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
    Henry · 03/21/2020
    How do you apply the Semi Transparent Wood Stain? Brush? Spray? Pad? Nothing on the site gives that assistance.
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    Kerrie · 03/21/2020
    I'm building a fence using new construction-grade kiln-dried redwood (a mix of sapwood & heart, I think), faced with horizontal planks 3/4" thick by 4" high with 1/2" space between the planks. The fence will be faced 'double-sided' so that the back side of the planks on each side of the fence will hardly see any sunlight.

    1) Should I stain the planks on all sides?
    2) I'm not fond of the colors you offer. I would probably prefer to add a light reddish (maroon) tint to the semi-transparent stain. What tint product/brand do you suggest that would not alter the beneficial qualities of your product? Do you sell your semi-transparent product with a neutral base so that I can control the color I get when adding a tint? Thanks. - Kerrie
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    Akon · 03/20/2020
    I was thinking it looked thin to be Deckover but I’ve never used it before so wasn’t sure.
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    Akon · 03/20/2020
    Sq ft 1100, type of wood pressure treated southern pine, age of wood > 5 years, previous stain - Behr Deckover Acrylic, last stained - > 3 years, wood type to be stained - deck. Will any of your products strip the Behr Deckover? Also can I use the RAD solid stain over the Behr Deckover?
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      RAD Products · 03/20/2020
      No, it is not possible to strip Behr Deckover. The only way to remove and fix is to power sand it fully off. No stain can be applied over the Behr Deckover. It will fail if you do. Unfortunately, you have no choice but to sand it all off or replace the wood if you used Behe Deckover.

      Question, the pictures do not look like Behr Deckover but Behr Solid Stain. Are you sure you used the Deckover version?
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    Homer Webb · 03/17/2020
    I have an 1100 sq ft deck, can I Clean, Brighten and Stain in sections? I could split it up and do sections when the time is available? Or will the stain not match?
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      RAD Products · 03/17/2020
      You will have to prep all at once and stain all at once to ensure it looks even when done.
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    Mike Adkins · 03/15/2020
    Hello. I would greatly appreciate your professional advice here. I have included the details requested on your website. The floor of our Deck is approximately 375 square feet and has handrails covering about 90% of it as you can see in the attached photos. The decking material is pressure treated lumber that's approximately 15-18 years old. The deck has never been stained or sealed that we are aware of. We just moved in in February and want to do the best we can with what remains with the hopes of extending the life of the deck. The first question, is what sort of stain to use. We assume for best results we should probably go with a solid stain. That said, if given the condition of the deck semi-transparent would do a great job, that would be ideal. What would you recommend based upon the information and the included photos? Secondly, how much stain do we need? I'd rather order more and have an extra gallon versus getting into the project not having enough. Lastly, do you sell a combo kit that includes the cleaner, brightener, and the solid stain? Thank you so much for any insight you can provide. It is greatly appreciated.
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    Calos M · 03/14/2020
    A year ago I stained my pressure treated wood deck with TWP 200, and it is in great shape, just very dirty after the winter/snow. Can I safely use this cleaner? or will it remove/damage the stain?
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      RAD Products · 03/14/2020
      The RAD Cleaner should only be used for when you are planning on applying a new coat of stain. Deck cleaners should not be used to try and only remove dirt.
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    Susie G. · 03/13/2020
    It’s been 6 months since deck railing was completed. I’ve purchased the RAD cleaner and brightener. How careful do I have to be about not getting it on the glass inserts? Is it ok to let it run over the glass or should I cover up the glass with plastic before application of both the cleaner and brightener?
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      RAD Products · 03/14/2020
      It does not harm glass but make sure to rinse well when done cleaning so the dirt and suds do not dry on the glass.
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    Kaely Mckee · 03/07/2020
    We are staining our deck and fence this spring.
    Deck is pressure treated pine-950 sq ft, aged 3 years, never stained/sealed.
    Fence is cedar, will be aged 1 year by the time we stain, never stained/sealed.
    1. How much stain will we need? Planning to use “cedar” color semi transparent for all of it.
    2. Will the deck and/or fence need one or two coats initially?
    3. Best application method for the cedar? Worried with how fuzzy it is, application seems less fool-proof than on the smooth pine.
    we have access to pressure washer for prep, or could use brush method.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/08/2020
      1. What is the total sq footage with the deck and both sides of the fence?
      2. Two coats applied wet on wet.
      3. Stain pad or brush.

