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
    Mathew · 05/31/2020
    Hello! I am expecting RAD stripper and brightener along with RAD stain to arrive early next week. Thanks for all your help up to this point. I had to sand the deck to remove previous water based stain (eco wood treatment from Home Depot) that was only applied less than 4 weeks ago along with rough wear patches on some boards. The deck is 6 years old, pressure treated. I used 60 grit sand paper. (Before and after pic attached). Another question: how many coats should I apply of the dark walnut stain? Thank you for your help.
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    Ethan in Atlanta · 05/31/2020
    Thanks for your time to answer my questions. I'm getting started in morning.

    Questions:
    1. What’s best way to strip stain from rafters on the covered porch? Roof is SunTuf polycarbonate.
    2. Will stripper damage Hardie board siding?
    3. Will RAD semi trans stain damage Hardie board?
    4. Should I strip, brighten, stain all the deck or just half of it? It'd look odd to have one half of the deck (the uncovered/weathered portion and the exposed surfaces) be RAD cedar stain and have the other half (covered/unweathered) be the existing stain. And it'd be a pain to try to prevent stripper from getting on to the covered portion of the deck when stripping and rinsing the weathered exterior surfaces. Am I correct?
    5. Can I walk on deck during the 30-45mins it's stripping? For instance, to mist other areas?

    Current plan:RAD stripper with additive gel via pump sprayer then power wash (after an unsuccessful Behr stripper effort).RAD brightener.RAD semi transparent in cedar via pump sprayer + backbrush. 2 coats, wet on wet.

    My Deck:
    Square footage of surface area: 1,281 sq ft including deck, stairs, railings, support posts.
    Type of Wood: PT pine (I think)
    Wood age: 4 or 5 years
    Previous stain: Behr Semi-Transparent in Castle Gray (Does this seem right?)
    Previous stain applied: Not sure. Not in past 3 years.
    Pressure washer access: Yes.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      You will not be able to strip this fully as the Behr on the wood is opaque, like a solid stain. You will have to either sand this off or use a solid stain to cover what you have.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chuck Smoley · 05/30/2020
    I decided to use a solid stain. If I fill some cracks and knot holes with wood filler, will the solid stain cover the filler?
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    Ramcharan Richard · 05/30/2020
    I cleaned my deck today and will brighten tommorow but due to the size of my deck I will not be able to start staining untill next weekend, is it okay to that and if so any additional prep prior to stain?
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    Josh · 05/30/2020
    Silly question-do I shake the stain container and pour in paint tray or pour in bucket and stir first?
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    Costa · 05/30/2020
    I have a covered porch, that is painted grey with an unknown product. I was prepping the service by sanding - but the old paint is stubborn and won't completely come off with 20 grit. I'Ve removed all the loose flake, and am wondering if I can apply the RAD solid stain (coastal grey) overtop of the remaining paint, after RAD application of cleaner and brightener?

    Thanks in advance,
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      Yes.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Costa · 05/31/2020
        Great thanks, last question again in regards to RAD solid stain - should I apply 2 coats, and is it wet on wet or let first coat dry then apply second coat.

