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
    Katy Milholland · 04/27/2019
    It didn’t take my second picture. Trying again.
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      RAD Products · 04/27/2019
      Stain does not mask this. It would not hurt to go over it one more time as you still have stain on the verticals and in spots on the floor.
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    Katy Milholland · 04/27/2019
    Hello. I did steps 1 & 2 this morning, but the wood looks uneven. On the floor, there are some spots of old stain and on the vertical surfaces, there appears to be a significant color difference compared to the floor. Should I strip and brighten AGAIN before staining or will staining mask these inconsistencies?
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    al linde · 04/27/2019
    Just had pressure treated pine wood deck power washed. WillRAD semi trasparent "natural" change color. Deck is 800sq ft, how many gallons do I need. Can I use a roller to apply or any thing else.
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    steve · 04/26/2019
    i want a white stain and protector
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    Ron Oechsle · 04/26/2019
    In general, what is the recommended procedure/timetable for periodic maintenance of an RAD stained deck?
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      RAD Products · 04/26/2019
      Every 2 years is normal. Maybe 3.
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        Ron Oechsle · 04/26/2019
        What about procedure? Use cleaner then stain damp surface? Dry surface? Thanks.
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          RAD Products · 04/26/2019
          Yes, that is correct. Clean and apply as needed.
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    ryan · 04/25/2019
    Hello,
    We have a gazebo with a metal roof. There is a tower bit at the top (photo). Will the stripper, brightener, or stain affect the metal roof?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/26/2019
      You should avoid getting the stain and the brightener on the roof.
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    Liz · 04/24/2019
    Had a scrap piece of ipe that had aged gray...mixed small amt of rad cleaner then Brightener and think I followed directions to the letter...now waiting the 48 hrs to try stain colors and see the ipe looks like it has a cloudy wHite film...ok to proceed or would you reclean?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Trent · 04/23/2019
    435 SQ ft deck
    Unsure type of wood or age. Pine I think? I replaced a few boards last year with PT deck board.
    There was a reddish stain that I pressure washed off last summer.

    Wondering if I need to use the stripper or cleaner. Or if I need to sand any.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    carol lauder · 04/23/2019
    i had a new ipe deck installed in the Chicago area in Nov. We have let it age through the winter. We would like to stain in the next few weeks (May). I tried a sample of the the oil based Armstrong and Clark on a small area, but I would also like to test a sample of your light and dark walnut before purchasing. How do I remove these test samples areas before applying the cleaner, brighter and using your rad semi transparent product? do i use your stripper or do i need to sand? If sanding, what grit paper do you recommend for ipe? Also, what method do you like best for applying the stain on ipe decks? pads vs sprayer? Brushing? We are older and getting down on our knees for an 800 sf deck seems pretty hard for us. Thanks for your help. We dont want to mess up since this is a first time application! Carol L.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/23/2019
      If just a small spot, sand it off. 80 grit should work. Use a stain pad for applying.
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    Michael Paolini · 04/22/2019
    I stripped, brightened and stained 15 year old pressure treated deck. All came up fine. My wife is thinking she wants it darker. The stain I used was the light natural Is it a problem to put a 2nd coat of cedar or light walnut on top. The time between coats would be about 1 week.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/23/2019
      No, you cannot do that right now. The second coating will not take as the first coating has already cured. You would have to strip it off again.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Laurent · 04/22/2019
    Hi,

    I used Penofin last summer and my IPE deck looks terrible. Do you recommend the cleaner or the stripper to start over?

    thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rick Kearney · 04/22/2019
    Hi. We are preparing to do our deck as soon as the Ontario weather warms up.... it's a large deck that had semi transparent stain applied many years ago, and about 400 sq ft of new boards added 2 years ago when a large pool was replaced with a smaller one.

    To minimize differences in old vs newer wood, am I correct to apply stripper to the entire deck, then brightener, followed by stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Scott · 04/22/2019
    I have a large south facing pt deck that is 13 month old and never stained. I used an orbital floor sander last week to primarily remove lumber yard stamps. Then we prepped 2 days ago as directed. I have a good bit of furring I assume from pressure washing which I plan to sand off next. My question is: do I apply one coat or 2 and is it ok to apply stain over the milky white boards, about a third of the deck is like that?See photos:
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/22/2019
      The white is oxidation (graying) of the wood fibers that were not fully removed during the cleaning. I would suggest recleaning again. Only one coat the first time staining.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        scott · 04/22/2019
        Thanks for prompt reply. Do you mean clean and brighten again or just one or the other?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 04/22/2019
          Use the cleaner to remove the gray along with pressure washing. Brightener after any sanding.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Scott · 04/22/2019
            To be clear, I thought the cleaner could not completely dry on the wood before using brightener to deactivate it, but I can't see sanding wet wood. So, are you saying to use the cleaner and power wash and the brightener and rinse. Then sand after drying and then use brightener again and rinse?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 04/22/2019
              If you need to sand, then do the brightener after. Normally you would do it right away.
              • We will reply to your comment shortly
                Scott · 04/25/2019
                Well, cleaned and brightened and sanded and brightened again. Two days of prep was a lot of work but turned out pretty nicely. Was concerned about applying too heavily for single coat and ended up with a very light coat. Almost 90 degrees and sunny. If we wanna do another coat in a year do we clean and brighten again first or just brighten?
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                  RAD Products · 04/25/2019
                  Looks good!
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                  RAD Products · 04/25/2019
                  Clean and brighten. Brightener but itself is not going to prep wood for recoating.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sean Gannon · 04/20/2019
    We applied restore a deck last spring to an existing deck, using strip (and sand), brighten, stain. The deck looked beautiful all summer. The snow just finished melting (we are in Canada) and there are lots of spots that no longer appear stained.


