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
    B Calcote · 10/19/2020
    All pressure treated pine, south of Nashville, TN. We have a an upper deck that is about 14x16 and it's 8 years old. I am sure it has never had a stain on it, I cleaned it once earlier this year. I would clean it again as well. We just added on a bigger part (some of the wood has been outside over a month, the last pieces just a week or so and are still drying out), 6 steps down to join the 2 decks. It's about 26x10 plus turns a corner around the house for another 7x10 or so. Is the solid stain our best bet for these looking the same or should I clean/brighten first to see if the old part looks closer to the new? I'm thinking they will take the stain differently anyway even if both are clean. Thanks!
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      RAD Products · 10/20/2020
      See here about the new wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-for-new-wood.html

      As for blending, the solid stain would be best. Prep and stain in the Spring.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        B Calcote · 10/20/2020
        Is there any reason not to stain part of the old deck now (the support beams and outer frame, all parts below floor decking that are outward facing). It's a big job, just trying to piece it up a little. For the new part, if we get a warm week in November would I be saving time not having to clean as deeply as when spring comes and there might be some green spots from winter (north side of house)?

        Also, I already have some Behr all-in-one deck cleaner. It's acidic, I believe. Spray on, scrub, spray off. I'm open to the RAD products but if I have one that will do fine already I'll roll with it.
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          B Calcote · 10/20/2020
          Sorry for the multi-post - I also meant to ask if you have a recommendation for protecting a deck with a smoker on it. I cook with real wood, average twice a week. The smoker will be on the deck. I have a grill pad that is decent at keeping hot coals off the wood and drips under control, but I still make a little mess. Have you come across any innovative ideas for putting under a smoker or maybe can RAD take a beating better than other stains for that type of thing?
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            RAD Products · 10/20/2020
            Outside of using a pad or rug, there is not much else you can do.
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          RAD Products · 10/20/2020
          The Behr prep may have a reaction with the RAD stains. Easier to stain it all at once. But if you want to stain the frame, there would be no issues.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    dan kitts · 10/19/2020
    Applied Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain on deck past spring. My dog has scratched away the stain in some areas where he jumps on deck and exits the patio door. How to I repair this?
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    Kaitlin · 10/19/2020
    Just stained my deck using all of your products. I'm having trouble with the deck still feeling tacky after 48hrs. This was a new pine wood deck (weather for 4-5 months). I cleaned, brightened, then stained using the semi-transparent and your yellow bristled brush. I don't believe I used too much because on our 500sqft deck I didn't even use a complete 2.5 gallon. Is there a way to remedy this tackiness or should I just wait it out? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/19/2020
      It will cure on its own. Not a way to speed it up.
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    Anne · 10/19/2020
    If I have leftover stain, would I be able to use it to stain something like an outdoor wood table or picnic bench?
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    Anne · 10/19/2020
    What is the normal speed for shipping within the US? (5 gal of stain and deck finishing products) I have a fairly tight window of time for getting this done once I finish sanding, so I want to make sure I have everything I need ready to go. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/19/2020
      Depends on where you live. Normally 2-5 business days.
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    Anne · 10/19/2020
    shipping time
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    Belinda Kretzer · 10/18/2020
    I have a question concerning the shelf life of the stain we purchased, we have 10 gallons of semi transparent still in jugs unopened, we would like to know what is the shelf life of this product? we have heard so diffrent times on Google..thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/19/2020
      Our stain has a shelf life of about 3 years if unopened. Has to be stored where it cannot freeze.
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    Seth · 10/16/2020
    What is the lowest temperature that you can apply RAD?
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    Todd · 10/16/2020
    URGENT!

    I still want to strip and stain my deck but added a new section. I WAS going to just let it season for a year (winter is here in about 2-4 weeks) and then do the entire deck at once, but then a friend said he would definitely not let the deck sit that long because (other than the new part) the deck is already looking dry and we get a ton of snow in the NE.

    Two questions:

    1) Should I:
    A) strip the entire deck, stain the entire deck
    B) Strip the entire deck and stain only the seasoned part
    C) Strip and stain only the old/seasoned portion?

    2) Weather conditions below are not ideal and just barely on the boundary of their recommendations (45-90 degrees surface temperature, "do not apply when deaily low is below 45 degrees or when rain is expected within 12 hours"). Do you think I should:
    A) Strip, brighten and stain on Saturday
    B) Strip and brighten on Saturday, stain on Sunday at 9-10am as soon as it reaches 45?

