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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    Annamaria · 04/12/2021
    HelloI used the RAD system last year on my cedar deck. System worked great, and the deck looked AMAZING! I live in Ontario Canada and the deck is showing signs of peeling in some areas (those that were exposed directly to the elements/snow). I have left over stain. Can I lightly sand and reapply stain to the damaged areas to get the deck looking pristine once again?
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    Wales · 04/12/2021
    hi. I just placed an order. I was expecting a standard place in the order processing process to confirm a preferred shipment mode and get visibility to a planned delivery date. That didn't happen and a delivery date wasn't confirmed on my order confirmation that came to my email. How do I find out when my order will be delivered?
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      RAD Products · 04/12/2021
      You will receive a UPS email with tracking. We only ship ground. 
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    Anthony Wales · 04/12/2021
    After many years I'm taking my redwood deck back to bare wood. I'd like to NOT to have to do this complete refurb again for many years. I am OK with the work and cost every every year or two to just power wash and restrain. Is that doable? Or will I always have to strip and restart, even if I stick with same colors? I have read on TV show websites that I can do this powerwash/restain if I use oil based stains, but if I use water based they will always have to be taken off entirely every time I want to refinish. If its relevant, I'm hoping to end up with a semi transparent finish in a darker color. 
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      RAD Products · 04/12/2021
      You can clean and recoat with the RAD prep and stains as needed. 
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        Wales · 04/12/2021
        Wales - To allow just clean (not strip) and recoat, does it matter if I use an oil or a water base stain? Can I use either or am I limited to one or other?
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    phil · 04/11/2021
    Do you no longer support DEFY wood stain?  Reason for asking..........I ordered and received sample colors of DEFY and RAD last autumn and the ship doc's showed both coming from the same address.  It led me to believe that like Armstrong and TWP you sold DEFY along with all your RAD products.
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    Mina · 04/11/2021
    My grandfather built this deck in the mid 1980s. He took very good care of it and stained it regularly back in the 80s and 90s. I inherited the house last year, and due to the lumber shortage and price hike, replacement is financially out of the question. I have had some work done on it. Last year it was pressure washed and some boards were replaced. This week is the final round of repairs, and more joists are being added underneath. (They were 40" apart instead of 16"!) After that work is complete, we will be staining it ourselves, and your products have won "best deck stain" pretty much everywhere on the internet.
    MY QUESTION FOR YOU:
    As you can see, the NEW boards stand out like sore thumbs. I was planning on using the opaque stain in the "Brown Oak" color. However, I really like/prefer the semi-transparent in the "Dark Walnut" color, because it shows the wood grain, and is more affordable for such large amounts that I need.If I use the Semi-Transparent, will there still be a ridiculous difference between the new boards and the old boards? Is there any way to know this without buying and trying? My PLAN was to do the railings and all outward facing boards in solid opaque white, but I am undecided on the main surface!

    -Square Footage of Area to be Restored: 12'x32' (One step down halfway through, bi-level deck.)
    -Type of wood if known: No idea. There is one piece of cedar in there.
    -Approximate Age of Wood: Most of it is about 35y, the top railings and the broken and rotten boards were replaced in spring 2020.
    -If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained: None in LIKELY 20 years, as far as I know.
    -Wood Type to be Stained (Deck, House, Fence, etc.): Deck, including stairs, railings, and support beams.
    -Do you have access to a pressure washer: Yes.
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    Bob · 04/11/2021
    I have 1 year old treated green wood on roof top deck. Never been stained or touched yet. Can I just apply stain Restore a deck - or is it necessary to use the Cleaner  or the Brightener first? Which do you recommend Looking for semi transparent look when doneWood not grey had one Chicago winter of snow so far. Thanks
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      RAD Products · 04/11/2021
      Yes, you have to prep with the Cleaner and the Brightener. Any color that you like will work.
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    Ed Kilgallon · 04/11/2021
    I have used the Armstrong Clark stain for many years with excellent results but interested in the water based Restore-a-deck stains.  Do the Restore-a-deck water based stains provide the same protection and performance results?
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      RAD Products · 04/11/2021
      Yes, you will need to strip and brighten for the prep.
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        Ed Kilgallon · 04/11/2021
        Thank you.  I have a roughly 60 x 18 deck with railing.  How much stripper and brightener will I need, and how much RAD Cedar Semi-Transparent Stain will I need?
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          RAD Products · 04/11/2021
          Please use the calculator to the right of this page.
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    Ray Orr · 04/09/2021
    I am going to re-stain my fence that I did with RAD stain in 2018, but I had to replace 8 foot of fence about 4-5 months ago. Should I use the cleaner or the stripper on the new 8 ft section?  I want to be sure the new and old fencing have the same color when done.

    Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/09/2021
      Clean and brighten but just an FYI, it is not possible to have the new and older wood match exactly. New wood is going to stain slightly lighter in color since it is less absorbent.
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    Lawrence Cooke · 04/09/2021
    I am working on a 25+-year-old, 18' x 18' deck.  It currently has weather-beaten redwood solid stain, that shows some wood and has been lightly sanded (not uniform color).  I plan on using the RAD Coastal Gray Solid Stain.  After using the stripper and brightener, how should I apply the solid stain?  Should I use a roller or the RAD Wood-Staining Brush?  Any other tips?
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      RAD Products · 04/09/2021
      Roller and hand brushes. The floor brush does not work with the solid stain.
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        Lawrence Cooke · 04/09/2021
        Will 2x coats be sufficient?  How many gallons do you suggest?
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          RAD Products · 04/09/2021
          Amount needed would depend on the total sq footage that includes all floors, rails, steps, etc. If you add that up we can let you know. You will need two coats.
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            Lawrence Cooke · 04/09/2021
            No railing as they were recently painted and only two steps from ground level to the deck (about 2 sq/ft each).  Deck is 18'x 18'.  I would appreciate your recommendation regarding the number of gallons I will need of the solid stain.  
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    Marcus Austenfeld · 04/09/2021
    I have a 1 year old deck that has Ipe horizontal surfaces, with white Trex railings and lattice. We used Deckwise Ipe Oil when we first stained the deck and it's faded--no surprise with the Ipe. I have a starter pack of R-A-D stripper, brightener and the semitransparent stain. I have two questions. Do I have to do the stripper on a deck this new, and are your products safe for the Trex? 
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      RAD Products · 04/09/2021
      Yes, you will need to strip off the Ipe Oil and then brighten. It does not harm the Trex.
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    M Childs · 04/09/2021
    I have a 26' 14' 2 year old deck. I used Tompson water seal - greyed in the first year. I power washed the deck this year and got all of Tompson off. Looks good.The wood is pressure treated.
    What to i need to do to stain the deck properly with you product.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/09/2021
      Use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener Kit for prep and then stain. 
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    Eric · 04/07/2021
    These redwood posts were installed last year, rough sawn. I sanded them yesterday. Do I need to do anything before staining?

    Also, I'd like to keep as natural color as possible with a semi-transparent stain. What do you recommend?

    Square Footage of Area to be Restored:
    Two 6x6 posts, holding up a patio cover.

    Type of wood if known: Redwood

    Approximate Age of Wood: Installed a year ago.

