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
    steve gilson · 10/09/2020
    I received your TWP 1500 5G with cleaner and brightener. Can I apply the TWP stain while wood is wet after applying brightener or need to let it dry?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/10/2020
      Needs to be fully dry with TWP. 48 hours after prep.
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    Quinn · 10/09/2020
    I used RAD stripper/brightener and then stained with TWP 1500. I ran out of stain before completing second coat. I ordered another gallon, not sure how long it takes to get to MD. When it arrives can I just stain directly over the part that has only one coat even though it will be several days later? -Quinn
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/09/2020
      No, wait until spring, lightly clean and recoat then.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark Frydenborg · 10/09/2020
    The bag with the stripper has a large hole it it. It is covered in dry product. What are the mixing instructions? How much product to make 1 gallon of stripper?.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Eileen Filler · 10/08/2020
    And I forgot to ask how much stripper?
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    Eileen Filler · 10/08/2020
    Hi, our deck is 22 yrs old. We had some boards replaced and had to wait until now to stain them
    I am hoping to stain the second to last week of Oct as the temp is predicted to be 64degrees during the day and 42 at night for three days. We have approximately 860 sq ft of wood deck .We have an area around our pool that is composite approximately 464sq feet.
    Can I use a transparent stain? How much cleaner should I order, how much brightner and how much stain?Thank you in advance.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/09/2020
      Strip and brighten for prep. Two strippers and two brighteners. Then you can use the RAD Stain. About 8-10 gallons. It cannot be used for the composite wood.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Seth · 10/07/2020
    How much time does it take to ship to Canada?
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    Scott Scholl · 10/06/2020
    I have a 2yr old treated pine deck, with a polycarbonate roof. We are going to be cleaning the deck with the RAD Cleaner and Brightener Question is, do we need to clean the rafters and stringers under roof? We like the color of the rafters after 2 yrs. and would like to keep them looking the same. We are using RAD clear semi transparent stain. Can I just rinse and stain the rafters? I'm worried the cleaner and brightener might affect the polycarbonate roof. We are located in northern Ohio.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/06/2020
      If you are staining then yes, you need to prep. It will not harm the roof.
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    Vince · 10/06/2020
    I have a 200 sq ft deck. Is 1 gal enough to cover this?
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    Dennis Hutcheson · 10/05/2020
    If I use either the Restore a Deck SemiT or Solid to stain a deck will your stripper remove either of them when the time comes a few years down the road.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/05/2020
      Semi-transparent, yes. You cannot strip off a solid stain fully.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Quinn · 10/05/2020
    I am going to use RAD stripper then brightener on the same day. The stain is the oil based TWP 1500. How long must I wait to apply the stain since it is not water based. -q
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dahi · 10/05/2020
    Hi Again
    It is Dahi again. Just wanted to post couple more pics.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dahi · 10/05/2020
    Hi,
    Thank you for a great website. Please advice me. I want to peel off all old paint. I want to stain it with RAD. The old paint is Behr premium wood coating Deckover. I tried to peel off with stripper , I bought from Home Depot. It worked but not satisfied. It is Behr wood stain and finish stripper. I want to make the process quicker. So I can stain my deck before weather gets cold. I also saw wood decay or wood rot on couple of boards and top of the railing. so please let me know how to take care of it. Is it possible to peel of paint from railing ? Which stain would work better?I have posted few pics. Image 118 and 119 are showing wood decay or rot fungi. I am not sure what you call it.

    Thank you for your help.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/05/2020
      You cannot strip this so you will have to fully sand it all off. Once removed, you can use the RAD Solid stains. We would replace the rotting wood.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Dahi · 10/05/2020
        Do I have to use brightener or cleaner after sanding?? Also do I need primer or sealer before or after the stain ??
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/05/2020
          You do not prime or seal. Clean and brighten after sanding.
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    Norm · 10/05/2020
    Can I unsubscribe from daily posts and comments but still get periodic tips and info?
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    LindaR · 10/05/2020
    I cleaned, brightened, then put on one coat of RAD solid stain on a pressure treated fence with half old boards and half new. Looks great but I'd like to put on a second coat. Due to weather, etc. it will be about 10-14 days till I can get to putting on the second coat. Is that ok?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dene P Land · 10/04/2020
    For solid stain, is a roller or pad best for application on flat surfaces? Thank you.
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    Scott · 10/03/2020
    If we buy a 5 gallon kit, can I buy an additional 2.5 gallon jug?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/04/2020
      We do not sell the 2.5-gallons individually on our site.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lin · 10/02/2020
    question regarding temperature. if staining at 53 degrees and dropping to 38 overnight
    is humidity a concern? will be at 80% during the night. ok to stain or hold off?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/02/2020
      It should be okay as long as you have 4-6 hours of drying during the day after done applying.
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    Lynn · 10/02/2020
    I had great intentions of completing the entire project this fall but it seems like this won't happen. Will the Stripper, Brightener and Stain all be as productive if I don't complete it until next spring?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/02/2020
      As long as they are stored in a temperature-controlled room, you are okay.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Will · 10/02/2020
    Hello, love your forum thank you very much in advance for being responsive. I bought your semi-transparent sample kit and think I made a very stupid rookie mistake by brushing samples on one board of the deck vs a scrap. I think we will be going with the Cedar.

