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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    TrailerMomma · 05/01/2019
    I have a large deck on my trailer. It’s 10X35 feet, so about 350 sq feet. We will be taking the railings and steps off and replacing them BUT we want to refinish the actual deck. I believe the deck is about 15 years old. I don’t know what kind of paint/stain the previous owners used but I believe it was done within the last 5 years (before we bought the trailer). I just want to know the exact steps we need to get this deck done. Attached is 2 pictures, one pic shows the size of the deck and the 2nd shows how bad it’s peeling. We can get a hold of a pressure washer if needed. Please help me restore my deck!!!!!
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    David · 05/01/2019
    I have a large severely worn, but structurally sound, deck which has been previously stained with a solid stain, and it has cracks, some slightly raised nails and plenty of splinters. To return the deck back, as close as possible, to its original shape and color, I've planned to have the deck power washed, raised nails tamped-down, and sanded before re-staining with a transparent or semi-transparent stain. Is it necessary to have the deck power washed if I'm going to have it sanded?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/01/2019
      No need to pressure wash if you are sanding. After full sanding, do a final prep with the RAD Cleaner and RAD wood Brightener. Stain with the RAD Semi-transparent stain.
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    Phil Palmeri · 04/30/2019
    I have black aluminum round pole balusters on my deck - will the Cleaner or Brightener affect them in any way?
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      RAD Products · 04/30/2019
      Typically no issues but hard to say 100% certain as these spindles are not all made the same. Always test first.
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    Tom Swinney · 04/30/2019
    I have seriously weathered pressure treated deck. Will Restore-A-Deck work well for this? I prefer the semi-transparent but may have to go with a solid stain. Which holds up the best?
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    Mani · 04/30/2019
    Thanks for your quick response to my earlier questions. What is the best way to apply the stain, the brush or the pad? I have a 1200 sqft deck. Also, do I need 1 or 2 coats & how much stain would I need after prepping? My deck is about 10 years old, and has oil based semi transparent stain thats 2 years old (Armstrong Clarke)
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/30/2019
      Brush and stain pads apply equally well. You will need to strip and brighten for the prep to remove the AC, not a cleaner. 2 coats applied wet on wet. About 10-12 gallons of the stain and two stripper/brightener kits.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mani · 04/30/2019
    DO you have any pictures or reviews on Ipe (or similar hardwood) deck using Restore-a-deck semi transparent stains?
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    mani · 04/30/2019
    Is Restore-a-deck cleaner safe for plants?
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    Mani · 04/30/2019
    can you use Restore-a-deck stain on Ipe wood?
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    Doug · 04/30/2019
    Porch pictures related to post from Doug
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Doug · 04/30/2019
      picture 2 of 3
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/30/2019
      For prep, use the RAD Stripper and Brightener. Stain with the RAD Semi-Transparent Wood Stain. Look at Light Walnut color.
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        Doug · 04/30/2019
        Thank you. Can you let me know how much of these items for 500 sq ft?
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          RAD Products · 04/30/2019
          One Stripper/Brightener Kit. Just one coat of the stain. 2-3 gallons.
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    Doug · 04/30/2019
    I would like to clean and brighten a front porch. It is approximately 500 sq ft or Ipe wood. It is about 20 years old. In the past, it has been treated pressure washed and treated with Penofin hardwood oil. The last treatment was 3 years ago. I will post pictures later today. I also have a pressure washer.
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    Noah · 04/29/2019
    Previous homeowner painted the deck and it was peeling everywhere. Went through with a pressure washer and knocked off all the paint peeling up. What should be the next steps? Do I need to sand to remove more of the paint? Can I apply a solid stain over the paint that is left? Thanks!


