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
    Laura · 06/23/2019
    Can you help me with how much to order? Do you recommend 2 coats for this project? Was thinking of getting the 5 gallon combination kit with the cleaner/brightener.

    3 decks, each 4x26 ft
    2 decks, each 4x15 ft
    1 deck, 8x26 ft
    no railings

    Type of wood if known: pressure treated pine
    Approximate Age of Wood: installed Aug 2017 (almost 2 yrs) except the 8x26 deck which is new (will allow to weather before finishing)
    If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type (Examples of Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Solid Stain, Oil-Based, Water-Based): n/a
    If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained:n/a
    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 · 06/24/2019
      Added up you have about 650 feet. If doing one coat to all wood, the 5-gallon with prep kit should be enough. The 2-year-old wood may need 2 coats and that means you would need another 2 gallons or so.
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    Bill Vardoulis · 06/23/2019
    I live in Atlanta Ga and just built a new deck 48' X 12'. The deck is Pressure treated lumber from Lowe's with Pressure treated Railings but I installed black powder coated aluminum balusters. I will let the deck weather about 3 months. I was planning on using RAD wood cleaner followed by RAD wood brightener with Armstrong Clark as a stain. My question is will the RAD prep products (Cleaner and Brightener) harm the finish on the powder coated aluminum balusters?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/24/2019
      It should not but you should always test first. There are 100s of different types of metal spindles and they are not all manufactured the same way.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeff · 06/23/2019
    Is it necessary to tape off areas where my deck meets the house when using the cleaner & brightener? Our exterior walls are covered with LP Smartside and I don't want chemicals to affect the color.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/23/2019
      You can tape but the cleaner and brightener should not have any effect.
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    James Calamis · 06/23/2019
    I have an old, 800 sq' deck. I originally ordered 6 gal of solid, and after contacting RSS, I ordered 2 more, being told 8 gal should cover 2 coats. We finished 3/4 of the deck, with only 1 coat. Hopefully I I can apply to the remainder of the deck next weekend, so I've ordered ANOTHER 4 gal. I know I will no longer be able to apply another coat until next spring. I just hope 1 coat will be enough, and that's there will not be a problem where the partly finished deck meets the new coating net week.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/23/2019
      Coverage varies based on wood age and porosity. Looks great so far and the 1 coat should be enough since it is covering well.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Marissa · 06/23/2019
    Can this product be used in a paint sprayer? I have a lot of deck railing to paint and don't want to do it by hand with a brush!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    E · 06/22/2019
    I will also complete the clean and brighten steps first. I am hesitant to use oil based because the stairs have heavy traffic.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
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    Thomas Pongracz · 06/22/2019
    Can Valspar non slip be added to your solid stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/22/2019
      No, you cannot add a non-slip into a solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rich Brown · 06/21/2019
    I did the full strip, brighten, stain process (wet on wet) a year ago. The deck needs restaining now. Can I just pressure wash and stain or do I have to do it all over. The vertical services still look great. The horizontals are absorbing water. Part is in shade most of the day and part gets a lot of sun.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2019
      Use the RAD Cleaner while pressure washing for prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ross · 06/21/2019
    Looking at using a solid stain, covering ~705 sq. Ft. Estimating deck was stained 3 years ago with unknown brand of product. Can solid stain be applied with a roller? Also, what’s your estimate for quantity of stripper, brightener and stain to purchase? BTW, I have a pressure washer. Photos attached.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2019
      Yes, you roll on the solid stain. One Stripper, One Brightener, 4-5 gallons of the RAD Solid Stain.

      FYI, you do not have to remove all of the current stain when applying the RAD Solid Stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Ross · 06/22/2019
        Thanks for the reply!
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    Tom · 06/21/2019
    Can Valspar anti-skid be added to the solid paint to make is less slippery?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2019
      RAD does not come in a paint. I anti-skid would not work well with a solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kate · 06/20/2019
    I will be sanding my 1000 sqft, two-tier deck this weekend and plan to clean, brighten and stain later this week. I plan to order the semi-transparent kit with cleaner, brightener and 5 gallons of stain. How much more stain should I order? I'm working with old wood, but I don't know how old. We've only owned the home about a year. Do I need two coats because it is old wood or one because I am sanding it down to fresh wood, cleaning and brightening? Please advise.
    Thanks!
    Kate
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2019
      You will need about 10 gallons for the 2 coats and 1000 sq feet. Most likely 2 cleaners and 2 brighteners as well.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Kate · 06/21/2019
        Thank you. I’ll order two kits and a brush. I was looking at the speed mop kit. Can I use that instead of the brush or would you just stick with the brush?

