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
    Eileen Filler · 06/20/2020
    Hi, I have a 22 yr old deck. I ordered semi transparent stain. We have replaced about six boards. Should I wait to stain for several months? Thanks, Eileen
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    Jay · 06/20/2020
    How much to ship to Kingston, Ontario, Canada
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      RAD Products · 06/21/2020
      Add products to cart and enter shipping info. It updates automatically.
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    Eth · 06/20/2020
    I stripped part of my deck successfully with RAD stripper and had earlier successfully stripped part of it with Behr stripper. Some of the deck is not successfully stripped, but I’m not able to get back to working on the deck again for a few more weeks. The stripping process started a number weekends ago (probably a month at least on the earliest areas). Should I use RAD brightener right now to neutralize the stripper, so it doesn’t darken the PT pine? I heard it the caustic nature of stripper will darken the wood? I’m not sure of my plan to re-stain because of the difficult removal of Behr semi trans in some areas.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2020
      Brighten all when done.
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        Eth · 06/20/2020
        So is it accurate to say there won’t be a risk of appreciable darkening if the wood hasn’t been brightened for a few months after stripping?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/20/2020
          It will restore the color when you do it later.
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    Karine Benoit · 06/20/2020
    Can I use RAD on LVL and if yes, is it better to use the solid stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2020
      Yes and use the solid stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Karine Benoit · 06/20/2020
        Thanks! Also, a few years ago I had put natural semi- transparent stain on my deck but seems like there is nothing left anymore. Should I use only the cleaner or the striper?
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    Robert M Souter · 06/20/2020
    Will RMD stripper and brightner effect Trex railing and post systems?
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    Robert M Souter · 06/20/2020
    In the process of preparing to stain my 18 year old PT deck using RMD solid stain, I had to replace several deck boards that had signs of rot with new PT deck boards. Can I proceed to prep using the RMD strip with additives and brightner before staining? About 20% of the deck have new PT deck boards. I was hoping that I didn't have to wait 60-90 days.
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    Lucie Griggs · 06/20/2020
    After stripping and sanding PT wood deck, I applied brightner to dry wood instead of damp wood. Some of product dried before I was able to hose it off. Do I have to re-apply the brightner to damp wood?
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    Michael · 06/19/2020
    300 sq ft cedar deck. 3 yrs old. Not previously stained or sealed. Currently sanding to remove grey surface and restore the original look. I’m considering the semi transparent natural or cedar products.
    1.How many gallons do I need?
    2.What is the future annual (?) maintenance/ reapplication process (in Canada/harsh winter)?
    3.Is it ok if it rains between sanding and application?
    4.Other than cleaning off sawdust after sanding, are there any additional steps required before applying the product?
    5.Is a paint brush the best way to apply the product?
    6.what is the usual shipping time to Quebec?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2020
      1. About 2-3.
      2. Clean and recoat as needed every couple of years.
      3. Yes.
      4. Clean and brighten the wood after sanding.
      5. Brush or stain pad.
      6. 1-2 weeks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chuck · 06/19/2020
    Do I need a second coat of solid stain on horizontal surfaces? If so how soon do I apply it?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2020
      Yes, you need two coats when using the solid stain. Apply the second as soon as the first is fully dry.
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    Valerie Fremin · 06/19/2020
    I've ordered the stripper and additives/boosters + brightener but not the stain Q: Can I wait several weeks after stripping before I stain, if so, should I wait to brighten right before staining. Thank you.
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    Chuck · 06/19/2020
    How much drying time do I need before rain is a problem with a solid stain.
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    Teresa Looney · 06/19/2020
    Oops, this is for Gerald Jenkins (6/18/2020) not Brad Jenkins. Sorry for the error. Gerald, would you
    please tell me why you are switching from Defy semi-transparent stain to RAD semi-transparent
    stain? Also, what wood is your deck?

    Thank you much.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Teresa Looney · 06/19/2020
    I would like Brad Jenkins (6/18/2020) to tell me why he is switching from Defy semi-transparent stain to RAD semi-transparent stain. I'm trying to decide between the two. Thank you, Brad.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Curt · 06/19/2020
    I have just powerwashed my deck. Then I applied Thompson water seal. We have decided we want to use a solid stain on the deck. Can I apply solid stain over the freshly applied Thompson product?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/19/2020
      No, as it will repel the stain. You will need to strip and brighten for prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chatch · 06/19/2020
    Hi,

    Just finished staining our deck and I have 1 unopened, and one half used gallon of solid stain left over. How should I store these and how long is the shelf life.

    Also wondering what the prep is for any touch ups next season?

