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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    Michael · 09/17/2020
    So it’s been one year since I applied first coat on a new pressure treated deck
    (waited six months to apply).

    Here is the current condition. I would like to know if I sand again for the maintenance coat do I apply the one coat again or 2 coats? Pics below are 1 year apart..as you can see the wear and tear.
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    Eugene Tinelli · 09/16/2020
    Why don't you recommend using a Chapin Clean and Seal sprayer for a semi-transparent stain application? It worked well for the stripper and brightener. (Correction of previous question)
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      RAD Products · 09/16/2020
      You can use it to spray the RAD Semi-transparent but you will need to back brush it to ensure it applies evenly.
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    Mike · 09/16/2020
    Live in Georgia. Stained deck 7 years ago using Sherwin Williams Oil BAsed Deck Stain, Semi transparent, color is 3513 Spice Chest. Needs a new coat so if I'm reading all your material correctly, and if I want to use the same stain assuming SW still carries it, your cleaner would be the way to go and then simply restain?
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      RAD Products · 09/16/2020
      If you can find it, then yes. Not sure if they make it anymore.
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    Sue · 09/16/2020
    Hello,
    I have a fairly small deck to stain, and the calculator says I only need 1 kit of cleaner/brightener + 4 gallons of stain. Original deck was painted red (paint was peeling off in chunks), and replaced most of the deckboards, railing, skirting, but, problem is, all the posts the original ones. So, I need to order Cleaner, plus BOTH Brightener AND Stripper, but don't see how I can do that on your website. I only see them in kits, and I don't need 2 packages of Cleaner. Can you let me know how I can order 1 Cleaner, 1 Brightener, and 1 Stripper?
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      RAD Products · 09/16/2020
      A stripper will not remove a paint so that will not work. You will have to sand off the red paint.
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        Sue · 09/22/2020
        The red paint has already been completely sanded off.

        So, should stripper still be applied to those particular areas, with the brightener on the new areas?
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          RAD Products · 09/22/2020
          If already sanded off, you will need the Cleaner and Brightener on all wood.
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    Lora · 09/15/2020
    Currently restaining our cedar deck. Used Rad products and TWP stain last year. I have some peeling and I believe it's because I applied it on a hot sunny day. I have stripped the deck in sections and and applied brightener. Those areas look fantastic. Unfortunately, I ran out of daylight today and have a section stripped but didn't get brightener on. So...

    1) I am assuming I can't apply the brightener in the morning, correct?
    2) I have just enough Stripper to finish the section of the deck that I haven't worked on yet, so if I have to reapply, could I use RAD cleaner instead and then apply the brightener?
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      RAD Products · 09/16/2020
      1. Yes, brighten as soon as you can.
      2. Strip all to make it look even. In the future, you can clean and reapply.
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    Scott · 09/15/2020
    I have approximately 640 sq. foot deck floor to stain (railings are painted white). How many gallons of solid stain will I need.
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    Craig · 09/15/2020
    I stripped, brightened and finished our small 400 sq foot deck on Saturday. The second stain coat (RAD semi-trans cedar) was applied around 5pm on Saturday. This is the first time I've refinished this deck- the previous stain had almost completely weathered off.
    We had overcast weather on Sunday and most of Monday until rain came Monday night. The deck looked great before the rain came.
    Now that the deck is saturated with rain, it still looks good but I'm not seeing any water pooling on the surface. It looks as if the wood is continuing to absorb water.
    With previous deck refinishings (Behr something or other, TWP Cedartone 101) there was noticeable pooling of water for the first 6+ months.
    Is this even dampness of the newly finished deck what is expected, or did I perhaps apply too little stain?
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      RAD Products · 09/15/2020
      It is correct. RAD is a breathable stain that sheds water, it does not bead water.
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        Craig · 09/15/2020
        Excellent- thanks for the clarification. It's quite different from products I've used previously. Looking forward to watching how it weathers over time. The R-A-D stripper, brightener and stain were all far easier to use than what I expected!
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    Joseph Connors · 09/15/2020
    Hello, old mahogany deck, need to prep for staining, there are a few new (3-4months) boards mixed in with the old. Fully restaining, what process do you recommend? Thanks for the help!
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    Kathy R · 09/14/2020
    I took my daughter's deck down to bare wood with sanding and Restore-A-Deck cleaning (from peeling 3 coats of a Sherman Williams deck product. Then I completed the brightener step and sprayed the deck down for over an hour. I thought I got rid of all of the "suds" with my spraying. I then applied one coat of the Restore-A-Deck semi-transparent stains. When staining there were a few sections of some boards that made the stain seem "waxy". Now on drying, the deck looks great overall, however there are a few boards that have a white look to them. Did I not get all of the brightener off? What should my next steps be?
    Thanks,
    Kathy
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    Tom A Kohl · 09/14/2020
    I forgot to ask you on my former post. I had a gallon of stripper ready to use when I had to abort the process due to a malfunctioning power washer. I assume I should discard the mixed stripper in favor of fresh when the process resumes.

    Tom A Kohl
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    Mona · 09/14/2020
    I am looking to stain/seal my deck.
    - It is pressure treated pine, has never been treated and was installed almost 3 years ago.
    - The left side gets full afternoon sun (in NE Georgia) the right side is shade.
    - Does the Natural color in the Semi-Transparent Stain give UV protection?
    - If I understand my situation correctly I need Cleaner/Brightener/Stain is that correct?
    - I have a pressure washer.
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      RAD Products · 09/14/2020
      Correct. Clean, brighten, and then stain. The Natural is tinted and will provide UV protection.
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    Lin · 09/14/2020
    it will be unseasonably cold this weekend in Chicago. high of 65 low 46 at night. is that too cold to put on RAD solid stain?
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    Leaningboutdeck · 09/13/2020
    Hi I am the new owner of a property with a 40 year old deck. It had some rotting planks, beams, and joists so I've replaced them with pressure treated wood. The remaining existing deck wood is redwood and I want to either stain or repaint all of the deck so it is protected from the elements and an uniform color.