      Use the RAD Deck Cleaner and Wood Brightener for prep while pressure washing.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Kaely Mckee · 03/08/2020
        Oops, sorry, thought I’d included that in my comment. 950 sq ft is total for deck, 3125 for fence. So 4075 total sq feet.
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          RAD Products · 03/08/2020
          You would need about 35-40 gallons of stain for two coats applied wet on wet.
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    Craig · 03/03/2020
    I have used your cleaner, but as of yet not your stain. I just installed a new pressure treated deck last August 2019. I have been letting it weather over the winter. I want to seal/stain this spring. Will your natural stain retain the natural pine look of the deck material? Or do I need to use a clear sealer? Thanks for the help.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/04/2020
      The Natural is tinted so yes it will enhance the grain of the wood and offer UV protection. A clear sealer will not offer UV protection.
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    Linda Mileski · 03/03/2020
    i am trying to estimate the amount i need to order for my deck this spring, cedar wood was installed in July 2019, I plan on staining in May so I think i need two coats. My question is will the left over stain still be good for the next year if I need to put on another coat. (basically my question is does it store ok), purchasing the two 2.5 gallon is a cost saying and i may need it but think i will have left overs or should i just get four one gallons instead. Live in Illinois
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/04/2020
      The shelf life is roughly one year with an opened container and it must be stored in a temperature controlled room.
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    Ron Thompson · 03/02/2020
    I have a redwood deck (live near Sacramento, CA) that I am about to use your stripper and brightener. Assuming it works well, I want to keep as much natural redwood color as possible. Do you recommend a product, semi-transparent water based? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/03/2020
      Use the Restore A Deck Stain in one of the semi-transparent colors.
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    Janice · 03/02/2020
    How long does it take to receive stain if shipped to Birmingham, Al.
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    Len · 03/01/2020
    What should I use on 1/2 log siding. It hasn’t been treated for a long time
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    Tim · 02/29/2020
    I sanded to bare wood and refinished my cedar deck last fall with RAD natural semi transparent stain. What prep is needed before a second coat this year?
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      RAD Products · 03/01/2020
      Use the RAD Cleaner for the prep prior to applying a maintenance coat.
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        Tim · 03/01/2020
        Do I need the RAD brightener also or just the deck wash?
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    Lee · 02/29/2020
    Can the semitransparent stain be applied with a pump sprayer?
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    Janice · 02/22/2020
    I have a PT pine privacy fence almost a year old. It is 220 lin. feet x 6' high. It hasn't had any treatments on it yet. Approximately half of it is shadow box and the other half is board on board. Can you help me calculate how much cleaner, brightener and RAD semi-transparent stain I will need to do both sides?
    Also, I know this is a long shot, but I am looking for someone in the Birmingham, Al area to stain this fence but can't find anyone who has heard of RAD or seems willing to change their normal way of staining decks and fences. Most just use bleach and pressure washer and never heard of brightening! If anyone reading this knows of anything that would help, I would certainly love to have any info to help me find someone.
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    Bill · 02/22/2020
    I am currently using Restore A Deck Wood Stain Semi Transparent (Light Walnut) on my deck and stairs of home in Central Florida and am very pleased with the results. I live on the St. Johns River and plan on using this product on my dock once aged appropriately. I have some new marine plywood (not pressure treated) cabinets on the dock that I will need to seal/stain as well. Is the latex product I am currently using okay for the marine plywood or should I go with an oil based product like TWP? The wood supply company recommended an oil based product.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/23/2020
      You can use the RAD Stain for marine plywood as long as the surface is porous and does not repel a stain or sealer.
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    Jerry O'Brien · 02/19/2020
    How many gallons of RAD solid stain is needed for approximately 400 sq. ft. of deck? Do you recommend one or two coats (solid stain is going on almost 20 year old pressure treated wood, which has been sanded down to bare wood)? I have never used your product before. Please provide description, tips, and cautions of application, for example, apply generously, etc. On one of the questions, you answered that the problem was "filming" as a result over application. What is "filming"? In one place, I thought I read that second coat needs to be applied wet on wet because after the first coat cures, it will not allow another coat to soak in. I also read where you said to mist with water an hour or two before applying. Then in another place, I read that solid stains are not applied wet on wet. Please clarify process of two-coat application for solid stain.
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    Jerry O'Brien · 02/19/2020
    If we sand to bare wood and apply RAD solid stain, do we need one or two coats on (1) vertical surface and (2) horizontal surface? If two coats are needed, how long do we wait after first coat is applied to apply the second coat? The deck is in full sun. Do you have any special instructions on the application? In full sun, how long can we expect the deck to hold up before reapplication is needed?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/19/2020
      Two coats to all wood to ensure even coverage to all. Apply the second coat as soon as the first coat is dry. One to two hours. Reapply as needed down the road. Every 2-3 years for horizontals. Verticals will last longer.
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    Jerry O'Brien · 02/19/2020
    Because of the condition of the wood, we need to replace top boards on railing and two pieces of wood on deck. We will purchase KILN DRIED pressure treated wood. Can your solid wood stain be applied to this wood immediately or is it still considered "new wood"?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/19/2020
      New kiln-dried wood will need to season for 1-2 months and then prepped.
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    Jerry O'Brien · 02/19/2020
    On your questions and responses, I thought I read that solid stain can be applied wet on wet, but in another place I read that solid stain is not wet on wet application. Please advise.
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    Jerry O'Brien · 02/19/2020
    We will sand our deck down to bare wood, and assume a stripper and brightener are not needed? Please confirm.
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    Jerry O'Brien · 02/19/2020
    We have a 20 year old deck (pressure treated wood) that will be sanded down to bare wood and apply RAD solid wood stain in brown oak, desert taupe, or cypress. In looking at the color charts, it's hard to tell the shade. We want a medium brown, but not red. Brown oak looks like dark brown. Desert taupe looks like beige. We can't tell about cypress - is it more red or a medium brown?
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    Josiah · 02/16/2020
    I stained my new deck for the first time in May of 2019 using all of your products with the semi-transparent light walnut stain. When applying the second coat 12 months later, is it as easy as clearing all debris/dust from deck and applying stain directly? Or is it recommended to use brightener again first, followed by the stain? Thank you.
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    Dana · 02/07/2020
    I bought the RAD sampler pack to decide which color. I applied them to my non-sanded, but washed old decking which was mostly stain-free. The three different stains look completely the same on my old decking. (top-to-bottom: dark walnut, cedar, and light walnut). Why would that be? After I pick the color, I plan to sand, strip, brighten, and stain, but was hoping to be able to assess color and purchase stain first. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/08/2020
      You have to prep the wood correctly first to see the proper results of how the stain would color your wood.
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    Judy Wnek · 02/06/2020
    This past June I stripped my deck twice (once with the regular stripper and then again with the newer stripper you have), sanded with palm sander, used your cleaner to scrub the deck and then applied the brightener. I then stained with the DEP all following your advice and all while making sure I had enough dry time between and after staining. My deck is already starting to peel again in spots. I know you said that Behr stain was very hard to remove and I also know that I did not get every bit of stain off to complete bare wood, however pretty darn close to being bare wood. And no peeling on steps of the deck and the part of the deck that is under roof is fine as are many sections that are completely exposed to the elements. Just certain areas - now I am asking what should I do this spring? I don't think I can go through another stripping as I spent numerous hours on my hands and knees the first time. Do you think this is it for me - no matter what stain I put on it will always strip within months?

