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
    Craig · 06/13/2021
    I had an old thick coating on my pressure treated deck, most peeled off but some required a floor sander. I gave the entire deck a light sand and other areas required aggressive sanding. I used stripper and neutralizer after. Can I stain with RAD solid or should I wait some time period? 
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    Bruce · 06/13/2021
    I am going to sand and brighten and I understand that stain should be applied within 14 days of this prep. What would I need to do if it goes longer than 14 days (weather issues mainly)?
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    Fritz · 06/12/2021
    Hello, 
    I plan to purchase your Coastal Gray solid stain, and I also want to use an anti-skid additive such as Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield. Will the traction granules affect the stain's durability or require any modification to the stain's application instructions?  
    I was thinking I would add the anti-skid stuff only to the first coat, then apply the standard second coat.
    Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/13/2021
      It should be fine but you may want to apply it in the second coat, it will be easier.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    allan MacIvor · 06/12/2021
    we have a wood treated deck 15 years , we used Bear stain lasted 2 years . i want to redo the deck . i live in southern alberta canada . what can i use ?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/12/2021
      You will have to remove the Behr first. For help with this, post some pictures.
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    Chris · 06/11/2021
    Hi, I have a 20 year old farmer's porch-deck is mahogany as well as stairs and railings. What do you suggest for stain color?  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/11/2021
      Light Walnut. Make sure to prep well first. Post pictures if you need help with this.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ryan · 06/11/2021
    Hi. I just received your deck cleaner and brightener and am excited to use it. Is there a problem if I do the cleaner/brightener and then wait a week to stain (re-stain using the same previous stain). There is a small chance of rain in the forecast next week. And always the chance of dust/pollen accumulating on the deck. Thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/11/2021
      Best to stain within 14 days of prep. Make sure to blow off any debris if needed with a leaf blower.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Corey · 06/10/2021
    I have 9 month old new p/t deck and now looking to stain it. we prefer the natural semi transparent. given there is no pigment in the natural colour stain, and to prevent it from silvering, will i need to reapply a 2nd/3rd coat of natural stain quicker than a 2nd/3rd coat of the light walnut semi transparent stain for example?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2021
      Ther is pigment in the Natural color and you must have pigment for UV protection from graying. Longevity is the same.
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    Kathleen · 06/10/2021
    What was the suggestion regarding filling in cracks in the deck wood? It was in one of the videos. Thanks
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      RAD Products · 06/10/2021
      Not to do it. It does not work well and does not blend.
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    Wahab Yazdani · 06/10/2021
    I am staining with classic white solid and have done 2 coats on the handrails.  Some rails are having a brown stain and drying that way.  Some are fine. Any reason you know of?  I did the first coat early in the morning when the sun comes up but behind our house. And the 2nd coat in the evening after the sun dies down.  Thank for any info
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2021
      That is tannin bleed coming from the wood. Tannin bleed is a tan or brownish discoloration on the paint surface. Tannins exist in all deck woods, most notably pine, cedar, and redwood, and can bleed through to the surface, leaving a yellowish-brown stain on the surface. Tannin bleed is an underlying wood problem, not a stain failure, and happens when in a very wet climate. Tannic acid can discolor the stain as the wet wood pushes the stains out towards the surface. 
      We would suggest letting the wood dry out for a few weeks or month and then touch up over those spots.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Wahab Yazdani · 06/10/2021
        Okay thanks.  That makes sense, the last morning it was misty. I may have to wait for it to be dry.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sarah · 06/10/2021
    Hi!Location: Midwest (IL)Deck wood is either cedar or pine, not sureDeck is 16+ years oldDeck gets a bit of sun on one panel but the rest gets mostly shade. Mildew grows to the point that the deck gets slippery.  
    Deck has been power washed. 
    Please recommend what products to use to finish the prep of this deck. 
    I will be applying TWP 1503 once the deck is properly prepped. 
    Thank you for the guidance. Sarah 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ronda · 06/09/2021
    We installed a cedar fence with pressure treated pine posts last summer (maybe July). It has begun to fade some and I want to keep the natural color of the cedar (I like both your natural and cedar colored stain). Do I need to clean and brighten at this point or could I get away with just cleaning and then staining? Also, how much would I need for the fence? There is approximately 166 square feet of panels (front and back included) + the posts. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/09/2021
      Yes, you do have to prep with the products. It will be an easy prep.
      We would need a total sq footage. Length x Height x 2 =?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dave · 06/09/2021
    For 15 yr old Ipe. Never treated, PACNW Saltwater. Lt Walnut recommended but Cedar had less "yellow" tint.  Would Cedar be acceptable? Semi-Transparent or Solid Stain?  Second picture, Rained shortly after test stain.  originally looked like areas where stain did not soak in but looks ok now. Any concerns? 
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    Daniel Bigger · 06/08/2021
    I need to strip stained shingle siding and pine soffits.  Will stripper damage my stained/colored cement sidewalk and colored rock siding that lies below the treated areas?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2021
      No, it should not but do rinse well when you are done.