    Square Footage of Area to be Restored: ~550sqft
    Type of wood if known: Unknown
    Approximate Age of Wood: Also Unkown
    If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type: Paint
    If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained:5/6 years ago
    Wood Type to be Stained (Deck, House, Fence, etc.): Deck
    Do you have access to a pressure washer: Yes
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/30/2019
      You have a lot of loose paint on the deck left in the picture and you cannot paint this as it. Best to power sand it down. You can leave any paint that is solidly intact to the surface. Once prepped well, you can use the RAD Solid Stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Noah · 04/30/2019
        There are a lot of paint chips in the photo from powerwashing, but I think most of the paint still attached to the deck is intact. As long as I can get all the loose paint off the deck and only leave the intact paint, I would be ok to use the solid stain?
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          RAD Products · 04/30/2019
          Yes, but if the solid paint under the RAD solid stain starts to fail, the RAD will be at its mercy. Meaning a new coating cannot fix a failed coating. Make sure you do the best job you can by removing most or all of the current stolid stain coating.
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    Mike McClure · 04/29/2019
    Can I do the stripper/brightener on one weekend and the RAD stain the next weekend? If so, what (if any) prep do I need to do prior to the staining work if it's been a week since the stripping/brightener work? I'm concerned that since this is my first deck rehab I may run out of time this weekend and not be able to complete all 3 steps. Also, do you offer a military discount? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/29/2019
      Yes, you can prep one weekend and stain the next. No need to do any additional prep unless you cannot stain within 2 weeks. We do not have military discounts.
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    Mark Grabow · 04/29/2019
    Time for a new finish on a mukulungu [African Redwood] deck. Originally it was sealed with 2 coats of untinted transparent Penafin. Do I need to use the Stripper for prepping to apply a RAD stain or can I go with just the Cleaner? It's only 1.5 yrs old so there is virtually no graying of the wood at this point, I don't see the need for a Brightener unless that will help with the Stain soaking in better and binding.
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    Mike McClure · 04/29/2019
    Yesterday I ordered two stripper and brightener kits (RADStr/BrighKit ). I'm trying to decide which stain to use. Do you have a recommendation (pros & cons) between the RAD Semi-Transparent and TWP 1500?

    Square Footage of Area to be Restored: Deck, 800 sq ft horizontal (deck, steps, tops of railings, bench area) plus 75 linear feet of railing (3 feet high with spindles).
    Type of wood if known: Pressure treated pine (?)
    Approximate Age of Wood: 8 years
    If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type: Semi-Transparent, not sure if oil or water based
    If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained: 5-6 years ago
    Wood Type to be Stained: Deck
    Do you have access to a pressure washer: Yes
    Miscellaneous Info:
    Photos attached.
    Do you offer a military discount?
    Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/29/2019
      Either would work well and last about the same. Really comes down too if you prefer same day application with the RAD stain or not.
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    Tom hartye · 04/29/2019
    Can I get my order shipped faster? I’m in the middle of strtipping
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      RAD Products · 04/29/2019
      Typically takes 2-3 days to NC. If you want to overnight it, you can call the office and pay the cost of doing this.
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    Katy Milholland · 04/27/2019
    It didn’t take my second picture. Trying again.
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      RAD Products · 04/27/2019
      Stain does not mask this. It would not hurt to go over it one more time as you still have stain on the verticals and in spots on the floor.
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    Katy Milholland · 04/27/2019
    Hello. I did steps 1 & 2 this morning, but the wood looks uneven. On the floor, there are some spots of old stain and on the vertical surfaces, there appears to be a significant color difference compared to the floor. Should I strip and brighten AGAIN before staining or will staining mask these inconsistencies?
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    al linde · 04/27/2019
    Just had pressure treated pine wood deck power washed. WillRAD semi trasparent "natural" change color. Deck is 800sq ft, how many gallons do I need. Can I use a roller to apply or any thing else.
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    steve · 04/26/2019
    i want a white stain and protector
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    Ron Oechsle · 04/26/2019
    In general, what is the recommended procedure/timetable for periodic maintenance of an RAD stained deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/26/2019
      Every 2 years is normal. Maybe 3.
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        Ron Oechsle · 04/26/2019
        What about procedure? Use cleaner then stain damp surface? Dry surface? Thanks.
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          RAD Products · 04/26/2019
          Yes, that is correct. Clean and apply as needed.
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    ryan · 04/25/2019
    Hello,
    We have a gazebo with a metal roof. There is a tower bit at the top (photo). Will the stripper, brightener, or stain affect the metal roof?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/26/2019
      You should avoid getting the stain and the brightener on the roof.
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    Liz · 04/24/2019
    Had a scrap piece of ipe that had aged gray...mixed small amt of rad cleaner then Brightener and think I followed directions to the letter...now waiting the 48 hrs to try stain colors and see the ipe looks like it has a cloudy wHite film...ok to proceed or would you reclean?
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    Trent · 04/23/2019
    435 SQ ft deck
    Unsure type of wood or age. Pine I think? I replaced a few boards last year with PT deck board.
    There was a reddish stain that I pressure washed off last summer.

