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
    Naami · 07/28/2019
    Hi! So I used your clean and brightener and I did one coat in an area on Friday and I'm Sunday some water spilled on it and I see it washed away. What did I do wrong? Why isn't it curing?some of the space was just from stain being out on unevenly
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/29/2019
      You definitely will need more than one coat for the solid stain. Once the stain fully cures, it cannot wash away.
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        Naami borenstein · 07/29/2019
        I'm worried why it didn't cute in two days though does that mean it needs more time or it won't cure because I did something wrong
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          RAD Products · 07/29/2019
          Did you prep and stain the same day? If so, how long did you let the wood dry between prep and stain?
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            Naami Borenstein · 07/29/2019
            no i didnt i did prep and a little less than two weeks later did stain
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    Dariel · 07/28/2019
    Are the RAD stain, cleaner and brightener made in the US?
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    Gerald · 07/27/2019
    I coated a new cedar deck last fall with Flood CWF-UV penetrating wood finish. I put on one thin coat a 24 hours later a fairly thick coat. This year it looks terrible: splotchy. I am trying to strip it. I've applied Superdeck exterior wood stripper 2X and am still scrubbing and pressure washing the Flood product up. the deck is about 10' wide by 30' long. Any advice you can give me?
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    Kent · 07/26/2019
    Ok....I finished sanding the solid stained deck ( DeckScapes) I have been working on...( Most solid stain peeled off with pressure washing and I completely sanded everything with 50 grit and a belt sander. Applied stripper and brightener today to all and there are a few small areas that are still peeling and I will finish sanding those tomorrow. My question is: Is there any need to re-brighten etc the small places that I sanded or can I just make sure its clean with compressed air before staining? ( Received Costal Gray solid stain today and will be staining Monday. UPS delayed the delivery for some odd reason!! )

    Also...is there any reason to dampen the deck before starting to stain on Monday? Its about 400 sq ft. and temps here will be in the 80's. I can keep most of the deck shaded .
    Thanks!
    Kent
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/26/2019
      If using the solid stain, no need to brighten again or dampen with water prior to stain.
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    Mike · 07/26/2019
    can I use a regular pump sprayer or do I need a stain pump sprayer?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/26/2019
      Any quality pump sprayer with a fan tip will work.
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    RAYMOND DUCHARME · 07/25/2019
    What is the shelf life of the RAD solid stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/25/2019
      Unopened and stored in a temperature-controlled room, it is a few years.
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    Gina Shafer · 07/25/2019
    I'm using a solid stain to go over an old solid stain on a deck with wood rails. The wood is pressure treated pine about 15 years old. The old stain was applied over 5 years ago. Do I need to strip and brighten when covering solid stain with solid stain? I do have access to a pressure washer .
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/25/2019
      No need to strip all off. You can use the stripper and pressure washing to help remove the loose or peeling stain. You can cover any of the current solid stain that is not peeling after the prep.
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    Gschimma · 07/25/2019
    Just cleaned, pressured washed and stained my 22 year old main deck with one of your semi-transparent stains. Looks great! We have new stairs and I ended up staining them on a separate day. Unfortunately there was an unexpected rain and the stairs are splotchy. Do I need to start from scratch and pressure wash and sand and then stain? Also, I applied the same stain to the rails but am now thinking of using your solid white stain on them to match a smaller deck and our porch. How do I prepare the rails?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/25/2019
      You would have to strip/brightener the rails for best results with the solid stain. You would also have to remove the blotchy stain from the steps if you want to fix now since the stain has cured already. The other option is to wait until Spring and lightly clean and recoat then
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Patrick · 07/24/2019
    I have applied the stripper and brightener to half the deck but I think parts still need additional stripping. May just sand it out, but is there any downside to the wood in repeating the entire process. Thx
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kent · 07/24/2019
    Great!!...Will be staining either Friday or Monday..I will post pics when complete. Thanks a million for all the help! The only thing that could make it better is if the customer is still happy a year or 2 from now!!!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kent · 07/24/2019
    Does the solid color stain require the second coat wet on wet??
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/24/2019
      No. First coat has to dry before applying the second coat with the RAD Solid Stains.
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    Kent · 07/23/2019
    Should I use the brightener or cleaner on the raw wood that I just exposed or is that mainly just used to neutralize the use of you stripper or cleaner?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/24/2019
      Use to neutralize the Cleaner and Stripper but will help to open up the pores of a sanded deck as well.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kent · 07/23/2019
    Pressure washed solid stained ( DeckScapes) deck and exposed a lot of bare wood.. after sanding any still intact stain should I use any of your cleaning/stripping/brightening products on the exposed raw wood??