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    Jill Elaine Davis · 06/08/2021
    I want to apply semi transparent stain to my deck wet on wet application, 2 coats, after using the brightener.  How would I determine "damp" surface?  I could see the wood being soaked with water from the thorough rinsing after the brightener.  Can I allow the deck to dry and come back next day and rewet to do the staining wet on wet application coats?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Butch · 06/07/2021
    Can SICO translucent stain be removed without sanding the deck
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2021
      Please post a picture here in the comment area of the deck.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom · 06/07/2021
    A couple years ago, we had a deck built and used Restore A Deck.  It worked perfectly so we decided to use it again for the follow up coat after year one.  This was last August (2020).  It appeared to go down just fine and looked great until winter.  Once the snow thawed in March of this year (2021) we started seeing a lot of places where the floor stain was peeling and flaking off.  Based on researching the problem, our conclusion was that we might have applied the stain too thick on the horizontal surfaces.  Vertical surfaces still seem ok.  The original application on the floor was done with brushes but the latest job was done with a roller.
    Now we have power washed the horizontal surfaces to remove nearly all the old stain.  We are going to do another attempt at staining but don't know if we need to do the cleaner/brightener steps again.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2021
      Can you post pictures of the floor and do not use a roller when applying the RAD Semi-Transparent stain. it does not apply it correctly.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Tom · 06/07/2021
        First image is the floor after power washing.  Second is the corner that was power washed, but also shows the vertical surface.  Last image is the railing.
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          RAD Products · 06/07/2021
          Best to strip and brighten the floor so you do not repeat the issue.
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    JERRY GILMORE · 06/06/2021
    How do I unsubscribe from reply updates.....I had a question a year ago that got answered, but I'm still receiving emails every time someone posts something.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark · 06/06/2021
    Will RAD stripper damage my painted metal railing spindles?
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    John · 06/05/2021
    I'm very interested in your stripper for sure, and maybe your stain.
    I have about 1200+ sq ft to do. It looks like your stripper, dissolved into 5 gallons, covers 1000 or less. Do I need two 2 lb bottles or do you have a 1 lb bottle as well (or 3 lb).
    Thanks.
    John
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/06/2021
      You would need two containers of both the Stripper and the Brightener.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Oceans11 · 06/05/2021
    A few questions....See the pics, what type of wood is this?  I believe it's Cedar (Port Orford).  Also I saw in one of the videos that someone powerwashed the entire deck before applying the cleaner.  Seems the first step is to use the cleaner and powerwash it off.  Based on what you see in the pics, can you confirm the best approach and products: 1) apply the cleaner 2) powerwash it off 3) apply the cedar stain.  Glad to share pics when done.  Can you confirm thanks 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2021
      1. Apply cleaner2. Pressure wash off3. Apply brightener4. Stain.
      Not sure on wood type.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Marian · 06/05/2021
    We purchased stripper, booster and brightener back in March.  Due to weather, work etc. we are finally ready to apply.  Our deck is 2200 sf.  and in full sun. I was wanting to do just small shaded sections at a time so that product would not dry as soon as I applied it.  I would work according to the way the sun rises and sets.  I know you are suppose to rewet the area if it dries with more of the solution.  Because of the reflection of the in ground pool and sun everything dries instantly and would be a waste to have to keep reapplying product to keep it wet.  My question is, can I mix a 5 gallon container and cover it and use again the next day.  I'm afraid mixing small batches won't end up being the same concentration each time.  I didn't want to have to keep making 1 gal. containers if at all possible because I don't know how much will be needed in each section. I think the way the deck is layed out sections can be done without looking weird where you stopped and started since it is all around the pool and a couple different levels. I plan on applying all of this with a pump sprayer.
    Lastly, in the directions it says to hose off brightener for 20-30 minutes. Does this mean you literally stand there for 30 min. just hosing area down.  I do plan on using a power washer.
