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
    Kraig · 08/25/2019
    can you apply with a HVLP sprayer, such as a wagner flexio 3000?
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    Thomas Lofton · 08/25/2019
    Well my wife read this and noticed “taupe” in the 2nd sentence. I have no idea why except embarrassment, damn’! CYPRESS please. If you need me to call, please let me me know.
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    Thomas Lofton · 08/25/2019
    I receive my order for six (6) gallons of solid stain. However I received white rather than the taupe I intended. I checked the order and it does specify classic white. So I went back and checked the entering process and again got white even though I checked cypress. When I entered and doubled checked cypress, cypress was entered correctly. Long story short I need cypress and to return the white. I’m reasonably sure the mistake was due to my error. Can you arrange for me to return the white stain and send me the cypress and bill me as you deem fair.

    The reason for my delay lay in informing you is due to my waiting on the weather appropriate for staining and had stored ( in A/C controlled space) without checking. Again, my error.
    ASAP
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    Judy · 08/25/2019
    Can you store the mixed Stripper/Booster/Thickening gel in a 5 gal container overnight in the event I don't finish the stripping in one day? Also, can the brightening wait until the next day or should I brighten what I strip immediately?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Judy · 08/26/2019
      I didn't get a response to my questions
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    Judy · 08/24/2019
    I am re-staining a 7 year old deck 200 sq ft. that has had various water-based transparent stains applied over the years; Flood, Sikkens, PPG. 2 years ago the entire deck was sanded down to the bare wood and the PPG stain was applied. I would now like to try RAD products. I want to order Stripper (plus both additives), 1 gal of Brightener and 1 gal of semi-transparent stain. I do not need the cleaner, correct?
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    Wil · 08/24/2019
    Any reason the Restore-A-Deck semi transparent stain cannot, or should not, be applied to a newly installed Cedar fence (in hot central Texas direct sun)?
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    Brenda · 08/24/2019
    I think I read somewhere on this site say it's ok to walk on first coat but be sure to brush out footprints. If I am using the Restore-A-Deck Brush, will that be sufficient? Or do I need to use a regular paint brush?
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    GM · 08/22/2019
    My deck is PT pine with some new wood (about 3 months old now) and the rest newly-sanded. Total area is 950-1000 sq ft including floor, rails, etc. I plan to use RAD ST stain after prepping with RAD cleaner & brightener. Since it's new and newly-sanded wood, just one coat of stain per your articles and answer to a previous post. Looks like your stain-cleaner-brightener combo kit (5 gallons stain, 2 lbs each cleaner & brightener) should give me enough cleaner & brightener, but maybe not quite enough stain? Maybe another gallon or two of stain? Please advise, thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/22/2019
      You will be very close on the prep products and you will need close to 7 gallons for the one coat of stain.
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    Phil Gougler · 08/22/2019
    I re-stained my deck about 2 years ago using your stripper, cleaner and brightener products. The stain is still holding up well. But the deck needs cleaning. Do you recommend using your cleaner and brightener products as stand alone products? Or do you have to re-stain after using the brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/22/2019
      The prep products are for recoating. Not just to clean general dirt.
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    Don · 08/21/2019
    Hi, just stained porch steps using RAD semitransparent cedar stain after RAD stripper and brighter. Looked good but a few days after white blotchy areas appeared. Any idea what is causing this and a solution to fix it?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/22/2019
      It is not the stain so it is either something laying on top of the stain or something leeching out of the wood. If it is just mineral deposits from water, try wiping it off with a wet rag.
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    Nancy · 08/20/2019
    If we have thunderstorms after I've cleaned and brightened my deck, will I need to clean and brighten again before adding R-A-D stain? I thought I'd have a week of dry weather, but now the forecast is for thunderstorms.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/21/2019
      No, you do not have to reclean as long as you stain within a couple of weeks of the prep.
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    Jason · 08/20/2019
    Hi there. Couple quick questions. I have a 1k sqft redwood deck, 3 years old. I stained it with an Olympic Semitransparent stain (see pic) about 6 months after it was built. It started peeling within a few months. We pressure washed as much of the stain off as we could (see pic). Most of the stain came off but not all. Questions:
    1. Will the stripper remove the rest?
    2. Will the brightener bring back the red tones? Or do we need sanding to do that? (see pic of a small section of the deck that I sanded)

