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
    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. 
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    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. 
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    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?
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    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. 
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    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.
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    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?
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    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.
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    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.
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    Tim T · 10/18/2021
    I am planning on staining my new, cedar, deck and railing for the first time.  Can I clean/brighten one day and then stain within the next 3 days?  Or does it all need to be done in one day?  Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/18/2021
      Dry or damp wood is fine. It does not have to be done on the same day.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Tim T · 10/20/2021
        Thank you.  If I apply the stain in the morning and there is a chance of rain in the afternoon/evening, will that affect it?  Should I wait to apply if there is rain in the forecast?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/20/2021
          It cannot rain on newly applied stain for about 6-12 hours.
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    Dean Yuba · 10/17/2021
    Can this product be used on a old redwood deck? Sorry if this is a dumb question but I have never done this before.
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    Mary Braley · 10/17/2021
    Hi, we recently had our Douglas fir front porch sanded down to the original wood. It is about 25 years old and has only been sealed once, when it was built. It was not stained and I dont know what it was sealed with. The total square footage is 300, including the steps. We may be able to borrow a power washer. We want to keep it as natural looking as possible. Since it was just sanded do we have to wait to stain it? What products do you reccomend we use on it? I really want to protect it correctly. Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Danny Cheng · 10/17/2021
    Hello, I applied Ready Seal natural Cedar stain to my cedar fence 1 week ago, now the wife doesn't like the "orange" tint. Do I need the additives with the RAD stripper to remove this, and then the brightener?
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    Carissa Johnson · 10/17/2021
    Work!! But worth it!Before/after of cedar posts. Stained with light walnut. 
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    Carissa Johnson · 10/17/2021
    Finally got finished with our cedar posts!  It was work, but it worked, and it was worth it!!!
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    Frank · 10/16/2021
    I have a tree hanging over a play set I am planning to restrain. Would that be an issue with some leaves/acorns falling? Can I still get it done or do you recommend waiting? 
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    Eileen Filler · 10/16/2021
    can I stain today if it gets into the 40s tonight
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    Lora Weckenbrock Saylor · 10/16/2021
    We stained our new deck (wood was approximately 1yr old). Followed the recommended 3 step process; cleaner, brightener, semi-transparent stain. We had our first rain and I noticed the boards aren't beading. Is this normal? We were going to wait 6 months before putting the second application on. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/16/2021
      It is not supposed to bead water. RAD stains are breathable and shed water, not bead water. 100% sealing your wood can create rot issues.
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    Walter Wilson · 10/15/2021
    I`m going to stain the handrails with dark walnut and the deck with light walnut Transparent stain. What would you recommend to apply the stain with? I was going to use a pump sprayer but I want to know what way would be best using for the first time. My deck is approx. 600sqft and new would 6 or 7 months old.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    phil · 10/14/2021
    Want to lightly clean my deck before winter.  It was stripped [of TWP redwood oil based]/sanded/cleaned/brightened and stained with Defy water based light walnut this past summer......and looks great......It just needs a little TLC for pollen/dust/traffic, etc.Would a simple light pressure wash with diluted clorox do the job without having to go thru the entire normal process of RAD cleaner/brightener since I plan to do the whole process next Spring due to this year's conversion from oil to water base. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/14/2021
      Just clean with water if trying to remove dirt, etc. Out prep products are only to be used when reapplying. Never use bleach.
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    Cicc · 10/14/2021
    Hi RAD - planning to restore my cedar swingset within the next 2 weeks and really need some guidance before I place an order (pictures attached). I am planning to use the stripper/brightener kit, spot sand extremely rough/splintered areas with 80 grit, and then follow up with 2 coats of your RAD or TWP semi-transparent stain using a FinishMax sprayer + back brush given so many vertical surfaces. Can you please confirm this is the right process and application approach for my needs based on the pictures? Any idea whether I would need 1 gallon or 5 gallons of stain? Would you recommend the RAD vs. TWP stain? I also have some damage from a woodpecker and would like any recommendation on how to fill these holes. This project seems quite overwhelming so really appreciate your input. Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/14/2021
      Wood filler will not work and will "stain" to blend. Leave as is or sand too smooth. Strip and brighten for prep. 2 coats of RAD stain applied wet on wet. 3-4 gallons should be more than enough.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Cicc · 10/14/2021
        Ok, great. Are the booster and gel additives also required for my application? I'm attaching 2 more pictures of the woodpecker holes and stain for reference. I can't tell if the existing stain is semitransparent or solid, but hoping it comes off! 
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/14/2021
          Use a tinted caulk after staining that is close to the stain color so it blends to fill the holes. The booster and gell will aid in the stripping.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Cicc · 10/14/2021
            Thanks RAD! One more question - will the stripper and brightened impact any of the plastic and metal parts on my playset? 
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    Greg · 10/14/2021
    Please tell me process for second coat semi stain. Did first coat on sanded wood treating like new wood. How long to wait? Cleaner? Brightner? Or just apply. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/14/2021
      Wait 6+ months after the first coat and lightly prep with the RAD Cleaner and Brightener.
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    Theresa Osborne · 10/11/2021
    i have read on various sites that newly installed cedar should be stained and sealed right away as it begins to weather more quickly than other woods. If I want it to retain its new look, should I follow that advice, or wait months as you indicate on your site? I do not want it to grey, and I live in a fairly wet Mid Atlantic area. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/11/2021
      You cannot stain new cedar right away. It has to weather and be prepped so the stain can properly penetrate into the wood. 
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    Yvette · 10/11/2021
    Which oil stain (3rd step product name and color) should I use to bring out all the natural red and brown colors of my Tigerwood hardwood deck? Hoping to restore the vibrancy after cleaning and brightening old stain. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/11/2021
      Look at the Restore A Deck stain in Light Walnut color.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sue · 10/10/2021
    I stained my steps and we had a hard rain. Is there anything I can do for the horizontal surfaces or do I need to wait til the spring?
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    John · 10/10/2021
    Will be using stripper product and then cleaner. Do I need to cover vinyl siding, composite decking, or windows?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/11/2021
      Typically no. Make sure to pre-wet and rinse any overspray as soon as you can.
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    Susan · 10/10/2021
    What is the shelf life of the gallons of solid stain as I have 2 leftover after my deck project.
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    Ray · 10/10/2021
    Can the product be used in a sprayer?
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    Michael R Carter · 10/08/2021
    I am use RAD stripper and then RAD Cleaner/Neutralize on my screened in deck. Will either of these products damage the new Super Screen I just had re-done? Thanks