck that gets full sun during the day. The deck is 3 years old. The boards are starting to split. We got a deck quote to strip, clean and stain but they recommended an oil based stain due to the full sun component. We used a water based before. Thoughts?
    How do I know how many coats I am supposed to do?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2019
      We would suggest our RAD Semi-Transparent Stain which is a water-based stain. After stripping and prep, you will need tow coats applied wet on wet.
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    Chris · 05/19/2019
    I have a painted deck that is not chipping, just old and faded. Can I use the solid stain over it? If so, other than cleaning is any other prep needed? If not, should I use deck paint?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2019
      The RAD Solid Stain can be applied over another solid stain but not a paint.
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    John Woodard · 05/19/2019
    I have a pressure treated pine deck and steps 2 1/2 years old, never stained or painted, with 178 square feet of wood to cover. Railings, posts and slats are vinyl covered. There are no large cracks or rotten areas in the wood. There is one area about one square foot in area which has staining caused by grease dripping from a gas cooker. This wood was recently cleaned using Behr All-In-One Wood Cleaner. Please advise what I would need to clean, brighten (neutralize) and apply a semi transparent water based stain using your products. I am unable to post a picture. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/19/2019
      Use the Restore A Deck Cleaner/Brightener Kit for prep. Just one kit is needed. 2 gallons of the semi-transparent stain for the two coats.
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    Cathy · 05/19/2019
    I have used the product on my aged deck The results were amazing it looks brand new. Several years later I have pollen that has deposited all over leaving a yellowish stain. It does powerwash off. What is the best way to clean and have the deck looking like new again? Does it need to be followed up with the brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/19/2019
      Use the Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener kits for prep and then restain with the same stain and color.
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    cat · 05/18/2019
    I have a large mahogany deck. Would like to get a long lasting semi transparent finish. (I don't ever want to have to scrape peeling stain off of it). Is an oil a better option than a water based stain?
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    Larry Light · 05/17/2019
    I have a 20+ year old deck that I have used a solid color stain on for multiple years. I'm having some peeling that I plan to pressure wash to try to remove and then plan to restain. I will also have some new decking installed to also replace some rotted deck boards. My contractor was telling me the rot was due to the stain sealing in the moisture. I've been reading a lot of good things about your products, and want to take the best course of action to get the deck looking it's best. Seeking your recommendations for cleaning product and process and painting to avoid any more peeling if possible.
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    Laif · 05/17/2019
    I’m working on a shadow box fence right now and I’m wondering if I should wait till both sides are stripped before applying brightener? It’s a big fence so I can only do so much at a time.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/17/2019
      Brighten all when done stripping is fine for this large fence.
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    Thomas · 05/16/2019
    I have a deck measuring 14'X26' with a full set of steps. It was installed new about 12 months ago. I plan on a transparent stain. What would be recommended to use to prep the deck in this scenario? Should I power wash before using the prep? Should I use a water or oil base stain? Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    peteco · 05/16/2019
    I have a two-tone deck. The verticals and handrails presently have Cabot Solid Color Oil Decking Stain that was done about 3-4 years ago. I have cleaned and pressure washed and plan to scrape and sand all loose stain. I would like to use your Restore-A-Deck Solid Color Wood and Deck Stain. Can I use your stain aver the remaining existing stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/16/2019
      Yes, for the solid stain, you can apply the RAD Solid Stain over the intact (not peeling) Cabot Solid Stain. Will you be using the RAD Semi-Transparent for the floors?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        peteco · 05/16/2019
        Thanks for the quick reply. The floors were done in TWP 1503 almost 4 years ago. They need to be cleaned and restained. The deck is 1060 sf. How much do I need for a restain? Also, I have a couple gallons leftover from the job 4 years ago. Is this OK to use?

        Another question: my wife suggested we just use regular exterior house paint on the verticals & handrails as it is cheaper and readily available at the local store and we seem to have to repaint every few years anyway. I told her that sounded reasonable, but that we should check to see if we are asking for big problems. What are your thoughts on this?
