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
    jarod · 05/28/2021
    If I use the gel additive with the RAD stripper, will it still work with a pump sprayer?
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    Megan · 05/28/2021
    May we use a paint sprayer to apply color stain to railings and lattice?
    Thanks
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    Rene · 05/27/2021
    I need some guidance as to how to prep my pressure-treated wood deck for (semi-transparent) stain please. The deck has been pressure washed and sanded to remove the remnants of the old semi-transparent stain. Is it now necessary to use the stripper or cleaner or brightener? If so, how much time am I leaving in between steps before applying the semi-transparent stain? The deck is just under 200 square feet.  What application tool would you recommend I use? Thanks in advance!
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    Wayne W. Elsasser · 05/26/2021
      I have a 40+ yr old 12' X 16' Redwood deck that has had nothing done to it for yearsss.  It is completely covered by a metal roof and screened in.   I am 75 yrs old so my daughter offered to pressure wash the deck for me.  I didn't have a chance to research on what and how to recondition this type of wood deck before she started.  Because the pressure washer roughed up the wood and some boards had a really course texture, I decided to sand the floor and the railings.  I also patched knot holes and deep cracks with epoxy wood putty.  I plan to pre-stain these areas before I apply the finish.   I have sent away for your semi-transparent stain samples and hope to decide what finish would look best.  My wife and I would prefer a clear finish, no color, just the natural redwood look.  I am hoping that your natural finish stain /sealer will maybe work for what we want.  My question now is do I need to still pre-clean the deck even though I pressure washed and sanded? After reading all the positive reviews,  I have high hopes for a great looking deck with your product but also want to " Do it right the first time"!  Thank you for your time in reading this, hope to hear back soon.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/26/2021
      Hello,
      A few things. A clear will not offer UV protection from graying. It must be tinted/have color to do this. Natural is not clear, it is tinted. You should not have filled the cracks with the putty. It will not work on outside wood (it fails) and will not "stain" or blend with your coating. You will still need to use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener for prep.
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    J · 05/26/2021
    Do you need to use brightener if applying the solid stain? Also, does solid stain have texture so people don't slip when there is water?
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      RAD Products · 05/26/2021
      You brighten after to neutralize. No texture to solid stains.
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    Paul · 05/25/2021
    Which is better for a 24mo old PT wood deck never finished before, TWP 100 or Woodrich? I like the color of woodrich but I read the TWP is the best.  In reality are they the same 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/26/2021
      TWP is a better stain when it comes to longevity.
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    Aaron Foster · 05/25/2021
    Square Footage of Area to be Restored: The calculator said about 900 sq ft.
    Type of wood if known: Unknown
    Approximate Age of Wood: Unknown as we bought the house 4 years ago.
    If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type (Examples of Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Solid Stain, Oil-Based, Water-Based): Unknown as we bought the house 4 years ago.
    If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained: We have not stained it since we bought it and it looks like they didn't as well. 
    Wood Type to be Stained (Deck, House, Fence, etc.): Deck, Rails, Lattice
    Do you have access to a pressure washer: Yes

    Also, would it be better for us to go with the semi-transparent stain or the solid color stain? We're looking at more like the Dark Walnut semi-transparent stain. 

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/25/2021
      Not sure if you have an old stain but it does not look like it. Prep with the RAD Cleaner and brightener kit. 2 of each. About 8-10 gallons of the RAD Stain. You can go with the Dark Walnut color.
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    Bob B · 05/25/2021
    I used your strip, brighten, restrain products last summer. Came out great. I also replaced some decking boards with new pt pine. How do I now prep  and stain the new boards?
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    Anna · 05/24/2021
    Hi, I’ve done the cleaner on my deck; it’s in need of a lot of sanding. Do I do that after the brightener? 
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      RAD Products · 05/24/2021
      Sand and then brighten. 60-80 grit sand paper.
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    Roberto · 05/24/2021
    How long after prepping do I have to apply stain? If it rains after prepping do I have to do prepping again before staining? 
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      RAD Products · 05/24/2021
      Best to stain withing 2 weeks of prep. Rain would not harm the prep.
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    ben · 05/24/2021
    I placed an order but I need to know when it can be delivered... I have  a client with a tight window and the weather is not looking great.  I called but no one answers.  I left a message but I haven't heard back...
    Help?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/24/2021
      Reply back from your order email for assistance. In addition, when items ship, a UPS tracking email is sent. The only reason we would not answer is due to all lines being busy assisting other customers. Just wait on hold until we have a free line to help.
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    Merwin · 05/24/2021
    The box contains the stain - nothing else. I opened the box when it arrived. I thought that the other items would be delivered separately and that is the reason I waited. I do not have my original purchase email.
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    Jeff Bowen · 05/23/2021
    The stain went on thicker in spots and tacky. What can I use to remove the excess?
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      RAD Products · 05/23/2021
      Sorry but it is not possible to spot fix this. Any attempt would probably make it worse. The tackiness will go away. 
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    Merwin · 05/23/2021
    I ordered 5 gallons of semi transparent, cleaners, booster And brush on April 2. I received the stain  3 to 4 days later but I have not received the rest of my order. Is this unusual or should I remain patient.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/23/2021
      It is shipped in the same box as the stain. Please reply back from your original order email if you are missing items.
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    Benarcuri40 · 05/23/2021
    Hi, in 2020 I purchased five gallons of stain, I finally got around to staining my fence this weekend. Looks amazing. I overestimated and only used one container. The other container is still sealed. How long will it last? Will I be able to use it next year? 
