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
    Lincoln · 06/03/2020
    I am installing new pressure treated lattice to my deck. Do I need to clean it before I stain it, or could I just use brightener on it?
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    Ronald · 06/02/2020
    Sorry if this question was asked before but I couldn't find the answer.

    1. What size and nap roller is best for solid color stain or would a pad applicator be better? And how many coats is needed?

    2. I've power washed and sanded down the deck already but wasn't happy with the result so I'm going to apply the stain removal and brightener. Should I resand it afterwards?
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      Ronald · 06/02/2020
      Adding some before powerwashing and sanding pictures. Just to make sure I need the stain removal. Unsure how old the deck is.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 06/02/2020
        Strip off what you can and then use the Solid Stain to cover the rest.
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      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      1. 5/8" roller and hand brush, not a pad for the solid stains.
      2. No need to sand.
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    sharon · 06/02/2020
    Once you mix the product stripper , do you have to use immediately or can it be used next day? and At what point, if you need to sand, is that done after you strip or after the brighten? Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      The Stripper and Brightener do not go bad once mixed. If you sand, do it after brightener.
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    Donna Fanshaw · 06/02/2020
    Hello again - question about shipping charges. I just put a 5 gallon combo kit (cleaner/brightner), another 5 gallon, a brush, a crevice tool, and a painting pad in my cart. It shows a shipping charge of just over $20. I expected free shipping based on product listings showing free shipping. Why are shipping charges being applied? Just asking in case there is a website error. Thank you.
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      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      No, not on the pads. It states that other items are charged shipping if not a RAD item as they have to ship in separate boxes.
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    Cynthia · 06/02/2020
    Hi, we used the Dark Walnut semi transparent stain on our deck (New wood - 5 months old). It is beautiful, but not quite as dark as we would like. Is it ok to apply a 2nd coat?
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      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      No, new wood will not take additional coats.
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        Cynthia · 06/02/2020
        Ok, thanks....how long (or how old does the wood need to be) before we can reapply?
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    JAO · 06/02/2020
    Just finished my first coat of solid stain and unexpected weather has come up. How long can I wait to get the second coat on?
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    tlcliett · 06/02/2020
    I ordered the sample kit last Friday. I see the charge on my cc, but not an order confirmation. I purchased as a guest. When should I expect to get info on shipment, etc. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      Order confirmations are sent at the same time. Check your spam folder. If not reply back to your CC confirmation and we will forward a copy.
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        Travis · 06/02/2020
        I have the receipt. The order number is Y1P2029760. I do not see estimated shipping time or anything to tell me when to expect it.
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    Donna Fanshaw · 06/02/2020
    Hello RAD - I posted in inquiry last night and have not yet received an answer but see that you have had a couple other questions from people that you have answered. I am posting again in case somehow my post got overlooked. Thank you.
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    Brian · 06/02/2020
    I have just stained my vertical deck skirting with a solid white non RAD product which I got before coming across your product. Next I want to use a semi trans RAD to stain the surface area using the 3 step system. Will the runoff of cleaner/ brightener applied to the horizontal cause any fading or other issues on the fresh white verticals?
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      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      No, it should not.
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        Brian · 06/02/2020
        Thank you. Do you have any comments on whether the RAD three step system would be preferred over the Armstong Clark offerings?
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          RAD Products · 06/02/2020
          We like both but most are using the RAD.
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          Brian · 06/02/2020
          same question for the TWP stains. Applying on 1 year old PT Pine that has never been stained
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Heather G · 06/02/2020
    and brightener, too
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    Heather G · 06/02/2020
    Part of my deck has painted walls. Will the cleaner affect it? It is exterior paint.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Heather G · 06/02/2020
      adding a picture. I'd like to stain both the topper on the fence and of course the fence, but there is a painted strip in the middle. Will cleaner and brightener hurt the paint?
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    Eileen · 06/01/2020
    Hello, I have cleaned my deck with oxyclean before finding your site. Our deck is 22 yr old. It had been stained 12 yrs ago with semi transparent arborcoat and then 8 yrs ago with a semi transparent Sherwim Williams paint. There are only small areas of stain left on the deck. Do I have to use stripper still or sand then strip. I want to replace the railing.
    We also have a gazebo that was painted with the same stains. Can I apply a semitransparent stain over it?
    My deck area is 600 ft. How much stain and stripper and brightner would I need?
    We added onto the deck with a composite. It is a light color. It has black mold on it. Would your cleaner clean that as well?
    Thank you, Eileen
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      You cannot strip a solid stain so you will have to power sand it off if you want to use a semi-transparent. Clean and brighten after the sanding. The RAD cleaner will clean composite wood.