        Cheers,
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/31/2020
          Two coats and the second goes on after the first coat fully dries.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    mark · 05/30/2020
    Will your product remove Olympic Rescue-it wood resurfacer stain?
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    Jan Garvey · 05/30/2020
    I saw a 2 1/2 gallon size of the stain on your website earlier today for around $79.99. Now I can't find it. Do you still sell a 2 1/2 gallon size of the stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      Sorry, but we have never sold the 2.5-gallons on our website.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rog · 05/30/2020
    Is your product recommended for Florida pressure treated wood dock? It is over brackish (mild salt) water. 4 years old and no history of prior finishes or coatings. I have lightly pressured washed the surface going along the grain and it is very clean looking, a bright tan color now. Please advise.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kate · 05/30/2020
    Will be applying solid stain. My deck is in full sun most of the day. Can I apply in full sun if temps are below 80 degrees?
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    Mike bur · 05/30/2020
    Will Restore-a-deck remove layers of old semi-transparent stain ? Any specific directions n what product to use .?
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    Irene Garipoli · 05/30/2020
    Still need clarification: I am using RAD solid stain on railing, how should it be used in full sun? Your tips on application do not specify between different stains being used, so I'm thinking to just follow what is being stated. Dampen the wood and proceed. Wait about an hour and give 2nd coat. Is this correct?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2020
      With the solid stain, wait until first coat is fully dry and then apply the second coat. You can apply the solid stain to damp or dry wood, does not matter.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bryan · 05/30/2020
    Once my deck has dried (24 hours), is it too late to apply second coat? What is shelf life for unopened RAD stain/sealer?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2020
      Shelf life is a few years. Do not let it freeze. As for the second coat, it will not take right now since it has fully cured. You can clean and recoat down the road.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    James · 05/30/2020
    We are in the process of re-shingling the siding of our house with Western Red Cedar shingles (rebutted and rejointed). We would like to stain them to preserve the color and prevent them from turning grey and then black. Can your product be used for that purpose and when is the right time to apply? I read that new wood needs to age but then I also read that cedar shingles need to be treated within two weeks. Also for this project do we need to pre-treat or not since the wood is new? So how would proper application look?
    Thanks for your help!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Melody · 05/29/2020
    Can I use your product on the inside of my vegetable garden boxes? Will there be any harmful chemicals that will leach into the soil?
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    Barry · 05/29/2020
    Shipping issue: I was prepared to buy a complete kit and brush (free shipping on about $250 worth of products) but I also added a pad and groove brush (which cost $19 more) - then I saw, that by adding these two extra items you were going to charge me $20 just to ship the extra pad and groove brush! The shipping of these two extra items cost more than the two extra items themselves! And it would have been part of a larger order which could have all shipped together....so I cancelled everything while I decide what to do. Very frustrated at this bizarre billing practice.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      Hello,

      We just tested this and there are not any shipping charges when you have a combo kit, yellow stain brush, and a crack and groove tool.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Barry · 05/29/2020
        I wish I had a screen shot - it added $20.01 shipping to my order when I added a pad and groove tool....I'll try it again.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/29/2020
          Screenshot it if it happens again.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Barry · 05/29/2020
            Here is the best I could get for a screen shot....It tally the total as $258.99...then it add $20.01 for the extra items? Only after I enter the shipping address....is this tax??
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 05/30/2020
              Your issue is the 7" pads. You never mentioned you had those in the cart and since they cannot fit into the same box as the rest, shipping is charged as it has to go into a new box. If you remove those items there would not be any shipping. We cannot give free shipping on items that have to ship separately.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Cindy v · 05/29/2020
    I was going to strip the solid stain and re-stain. However I am reading your articles and it says that your stripper will not remove solud is that correct? What are your suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      Yes, no stripper will remove a solid stain. You will have to sand this off it off if you want to fully remove it.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ken Kapp · 05/29/2020
    I ended up having to use a drum sander on our deck to fully remove the original semi-trans stain that was applied 3 years ago. I see in the instructions for your RAD Semi-Trans stain that only 1 coat is required for new or power sanded wood.
    1). Why is only one coat needed for power sanded wood?
    2). For power sanded wood, should I follow your "RAD Hot Sun Application" instructions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      1. Sanding makes the wood less absorbent so only one coat of stain.
      2. Yes.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Thomas - GA · 05/29/2020
    Also - there are some 6 x 6s that appear to be left unsealed, but were pressure treated (img 0928 above) - adding another picture that failed to upload of the deck and railing
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Thomas - GA · 05/29/2020
    We have about 500 sq ft of deck that was showing signs of rot in structural areas due to some "interesting" design choices involving a hot tub. That's been fixed - however we know the deck needs to be re-sealed, it's showing signs of wear and we live in GA, north of ATL with lots of rain.

    The previous work involved lots of red paint of unsure origin, it's not peeling but it's no longer repelling water. We were hoping to use the solid stain, and were planning on sanding prior to application. The floor surface is showing wear, but most of the railings and balusters are not - is there a way that we can use the solid stain without sanding on the rails/balusters?

    I also had to replace all of the stair steps with new pressure treated wood - it looks like I need to wait for that? The balusters and railing on that are still in decent shape (not shown in pictures).