    The measure of the deck is 13ftx20ft. The deck has an existing paint or a stain, I can't tell but I am assuming it is paint b/c of the color and also b/c I scratched off a little and it had a latex like consistency. The paint/stain is in good condition and is not peeling. Here are some photos:

    Questions
    1.) Can I go from paint to stain?

    2.) Do I use a cleaner or a stripper in preparation since the paint is still in good condition?

    3.) Do I need to sand away all the remaining paint/stain before applying your stain?


    Thanks
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    Dan Sethner · 09/13/2020
    I treated my deck with RAD semi transparent stain the past two summers. The next time it needs stained can I use RAD solid color stain over the semitransparent stain?
    Thanks Dan Sethner
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      RAD Products · 09/14/2020
      Yes, you can. Prep first with the RAD Cleaner and pressure washing.
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    Rae · 09/13/2020
    I just opened a gallon container of RAD. It says Cedar on the jug, which is what I ordered. However, the stain appears to be Dark Walnut. Can I get a refund?
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      RAD Products · 09/13/2020
      Hello, The product is not mis-labeled and is the correct color. It has a brownish hue when in liquid form and applies and dries to a cedar color. See here about returns: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Store-Policies/refund.html
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        Rae · 09/14/2020
        I'd decided to use the RAD but ordered just one gallon to test the color first. Wow your cedar is dark compared to DEFY stain. The photo shows samples applied to a stripped and brightened section on the back of my house. The photo was taken 24 hrs after the Defy Stain was applied to the siding test area. From left to right: 1) Defy natural pine, 2) Defy cedar tone, 3) Defy light walnut, and 4) RAD cedar. I find the RAD cedar to be too dark, yet the Defy cedar seems too transparent. It looks like it could be a dark Walnut in the Defy line-up. Does this seem right to you that RAD is that much darker than Defy?
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          RAD Products · 09/14/2020
          Teh RAD cedar is more of a brownish cedar color compared to the Defy Cedartone being more of an orange cedar color.
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    Rae · 09/13/2020
    I have to correct myself. It is Grad A (no knots) red cedar..
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    Richard B · 09/13/2020
    What happens if you apply the stripper in direct sunlight? Does it just dry out to fast or does it stain or something?
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      RAD Products · 09/13/2020
      It will dry out. Mist with water to keep it from drying out.
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    Rae · 09/13/2020
    First, thanks for providing this website! I am staining a white cedar sided house. How many years will RAD semi-transparent (Cedar toned) last on my south-facing, and my north-facing exposures?
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    Eldon · 09/12/2020
    Do I have to use the RAD Thickening Gel or Booster Additive with the Stain Stripper?
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    James Croskery · 09/12/2020
    are the prices canadiaN
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    Tom A Kohl · 09/11/2020
    I was not complete with removing the stripper and my power washer quit. The power washer is in for repairs. Should I start over and redo the portion completed because of step 2, brightner must follow stripper immediately? Tom A Kohl
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    Thomas Swinney · 09/11/2020
    How do I remove your stain from vinyl siding?
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      RAD Products · 09/11/2020
      Try a water-based graffiti remover cleaner from your local paint store.
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    Ron M. · 09/11/2020
    I just received my order of your Deck Stripper and Brightener. Can I clean and brighten the deck in sections moving the furniture from one area to another or is it better to clear the deck completely and do the entire deck in one application process? Also, I read one review regarding pealing which said it was applied to heavily. With a Semi-Transparent stain is 1 or 2 coats? How much is needed for 325 Sq. Ft. Deck? Thanks much!
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      RAD Products · 09/11/2020
      Clear deck and do it all at once. 2 Coats wet on wet is normal unless wood is new.
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    Roy · 09/11/2020
    I had some stain that I purchased that I had left in my garage for 2 years. When I opened the jug the stain came out separated like this. I assume the stain was separated due to freezing during the winter. Is that right?
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    Ewout · 09/10/2020
    Would you recommend I might apply a product like- Concrobium Mold Control- BEFORE I treat siding with Restore-A-Deck to provide for more protection against mold?
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    Jeffrey A · 09/10/2020
    This is what it look like before applying sealer
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    Jeffrey A · 09/10/2020
    Hi, I have a 25-year-old deck It was not maintained well, But was stained on the underside from patio below. So, I turned all the boards. I cleaned the deck with sodium percarbonate, Used RAD Stripper and then use the Brightener. The boards were inconsistent and some had a hint of red in them. I simply applied a water sealer and it turned out less then desired. From the pictures can you tell what happened and can it be corrected? If so, how? I prefer to have the woodgrain show.
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    Dan · 09/09/2020
    If I buy stain and cleaner now and dont get around to it this fall, will it be OK to use in the Spring? What is the shelf life of stain? I will store it in climate control room over the winter.
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      RAD Products · 09/09/2020
      It will be fine as long as the stain does not freeze.
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    jillann · 09/09/2020
    I stained my deck 6mos ago with the RAD semi transparent (cedar) stain. I was wondering when should I apply another coat, it has already started to fade in areas where it holds more water. I'm also curious what steps I need to take prior to staining because I'm not wanting to remove or damage the stain that is left on the deck. Is pressure washing enough to prep before staining? (the before&after pics are from when I first stained it 6mos ago)