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

 

 

Ask a Question or Post a Picture...
You are guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ginny S · 07/14/2020
    I miscalculated our amounts for needed stain. Do you have an office in Michigan where I can just go grab another gallon? I'd like to get the project done this week if possible
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/14/2020
      We are located at

      2388 Franklin Rd
      Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

      Open 8am to 5pm M-F for pickup.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    James Chupurdia · 07/13/2020
    For application of a solid stain which is more effective a pad or roller?

    Relative to dry time prior to applying second coat, is dry enough to touch sufficient or is 24 to 48 hours preferred?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/14/2020
      You need a roller and brush for the solid stain, not the pads. The second coat goes in 1-2 hours after the first coat or as soon as the first is dry.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Brenda Logan · 07/13/2020
    Does it hurt rad stain to be stored in hot temperatures.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/14/2020
      It is suggested that the RAD stain is stored in temperate controlled rooms of 60-85 degrees.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John · 07/13/2020
    Did deck last year but only one coat of semi-transparent.

    Can I do a brightener and then do another coat?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steven Shelton · 07/13/2020
    Can the solid stain be used over an existing semi-transparent stain ? What prep work should be done and how long is it expected to last from peeling ? Thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/13/2020
      Yes but make sure to prep by stripping as much as you can and then brightening the wood. You can cover any stain that is not peeling with the new solid stain. Redo every 2-3 years or as needed.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim · 07/12/2020
    I plan to stain my 8 year old deck with Restore A Deck semi-transparent cedar. I will also need to remove the old Behr stain and apply whitener. How can I order it through you or from another party that will send it to my home in Katonah, NY 10536? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/12/2020
      All products can easily be purchased directly from this website.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sarah · 07/12/2020
    We live in Chicago and installed a new 3-story porch (pressure treated #1 pine) About a year later (late Sept 2019) we applied the RAD Semi-Transparent Stain (dark walnut)
    We bought the RAD combo kit & followed the instructions for staining new wood: cleaning, brightening, staining. Unfortunately, after one typical cold Chicago winter, we are already seeing the stain peeling (see photos). We have one more floor to finish this summer (the weather turned too cold to finish last year) we want to make sure we can correct what ever we might be doing in our application method before tackling the remainder of the porch.

    Please can you let me know any ideas about what might have caused this peeling to happen? I am wondering if this is due to over-application of the stain (causing a film to occur on the surface and there stopping the full cure?) though I did pay attention to wiping off any excess so there was no pooling. Also, what do you recommend we do with the areas that are peeling, if anything? The rest of the stained porch, about 85% of it, looks great!

