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
    Caitlin Weiler · 09/05/2020
    Can I use this stain for an outdoor wooden planter box? Is it safe for plants?
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    Lora · 09/05/2020
    I'm about to do maintenance staining reapplying TWP Stain. Last year's stain is peeling in some places. I believe the problem was applying it during really hot, sunny weather. Should I use Stripper or Cleaner during prep?
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    Mike · 09/04/2020
    Will the stripper remove new wood sealer so we can apply and semi-transparent stain?
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    Mike · 09/04/2020
    Hello,
    I have a 6yr old ipe deck that has never been treated. I washed it with deck cleaner and TSP and it looks good with a few hazy spots and areas of white and gray. When I wet it, the color of the wood looks great. Your Restore-A-Deck Exotic Hardwood Stain Semi-Transparent Light Walnut was recommended. Is your Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain Light Walnut the same product, and do I need to use your cleaner and brightening products before application?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/05/2020
      Correct, clean and brighten all for prep and then use the RAD Semi-Transparent Stain in Light Walnut.
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    John from Mississaug · 09/03/2020
    Hi, I purchased a semi transparent RAD kit two months ago and is now in the process of preparing the deck. My question is the optimal wait time after the brightening step before staining: should I apply the semi transparent stain after 2-4 hours wait or 48 hours or somewhere in between as I saw different numbers from different posts and instruction steps. The deck is about 700 square ft. Can I do cleaning & brightening the first day then stain on the second day or everything has to be done in one day for best results? Do I need to mist the deck before staining if it looks dry? I am looking for optimal wait time and max elapsed wait time before staining for the RAD product, thank you.
    john
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      RAD Products · 09/03/2020
      You can apply the RAD Stains to damp wood or dry wood. Up to you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    jim · 09/03/2020
    Can you use the combo of thickening gel & booster additive with the stripper using the Chapin clean & stain sprayer or will the solution be too thick to use the sprayer effectively?

    Thanks!
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    Jack · 09/02/2020
    Can your solid stain be applied with an airless sprayer?
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    Laurie · 09/02/2020
    The products are great! We stripped w/ all the additives, sanded the whole deck, brightened, then used the solid stain-but now we’re getting a few bubble areas. What can we do about this? Deck is a combination of 20yr old cedar and pressure treated replacement. All new boards weathered for about a year. Pics of the bubbles, and before we stained.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/02/2020
      Spot sand those off and touch up. It is either air pockets or sap leeching from the wood.
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    Sanford · 09/01/2020
    Hi, I might have confused myself so I want to double check. I am in the process of sanding off tons of old paint and found redwood underneath. Two questions. (a) I will finish sanding soon, but can I hold off the cleaning, brightening and staining till the spring? (We have a long snowy winter here). And (b) about sanding. I took off the old paint with 60 grit which is rough. How fine should I sand?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/02/2020
      1. Yes.
      2. 60-80 grit is the finest you should go.
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    Jason · 09/01/2020
    And here is the part of the deck that's in full sun that's looking pretty worn.
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    Jason · 09/01/2020
    Hmm, not sure if all the pics posted, only looks like the doggy toenail damage pic posted. I'll try the other's in reply posts. This is the part of the deck that's in shade for part of the day. Gorgeous stain!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jason · 09/01/2020
    Hi there! Stained my deck with Restore-a-Deck light walnut in September of last year and love your product! Gorgeous stain. Part of my deck gets full sun all day and looks like the stain is starting to wear pretty badly in that area. See pic. The rest of the deck is in shade in the later afternoon / evening and looks much better, although dog toenails have done some damage so I thought I'd just restain the whole thing. From what I remember, just need to apply the cleaner and restain, correct? Can you point me to the instruction for restaining using your product? Thanks! Love your product! Only lasted a year, but that's a heck of a lot better than the first stain I tried which started peeling in only a few weeks! The Northern Nevada high desert sun and cold winters are pretty harsh on wood and stuff, so we don't really expect the "typical" lifetime you might get in milder climates. First pic is the deck that's in afternoon shade. 2nd is the doggy toenail damage. Last pic is the part of the deck that's in full sun.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      Sorry but no deck stain will be immune to a dog toe nail damage. tt is actually good though until next Spring. Just use the RAD Cleaner and reapply one coat.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jason Ashton · 09/02/2020
        Thanks for the reply. For some odd reason, the picture of the stain coming off the part of the deck that's in full sun all day simply refused to upload. Will try to upload this pic again in this reply. This is the primary reason I think we probably need to restain this fall. Peeling pretty badly in these areas.