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          RAD Products · 05/16/2019
          Hard to say if the older TWP is still good. Best to open up and make sure it mixes evenly without any clumping or skinning of the stain. You will need roughly 7 gallons for 1 coat of the TWP.

          House paint is not designed for decking or deck railings and will peel on a deck. Too thick.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jake · 05/15/2019
    Just want to be 100% clear that if I have cleaned my deck a week ago I can apply RAD stain to dry clean wood. Do I need to mist it slightly to dampen the wood first or not necessary. Thank you
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    Chuck · 05/15/2019
    How will the cleaner or brightener affect brick patios?
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    Drew · 05/15/2019
    I restored my deck last summer using the full set of RAD products. We had a very hard winter with a lot of snow and the deck is showing some bare spots through the stain this spring. Do I have to go through the entire clean, brighten, stain process or can I just re-apply the stain after power washing the deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/15/2019
      Use the cleaner and pressure wash. Apply one coat of the stain. No need to brighten.
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    Peter · 05/15/2019
    I have a 400 sq ft untreated/unfinished cedar deck 13 years old. It has mildew and algae, and even a little lichen in places. I saw in another reply you said this was really to prep prior to staining, but I plan to leave the wood untreated. Is there a different product you have, or is it ok to use just for cleaning?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/15/2019
      You can use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener kits for cleaning your deck and leave unstained if desired.
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    Wendy · 05/14/2019
    We just used your deck cleaner and brightner, was going to stain deck tommorow, but now rain is in the forecast everyday for 2 weeks out. How do we reprep? Do we need to reclean and rebrighten the entire deck or just rebrighten? Praying for no rain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/15/2019
      If you cannot stain within 2 weeks of the prep. Do a light pressure wash rinse and use the wood brightener.
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    John · 05/14/2019
    Hello! Used your product the first stop time with beautiful results, thank you! Unfortunately I spilled RAD semi transparent wood stain on a a pebble concrete surface and the stain dried. Just wondering if there’s a recommended way to remove the stain off concrete? Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/14/2019
      Try a graffiti remover cleaner from your local paint store and pressure washing.
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        John · 05/14/2019
        Thank your so much for the quick reply, very much appreciated!
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    Allen · 05/13/2019
    Never mind I found the scrub brush. One more question however. To apply the stain on verticle cedar board and batten siding can you spray it on with a pump up sprayer or power sprayer or does it have to go on with a brush?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/14/2019
      You can spray it but you will need to back brush to ensure an even application.
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    steve · 05/12/2019
    Would you compare solid vs semi-transparent RAD on new wood deck 1yr old.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/13/2019
      Compare? Solid stains are opaque while semi-transparent colors show the wood grain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        steve · 05/13/2019
        I meant UV protection, durability, wear and tear, etc.
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          RAD Products · 05/13/2019
          About the same between the two. Every two to 3 years for reapplication on a horizontal surface and twice as long on vertical wood.
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    Tom · 05/12/2019
    I have Olympic Maximum Solid stain on my deck. Every year I clean with Olympic Deck cleaner and re-stain a few sections of the total deck. If I use your deck cleaner is it necessary to also use the deck brightener as well? Parts of the deck are dirty with mold but is in good shape with no peeling or fading. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/12/2019
      No need to use the brightener if you are using a solid stain.
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    Jim Taylor · 05/12/2019
    My apologies...I forgot to mention that I will be using the Woodrich Timber Oil, same color/blend again on the deck.
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    Jim Taylor · 05/12/2019
    I used the Woodrich Timber Oil on my deck 3 years ago. Should I start out with the Cleaner or Stripper first? There is some mold but not much.
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    Karen · 05/11/2019
    I have approximately 800 square feet of deck and rails to stain. Decks were built last year and this is my first time prepping and staining myself. Could you tell me if the package of cleaner, brightener, and 2 containers of stain will be enough? Or if not, how much of what do I need? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Karen · 05/17/2019
      Thanks. I received my order and have read the instructions. What I'm not clear on is the stain comes in a jug. If I apply it with a brush, should I pour some in a paint tray?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/11/2019
      You will need about 6-8 gallons of stain for the one coat for newer wood. One cleaner/brightener kit should work for prep.
