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.

 

 

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
    Susan · 03/17/2019
    Hello! We are anxiously excited while planning our deck redo. It is almost 20 yrs. old, but still very solid and sturdy! We have already started sanding all the surfaces to take off old surface and smooth floor boards. Because we are sanding to strip and resurface the wood, would you recommend just doing the brightener before the stain? I didn’t see the point in the stripper if we have sanded.
    We have ordered the color samples and are looking forward to choosing a color!
    Thanks for the help!
    Susan
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/18/2019
      If you sanded, you will need to clean and brighten the wood for the final prep and open the pores of the wood. Do not sand with grit finer than 60-80.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark · 03/17/2019
    Installed new pressure treated deck November 2018. This week I followed the RAD three step process. The stain in Natural looks blotchy and darker in places on the decking and handrail. Also the handrail is very rough and parts of the decking when running your hand along the wood. What happened? Did I apply the stain too thick? What do I do to rectify?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/18/2019
      Yes, you applied too thick on those areas. There is not really a way to rectify outside of removing all and starting over. I assume you only applied the one coat as instructed for new wood?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Mark · 03/18/2019
        Yes, only one coat was applied. To start all over would that require using the stripper as opposed to the cleaner?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 03/18/2019
          Yes. I am not sure it is really worth it though. Give it a month and it might "even" out some.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kim · 03/16/2019
    We used RAD for our 60 sq ft deck 8 months ago, it was an old deck that had never been stained. We read all the instructions and all the tips here on your site. But now, less than a year later, it looks awful. What could have gone wrong? Pictures attached.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/17/2019
      Hello Kim,

      More than likely what went wrong is that during the process of applying the stain, it was applied too thick or possibly the second coat was not applied wet on wet within 20-40 minutes of the first coat. The RAD stain is a penetrating semi-transparent stain. The directions state to apply only as much as the wood can absorb and if doing a second coat, the second coat is to be applied wet on wet.

      See the attached picture for the application instructions in more detail.

      Your pictures do show an over application to the point that the stain was unable to fully soak in and it dried on top of the wood surface in the areas of wear.

      At this point, it is best to prep with the RAD products and apply one light coat. Just do the horizontals. If you would like some materials, let us know.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Kim · 03/17/2019
        Thank you! So we tried to follow directions, but it was July and I think the heat made it dry too fast. Does that make sense? So then the second coat didn't absorb? Which prep steps do we need to do before applying the coat? We would like to fix it before it gets too much hotter and it is Texas! Thanks again.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 03/18/2019
          Yes, that is correct. If you apply the second coat to the stain after it starts to harden/cure, then the second coat will end up drying on top of the wood instead of in the wood. Prep with the RAD Stripper would be best. Brighten after and apply 1 coat this time so you do not have the same issues.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Maxwell Hanna · 03/14/2019
    I have 1000 sq. Ft. of deck with semi-transparent cedar tone stain on it. I am hesitant to sand again and may try your stripper this time. I do have some heavier spots of stain in places. I want to get the sanding or stripping done soon but won't be able to stain until about mid May when the temps get to 50+. I am thinking of trying the TWP 1501. If I sand/strip now, would I just be using the brightener again in 6 or 8 weeks before staining?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/14/2019
      You cannot wait 6-8 weeks between prep and staining. If you do, you will need to clean and brighten for prep. A Brightener alone will not work.

