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
    John Holley · 08/27/2020
    Thanks, and as I have read a bit further...do I need to strip, or would the cleaner be sufficient.
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    john h · 08/27/2020
    ...they must be too large, so one more time.
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    John H · 08/27/2020
    Not all the pics uploaded, so here ya go!
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    John H · 08/27/2020
    Background: We have a 2 year old Yellawood Pressure Treated deck with flooring of 381sf; and according to your calculation formula with rails and posts it comes to 542sf. As you can see from the pics there are no pickets, but there is a Pergola. Following curing in 2018 I applied 2 coats of Flood CWF-UV, which worked great. Now, as also shown in the photos, other than the need for a refreshing wood and mildew which is extremely slippery and calling for immediate attention, we have been pleased, and want to keep the same clear/clean look.

    So, in reviewing your product data, and following your calculator, I would need 1 each of the Stripper and Brightener, probably a thickener? But my big question(s)...

    1) what product do you recommend for finishing, there seems to be more than one on your site, can I, should I, continue with the Flood CWF-UV as I was advise at the time it was the better product for the new Yellawood once cured and I still have 1 unopened gallon left, or is there a better product that you can recommend? ( Note that it doesn't matter that I have 1 gallon left, IF there is a better product on the market that makes financial and strategic sense. )

    2) will I need the 6 gallons as the calculator shows, I actually do not recall the volume used in the original application, but it seems like a lot. ( though I would rather have extra than to either stretch what I purchase or delay completion while waiting for a second order. )

    Thanks for your help, your direction will be greatly appreciated as this is a replacement deck and we didn't really attend to the other as diligently as we have and will continue with this deck.
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    Keith H · 08/27/2020
    I made the mistake of using Behr Deck Restore on my pressure treated pine deck. Within a year it was pealing. I have stripped and sanded the entire deck but there are still spots where I didn't get 100% of the paint off. If I use RAD Solid stain will it bond to the paint I wasn't able to remove?

    I live in NEPA and the deck is SE facing. We have a lot of oak trees around the house and end up with a black dirt, mildew that is very difficult to clean off the current paint. How easy will this clean off the RAD Solid stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/27/2020
      Post some pictures of the prep. Dirt and mildew will clean off the RAD Solid stain when prepping for recoating.
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        Keith · 08/27/2020
        What can I use for a cleaner every year until it needs re-stained.
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          RAD Products · 08/27/2020
          Not our products as they are only to be used for prepping when reapplying. Any mild detergent should work.
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        Keith · 08/27/2020
        As you can see 99.9% of the paint is gone but there is still some in areas that I couldn't get a sander.
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    jenniferrf2001 · 08/26/2020
    Hi. About 11 weeks ago we got a new 600-700 sq ft cedar deck. We cleaned it with a cleaner that we got locally it lifted some of the fibers off the deck so we had to sand it. After really cleaning it and sanding it it still has some grey in the boards. We also built a pergola. My question is what do I need to do now......a brightener and what stain do you recommend....we live in the Midwest it gets a lot of sun in the summer and in the winter it gets a lot of snow. I would like to apply a stain that is low maintenance and semitransparent I think? What do you recommend? Do I need to apply something different to the pergola? What do you suggest? Thank you.
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      RAD Products · 08/26/2020
      Clean and brighten for final prep and then use the RAD Semi-transparent stains.
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        jenniferrf2001 · 08/28/2020
        Would you recommend waiting until the spring to seal it? When would you recommend sealing it - we got it about 12 weeks ago and we live in the Indiana. Thanks
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          RAD Products · 08/28/2020
          You can do it now or in the Spring.
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            Jennifer Figg · 08/31/2020
            I did the cleaner and the bright we and ordered a semi transparent in cedar. I power washed the brighter off to make sure it all got off well. I got a little too close on some boards and the power washer left marks. Will the stain cover most of it up? I hope so!
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              RAD Products · 09/01/2020
              The stain will not cover pressure washer marks from being to close.
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                Jennifer Figg · 09/01/2020
                Should I lightlysand it?
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                  RAD Products · 09/01/2020
                  Lightly sanding would not fix it either and would also mean the stain will absorb unevenly there. The only way to fix would be heaving to sanding to all floors so the stain will apply evenly.
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                    jenniferrf2001 · 09/03/2020
                    Hi. It rained here heavily on Tuesday I was planning on starting to stain tomorrow (Friday) went out on the deck this morning and there are black dots on some of the boards and the side of the deck after cleaning and brightening......can I stain over this? Frustrating it is a brand new cedar deck. If I stain Friday and Saturday and it rains on Sunday is that ok?
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                      RAD Products · 09/03/2020
                      Looks like rust spots from some kind of metal that got on the wood. You will need to redo the prep.
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    Ron Z · 08/25/2020
    That was supposed to be a thumbs up. :)
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    Peter · 08/25/2020
    Hi- need some advice. 20 year old cedar deck in SE Mich. Stripping off Behr Deckover. Some old stain underneath. pics below. Still a little sanding for the small patches of remaining deckover. Or let the winter take it off.
    Long term want a gray color to match house trim. Willing to clean and re-stain every couple years but not scrapping/sanding. Initially thinking semi-transparent but want to confirm solid does not need removing to re-stain every few years (clean/brighten/stain)

