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

 

 

Ask a Question or Post a Picture...
You are guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Roger Bloom · 06/28/2022
    Sanding of deck almost complete. Cleaning and brightening next followed by semi transparent RAD stain.  This is old wood (some portions older than others).  Do I need to power wash after the brightening step or just rinse?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2022
      Pressure wash after the cleaner, pressure "rinse" after the brightener.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Roger Bloom · 06/28/2022
        Got it - thanks.  I read a few posts indicating that since I am sanding a single
        coat of semi transparent stain should suffice.  Is that correct?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    lorne · 06/27/2022
    where can i get these products in canada?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/28/2022
      We sell online only with shipping to Canada.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Catenacci · 06/27/2022
    I have an 800 ft2 deck that is 25 years old and last stained about 2 years ago. I have always used Behr or Cabot semi-transparent cape cod gray water-based stain. I have no photos but it is obviously time to re-stain it. The stain never lasts more than 2 years anyway but the deck is still quite serviceable. I don't care how pretty it looks - just want to preserve it so I don't have to replace it. I am not picky. My thought is to power wash it, then use either your semi transparent stain (gray) or just do the same old Cabot stain again. Your opinion?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2022
      You cannot use our semi-transparent stain unless you remove all of the old stain first. Once this is done, the RAD Stains would be much better than the Cabot.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charles · 06/27/2022
    So I sanded, recleaned, and brightened my deck which is mostly old wood with some newer planks mixed in.  What I am noticing is that the newer wood still has some white patches on it.  What should I do?

    Also, I plan on using your semi-transparent stain mixing light walnut and dark walnut.  I know the older and newer wood will never be exactly the same but is there any way to make the difference not as noticeable?

    Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2022
      The prep looks fine to stain. There is not any more you can do to make new and old wood blend better. 
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Charles · 06/27/2022
        Thank you.  Do you think the semi-transparent will look good or would you lean towards a solid stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    WALT MCCORD · 06/27/2022
    CAN YOU MIX CLEANER OR BRIGHTNER IN 5 GAL. BUCKETS AND USE IT IN 2-3 DAYS LATER.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2022
      Not the cleaner. It has a shelf life of a few hours after being mixed with water.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Philip Grego · 06/26/2022
    This is my First time using RAD Stain.  
    i have an IPE Wood Deck.  
    I stained my Deck Yesterday. It has dried and looks good. my question is, Do I need to apply 2nd coat of Stain?  If 2nd Coat is Recommended when can I apply 2nd Coat?
    Looks like Rain is in the forecast tomorrow. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lydia · 06/24/2022
    Finally finished our front porch with your stripper, brightener and antique walnut stain.  I used up all the brightener and stripper but have a lot of stain left over.  We have a very small deck at our vacation cottage and I would like to use some of the leftover stain on that deck.  I also do not want to order more stripper or brightener.  Can I just power wash the deck and use the leftover stain.  The results don't have to be as perfect as it is just a get-away kind of place.  If I can just pressure wash and stain can I stain with the wood wet or do I have to wait for it to dry out?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Roger · 06/23/2022
    As a follow-up to my previous post  - the existing stain is/was a solid color stain so appears my only recourse is to sand off all of the old stuff.  Once that is done should I use the brightener or cleaner or both prior to staining?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Avrille · 06/22/2022
    I am staining a horizontal board cedar fence that I had installed in Nov 2020. I had to do the fence in sections for a variety of reasons and started with the side that faces my neighbors house. I used your cleaner and brightener and it worked wonders, now am staining using TWP 100 Cedartone. I’ve had to do this by hand via brush given the gaps in between the boards. So far so good (see photo).

    Once I finish this, I’ll be starting on the other side that faces my house. I didn’t clean and brighten that side when I did the side facing my neighbors. If I clean and brighten the unfinished side, will that negatively impact the fully stained side given that liquid can (and will) easily get through the gaps in the boards? Don’t want to ruin any of the nicely stained side! Welcome any tips for how to mitigate.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/23/2022
      You should clean and brighten both sides before staining as the soap and oxidation removal (graying) can get through to the other side and can create a mess that is unsightly. The prep products may even lighten the stain some.