    TODAY: Raining
    SAT: 55 HI, 40LOW 0% chance of rain, 50% humidity at 1pm increasing to 70% humidity over night
    SUN: 60 HI, 46LOW 0% chance rain until 8pm, then increasing from 5% at 8pm, then increasing slowly until 47% at 11pm. Humidity starts at 70% early sunday morning, dropping to 50% and staying around 50% until early Monday morning
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Stacey · 10/15/2020
    Hello, upon moving into our home I cleaned and stained our weathered deck (apx 6 years old) with Olympic Semi-transparent stain and it has failed within two years. First, would this be a good fit for RAD? Second, would I start with the cleaner or stripper before the brightener? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/16/2020
      Yes the RAD would work well. Strip and brighten for prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jason · 10/15/2020
    I live in the hot, dry desert of Northern Nevada. Applied RAD last fall, and the wood started showing through in several spots over the summer so I thought it needed to be restained. I thought all I'd need to do is apply the cleaner scrub it with a deck brush and then restain, but the cleaner and the deck brush took off most (about 80%) of the stain completely off the wood, but left a lot of patches of stain behind. After consulting with you guys, you recommended cleaning with a pressure washer to remove the rest of the stain, brightening and then re-staining. Would it be ideal to clean / brighten, say, Friday afternoon and then stain early Saturday morning before the sun heats the deck up? I just don't want to have to deal with the whole "misting / damp deck" thing here in Nevada where everything dries so quickly so I'm hoping I can avoid all that by just staining early in the morning when the deck is cool and dry. Pic of my deck after the 1st round of cleaning attached.
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    Martin Kilmer · 10/15/2020
    I have two decks Eugene OR. 1. new cedar installed last year, 2. very old VG WR cedar. I bought the kit with semi transparent stain. Last week I cleaned, brightened, rinsed very well. This morning it was overcast I stained deck #1 which went well and looks good. I then started on #2 which also went well until the sun came out. I did not moisten the deck as a. it was cool b. there was dew on the deck when I started and as the temperature only got up to 50 by the time I finished the second deck I did not think it would be necessary. Non-the-less flash drying definitely became a problem and all attempts to keep the stain moist failed. I now have a deck with shoe prints, uneven areas and even sticky stain build up in places. I still have some days before the weather turns too wet and cold to redo. How can I fix this? And would it be better to just wait until spring?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/16/2020
      To fix you will need to strip and brighten. Much easier to do this in the Spring.
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    Amy · 10/15/2020
    Question on stain type and timing of staining for our fence. We have access to pressure washer. Already planning on cleaner and brightener. New cedar fence, rough cut, installed late July of this year. Live in MN. Not yet stained. ~125ft of fencing, with 95% of it at 4.5ft high (5 panels at 6ft). 3 gates. 2 arbors. I notice you have Armstrong Clark stain on this site as well. We are trying to decide for our new wood in MN: Restore A Deck stain (cedar) or Armstrong Clark stain (semi-cedar) - essentially is water based or oil based better for us? And with oil vs water, temperatures are starting to drop here. Can we stain our fence yet this fall if temperatures are in the low 40's? Thanks for your advice.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/15/2020
      You can stain as long as the application temp when applying is 50 or more.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 10/15/2020
        With either brand.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Amy · 10/15/2020
          Thanks! And any difference or benefit for using either water or oil based for my fence - new, cedar, harsh winters? Trying to figure out the deciding factor to choose, order, and stain ASAP.
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    Pam · 10/13/2020
    How long does it take once order is completed to arrive in USA state of Georgia?
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    RAD130 · 10/12/2020
    Just completed cleaning and staining deck using RAD cleaner and RAD Light Walnut stain. After staining and allowing to dry I noticed some areas that were lighter. Can I go over those areas again even if it has dried?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/12/2020
      Sorry but no, once dried and cured another coat will not be able to soak in. More than likely this will even out after a week anyhow.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ryan · 10/12/2020
    I used RAD cleaner / brightener on an exterior cedar wall that is 1 year aged without any treatment prior. Wood was smooth to start, but after treating and pressure washing it now is rough and has blemishes. Should I sand or is this normal?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Cynthia Lancaster · 10/11/2020
    I recently ordered and received some of your stain. I thought I ordered black walnut, but as I look back at my order, it shows "natural", which is what I received and have put on the top horizontal portion of my deck. It is lighter that what we were really looking for, thought it is still pretty.
    My question is this...would I be able to put the darker stain over it now that there are two coats on?