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    Michael · 05/22/2021
    So here’s a picture of when I first stained my pressure treated deck with the cedar semi-transparent 2 years ago. I missed the one year maintenance coat and now it’s been 2 years.Should I sand before cleaning? And how many coats should I apply? 
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    OneEyeMan · 05/22/2021
    Hello.  Is your Semi-Transparent Wood Stain appropriate for hardwood decks such as Batu?Thank you
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    James · 05/21/2021
    Do I need additives for water based semi transparent Cabot stain?
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      RAD Products · 05/22/2021
      We would need to see pictures of the stain on the wood. You can post them here.
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    Travis · 05/21/2021
    Last year I used Valspar Clear Sealer on my deck and was very unhappy with the results. I'd like to start over this summer. What would you recommend to strip it before cleaning and staining this year?
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    Demet · 05/21/2021
    Hi,
    Would this product be good for staining and sealing a new exterior door?
    Thanks!
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    GM · 05/20/2021
    how long does it take to ship, location Texas?
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    Paula · 05/20/2021
    Hello, I used your products last year to restore my pressure treated wood deck. I am located in Toronto, and after the winter season the deck seems to have lost some of its luster. The stain still looks good ( no peeling or cracking)  .  Do you have a product that will help restore the Lustre to the deck?
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    Ben · 05/20/2021
    If I am planning on using a solid stain, do I need to use a brightener?  It seems like a cleaner would be enough...  Doesn't a solid stain completely cover the color of the wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2021
      Stripper to remove what is loose. Brightener to neutralize. 
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Ben · 05/20/2021
        The deck was stripped and sanded last summer but then never got stained.  Now we are ready to do it but it's been weathering for a year.  It still looks in good shape... Do I need to strip again, or could I just use the brightener?  
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          RAD Products · 05/20/2021
          In this case Clean and then Brighten. Brightener by itself will not work. 
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            Ben · 05/20/2021
            Thank you.  That's very helpful.
            If I'm applying a solid stain AFTER cleaner and brightener... Is a brush better than a roller?  Will it adhere any different?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 05/20/2021
              When applying a solid stain you use both a roller and brushes. Roller for floors, etc.
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    Mike Gearin · 05/20/2021
    If I can't strip, brighten, and stain in one day, which steps should I do on day one vs day 2?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2021
      Strip and brighten day one. Stain next day is okay.
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    J&A · 05/20/2021
    We have black aluminum and glass railing on both an old section where we’ll be using the stripper and new deck where we’ll be using the cleaner. Do we need to tape them prior to using either of those products?
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    LC · 05/20/2021
    We used a Behr semi-transparent waterproofing stain and sealer 2 or 3 years ago, but the deck gets a lot of pollen and it doesn't repel it well enough.  What cleaners and additives should we use befor applying your new stain?  We have a power washer.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2021
      The stain is solid color in appearance, not semi-transparent. This means you will have to sand it off if you want to use a proper semi-transparent stain. Other option is to use the RAD solid stain over this if you do not want to sand.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        LC · 05/20/2021
        Should I still do the cleaner first?  If so, which ones?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/20/2021
          If going with the solid stain then use the Stripper first to remove as much as possible. Let dry and sand any remaining stain that is peeling. Cover the intact stain with the RAD Solid. 
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    robert l · 05/19/2021
    cleaned, brightened and used a transparent stain in neutral tone. Looks like some areas got an over application and are still damp a day later. These areas are under roof. Do we just wait for them to eventually dry or can we run a clean dry roller to take up some excess stain?
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    KEN FIORINO · 05/19/2021
    Last summer I sanded my cedar deck, used RAD cleaner and brightener, and then stained it with TWP 1500 series honeytone stain.  Very pleased with the results for all products.  Water still beads up although not quite the way it did last year and the color shows some slight lightening on the horizontal surfaces.  Live on Long Island, NY where we don't have year round strong sun.  Would you suggest using just the cleaner or both the cleaner and brightener to clean the deck and do you suggest re-coating with stain?
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      RAD Products · 05/19/2021
      When you recoat you will need to use both the cleaner and brightener. You can do this now or next year.
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        KEN · 05/21/2021
        If I am not going to recoat this year then I should not use the cleaner and brightener correct?  In that case what do you suggest to clean surface dirt from over the winter?  Just straight power wash or is there a mild cleaning agent you would suggest?
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          RAD Products · 05/21/2021
          Our products are only from prep when reapplying. You can clean dirt off with water and some dish soap if you are not recoating.
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    JOHN PELLEGRINI · 05/19/2021
    After using Restore-A-Deck products on new wood (cleaner, brightener, semi-transparent and solid stains) this Spring (FYI it looks amazing!), if I want to put on another coat of stain in the Fall (since I over-bought and have the material), what process and products do I need to use? Can I simply put on the stain? Or do I need to strip the fairly new stain first?
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      RAD Products · 05/19/2021
      Best to wait until next Spring to do this. You will need to clean and brighten the wood.
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    Dennis · 05/18/2021
    Thinking of doin two tone application on 10 year old deck that has never been sealed.Cottage gray on horizontal surfaces and Coastal gray solid on horizontal surfaces.Question: Are the two grays close to each other in pigmentation to be considered similar.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/18/2021
      Close, but not really the same. Depends on your wood type and age of the wood for the final Cottage Gray color.