    I assume I need to get the reddish soaked in stain off to allow new stain to penetrate. Just use the plain stripper and then brightener from both solid and semi?


    Also- can I just order just gray samples and forgo the other colors? Do they sell samples here locally in Michigan?


    Thanks.

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      RAD Products · 08/25/2020
      Probably best to go with a solid stain once you are done to cover this. You can recoat with the solid stain later on an ass needed after a good pressure washing. You can pick up all products and samples at our store in Bloomfield Hills otherwise you would have to order online.


      The Sealer Store
      2388 Franklin Rd
      Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
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    Jack · 08/25/2020
    How long does shipping take once the product is ordered?
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    Joe · 08/25/2020
    I have close up pictures of my deck, but not sure if they're getting through to you.
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    Joe · 08/25/2020
    Trying to post more photos to my earlier question.
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    Joe · 08/25/2020
    My deck is about 425 sq. ft. It's green treated wood (pine, I assume). It's probably 25 years old or so. It was stained by someone else at least 12 years ago. They used Cabot stain but I'm not sure what kind. I have a 1900 psi electric pressure washer. Pictures I submitted show black areas and a generally worn condition. I was thinking of using your stripper, then brightener. I thought maybe a solid stain, due to the age and condition of the deck. If that sounds right, can I apply stripper & brightener with a sprayer, then wash them off with the pressure washer? What's best to apply solid stain? I like the looks of the wide yellow brush you sell, but it says not to use for solid stains. So use a roller, pad or something else? Apply 2 coats? Wet on wet? How long between coats? Thank you!
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      RAD Products · 08/25/2020
      Yes, use a solid stain for this after prep. Apply with rollers and a brush, two coats. The second coat goes on after the first coat dries with the solid stains. Prep by stripping off as much as you can and then brighten the wood.
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    Jesse · 08/24/2020
    I just ordered a kit from you. My question is , can I stain over some boards that have been hardened and 2 part epoxy woody wood filler. Some of boards are partially rotted but can't be replaced without MAJOR MAJOR complete removal and replacement of benchs.rails & stairways.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/25/2020
      The RAD semi-transparent stain will work over a wood filler and will not "stain" the filler to blend. The solid stain should be okay.
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    Brad B. · 08/24/2020
    We ordered the Wood Stain/Cleaner/Brightener combo kit to go onto a 5 year old deck that has never been stained. The materials should be here in two days. Meantime, the weather has brought rain today and tomorrow, but looks clear from then through the weekend. My question is: how long should we let the deck dry out from the rains before starting the cleaning/brightening/staining process? Thank you.
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      RAD Products · 08/25/2020
      Rain does not affect the prepping. Make sure to apply the stain to damp wood or dry wood.
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    Robert · 08/24/2020
    I replaced 30 year old decking from several decks early this spring, but kept the balusters which appeared to be stained with a semitransparent stain. Two and a half weeks ago I (1) stripped the balusters using RAD stripper (with both additives), (2) cleaned the new(ish) decking using RAD cleaner, and (3) neutralized all wood with RAD brightener. Due to high humidity, it took nearly a week for the wood moisture to drop below 15% in certain areas. Then, when the moisture level finally dropped low enough to be stained, the weather did not cooperate with significant chance of rain each day.

    This last weekend, the forecast finally looked ok (overcast but no significant chance for rain until the evening). However, when I was just finishing up staining my second deck, a pop up shower appeared out of nowhere nowhere. The stain had been on my first deck for a couple hours and it doesn't look great but it doesn't look terrible. But the second deck just looks awful. Splotchy, washed out, just bad.