        No need to use brightener after the cleaner? I only ask because the instructions on the cleaner specifically say to use the brightener after the cleaner to "neutralize and brighten the wood" and "any cleaner not neutralized and thoroughly rinsed will cause poor coating adhesion". Thanks!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/03/2020
          You can still do this in Spring, it will be fine. No need for a brightener in this case since it has a base coat but you can use it if you want.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    CranMan · 09/01/2020
    We had a new cedar deck built in 2017 for our waterfront cottage on an island in the acadia region of Maine. In the summer of 2018, two of the three sides we stained (don’t ask) with in a solid gray from Behr. This was already peeling by the following spring and was subsequently power washed. Some stain remains only on edges and knotholes. It is almost invisible except when the deck is wet. Since then, our caretaker has been thinking about what to do, with the consequence that some boards on the west side of the deck have already rotted and had to be replaced. The deck wraps around three sides of the house: West, north, and East-facing. Only the east and west were previously stained. The deck is going to be cleaned with sodium percarbonate solution and power washed tomorrow. I am waiting on an oxalis acid brightener. But I’m not sure what stain to order—specifically whether I shd order a semi-transparent or opaque one. I have samples of both kinds from restore a deck. Should I try to sand off the remaining stain with my orbital sander so I can use a semi-transparent stain, or is that a fool’s errand? (The stain in the crevices can only be reached by hand if at all.) Please advise. I would like to order stain ASAP.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      You would have to fully remove the solid stain to be able to use a semi-transparent. Not sure how much work that will be, sot that would be up to you if you decide to sand it or go with the solid stain again.
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    Terry D · 09/01/2020
    Have a deck with treated pine boards replaced 1-1/2 yrs ago. It is Sept 1st, the beginning of the season where it wants to rain often in the northeast. How long does the wood need to dry after cleaning/brightening before I can stain? Sorry....using DEFY semi stain - because that's what I have.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      48 Hours if using a different brand of stain than the RAD stains.
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    Steve Franks · 09/01/2020
    Can the stain be applied with a roller instead of the mop? There are some rough spots in my wood and I wont be sanding the deck. Worried that the mop will snag.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      The solid stain yes, but not the semi-transparent stain.
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    Marg · 08/31/2020
    How much cleaner and stain for 865 square feet of one year old never finished pressure treated pine.
    Thanks
    Marg
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/31/2020
      2 Cleaners, 2 Brighteners, about 8-9 gallons of stain.
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    Ron M · 08/31/2020
    I recently prepped my deck with your cleaner and brightener and then less than a week later applied 2 coats of your clear stain. It rained early evening the night before I stained. The deck is in 2 levels. I stained early morning and the lower level of the deck was not not dry. By the time I got to the upper level that portion of the deck was dry. There's clearly a difference in the appearance of the 2 levels with lower level appearing duller than the upper. It's been 5 days since I stained. Can I apply a 3rd coat to the lower level to make it closer in appearance to the upper level? This is a reapplication of restore- a-deck after 2 years. I am very happy with your product.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/31/2020
      You cannot apply a third coat after it dries/cures as it will not take now. You can lightly clean and apply a light coat next Spring.
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    Carl Morrison · 08/31/2020
    I have purchased the stripper/brightener kit to restore 1400 sf of uncovered decks. If it rains on these decks, can I apply the stripper/brightener the next day?
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    Harry · 08/30/2020
    Hi, I have a question about 2 years old Cedar deck. I tried Behr's Semi-transparent water stain as my first stain application last year and in less than a year, the stain peeled off a lot. I have few questions before I correct this peeling issue and to do the project correct first time:
    - Do I need oil based stain or water base stain based on the age of the cedar wood?
    - If oil is better, what should I look to buy a good stain or if water, what should I need to look while purchasing stain.
    - In future, does Oil or Water based stain need more stripping effort to takeoff completely.

    Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/31/2020
      -Either will work.
      -You want a penetrating stain so it does not peel like our RAD Semi-Transparent Stain.
      -Same
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    chris · 08/30/2020
    I applied your stain a couple years ago and need to re apply now on the heavy traffic areas. Do i need to clean and stain or do i need to strip the RAD stain that was previously applied?
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    Robert Dorries · 08/30/2020
    I have sanded and cleaned/brighten my deck, but have Douglas-fir sap spotted on many boards. Any recommendations on techniques/products/procedures to remove the sap before I stain cedar decking?