    Deck boards were replaced in early April, pressure treated pine.

    Do I sand off the other samples before staining the whole thing or will that leave it lighter than the rest of the deck?

    Should I replace that board? I have scrap of the same lumber and think i can replace it without too much trouble. It has been under the deck so not nearly as weathered however since April as the board it would be replacing so not sure if that would make it look different too

    Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/02/2020
      Do not replace boards or sand as neither will blend. Strip off those stops and then clean the rest. Brighten all wood when done.
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    Nelson Custodio · 10/02/2020
    I'm going to do my deck this weekend with your product. I bought the cleaner and brightner. how should I approach the rails and balisters when it comes to cleaning them. Should I just spray with my pump sprayer and srub is balister? Seems like it like it might be a lot of work. Maybe I can just hit them with the power washer. The deck is only a year old
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/02/2020
      Pump spray on cleaner and then pressure wash off is the correct way. Brightener after. Just rinse Brightener well when done.
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    Christopher · 10/02/2020
    Additional photo.
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    Christopher · 10/02/2020
    I am working on a 4 year old deck that was solid stained with an olympic product that looked terrible and did not last very long. I suspect the deck was painted by the house flipper right after building it. I found the can of Olympic in the basement, bought a new can, and repainted the deck after cleaning with TSP and bleach. Same results.
    I have been stripping the deck and sanding the deck, and it is looking better. I still see the old paint in the wood. I would like to use a semi-transparent not a solid. Is there any chance that if I purchase the RAD products,Stripper, Brightner, Cleaner, that I will be able to use the semi-transparent?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    YH · 10/01/2020
    In terms of temperature, what are the guidelines? How long after finishing is it allowed to go below 45 degrees?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/01/2020
      Apply between 50-90 for the best results. It can drop below 50 the first night but should not drop below freezing.
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    John lorigan · 09/30/2020
    Just finished spraying a portion of fence with Resto-A-Deck using a Graco spray unit with a 313 tip. Stain seemed to come out gun in a little too fine mist. Any recommendations on tip sizes to use?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    M Smith · 09/29/2020
    I sanded the deck itself but could not get between the copper spindles so now plan to use stripper on the deck and rails together. As i do that, should i expect the stripper to affect the tarnish on the copper spindles or the weathered creosote on the cedar siding? I'm not sure what the last finish was, but know that it was not TWP which i plan to use this time. The finish on the beams and posts, which are not exposed, is is still in good shape and is very close to the color i plan to use. Is there a compelling reason to strip and recoat those as well or would it be ok to wait until the finish deteriorates in the future before stripping and refinishing? Lastly, is there a maximum time between stripping, brightening and recoating?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/30/2020
      You do have to remove any previous coatings first. It should not harm the copper but test spot first. it will remove the oxidation from the siding if you get the stripper and or brightener on it. You must brighten after using the stripper. Stain within two weeks of prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dene Land · 09/29/2020
    Can your solid stain be used on a previously painted porch?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/29/2020
      It will not work over a paint but it will work over another solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Stephanie · 09/29/2020
    Hi, we cleaned and brightened our cedar posts this past weekend. We were planning on staining this coming weekend but our schedule has changed. Is it ok to wait until the following weekend to stain - so it will be 2 weekends after cleaning and brightening. This is for our front and back porch cedar posts. (We don’t have a wood deck)
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tony Overstake · 09/29/2020
    I applied one coat of your semi trans to my newly sanded deck last Fall. It made it through the year and look pretty good with a little fading. My plan was to clean, brighten and add another coat before this winter.

    However today I applied the cleaner with a backpack sprayer and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then I went to pressure wash it off much of the stain started to peel off leaving large splotchy areas all over the deck. What is left of the stain is soft and peels off with a little rubbing. Somehow the cleaner acted more as a stripper. I assume that I will have to purchase a stripper and apply that to the remaining stain. Thoughts?


