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
    Chad · 06/29/2020
    I need to sand an old, solid stain from my deck before treating with RAD products. Should the cleaner/brightener/stain be applied immediately after sanding? Or can I wait for a week?
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      RAD Products · 06/29/2020
      You can wait a week or longer. Does not matter.
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    Pat Matusko · 06/29/2020
    I live in Edmonton Alberta Canada, given the current COVID -19 situation what is the anticipated shipping times to Canada
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    Nick · 06/29/2020
    Can i use RAD solid stain on composite boards?
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    Philip · 06/29/2020
    Hi

    can you please help me decide on a colour for my deck, fence and veranda. Also, do I need a brightener? I’m leaning towards a lighter colour but unsure. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/29/2020
      You have to use both the RAD cleaner and the wood brightener while pressure washing for prep. Any color will work, that is your preference.
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        Philip · 06/29/2020
        Are the pictures of the semi-transparent samples accurate to what I will be receiving? I would hate to buy a lighter one and it ends up being darker or a different tint.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/29/2020
          Colors will always vary based on the wood type and age of the wood so no, it will not look exactly like the sample picture.
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    Ed · 06/29/2020
    Ok thanks- would I need a solid 48 hours without rain ?
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    Ed · 06/29/2020
    can I apply timber oil the same day as cleaning and brightening ? Looks like rain later
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    William Garrett · 06/29/2020
    I had a lot of mildew/algae on my deck[2400sq ft]. So i used defy extreme stain after stripping and brightening. My question: Will I be able to use RAD stain after cleaning this deck which defy extreme on it.
    I thought you would use the RAD stain without stripping and refresh say in 2 years WITHOUT stripping.
    so I’m asking if I can use your products on the Defy extreme....OR do I have to strip it or stay with defy extreme stain. Not changing tone Used cedar. And have ordered your products kits with 10 gal of cedar stain of RAD. Thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/29/2020
      No, you have to strip off the Defy Extreme before using the RAD Stain. Once you use the RAD Stain, you can clean and recoat as needed with the same stain.
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    William Garrett · 06/29/2020
    Can the RAD products be used on Defy Extreme Stain...without having to strip, ie; just to refresh stain from 2 years ago
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/29/2020
      The RAD products should only be used if recoating the deck or wood.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    newhomeowner · 06/28/2020
    for using a spraye for solid stain, the instructions state use "use tips between .013 and .015" what's the measurement being used? I'm looking at purchasing a sprayer AOBEN Paint Sprayer, 750W Hvlp Spray Gun, Electric Paint Gun with 4 Nozzles, 1000ml with nozzle sizes: Blue nozzle size is 2.6mm, white is 1.5mm, black is 1.8mm, red nozzle size is 2.2mm. Is this sprayer appropriate for using with the cleaners, stripper and solid stain and which nozzle size for each?

    Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
      You use a pump sprayer for the prep and if you want to spray the solid stain, you need an airless sprayer. The one you are looking at probably will not work.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Bryant · 06/28/2020
    Ok. Bought the system Strip-brightener-semi-transparent stain.

    Stripped deck that had other semi-transparent stain. Stripper failed to strip fully after multiple coats.

    Powerwashing left deck scarred a bit and fuzzy. Powersanded whole deck (80 and 120, 80 left the wood rather rough)

    Stained spindles odd the deck. Worked well. Was looking forward to the deck.


    Brightened the deck as it has sat in sun after sanding longer.

    Stain did not seem to sink in and about half has awful white film. Would appear to be blushing? It did rain unexpectedly about 10 hours after applying but we did cover it overnight in case. (Widely scattered storms of course hit us)

    Read that this might dry out and disappear?
    Should we just Strip and restain? Re-sand with coarse grit?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
      Probably need to remove and restain. You cannot cover the deck from rain, it needs air to cure correctly. The white may have been from not rinsing the brightener correctly.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        John Bryant · 06/28/2020
        Your stripper will strip your stain? I really don't want to have to sand the whole thing again.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/28/2020
          Yes, but use both additives as well since it is newly applied.
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    Glenn A. · 06/28/2020
    Forgot to mention I want the deck stain to be semi-transparent, NOT semi- or solid
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    Glenn A. · 06/28/2020
    I plan to use the Restore-A-Deck one-day stripper & lightener to prep my now-peeling, hardwood mahogany deck that formerly had B/M Arbor Coat Amber water-based stain on it. For Hardwood Deck stains, you recommend Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain (previously described as a water-based stain). Is your Hardwood stain different from your regular deck stain (ie., is it oil-based or water-based)? I couldn't tell from your description.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
      We do not have a hardwood version but the RAD semi-transparent stain works very well of hardwoods. It is water-based.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Glenn A. · 06/29/2020
        I am a bit confused. You state your water-based "RAD semi-transparent stain works very well on hardwoods," yet on your website it is recommended using your Exotic & hardwood Oil-based stains on mahogany. Before I order, which is it?---water or oil-based for best results on mahogany???