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    Dan K · 08/30/2020
    Hi. I'm restoring a cedar deck - there's some pressure washer damage (as seen in the photo). The wood is fine, just not visually appealing. I tried sanding with 60/80 grit with no luck. Just bought your stripper and brightener to try. Any thoughts if that's the right approach? Also - do I need to take any steps to prepare patio pavers, electrical light boxes (black) from the stripper/brightener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/30/2020
      The only way to fix your pressure washer marks is to heavy sand. Prep products will not harm the pavers.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Dan K · 08/30/2020
        Thank you. What's the lowest grit I can use on cedar without making the problem worse?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Scott · 08/30/2020
    Hello, yesterday I finally got to do test boards/sections as this is first time with rad. Using stripper, thickening gel, and booster for step 1. Note- results have been fantastic. I’ll post pics in separate thread. I had one question/challenge. The thickening gel was tough to get out of the bottle, and then didn’t really mix fully. I can see clumps. I’m using drill & paddle to mix whole 5 gal at a shot. Did I miss something, make mistake, etc??
    thx,
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/30/2020
      It should mix correctly and evenly. Is it not after using the paddle mixer?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Scott · 08/30/2020
        It is not blending even after using paddle in drill. I’m going to empty backpack prayer into bucket & try to mix again.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Duncan Binihakis · 08/29/2020
    hello, I was really looking forward to using your stain, I have prepped my deck using your cleaner and brightener. when I pulled out the stain to use, it was the wrong color!..., ordered semi transparent cedar and received cottage grey. no bueno!...., would like to know what your policy on this is?...., and how fast you can send out the proper stain. this project is on a timeline. thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/30/2020
      Reply from your order email confirmation so we can help with this.
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    Barbara L Kuhn · 08/29/2020
    Also do I have to rinse Brightener with power washer? Already used power washer when I stripped.
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    Barbara L Kuhn · 08/29/2020
    Finished stripping and sanding on Tuesday (see photo.) Rained off and on Wed-Fri. Calling for rain late this afternoon (Sat.) Forecast no rain and ideal weather tomorrow and Monday. Do I still need to brighten before staining with RAD Natural? If so, can I brighten today and stain tomorrow? BTW, am thrilled with your products so far. But really want this project DONE. Curses, rain. :-)
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    Ken Fiorino · 08/29/2020
    I have a 30 year old cedar deck which is in generally good condition. I just finished sanding it to bare wood in order to remove a semi-solid stain which was applied about 5 years ago. It took me quite a while to finish the sanding and now much of the wood has started to gray. The helpful folks at DeckStainHelp.com advised me to use your cleaner and brightener before staining. Since the wood is now quite clean do I need to use a pressure washer with the cleaner or can I apply it and then just rinse off with a hose? Also, will the cleaner cause furring of the wood? I had that happen when I used your cleaner some years ago and would prefer to avoid it as it was very unsightly. Thanks in advance for your help.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/29/2020
      Apply and then rinse with a pressure washer. The cleaner does not cause furring, removing oxidation does. You should not have any of that.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        KEN FIORINO · 08/29/2020
        Do the cleaner and brightener have expiration dates? I have a full kit remaining of the two I purchased 7 years ago. Will it still be good?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 08/30/2020
          If in powder form they are probably still good to mix and use.
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            Ken Fiorino · 09/10/2020
            Regarding your answer about furring, I mentioned that the wood has grayed which means it has oxidized correct? You said that removing oxidation causes furring. I understood that the cleaner removes oxidation so won't that cause furring Or am I wrong? Thanks.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 09/10/2020
              Oxidation turns the wood gray and yes the cleaner helps to remove the gray. Furring is caused by heavy oxidation and removal of such. The heavier the oxidation/graying, the greater chance of this happening. There is not a way to avoid this from happening if you have heavy graying/oxidation. No matter what it has to come off first.
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    Bruce · 08/27/2020
    I have a 260 sf, pressure treated pine deck that I scraped and sanded solid stain off of. What next steps do I need to take in preparation and finishing and how much stain do I need. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/28/2020
      Clean and brighten for final prep and about 3 gallons of the stain for two coats.
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    BLH · 08/27/2020
    I posted this question moments ago but as I hit the "post" button I saw I had incorrectly submitted my email address. My question was, "What method of application (brush type, roller, pad, spray, etc.) would you recommend to apply RAD Semi-transperant stain (which is very viscous) to vertical walls of a log sided house?" Sorry for the mistake.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    BLH · 08/27/2020
    What method of application (brush type, pad, spray, sponge, etc.) would you recommend to apply RAD semi-transperant stain ( which is very viscous) to a vertical surface such as as log sided house?