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
    Kristin Wheeler · 11/29/2020
    How long should I wait to stain an outside deck with an overhang ...... the wood type is fir...... it’s been about 5 weeks since it was installed and now I’m concerned about the temperature drop as I’m in NY.
    Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bill MacArthur · 11/28/2020
    We stained our deck this past summer and areas are starting to peel. Any suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/29/2020
      That happens from over application and or improper prep. Basically, the stain is designed to fully soak into the wood but when over-applied it can dry on top of the wood and can lead to potential wearing. Best to remove it and apply 1-2 coats making sure the stain fully soaks into the wood.
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    Kristin Wheeler · 11/28/2020
    Does Home Depot or Lowes carry your product? I would like to see the colors in person
    Thanks

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    Charles · 11/28/2020
    Hello - Hope you all are doing great. Just wanted to find out if there is an outside temperature minimum that you need in order to stain your deck.

    Also, if I use a semi-transparent stain will that cover rusted nail heads or should I use a rust remover on them first.

    Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Charles · 11/30/2020
      Thank you for your answers. What is the best way to deal with the rusted nail heads if I am going to use a semi-transparent stain on my deck.


      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 11/30/2020
        You would have to replace the nails. There is not a way to prevent this from coming back.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/29/2020
      50 degrees is the minimum temp. A semi-transparent stain will not cover rust spots.
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    Phil · 11/28/2020
    A testimonial drawing off Ron Z's comments....have been working on my large deck for several months [patching timbers, stripping, brightening, etc.] as time and weather allow. Had weather/temp issues for past 4 weeks and stopped work. Had 1 1/2 gallons of stripper/booster/thickening gel left in my backpack tank that I protected from freezing. I used it this Thanksgiving week-end. It worked great; as if it had just been mixed.....I shook it up well before using.....no clogging or any problems.
    I understand this kind of "shelf life" does not work for brightener but, for those who may have stripper mixed and can use it within several weeks, don't throw it away.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jessica · 11/23/2020
    Hello! I was reading the information on the packaging and it talks about drying time at a certain temperature. Our temps right now are above the recommended 45 degrees but not as high as the drying time mentioned. Am I going to run into problems? Also our overnight temps are below 45. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/23/2020
      It needs 4 hours or so to dry and it cannot drop below freezing at night.
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    Kelley MacArthur · 11/21/2020
    What did we do wrong?
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    jeff Bennett · 11/19/2020
    I need to apply a second coat of your solid stain. The next 2 days weather forecast is 60's during the day and 30's -low 40's at night. Are these temps adequate to apply 2nd coat ?

    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/19/2020
      Day temps are okay. It cannot drop below freezing the first night.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 11/17/2020
    Will any pump sprayer work to apply RAD Deck Cleaner and Brightener?
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    Teri · 11/16/2020
    I have a pool near my deck will the cleaner / brightener harm it if some happens to run into it
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/17/2020
      Not it will not harm it but you should check your pH balance of the pool water when down and modify if needed.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom B · 11/11/2020
    The weather this past weekend really cooperated and I was able to restore my old deck and stairs in three days (Stripper/Brightener/Stain). Unfortunately, some stain splattered on the concrete. How can I clean that up after it has dried?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/11/2020
      Try a graffiti remover cleaner and pressure washing.
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    Norman · 11/11/2020
    What is the minimum temperature to apply either the Cleaner or Brightener?
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    Damon · 11/11/2020
    Power washed the deck, but some previous stain remains. Will the stripper take it off? What should be used?

    Also, trying to pick a color. It is a Pine deck, looking at a brown color, but not to dark. Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Damon · 11/10/2020
    Have 2 pine decks , 7 years old. Just power washed and brightened both decks. Total of 1100 sq feet. What would you suggest I use to prep and how many gallons of stain? Metal balusters on both decks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ryan · 11/10/2020
    Pic
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    Ryan · 11/10/2020
    Stripped my deck and had quite a bit of stain left on (bad coat that was sitting on top of wood). I am hand sanding with 80 grit to clean up and get rid of fuzziness. Can I stain immediately after? Any need for cleaner or brightener?

