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
    Jim · 06/12/2020
    Our deck gets full sun starting at about noon. Am concerned about trying to do the stripping, brightening and staining in one day. If we do the stripping and brightening in the evening, and the staining the next morning, should we just "mist" the wood first before applying the first coat of stain?

    Will this be as good as applying the stain a couple of hours after brightening?

    Thank you,
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Donna · 06/12/2020
    what can be used to clean up drips from restore a deck stain?
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    marty · 06/12/2020
    I cleaned and brightened my deck yesterday and was going to apply a timber oil today. I believe we are going to switch to the RAD solid deck stain, which if I order today will not arrive for 3-4 weeks or so. What do I need to do to my deck between the order and when the deck arrives to make sure the solid stain is ready to apply?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/12/2020
      Just do a light cleaning prior to applying the stain with the pressure washer and wood brightener.
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    marty · 06/12/2020
    We live in Colorado and get a lot of sun on our deck. We are thinking of switching to a solid stain and like the look of the espresso. Does this stain "hold the heat" making it impossible to walk on in the sun or does the heat transfer through to the wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/12/2020
      All stains will retain some heat but we have not had any complaints about the Espresso being and "hotter" than the others.
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    Alex · 06/12/2020
    We stained our deck yesterday and ran out of time to do a second coat. Can we do a second coat and touch ups today?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/12/2020
      No, second coats have to be applied wet on wet. At this point, it has already cured. You can do another coat in 6-12 months after a light cleaning.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Alex · 06/12/2020
        Didn’t see your message so we started on 2nd coat. What happens now? Will the 2nd coat washes off or remain sticky? Anything I can do?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/12/2020
          Nothing you can do. Hopefully you will not have an issue but if you do, you may have to recoat next year.
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    Norman Murrin · 06/11/2020
    I would like to see a picture of a deck finished with Cottage Gray. I have not been able to find a picture. Is there a section on the site with finished decks or is there a picture available to post on this forum?
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    Peter · 06/11/2020
    I’m going to use TWP 1500 stain on cedar deck , I just stripped deck and in a couple of weeks going to clean and brighten , after clean do I have to wait to use brighten or do I have to wait for deck to dry in between the clean and brighter??
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/11/2020
      Brighten as soon as you are done with the cleaning.
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    Ralph · 06/11/2020
    I stripped/brightened/semi stain (all rad products) cedar deck had plenty of drying time. When it rained for the first time it did not bead up. Just puddled. Do I need to put a sealer on?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/11/2020
      It is not designed to bead as the stain needs to breathe. You cannot add a sealer over a deck stain.
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    Ron McLeod · 06/10/2020
    I have a redwood deck that I stain with the same oil based stain every other year. It's not clear from your instructions if I should use Cleaner - Stripper - Brightener then stain, or if I should just or Cleaner OR Stripper, then Brightener and stain
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      Id using the same stain again then clean and brighten for prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike · 06/10/2020
    I am replacing some old, cracked 2 x 6 Treated with the same. I have already striped the deck with RAD, preparing to sand everything then RAD Neutralizer/Cleaner/Brightener. Then stain with RAD Semi. I've read NOT to sand the new 2 x 6's. However, is there a way to get the stain on the new wood to match the old? In the past (Olympic Maximum II) the new boards always turn out way lighter in color.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Barbara Sullivan · 06/10/2020
    Do you offer samples of the restore a deck solid colors? I'm interested in the two darkest brown colors.
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    Martin · 06/10/2020
    12 by 12 cedar deck and railings 10 mo. old never stain doesn't get much full sun there is some greying and a little green . I'm ready to stain with a tung oil based stain. what do I need to do to prepare the deck so I get the natural cedar look back?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      Prep with the RAD Cleaner and Brightener kits.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    William Fischer · 06/10/2020
