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
    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.
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    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?
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      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      Yes, you did seem to apply to thin, just clean and recoat in the Spring of next year.
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    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?
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      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      60-80 grit. Brighten the wood after and rinse well. One coat of stain.
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    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
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      RAD Products · 06/10/2020
      Restain all. It will not blend if you spot apply.
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        Karen Corbett · 06/10/2020
        Would it work if I do the spots now and then restain it all in a couple of weeks?
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          RAD Products · 06/10/2020
          Just leave as is until you recoat all. It will be fine.
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    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?
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      RAD Products · 06/09/2020
      No, you cannot apply a sealer over a deck stain.
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        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!
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    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
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    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.
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    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
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    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.
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    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.
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    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
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    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lucie Griggs · 06/07/2020
    I finished stripping a section of PT deck - had to apply 2 coats of stripper to get off previous stain. Now have significant furring of surface. Have not applied brightener yet. Should I use orbital buffer to get off fuzzies before applying brightener or apply brightener now, wait until dry, then use buffer? Also what type of buffing pad should I use?
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    David Kranz · 06/07/2020
    Have ordered stripper and brightener as per your recommendation. I still have to buy a pump sprayer to apply them. Do you have any recommendation on what type of pump sprayer to buy? 1or 2 gallon? (Or more?) Will regular garden sprayers work? Thx.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2020
      Any quality 2-gallon pump sprayer with a fan tip will work.
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    Susan · 06/06/2020
    P.S. the pictures above and here were taken in late January of this yr. New deck was built in late May of 2020.
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    Susan · 06/06/2020
    Hello. Just received our package of cleaner, brightener and semi-transparent stain for use on a 12 month old deck. Before starting we planned to remove awful yellow filler the awful contractor stuck in several places including post corners, and replace with a good outdoor wood filler and also use to fill the many hairline cracks in the wood and holes left by nails below surface etc. (and sand all etc.) But I can't find a wood filler product either plastic or epoxy or other that will take any type of stain. I was wondering a) if you have any suggestions for a product that will take the restore a deck semi-transparent stain; and/or b) if we should do all restore a deck steps including stain application first and then use an exterior filler that we can tint by adding a touch of the stain before applying filler? Or another suggestion? I have loaded a few pictures of what we want to correct on this new deck.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2020
      Wood filler will not work on outside wood and will not "stain" to blend. None will work so just best to not use it at all. If you had to fill a large gap, then use a caulk that is similar in color after the staining is done.
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    Keith · 06/05/2020
    Our deck has plants and shrubbery around it. Are your products safe for them? Also, if the colors of your stains are a bit dark, can we add some kind of "lightener" to the product to get a lighter shade?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/06/2020
      You cannot lighten the colors. Cover the plants when prepping and staining. Products are Eco-safe.
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    Michelle · 06/05/2020
    We are wanting to switch to your product from a semi transparent sherwin Williams stain. We have reapplied twice per year for the past 3 years on our 1500 sq ft deck. We are hoping for a product that does not peel. We are in flagstaff Az so we get harsh sun plus standing snow for months. Wood on deck is pine and 3 years old. We do have access to a pressure washer. I am wondering what steps we need to do to prep the deck and be ready to apply your stain. Also wondering how well your product holds up in environment line Az?
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    Bryan · 06/05/2020
    The best way to make it rain is to stain your deck?. No rain in the forecast for last night and then a storm hits at 4:00am. The flat boards were protected from direct hits with the covered deck. It had between 6-10 hours to “dry” before the storm hit. Water was repelled and standing on the deck boards. After blowing the water off, there are a few water spots, especially in the cedar railings. Do we need to strip it, brighten it, and start over? If we don’t start over, will it do it’s job or will the product and protection be compromised? We stained with TWP-pecan.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2020
      It looks perfectly fine. You dodged a "rain" bullet. You could always put a light coat over the top of the railings.
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        Bryan · 06/05/2020
        Okay thanks! I was freaking out. Your products and service are the best.
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    Robert Blackford · 06/05/2020
    Which color is lighter on treated pine, cedar or light walnut?
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    John Poffenberger · 06/05/2020
    I have a wooden porch(deck) around 3/4 of my cabin. A rough approximation of the square footage is 680 with about 480 of it under roof and the remainder is uncovered. The cabin was built in 2007 and I had the porch stained with Sikkens CETROL SRD natural transparent in October 2008. A professional did the original work and I was very pleased with his work. I have maintained the stain since then; however I have not been satisfied with result the past two years. I am interested in trying your semi-transparent stain. Last year (2019) when I stained the porch there were areas that seemed to bubble and peel (if that is the correct term). I am attaching a couple of pictures. Hopefully, you can see what I mean. I would appreciate any guidance/assistance you can provide.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2020
      To fix this you will need to sand off the current coatings as it is too thick to be fully stripped. Once removed, you can then use the RAD Stains.
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    Ron shaffer · 06/05/2020
    Placed an order and it came up as cancelled. I did not cancel it?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2020
      Your credit card was declined. You would have to ask your CC company as to why.