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
    Robb Rempel · 09/25/2022
    I ordered the 2.5 gallon stain containers. Can these just be shaken to mix?
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    David · 09/25/2022
    To whom it concern. 
     We spoke on the phone. Some deck board was replaced last summer. Deck over paint was used before and I used diamabrush to get rid off the deck over paint as much as I can. You recommend just used cleaner and brightener.  Then stain (we choose light walmut.) 6 gallons. The old deck wood 2 coat and new deck wood one coat. Enclosed are some photos. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/25/2022
      You have to remove 100% of the old stain first. Once that is done, clean and brighten for prep before using the semi-transparent stain. 
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    Joanne · 09/22/2022
    We’re ready to use the RAD cleaner / brightener kit on our new red cedar deck. Two questions:
    1. Will the chemicals in the cleaner or brightener damage the Ozco black powder-coated deck clips that we used on the railing? We can uninstall them prior to beginning, but would rather not.

    2. Same question regarding the vinyl lattice skirt.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/22/2022
      1. It should not but test first.
      2. Same
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Terri Bousaab · 09/21/2022
    Your products are amazing!  Everything turned out beautiful.  Except we got the dark walnut stain on the white PVC railing. Not sure how to get it off. Tried mineral spirits. Did not work. Looking for advice or magic. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/22/2022
      Try goof off or a similar graffiti remover.
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    jahunts · 09/20/2022
    I thought I read that if I purchase a sample of the solid stain and then later buy the full product that the sample purchase price can be applied to the full purchase.  I can't find it anywhere now, am I making this up or just looking in the wrong place?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/20/2022
      Sorry but no, we do not offer sample credits on this website.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chris · 09/19/2022
    My pressure treated deck is 24 years old and I recently applied RAD and it looks fantastic.  Over the years I've used a clear deck sealer specifically to prevent against water damage. My question is can/should I apply a sealer on the deck after applying RAD?   
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/20/2022
      You cannot apply a clear sealer over a deck stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tara Buhr · 09/17/2022
    I have behr deck over on my deck, which is very worn in place. My plan is to use stripper and brightener. and also sanding as needed. Do I strip, brighten and then sand? or can I strip, let dry, sand and then brighten?  Thank you 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Ter · 09/18/2022
      If you decide to sand your deck , sand the entire deck.  We sanded only spots on our deck where the dogs scratched it.  The finish will not be uniform.  Live and learn.  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/18/2022
      Strip, let dry, sand and then brighten
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    Darrell · 09/17/2022
    I have a 960 square foot deck that is 10+ years old.  I believe the original was non pressure treated pine, but I've replaced around 20 boards with pressure treated pine.  All prior stains appear to be semi transparent but different colors were used.  Should I choose the solid color stain to ensure coverage after prep, or would semi-transparent be okay?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/18/2022
      The solid stain will give the most uniform appearance.
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        Darrell · 09/18/2022
        Perfect, thanks!  Is there a five gallon option for the solid stain, or just the one gallon?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Wyatt · 09/16/2022
    Any guidance on what type of stain is on these decks? Have not been coated for a good while and they need to be restained 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/17/2022
      You will need to remove this semi-transparent stain. Strip and brighten for prep. 
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    Steve · 09/15/2022
    1st coat did seem to cover well. Okay 2 apply 2nd coat?
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    Pat H. · 09/14/2022
    Adding pic for Pat H. Inquiry below. Most of stain stripped, will sand remaining spots to be sure no loose edges.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Pat H. · 09/14/2022
    Living in Syracuse NY, I’ve been stripping 1 coat of older solid stain for a month with hopes I could go back to a semi-transparent. About 75% area is down to raw wood with a few areas in shady corners that can’t be removed. So feel I have no recourse, since running out of time, but to go with a solid stain after following your advice to be sure no peeling, which I will be sure of by sanding those areas. Question is - do I need to apply 2 coats NOW for good coverage & if so what is waiting time between coats?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/15/2022
      Yes, two coats. With the solid stain you apply the second as soon as the first is dry.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    jahunts · 09/12/2022
    I put the 600 package in the cart along with booster and thickener and it still has a $18.40 shipping charge.  Should that be free shipping for those products?
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    Pete · 09/12/2022
    Hi,

    In May of 2020 I stripped, cleaned, and stained 2 coats with RAD (cedar ST). If I go to restain now, would I want to use cleaner only followed by a coat (2?) of stain? Or do I need to strip out and start from scratch? 

