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
    Chris · 01/26/2022
    thank you. I will try your suggestion - but it's been brightened twice now. I'll give it a go with a higher concentration
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chris · 01/26/2022
    I am going to try Dawn and a scrub brush to see if this oily stuff will lift. I didn't want to hand scrub, but I guess I will..oh I wish I were at the awesome RAD staining step!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 01/26/2022
      It does not look like oil is in the wood and if it were oil, it would have shown prior to starting the project. It looks like uneven brightener application.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chris · 01/26/2022
    so, just wanted your professional opinion on what I could safely use to remove, I guess some kind of oil - Please know everything is super with the RAD products! Very easy to use and excellent response. In fact, I can't wait to use my light walnut RAD stain, but this stupid area will hold me up a bit and if I don't do something else, I worry about the new stain penetrating properly. Maybe someone had a bbq pit out there before I got the place? 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chris · 01/26/2022
    Photos from Chris per request - I wetted the deck, stripped, rinsed, brightened, rinse and repeated (all steps) for second time actually on those areas. The other parts of the deck came out wonderful, it's this one oily looking section that I'm not sure what to do with. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 01/26/2022
      It looks like you did not brighten evenly. Mix that stronger at 10 oz per gallon. Apply evenly to all floors and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse well when done.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chris · 01/26/2022
    Hello. Love the RAD products. Q: there is a section in the middle of my deck that I suspect oil based stain had been used. After using the stripper, the prior stain came off, but theone section of deck boards look as if there is oil on them. Is dishwashing soap enough to scrub and try removing? Is it safe to use mineral spirits? I'm at a loss, I didn't expect to see this and I am thinking it could be residue from someone using a prior oil based stain - but I just don't know. Everything else is ready to use the RAD stain, but I need to address this section....thank you for your advice!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 01/26/2022
      Did you brighten when done? Post a picture in the comments.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dave Fuller · 01/22/2022
    Project: New Deck
    PT 5/4 pine- all boards run through a planner to clean and resurface then installed. 
    Using your solid stain. ? Do I need the 6 months weathering cycle before coating. ? Do I need the “brightening” step prior to coating.
    Thanks, Dave Fuller
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    John · 01/20/2022
    Is RAD safe to use on a boat dock?
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    Christian Gorr · 01/18/2022
    I stained my deck with your product. I am very happy with the results. I did get some drips on concrete and flagstone.  Nothing I have tried has helped to remove them. Do you have a recommendation?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 01/18/2022
      Try a graffiti remover cleaner from your local hardware store.
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    Josh · 01/15/2022
    What steps/products do you suggest for my deck project?  I don’t know much in the way of history, I just know it needs some work. About 850 sq ft. Double deck, top deck is exposed to sun most of day. I do have access to a power washer. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 01/16/2022
      Use the RAD Stripper with both additives and pressure washing to remove. RAD Brightener after. Stain with the Restore A Deck Stain in semi-transparent.
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    Marilyn · 12/23/2021
    After weathering new wood vertical beams for 8-9 months, I still have sap oozing.  I am anxious to use the cleaner/whitener/transparent stain.  Can I stain with the sap oozing?  If I can stain now, what should I do to remove the sap that is sitting on the beams (some is hardened; some is soft; some is sticky)?  Thx.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 12/24/2021
      You can stain with sap oozing and honestly there is no way to prevent sap from oozing later on. You will have to sand or scrape off the hardened or sticky sap. 
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    Douglas · 12/22/2021
    I have a new fence that I want to clean and brighten before staining. Before starting, are there any techniques to help prevent drips and uneven results?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 12/23/2021
      Apply evenly and look for any drips while working to brush them out.
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    Wendy · 12/01/2021
    I am wanting to use this on my exterior patio ceiling which is a pine tongue and groove. Is this a good product for that?