    Also....we are using the solid stain for the rest of the vertical...spindles, etc. We ran out of time this weekend, and got the first coat on. Will it hurt to wait a week or two to put the second coat on? Time is just not on our side.

    Also...do you think it would look weird if we did the deck in a different semi-solid than the top of the rail that is done in natural now? Maybe not go as dark as black walnut? I just think the natural is a little orangy for the whole deck....it looks ok on the railing if I cant stain over it.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/12/2020
      You cannot add another coating at this point as it will not take. You can switch to it down the road as needed after proper prep.

      You are okay to add another coat of solid a week or so after but not with the semi-transparent.

      The only way to do another coat where the natural is is to remove it fully first.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dene P Land · 10/11/2020
    It is acceptable/recommended to apply semi transparent and solid stain to damp wood if I understand correctly. Is application to dry wood unacceptable?
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    Thorrvc · 10/10/2020
    While I have successfully used your product to stain both my house decks the past several years, my 30 year old garage deck was in rough shape. After power washing, cleaning and waiting until dry, I was only able to put on one thin coat before running out of stain as the boards are super dry and absorbed the stain rapidly. Since I still have 20% of the porch to do, and need to order more, is possible to also now recoat the 80% I have already done?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/11/2020
      Sorry, but no. It will not take another coat once cured. You can do another coat in about 6 months. Lightly clean first.
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    steve gilson · 10/09/2020
    I received your TWP 1500 5G with cleaner and brightener. Can I apply the TWP stain while wood is wet after applying brightener or need to let it dry?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/10/2020
      Needs to be fully dry with TWP. 48 hours after prep.
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    Quinn · 10/09/2020
    I used RAD stripper/brightener and then stained with TWP 1500. I ran out of stain before completing second coat. I ordered another gallon, not sure how long it takes to get to MD. When it arrives can I just stain directly over the part that has only one coat even though it will be several days later? -Quinn
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/09/2020
      No, wait until spring, lightly clean and recoat then.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark Frydenborg · 10/09/2020
    The bag with the stripper has a large hole it it. It is covered in dry product. What are the mixing instructions? How much product to make 1 gallon of stripper?.
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    Eileen Filler · 10/08/2020
    And I forgot to ask how much stripper?
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    Eileen Filler · 10/08/2020
    Hi, our deck is 22 yrs old. We had some boards replaced and had to wait until now to stain them
    I am hoping to stain the second to last week of Oct as the temp is predicted to be 64degrees during the day and 42 at night for three days. We have approximately 860 sq ft of wood deck .We have an area around our pool that is composite approximately 464sq feet.
    Can I use a transparent stain? How much cleaner should I order, how much brightner and how much stain?Thank you in advance.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/09/2020
      Strip and brighten for prep. Two strippers and two brighteners. Then you can use the RAD Stain. About 8-10 gallons. It cannot be used for the composite wood.
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    Seth · 10/07/2020
    How much time does it take to ship to Canada?
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    Scott Scholl · 10/06/2020
    I have a 2yr old treated pine deck, with a polycarbonate roof. We are going to be cleaning the deck with the RAD Cleaner and Brightener Question is, do we need to clean the rafters and stringers under roof? We like the color of the rafters after 2 yrs. and would like to keep them looking the same. We are using RAD clear semi transparent stain. Can I just rinse and stain the rafters? I'm worried the cleaner and brightener might affect the polycarbonate roof. We are located in northern Ohio.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/06/2020
      If you are staining then yes, you need to prep. It will not harm the roof.
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    Vince · 10/06/2020
    I have a 200 sq ft deck. Is 1 gal enough to cover this?
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    Dennis Hutcheson · 10/05/2020
    If I use either the Restore a Deck SemiT or Solid to stain a deck will your stripper remove either of them when the time comes a few years down the road.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/05/2020
      Semi-transparent, yes. You cannot strip off a solid stain fully.
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    Quinn · 10/05/2020
    I am going to use RAD stripper then brightener on the same day. The stain is the oil based TWP 1500. How long must I wait to apply the stain since it is not water based. -q
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dahi · 10/05/2020
    Hi Again
    It is Dahi again. Just wanted to post couple more pics.