    I replaced a 520 sqft deck with 5/4 treated yellow pine about 6 months ago. It has dried nicely, the boards had shrunken and became time to stain. I researched a bit and selected RAD. I got the sample kit and the cleaner and brightener. We treated and stained some scrap pieces from he deck. Light walnut was our choice. We finally got a fairly dry forecast ( a rare thing here in NC). There were marks I didn’t like so I sanded the whole deck with 36 grit folowed with 80. We have a sunny spot so I treated the deck in late afternoon. The next morning looked good so lightly misted the surface and the stained the whole thing; about two hours. The temp was mid 70s and the humidity in the 50s. I used your yellow brush – which I really liked- and worked hard not to leave puddles, brush marks etc. It looks fine. Here is the question. I did the whole job with a little less than one gallon of stain. Did I brush too much? What do I do next?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      Yes, you did seem to apply to thin, just clean and recoat in the Spring of next year.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lucie Griggs · 06/10/2020
    Have stripped PT wood deck and now need to remove fuzzies with hand held orbital sander. Cannot find buffing pads to fit 6 hole hook & loop 5 inch sander. Can I use finer grit sandpaper (like 120 grit) instead? or should I just sand the deck with 60-80 grit? Once finished, will deck take only 1 coat of RAD semi-transparent stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      60-80 grit. Brighten the wood after and rinse well. One coat of stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Karen Corbett · 06/10/2020
    Hello, we purchased your deck cleaner and solid deck stain last year, and the project turned out great! However, we failed to sand well enough and now some of the horizontal boards need to be re-done (our fault). We bought plenty of product and do not need more at this time. My question is this: for best results, can we clean it all and then just touch of the bad spots with stain, or do we need to clean and restain all of the horizontal boards so that the color is consistent?
    Thank you,
    Karen
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      Restain all. It will not blend if you spot apply.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Karen Corbett · 06/10/2020
        Would it work if I do the spots now and then restain it all in a couple of weeks?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/10/2020
          Just leave as is until you recoat all. It will be fine.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom Walker · 06/10/2020
    I'm trying to decide on stain: RAD, TWP, or Armstrong. I live in a VA with heat and humidity. I have a pine PT deck - about 7 years old and we should have stained 2 years ago. Can you let me know which product might be the best fit in my case.
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    Ray Gill · 06/10/2020
    Is the cleaner and brightener safe to use around vinyl siding?
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    Sanford · 06/09/2020
    Two questions. First, I have old, seriously peeling Behr semi-transarent on my deck now. An answer to Andrea below said Behr is hard to get off with your stripper. So is it better to sand it off rather than using stripper? Second, if I do that, is it okay to sand in the fall and leave the deck exposed to winter and then clean, brighten and stain the following spring? That would let it age 3-6 months before staining. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      Yes, you can sand now and then prep and stain in the Spring.
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    D L Ringer · 06/09/2020
    Does Restore-A-Deck stain require sealing?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/09/2020
      No, you cannot apply a sealer over a deck stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        D L Ringer · 06/10/2020
        That was what I thought as well. It didn't make sense & I didn't see any info on your site to back this up. I'm glad I checked with you. BTW, I like the results I got from your product. Looks very good!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lise Daigle · 06/09/2020
    What about a new deck; does not neec to restore it. Do you deliver in Canada? If so where so I order?
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    Mike Carter · 06/09/2020
    What is the shelf life of the semi-transparent stain. I ordered 5 gallons yesterday but I am thinking I'll need more than that. Planning on ordering another 5 gallons today as I don't want to run short! Will it keep until I reapply or touch up in a year or so?
    Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim · 06/08/2020
    What exactly is the required preparation required before applying Restore-A- Deck solid color stain over a previously semi transparent stained deck using Behr? Deck is 15 years old. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2020
      Use the RAD Stripper to remove all much as possible and then the RAD Brightener.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Andrea · 06/08/2020
    600 Square feet of redwood deck (40 years old, but just turned underside up to apply new stain) and fir (new that replaced some old boards and received first stain). We live in a very rural area so it was hard to get redwood for replacement at local building supply store.