      Feel free to post a picture to ensure the proper way to prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Edward · 03/12/2019
    I purchased 2- 5 gallon containers last year of the Restore a Deck stain. The deck was installed in 2017 and I stained the deck in April 2018. I only used one of the 5 gallon containers. Do you recommend staining it again in April/May? And would I just use the Restore a Deck cleaner before staining? And how long does the Restore a Deck stain last in the unopened container that I have?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/12/2019
      It will last a few years if unopened and stored in a climate controlled room. As for redoing this spring, that would depend on the condition and it could use a light coat or not. If it looks good then leave alone until next Spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Doe Ann · 03/11/2019
    Hello. I have 312 lf x 6 ft high new rough cedar fence. Some replies regarding new fencing have stated 2 coats stain, others say 1 coat for new wood. If 2 coats required and you need wet on wet application, what is the time window for starting 2nd coat? Or do I apply 1 coat now and then a maintenance coat later down the road? Will 1 coat prevent graying for 2-3 years? What is the best method of application for rough cedar fence? Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lisa · 03/10/2019
    I have a new cedar deck - installed 7 months ago. Can you provide instructions for application of stain? Should I apply with a sprayer and then brush or use a pad? If applying directly with a brush or pad, how is that done? Also, one coat or two? Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Robert · 03/03/2019
    Hi. I have a 400 sq foot 20 year old ipe deck. I’ve treated with Penofin hardwood stain each year but am thinking of changing to Restore a Deck. My question is does RAD require you to wipe off the excess stain before it dries like the penofin does? That was always the biggest pain of the process and I’m hoping that RAD doesn’t require it since it is water based. And, if not, is there any chance the surface will be sticky? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/03/2019
      No, it does not have to be back wiped. Make sure to remove the Penofinf first with the Restore A Deck Stripper and Wood Brightener.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Robert · 03/03/2019
        Great and thanks for the fast response!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    david losapio · 02/26/2019
    OK So it sounds to me like I should wait a few months to let the sanded areas weather then stain with one coat on old and newer wood then restain the following year if needed with one coat. What do you think? i am using dark walnut, so will that maybe blend the old and new wood a little better? When you restain with the same color do you still use cleaner and brightner?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/27/2019
      Yes, that sounds correct. Just the cleaner and brightener when you prep for reapplication.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    david losapio · 02/26/2019
    Also, I spot sanded some areas and joints, will those blend in color wise or should I stain those areas first then coat entire deck as a second coat?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/26/2019
      No. Spot sanding causes many issues with stain uniformity as the stain will take less on the areas you sanded, staining less in color. There is not a way to blend this outside of letting the wood weather for a few more months before doing the stripping and brightener.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    david losapio · 02/26/2019
    I'm wanting to order now but need a few questions answered first please. it seems like i'm ordering alot of stain for the size deck I have, as I used only 1 gallon of Behrs semi transparent natural oil stain last year for deck and railing, deck is 400 sf with railing, calculator says I need 4 gallons with 2 coats. Is that accurate? I also put a few new boards down recently, will that be an issue getting final color to match? There is not alot of the behr stain left on the older boards. I just did deck 1 year ago. But should I use stripper anyway instead of cleaner? and use brightner after that either way? Finally, is it better to do all steps in one day while the wood is still moist (with no standing water), I read that might be better because the wood will pull stain deeper as it dries. Or can I do the final stain the next day when dry? Temp will be in fifties here occasionally now, but will get in low 30's at night, suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/26/2019
      Yes, for 400 sq. feet you will need 3-4 gallons for the 2 coats. The Behr must be removed fully, 100 before using the RAD stain. A cleaner will not remove it. Brightener after. New wood will be lighter in color due to less absorption into the wood with the stain. Only one coat for the new wood.


      Best to do same day as it is easier to apply. It can be done the next day though.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Heather · 02/25/2019
    Sorry. Major typos. The second sentence should read “soap and water would not remove it.”
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/26/2019
      Try a water-based graffiti remover from your local paint store.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Heather · 02/25/2019
    I have some dried stain splatter. Sips and water is. Or removing it? Will anything else remove it?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gary Blythe · 02/24/2019
    I am using Restore-a-Deck products to stain and protect the treated southern pine decking on my dock, on a fresh water lake in Central Texas. The new decking on the dock was installed last March. I meant to wait 6 months on the new wood and treat but I let September go by, and we flooded in October, including the house. I am just now getting to treating the dock after focusing on repairing the house. In August/September, we had a bumper crop of "lake bugs" and the spiders residing on my dock went into a feeding frenzy. My dock deck boards are covered with spider poop stains that the Restore-a-Deck wood cleaner does not seem to budge, even with washing with a 1600-psi pressure washer.

    Any ideas how to remove the spider poop? I use Scrubbing Bubbles to clean it off of my boat upholstery, but I am hesitant to use that on the treated wood. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/25/2019
      Sorry but no idea what would clean it off. It sounds like it permanently stained the wood internally. Have you tried the brightener yet?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chaya · 02/23/2019
    I meant other way around! The pics loaded opposite.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chaya · 02/23/2019
    Our porch is on the left. We want the color no darker than the image on the right.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chaya · 02/23/2019
    Would you recommend we use Semi-transparent stain in Natural to get a color similar to the 2nd image?