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    Allen · 05/11/2019
    I am about to purchase and install new 1 x 12 cedar boards and strips from Lowes and do board and batten siding (apx. 8'x30' for now, then do that again in couple months on another wall). It states the wood is cedar wood, am not sure if it is “technically” western cedar or? Anyhow, the boards appear to have a slightly rough texture to them, not rough sawn perhaps, but not smooth either. Anyhow, I would like to have a nearly clear finish with a little darkening color to it however. A few questions. What product(s) do you recommend? And when can I apply it? I’m thinking it would be easier to apply before installing OR should I install and let it set for a period of time??? Would it need a cleaner – brightener? Logically I'm "thinking" since they are new boards I shouldn't I would think? Seems like I "should" be able to apply the sealer to the wood directly ASAP, before installing, BUT maybe I'm wrong. I guess, long story short I need full directions for this scenario, lol… Located in Southern Tennessee

    ALSO, there is a section of old board and batten siding that needs cleaned and sealed and would like for it to look as similar to the new as I can. It is about half that size, what do I do-use there. I know, a lot of questions, sorry...
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/11/2019
      Install, wait a few months, prep with cleaner and wood brightener, stain with 1 coat of the RAD in Natural Color.

      Clean, brighten, stain for the older wood.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Allen · 05/11/2019
        So I can't (or don't need to) apply the Natural color now on the new semi-rough wood?
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          RAD Products · 05/11/2019
          Not now. Let it weather.
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            Allen · 05/11/2019
            OK, how much product should I get for old and new wood combined? Old wood will be about 120 sq. ft., new wood will be about 240 sq. ft. Should old wood have 1 or 2 coats? Is there an instructional application video(s) somewhere perhaps as well?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 05/12/2019
              3-4 gallons. 2 coats for the older wood. We do not have videos.
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                Allen · 05/12/2019
                Do you think RAD or TWP sealer is best for this scenario?
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                  RAD Products · 05/12/2019
                  Use the RAD.
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                    Allen · 05/13/2019
                    I notice in your directions online: 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 My question is, do you sell such a brush? I assume you don't need to use your "Restore A Deck Wood Staining Brush" OR can you?
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                      RAD Products · 05/13/2019
                      Potentially a scrub brush if heavily grayed. Most pressure wash off after applying the cleaner.
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                        Allen · 05/13/2019
                        OK, but you don't sell a scrub brush?
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    Billy · 05/11/2019
    I am working on restoring my deck and I am seeking advice on which products I need to use.
    My deck is 438 sq ft. Pressure treated pine wood. most of the wood is 35 years old. Boards have been replaced as needed. For the last application, I used Cabot Tintable Neutral Base Solid Exterior Stain and Sealer, tinted light gray. The wood was stained at least five years ago. I do have a pressure washer.
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    Bea · 05/10/2019
    I just had the full top of my 16x20 PTW deck replaced last month. The contractor sprayed it with a clear sealant and said to stain next year. However, my deck is in full sun all day and the boards developing running cracks which greatly concerns me for water penetration. In this case, would it be better to stain sooner? If so, would I also need to clean and brighten before using your product or would cleaning alone be sufficient since there is no graying yet of the wood?
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    Rick · 05/10/2019
    Hi there is there a way to add an additional product to my order. I am shipping to Canada and wanted to add one more product before the items are shipped.
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      RAD Products · 05/10/2019
      You would have to call us ASAP to do that as we would not be able to this comment system.
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    nancy · 05/09/2019
    I used your cleaner, brightener, and some stain last summer....Overall the deck looks good. I noticed some mold mostly on the edges of the steps. How should I address this? thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/10/2019
      If it is just a small amount, try some bathroom cleaner that contains a little bit of bleach. Spray on and rinse after a few minutes. Do a test spot first.