    After sanding and prepping I had applied Behr transparent water-based and waterproofer with color tint. I ran out of stain and inadvertently purchased semi-transparent with same color tint and applied over it before I noticed that it was different. I began to strip with Behr stripper, but it was not working well, extremely labor intensive and so I began to read about RAD. I think I need RAD stripper and brightener, am I correct?
    Yes I have a pressure washer.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tim · 06/08/2020
    Is RAD cleaner safe for koi. I have a deck around a pond that needs to be cleaned
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sanford · 06/08/2020
    I am planning to redo a redwood deck and want to use your products. But you do not have a redwood stain. Do recommend just using the natural stain? You have pictures showing the colors of your stain but it is not clear what wood they were used on. Are their pictures of your stains on redwood? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2020
      You can use any color you like. Closest to Redwood would be Light Walnut. The pictures are on pine.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jennifer Boles · 06/08/2020
    I have 1900 square feet of fence/gates that I need to prep and stain. I was planning to use your products using a combination of pressure washer/pump sprayer/electric paint sprayer/roller & brush. I live in CA where it is very dry, and I just had some dry-rotted boards replaced and three gates rebuilt. I would like some guidance on what combination of products I should use. The original stain on the fence was applied by the builder 15 years ago and it has not been cleaned or touched up. I was thinking I could clean it with your cleaner via pressure washer, then go straight for the solid stain in espesso. I do have one gate that was painted but I don't like the paint color, so I wanted to have it match the rest of the fence/gates. Do I need to strip that one? I'm assuming I can't use the stain on the metal parts of the gate so would need to paint-match those? Can you advise me on product amounts? I see a note that says you give 'double the product' to account for railings, etc but I'm not doing a deck so I don't want to overbuy. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2020
      For 1900 sq feet and using the solid stain you will need about 15 gallons for the two coats. Pressure wash all wood with the Restore A Deck Cleaner/Brightener kits. You can stain over your already painted door with the RAD solid stain. You can not use the stain on metal.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike Carter · 06/08/2020
    Is it still taking 2-3 weeks for shipping? I have just finished using your stripper and cleaner. Love you products! However, I am ready to start staining.
    Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kassie · 06/08/2020
    Hello, we completed Step 1 and Step 2. Our deck is 3 tiered 1200 square feet. We do have some furries left over. As I have read, we should sand this down? This was a larger project than expected. Can we take a few weeks off and then stain? Should we purchase the cleaner when we do step 3 after sanding then stain? Thank you for your help!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2020
      You do not have to sand but you can. Use a floor buffer and sanding pad. If longer than two week yous should light clean again.
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    Bruce Lindsey · 06/08/2020
    The specifications say the stain should not be applied when the temperature is above 90. Does that mean, it can be applied at temps below 90 (for instance in the morning) stopping when the temperature reaches 90 in the afternoon? Or does it mean the stain should cure at temps below 90, so stain should not be applied on days when the temp will top 90?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2020
      See this for tips: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-hot-sun-application.html

      It would be best to not have it above 90 at any part of the day that it is being applied.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Bruce Lindsey · 06/08/2020
        One more related question. Does humidity factor into the curing process? Not only is it hot where I live, but it is also quite humid. And yes, I had already read the link you sent.

        Thank you for your help.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Bruce Lindsey · 06/08/2020
        We live in Texas and have considerable staining to be done; deck with solid stain and house with semi-transparent. It is going to be above 90 most days going forward through the summer. Can you briefly explain the risks of staining in shade when the temp will be above 90 later in the day and potentially having sun on stain later in the day?

        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/08/2020
          Flash dry and not cure correctly. Did you read the link we sent, that will help.
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    Bob · 06/07/2020
    I just finished applying the cleaner and brightener, and I'm planning on applying the stain tomorrow. I have the wood staining brush, but I feel unprepared for how to do it (this is my first time). Are there videos to watch so I can know what I'm doing? I saw on the instructions to dip the brush into the tray, apply in the same grain as the wood in one solid push for the length of the board, and while that seems self explanatory a video showing the process so I know how much to apply would be great.