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    Ann · 11/29/2021
    I've been looking at a lot of deck posts that have been painted or stained white in my neighborhood. About 10% have rust marks seeping down from the bolts, screws or nails. Before I stain my old deck posts and newly made built-in benches solid white, do I need to treat the nails/bolts/screws? The benches have a lot of flat head galvinized nails. I'm just worried about rust stains ruining the crisp white I'm going for. Any advice appreciated.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/29/2021
      You cannot treat bolts or screws to prevent rust once installed and if they are galvanized or stainless steel, then they should not rust.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Walter Wilson · 11/15/2021
    I built a bar for the deck out decking boards and the top is #2 pine non treated. I used semi transparent dark walnut for the handrails and I would like to use it on the bar as well. My question is can it be used on the top and can a clear coat be put over the stain? And the top is a few weeks old so how long do I wait for kiln dried wood to stain if so. Thank you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Goodran · 11/08/2021
    Can we squeeze in an old-wood deck staining (semi-transparent) if we get a warmer day (low 60s daytime and 50s at night) that falls between the normal days where temps are low 50s during the day and freezing at night?, We got our deck ready to stain about a month ago but weren't able to do it before cold temperatures rolled in (50s days/freezing nights). Also it is supposed to rain the next day, if that makes any difference.  Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Andy&Wendy · 11/07/2021
    Our deck was refinished with Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Waterborne Exterior Stain (Deck & Siding) Semi Solid a few years ago. Most of it is still somewhat protected, while a small area that is more highly trafficked showing more wear. Is it ok to use RAD Solid Stain over both types of areas? We will be cleaning with an Oxiclean based deck cleaner with Borax added in prior to staining. Any other tips?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/07/2021
      You should use the RAD Stripper for prep to remove any peeling stain and then you can cover the rest with the RAD Solid Stain.
      Oxiclean is not an adequate prep product.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark · 11/02/2021
    I applied 2 coats of RAD solid stain to my deck after stripping and brightening. How long before I can put furniture back on the deck and use as normal? Thank you! 
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    Mary · 10/31/2021
    If I first use the RAD natural stain and it's too light, can I go over it with a darker RAD stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/31/2021
      You would have to remove the current coating first.
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    jcb37310 · 10/29/2021
    How do you keep the semi-transparent stain from running when applying to a vertical surface?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/29/2021
      Work your way from top to bottom catching any drips or runs while working. It is easy.
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    Jay · 10/28/2021
    When is the best time to apply a maintenance coat of Semi-Transparent RAD Spring/Fall?Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/28/2021
      Either or as needed. Most do in Spring. 
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    Walter Wilson · 10/24/2021
    I cleaned and brightened the deck and I will be staining next week. I read in another comment that there should be no rain 48 hours after you stain. My question is will the dew or fog hurt after you stain? I live close to the coast here in Texas and the dew and fog has been quite heavy the last few weeks. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/24/2021
      The RAD Stain can take rain/fog 4-8 hours after it is applied. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Julie M. · 10/24/2021
    I plan to strip and brighten my deck tomorrow.  Can I clean the deck with RAD cleaner left over from a project 4 years ago today.  I can power wash off the cleaner, but will not have enough brightener to apply after the cleaner and the stripper.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/24/2021
      Thre is no point in cleaning the deck prior to stripping the deck. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Julie M. · 10/24/2021
    I stripped and brighten my deck.  The railings especially have more old stain left.  It is harmful to apply the the stripper and brighten twice in one week and before staining with semi transparent RAD stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rod · 10/23/2021
    I have a very large deck to strip and brighten.  I was plan to strip in sections.  instructions say to brighten immediately after stripping.    What is the maximium amount of time that I can brighten after I strip?  Is it OK to brighten the next day or few days after stripping?  If so, do I just need to wet it before brightening?   Or must I brighten immediately after stripping?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/23/2021
      For best results, brighten/neutralize as soon as possible or same day. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Walter Wilson · 10/23/2021
    After cleaning and prepping your deck how long can you go before applying the stain.(days) And which method is the best wet or dry application
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/23/2021
      Stain within two weeks of prep. Dry or damp wood application will work.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Terry · 10/22/2021
    I have a redwood deck constructed in 2019. It is 28 X 12 (feet) rantwith a 42 inch railing. Two coats of Behr transparent (clear 500N) sealer were applied two weeks ago. The finish remains tacky and some locations are already pealing. What Restore-A-Deck products and procedures do you recommend to resolve this problem?
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    JAMES BUYSSE · 10/19/2021
    When I put the second coat of stain on the deck in the Spring, what cleaner do I use?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/19/2021
      The RAD Cleaner and then lightly rinse.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    JAMES BUYSSE · 10/19/2021
    I completed my deck job and found I didn't have enough Restore A Deck stain to complete the job. I had used your calculator, and the result was 4 gallons. I will likely need another 2 gallons to put the second coat on the decking. Is it too late to do that after it is dry. Can I wait and do it in the spring.  I live in Troy, Michigan.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/19/2021
      Second coats have to be applied wet on wet. Wait until Spring. Clean lightly for prep and then apply a coat then.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    JT · 10/19/2021
    I cleaned my brushes with water this morning and they are still very damp. Can I use them when still wet to apply the semi-transparent stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/19/2021
      Yes, you should be okay. Shake them out as much as possible first.