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
    Marian · 06/05/2021
    We purchased stripper, booster and brightener back in March.  Due to weather, work etc. we are finally ready to apply.  Our deck is 2200 sf.  and in full sun. I was wanting to do just small shaded sections at a time so that product would not dry as soon as I applied it.  I would work according to the way the sun rises and sets.  I know you are suppose to rewet the area if it dries with more of the solution.  Because of the reflection of the in ground pool and sun everything dries instantly and would be a waste to have to keep reapplying product to keep it wet.  My question is, can I mix a 5 gallon container and cover it and use again the next day.  I'm afraid mixing small batches won't end up being the same concentration each time.  I didn't want to have to keep making 1 gal. containers if at all possible because I don't know how much will be needed in each section. I think the way the deck is layed out sections can be done without looking weird where you stopped and started since it is all around the pool and a couple different levels. I plan on applying all of this with a pump sprayer.
    Lastly, in the directions it says to hose off brightener for 20-30 minutes. Does this mean you literally stand there for 30 min. just hosing area down.  I do plan on using a power washer.
    Please advise,Thank You. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2021
      You can mix all at once and use it as needed. 20-30 minutes total for the entire deck, not just one area.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Marian · 06/05/2021
        Thank you so much.  This makes the  process so much more managable. Can't wait to get started!
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    Lindsey · 06/04/2021
    Hi, I've never done something like this before so I had some questions. I took out some hostas that were in front of this fence and discovered this darker area. I'm assuming it's from the previous owner power washing without moving the plants out of the way. Is this required to be power washed again? (because I would have to borrow one).  And would you recommend the stripper & brightener or the cleaner & brightener? I was hoping to use a solid white stain on it afterwards. Thanks so much!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2021
      That should come off during prep. Use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener kit while pressure washing.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Joe Thul · 06/04/2021
    Hey guys, overall I am loving what the products have done for our deck.  I power washed but the results were good, but not great so we decided to power sand.  That did a great job.  From there we've used the cleaner then brightener then the Cedar Sem-Transparent stain.  We have a herringbone pattern on the deck so I did one side yesterday.  Let it sit all day and overnight and then the second side today.  (had to move stuff from one side to the other hence the wait.  However, today the second section seems much lighter than the section yesterday.  (pic attached).  I'm past the wet on wet second coat stage so wondering if this just darkens in a day.  I don't recall the 1st section being this light yesterday.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/04/2021
      It could be how you applied it or drying faster if in hot sun. Hopefully it evens out.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Joe Thul · 06/04/2021
        Applied identically to how yesterdays was done.  I used the yellow brush you folks sell and it worked very nicely.  However, even though I had it airing out, it was a little damp yet this morning so I was wondering if that may have been it.  Anyway, it already is darkening so I suspect by tomorrow the difference will hopefully be minimal.  Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Terry Smathers · 06/04/2021
    In 2019 I used RADs products to clean, brighten and stain deck railing but only got 1 coat of natural stain done on pressure treated wood that had never been stained and had been installed for about 1 year.  The railing really needs to be redone this year.  So I want to make sure I do it correctly.  First use the cleaner and then power wash which should remove all the stain.  Then use the brightener and rinse (no need to power wash).  Let dry for 48 hours.  Use a tank sprayer to dampen the railing and apply 1st coat of natural stain within 2 weeks.  When should I apply the 2nd coat of stain?  Thank you for your time and assistance.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Richard L Jackson · 06/03/2021
    Partil cleanup on some boards after clean and brighten process what do i need to do to correct this? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/03/2021
      Looks like old stain. It should blend if using the same color and stain brand.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Curtis · 06/03/2021
    Question on second deck. This is in our front and has no roof so the sun beats on it. I’ve done the same maintenance as the deck I posted earlier (rad 2018 steps 1-3, maintenance 2019. Now 2021 and need to apply) . What would you recommend this time around from this picture? Clean, brighten, and one coat? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Curtis · 06/03/2021
      I’m sorry. It’s not wanting to upload the image. It is lower than 3mb and shows that it’s uploaded successfully and then doesn’t show the picture. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/03/2021
      Yes, that is correct.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Curtis · 06/03/2021
        One more question (hopefully) if the front deck looks worn pretty quickly after each maintenance should I try a solid stain instead? I guess I’m asking if the solid would hold up better or longer than the semi transparent ? 