      Also, when staining, take care that the stain does not bleed through the gaps, leaving drips and runs on the opposite side. You may have to go back and forth to check while working.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Avrille · 06/23/2022
        Thanks for the response. That’s what I was afraid of. Given I’ve already stained the one side, is there anything you suggest to avoid ruining the side that is already stained? Maybe just do cleaner and skip brightener?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/23/2022
          No, you have to do both prep. When done with the one side that is opposite where you stained, immediately go to the other side and rinse the stained wood to remove any grime and soap.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Avrille · 06/23/2022
            Great idea, thank you!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Larry W Neff · 06/22/2022
    I ordered five gallons to much stain how long will it last unopened
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/22/2022
      About 3 years if stored where it cannot freeze.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    shelly · 06/21/2022
    we are having someone redo our deck at our small cabin and he has used the stripper on the steps but says it has only come 90% off.  Can he sand the remainder of what will not come off before doing the brightener step?  I don't have pics since we are not there...
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2022
      Yes. Sand remaining and then brightener.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charles · 06/21/2022
    Sorry one last question - I was planning on using your cleaner (I used it last year but did not follow with the brightener), brightening, and san ding.  What order should I do them in?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2022
      If sanding, do the cleaner first, sand no finer than 60-80 grit, and brighten after.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Charles · 06/21/2022
        How long can you wait between each stage and from brightening to staining?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/21/2022
          You clean and brighten on the same day. Stain same day or within 2 weeks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charles · 06/21/2022
    Do I sand then use the brightener or brightener first?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2022
      If you sand, do that first and then brighten after.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Phil · 06/20/2022
    I purchased a 1-2-3 kit.  Have yet to use the stain.  stain that was recommended was clear. The old homeowner used penofin IPE wood stain.  The new stain won’t match.  
    Wondering if I can return the stain? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2022
      FYI, a clear offers no UV protection. You can return per our policy: https://www.twpstain.com/twp-100-series
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Phil · 06/20/2022
        My Deck IPE.
         I called someone recommended semi transparent stain.  But I need it to protect.  If I return this stain what other stain do you recommend? Should I go with the Armstrong ?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/21/2022
          Not sure what you mean? The RAD semi-transparent stain does protect the wood.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Pete · 06/19/2022
    Just finished one coat of Restore A deck SOLID STAIN and I ran out - have to order more have to wait about 7 days will that be ok— I’m going to just rinse or blow off any dust?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2022
      Yes, just make sure the wood is clean and free of dirt and debris.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    RayL · 06/18/2022
    I have stripped and sanded my 30 year old deck which was previously treated with Arborcoat.  There still remains traces of previous stain (pictures attached). Do you think this will be OK after cleaning and brightening or do I need to sand even deeper in order for the semitransparent stain to be able to penatrate adequately?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2022
      We would give it one more pass with the stripper and pressure washing. Brightener last.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Shawn D-G · 06/17/2022
    Hi! I recently moved into a house with a very old deck. No idea what the wood or prior stain was. I stripped, brightened, and stained it with the "Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain and Stripper/Brightener Combo Kit" and the "RAD Stripper Booster." Did it all according to instructions.

    All of this was done over a couple weeks in November before it got too cold here just outside Washington DC. It looks great! Honestly saved the deck. Well... most of it anyways.

    In April of this year I decided some boards had taken too much of a beating . I replaced them and some of the trim while I was at it.