    I have ordered 4 gallons of Coastal Gray Solid Stain and I have 1 each stripper and brightener and stripper additive also. I posted earlier this morning
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2019
      As long as the intact stain is adhering to the wood, you can stain with the Solid Gray over it.
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    Steve · 07/23/2019
    Will the cleaner, brightener or transparent stain effect pavers or red brick?
    The patio pavers are under a pergola and the pergola is attached to a brick house.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2019
      No issues on brick with the prep products but do not get the stain on them. Cover or tarp during the staining process.
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    Nikole Kauer · 07/23/2019
    I have a deck that is a year old. We've cleaned it and are ready to apply stain. We want semi-transparent, but don't know which stain to use - RAD stain, TWP, or Armstrong. Help!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2019
      All of them come in semi-transparent colors. Where are you located?
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    TeakRestore · 07/23/2019
    How would you suggest removing a semi transparent primer from Home Depot on teak. I’m considering buying a table, but owner primed it already. (They thought they were going to stain it). I just did a teak table with what I now believe was solid stain with a lot of sanding and your products, it came out great, but I don’t want that much work for this table.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Liz · 07/23/2019
    I used a cleaner to clean new cedar before staining. I had let the wood gray over several months before applying cleaner. I thought I had rinsed thoroughly using highest pressure of my garden hose for about 45 min over the whole deck. Now the wood is dry and the whole thing is furred. What should by next step be?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2019
      That is oxidation/graying of the wood cells that was not fully removed. Reapply the cleaner and pressure wash off. Rinsing with a garden hose will not get this off. Brighten the wood after.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Liz · 07/23/2019
        Thank you. Do I also need to pressure wash off the brightener or just rinse with a garden hose? Can I ask why do I need to re-apply the cleaner and not just pressure wash?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 07/23/2019
          Pressure washing with just water could damage the wood. using the cleaner helps with this by allowing you to use less pressure. Rinse the brightener when done.
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            Liz · 07/23/2019
            Makes sense thanks again. What psi do you recommend when rinsing off the cleaner? “Rinse the brightener when done” means with just a garden hose?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 07/23/2019
              Rinse brightener with pressure washer. Wash with cleaner and pressure washer arounf 1500 PSI.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kent · 07/23/2019
    I am refinishing a treated wood deck for a customer that was stained with DeckScapes solid. I realize that unless I completely sand I would need to use solid color stain....my question is how should I prep to change the color to gray? I will be pressure washing today and can post more pictures after.
    Thanks in advance!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2019
      Prep by pressure washing off any loose or peeling stain, dirt, algae, etc. Let dry and sand smooth any rough edges of the current solid stain. You can cover over the intact solid stain that is not peeling with the RAD Solid Stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Julia · 07/22/2019
    I have finished applying Restore a deck semi transparent stain to my deck following your directions. Do I also need to now apply a sealer?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/22/2019
      No, and you cannot apply a sealer over any deck stains. No need.
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    bobby bunny · 07/22/2019
    is this the same product as the gemini restore a deck
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim · 07/22/2019
    I have a lake front home with a 750 s.f wood deck that I want to redo. My concern is the slope under the deck is quite steep towards the lake and the stripping material will likely run into the lake. Am I correct in assuming this product would be harmful to any plant life on land and in the lake? Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Thomas Pongracz · 07/21/2019
    I just stained my railings with your white stain and there are areas that are yellow. I used both your cleaner and brightener. Do you know why this might be happening? I was going to buy few gallons of your gray to do the floor but I’m concerned if it will also not be uniform in color.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/22/2019
      Did you put on two coats? You might just need another coat as the old coating or wood is showing through it seems. There is nothing in the stain that would cause it to be yellow.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ken · 07/21/2019
    I emailed last Monday but haven't heard back yet and really want to get started on my deck. We ordered the stripper and brightener but are wondering just how much preparation we need. Our deck is a combination of composite (floor and bench seats) and metal (vertical posts) and wood. We need to use the stripper on the wood but are wondering if it will be harmful to the other areas. Do we need to completely cover them up with tarps and tape or is it okay if they get some of the over spray from the wood. We are anxious to get going on this but don't want to do any harm. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/22/2019
      The prep products should not harm the composite. Most likely will not have any effect on the metal spindles either but best to test first to make sure there is not any reaction.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Carl · 07/21/2019
    Home is in the Puget Sound area, Pacific Northwest, where we get a lot of rain.
    500 SF Deck, Incense Cedar, installed 2015, applied Semi-transparent Flood.
    I have completely removed the Flood stain with RAD Stripper, applied RAD Brightener, spot sanded areas where some stain remained. The wood looks great and is ready for second Brightener and then stain.
    I ordered and received 5g. RAD semi-transparent, cedar color. However, I am now having second thoughts. Would the TWP100 be a better choice considering the weather here and the type of wood, Incense Cedar?
    Is it possible to return the RAD semi-transparent and order the TWP100? Any suggestions?
    Which of the two products will work best in the Puget Sound region and on Incense Cedar?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/21/2019
      Either brand would work well and about the same in performance. You can exchange but you will need to cover the shipping costs and any price difference.
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    Greg · 07/20/2019
    I have a 5 year old Trex deck with cedar railings that I stained with Ready Seal, an oil based stain, about 3 years ago with mixed results with mixed results (some greying, fuzzies remained). Prior to staining I cleaned (sodium percarbonate) and brightened (oxalic acid) before applying the stain. For the next staining of the cedar railings, Ready Seal strongly advised using a bleach and water solution for cleaning/brightening for best results but I feel the approach would risk discoloring the Trex portions if not properly controlled. I'm ready to move on RAD products and my question is: when prepping with RAD do I need to go through the full sequence of stripping, cleaning and brightening before applying a RAD stain? Also, just to confirm is there any problem going from an oil based stain like Ready Seal to a water based stain like RAD or TWP (and what are the implications for prep)? Further in using RAD products are there any considerations I need to take into account for protecting the Trex portion of the deck? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/21/2019
      Strip and brighten. No need to use the Cleaner. No issues using the RAD as long as you stripping off the RS. No issues with the Trex.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Greg · 08/24/2019
        Thanks RAD team for the feedback! Just to confirm, the RAD stripping and brightening process will take care of the cedar that has greyed out as well? Is this done with the stripping process and how best can it be accomplished (i.e. with a power washer, scrubbing by hand). Maybe I'm overestimating the effort but after a couple of years - even with the previous stain (Ready Seal) - the greyed out cedar is apparent in many parts (I also I have to remove the furries by sanding). Lastly while I'm ready to move on to RAD for both prepping (stripping and brightening) and staining would it be easier to prep with RAD and then go to an oil based stain like TWP (is there and advantage to staying with an oil based stain and would the same sequence be the same - e.g., strip and brighten with RAD, then stain with TWP?). Thanks again!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 08/25/2019
          The RAD will remove the RS and the gray. Apply and pressure wash off. Brighrenr when done. No advantage to using an oil-based stain but you can. Same prep.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Greg · 08/25/2019
            Thanks! I'll use the RAD stain as well. Lastly, when stripping the cedar railings do I need to take special care to protect the Trex boards/material which is the majority of the deck? For example do I need to cover the Trex with plastic and/or pre wet the Trex water (like the instructions say with windows, etc ..)? Keep in mind I'll probably be applying the stripper with a scrub brush (not spraying), so there shouldn't be a lot of excess stripper getting on the non cedar parts of the deck. I'm hoping I can just pre wet the Trex and rinse off the whole deck when done stripping and brightening.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 08/25/2019
              The stripper will not harm the Trex.
              • We will reply to your comment shortly
                Greg · 09/02/2019
                Thanks! I just put in an order for RAD products. Lastly, just to confirm:

                - can I apply the stripper with a brush (or do I need to apply with a sprayer)? Keep in mind that it's only cedar railings (about 3 inches wide) but they are pretty gray.

                - likewise do I need to apply the brightener with a sprayer (the type on the RAD website?) or with a brush? If I use a brush what type of brush do I need to use and do I avoid too vigorously applying the stripper to not damage the wood?

                - Do I sand off the existing furries after I'm finished stripping and brightening or before that process?

                - You stated earlier I should pressure wash off the stripper; what PSI should I use? Likewise, should I pressure wash off the brightener too or can I just rinse off with a garden hose?
                • We will reply to your comment shortly
                  RAD Products · 09/02/2019
                  Apply stripper with a sprayer, not a brush.
                  Appy brightener with a sprayer.
                  Sand if needed after.
                  1500-2000 psi will work for the stripper. Just rinse brightener.
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    Randy · 07/20/2019
    Have approx 200 yards of post and pole fencing.

    1. Any of your products applicable?
    2. Can the 3 step process be avoided for the 200 yards of fencing, i.e. just apply the stain
    3. Which of the useable products have the longest useful life before restaining is necessary?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/21/2019
      1. Yes, the stain would work well.
      2. No, you have to prep.
      3. The RAD semi-transparent stain.
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    Francois J · 07/20/2019
    I have 600 sq ft deck (including stairs & side coverings). Was stained 2 years ago with Cabot - poor quality product. Now the deck is in terrible shape.
    It looks as if I will have to sand down, strip, brighten and stain anew.
    How much RAD stain will I need, and how much RAD cleaner and brightener. Stain color probably Natural-semi-transparent.
    Total cost please?
    Can you ship to Canada?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/21/2019
      One RAD Cleaner/Brightener Kit. 5-6 gallons of the stain. Add the products to cart and enter your shipping info for the total cost.
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    Lucie · 07/19/2019
    How much product will I need for old pressure treated pine deck about 1000 sf. Previously stained with Behr transparent water based stain. Much of deck is now peeling. I understand that I need to strip the old stain, apply brightener and then apply new stain. Not sure how much of each product I will need.
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    Aumfwd · 07/19/2019
    Hello, I need to sand, stain clean and brighten my redwood deck. Obviously, stain goes last. What order should i do the other 3 steps?
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    Clarice Angelo · 07/18/2019
    We have a 25 year old cedar deck that is only about a foot off the ground with a face board around the edge leaving only a 2 inch gap to allow air flow under the deck. We have used Sikkens Cetol deck stain as recommended by the builder but found it begins to peel off within a year after application. Do you have a product that would preserve our cedar deck without peeling off?