    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Richard · 07/12/2020
    I am cleaning a 10 year old IPE deck and plan to let it go gray again after so not applying any oil or stain. Is it okay to just use the cleaner and skip the brightener?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Michael · 07/12/2020
    My deck is pt lumber that has been stained. It needs to be cleaned of stains, mildew etc. and then restrained. What products do I need?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    ffastje · 07/11/2020
    Will I be able to paint over the semi transparent stain if it gets on the painted surface?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Russ · 07/11/2020
    What should be done with cracked wood? This is pretty much the worst part of the deck, and not sure if there is anything in particular I should do, or if semi vs solid makes any difference. Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/12/2020
      Cracks are normal on decks and are not an issue. Just leave as is.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    SunnyinLansing · 07/11/2020
    I want to add that it's been "stained" with a solid redwood color paint, or opaque stain, that has peeled and blistered.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    SunnyinLansing · 07/11/2020
    Can I use your products to restore a vintage redwood picnic table?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Frank · 07/11/2020
    I am staining just the floor of my porch. The rim joists are painted. If the stain gets on it can it be painted over?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John M · 07/10/2020
    can I apply the brightener in full sun?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Robert · 07/09/2020
    Does restore-a-deck strip paint from decks? If so what is necessary to follow deck strip prior to painting?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/10/2020
      No, you would have to sand off a paint to remove.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    sandra Baugh · 07/09/2020
    One thing I have been thinking about but forgot to ask? Do you ever recommend a pre-stain wood conditioner be used on a deck? Ive used it on some outdoor wood furniture before and I think it helped to make it stain very evenly. Is this ever used on a deck or does the brightener kind of take care of that process? Thank you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    sandra Baugh · 07/09/2020
    I need some help. About a year 1/2 ago my husband and I bought some western red cedar at an auction. We were going to use it for a project at our house. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after our purchase. The wood sat in our backyard on pallets for about a year. Then my son and I used the wood to have a deck built on the back of our house. The wood was somewhat damaged for being out in the elements for so long, but still useable. By the time the deck was built, it was the blazing part of summer here and too hot. So we waited to do the staining and have almost waited too long again. We cleaned the deck with Behr deck cleaner. We used a power washer. When it dried there was still some gray oxidation in places. We rent a sander, the kind you push around, and lightly sanded. Returned sander. Evaluated deck. Still some gray oxidation in places. So I got out my Dewalt hand sander and sanded the entire deck with 60 and 80 grit sandpaper. Mostly 60 grit. This all took me about 1 1/2 months to do because the direct sun is on the deck most of the day. Now the deck is looking a lot better, but it has taken me so long to do it the gray oxidation has come back on some of the boards. What should I do Now? Should I clean again with your cleaner this time and then brighten and stain (no more sanding). or should I sand it all over again on top real quick then brighten and stain with your products? (no cleaner) , Or? Hope you can guide me in the right direction. Attaching some photos. No rails. Deck has never been stained before. I ordered the samples of your semi-transparent stain. I am considering a light walnut. I know you are very busy right now, but do you have any kind of overnight delivery or 2-day delivery or anywhere I can purchase locally? I am worn out with this project and really need to get finished before it rains again and the wood needs the stain.


    Thank you so much for your help.