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          RAD Products · 06/03/2021
          The solid stain does hold color longer.
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            Curtis · 06/03/2021
            Okay, which steps would I go through in this instance? As you can see from the previous pic the vertical still has some semi transparent but all the walking surfaces are “bare” looking.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 06/03/2021
              Pressure wash with the Cleaner and the Brightener and then you can cover the rest.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Curtis · 06/03/2021
        Thank you! 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Curtis · 06/03/2021
      Pic 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Curtis · 06/03/2021
    I used RAD cedar semi transparent in 2018 using the directions for cleaner, brighter,stain. I applied a maintenance coat in 2019, using maintenance steps. It needed another maintenance coat on the high traffics areas or areas where the Oklahoma sun really took its toll this year. So I cleaned and brightened all of the deck and applied. Usually it’s just one coat for maintenance (I believe) but I was curious if from this image you would recommend applying a second coat, and if so have I messed it up by not doing it when it was still within the 3 hour window or the first coat?! 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/03/2021
      Only one coat and you cannot apply another 3 hours after the first coat has dried. You can clean and apply another coat 6-12 months later.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Curtis · 06/03/2021
        Would I clean and brighten in 6 months? Or just clean and apply 
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      Curtis · 06/03/2021
      I’m not sure why the picture is not showing. I’ll try posting it again. 
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 06/03/2021
        Files for photos have to be smaller than 3 mb.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Curtis · 06/03/2021
          Okay thank you for your quick response. Here is the image in lower resolution. 
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    Zurclark · 06/02/2021
    Well I have researched so many deck sealers, restorers and so on for our poor old deck and can say I am 100 % sold on your product. Now to my question, may I ask about how long do you think shipping will take once I place my order ( RAD Kit )  say in the morning hours ? Shipping to North Carolina, US. We are going to be out of town the next week and thus my question.Thank-you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Allen Monsarrat · 06/02/2021
    I have two gallons of TWP 1500 left over from a five gallon can. If I fill two 1 gallon paint cans will that keep the left over stain useable for a year or two or should I just try to pass it along to someone who could use it. Last year I had left over stain and it thickened in the 5 gal bucket pretty quickly with all the air in the bucket.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2021
      Opened stain will last about 12 months. It will probably not last longer but it is possible.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 06/02/2021
    planning on retaining staining deck with your product. Presently there is paint / stain on it, what is the sequence. Strip, clean, brighten?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2021
      We would need to see pictures of the deck posted here for proper prep help.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 06/02/2021
    I am planning to refinish a cedar deck that was previously finished with Sherwin Williams SuperDeck solid stain. The deck area (including stairs) is about 950 square feet. The original deck is about 30 years old and also has areas where we have replaced old boards.
    I'd also like to change the color from brown to gray and assume that I should plan on using another solid stain (possibly Coastal Gray).
    I tried to remove the existing stain with Behr Wood Stain & Finish Stripper (with minimal effect) and am wondering if Restore-A-Deck stripper would work, or if my only recourse is sanding.
    My questions:1. Should I use a solid stain?2. What surface preparation do you recommend? Do I need to completely remove the old stain if I am using your solid stain?3. How much material do I need to buy?
    Attached are photos of the deck, including one showing where boards were replaced.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2021
      You will need a solid stain again unless you want to power sand this off. Stripping will not remove a solid stain fully. You can use the stripper to remove what is loose and then you can stain over any old stain that is not peeling.