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    Donna Fanshaw · 06/01/2020
    Hello, I have five questions for you! First - the background on what we have. We have two recently constructed redwood decks that have not yet been stained. Both have been left to weather. One, partially covered and partially full sun, has weathered for just over a year. The other, fully covered, has weathered about 18 months. So, we are now ready to proceed with cleaning, brightening, and staining with your RAD semi-transparent Natural stain. My questions: 1) There are a couple spots that got gouged from shoveling snow this past Winter - we may want to sand those spots a bit. I noticed on the website that sanding is a no-no as it will affect the woods ability to absorb the stain so there was a recommendation to weather the wood again if sanded. Do you foresee an issue if we just lightly sand a few spots? Do we really have to let them weather again and if so, for how long? 2) I am going to purchase your deck staining brush but thought I noticed in on of the Q&A's that you recommend a different tool for rails and vertical posts but I can't find it. So, my question is which tool do you recommend for rails and vertical posts - the paint pad or the paint brush or? 3) With our redwood weathered for over a year, I am assuming we can/should apply two wet-on-wet coats - am I correct? 4) We have approx. 1000 sq ft between both decks and all the steps so I am guessing I should order 10 gallons if we will apply two coats - do you agree? 5) With the virus situation, if I order tomorrow, 6/2/20, how long before you will ship? I live in Idaho. Would you have an estimate for me as to when I should receive the shipment? We are hoping to have the deck done by 6/18/20. Thank you in advance for your reply! Donna
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2020
      1. Do not spot sand as then the stain will not take the same way if you do.
      2. Use a stain pad or regular brush for verticals.
      3. Yes, two light coats.
      4. Yes.
      5. Right now we are delayed about 7-10 business days before items ship out. No guarantee for the 18th.
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    Gary Jannarone · 06/01/2020
    Can I amend my order before it ships? I ordered too much stain.
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    Kate · 06/01/2020
    Do I need to remove the fuzzies from deck that appeared after cleaning and brightening before I apply solid stain to deck?
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    Lucie Griggs · 06/01/2020
    I am in the process of stripping the old peeling stain (Behr Transparent Cedar naturaltone) on pressure treated wood deck. Have not quite finished walkway which is only about 1/4 of the total area and it has taken several applications to get off the stain. The rest of the deck is half covered and half exposed. The covered part still looks good (no peeling) but may take even longer to get off. I am thinking it might be easier and faster to just sand off the rest of the deck instead of stripping. If so, what tips about sanding and do I add Brightner after I sand?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      60-80 grit paper for sanding. Clean and brighten after.
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    Bryan · 06/01/2020
    I used the stripper and brightener and everything turned out great. However, there is a stained spot from where we had an outdoor rug. Is there anything I can do to remove it?
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    Michelle Jo · 06/01/2020
    1. Do you need a chemical respirator when applying the stripper? 2. If I use the semi transparent stain this year and decide to use the solid stain in a few years, do i have to strip the old stain (all RAD products) or can I just apply solid over the semi-transparent?
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      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      1. Not but you can use one.
      2. You can apply over it after a good cleaning.
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    Todd Troop · 06/01/2020
    I'm in the process of re-staining our 10 year old deck. I used the stain stripper and additive to remove the old stain, and then the brightener. After that, I even sanded every plank with an orbital sander to remove any residual stain, and to smooth out the wood. So, the wood was prepped well, and then I applied two coats of the TWP 100 Rustic Brown stain. However, it didn't cover evenly, some parts stained well, and others didn't really take on the color of the stain. I could apply another coat, but I'm concerned the wood would not soak it up and the stain would pool. Is there any way to even this out, by making the lighter areas match the darker?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      This happened due to your sanding. It is lighter in the areas that were sanded smoother. The only way to even out would be to strip and start over or happy another light coat but not sure if that will make it fully even or not.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Todd Troop · 06/01/2020
        I tried adding a another thin coat to a small section, and it looks better, but there's now a sheen to it, and it's a little tacky. With the TWP stain, should the final result be a matte finish, or a slight sheen acceptable? If there is a sheen, does that mean the stain is sitting on top of the wood, and therefore too much stain?
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          RAD Products · 06/01/2020
          No shine. Too much stain and it cannot soak in. See what it looks like after drying for a day or two.
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            Todd Troop · 06/03/2020
            2 days have passed since I added a thin third coat to just one plank to try to even out the color a little more. I've include a photo, with the right plank being the one with a third coat. As best that you can tell, is that too much shine, or is that acceptable? It's not tacky and smooth to the touch. Thanks for all of your help.
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              RAD Products · 06/03/2020
              That is too shiny and is laying on top of the wood.
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                Todd Troop · 06/03/2020
                Okay, thanks! I'll leave well enough alone, and not add any more stain.