    Sandra Baugh
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/10/2020
      Clean and brighten for final prep. A little bit of gray is okay after as the stain will hide this. Just one coat of the stain after the prep. No overnight delivery and we sell online only. It will be fine until you prep and stain. Rain or another week to two will not harm anything.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Whitney · 07/09/2020
    New homeowner and would like to stain our deck to a two tone look. Deck is 427 sq ft and appears to have a solid stain similar to your Cypress color all over (though somewhat hard to tell and we don't know what was used last). We'd like to switch the railings to your Classic White Solid Stain and horizontal area to the Cedar semi-transparent color. From the articles, it looks like we'll need to strip (with additives? one or both?), power wash, brighten, and then stain. Will the stripper with the additives be enough to remove the existing stain and allow us to use the semi-transparent? Or, does it look like we'll need to sand as well? The wood is in good condition but we're unsure how old the deck is. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/10/2020
      You cannot fully strip a solid stain. Strip off when you can from the floors with both additives. Let dry and sand the rest off. Brightener last. You can use the same prep for the rails as well but you do not need to sand it all off if you are going to cover with a solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    ray riggi · 07/09/2020
    can rad be used on a solid stain
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bob em · 07/06/2020
    Is Restore a Deck a sealer as well as a stain> If not, is there a sealer that can be used over it? I plan ono using it on a pressured treat retaining wall and some steps made of 4 x 4s filled with pea gravel.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/06/2020
      The RAD is a stain and seals the wood. You cannot apply a sealer over a deck stain. Will not work.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    jf · 07/06/2020
    I received my order recently (CRY030305). Tracking number 1ZE38 055 03 9678 5902. When I opened the package today, I found the stripper and brightener packs in an additional bag which was tie-strapped. The brightener was ok, but the stripper had a hole in the bottom. Very little had escaped into the secondary package. There was some evidence of moisture accumulation around both packages. Given these conditions, will the stripper be ok to use? I noticed the product attracts moisture.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/06/2020
      Yes, it will be fine but make sure to wear some gloves when you are opening and mixing. It will not have any issues with effectiveness. Sorry about this.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    David Kranz · 07/06/2020
    Finished up my deck this past weekend using your products. Used stripper (on previous oil based semi-transparent stain), power washed, used brightener. I stained two days later—it rained the day in between—and did two coats of natural semi-transparent, wet on wet. It all seemed to go well and looks fine. However, I used much less of the product than was indicated I should use: I used 1 1/4 gallons for 270 sq ft. Just hoping it will hold up. I used a deck brush to apply. It seemed to absorb correctly, but I’m just a bit disconcerted the amount was low. Interested in your opinion. Thx.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/06/2020
      It looks good so do not add anymore. Porosity varies deck to deck. Store the remainder in a temperature-controlled room and you can always add a light maintenance coat to the floors or as needed.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    vince · 07/06/2020
    how long do you have to stain after cleaning and brighting ?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark Knopf · 07/05/2020
    I sanded down my deck. Applied the cleaner and brightener then applied your dark walnut stain, using a pad on a stick to apply all three. Steps one and two went great, but after applying two coats of the stain, it did not cover the slots between the boards, I'm wondering how best to get the slots stained without messing up the really nice stained finish on the boards themselves. Is there a staining tool made for the gaps between the boards? We have plenty of stain left to apply a 3rd coat over the entire deck, but are wondering if there is a better way to get the gaps stained in the process. Any suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      John Bryant · 07/06/2020
      We bought the crevice tool but did not find that it worked all that well. We had problems with our first attempt and are re-stripping and sanding (for the bits that don't quite come up with power washing) WE have opted to lift the boards and stain. We catch the edges then. Pad application worked well for us. The brush seemed to puddle more. Pad made it easier to brush out and avoid uneven application.
      Considering you have two coats, you could lift the boards and run the edge easily enough. The sides won't be that visible. Try a board and determine if you can stand the bit of a line and how visible it is. Or a RAD suggests, leave it and when you need to recoat in a few years do it then.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/06/2020
      Do not apply a third coat. More is not better. As for between the boards. you cannot apply just there and not have some stain get on the top of the boards and creating a mess. Best to just leave it as is at this point.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 07/05/2020
    Will the stripper product work on this semi-solid deck stain? (photo attached)
    Square Footage of Area to be Restored: 500
    Type of wood if known:pine, pressure treated
    Approximate Age of Wood: 3 yrs
    If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type (Examples of Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Solid Stain:Water-Based, Sherwin Williams
    If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained: 3 yrs
    Wood Type to be Stained: Deck
    Do you have access to a pressure washer: Yes
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/06/2020
      Probably not as it looks like a solid stain on the wood. It would remove some or most but you will have to sand after to get it fully off.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike · 07/05/2020
    I've worked very hard preparing my deck with your products. Love them. I am a little worried however. After stripping with the RAD I have used an un-opened package of the Neutralizer/Brightener that I purchased last year but was unable to get started on my deck last spring as intended. The instructions indicate soap-like suds must be rinsed. I really didn't notice and suds or smell etc when I used it. Am I ok? I am ready for the RAD semi-transparent. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/05/2020
      Yes, you will be fine. Make sure to rinse the brightener well when done.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Biba · 07/04/2020
    The stairs look great with semi-transparent Dark Walnut, but there are some drips on the patio flagstone. Tried to wipe then clean immediately, but the drips are still there. What is the best way to remove the stain from the flagstone?

    Here are some before and after photos. After using the cleaner to be sure all the pollen and other dirt was off, the stain went on easily using your brush. Now if I can just get the drips off the flagstone. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/05/2020
      Use a graffiti remover cleaner fro your paint store.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    JDBROWN1998 · 07/04/2020
    Hello, I have a deck with approximately 750 sq ft of surface area, railings that are 36" tall and approximately 80' in length. I was looking to stain it with a gray color. I was wondering if there is an advantage to doing the solid color on the railings vs doing the semi-transparent? Will they look the same - or should I just use the semi-transparent for everything?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/05/2020
      You could do either and it would look very good.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve Schwalje · 07/02/2020
    Went to use stain today. Unopened 2.5 gallon container purchased last year. Product had completely separated rendering it useless. Is this normal? If so then shelf life should be clearly marked. Disappointed.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/03/2020
      Hello,

      When looking at your order it was purchased almost two years ago. For it to separately like this it was probably exposed to freezing or extremely high temperatures. The shelf life is listed on the container as well.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Steve Schwalje · 07/03/2020
        The product was definitely exposed to freezing temperatures. I read the container twice and did not see a warning. Lesson Learned.