        Thanks again!

        Kate
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ru · 06/20/2019
    extra picture
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ru · 06/20/2019
    Hi, I just bought my home in October, so I do not know much of the history of the deck. However, I did find these products in the previous owners shed.

    - Thompson's clear wood protector.
    - MinWax Polyurethane clear semi gloss
    - Olympic Maximum clear water proofing sealant.

    Deck and hot tub furniture is around 2500 square feet total. (My deck sits really high so I have to stain/clean underneath the deck)

    I own a pressure washer.

    How much stain, stripper, and brighter, would I need to complete my deck?

    What tools should I use and for what purpose?

    Do I need any other additive for effectiveness?

    Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2019
      FYI, doing the underneath is for appearance only. Does not have to be done.

      Top part assuming 1250 sq feet:
      -2 Stain Strippers and 2 Additives of each
      -2 Stain Brighteners
      -10-12 Gallons of stain for 2 coats.

      Underneath assuming 1250 sq feet:
      -2 Cleaners
      -2 Brighteners
      -Only need one coat of stain here. 7-8 gallons
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Ru · 06/21/2019
        Here are more questions before I make my purchase:

        What tools do you recommend to apply the stain on deck, rails, etc.?

        What tools to use for stripper and brightener?

        What semi transparent stain would you recommend to keep the deck looking similar to what it looks now?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/22/2019
          Use the Yellow Brush and Stain Pads: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/decktools.html

          Use a pump sprayer and then pressure wash off.

          Any color you like and it has to be tinted (not clear) for UV protection. Natural is the lightest color and looks similar to a clean "wet" look.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Ru · 06/22/2019
            One last question; If I decide not to stain the bottom of the deck should I still clean and brighten it or leave it as is? Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Brenda · 06/20/2019
    Hi
    just wondering how many days shipping to Kingston , Ontario Canada would be?
    Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Eileen · 06/19/2019
    Hello
    Have a Deck that is approx 3 years old ,has stain on it from another brand -that has all but come off -do you still recommend stripping deck or just cleaner.
    Also what tools do you recommend for the entire process-
    Bought,cleaner,stripper,brightener and Stain, sprayer -
    Thanks
    EG
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2019
      Yes, all current stain needs to come off. Reply with a picture and when then help with the best way to do this.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bill · 06/19/2019
    I have stained my deck with Sherwin Williams superdeck semi transparent stain and it keeps peeling off. I have had to spend hours each year removing peeling stain and restaining. How can I completely remove the stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/20/2019
      Reply with a picture of the current condition. Also, was the Super Deck the oil or water=based version?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ian G. · 06/19/2019
    I have a cedar deck which had a semi transparent oil based stain on it. I have sanded everything off. Do I need to use your brightener or can I just apply the stain to the sanded wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/19/2019
      Final prep with both the RAD Cleaner and the Brightener. This will open the wood grain after your sanding and allow the stain to soak in better.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    DavidP · 06/18/2019
    Duration: I can find no info on a comparison re the expected life of the solid vs the semi stains. Can one be expected to last longer than the other, given the same weather conditions. Should the RAD coating look good 1 year? 2 years? More? Is there a material difference in this respect between the solid and semi stains. Will the solid typically out last the semi? Or are both about the same?