    Any advise is appreciated
    Judy

    June 18th was my last question about whether to use the additives and strip again and your reply was yes.
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      RAD Products · 02/07/2020
      Sorry, but what stain brand did you use?
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        Judy Wnek · 02/07/2020
        TWP 1500 series
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          RAD Products · 02/08/2020
          TWP does not peel when done correctly. Can you post a picture or two so we can see what happened and the best way to proceed?
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            Judy Wnek · 02/16/2020
            The sides of the deck as well as the steps and the deck that is roof covered are just fine (at least so far). The deck that is not roof covered look like the picture (in some areas) but some areas are just fine. Also some areas look as if the stain faded away (if that makes any sense. So disappointing.
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              RAD Products · 02/19/2020
              The only reason that could happen as if the TWP could not soak into the wood fully due to over-application since it is s penetrating stain. Easy fix though. Use the Restore A Deck Cleaner and pressure washing for prep. Apply one coat of the TWP.
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    charles lester · 02/05/2020
    i use a biadegradibal soy stain, i like it a lot the last time stained it i used a stripper that did not work very well. i did not use a brightner, shame on me. i sanded the whole deck right down to clear red wood. the stain is just worn due to the fact we have lots of fog. the stain i use requires i use a 60 grit prior to staining.love the reviews on your product.please let me know how much of your product i will need to strip, and brightener. the decc is approxemently 420 sg feet. thanking you charles
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      RAD Products · 02/06/2020
      Can you post a picture of the current deck stain on your wood?
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    Larry · 02/05/2020
    I got a sample of coastal gray and it’s a great color. I plan on using it. I have replaced my deck with treated pine 2x6s. Do I have to wait to apply or can the water based stain just be applied? What would be the best sequence to follow for this new wood? Should I apply two coats the first time? Thanks