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
    Amy · 07/03/2019
    I need to put a second coat of woodrich penetrating stain on my cedar deck. We did one good coat about a year and a half ago (when the deck was new). Before we initially stained it we used used the restore a deck cleaner and brightener. We had a lot of new wood gunk come off and it was a big process to scrub and sand. I don’t want to strip off the stain that is there I just want to add a second coat. Can you please tell me how to prep?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/04/2019
      Use the RAD Cleaner and lightly pressure wash.
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    Jeff · 07/03/2019
    I recently stripped my deck using RAD products. We had a transparent waterbased stain previously. I also sanding the entire deck to bare wood. We decided to use your solid stain-classic white. I am very displeased at the outcome. We followed the directions and weather as instructed. We let the first coat dry for several days. Today it rained and the stain is now turning yellow on us. What gives? Please help.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/04/2019
      The yellowing is not from the stain (it is not possible for a white stain to turn yellow) but from something else. Possibly the water or pollen? It also needs another coat.
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    Joei · 07/03/2019
    I have a cedar deck that was originally stained with a water based semi-transparent stain 2-3 years ago. The deck was new at that time. It almost immediately started peeling, and has continued to do so over the last two years. I'm very concerned that the much of the wood is (and has been) unprotected from elements - I live in Minnesota.

    At any rate, I'm planning to prepare the deck myself, and I've hired someone to stain it for me. What do you recommend I use to remove what I left of the water based stain?

    Thank you!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/03/2019
      What brand was it and best to post some pictures.
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    Jim · 07/03/2019
    I sanded, cleaned, brightened and stained my handrail (2 coats) last fall. Now, there are several sections of the handrail that have faded dramatically so that the wood underneath is turning grey. Plus there are a few sections that look like they've dropped out completely and appears as if new wood is showing though. This just happened last week. I want to find out what's happening with this before I restain my entire deck. Would appreciate your comments and advice.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/03/2019
      Most likely you over-applied. The RAD is designed to sook in fully and if too much is applied to the point it cannot fully soak in, this can happen. If you sand the deck, this would hinder the stain's absorption is why we suggest only one coat if applying to sanded wood.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jim · 07/09/2019
        What is your suggested remedy?
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          RAD Products · 07/10/2019
          Since it is just the railing, take 60 grit paper and sand it. Rinse well with water and apply 1 light coat. It should take much better/
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    John Olexa · 07/03/2019
    I have a 12 year old pressure treated yellow pine deck, 337 sq feet. Last year it was coated with penofin oil base stain. It has darkened with many black areas. What do you suggest?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/03/2019
      Prep with the RAD stripper and brightener. One of each. Stain with the RAD stain. About 3-4 gallons for the two coats applied wet on wet.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kate · 07/02/2019
    Not sure why this one did not load, but this photo shows the worst of what is left on the deck now. Please let me know what you think. Thanks so much!
    Kate
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    Kate · 07/02/2019
    At the end of day 12 of removing layers of deck over, paint and stain, I have almost all of it off. Will the remainder come off with sanding or should I use a regular deck stripper and then sand? I’m really looking forward to using your quality products! I’m going to be using dark walnut semi transparent.

    Thank you!
    Kate
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    Phil · 07/02/2019
    I have a 22 year old pressure treated pine deck that was treated with
    TWP-100 3 years ago. The horzonal boards look devoid of any of the TWP. The vertical
    boards of the rails look like they still have some TWP on them. The deck is
    very dirty and has a minor amount of green stuff on it. Should I use the
    stripper or just the cleaner and what is the best way to clean the vertical
    boards of the rails. Would the gel work best for them?

    Thanks!