    What is a good schedule and method to get the color of new boards to tie-in to the rest of the deck?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Julie · 06/17/2022
    I'm hoping you can give me some feedback about what to do with our deck.  We plan to clean, brighten and stain a 'new' (2 year old) deck, but there is another part of the deck (mostly covered, faces west) that is older and we aren't sure if it was stained before.  Suggestions?  Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    AK · 06/17/2022
    I have a High Volume, Low Pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer -- can I use this to apply stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sidne Steindorf · 06/16/2022
    The directions on the RAD Semi-Transparent Light Walnut Deck Stain that I have purchased say "Mix Well: Stir well and periodically during use."  The stain is in a jug.  Can I just shake it?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Scott Grimes · 06/16/2022
    what is the recommended technique to apply the stripper & brightener to deck ballasts?  I've seen pump sprayer is best, which makes sense for deck floor and support structures.  But concerned about waste/overspray with a pump on the rails.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/17/2022
      Spraying the railings is the correct way.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gary Bash · 06/16/2022
    I need to use some wood filler on a couple deck boards,  Do I prep first then patch, or patch then prep for staining
    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Barbara · 06/18/2022
      I used wood filler on two boards. Then stained with the solid stain. It lasted well but now after three years it is showing. But since I still have to stain my deck anyway, I will cover it over again. Good luck.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 06/18/2022
        A solid stain will cover wood filler. Semi transparent stains will not and will not blend. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/16/2022
      Wood filler will not work for exterior decking and will not "stain" to blend with an exterior semi-transparent stain. We do not advise using it.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Peter · 06/15/2022
    How long after using your restore a deck SOLID stain can it rain on it without harming it?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Babs · 06/13/2022
    Hi. I live in Minnesota. 2.5 years ago, after considerable research and after having my cedar deck professionally sanded, I stained with RAD Solid. It turned out very nice. Now I would like to re-coat without stripping or sanding. Most of it is in decent shape except for approximately 1/5 to 1/4 that never gets sun. Some of those boards are darkened (I'm assuming with mold due to the conditions). There are also a few areas that are peeling a bit (which I intend to sand first).

    If I hadn't read all the cautionary tales, I would've scrubbed the dark areas with vinegar and water or bleach but guess that is not a good idea.

    Before I order more product, please tell me...can I simply use the Brightener then Stain (using RAD Solid in the same color)? Or do I need to do something else?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/14/2022
      You have to use the RAD Deck Cleaner and pressure wash for prep. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anthony Fizzano · 06/13/2022
    I already stripped the deck but not happy with the cleaner I used from Home Depot. Can I still use your cleaner before I do the Armstrong Clark stain? Deck is 10 plus years old and over 700 square ft
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/13/2022
      It looks like you may need to redo the stripping as there is still old stain on the floors and rails?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Anthony Fizzano · 06/13/2022
        There is some I was hoping I could sand those spots. I will never use the big box store junk again. Do you recommend doing the strip brighten kit? Here is a pic of the steps after it dried a little more
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Anthony Fizzano · 06/13/2022
      It was still a little wet when the pic was taken. It has brightened up some
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Anthony Fizzano · 06/14/2022
        What are the advantages with the rad stain vs Armstrong Clark? It was my understanding that the oil is better for old decks
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/14/2022
          That is not true about oil being better. Advantages would be less chance of mildew and can be applied to damp wood. The AC is a very good stain though so it would work well.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Anthony Fizzano · 06/14/2022
            Ok i think I’ll go with the rad stain. Semi trans or solid for my deck? Does the solid peel eventually?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Cicc · 06/13/2022
    I just went through the 3 step process and have product left over - stripper and additives (all opened), brightener (opened), 2 gals of stain (1 opened / 1 never opened). What will be the shelf live for these? I keep all in my utility room, always stays about 75 degrees. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/13/2022
      Unopened about 3 years. Opened about 12 months but could be longer. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dona Storm · 06/13/2022
    Can you mix coastal gray semitransparent and dark walnut semitransparent to get a light brien that us similar to a taupe?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    john c · 06/12/2022
    is RAD  dark walnut solid stain available in 5 gal container?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/13/2022
      Sold stains only come in gallons sizes.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    john c · 06/12/2022
    I have a 30yr old 20' x 30' deck. last yr I used Thompson solid color stain-this yr it is so faded it doesn 't look like I stained it. deck surface are 2" x 6" board. some boards have been replaced-rest of surface in solid shape. looking for a solid color stain and your product among best reviewed . any suggestions on prep-ie power washing?
    thx
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    AK · 06/11/2022
    Hello, I'm trying to figure out what product I need to use on my deck prior to staining. I have a 375sq deck (including railings, steps, and walls) that is four years old. It was stained once before, probably about three years ago.

    Do I need to use the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or the Stripper (I will then use the RAD Brightener) before staining. I do have a power washer. Some photos are attached. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/12/2022
      Stripper and then brightener for the prep. 
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        AK · 06/12/2022
        Perfect. Thanks for the response!