    see pic left side is sanded right Is to be sanded. For vertical surfaces I am going to try brushing on stripper and going another round
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/10/2020
      Clean and brighten for final prep to open up the pores after sanding so the stain soaks in deeper.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Ryan · 11/10/2020
        Would stripper work instead of cleaner? Have a little bit of stain in spots
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 11/10/2020
          Stripper might be too aggressive. If you water it down 1 part to 5 parts water and then rinse after 5 minutes, it will probably be okay.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Teri Prosser · 11/09/2020
    My deck is on the 2nd story. Do I need to stain underneath also? This is on the coast
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lisa · 11/07/2020
    I have the opportunity to stain a platform deck over the Thanksgiving holiday, weather dependent. What is the overnight minimum temperature following a one day application? I understand the daytime temperature is 40 degrees - is this accurate. Humidity in our area is typically low (<30%). Most of the project is in the shade.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/07/2020
      50-90 when applying. Cannot drop below freezing at night.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Erin · 11/05/2020
    Would a pressure treated deck installed 05/20 left unstained/unsealed until 04/21, sustain damage or just discoloring that would be removed with your cleaner and brighter?
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    Tracy · 11/02/2020
    I feel that I may have not rinsed the brightener enough, my wood now is spotty. Do I just rinse again?
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    Lacy · 11/01/2020
    If we have a solid stain on our deck that we’re going to sand off, what do you recommend we do after sanding, but before staining the deck with a new stain? Are we supposed to use a cleaner and brightener? We’re reading mixed things online saying to make sure the deck doesn’t get wet at all after sanding and before staining, but we’ve also read that we should brighten and clean the deck before staining? Those seem contradicting as brightening and cleaning the deck will obviously get the wood wet after sanding.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/02/2020
      Yes you have to clean and brighten after sanding to open up the wood pores. Whoever told you not to get the wood wet after sanding does not understand how exterior wood stains work and the need to open up the wood grain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Lacy · 11/02/2020
        How long after we sand it should we wait to clean and brighten? How long after using the brightener should we wait to apply the stain? We’re using the ready seal pecan color stain.

        whay type of sand paper do you recommend using to sand off the current solid stain? We have the sprayer you sell, as well as the yellow bristle stain brush and a pressure washer. What do we use to apply and remove cleaner? What do we use to apply and remove brightener? Which do you recommend we use to re-stain the deck?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Galt · 11/01/2020
    Can I apply a second coat of semi-transparent RAD stain 2 weeks after the first coat?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/01/2020
      No. Once it has curred a second coat will not be able to adhere and soak in. You can lightly prep and recoat in the Spring
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jorge Arreygue · 10/31/2020
    Hello - I accidentally mixed the brightner with the booster and sprayed some of it on my old redwood deck before realizing my mistake. I sanded that area heavily afterward. Two questions: 1. could that damage the wood?, 2. Do I need to re-spray that area with the brightner or can I proceed with the stain? Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Colin · 10/31/2020
    I just used a clear semi transparent on my carport’s pressure treated wood and it now looks really orangish which is not what I’m going for. I want to redo it with the walnut semi transparent— since the walnut is darker, can I just restrain over the clear semi transparent without stripping the clear semitransparent? If so, do I need to wait a certain amount of time to do so or can I do it now? Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bill O · 10/30/2020
    Hi.... Can we find your stain products nearby or are you an online order only company?
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    charlie luedke · 10/29/2020
    I've just ordered some stain. when can I expect delivery
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kim S · 10/29/2020
    I am struggling to make a decision and hope you can guide me. All summer we have worked on repairing and sanding our deck---it had Behr deckover on it. We have removed about 98% of the paint from the decking and replaced a few board with new kiln dried wood about 2-3 months ago. However, the railings are taking a lot of time to sand and prep. My question is: do I clean and brighten the floor decking and then stain the floor decking (with a solid stain) and wait to do the hand railings in the spring? Or do I just wait and do all of it next spring after we can prep the railings. We have about 2 more weeks of highs in the 68-70s and lows in the 25-30, then winter will hit with chances of moisture and cold. Thanks for any advice. Also I haven't ordered product yet so we would have to wait the week or so to get that.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/29/2020
      Just do all in Spring would be the easiest for you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Linnie · 10/27/2020
    I have RAD solid stain on my deck in Desert Taupe applied this summer. what do I use to just clean it when it looks dirty and not prepping for staining?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/27/2020
      Warm water with a little it of dish soap. Use a soft car wash brush to clean and then rinse.
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    Philip Johnson · 10/26/2020
    Are Defy Extreme and Restore-a-Deck stains for damp application basically identical products? I ask this only because they have different color palettes and for me to check out the possibilities I had to order samples from both brands.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/26/2020
      No, they are not the same in any way. You also cannot apply Defy Extreme to damp wood.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom Dreher · 10/26/2020
    Order D9MH022797
    I restored my IPE deck last June with the products shipped.
    I would like to keep up with the needed treatment, so, I would like to know what’s
    next.
    Thanks,

    Tom Dreher
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/26/2020
      Next Summer, use the RAD Cleaner for prep and then apply another 1 coat of the same RAD color.