    Phil
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    Sheila Campbell · 07/02/2019
    I did not see the 3rd image after posting, so lust uploaded.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sheila Campbell · 07/02/2019
    We have a 20x30 multi-level deck, the wood is pressure treated and is 4 years old. The first stain applied 4 years ago was Behr semi-solid. Last year it was stained again with Behr solid in the same color. We applied the stain ourself the first year. Last year we hired a company and the job was not done well. Attached are three images, the first shows the poor coverage that was done with the solid, on this post they totally missed the upper part of the post. The top part is the semi-transparent, the bottom is the solid, as you can see the solid is much more orange, which we did not care for. The second picture is current, the color has toned down, but the stain is starting to flake. Based on this information is there anything additional we would need to prep? Everything I read says if you have a solid, you have to stay with solid. The calculator specified 8 galons of solid, 1 jar of stripper and 1 jar of brightner. so would the steps be strip, brighten, apply solid with brush/roller? We do have access to a power washer. We are thinking desert taupe would be the best fit, the third picture shows our house, we perfer to stay away from any stains with red/pink/orange as they bring out pink in the brick, we prefer to stay more neutral. Please let us know your thoughts. We've read good reviews and look forward to using your product.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Sheila Campbell · 07/02/2019
      I'm having some issues uploading the 3rd pic, trying one last time.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/02/2019
      The stripper and pressure washing will prep the wood so that any loose or peeling stain will come off. Neutralize after with the Brightener. You do not have to remove all the current stain when using the RAD Solid as it will cover the old coating as long as it is intact. The Desert Taupe would be a good color choice.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Sheila Campbell · 07/02/2019
        Thanks so much for the quick reply. It would be more cost effective to get the Restore A Deck Stain Stripper and Brightener Kit, correct?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 07/02/2019
          Yes.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Sheila Campbell · 07/02/2019
            Sorry, one last question. Can we spray the solid on and then go over with the roller, or is it best to use a paint tray and roller like traditional painting?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Marie · 07/01/2019
    Do you have any pictures of decks restored with your coastal gray solid stain on them. I see a lot of green in the color sample I printed out.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jay Siwek · 07/01/2019
    1) If we strip, brighten, and stain our deck this year, can we just re-apply semi-transparent stain next year, or do we have to repeat the entire stripping and brightening process each time?
    2) Can we spray on the stain, and then brush with the RAD brush to achieve a smooth, uniform finish?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/01/2019
      1. Clean and recoat next year.
      2. Yes but make the stain fully penetrates into the wood.
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        Jay · 07/01/2019
        Thanks for the quick reply!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Emily · 06/30/2019
    We live in Denver CO-our redwood deck has a southern exposure and is 575 square feet- about 15 yrs old. I stained it last year (after completely sanding it) with a product that turned out to be awful. Peeled up after 6 months like plastic wrap but is OK on vertical surfaces. Power washing removed most of old stain-then rented a belt sander (80 grit) and sanded entire surface- now have bare wood. We have been getting numerous intermittent storms so need a product I can apply on damp wood and internet search let me to RAD. How many gallons do you think I will need and do you have any tips?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/01/2019
      Clean and brighten for final prep. Just one coat of stain to a sanded deck. About 4-5 gallons of the stain.
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    Steve · 06/30/2019
    I stained my new deck after six months of weathering. I've got some dark areas and some much lighter. I'm wondering what are the ramifications of second coating some areas. What is the general reason for recommending only one coat on new wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/01/2019
      New wood is not absorbent enough for a second coat and if you over apply to the point that the stain cannot fully soak in, then it could lead to premature failure. Best to do another coat next Spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Annie · 06/30/2019
    What home improvement stores carry Restore-A-Deck? Or is your product only available online?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Andrew · 06/30/2019
    I have already purchased Valspar all in one wood prep cleaner and brightener. Can RAD stain still be applied the same day after using this product?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/30/2019
      Sorry but no.
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        Andrew · 07/02/2019
        Can it be used with other cleaners and brighteners after time to dry? Or will it negatively affect the stain?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 07/02/2019
          It possibly could. Definitely not the same day.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kate · 06/29/2019
    I am refinishing my 1000 sqft. deck and purchased two kits with dark walnut semi transparent stain. Not knowing what was on the deck from the previous owners, but knowing it was beginning to chip and peel, I started with sanding. I rented a floor sander and sanded for 18 straight hours and still had not gotten to any wood. It did take a lot of the top coat off which I have since learned was Deck Over. Which should not be sanded for health reasons, apparently. I’ve also tried some strippers and found that citristrip and a pressure washer actually works to remove Deck Over. You have to use it a little differently than the instructions, but it works.

    Under the deck over was a coat of solid stain or paint, I’m not sure which and under that was the original stained wood.

    So, now that I’ve been working to get this stuff off from sun up to sun down for 9 days, I now have 80% of the deck ready. It will take me a few more days to get it all, but I am determined to get there! So now I’m wondering about sanding.

    Just to get this mess off the deck, I’ve used a rented floor sander, a 5” orbital sander and a hand held belt sander in addition to the citristrip. Plus underneath all of that was not the best wood. Some needed extra sanding.

    I know now that the stain may take differently based on how it was sanded. But once I get all this previous junk off, how is the best way to prep for the cleaner, brightener and stain and finally the stain? Go over all of it one more time with an orbital sander or what? What do you suggest?

