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
    Tom · 06/10/2019
    You recommended 3 of these: 3 of these kits: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain/restore-a-deck-wood-stain-5-gallons-and-stripper-brightener-combo-kit/flypage.tpl.html

    Is the 15 gallons of stain enough for 2 coats for 1450 sf?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2019
      Yes on the stain and 15 gallons for two coats. You will also need the additives for stripping in addition to the combo kits.
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    Tom · 06/10/2019
    Are the additives you mentioned already in the stripper or are they purchased separately?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom · 06/10/2019
    For my size deck (1450 sf) how much stripper/additives/brightener/stain do i need to order?
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    Tom · 06/10/2019
    see requested picture
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    Tom · 06/10/2019
    My deck was stained with a water-based semi-transparent (Deck Restoration Plus) about 3 years ago. currently there is some mildew in places. Total area is 1450 sq ft. What do i need to order? also, you mentioned that i don't need a power washer. What type of tip do you use on a garden hose?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2019
      The current stain will need to come off. Can you post a picture so we can determine the proper prep to do this?
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    Amy · 06/10/2019
    I used the stripper and booster this weekend on my deck that has peeling Behr solid stain. I used a powerwasher and will then be sanding. I understood that the stripper would not remove everything, but I wanted to get as much of it off as I could before using RAD solid in Taupe. my questions are:
    1. I did not use the brightener yet as I need to sand the deck to remove the loose and peeling Behr product. After I sand, should I wet the deck and use the brightener a couple days prior to staining?

    2. Can I use a wood filler for large cracks?

    3. I am going to sand with a rental floor sander. Which grit should I use.

    I have included pictures of before stripping and the after stripping.

    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2019
      1. Apply brightener right after sanding is done. Wet first.
      2. No, do not use wood filler. Will not work.
      3. 60 grit.
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    Earnesto · 06/09/2019
    what is your shipping time? How long does ground shipping take from your location to Silver Spring, Maryland 20910? Do you ship express?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2019
      Shipping takes 2-4 days normally. We ship ground.
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    Lora Kraus · 06/09/2019
    Last year, we used the RAD products to prep our deck for staining. It turned out beautifully by the way, but my question is about the tempered glass that surrounds our deck instead of spindles. At the time, I thought I had washed the glass off thoroughly but now in the sun I can see a film/drip marks on several of the panes. I've tried Windex but that didn't do the trick. Any suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2019
      Try a water-based graffiti remover cleaner from your local paint store. Goof off is one brand.
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    James Calamis · 06/09/2019
    30 year old, 800 sq', redwood deck has been stripped and powerwashed, removing all old stain (Thompsons - powerwashed and stained every year). I bought 6 gals of solid cyprus. Will that be enough for 2 coats? How long should I wait between coats? Next spring, can I just apply another coat after cleaning, or do I need to again strip and powerwash?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/09/2019
      It will be close on the coverage for the 6 gallons. Apply the second coat as soon as the first is fully dry. Only apply another coat next Spring if needed. Just clean when you reapply.
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    jackie · 06/08/2019
    I need to strip the stain off my deck which is about 3 years old. It is a solid color stain. What product will strip it?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/09/2019
      You cannot strip a solid stain effectively. You will need to sand. You can get a head start by stripping some or most, but you will still need to sand to get it all off.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Josh · 06/08/2019
    I stripped the old solid stain off my deck with your stripper and both additives, sanded off as much as I could that wasn't removed by the stripper, used the brightener, and applied a single coat of the light walnut stain. The stain bottle says to only apply a single coat for power sanded wood, but this is the first time the deck has been stained in probably 20+ years. Is it really ok to just apply a single coat? It's usually completely shaded by 12-1pm. Here's a pic of the deck as of last night when I applied the first coat of stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2019
      Yes, just one coat and you cannot another now anyhow since the first coat has cured. Second coats have to go on wet on wet. You can clean and reapply another light coat in the Fall or Spring.
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    Bill · 06/08/2019
    can you use a airless sprayer to apply restore-a-deck stain ,if so what do you clean it with just water?
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    Bill · 06/08/2019
    Hey Guys,
    I am refinishing the light gray cedar floor boards on a 625 sq ft deck. I have sanded down to bare wood and replaced 1/3 of the boards which had deteriorated. I would like to mix the white solid stain with the gray solid stain 1/1. The Coastal Gray is darker than our current deck and since the deck is in full sun we would like to minimize the heating up of the deck that occurs with darker stains. Is it ok, any thoughts based on your experience with the product?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2019
      Yes, you can mix the two colors together with no issues.
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    Chavis · 06/08/2019
    How can I get a solid stain chart, since you don’t mail samples?
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        Chavis · 06/09/2019
        My printer is old, and I don’t trust the color. Is there a sample color chart you can send? I don’t want to order a gallon as a sample, and this gray had to be close to my siding color. Thanks!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/09/2019
          Hi,

          A mailed color chart would look exactly the same as the link we sent above if you view it on the computer. No different as it is a solid, not transparent color. Having a physical copy would be no advantage. It would be the exact same thing.

          Feel free to post a picture of your siding color and we can reply back with a comparison if you like.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Chavis · 06/10/2019
            I printed out RAD Coastal Gray, and it is a dark charcoal compared to my iPad screen when shows a greenish gray. The color of my siding is Revere Storm, which is more of a gray-green. I tried a sample of TWP Cape Cod Gray (too light blue), and have on order AC Driftwood Gray. Any other suggestions?
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              RAD Products · 06/10/2019
              Yes, the RAD Gray will be darker than this. I do not know of any stain colors that will match what you have.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    adrienne · 06/08/2019
    can I clean & stain the same day? the instructions on the packet says I have to wait 48 hours between
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/08/2019
      If using the RAD Stain yes. Any other brand, no.
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    Scott · 06/07/2019
    Hi Restore-A-Deck, I will be using both the cleaner and brightner on a cedar rooftop Cupola. Is the cleaner and brightner safe to if it drips on a metal roof. (I.e. overspray and runoff from applying it to the cupola) or should I cover the roof?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2019
      It should not have any issues but do make sure to prewet and rinse while you are working.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Walton · 06/07/2019
    My Deck is PT lumber and was built in 1991 and is 490 sq ft. this is the original wood. Three years ago I applied Behr Premium solid stain and as you can see it has not held up well. The railings look like new and I used the same stain on them.

