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
    Bob · 10/10/2019
    We have a deck (pressure treated pine) installed in January 2019 - Athens, Texas area.
    The deck has never been stained. Do we need the cleaner and brightener prior to staining or just power wash prior to staining?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/10/2019
      Cleaner and brightener while pressure washing.
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    Luis · 10/07/2019
    I sanded my 8 year old redwood deck, used the RAD cleaner, brightener and light walnut semi-transparent stain. I am happy with the results. I will do a second coat next year.
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    D.Royer · 10/06/2019
    Hi I just finish installing a new Red Wood Cedar 300 sq.ft. Deck ( Sept.30th ). The cedar was kiln dry to less than 10% of humidity. I live in Quebec Canada so very rough winter climate.

    Q1 : For staining with RAD semi-transparent what should I do ?? Should I left the deck cure/weather during fall & winter and prep/stain it in May next year or Can I already do it in 2-3 weeks ? What would you recommend for best results knowing that winter here is very hard ?

    Q2 : Either way, does the Prep ( RAD Cleaber followed by Brightner ) is the same ?

    Thanks in advance
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Marianne · 10/05/2019
    Addl pics
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    Marianne · 10/05/2019
    Help! Just finished staining half of our deck today... followed all the directions using stripper and brightened before staining. Dark Walnut. Wet on wet application. The deck is now dry to the touch but is very blotchy. Some places it did not adhere properly. Not new wood. 5 year old pine previously stained with I don’t know what...

    Did we apply too heavily with the sprayer? Waited about 45 minutes between coats.

    Should we wait till Spring to apply another coat of Semi Transparent or should we re-coat with your solid stain to even it out? Should we try to spot sand the places not adhering? Just read here today this stain will not stick to “stainable wood filler”... UGH...
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/05/2019
      It looks like you did not remove all of the previous stain fully. Can you send pictures of the unstained areas?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Marianne · 10/06/2019
        The one picture is of the next part of the deck we have not cleaned the old stain off yet. The other is of the stripped and brightened side we completed yesterday. I can assure you there was NO old stain left in this area...We are not tackling the front edges yet. BTW, we live in central Florida. I want to fix this as soon as possible. I am so frustrated, I just want to end it all with the solid stain... ??‍♀️
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/07/2019
          At this point, you could pressye wash to remove the stain the did not adhere due to the over application. Just the loose stuff. Applying a solid stain will cover it all and make it look eve,
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Marianne · 10/07/2019
            And how many coats?
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            Marianne · 10/07/2019
            How soon could I cover with your solid stain?
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              RAD Products · 10/07/2019
              You can do now or in Spring.
              • We will reply to your comment shortly
                Marianne · 10/07/2019
                Thank you for all the help... Just a couple more questions...

                1. Can I use my left over semi transparent stain over the solid in a couple of years when it is time to brighten? If so, what is the prep? Just clean, pressure wash then stain? (I hate to throw away 3.5 gallons of the Semi)


                2. I have 750 sq. ft. of decking. How much solid stain should I purchase?
                • We will reply to your comment shortly
                  RAD Products · 10/07/2019
                  1. No, you cannot apply a semi-transparent over a solid stain.
                  2. Fro two coats about 5-7 gallons.
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    Adam · 10/04/2019
    Last week, before I found this site, I cleaned and power washed my 2-year-old, 400 SF, never stained cedar deck with Cabot Wood Cleaner. Here are some after cleaning pictures. Are the lighter/white areas furring? Do I need to sand the deck before staining, re-clean, brighten or am I OK to just go ahead and stain? Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dave A · 10/04/2019
    Hi -

    - restoring cedar floor within screened-in porch
    - 340 sq ft
    - 35yr old
    - last stained 9yr ago with Cabot semi-transparent
    - have access to pressure washer
    - I assume use of RAD Stripper, Cleaner, &semi-transparent stain
    - concerned about avoiding discoloration to screen walls/ posts during the stripping & brightening process
    - special step to address wood filler to patch knot holes (pic)?