    We ordered the sample pack and sanded / stained a leftover piece of the same redwood that we used to build the deck. Loved the color and the way the light walnut highlighted the reds so we'd like to see that in the deck (again, see pic). Just not sure the brightener will do as good a job as sanding would? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/21/2019
      1. Use the Stripper with both additives and pressure washing: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html
      2. Brighernr does not bring back red tones but lightens the pH balance after the stripping. A stain would bring back the color in the wood.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jason · 08/22/2019
        Ok, one other question. Part of the deck will need to be sanded because it borders our koi pond and I'd rather not get the stripper in the pond as I've been told it's pretty caustic and can cause PH swings in the pond water. So should I get some cleaner for just the small section that I'll be sanding? Or can I just apply the brightener after sanding and then stain? Also, of course, I don't want the small section I'll be sanding to look different from the unsanded part of the deck.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 08/23/2019
          It will look different if you sand some and strip the rest. More than likely the sanded area will be a little lighter in color. It would probably be best to sand all for an even appearance and then clean and brighten for the last prep. The other option is strip most, sand the small area, then lightly go over the stripped area with the sanding to even out the porosity. Still should clean and brighten when done.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jason · 08/21/2019
        Ok, so I could get the look I'm going for (the last picture shown, the one with the boards laying side by side on concrete) without sanding, just by using the stripper / brightener and then staining? (no sanding)
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          RAD Products · 08/21/2019
          Yes, not need to sand but your exposed wood is more absorbent then these new boards so the stain will be darker.
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    Seth K · 08/20/2019
    When the water-based Superdeck stain (redwood) that I was using was discontinued I tried Defy Extreme (also redwood) but the results have been disappointing so I'm considering trying Restore-A-Deck. Under these circumstances, what should I know about R-A-D? I notice that you don't offer a redwood stain, and that dark walnut is the only color you have which isn't lighter than my current redwood.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/20/2019
      You current stain has to come off. You cannot apply a stain of a different brand over the Superdeck and is most likely one reason why the Defy had issues. Strip off what you can and sand the rest if needed. Brighten lastly. Feel free to post a picture of the current condition for more help with the prep.
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    John · 08/19/2019
    I treated my existing deck with RAD stripper and brightener yesterday, first time using a pressure washer. As you can see in the attached photos, I ended up with a lot of fuzzies and the surface is pretty blotchy (although it's not completely dry yet). The deck is fir, about 5 years old and was originally stained with a natural or transparent oil-based Benjamin Moore Arborcoat. Seems like it's not ready to stain.

    Suggestions on next steps?

    Would you also have a color recommendation for TWP 1500? We'd like to keep it as light as possible without having it be too inconsistent.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/19/2019
      Best to sand or buff off the fuzzies before the stain. The lighter color of the TWP would be the Honeytone 1515.
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    Jeff · 08/18/2019
    My wife and I just stained our deck with RAD Dark Walnut. Prior to we stripped and sanded to remove the old solid stain.

    During application we were very careful to apply the new semi transparent RAD stain evenly. Later that night we were very surprised to see that when fully dry the stain was very uneven. It really looks like it needs a second coat but I saw on your site that you a very adamant about applying only 1 coat to freshly sanded wood.

    Do we have any options at this point to try and even out the color or are we better off waiting a year and reapplying then? It just seems that the stain soaked into the wood more in some areas than others. I should add that we did use cleaner/ brighter after sanding. Deck is 3 year old cedar.


    Thank you for your time!

    Jeff Englund
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      RAD Products · 08/19/2019
      Best would be to wait until Spring. Lightly clean and apply a coat then. More than likely the color will even out as well.
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    mike baldinger · 08/17/2019
    15 year old Redwood deck. Used Superdeck Cleaner, brightener and oil based transparent stain multiple times, the last 2 years ago. The deck is only a little more than 200 sq. ft. and the wood has darkened over the years and has some cupping, probably from using a small hand brush to clean. Never been power cleaned as i use a hose and spray nozzle. This year after cleaning I decided to use a pole sander with 60 grade to knock down some of the cupping and try to sand the darker areas. It was a lot of work and
    only somewhat successful leaving some graying and coloring. I want to try the RAD water based, semi transparent stain, Light Walnut. It has been almost 2 weeks since using a cleaner and there has been wet mornings from fog. Since i have sanded, should I re-clean, use a stripper, and brightener using RAD products? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/18/2019
      Lightly reclean and brighten the wood for the final prep. BTW, it looks like your nails are rusting. You would have to replace them to stop that.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Nancy · 08/17/2019
    RAD Products · 08/03/2019
    Best o clean and brighten after the sanding as this will remove sand dust and open the pores of the wood. Just one coat of stain to a sanded deck.


    I read the above statement on your website but when I talked to someone on the phone, I was told I should still use two coats after re-cleaning and re-brightening my 19 year old deck (unfortunately, I sanded it with 80 grit after brightening because I'd read on another site to do so to smooth out after pressure washing). Which instructions should I follow: do I use one or two coats?
    Also, how long does it take to ship to Grand Rapids?

    Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/18/2019
      One coat if you sanded. 1-2 days to ship to GR.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jay · 08/17/2019
    My question is about maintainance coats of semi-transparent stain. This summer, I used the 3-step process (stripper, brightener, 2-coats of stain) for the first time on our 25-year-old cedar deck. It worked great! Best solution I've found after years of trying other things. (see attached photos for before-and-after sections).
    In terms of a maintenance re-staining, I see conflicting advice on your website under FAQs. Sometimes you say to just use RAD cleaner and then one coat of stain; in other places, you say use RAD cleaner, then brightener, then one coat of stain. How should I do maintenance re-staining with a semi-transparent RAD stain: RAD cleaner, then one coat of stain, or RAD cleaner, RAD brightener, then one coat of stain? Thanks for a great product, great advice, and a very helpful website full of lots of good information.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/18/2019
      To use the Brightener or not depend on the condition of the wood stain and how many years between coatings. If cleaning removes down to the bare wood then use the brightener. If not and you still have a base coat of stain, no need to use the brightener but you can. Same with the amount of coatings of stain to apply. Bare wood would be two coats. Having a base coat after prep would be one coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rick Laham · 08/17/2019
    I have a new home in Galveston Island TX with a raised deck of approx. 450 square feet of pressure treated SYP. The deck is 12' above grade so the underside is clearly visible but not subject to direct sun. The house is typical for the beach area as it sits on 12' tall piers and a portion of the supporting beams which are also pressure treated SYP are exposed. Everything has weathered for about 5 months. I would like to stain the deck with light brown semi transparent stain. 2 questions please. Would you recommend also staining the underside of the deck boards or is it a waste of material and labor? Would it be beneficial to stain the supporting beams that are exposed under the house or would that be just cosmetic and not worth the expense? Thank you for your assistance
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/18/2019
      The only reason to stain the undersides would be appearance. Up to you. Same with posts.
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    Mark Russell · 08/16/2019
    How soon will I receive the order after shipping?
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    Karen · 08/16/2019
    I used your products and my deck looks great with one coat (solid). I think I read that a second coat would have needed to be applied right away, or else wait. If I want to add a second coat in the near future, do I need to wait until spring?
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      RAD Products · 08/16/2019
      The RAD Solid stain can be applied with another coat now or in the Spring. Lightly wash to remove dirt if you wait until Spring
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    Kevin · 08/15/2019
    Plan to purchase RAD System ie cleaner, brightener and stain. Do you ship to Vancouver, Canada?
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    Paul · 08/15/2019
    I started staining my deck with TWP 100 (oil based, semi-solid), but do not like the color. Can I apply a RAD solid stain directly over the TWP stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/15/2019
      As long as you pressure wash for prep with the RAD stripper.
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        Paul · 08/18/2019
        I just applied the TWP 100 a couple weeks ago - does it still need to be pressure washed?
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          RAD Products · 08/19/2019
          Yes. If only two weeks, you should strip it as well since the TWP being so new, it may repel the solid stain.
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    Annette Metcalf · 08/15/2019
    How do I get stain splashes off my vinyl siding?
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    Clarke · 08/15/2019
    I have a large deck that was painted with Benjamin Moore Deck paint last year....it is terrible. How would I prepare deck? I would like to use the solid stain, Gray. Deck is 20 years old , but very good shape.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/15/2019
      Pressure wash to remove any loose stain. Let dry and then sand any remnants of loose stain. You can then stain over the intact stain with the RAD Solid Stains.
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    Jonah · 08/13/2019
    I have a new deck that I stained with valspar semitransparent stain 2 days ago. I did a horrible job staining. I need to strip it I think. Can your products help?
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    jonah · 08/13/2019
    Where at in michigan can i find your products?
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    Karen Corbett · 08/12/2019
    I purchased the RAD Deck Cleaner and it did a fabulous job! However, i used it all up and now see that there are few spots that need more cleaning. Is there anything I can use besides plain water on these small areas before I stain?
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    David Bowers · 08/12/2019
    I have previously been advised to sand my very large deck that was stained three year ago with Behr solid stained rather than use a stripper and then use a sander to remove remaining stain. That advice has been based on the belief that a stripper is very ineffective in removing Behr solid stain. However, after learning about your booster and gel products, I need to know if the Restore-A-Decker stripper would be effective when use with the Restore-A-Decker booster and gel in removing the Behr solid stain.
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      RAD Products · 08/12/2019
      No, deck stains strippers will not remove a solid stain effectively.
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    GaryK · 08/12/2019
    Going to stain my IPE deck. Deck is 4 months old and has some greying from the sun (Pacific Northwest, so not a lot of sun!)


    After cleaning, power washing and brightening, the IPE in the sun has quite a bit of white exposed. I'm assuming this is from the oxidation and greying. Do I need to clean and brighten again to get rid of the white? I've attached a picture.