      8-10 gallons of stain for two coats of solid stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Steve H · 06/02/2021
        Do I need to use stripper/brightener or cleaner/brightener to get the new stain to adhere properly to the old stain and new wood areas?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/02/2021
          Stripper for old stain and cleaner for new. Brighten all after.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    steve · 06/02/2021
    what is the coverage for 1 gal of your solid stain? Waht is the best way to apply?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2021
      About 200 sq feet per gallon per coat. Use rollers and brushes.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    MITCH · 06/01/2021
    I am refinishing a large deck and pergola this summer - deck is 6 years old - has only had one application of a water based clear sealer 2 years ago.   shows a lot of algae in high shade areas otherwise the Sienna pressure treated wood has lost much of it's original tan/brown colour in areas of high sun and also shows darkened areas (mildew) -  What steps do i need to follow to remove the mildew, the green algae, clean and prepare the entire deck (horizontal and vertical surfaces) for staining using the RAD semi transparent stain - cedar colour.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2021
      Can you send pictures of the current condition in the comment area?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        MITCH · 06/03/2021
        Here are pictures of deck and pergola - total sq ft of surface area (deck, skirts, pergola boards, postss, beams and stairs = 2,000 sq/ft   Pics of algae areas, deck and railings weathering and greying, pics of pergola greying etc.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/11/2021
          Sorry for delay, we did not see your response until now. For prep, use the RAD Stripper and then the Brightener. It will be an easy strip for you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    MITCH CHILDS · 06/01/2021
    I am installing brand new Western Red Cedar siding and want to put the correct finish on all 6 sides before installing on the walls.   The siding will be smooth (smoother side out - rougher sawn side in)  It is a 6 inch channel cut V groove siding.   Do I need to sand the wood before applying any finish?  Does this new Western Red Cedar siding need to be cleaned / brightened before using Restore A Deck semi transparent stain (cedar colour)?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Andrew · 06/01/2021
    Planning on refreshing after a difficult winter. Stain applied last year. I believe the process is clean, brighten, stain. Apply 1 coat or the usual 2?
    Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alex · 06/01/2021
    Last summer I had new stairs, top of railing, and baseboards installed with treated pine. I left all vertical aspects of deck intact (railing and support beam. I bought some RAD stain for the bottom of stairs, top of railing and baseboards. I also bought some RAD stripper and brightener.
    #1. Should I be using the stripper only on the vertical aspects of the deck which currently have a solid paint of them? We plan on using a white solid paint for a two tone look. Is it OK if the stripper gets on the new pine? #2. Should I bother applying the brightener to the vertical aspects of the deck that won't be stained and will be painted? #3. I'm also assuming I should be applying the stain before I paint the vertical aspects?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2021
      1. Just pressure wash off the verticals while using the RAD cleaner. Let dry and spot sand any loose solid stain.2. No need. 3. Does not matter.
      Clean and brighten the flooring for prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Zurclark · 06/01/2021
    After 2-3 years of applying this, what will need to be done to reapply the product. Will you need to stripoff the old and replace or just reapply the stain?
    Thank-you 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Zurclark · 06/01/2021
    We are interested in this product to restore a 30 year old deck that has been sealed over the years. The wood is beginning to splinter in a few areas but all in all is in good shape. How long does this stain restoreproject last before having to repeat this process.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Robert Moran · 06/01/2021
    I'm seeking your advice to restore close to 200 square feet of 25 year old Philippine mahogany deck. It was never stained but instead an oil baed preservative was used many years ago.As you can see in the photo attached it's in oxidized/moldy condition with some lichens(?) growing in one area. I own a Ryobi 2300 psi electric pressure sprayer and could benefit from your advice on how to best use it with your products. Please recommend which of your products I should use and in what order. Thank you for your help.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2021
      For this, you would want the RAD Cleaner and Brightener Kit. The Cleaner goes on first and is pressure washed off. Brightener after. Stain with RAD Stain in Light Walnut color for best results with your wood type.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    rob dykeman · 05/31/2021
    Hi , I live in Ontario Canada and I'm getting ready to re-stain my 4 year old IPE 800 sqft deck, I need to clean first , should I use your stripper or cleaner ? half the deck is expose to sunlight so its gone considerably gray with signs of mildew and algae and the other covered half still maintains most of its original oil finish - thanks for your help and do ship to canada ? 
    rob  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2021
      You will need to strip and then brighten. Yes, we ship to Canada.