    If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type (Examples of Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Solid Stain, Oil-Based, Water-Based): No previous stain

    Do you have access to a pressure washer: No
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Al · 04/07/2021
    Hello, Our daughter has a very large deck in NY (~1,800 sq ft excluding the rails). It currently is pressure treated wood (5/4 x 6) with solid Behr Premium Stain and Sealer (Brown).  The rails are in good shape (not a surprise being solid and vertical).  I was interested in refinishing the deck this summer with Restore-a-Deck and wanted to know the steps and specific products to use.  I will be replacing about 10-15 pressure treated deck boards.  Also, was thinking about renting a floor and deck orbital sander.  Would appreciate your feedback.  Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/07/2021
      You will need the RAD Solid stain. Best way to prep is to use the RAD Stripper and pressure washing. This will help to remove the peeling stain but it is not possible to strip all. Brighten after and then cover the rest of the solid stain with the RAD Solid Stain.
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    Marshall · 04/07/2021
    HelloI have 2 projects that I would like your feedback on.
    Project 1 - DeckSee photo of existing 10+ year pressure treated wood with new wood installed June 2020. I have read and followed all your guidelines so far. The existing deck was cleaned and brightened in June 2020 with your product and made it better. The new wood is now weathered so now both existing and new are ready to apply a stain. I plan to clean and brighten again now before using your semi-transparent light walnut stain. The entire deck is 400 ft2. Questions: 1. How many coats and how many gallons of stain do you recommend?
    2. Is there anything I am missing to do or is needed?
    3. Is a stain brush or pad better for the deck?
    Project 2 - FenceSee photo of existing 10+ year fence with red semi transparent stain applied before I purchased the house 4 years ago so no additional info here. 700 ft2. I plan to use your stripper and additive before applying your semi transparent dark walnut (preferred) stain or solid stain (see question). I have read all your guidelines.Questions:1. Will the stripping process remove the existing stain enough to apply semi transparent dark walnut stain after?2. Should I see the results of the stripping process before deciding on semi transparent or solid stain?3. How many coats and how many gallons of stain (semi transparent or solid) do you recommend?4. Is there anything I am missing to do or is needed?