    Porch details: redwood, 6.5 months old, never been stained, 250-300 sq ft.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ed Weis · 02/22/2019
    Can you apply restore a deck cleaner with a pressure washer?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alex · 02/11/2019
    How does the RAD stain compare to the TWP 1500 product? I have TWP on my deck now and need to strip and restain soon.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/11/2019
      The RAD stain has the ability to be applied to damp wood and will provide as well or better UV protection. The RAD will also prevent mildew better.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike · 02/04/2019
    Started applying a solid water based stain (Behr Weatherproofing) to an old fence and don't like the color (and regretting usthis product). Looking for a dark brown/walnut color. What product should I use to cover the recently stained section?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/04/2019
      You cannot strip a solid color stain effectively. Best way to remove is to sand it all off.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    BigChiefMountain · 02/01/2019
    We have a 2500 sq ft. redwood deck with full SW exposure every day and are at 7500' in the foothills of Denver, CO, receiving about 200" per year of snow. In June of 2018 we stripped, sanded and stained with 3 coats of a RAD stain. We loved the way our 2006 deck looked back to new with the RAD product. We had researched and your stain appeared to be the best for UV protection. Previously we had about 10 coats of clear Penofin on the deck so the sanding was substantial but found perfect wood underneath as it was so protected, albeit very dark.

    Now it appears that our high volume of sun is stripping the stain (see photos) and we want to restain with RAD product again in June of this year. Should we use the cleaner, brightener and then stain or because we sanded the entire deck last summer, should we only use the brightener and then stain. We would again put 3 coats on if needed.

    Thank you, BigChiefMountain
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/02/2019
      Use the Cleaner for the prep and apply 1 coat of stain. You overapplied last year. More is not better. The RAD stain needs to soak into the wood and when you apply too much stain, it will not soak in fully buy dry on top of the wood. This can create issues down the road with wearing, etc.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Cal · 01/18/2019
    I have an IPE deck and was looking to install ipe in the interior of my home (box floating fireplace mantel and wood cap for stair railing handle). Can I use RAD to stain and protect these interior applications (railing handle and fireplace mantel)?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lisa Pape · 01/18/2019
    I want a stain with the least look of an orange tone. What would be the better choice? Light Walnut or Cedar tone. Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Fred · 12/30/2018
    pictures failed to upload. Trying again
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Fred · 12/30/2018
    Oh! I do have a pressure washer.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Fred · 12/30/2018
    Happy (almost) New Year! I have a two segment IPE deck (main deck and a catwalk) installed in 2012. When installed, I tried to treat with a "high tech" sealer that did not work. Sanded back to clean wood and sealed with Cabot Australian Timber oil. Through travel, procrastination and laziness, I have let the deck deteriorate. No maintenance since 2012. Have just completed getting most of the dirt and grime off (no mold) using two cups of Arm & Hammer OxiClean to two gallons of water. Got most of the bad stuff off. Still have dirt and grime under the lower deck rail that my scrubber did not get. I assume that the Cabot oil is long gone. There remains, however, a white film and spotty dirt and grime. Assume oxidation. My two deck areas, railings and steps total about 1,000 square feet. Intend to try the deck cleaner and brightener. Would like to continue cleaning through the winter and apply a natural stain when it warms up in the spring. Will the cleaner and brightener bring back the beautiful IPE color for me to view through the rest of the winter if I apply in mid-40s temp in Jan '19 or should I wait to do everything in the spring? Now that I have started, would like to see the wonderful IPE color all the time - not just when it is wet. Thanks, Fred
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 12/31/2018
      The prep products while using a pressure washer will help to bring back the color. Staining with the RAD Wood Sain in light walnut would be the best choice of stain and color. Do it all in the Spring.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Fred · 12/31/2018
        Thank you. Will do.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    michael · 12/27/2018
    Have a new pressure treated pine fence. Will be applying stain after 5 months. will I get good results using the chapin sprayer?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 12/28/2018
      Yes but always back wipe when spraying the stain to ensure an even application.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anna Edlin · 11/24/2018
    We have a 10 year old porch. Wood is sassafras, it has been stained the semi transparent sikkens srd. We have sanded with 60 grit sand paper and scrubbed with deck cleaner and brightener. It is now Nov. Can we use this product now or wait until spring. I don’t want the wood to suffer during the winter. What is my lowest temperature I can apply this product and how long does it need to be at that temperature? In Kentucky you never know when it will warm. It is also ting and groove flooring.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/25/2018
      Temps need to be 50-55 degrees while applying and for 4-5 hours after. If you cannot get it done this Winter, it will be fine until Spring. Just clean and brighten again before staining.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Fred · 11/11/2018
    Would like to use RAD Step 1&2 on a fence. Will either product kill our plants?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/12/2018
      Is shouldn't but always prewet and rinse any overspray to be certain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Don Jackson · 11/05/2018
    What is the shelf life of an unopened can and an opened can of your Restore-a-deck wood stain. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/06/2018
      36 months unopened and 12 months opened. Must be stored in a temperature controlled room.