    recommendation on process / products?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/04/2019
      -Strip and brighten is correct.
      -It will not harm the white paint.
      -Wood filler does not work for exterior wood. Do not use it.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom R. · 10/04/2019
    Can color pigments be added to the deck stain product to make it darker, such as a dark gray?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Undy · 10/04/2019
    I had a new deck and applied 3 coats this spring. My deck is in full sun for spring and summer months. Half of my deck looks like it could use another application. I am wondering if I should power was and then apply or if I could just apply another coat of original application. I live in about an hour north of NYC
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom · 10/03/2019
    It rained quite a bit last night. Wood is still pretty wet. I know instruction say to mist deck before applying and keep it wet but should I wait a day or two before cleaning and brightening with RAD?
    Also, if it were to rain the day for a day or two after cleaning and brightening, could I still apply oil base stain after the deck dries out or do I have to clean and brighten again?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/03/2019
      No need to wait. You can prep now. Rain does not harm the prep. Just let it dry for 48 hours before staining.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 10/01/2019
    Hey,where do I find the Product Data Sheet or Safety Data Sheet,thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Stephen · 09/30/2019
    We have a roughly 400 SF deck that has all new pressure-treated pine deck boards and railings. We have already ordered a RAD semi-transparent stain kit and will be applying it soon. The majority of the wood has been weathering for 4 months. The balusters we are using are pre-finished powder coated aluminum from Deckorators. (description: Powder-coated with AAMA2604-compliant material, which provides five times the outdoor exposure and twice the humidity exposure as AAMA2603). Yes, we have access to a pressure washer.

    Do we need to remove/ tape off these balusters prior to cleaning/ brightening/ staining?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/01/2019
      The prep should not harm them but always test first. You cannot get the stain on the metal balusters.
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    Frederic · 09/29/2019
    Can I use the semi-transparent stain on top of a wood hardener such as PC-Petrifier from PC-products - what about on top of a wood filler (and what is the best kind? latex or something else?)

    if none of the above is good - what do you suggest to harden the wood before applying the semi transparent sstain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/30/2019
      No, you cannot use it o top of a wood hardener and it will not work with wood filler. You cannot harden the wood first and then stain over it.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Charles · 09/30/2019
        Instead of semi-transparent, could you use a RAD solid-stain for this application, and would the tone show consistently between areas of wood vs wood filler?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Uncle Carl · 09/29/2019
    should I use a paint sprayer to apply the stain. Or what is the best way to apply the stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/30/2019
      You can spray, use a deck stain pad, or a brush when applying.
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    Sharon · 09/28/2019
    We have 1-yr-old cedar tone pressure treated deck (950 sq feet) around semi buried swimming pool and hot tub. We used SW semi-transparent oil-based stain in redwood last May. Our contractors applied 2 coats and it never dried. They stripped it but a few places need more stripper. Will your solid stain product work on this and what kind of prep is needed? Also can an anti-slip additive be added to your solid stain product? The deck is very slick when wet.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/29/2019
      You can apply the solid stain over this as long as you remove any peeling stain. You cannot add an anti-slip grip.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    David Kranz · 09/28/2019
    Just posted a couple of pics. The lighter areas are just the sun—the deck itself is uniform color.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/29/2019
      You would need the stripper than the brightener. About 3 gallons of stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    David Kranz · 09/28/2019
    I have a deck, 256 Sq Ft., last stained with semi-transparent oil-based stain 4 years ago. It has worn very evenly. I also have a power washer. Could I use the restore-a-deck cleaner and brightener, or do I need the stripper? Also, would 2.5 gallons of your semi-transparent natural stain be about right? Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Leslie · 09/28/2019
    We have a 15 year old cedar deck...some replaced boards so uneven color. It was stripped, sanded with power sander last year. Currently grey. We plan to clean and brighten then stain with semitransparent RAD. Can we mix colors? I’m afraid dark walnut will be too dark. Light walnut on pine looks great...but my cedar tends to go a little too red. Any suggestions for mixing? Will the natural make the wood turn grey again? Why do I need 2 coats? I’m afraid the cedar tone will be quite yellow. I’m looking for a color similar to light walnut but not red. It’s been in the high 90s here for weeks...can I stain when leaves start falling?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    steven Allbright · 09/27/2019
    I have a deck to do in the Adirondacks, the temps are getting down in the 40s at night now. my question is what are the temp specs for your products and would it be a better Idea to just wait for spring at this point?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/28/2019
      50-90 degrees is the temp range. Spring may be better.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Eric · 09/26/2019
    20 y/o redwood deck. Previous product last placed 3 years ago. Sanded down to bare wood 1 month ago. What type of preparation needed before staining with RAD Cedar stain. Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lotus Blossom · 09/26/2019
    Do I need to seal the deck after using RAD as per this question and answer on your FAQs? FYI - I live in New England with harsh winters and hot summers. If I don't need to seal it I'd rather not.