    Rejuvenation: There also seems to be little info on rejuvenation and a comparison between the two products. After the "duration" period (see above question), what exactly are the steps to rejuvenate a deck that has been covered with a RAD product? Totally back to raw wood? (ie pressure wash, maybe sand, Clean, Brighten, re-stain? - in other words, re-do the entire project every 2 or 3 years?). Or light Clean and light re-stain. Or what? Is there a material difference in this respect between the solid and semi stains. If so, pls describe. If I used the solid, and after say 1 year, the surface exhibits cracks in the wood, what should I do? Layer on solid stain over the cracks? Redo the entire project? Something in between? Thanks. We have a large commercial motel job and this info is critical.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2019
      RAD solid stain will last about 2-3 years on a horizontal before recoating. The RAD Semi-trans will last about the same. Both can be cleaned and recoated as needed. Does not have to be stripped. Cracks are normal in exterior wood and would not require a touch-up or spot application for them.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Helga Zimmerer · 06/18/2019
    I was planning to rent a pressure washer from home depot. They are also renting a driveway and surface cleaner attachment with it, but I am wondering if that is a good idea and worth the extra rental cost.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Vlapinta · 06/18/2019
    How long after it rains can I apply Rad solid stain? How dry does the wood need to be?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John · 06/18/2019
    I am planning on staining my cedar deck that was built 5 months ago and cured nicely. I have noticed in some blogs that it says not to sand as it will not allow max stain penetration. However, I have some raised spots on the hand rails and other places that are more than likely plainer marks and I'd like to smooth these out prior to staining. Will sanding these areas hurt the staining process? I am also using RAD cleaner and brightener. Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2019
      You can lightly hand sand but do not spot power sand. That would create issues of uneven application.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Cairine · 06/18/2019
    All this info is great, “best deck stain in Canada”, but where do you buy it? I’m in Surrey BC
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2019
      You can buy online from our site and we can ship it to you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Doug · 06/18/2019
    The contractor we're looking to hire, to stain our treated lumber deck is pushing hard on using TWP 100 while I would like to use RAD. Since you sell both products, what are the pros and cons of using each one? Ease of use, longevity, etc.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2019
      Both will last about the same. The RAD can be done the same day as the prep. The TWP cannot. Application is about the same.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim · 06/18/2019
    Can I apply 1 coat of stain in the initial process and then apply a second coat of stain 1-2 months later?
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    George · 06/18/2019
    Pressure treated deck, one year old. Sanded tops of railings with power sander yesterday to get smooth. How long to wait to start project?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2019
      Wait for a few weeks and the use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener for prep before staining.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Judy · 06/18/2019
    Hi I used your stripper, sanded and have applied the brightener per your instructions. However after the 48 hour wait it has rained just about every day since then and my two week period is up this weekend and rain is in the forecast til next week. Will I have to start over or apply a cleaner and brightener again if I can't stain for 3 weeks or more?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2019
      Lightly pressure wash rinse and brighten again is all you will need to do.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Judy Wnek · 06/19/2019
        Ok one last question - as I said I stripped and sanded, however I did not get all the Behr stain off. I did apply the brightener but while I am waiting for the rain to stop I have been researching a little and saw that you now have the additives that make removing stain more effective. Would I be wise at this point to buy more stripper with the additives and strip one more time to try to remove more?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/19/2019
          Yes, it would help to give another round with the additives as well. Let it sit on the wood for 30-60 minutes and it should take more off.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Janet · 06/17/2019
    I am curious. I need gray stain and I want to use your solid stain, but the gray is a little bright for me. I want gray,

    and I am wondering if I mixed a little of the oak with it whether it might give me a color of gray I like better. Have you ever seen this?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/17/2019
      No, never tried this combo but you can mix colors.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mary · 06/16/2019
    Also, I used Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain and Sealer 6 years ago. The sealer is finally wearing off somewhat. There is no peeling. Can I just clean and apply a RAD semi-transparent stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/16/2019
      No. When switching brands of stain you will need to remove the previous coating. Use the stripper and the two additives to remove. Brighten after. You will need a sprayer to apply and a pressure washer.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Helga Zimmerer · 06/18/2019
        If I use the stripper will I be able to apply semi-transparent stain? I don't want to sand, as the wood is pressure treated. What will the ongoing maintenance be like? Clean and apply a semi-transparent stain every 2 - 3 years?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/18/2019
          Yes. Clean and recoat as needed. 2-3 years is normal.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mary · 06/16/2019
    Do I need to use a pump sprayer for the cleaner/brightener or can I just apply it with a pad/brush?