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
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charlie · 10/25/2020
    Received my order and got the restore a deck stripper instead of cleaner. I need to have a bag of cleaner sent to me and I need to return the stripper . Please advise. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/26/2020
      Reply back from your order email confirmation as we do not know who you are via comments.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    TGP · 10/24/2020
    Our home in NC we use Armstrong Clark; however, our new home at the beach I am leaning towards RAD semi-trans for floor and solid for railings. Which product is better for beach environment
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/24/2020
      Both are excellent but if doing two-toned, go with the RAD.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Teri Prosser · 10/25/2020
        Ok the deck is about 9 months old and fence 4 months old pressure treated wood. Do I need to clean and brighten it before staining?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sharon · 10/24/2020
    Can RAD be used on wood floors in a 4-seasons sunroom? I worry about adverse health consequences (fumes?) given the lack of ventilation in hot and cold months.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alex · 10/24/2020
    It's late October here in northern Illinois so it's probably not a great time to stain due to the cooler temps, but I would still like to clean my deck. Should I use both the cleaner and brightener or just the cleaner. The plan will be to stain in the spring... will I go through the clean and brighten steps again then?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/24/2020
      If you prep now you will have to prep again in the Spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anne · 10/23/2020
    Tomorrow is my big day to stain! I was curious about weather. We have been warm (60-70s) here but have had VERY heavy fog for the last few days until the afternoons... this has left the deck "mist covered" for much of the day. Is that the type of condition that would be okay for doing the stain? We have no rain, but it's definitely been damp in for a while. And then, when it clears, the deck is fully exposed to sun all day, so I was thinking that early morning mist and clouds *might* be better than full sun that will dry things out quickly? Just wanted to check your opinion on that so I can plan how early to get to work. Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/24/2020
      You cannot apply in a visible mist but you can apply to a damp deck and early am would be better before full sun.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Poe · 10/23/2020
    Hi,

    I'm about to spray paint my fence with RAD semi-transparent stain with Graco X5 airless sprayer.

    What kind of tip should I use? Can I use the one for paint? Any special instructions for airless sprayer use? Fence is 7 years old pressure treated pine so it will need two coats and I did buy the brush.

    Thanks a lot!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/23/2020
      We are not familiar with their tips. Just use a wide fan tip and then back brush your second coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Donna Fanshaw · 10/22/2020
    Hello. We hired a man to clean, brighten, and stain our deck using your semi-transparent natural stain. He used your cleaner and brightener. One or more of the products splashed on our front windows and the front of the home which has painted hardy board siding. The paint on the siding is acrylic latex paint. So we have spots all over the front of the home. I have been first trying to get the spots off the windows - household cleaners don't work, scrubby sponges and other scrubby tools that won't scratch don't work, and a razor blade doesn't work. Is there a particular solvent that would work to remove the spots? And, would that same solvent be safe to use on the painted siding surface? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/23/2020
      The prep products would not harm anything so I assume it is the stain. The only way to remove the stain from glass is with a graffiti remover cleaner. That would not work on the paint though. Best to touch up the paint with another coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Vince · 10/22/2020
    I stained a new/year old redwood deck 12 months ago with your cedar semi-transparent stain following cleaning and brightener procedures. As you can see from the attached pictures it has worn off in areas that are more heavily trafficked. I thought it would of held up better. Anyway I have an extra unopened 2 1/2 gallon of stain. Can I reapply another coat after using the cleaner or do I have to use the brightener also.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/22/2020
      Clean and brighten. Do in Spring.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Vince · 10/23/2020
        What about a maintenance coat, I live in northern California and the weather is still quite mild.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/23/2020
          Clean, brighten, and stain in the Spring would be best.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    fretfinger · 10/22/2020
    I stripped, brightened and applied the semi transparent stain in early spring. It turned out fantastic, but the winters here in Ohio are rough on outdoor furniture and decks. If i understand correctly, i can apply the cleaner product, lightly pressure wash and apply a maintenance coat. Is that correct? When i apply the maintenance coat, do i do 2 coats wet on wet like i originally did in the spring?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bill · 10/22/2020
    I'll be staining my 600 square foot redwood deck tomorrow with your natural color semi-transparent stain after cleaning and brightening it today with your Restore-A-Deck products. The stain container states "do not apply in direct sunlight or if the boards feel hot to the touch". However, your website states "If applying the Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain in full sun we suggest that you apply to a damp deck. Either 1-2 hours after prep or if the wood is already dry, lightly mist the deck with water prior to applying". My other option is to wait for the deck to be in the shade and stain it while it's dry, although, I may only have a 1.5-2 hour window to do that. I live on the California coast and the temperature is forecast to be anywhere from 65-75 degrees throughout the day. What is my best option in light of the fact that your website also states that "the stain will be much easier to apply to damp wood as it will help avoid "flash" drying of the stain in full sun". Thank you and my apologies for the long-winded question!!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/22/2020
      Wet the deck down with water and apply about an hour later or when not soaking wet. It can be visibly damp.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Bill · 10/22/2020
        Thank you for your prompt reply - take care and stay safe!!!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John · 10/21/2020
    What is the best way to remove Thompson's WaterSeal Stain and Sealer? It was applied earlier this season by someone else and the client does not like the color (plus walked on it while wet) and would like it to go back the natural wood color.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Joel · 10/21/2020
    We have an Ipe deck at the house we bought last year. it appears that the previous owner just put red stain on it (most likely didn't prep, or use appropriate stain for Ipe). I can see where our flip flops have pulled the stain right off. I would like to remove that, and just let the Ipe patina, and be natural. I have access to a pressure washer. I do not know the type of stain they used. The deck was built in 2011, and I do not know what type of stain they used, and I would guess they did it about 18 months ago.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    clutz · 10/20/2020
    Area: 240 sq ft.
    Wood: Believe it's pine
    Approximate Age: Unknown (Probably <5 years)
    Previous Product: Thompson's WaterSeal (but do not know if it's semi-transparent or solid)
    Last Stained: Unknown
    Wood to be Stained: Deck
    Pressure Washer Access: Yes

    I used the stripper and the brightener. As you can see, the floor looks pretty good, but there are some areas of concern. I have a brush, but I just used the pressure washer everywhere. There are areas of the deck floor and spindles that proved more difficult to strip and brighten.


    Should I sand those areas? After sanding, do I need to strip and brighten, or just brighten, or nothing? I plan to use ReadySeal for my staining.

    Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/20/2020
      Sand off the spots and then brighten all wood again.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        clutz · 10/20/2020
        Yeehaw. Now that's RAD.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anne · 10/20/2020
    I'm looking forward in the forecast. I hope to get my deck stained this weekend; there is rain in the forecast for Monday. What is the recommended best drying/curing time to plan out for when I need to get this finished if it will rain Monday (semi-transparent stain, two coats)

    Thank you!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    James J Holleran · 10/20/2020
    i stained my deck in the summer i replaced railings with new wood didnt stain them at that time wanted to wait for the wood to dry out. I am ready to stain them if i clean the rails with the cleaner and brightener and it gets onto the already stained deck is that going to be an issue