    "I used Restore-A-Deck and it looks great! Now I want to seal in the beauty and protect it from the elements. What do you recommend?
    Answer: Allow the wood to dry for three to four days in direct sunlight (75+degrees F) Pick a quality sealer from a reputable dealer. We suggest the Woodrich Timber Oil, Hardwood Wiping Stain or Amstrong Clark. "
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/26/2019
      No, it is not even possible to apply a sealer over a deck stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alison Grove · 09/26/2019
    How dry to boards need to be before they can be stained? The impression given (if you can clean and stain in the same day) is that stain can be applied to damp boards. Yes, or no?
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    Doug Kaleida · 09/26/2019
    Do you solid stains repel water? Thank you.
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    Terry Shrode · 09/25/2019
    I have two decks;1.) 1600 sf w/built in benches on 4x4 posts and no railings.
    2.) 710 sf and no railings.
    The figures include the benches and supports and 6 inch perimeter boards.
    The decks were made of redwood about 20 years ago and are in good condition. We just bought the house last November. No stain present and I don't know what or when sealer was last applied. Just a nice grey patina. We're in the California Sierra foothills at 2400 feet elevation, lots of sun, hot in the summer, some snow in the winter, pine and oak trees. I'm interested in the semi-transparent stain and cleaner (light walnut). What is your coverage rate? I'll use a pressure washer prior to the application. Your products receive good reviews and I like that it's water based.

    Thanks for your help,

    Terry
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/26/2019
      For prep, use both the RAD Cleaner and then the RAD Brightener. Coverage for two coats applied wet on wet is about 100-125 sq feet per gallon. Being it is old and dried out, it most likely needs the two coats.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Eric Stucky · 09/25/2019
    I have ROD samples. Any tips to application on sanded old redwood
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/26/2019
      No tips needed. Just apply the samples with a rag or brush.
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    Lori · 09/24/2019
    I recently purchased the RAD cleaner, brightener and stain. I initially pressure washed, then applied the cleaner cut in 1/2. It seemed to work fine. We cut the brightener in half, thinking the ratio would work fine since we cut the cleaner. Although it may have lightened a very little bit, we didn't really see the magic. Do you have to use the brightener at full strength?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/24/2019
      You should use at full strength. Also, the brightener is designed to neutralize and lower the pH balance after the cleaner raises it, darkening the wood. If you used the cleaner at half strength then the pH would have not darkened the wood that much.
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    bcwoody · 09/22/2019
    We have a 3 year old cedar deck in a rainy part of the PNW. Half is covered by an upper floor deck and half open to the elements. It has never had a stain or coating on it. We need something to resist slipping as it gets like an ice rink when wet especially a long damp winter. Can we add a product to help with anti-slip properties and what is the best way to clean the green build-up? Is bleach a bad idea? We would like a semi transparent finish not a paint if possible.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/23/2019
      You cannot add an anti-slip into a penetrating stain. No need. Never use bleach on a deck. Prep with our RAD Cleaner/Brightener Kits.
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    Edward Kron · 09/20/2019
    We had a contractor stain our new PT Pine deck and railings. We used the solid classic white stain on the railings. The deck is in full sun and two coats were applied. I notice today that there are spots and splotches of green on the top railing. What do you think the cause is? We did have a heavy dew last night and the splotches wipe off with a damp rag. Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/21/2019
      It is not from the stain but from something from your environment. Not sure what is causing it.
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    Adam · 09/19/2019
    About to pull the trigger on this, but had one question. My PT pine deck is a little over 1 year old with direct sunlight all day. Would I still apply stain like new wood directions(1 coat) or will I need to do 2 coats?