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
    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. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 09/15/2022
    1st coat did seem to cover well. Okay 2 apply 2nd coat?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dave · 08/31/2022
    Product is great, but, after 24 plus hours when I put a plastic chair on the deck it seems to stick. Not sure what I did wrong, or what causes this. If someone could give me some guidance/input on your product.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/31/2022
      That means it has not fully cured yet. That can happen from over-application, or even just temps and humidity. Give it more days to fully cure.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Olivia · 08/30/2022
    How many gallons should we get for 1000 sq ft deck plus two sets of stairs and the railing?  Same thing goes for amount of stripper and brightener
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/31/2022
      We would need total sq footage that includes railings and stairs to offer help with this. Please send a total. Thanks!
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Olivia · 08/31/2022
        I have no idea with the railings. This is what the deck rail looks like.  I think it's about 80ft long. For the stairs it is probably about 200. 
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 08/31/2022
          Use the calculator on this page for help. To the right on desktop or bottom on mobile.

          Guessing will not work :)
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            RAD Products · 08/31/2022
            Also, why are you stripping? It does not look like you have a stain on the wood? Do you have a prior coating?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              Olivia · 08/31/2022
              Also we only used Super Deck on the horizontal part, we never made it to the railings.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              Olivia · 08/31/2022
              We used Super Deck last year.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Laurie Gabriele · 08/30/2022
    Can the RAD semi-transparent stain be used on tongue and groove porch floor boards?  If so, can the deck brush application method still be used or do you recommend a different application method?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    CJ · 08/29/2022
    I had a new cedar deck built on my northern WI cabin last fall and am now ready to clean, brighten and stain it.  The deck butts up against cedar siding that is stained with a dark brown CWF stain.  Do I need to tape off the bottom where the cedar deck meets the stained siding when cleaning and brightening to prevent the siding stain from changing color?   (I am using the Restore-a-deck products for cleaning and brightening).

    Also, the deck juts out over a walkout basement.  Do I need to cover the outer stained cedar sided wall below the deck to prevent the cleaner and brightener possibly spotting the siding when it washes through the gaps of the deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/29/2022
      Yes, protect the siding next to and below to be safe.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        CJ · 08/29/2022
        Thanks for your reply.  One last question:   The other side of the deck juts out over large stone siding (like large river rock that is mortared onto the cider block basement).  Does that need to be protected from the cleaner/brightener that may seep through gaps of the decking as well or will that simply wash away when the deck is power washed with water.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 08/30/2022
          Just rinse grime, etc. from stones when done with the deck.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim · 08/29/2022
    I want to put a fresh coat of stain on existing deck that was stained a year ago. What is the best way to prep this before staining. Should I use the Restore deck cleaner and brightener 2 step process 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Andrew Jackson · 08/29/2022
    Deck project 
    approx 360 sq ft
    age and type of stain unknown 
    I do have a quality pressure washer available. 
    I would like a step by step guide and products needed. 
    I’m researching it all now. 
    thank you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jana · 08/28/2022
    I think I am going to choose RAD "solid color" stain to cover an old worn deck after prepping and using the RAD Cleaner and brightener kit. My question is...when it's time to re-stain it in 2-3 years, does the solid stain need to be stripped or sanded off before restaining with the same RAD solid color stain? Or just start the process over with RAD cleaner and brighener with NO stripping needed? I am in Atlanta, GA where we get all 4 seasons -- especially hot and humid summers. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/28/2022
      Clean, removing any stain that is lifting, and then recoat over the intact solid stain. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Greg · 08/26/2022
    how long do the products last... I'm from Canada and if I go through the ordeal of ordering from the States can I order enough now to refinish the deck in 2-3 years?  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/27/2022
      If open, the shelf life is 12 months. About 36 months if unopened.
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    Mike · 08/26/2022
    Can the stripper and brightener be used on older trex decking that has wood fibers in it? 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Donna Fanshaw · 08/26/2022
    I have three decks and multiple staircases. All are redwood. Two decks are completely covered by a roof and the third is partially covered and partially sun/rain/snow-exposed. The stairs are exposed as well.  In total, there is about 1400 square feet of wood surface.

    The three decks are 3 years old. The first year they were not treated and were allowed to weather and dry out. Then we applied your RAD water-based semi-transparent 'natural' stain. They were first cleaned and brightened, also with RAD products. The decks looked good and we were happy. First Winter they weathered well. Second Winter, they started showing wear in the areas not covered by a roof - an area jutting out from the front of the home plus steps going down to the river. I wanted to re-treat the decks last season but couldn't find anyone. Then I wanted to get it done this Spring but couldn't get anyone. I live in a small mountain community in southwest Idaho. I finally found someone with limited experience but who was guided by my contractor.  I had been away from my home back east for an extended time so was not home when the work was started.  So, I just let the guys commence work on the decks...power washing, stripping and brightening.

    The guy chose to use Sherwin Williams Stripper and Sherwin Williams Reviver (brightener) - 5 gallons each for all the surfaces involved. He says he is now ready for me to provide the stain product. But I can clearly see there is still stain on many of the boards and a lot of blotchiness on most of the boards and/or graying in the sun-exposed areas. I say it isn't ready for stain. I had hoped the redwood would be nice looking after cleaning, stripping and brightening and could have an oil-based transparent or semi-transparent natural stain applied. But to me, this deck is not ready for transparent nor semi-transparent stain.  Would you agree? (Note: I do not want to put a water-based stain on again - our Winters and sun are too harsh here in the mountains of Idaho.)

    Perhaps I should have insisted upon using your RAD stripper and brightener products.  I would like to know what you think after looking at my photos.  Do you think your RAD products would clean the decks up better and get the rest of the RAD stain out?  Or, do I need to ask him to sand the entire surface of the decks to make the surfaces ready for transparent stain? Another alternative is to apply a semi-solid or solid oil stain but I am not feeling ready to accept that is the only option at this point for my 3 year old redwood deck. 

    Thank you.
    Donna

    Please see attached photos.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/26/2022
      No, it is not prepped correctly. He did not remove the old stain fully and it does not look like it was brightened much or at all. You should redo using the RAD stripper and both stripper additives. Make sure he pressure washes it all off. Brightener after.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Donna Fanshaw · 08/26/2022
        Thank you.  I looked and found 1 stripper additive on your website - am I missing another?  You said both stripper additives as if there are two kinds.  Please confirm and direct me to them.  Also, will you please confirm the steps for re-treating the wood - are they:  cleaner?, stripper with additives, brightener, pressure wash?