    Any idea why it dissolved such big areas of stain? Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/29/2020
      If the older coating starts to deteriorate then the cleaner acts appropriately and removes it. At this point, it would be best to remove, brighten, and then stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Tony Overstake · 09/29/2020
        Is this going to happen every time I need to apply a new coat of stain? The original coat was still in decent shape, I don’t want to have to strip the whole deck every time I need to add a coat of stain
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/29/2020
          That will vary based on how it weathers. Stripping is not any harder than cleaning and it many cases is easier. Gives a better foundation and overall better performance for the stain.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Tony Overstake · 09/29/2020
            Frankly, that’s a bit frustrating. I bought the cleaner because I didn’t want to strip the deck with caustic chemicals. If it is just going to strip it off why sell a cleaner or call it something different? That means I wasted $50ish on cleaner and now need to buy a stripper and wait the week plus it’s going to take to get here. Is there a way to apply the cleaner without it dissolving the previous coat? Also there are some areas that aren’t terrible but are splochy as in the picture. Will I be able to apply a coat or two of stain over this and have it turn out uniform? Thanks for your help
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 09/29/2020
              This is normal. Our cleaner is designed for reapplication, not for general cleaning. All deck cleaners will remove a previous coating if it has deteriorated. None will just clean without having some effect on the previous coating. Honestly, you are blaming the product for doing what it is intended to do. Prep the surface for reapplication by cleaning dirt, grime, mildew, and deteriorated coatings if applicable.

              You could just reclean with the cleaner and use a little more pressure with the washer and it will get the wood even in appearance as well instead of stripping. This would help even it out in appearance when stained.
              • We will reply to your comment shortly
                Jason · 10/08/2020
                Ok, I'm in the exact same boat here. I stained my freshly sanded redwood deck last fall with RAD. (cleaned, brightened and stained). It started peeling up in a few spots over the summer so I figured it was time to re-apply. I just applied the cleaner to my deck but didn't use the brightener as you guys told me, a few weeks ago, on this forum, that using brightener was not necessary. Just apply cleaner and restain. I even confirmed and asked specifically if brightener was necessary and was told it was not. I was reading through this FAQ to find out of it was better to apply one coat or two on a re-application while I waited for my deck to dry and I stumbled across this thread...

                So I had the exact same results. The cleaner stripped off some of the stain completely, but left the stain almost completely intact in other areas. Should I strip and/or pressure wash the deck to completely remove the old coat? I was not under the impression when I bought this product that that was not necessary. I read quite a bit that all you had to do was clean and re-apply?? I didn't use a pressure washer, just a deck brush.
                • We will reply to your comment shortly
                  RAD Products · 10/09/2020
                  Easier would be to reclean using a pressure washer and the cleaner. This will it will even out.
                  • We will reply to your comment shortly
                    Jason · 10/09/2020
                    So are you saying that the entire previous coat of RAD should be removed with cleaner / pressure washer? The new coat will not cover the previous coat?
                    • We will reply to your comment shortly
                      RAD Products · 10/09/2020
                      At this point, yes so it evens out.
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                        Jason · 10/09/2020
                        Do I need to use brightener after? I was told before that was not necessary. Also, should I apply one coat or two?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rae · 09/28/2020
    We are in a drought here. I finished stripping and applied the brightener before I ran out of water. I could not rinse the brightener off. Any advice? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/29/2020
      You must rinse off the brightener or you will have a reaction with the stain. There is no way around it.
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        Rae · 10/02/2020
        Will the dried-on brightener rinse off with just water and a light brushing? The peak of the house is 32ft high, so scrubbing won't happen there.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/03/2020
          You will need a pressure washer rinse.
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            Rae · 10/03/2020
            Unfortunately, I don't have enough water or water pressure for my 2100 psi pressure washer. If I was a professional, possibly I could solve that with a 12v pump? I am not opposed to buying technology if it would help. Late fall is approaching, and will soon bring freezing temperatures. I think the best I can do is hand wash the siding as best I can, let it dry for a few days and apply the stain. It looks gorgeous now, stripped. It has some wet splotches due to recent rain in this pic.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 10/04/2020
              You can rent a water tank truck and then rinse well. You cannot hand scrub off a brightener. You need to rinse.
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    Tim · 09/28/2020
    I'm staining a new wood cedar greenhouse and had a few questions:

    1. The wood has some dark water stains. Should I use oxalic acid to clean these or will your cleaning product take care of them?

    2. One of your descriptions seems to imply that any sanding should be done between cleaning and brightening. Is it okay to sand really rough spots before cleaning?

    3. I have many wood glazing strips that I want to stain before nailing to the structure. Can I clean and brighten these in a bathtub and then stain? Any concerns about the cleaning or brightening products being rinsed into the septic system?

    Thanks.