    Wondering if I need to use the stripper or cleaner. Or if I need to sand any.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    carol lauder · 04/23/2019
    i had a new ipe deck installed in the Chicago area in Nov. We have let it age through the winter. We would like to stain in the next few weeks (May). I tried a sample of the the oil based Armstrong and Clark on a small area, but I would also like to test a sample of your light and dark walnut before purchasing. How do I remove these test samples areas before applying the cleaner, brighter and using your rad semi transparent product? do i use your stripper or do i need to sand? If sanding, what grit paper do you recommend for ipe? Also, what method do you like best for applying the stain on ipe decks? pads vs sprayer? Brushing? We are older and getting down on our knees for an 800 sf deck seems pretty hard for us. Thanks for your help. We dont want to mess up since this is a first time application! Carol L.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/23/2019
      If just a small spot, sand it off. 80 grit should work. Use a stain pad for applying.
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    Michael Paolini · 04/22/2019
    I stripped, brightened and stained 15 year old pressure treated deck. All came up fine. My wife is thinking she wants it darker. The stain I used was the light natural Is it a problem to put a 2nd coat of cedar or light walnut on top. The time between coats would be about 1 week.
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      RAD Products · 04/23/2019
      No, you cannot do that right now. The second coating will not take as the first coating has already cured. You would have to strip it off again.
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    Laurent · 04/22/2019
    Hi,

    I used Penofin last summer and my IPE deck looks terrible. Do you recommend the cleaner or the stripper to start over?

    thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rick Kearney · 04/22/2019
    Hi. We are preparing to do our deck as soon as the Ontario weather warms up.... it's a large deck that had semi transparent stain applied many years ago, and about 400 sq ft of new boards added 2 years ago when a large pool was replaced with a smaller one.

    To minimize differences in old vs newer wood, am I correct to apply stripper to the entire deck, then brightener, followed by stain?
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    Scott · 04/22/2019
    I have a large south facing pt deck that is 13 month old and never stained. I used an orbital floor sander last week to primarily remove lumber yard stamps. Then we prepped 2 days ago as directed. I have a good bit of furring I assume from pressure washing which I plan to sand off next. My question is: do I apply one coat or 2 and is it ok to apply stain over the milky white boards, about a third of the deck is like that?See photos:
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/22/2019
      The white is oxidation (graying) of the wood fibers that were not fully removed during the cleaning. I would suggest recleaning again. Only one coat the first time staining.
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        scott · 04/22/2019
        Thanks for prompt reply. Do you mean clean and brighten again or just one or the other?
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          RAD Products · 04/22/2019
          Use the cleaner to remove the gray along with pressure washing. Brightener after any sanding.
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            Scott · 04/22/2019
            To be clear, I thought the cleaner could not completely dry on the wood before using brightener to deactivate it, but I can't see sanding wet wood. So, are you saying to use the cleaner and power wash and the brightener and rinse. Then sand after drying and then use brightener again and rinse?
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              RAD Products · 04/22/2019
              If you need to sand, then do the brightener after. Normally you would do it right away.
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                Scott · 04/25/2019
                Well, cleaned and brightened and sanded and brightened again. Two days of prep was a lot of work but turned out pretty nicely. Was concerned about applying too heavily for single coat and ended up with a very light coat. Almost 90 degrees and sunny. If we wanna do another coat in a year do we clean and brighten again first or just brighten?
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                  RAD Products · 04/25/2019
                  Looks good!
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                  RAD Products · 04/25/2019
                  Clean and brighten. Brightener but itself is not going to prep wood for recoating.
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    Sean Gannon · 04/20/2019
    We applied restore a deck last spring to an existing deck, using strip (and sand), brighten, stain. The deck looked beautiful all summer. The snow just finished melting (we are in Canada) and there are lots of spots that no longer appear stained.


    Is there anything we can do to make this look better or are we stuck doing the whole process every year?


    I'd like to wet the deck and go over it with a scrub brush to clean it up but I'm worried about causing further damage to the stain, would it be a bad idea?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/21/2019
      You can do a light cleaning with water and a scrub brush and recoat of the floor. Just one coat.
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    Bonnie Whitson · 04/20/2019
    July 2015 I used RAD stripper and brightener and TWP 1515 honeytone. Deck is pine and is 30 years old. May 2018 used RAD cleaner and brighter and same TWP stain. With the light and dark spots should I just use RAD striper or cleaner. Please help