    What are my options?
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      RAD Products · 08/24/2020
      Send some pictures.
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        RAD Products · 08/24/2020
        Leave the first deck alone. The second deck will need to be stripped and brightened on the floors and then recoated to fix.
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    Jeff White · 08/23/2020
    Is there any difference in the type of sealant / semi-transparent product for treating exterior cedar siding of a house, as compared to a deck?
    Does the coverage area change when treating vertical versus horizontal surfaces?
    Anything else?
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    Mary Squire · 08/23/2020
    We just stained our deck today using 2 coats of RAD semi-transparent in Cottage Gray. We purchased the application pads at Ace Hardware, and they appeared to be good quality, designed specifically for deck staining. However, the application did not come out evenly, and there are several places that are significantly lighter than other places. Is it okay to wait a few days and then go over those lighter spots again?
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      RAD Products · 08/23/2020
      Sorry but no, it will not take once it has cured and it will not blend.
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    Rob T · 08/23/2020
    I'm having trouble posting more than three photos with my contest entry even after resizing the to less than 1 mb each. What am I doing wrong? Can you delete my previous attempts at entry? Thanks.
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    jim peacock · 08/23/2020
    my name is jim peacock my left overs leaked or exploded in my basement . i think i bought BROWN SUGAR from you before , could you check your records to see .jim
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    Pat Armstrong · 08/23/2020
    My deck is 2 years old. The boards came stained. (See picture) Do I clean it or strip it for a RAD semi transparent stain.
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    Vicki · 08/23/2020
    How long after 4 days of rain can I stain my deck. Can I prep the deck days before staining.
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    Lynn · 08/22/2020
    can your RAD solid stain be used on patio pavers? it would match my deck that I just stained
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    Miriam Jacobs · 08/21/2020
    I’ve just finished staining my deck and I’m very pleased with the results. I had to aggressively sand my deck and thus it’s a bit lighter than I would like. What is the absolute minimum I have to wait to put on a second coat? Thanks!
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    Miriam · 08/21/2020
    I have just finished staining my deck. I’m very pleased with the results. I had to strip and sand like a madwoman because I did not know what the original product on the deck was, and the two coats on top of that was the semi-transparent Behr. It’s very light though and a bit splotchy since the sanding was so aggressive. What is the absolute minimum time I need to wait to put on a second coat?

    Thanks! Miriam
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      RAD Products · 08/21/2020
      6-12 months. Clean with the RAD Cleaner first.
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        Miriam Jacobs · 08/21/2020
        Thanks! Please ignore my second post. I somehow reloaded the page to August 3rd and since I didn’t see my question I asked it again. Yes. I’m tired.


        Thanks again, Miriam
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    Barbara Lutterbein · 08/21/2020
    Sorry if posting twice. My deck area is approximately 600 Sq ft, 7 years old, treated lumber, last stained 5 years ago with I believe a solid acrylic stain. Please confirm that I understand the steps if I decide to use solid stain: lightly power wash, apply cleaner, rinse, apply brightener, rinse, let dry. Apply 2 coats of solid stain, letting dry between coats. If I decide to use semitransparent, then I need to strip and/or sand? First step? And apply wet? Thanks! Would you recommend solid or semi-transparent based on the picture?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/21/2020
      You cannot strip off a solid stain fully so that means you would have to sand it off if you want the semi-transparent. For using the RAD Solid Stain, your prep is correct.
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    Sam · 08/20/2020
    Never got an answer to my question:

    Sam · 08/15/2020
    This is suppose to be eco friendly, but is it safe to use on a dock in a lake? Will washing this product or the brightener into the lake cause problems?
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    Tom · 08/20/2020
    In June 2018 I replaced my deck floor with mahogany, but not the spindles or rails. I let it weather until September 2018 and then used cleaner and brightener before putting on a RAD stain. I plan to use a RAD stain again this coming September. Do I need to use both cleaner and brightener before using the RAD stain. Should I use only one coat, or wet-on-wet coat, or two coats. What about on the very weathered top rails--one coat or two.
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      RAD Products · 08/21/2020
      Use both for prep and just one coat for Mahogany wood. Other wood types can get two coats.
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    Steve · 08/19/2020
    I just cleaned, brightened and stained my 1 year old deck for the first time. How long do I wait to put furniture back and walk/sit on it as normal?
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    Ray Moore · 08/19/2020
    1) I used the RAD stripper with the RAD booster on 50% of my 2 year old deck. I used the stripper instead of the cleaner as I couldn't find out from the contractor who built my deck whether they used an oil based or water based product. I am a bit concerned that with only using a brush, in the shade, that a lot of the top layer of the wood was partially removed leaving very "fury" planks that I am now going to have to sand. Is this normal?

    2) I have not applied the brightener as of yet opting to wait until after sanding. Is this advisable? How long can I wait to use the brightener after stripping a deck?

    3) Given the problem that I had using the stripper is it advisable to just use the cleaner?
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      RAD Products · 08/19/2020
      1. It does not look like it was stained or sealed ever. You were too aggressive with the products and should have not used the stripper but the cleaner. You will need to sand this off.
      2. Brighten after the sanding.
      3. Yes and also pressure wash after applying the cleaner.