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        Todd Troop · 06/01/2020
        Yes, about the area being sanded smoother. Some paint had been spilled there, so more sanding was needed. I'd rather not strip it and start over, so I'll conservatively try to apply another coat to see if that helps. Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Joe Russo · 06/01/2020
    Good Morning, I’m not sure the age of our deck but the people before us probably stained it about 6-7 years ago. It currently has the Sherwin Williams Deckscapes solid stain on. It now also has 1 coat of the Olympic semi transparent stain that was put on about a week ago by a guy who did not properly prep and used the wrong type of stain. Will your products work and what do you recommend? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      Sorry but no, you will have to power sand to remove this and fix it.
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    Richard Hunt · 06/01/2020
    Do you have a product to clean composite decks?
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    JA · 06/01/2020
    Ready to apply solid stain and would love to know best way (tools) to apply it. It's a very large deck. Once applied, how many hours do I wait until I apply second coat? Lastly, rain chance are in the forecast so how long after applying do we need it to be dry?
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      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      Apply with roller and brush. The second coat goes on as soon as the first coat is dry to the touch. No rain for 6-12 hours after.
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    Lucie Griggs · 06/01/2020
    Brightner has been applied to stripped deck. Rain expected for next week. How long can I wait to apply Restore-a-Deck stain?
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    Catherine Grein · 06/01/2020
    We got a bit of the Restore a deck wood stain on our siding. Is there anything we can use to remove? We have tried soap and water but it will not budge. Any advice?
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      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      Try a water-based graffiti remover cleaner from your local paint storel
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        Joni Gonzales · 06/01/2020
        I just removed stain from my siding using acetone nail polish remover. It didn't hurt my siding but my siding is white so test it in an inconspicuous place if you do this
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    Bruce Lindsey · 06/01/2020
    I am in the process of staining my deck first before staining my house, as the deck is in bad condition and needs immediate attention. If I use the Restore-A-Deck cleaning and brightening products on my house, after staining the deck, will the run off and over spray damage the new solid stain finish I am putting on the deck?

    Also, I am not clear on whether or not brightener is necessary with solid stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      Use a brightener with a solid stain if the wood does not have a previous coating. If a previous coating then no need. The prep products should only be used when recoating. If you get it on the freshly stained wood, it could discolor the stain.
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    Ted · 05/31/2020
    How long will unused stain last in storage?
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    Brian · 05/31/2020
    We are installing a new cedar fence on one side of our house however a few panels are difficult to get access to for prepping and staining after is installed. Can I prep (with RAD cleaner and brightener) and stain (Armstrong semi transparent stain) the new cedar panels prior to install? I have a little less than 2 weeks to prep and stain before the fence is installed.
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      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      If rough sawn wood then yes. If smooth wood, then no.
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        Brian · 06/01/2020
        The panel is rough sawn, but below the panel, closes to the ground are the pressure treated boards. Can the pressure treated be stained at same time as the rough sawn cedar panel?
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    Steven · 05/31/2020
    I am restoring a deck that has previously been stained. The previous homeowner did not leave the stain buckets behind, but it looks like transparent or semi-transparent. The old stain is fairly spotty - some places it has adhered well and other places there is no stain at all. My plan is to put on a darker coat of semi-solid stain. I was planning on using the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner and then staining - skipping the Brightener altogether because I am putting on a semi-solid and darker coat. Is this a good idea? Or should I still use the Brightener product? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      You have to remove the current stain fully first. Post a picture for help with this.
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        Steven · 06/01/2020
        I posted a few pictures here. Thanks for the help!
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          RAD Products · 06/01/2020
          You will need to strip this, not clean it. Use the Restore A Deck Stripper with both additives: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html

          You have to neutralize when done with the brightener.
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            Steven · 06/01/2020
            Thank you. So does that mean I don't need to use the Cleaner at all?
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              RAD Products · 06/01/2020
              No need for the cleaner.
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                Steven · 06/01/2020
                Thanks for the quick response! After applying the stripper, how long should I wait to then use the Brightener? And then after the Brightener, how long should I want to apply the new stain?
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                  RAD Products · 06/01/2020
                  Brighten the same day as stripper. It depends on the stain you are using as to when to apply.
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                    Steven · 06/01/2020
                    I'll use Armstrong-Clark semi-solid stain (sold through this website). Do you have guidance on the timing?
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    Mary Ann · 05/31/2020
    Last year we used the cleaner, Brightener and semi-transparent stain to a 1 year old deck. This year I want to stain again. Do I just use cleaner before I stain or do I need to use Brightener too.
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    al osoba · 05/31/2020
    what is the best clean up method for the restore a deck wood staining brush? there seems to be a lot of dried on stain/sealer.
    Al