    Please advise,Thank You. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2021
      You can mix all at once and use it as needed. 20-30 minutes total for the entire deck, not just one area.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Marian · 06/05/2021
        Thank you so much.  This makes the  process so much more managable. Can't wait to get started!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lindsey · 06/04/2021
    Hi, I've never done something like this before so I had some questions. I took out some hostas that were in front of this fence and discovered this darker area. I'm assuming it's from the previous owner power washing without moving the plants out of the way. Is this required to be power washed again? (because I would have to borrow one).  And would you recommend the stripper & brightener or the cleaner & brightener? I was hoping to use a solid white stain on it afterwards. Thanks so much!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2021
      That should come off during prep. Use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener kit while pressure washing.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Joe Thul · 06/04/2021
    Hey guys, overall I am loving what the products have done for our deck.  I power washed but the results were good, but not great so we decided to power sand.  That did a great job.  From there we've used the cleaner then brightener then the Cedar Sem-Transparent stain.  We have a herringbone pattern on the deck so I did one side yesterday.  Let it sit all day and overnight and then the second side today.  (had to move stuff from one side to the other hence the wait.  However, today the second section seems much lighter than the section yesterday.  (pic attached).  I'm past the wet on wet second coat stage so wondering if this just darkens in a day.  I don't recall the 1st section being this light yesterday.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/04/2021
      It could be how you applied it or drying faster if in hot sun. Hopefully it evens out.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Joe Thul · 06/04/2021
        Applied identically to how yesterdays was done.  I used the yellow brush you folks sell and it worked very nicely.  However, even though I had it airing out, it was a little damp yet this morning so I was wondering if that may have been it.  Anyway, it already is darkening so I suspect by tomorrow the difference will hopefully be minimal.  Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Terry Smathers · 06/04/2021
    In 2019 I used RADs products to clean, brighten and stain deck railing but only got 1 coat of natural stain done on pressure treated wood that had never been stained and had been installed for about 1 year.  The railing really needs to be redone this year.  So I want to make sure I do it correctly.  First use the cleaner and then power wash which should remove all the stain.  Then use the brightener and rinse (no need to power wash).  Let dry for 48 hours.  Use a tank sprayer to dampen the railing and apply 1st coat of natural stain within 2 weeks.  When should I apply the 2nd coat of stain?  Thank you for your time and assistance.
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    Richard L Jackson · 06/03/2021
    Partil cleanup on some boards after clean and brighten process what do i need to do to correct this? 
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      RAD Products · 06/03/2021
      Looks like old stain. It should blend if using the same color and stain brand.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Curtis · 06/03/2021
    Question on second deck. This is in our front and has no roof so the sun beats on it. I’ve done the same maintenance as the deck I posted earlier (rad 2018 steps 1-3, maintenance 2019. Now 2021 and need to apply) . What would you recommend this time around from this picture? Clean, brighten, and one coat? 
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      Curtis · 06/03/2021
      I’m sorry. It’s not wanting to upload the image. It is lower than 3mb and shows that it’s uploaded successfully and then doesn’t show the picture. 
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      RAD Products · 06/03/2021
      Yes, that is correct.
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        Curtis · 06/03/2021
        One more question (hopefully) if the front deck looks worn pretty quickly after each maintenance should I try a solid stain instead? I guess I’m asking if the solid would hold up better or longer than the semi transparent ? 
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          RAD Products · 06/03/2021
          The solid stain does hold color longer.
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            Curtis · 06/03/2021
            Okay, which steps would I go through in this instance? As you can see from the previous pic the vertical still has some semi transparent but all the walking surfaces are “bare” looking.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 06/03/2021
              Pressure wash with the Cleaner and the Brightener and then you can cover the rest.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Curtis · 06/03/2021
        Thank you! 
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      Curtis · 06/03/2021
      Pic 
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    Curtis · 06/03/2021
    I used RAD cedar semi transparent in 2018 using the directions for cleaner, brighter,stain. I applied a maintenance coat in 2019, using maintenance steps. It needed another maintenance coat on the high traffics areas or areas where the Oklahoma sun really took its toll this year. So I cleaned and brightened all of the deck and applied. Usually it’s just one coat for maintenance (I believe) but I was curious if from this image you would recommend applying a second coat, and if so have I messed it up by not doing it when it was still within the 3 hour window or the first coat?! 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/03/2021
      Only one coat and you cannot apply another 3 hours after the first coat has dried. You can clean and apply another coat 6-12 months later.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Curtis · 06/03/2021
        Would I clean and brighten in 6 months? Or just clean and apply 
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      Curtis · 06/03/2021
      I’m not sure why the picture is not showing. I’ll try posting it again. 
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        RAD Products · 06/03/2021
        Files for photos have to be smaller than 3 mb.
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          Curtis · 06/03/2021
          Okay thank you for your quick response. Here is the image in lower resolution. 
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    Zurclark · 06/02/2021
    Well I have researched so many deck sealers, restorers and so on for our poor old deck and can say I am 100 % sold on your product. Now to my question, may I ask about how long do you think shipping will take once I place my order ( RAD Kit )  say in the morning hours ? Shipping to North Carolina, US. We are going to be out of town the next week and thus my question.Thank-you
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    Allen Monsarrat · 06/02/2021
    I have two gallons of TWP 1500 left over from a five gallon can. If I fill two 1 gallon paint cans will that keep the left over stain useable for a year or two or should I just try to pass it along to someone who could use it. Last year I had left over stain and it thickened in the 5 gal bucket pretty quickly with all the air in the bucket.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2021
      Opened stain will last about 12 months. It will probably not last longer but it is possible.
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    Steve · 06/02/2021
    planning on retaining staining deck with your product. Presently there is paint / stain on it, what is the sequence. Strip, clean, brighten?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/02/2021
      We would need to see pictures of the deck posted here for proper prep help.