    Thanks!
    Kate
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/30/2019
      Go over all wood with 80 grit to even out the porosity of the wood. Clean and brighten then stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ken S · 06/28/2019
    10 year old, 785 sq ft deck, Pine, previously stained with Wolman Raincoat Natural Cedar Tinted in September 2016. I have access to a pressure washer.
    Horizontal surfaces are pretty faded (lots of sun). Vertical surfaces still appear stained. Will your stripper remove? Do I need booster/thickening gel?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/29/2019
      Yes, the stripper will remove and the booster and gell will help, especially with the verticals.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mary Eberle · 06/28/2019
    I took off work to apply the stain because they were calling for showers tomorrow(Saturday). Finished applying the second coat, and viola, the skies opened. What do I do now?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/29/2019
      Wait until the rain stops and check to make sure the stain is okay. If an issue, post some pictures.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Matt · 06/28/2019
    Hi there,


    One year ago I got new treated pine and applied the semi-transparent stain (after cleaning and brightening) - worked great. I read that this summer I should apply a light maintenance coat.


    Do I need to clean and brighten before application of this coat? Will I need to clean and brighten with subsequent coats 3ish years down the road?

    Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Teresa · 06/27/2019
    When I contacted you earlier..I used your cleaner (not stripper). and then brightener. Followed directions on both packages. After I hosed off the deck yesterday..we did have a downpour of rain. Then this morning we had like powder white stains that appeared. Pictures were included in the earlier post. What can we do now..can we alleviate the white stains..is it safe to stain? Please help..Thanks..
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2019
      That’s the knots and raised grain from oxidation removal. Knots are normally lighter. You can stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Teresa · 06/27/2019
    Here's the picture of the dried white stains.. I even went outside for the 2nd time today and scrubbed and hosed off the deck and fascia boards.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Teresa · 06/27/2019
    I used the stripper and brightener according to the packages yesterday. This morning I had a white film that covered most of the deck. I called your business and they informed me to further scrub and wash off with hose. I did that for an additional 1/2 hour. There still are white spots on the deck and fascia boards..what can I do? Or is it safe to stain 48 hours later.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim · 06/27/2019
    I used your natural colored deck stain and it worked great. Unfortunately, we over sprayed on a white vinyl fence and have no clue how to get this off. Help.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2019
      Try water-based graffiti remover from your local store. Like goof off.
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    John · 06/27/2019
    To strip off old SW oil stain on cedar deck before applying TWP, do we need cleaner AND stripper, or just stripper?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2019
      The stripper then brightener. No need for cleaner.
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    Robin · 06/27/2019
    Staining a cedar wood framed smoked glass screen around two sides of a hot tub. The wood is 12 years old and has never been stained (it is now grey). I would like to use your semi-transparent cedar stain. Would you please advise me on the correct steps and products.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2019
      For the prep, use the RAD cleaner and then the RAD wood brightener. Once prepped, you can apply the RAD stains.
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    lma · 06/27/2019
    Few question re: application on a recently stripped pressure treated deck.

    1) the site mentions being able to do your whole deck in one day, but the Brightener packaging says to wait 48hrs before staining!?

    2) the site mentions applying stain with brush, sprayer and pad. Is one better than the other?

    3) would staining all the spindle junctions first, then the rest of it a day or more later, or would this look obvious? (deck is about 700sq ft, and I'll like to do it in stages. i.e. spindle junctions, then rest of spindle, etc. )
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2019
      1. That is for other brands of deck stain, not the RAD stains.
      2. Yellow stain brush or pad.
      3. Do it all at once for best results.
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    Javed · 06/26/2019
    How long does it take to ship to Canada (Toronto, Ontario)?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    James Smithson · 06/26/2019
    How long after an order will product ship?
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    Joel · 06/26/2019
    I used Sikkens Proluxe Cetol SRD 2 years ago and have deeply disappointed with it and want to remove it and start over with a more quality stain product. What product do recommend to clean and strip off the old stain? I noticed on Amazon there was a "Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper, Wood Brightener, Booster, Thickening Gel Combo Pack". Would this work or is there something more effective?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Joel · 06/28/2019
      Thanks for your reply. I will certainly purchase from you. Will I need to sand at any point and when should I do that? Before the Brightner or after?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 06/29/2019
        No need to sand unless all does not come off. Brightener after if you do.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/26/2019
      RAD Stripper with the Booster and Gel. We would prefer you did not buy from Amazon. Brightener after.