    Thanks,
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/19/2020
      Shelf life if opened is about 12 months. Unopened about 3 years. Store where it cannot freeze.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jerry · 06/19/2020
    i have PTP deck i used your semi transparent stain 2 gallons.I did not mixed the first gallon properly. The second gallon i empty the jug and cut the bottom and the i mix it thourlghy as resullt
    i have diffient shades. I am in the process of stripping the deck.I plan to redo the deck early October shoud I brightner now,clean an brightner in October.I will be using your semi transparent
    Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike CArter · 06/19/2020
    How do I just clean a deck that has Semi-Transparent stain on it. The deck is still in great shape, just want to clean it from dust, mildew etc.
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    Bev · 06/19/2020
    Deck is 220 sq ft. 9 years old. Treated pine. Redone 3years ago with Cabot semi transparent. Will an orbital sander remove this product down to wood so we can stain with your product? Would we need to use stripper?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/19/2020
      This is a solid stain on your wood. You will have to power sand to remove as a stripper will not remove it fully.
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    Derek · 06/19/2020
    Hello, we have a 720 sq.ft. weathered PT deck that is about 8 years old. It has not been properly cared for, never cleaned / brightened or stained (see photo). Do you think if properly prepped (cleaned and brightened) we can use a semi transparent stain to finish or should go with opaque? How much cleaner and brightener and stain do we need to order? Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/19/2020
      Use Semi-transparent. One prep kit should work. About 7-8 gallons of the stain for 2 coats.
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    Esther · 06/19/2020
    Does your stripper in the process work on this form of solid stains? Pictures are before any pressure washing and sanding/cleaning.
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    bluedemon24 · 06/18/2020
    I moved into a house earlier this year with a solid stain chipping away, not sure about brand/type. What should be my process wit this deck?
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    John Masseau · 06/18/2020
    After filling out an Order form and giving my address in Toronto Ca. I don’t see that I would be charged an exchange rate for Can. funds? Is this so or am I in for an annoying surprise when I see my credit card bill.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gerald Jenkins · 06/18/2020
    My deck was stained with Defy semi transparent light walnut stain. I will be staining with RAD semi transparent dark walnut stain. I have stripped, pressure washed and then brightened and then noticed some stain still left on the deck. Can I hand sand just the areas with residual stain? If so, do I need to brighten and then stain with 2 coats? Or should I sand the whole deck with a 5 inch random orbital sander, brighten and then stain with one coat?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Brian Wilton · 06/17/2020
    We previously used Thompson water seal semitransparent stain on our deck floor. What would we have to do to use yorvproduct?
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    Bruce Lindsey · 06/17/2020
    I understand that I should not stain if the temperature will reach 90 degrees during the day. Is there a cure time at less than 90 degrees that would be okay? For instance, if I stain in the evening after it has cooled down, and stain would have say 12-15 hours to cure ahead of 90 degree temps the next afternoon, would that be okay?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Don · 06/17/2020
    Stained our deck with Restore-a-Deck and love the stuff. Especially the low toxicity. We have a bunch of active birdhouses around the deck and the stain doesn't bother the nesting birds. Time to re-stain so I ordered stripper and brightener. I should have read more about them first! The toxicity of the stripper makes it a non-starter in our situation. Fortunately this stain is easier to sand off than stains I'd used. before. So I'll just sand the old stain off instead of stripping it. My question is, should I just sand it off and apply the new stain or should I do anything additional to make the new stain adhere better? I'm not concerned how the wood grain appears or anything. Any half-decent stain job will do. But I don't want stain coming off. That happened to me before with other brands and it was a mess. Thanks, Don
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/17/2020
      Do a pressure washing after and use the brightener after the sanding.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 06/16/2020
    Moved into our house last fall and am refinishing deck. Don't know any facts about deck age (at least 10 years or so) or stain but is a 730 sq. ft. deck and 110 sq. ft. in railings. I believe it was a solid stain. I have only power washed it so far. I am wanting to put RAD solid stain on it. What else do I need to do to prepare for staining.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/17/2020
      Just continue as you are doing by removing the loose stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Steve · 06/17/2020
        Should I just clean and stain or would I need to brighten before applying stain? Some of the previous stain would not not come off, is that ok since I am applying solid stain? Also, how many gallons should I need?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/17/2020
          You do not have to brighten this when using a solid stain and you can cover any intact stain. About 6-8 gallons.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    WHM · 06/16/2020
    Six months ago, our then current deck, 9'11'' deep x 13'6" wide, and mostly covered by a roof, was extended by 11'9". The total area is now 21'8" deep x 13'6" wide = 293 sq ft. The old decking came with the house built end of 2003. I do not know the type of stain used. I have included a couple of close-up decking pictures, one next to the house and very well protected from the sun and rain, and a second that is exposed. Not sure if you can tell anything from the pix. As one picture shows, I will have to refinish/finish in two sections, as a hot tub will have to be moved. The The railing is plastic and all wood is pressure treated pine. The old deck is stained underneath and on the beam and two posts. I have access to a pressure washer. We are interested in using the Cottage Gray Semi. What is your recommendation regarding finishing the bottom of the deck, the new beam, and five new posts? I have never done a project like this, so I would very much appreciate any guidance you can provide.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chatch · 06/16/2020
    Hello,

    My surface has been weathering for apx 2 months, and I've prepped my material for RAD solid stain by sanding, followed by RAD cleaner and brightener. I just checked the wood moisture level with a meter and it is all less than 12%, is this level low enough to go ahead with staining?

    Thank you.