    Is there anything we can do to make this look better or are we stuck doing the whole process every year?


    I'd like to wet the deck and go over it with a scrub brush to clean it up but I'm worried about causing further damage to the stain, would it be a bad idea?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/21/2019
      You can do a light cleaning with water and a scrub brush and recoat of the floor. Just one coat.
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    Bonnie Whitson · 04/20/2019
    July 2015 I used RAD stripper and brightener and TWP 1515 honeytone. Deck is pine and is 30 years old. May 2018 used RAD cleaner and brighter and same TWP stain. With the light and dark spots should I just use RAD striper or cleaner. Please help
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Linda · 04/19/2019
    I am interested in your Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain. Do I need to use a sealer too or does this include a sealer?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/20/2019
      No need and you cannot apply a sealer over a deck stain.
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    Mike Yamada · 04/19/2019
    One more question. Pricing is $USD for Canadian orders - yes? So the cleaning and staining kit at $220 plus freight $78 = $298 USD
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike Yamada · 04/19/2019
    What products do you recommend for staining a 15+ year deck, pressure treated and stained 4 years ago with Thompson's WaterSeal "Stain and Sealer". Should I use the stripper to remove any residue of the WaterSeal (it barely lasted through one winter)?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John k · 04/19/2019
    If I used cleaner and brightener. I couldnt stain within the 2 weeks. Do i used brightened only before staining?
    Any info would be appreciated.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Min Choi · 04/18/2019
    Hi~ I want to buy RAD stripper & brightener kit. Is it free delivery to Canada or only USA?

    If i use stripper, I don't have to use cleaner for my deck. Thanks~
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/18/2019
      Free in the USA, not Canada. No need for the cleaner if using the stripper.
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    Donna D · 04/17/2019
    what if i have tin under my deck that has been there for atleast 4 years will the cleaner or the brighter hurt it or eat it

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    Kashiem · 04/17/2019
    Hi. I have a 6 year old deck constructed with pressure treated wood and stained twice with Cabot Gold semi-transparent stain. Can I use RAD's stain remover...and brightener? Thanks in advance!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/17/2019
      You should be able to. Feel free to post a picture of the current deck stain on the deck.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        kashiem · 04/17/2019
        Also, would the stain remover and/or brightener damage concrete pavers that butt up against the deck upon application?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim D · 04/17/2019
    I stained new PT deck a year ago with RAD Wood Stain Natural, and looks like I need to add another coat. The deck is under a covered porch, so only the perimeter boards, front and sides of the deck is exposed to sun and rain and those areas especially need another application. Other than a light power washing, do you recommend anything before applying another coat of RAD Wood Stain?
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    Ron Oechsle · 04/17/2019
    I recently stained our deck rails (dark walnut) and managed to get some overspray on our vinyl house siding. Can you recommend the best way to remove it? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/17/2019
      Try a graffiti remover cleaner from your local hardware store.
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    Daniel Mejer · 04/17/2019
    For an ipe deck, stained 2 yr ago w AC and to be stained w RAD Cedar, what is the max time between stripping, brightening and then staining before having to re-brighten? I may have to wait a wk or 2 after brightening to stain.

    What variables figure into this issue?

    Thank you!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Keith Farquhar · 04/16/2019
    Is the deck brush sufficient to get to the gaps between the deck boards, or does this need to be done with a smaller brush? Also could I use the cleaner/brightner on red cedar pole that had some black mold?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/17/2019
      The brush will get down a small amount between the gaps. Maybe a 1/4 inch. The cleaner should help with the mold.
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    Liz · 04/16/2019
    Do you sell sample sizes of Armstrong stain for ipe
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/16/2019
      We do but you not on the site. You can call 866-856-3324 for this.
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    Liz · 04/16/2019
    Can you pls send pic of three yr old or so ipe deck with light walnut and mahogany? Thank you! How much rad cleaner and Brightener would you advise for roughly 2000sq Ft ipe 3 yr old thinking it has not been sealed...
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    Tango · 04/15/2019
    If I stain one day and it rains the next or during the night will it affect the stain in any way? I did not see any Q&A about this. Thanks!
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    Miles · 04/14/2019
    400 square foot approximately including hand rail and stairs.
    I think cedar
    Age is approximately over 15 years
    I started pressure washing a bleach solution mold armor deck spray.
    I recently cracked a board and replaced with a brand new, and I'm worried the stained wont match from the old boards. Planning on putting restore a deck brightener, and then sanding to hopefully make it match.
    I want to finish this deck before may 11th which is our house warming party. Hopefully we can find a dry weekend
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/15/2019
      Prep with both the RAD Deck Cleaner and the RAD Brightener. Sanding will not make the wood match and will hinder the stain's ability to soak into the wood. Do not sand. There is no way to match your old wood to your new board the first time staining.