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    aMANDA · 05/31/2021
    Can I mix the dark walnut and the light walnut to make. a medium walnut colour?Thanks
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    Mary · 05/31/2021
    Have used Rustoleum Restore for my deck about 8 years ago - the decking is fine but has been coming off the 2 x 4 rails - now need to redo the deck - what can I used to go over the Restore - power washed it and sanded it with 60 grit palm sander - pressure washed again - did this twice - no more comes off - but about 60-70% still on - what can I use to seal over this restore?  What would be the best recommended product that will last.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2021
      Sorry but you cannot apply any stain over the Rust-Oleum product. It has to fully come off first.
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        Mary · 06/02/2021
        Is there any product beside stain than that could be used?  Perhaps a paint??  
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/02/2021
          No, they will all peel. The issue is the Rust-Oleum. You cannot fix its issues by adding more on top. The new coating will peel as well.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Mary · 06/03/2021
            So do you feel your stripper would work to remove what is left on that I cannot get off?  Or is there any product you know of that can help to get this stuff off? And...if I cannot get it off -would your restore-a-deck cleaner, stripper work?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 06/03/2021
              Strippers will not get this off. You will have to power sand.
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    Randy · 05/30/2021
    My container says to apply a 2nd coat after the 1st coat in 20 to 40 minutes. Does that mean I can spend 2 hours putting on the 1st coat and then wait 20 to 40 minutes to apply the 2nd coat or start the timer after I start putting on my 1st coat to come back after 20 to 40 minutes and apply the 2nd coat?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2021
      Second has to go on within 20-40 minutes of first coat, not 2 hours later.
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    amanda · 05/30/2021
    I am having trouble finding examples of the dark walnut on a deck. Can you please post some? thanks
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    PJ · 05/30/2021
    FYI......I mixed a small sprayer full of stripper, booster, and gel in early February but extreme weather changes required me to delay application.  With an extended period of cold weather and rain I gave up on application and with other delays did not apply until this past week, May 28, 2021, at least 2 1/2 months after mixing.  I had stored the sprayer mix under the house in 55-65 degree temps.I agitated the mix for about 5 minutes and sprayed it on the area to be stripped, let it stand 1 hour keeping it moist with a light water spray, and then pressure washed.  The old semi RAD stain washed off beautifully.
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    Craig · 05/30/2021
    I have completed using RAD stripper on my cedar pergola and railings. 1) is it ok to use Brightener the next week and then stain with RAD a few days later? 2) I just sanded my pressure treated deck surface to remove some old coating,  can I use Brightener and then stain with RAD solid? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2021
      1. Brighten as soon as possible. Same day is the best.2. Yes.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Joseph Maniec · 05/30/2021
    Hi, 3 yrs ago I prepped my un-stained pine deck using your cleaner & brightner then stained using Pittsburgh Paints Ultra cedar naturetone, water clean up. Decking exposed to sun & rain have dark mildew and some flaking, covered porch deck is in good shape. I have 944 Sq./ft plus log spindle railing!!  Looks like you recommend your same cleaner & brightner prior to re-coating...Question is, I want to use your cedar stain for second coating but is it wiser to re-coat with the same failing brand I used for the first coating?? I already ordered your stain sample kit to test and, I own a pressure washer.  Thanks, Joe M.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2021
      You cannot apply the RAD Stain over the Pittsburgh stain. That would have to be fully removed first by stripping and sanding. 
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    Ron Magnusson · 05/29/2021
    I applied stripper and brighter today and one coat of Semi- Transparent stain.  That was all I got done today but it looks like the deck could use a second coat.  Can I apply another coat within the next day or two? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2021
      No. Second coats have to be applied wet on wet. You can prep and recoat in 6-12 months for another coat if needed.
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    jarod · 05/28/2021
    If I use the gel additive with the RAD stripper, will it still work with a pump sprayer?
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    Megan · 05/28/2021
    May we use a paint sprayer to apply color stain to railings and lattice?
    Thanks