    I've sanded some areas with 60 grit using a handheld orbital sander. Even after sanding I can use my finger nail and scrape more satin off. Doesn't give me much confidence that now matter what I apply will adhere.

    I do have a power washer (actually used it before the Behr stain was applied)

    Do you think my wood decking boards are just to far gone for any product to work.

    Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. I am 66 years old, retired and dependent of
    Social Security, so man-power and finances are limited

    I anxiously await your reply
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    mark · 06/07/2019
    does it make any difference in effectiveness whether the water used to mix the cleaner is chlorinated (municipal) or non- (well)?
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    Fred · 06/06/2019
    My deck and railings are stained with Behr solid stain which is pealing. I have pressure washed the deck and removed the loose stain. Can restore-a-deck solid stain be applied over the existing remaining stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2019
      As long as the Behr that is left on the wood is fully intact and not peeling.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rick · 06/06/2019
    I have 900 sf of multi-level deck surface to strip, brighten and stain. I have used the TWO CA Redwood stain in the past and intend to use again. Can you advise on the number of gallons of stripper and brightener I would need for the job?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Vicki · 06/06/2019
    Has anyone used the solid stain in Taupe? Curious what it looks like donw on a whole deck?
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    Jim · 06/06/2019
    Can I wait 2-3 days after brightner to apply stain?
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    Andie · 06/06/2019
    We bought a house with a deck that’s maybe 2-3 years old and has never been stained. I’ve been told the wood is maybe pressure treated pine. The deck is about 580 sq ft and we want to use your Dark Walnut stain. I’m assuming from what I’ve read we’ll need to do two coats? We plan to pressure wash and then clean/brighten the deck.

    1. Do we need to sand? I’ve gotten mixed answers to that question.
    2. If we replace some of the rails, should we do that after washing and cleaning? Do we need to prep that wood differently?
    3. Will wood filler stain the same way as wood? If not, we’ll probably just replace those pieces that have holes.
    4. Amazon sells a 2.5 gallon of your product. Is there any benefit to buying directly from your site instead of through Amazon?

    Thanks for your time!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom · 06/05/2019
    I stained a pressure treated yellow pine deck with Armstrong Clark cedar semi-transparent stain about 3 years ago. It is now time for a refresh. Parts of this deck get a lot of shade, and I have had issues with mildew and green algae growing in these areas. Considering that the AC is vegetable oil based, I am wondering if this is contributing to the problem. I really liked the color and performance aside from this, and I have a trellis and lattice work that are vertical surfaces that I would like to avoid stripping because they still look pretty good. Is there another product that would work better for my conditions, but that will still be close enough in color to the AC cedar that it won't stand out like a sore thumb?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/06/2019
      AC is oil based but not vegetable oils. It also carries a lot of mildewcide in it to prevent the growth of mildew/algae in the stain but no stain can stop the growth on top of it. Best to stick with it.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    KWall · 06/05/2019
    Hi, I have ordered the stripper (with booster additive), brightener and stain for our 18'x25' pressure-treated deck (450 sq feet). I just want to make sure that I understand the order and timing of everything:
    1. Pressure wash deck clean, and let dry.
    2. Deck has to be dry for two days before starting the stripping/cleaning process.
    3. Mix and spray on stripper solution. Allow to sit for the allotted time. Then pressure wash off.
    4. Sand off any trouble spots?
    5. I presume we clean out our sprayer, then mix our brightener solution. Apply to deck before the deck dries from the stripper solution.
    6. Can we sand any rough spots after the brightener solution is washed off? Do you recommend sanding the entire deck? (I only have a sand belt with 60-80 grit paper).

    I know that we can stain immediately after, but we do not have the stain yet. How long can we wait in-between brightening and staining?
    7. Spray stain onto deck, and back brush in afterwards? Two coats recommended?

    My main question is whether we can do each step on the entire deck, or should we do it in smaller sections at a time?


    Thanks in advance for answering these questions!
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    David F · 06/05/2019
    We have eight 10' smooth peeled cedar porch posts,. They are approximately 18 years old, refinished several times, none satisfactory. The last product used was Olympic Maximum Tinted Waterproofing Sealant, alkyd oil formula – didn't care for it. It was last stained about 8 years ago, past due for refinishing. They are dry and grey on the sunny side, look good where the sun does not shine on them. Have a good pressure washer. Location is hot and humid south Texas. What do you recommend to prep and use for these posts? Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tim · 06/05/2019
    Will the cleaner or the brightener discolor or harm composite decking in any way if I am using the products on the adjacent wood railings and banisters?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/05/2019
      No, it will not discolor the composite but it may "clean" it if dirty.
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    steve · 06/05/2019
    The back of the Neutralizer / Brightner bag says to wait 48hrs after use to stain. Other comments in the Q+A say you can stain after 2-4 hrs of using the brightner. Is it best to wait the 48hrs?
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    Jim Hadley · 06/04/2019
    I have a “fence” around my deck that has glass panels. Before I stain the vertical and horizontal wood members do I need to mask off the glass edges or should I just be careful with the paint brush and then later use a single edge razor blade to clean off any boo boos?