        ?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/29/2020
          The RAD is a water-based stain and works very well for hardwoods.
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    Walton · 06/28/2020
    I forgot to mention that this deck is elevated about 10 ft off the ground with no stairway access. The only access is via the home which is why moving the furniture off the deck is not viable unless I fill my home interior with furniture, grill, fire pit, planters etc.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Walton · 06/28/2020
    Is the solid stain coverage rating (200-300 sq ft / gal) for 1 coat or 2? My deck is 35X14 or 490 sq ft.
    Will I need 2 gal or 4. Should I buy an additional gallon just in case my coverage only end up at 200 sq.ft. I plan to do only the decking itself. Rails and stiles are in good condition. All decking boards have been replaced last September, so I believe I am now adequately aged and ready for stain.


    It is unlikely that I will be able to apply a second coat for a few days. I have heavy furniture on the deck so I plan to apply the first coat on half the deck, move the furniture to the newly stained area, stain the other half of the deck, move the furniture, apply second coat to previous stained area, move the furniture once again and then apply the second coat to the remaining area.
    Is this the correct way to do this or should I apply 2 coats to half the deck, move the furniture and apply 2 coats the the remaining area.

    I am 70 years old and don't think I am able to physically do more than one coat per day.
    Should I prep the entire deck and then stain half at a time, will I need to clean and brighten half the deck if a few days have passed between prep and stain?


    Is it ok if a day or 2 passes between the 1st and second coat of the solid stain. applying the second coat of stain would be impossible in one day unless I can walk on the first coat in a few hours without leaving marks.

    My deck is shaded for only a few hours each morning then it remains in full sun until sunset.

    Hope I am not being confusing and any application tips you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    I have purchased 3 color samples, made my choice and am ready to place my order.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
      200-300 sq feet per gallon per coat. Probably 4-5 gallons for the two coats. Easier to apply two coats to the same half on the same day. Let dry for a few days, move furniture, and then apply the two coats to the other half. You can wait a day or two between coats for the solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Hank · 06/28/2020
    I followed the RAD three step process in every detail and my 16x32 pressue treated deck is beautiful. I finished 48 hours ago and now notice a few sections (3" x 12" that have a little less coverage than most of the deck. Can I touch up these areas?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
      It may not take or blend if you touch up spots after it has already cured. Best to leave as is. You can always do a light wash and recoat if needed next Spring.
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    Mike · 06/28/2020
    I'm doing my deck in sections as I have an upper and lower. Will splashes of the cleaner/neutralizer damage the section I've already completed using the semi transparent stain.Or should I neutralize everything at once and work at my own pace.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
      Best to clean and brighten all wood at once. Then stain in sections if needed.
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    Marie · 06/27/2020
    I have 2 year old IPE wood deck that hasn’t been stained. It’s turned to the natural gray from being exposed to the sun. We’d like to stain it now to extend its life. Do we still need restor a deck after power washing it? If so, which products? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
      Yes, you need to clean and brighten the wood with the RAD products. Stain with the RAD Semi-transparent stain. Most use Light Walnut on IPE.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chatch · 06/27/2020
    How long after staining, can I apply touch ups without having to prep with clean/brightener.


    Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2020
      You cannot "touch up" spots once the product cures and dries. It will not take and will not blend most likely.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        chatch · 06/27/2020
        ok, so what is the process, clean/brighten - and then recoat areas with full coverage?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Costanza · 06/26/2020
    We will use stripper and brightener prior to the semi-transparent stain application.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Costanza · 06/26/2020
    We had a deck finished with 3 coats of solid stain over the last 10 years. We completely sanded the deck to the bare pine wolminized wood. Why do suggest only one coat in application like this versus 2?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2020
      Sanding reduces the stain's ability to soak in so only one coat will work.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chad · 06/26/2020
    I have about 200 sq. ft. of new, unfinished front porch that I intend to stain with the RAD semi-transparent stain, after applying the cleaner and brighter. I also have about 550 sq. ft of old deck that is currently covered in an ugly solid stain that is starting to peel in many places. In the best of all possible worlds, I would be able to apply your semi-transparent, light walnut stain over all surfaces. Should I (a) forget about it, and stick with a solid stain on the old deck; (b) sand the old deck, then use cleaner, brightener and semi-transparent stain; or (c) use stripper with additives, then sand, brighten and stain with semi-transparent stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/26/2020
      You cannot strip off a solid stain fully so you would need to sand it off or recoat with another solid stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Chad · 06/26/2020
        And if I sand it off, do I apply the cleaner, brightener and stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bobby D · 06/26/2020
    Last fall I ordered the wrong color Restore-A-Deck semi transparent, Natural.