    Deck is in overall good shape, just weathered over 2 years. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/12/2022
      Clean and brighten for prep. Typically 2 light coats.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jason Weddington · 09/08/2022
    I have 2 screened porches and 1 covered front porch I want to stain. I have attached photos. What are your recommendations on how to proceed with each. I have pressure washed and sanded Screened Porch 2 and I believe it is ready to stain, but if there are any recommended steps I'd love to hear them. Screened Porch 1 needs some love, needs to be cleaned, stripped, and brightened? And the Front Porch is in even worse condition. Thank you for the advice.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/09/2022
      Strip and use both stripper additives while pressure washing for all stained areas. One area has a much thicker stain so some sanding may be needed if it does not strip all off. Brighten all after including Porch two when done.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jason Weddington · 09/12/2022
        Thank you! Just to confirm... strip with both additives for the Front Porch and the Screen Porch 1 then sand these two porches as needed. And then only brighten Screen Porch 2 before staining.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim · 09/07/2022
    Does the Cleaner or Brightener have any negative impact on powder coated aluminum ballusters? Is there a need to protect the ballusters during the cleaning process?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/09/2022
      They should not but always test spot first.
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    Laurie · 09/07/2022
    Can the solid and semi transparent be mixed together?  If so, what would result look like?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Clay Hall · 09/05/2022
    I would like to get a project recommendation for a house deck staining project I plan to do.

    Square Footage of Area to be stained:  840 square feet
    Type of wood:  Redwood with 6 rail posts made of Fir
    Age of Wood:  212 square feet of "porch" deck is 5 years old and the remaining 628 square feet of deck and railing are 2 years old. 
    The deck has never been stained.
    I have access to a pressure washer.
    The deck is on my house in Colorado and is exposed to quite a bit of sun and snow.
    As you can see in the pictures, the porch support posts were stained when the house was built.  I do not plan to stain the porch posts.
    The house has stucco and simulated rock skirting.  Will the cleaner/brightener harm the stucco or finish on the simulated rock?
    Photos are attached.


    Thanks,
    Clay
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alden · 09/05/2022
    I want to redo my deck with a RAD solid stain. Here is a current photo of it. Two years ago, I applied a RAD semi-transparent stain and the deck was rained on during the staining process. Do I need to strip the semi-transparent stain or can a solid stain go over it?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/06/2022
      You can apply over it but you still need to prep. If you have any peeling stain then strip and brighten for prep to remove the loose stain. If no peeling stain then cleaner and brighten for prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lisa · 09/04/2022
    Hi, I have some red cedar Adirondack furniture (2 chairs, 2 footrests, and a rocker bench) I would like to stain.  Your product was recommended to me, but I wanted to check whether it is safe for furniture use.  (I have read that some deck stains are not meant to be used on surfaces that have the level of direct-to-person contact that chairs and tables have.) Just FYI, our furniture was originally coated in Ready Seal by the woodworker who made it, then allowed to weather naturally on our patio for about 8 years. I recently decided I wanted to freshen things up and try to maintain a newer/non-grayed look. Here's a photo of the rocker bench after my initial cleaning efforts.  There's a bit of stain left where the pillows protected the wood from the sun and elements, but the gray came off pretty well.  At this point, I'm trying to pick the best chair-friendly stain to give a nice finish and great UV protection.  Thanks for your feedback!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/05/2022
      You are okay to stain now using the RAD stains. Use the semi transparent colors. 
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Lisa · 09/20/2022
        Is this a one coat or two coat job?  Are there any downsides to doing two coats?  Thanks.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/20/2022
          One coat for this should work on your furniture. More is not always better.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    homeworker · 09/04/2022
    can the semi transparent stain be applied with a pump garden sprayer and back brush?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Al Smith · 09/04/2022
    Hi, where can I find SDS for your products? Your website search engine does not return any results.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/05/2022
      A google search will show the pdf files. 
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    homeworker · 09/03/2022
    Can RAD stain be used on cedar shake siding?
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    David · 09/02/2022
    I used your product last time I stained about three years ago, and am ready to stain again. (Product worked well).  However, I overestimated how much I needed last time, and thus have a full two-and-a-half gallon container never opened.  Will this still be usable three years later?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/02/2022
      Shelf life is 3 years if unopened. It cannot freeze.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John · 09/01/2022
    Can I use your products to strip this opaque acrylic Behr stain off the deck, or will it have to be sanded off?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      John · 09/01/2022
      Should I sand before or after I use the stripper?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 09/02/2022
        If you want to try and strip some of this off, do it first and then sand the rest off. Use both additives while stripping. Brightener would be after the sanding.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/01/2022
      You cannot strip a solid stain fully. You would have to sand this.
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    Michael · 08/31/2022
    Hello,
    I do plan on using your Restore solid stain (brown oak) on a deck that has worn bare on the flooring but shows some old stain on the railings (dark red). In that I plan on using a dark solid color stain thus not showing the grain, would it work to use only the Restore cleaner (also using a power washer) before applying the solid stain.
    Thank you,
    Michael
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/01/2022
      Strip and brighten to remove as much of the old stain as possible and then use the solid stain. 

      It does not have to come all off if using the solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bee Gill · 08/31/2022
    In May I prepared my eight month old 350 sq. ft. pressure treatred pine deck with Restore A Deck stripper, cleaner, brightener, booster additive, and finished it with semi-transparent stain in Dark Walnut.
    Since the deck was less than a year old, I did one coat, using a hand brush and your handle brush.
    Now there are areas where the finish is coming off, as the attached picture shows.  Would you please let me know what I need to do to remedy it. Thank you.