    In short:
    - 500 sq ft of pine deck, painted red - needs to be re-sealed now
    - some railings and balusters still in good shape, would like to redo them though for continuity
    - new stair steps and railings/posts
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      Let the new wood season for three months. Pressure wash all wood for prep. Sand as need after to remove the loose stain. You can then cover the old stain and new wood with the solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Corie · 05/28/2020
    We have a cedar deck (new as of last fall) that has one coat of Penofin Red label. Can we "strip" the deck this fall and then power wash, brighten, and stain next spring? Thanks for your help.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Marl · 05/28/2020
    What prep should I do?
    Type of wood- mahogany
    Age of wood - 21 years
    Previous stain - #1Deck, semi-transparent, water based
    Last stained - 3 years ago
    Wood type - deck
    Pressure washer - yes
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      Use the Stripper with both additives to remove and then the Brightener.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Teri La Chonce · 05/28/2020
    I thought I figured it out but then when reading comments, I’m confused again. Could you simply just tell me which steps (Clean or strip and/or not Brighten)?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2020
      Strip off what you can of the current solid stain. You will need to recoat with the RAD solid stain after. No need to brighten this one.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    paul · 05/28/2020
    Do I need to prime my deck (old and new wood) before applying solid color stain? If so, with what?
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    Tom Kessler · 05/28/2020
    Oops. One photo did not make the post I just did, the one best showing the over all deck. I will try again to attach it for the details. The house is in middle TN.

    And, thanks again for any suggestions you might have in addition to the proper materials listing. TK
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom Kessler · 05/28/2020
    The house I bought 25 years ago had a stained deck, age unknown. Over the years I have had it stained multiple times by a friend who has used a variety of products, some at least oil based, last about 3 years ago. Two years ago my son-in-law added a railing using treated pine which has never been stained and is now showing some gray. And a year and a half ago a ramp was added hoping my wife could return home after a fall (but she has ended up in assisted living). That wood was also treated, but has never been stained.

    My plan is to prepare and stain the entire deck, then repeat the stain in a year and possibly annually. It seems that no stain actually lasted more than a year, and some years I repeated with a preservative after six months. So, with a mix of previously stained and new aged wood, I anticipate using both cleaner and stripper. While I am "handicapped with technology" my son-in-law has access to a pressure washer and is willing to take on the project.

    The deck is irregular in shape. The original deck is about 275 ft sq. The railing is about 50 linear feet, 48" high, with 2x2 uprights as in the photo. Untreated/2 + years weathered. The ramp is about 75 ' sq with 45' of hand rail, also untreated and over a year weathered.

    Please advise me the appropriate amounts of stripper, cleaner, and stain I need to order for this project, to include at least 2 coats of stain, and appropriate amounts of stripper and cleaner. Thanks so much as I am a bit intimidated by the process and will start saving for the order. I will try to attach images below.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/28/2020
      You will need a solid stain for this. You cannot strip it off fully. Just one kit to pre of the Cleaner/Brightener and then 2-3 gallons of stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Tom Kessler · 05/28/2020
        Thanks so much.

        My interest is in prolonging the life of the wood; aesthetics are secondary. Would a semi-transparent stain preserve as well as solid?

        Thanks, again. The budget will adjust to order fairly soon. TK
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/29/2020
          You cannot use a semi-transparent stain on this deck, only a solid stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charlie Erwin · 05/28/2020
    Hi. I just finished using your cleaner and brightener -- awesome, and I'm ready to stain. I want to use your semi-transparent light walnut stain. Questions: 1) How many gallons of stain do I need for 1900 sq. feet? 2) How many coats of stain should I apply? 3) How dry does the deck have to be before I stain? 4) How long will it take ship? I live in Paoli, PA, outside of Philadelphia. Thanks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    dmtauber · 05/28/2020
    Looking to stain the ceiling of a KD pine and KD fir covered porch. 1) Any suggestions on technique for application of a semi-transparent stain with a sprayer. 2) Any recommendations on how much stain/cleaner/brightener to order for a 435 sqft covered porch ceiling when using a sprayer for applications (see pic)?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/28/2020
      1. Don't spray this, it will make a mess. Tarp the floor and use a stain pad or brush.
      2. One prep kit and 3-4 gallons of stain for the one coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Karen T Heizer · 05/28/2020
    I have holes under railing made by Carpenter Bees. can I use wood filler to fill holes? the board I am talking about would be difficult to replace. the holes would not be seen. I will be using a solid stain to finish railing.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/28/2020
      If covering with the solid stain you can use a flexible wood filler or caulk.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Susan · 05/28/2020
    First time staining redwood deck, 1 year old. Using RAD cleaner brightener and semi trans stain. Have some pine sap drippings, what is the best way to clean, remove them?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/28/2020
      You will have to scrap or sand those off. A cleaner will not remove the sap.