    I want to change it back to the dark walnut:
    Do I need to remove last years stain first?
    Or am I able to re-stain this summer with either Restore-A-Deck semi transparent, dark walnut or TWP 1504, Black Walnut withour the removal of the old stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/26/2020
      Strip and brighten for the prep is correct. It does not matter what stain brand you use, it still needs to be removed for best results.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Susan · 06/27/2020
        I am confused by this answer, first time doing a 1 year old new deck, using RAD cleaner brightener and the semi trans stain. I read that I should only give 1 coat the 1st time. So when it needs a second coat, I need to strip this all off? I thought that was only necessary, if changing brand. Thought it would just be clean and brighten and use same stain. ??
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/28/2020
          If you are changing color you will need to strip and brighten the wood for prep. When redoing in the future and using the same color and brand, just clean and brighten for prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rhonda Jensen · 06/26/2020
    I did a complete RAD on our cedar deck 2years ago. Now it needs treatment again. Do I need to do all the steps again.
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    SW Florida Sun · 06/25/2020
    I want to restore a 224 sq ft total deck/dock (two separate surfaces) here in SW Florida. It was built in 2015 of pressure-treated marine grade lumber and stained about 6 months after being built with Sherwin Williams Superdeck Water-Based Semi-Transparent Redwood. I've had to replace 3 of the boards to date due to rotting through. It's in direct sun throughout the day.
    I want to use your products and like the idea of switching to Cottage Gray instead of a wood tone.

    Can you tell me please: is your Stripper and Brightener toxic to plant and marine life? is it possible to cover the redwood with your cottage gray without a ton of extra work or would it be easier to stay with a wood tone? how many coats would you recommend? Here are a few pictures of both the deck, dock and stairs. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/26/2020
      You will need the stripper with both additives for this: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html

      RAD Brightener after. The Redwood color must come off fully. Two coats applied wet on wet. Cover plants when stripping.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        SW Florida Sun · 06/26/2020
        Thank you for your reply and advice! So, if I need to cover plants, is the stripper going to kill marine life in the creek when it gets washed off into the water? What type of applicator do you recommend for the stripper with the additives? Do I pressure wash the stripper off?
        Do you think 5 gallons of stain would be enough to do the two coats wet on wet? Thanks again!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/27/2020
          No, it does not kill marine life. Apply with a pump sprayer and then pressure wash off. 5- gallons should be enough.
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            SW Florida Sun · 06/27/2020
            Thank you very much! Looking forward to seeing the results!
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    Brothno · 06/25/2020
    Can restore a deck be used on a dock over water?
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    Michelle Jo · 06/25/2020
    1) I used RAD stripper but my pressure washer malfunctioned so I was not able to pressure wash the stripper off until 6 hours later and couldn't put brightener on until 8 hours later after. Are there any concerns? 2) for the stilt beams below, I ran out of brightener and with delayed shipping, I'm not going to get anymore. Is it okay to just wash off the stripper and stain or should a I run to the local hardware store and get a substitute brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/25/2020
      1. As long as the stain stripped off and you rinsed well, you should be fine.
      2. You need to neutralize the stripper with a brightener.
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    Gene C · 06/24/2020
    Hi my deck is 650 sq ft, 4 year old pressure treated yellow pine. I coated it at that time with Behr transparent natural stain. I was not able to maintain it before this and now it is peeling over 30% of the deck. What do you suggest the treatment should entail. Cleaner&Brightner. Or stripper. I have a pressure washer. Thanks for your help!
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    Robin · 06/24/2020
    O.K. thank you. I thought you had other retail stores there that sold your product.
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    Robin · 06/24/2020
    Where are your retailers located in Michigan?
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    mark voutas · 06/23/2020
    stained our deck 2-years ago using the cedar semi transparent stain from restore a deck - looked great but does get pretty much full sun as deck is on south side of the house and also get's heavy use. was worried when i did apply the stain about applying to much and a pealing action thus was probably little conservative when applying. was looking to do a maintenance coat same color so product can i just clean without any chemicals or strippers and re apply? couple pics attached to try and show what it looks like now. thx
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/24/2020
      You need the RAD Cleaner for prep.
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        Mark · 07/04/2020
        Okay thanks do you also then still then. Recomend the brightener also?