    Thank youMarshall
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    Char · 04/07/2021
    Hello, I’d like to ask if you could please look into Order SAGX036143. I’ve received my order last week, but it was missing 3 items and I’ve followed up through your Sales email 3x over the last week and I have yet to receive a confirmation on when the rest of my order can be shipped. We’re excited to do our deck and would really appreciate it if you could kindly send the missing items asap. Thank you!
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      RAD Products · 04/07/2021
      Hello, your 3 previous emails were in our spam folder. We will look into this and reply to your emails. Thanks
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    Karl · 04/06/2021
    I have a 3-yr-old 700 sq. ft. pool deck with 3 coats of Behr Transparent Golden Honey wood stain that was improperly applied by the builder.  The wood was not cleaned or brightened and I ended up with mildew under the stain.  I purchased the 5 gal. RAD stripping solution with booster and thickener.  The thickener was so thick that I had to dig it out of the bottle with a screw driver and it would not fully dissolve (about 1/4 remained undissolved).  I applied as shown in the videos with a Chapin pump sprayer and let sit 30 minutes.  When I pressure washed, hardly any stain came up.  It eventually worked but I had to use a 15 degree nozzle at about 3 inches above the deck to get to bare wood and I know this is not helping my wood.  It took me 8 hours to do twenty feet of deck and rail.  What am I doing wrong?  Should it be this hard to remove?  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/06/2021
      You are not doing anything wrong. The issue is that after three coats of Behr, you basically have a paint in consistency on top of the wood. Behr is so thick that it dries on the surface and is made worse with additional coats. It looks like a polyurethane in the one picture as it is extremely thick there. The stripper info does state it will not remove a coating in these conditions.
      At this point it will be best to continue and or sand to get it all off.
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    Phil · 04/05/2021
    I used up all my stripper/brightener and additives but have a very small portion of deck......three steps and handrails.....to still strip.  FYI, these steps face out from the back of the house and are not very visible from either the deck itself or from our sunroom.  Is there a way to strip them reasonably well without having to invest in your whole package which I recall cost me $85?  I plan to use one of your water based stains over what was 101 Redwood before the deck was stripped.Should you advise there's not a good solution, would a clean/brighten and water based cedar or light walnut semi over the existing stain on the steps suffice if there's no pressing need to have it exactly match the rest of the deck?
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      RAD Products · 04/05/2021
      You cannot use the RAD Stain over the TWP 102 Redwood, so you will need to strip. The cost of the kit is $65. You do not need the additives to remove TWP.
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    Tom Zuffa · 04/05/2021
    The link you sent at 1:30 worked but it only had the "view it" option on it. That worked! Yay! Hope you have the problem solved. Thank you!
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    Melinda Regnerus · 04/05/2021
    I'm ordering from Canada. The check out screen doesn't state if the final total is in USD or CAD. Could you please confirm the currency used for Canadian shoppers? Thanks!
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    Tom Zuffa · 04/05/2021
    I get e-mails from you showing questions of other customers. That's great! I love it!  However, since about  a week ago, I cannot  open the "View It" or "View All" boxes? I was able to open only 1 of your e-mails. Anyone else having problems? Can this be corrected?
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      RAD Products · 04/05/2021
      We are working to fix this. Does this email work now when you click the link? Thanks
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    doug · 04/05/2021
    Last April 20 we applied your natural semi-transparent to new redwood that had wintered for seven months in brutal south-facing Colorado full sun, it is obviously ready (and possibly overdue?) for treatment. Do we need to do the whole clean and brightening process first? Should we do one or two coats?
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      RAD Products · 04/05/2021
      Just lightly clean and apply one coat.
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        Doug Lucks · 04/05/2021
        By light cleaning do you mean just wash off with water?
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          RAD Products · 04/05/2021
          Use the RAD Cleaner at 1/2 strength. Apply and lightly pressure wash off.
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    Steve · 04/04/2021
    Thank you for the information. Should I use Brightener on the sections that I am able to remove the peeling stain from?  
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    Steve · 04/04/2021
    I have a 400 sqft deck, about 12 years old, and the wood is in good shape. Last stained with Thompsons Water seal solid stain a year ago but it is already flaking. I want to use your solid stain product, and plan to use your strip and brighten products first. I dont have access to a pressure washer. The railings are not flaking and want to ask if I can use your solid stain without stripping them. That is, just apply over the existing stain. Please advise how much of each product I should order if I want to apply two coats. Any other advice? thanks 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/04/2021
      You cannot strip off a solid stain fully. You can use the stripper to help remove the loose and peeling stain but you will need a pressure washer. You can cover any intact and not peeling stain with the RAD Solid stain. You would need about 4 gallons if you are covering 400 sq feet for two coats. Make sure to measure correctly and include railings, steps, and floors in your sq footage.
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    Renee · 04/04/2021
    Here are the pictures for the below question. 
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    Renee · 04/04/2021
    I have two decks, one is 466 sq ft, the other is 356 sq ft by your calculator. One is a pool deck and one is by our house. The pool deck is a mixture of new and old boards, and I believe it is a solid stain, not sure. Pictures are attached. What should I use to clean and stain the deck? Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/04/2021
      Use the RAD Cleaner and pressure washing for prep. Cover the old solid stain with the RAD Solid Stain. For two coats, about 8 gallons.
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    Anthony · 04/03/2021
    Hello! The deck (pressure-treated lumber) on my house is about 5 years old and the previous owners never treated it (nor cleaned it). I bought the cleaner/brightener combo and after using both along with some heavy scrubbing and a power washer, there are a lot of areas where green algae stains remain. Any suggestions on how to remove the green stains? Or, when I stain the wood (I have semi-transparent TWP 1500 in Honeytone) will the stain cover them up? 
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      RAD Products · 04/03/2021
      Send a picture after the wood is dry from the prep.
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        Anthony · 04/04/2021
        After drying, the green is much lighter and has mostly disappeared is many areas! Attached are photos of a couple of areas that remain discolored.
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          RAD Products · 04/04/2021
          The green is internal so it will not come out. Let it dry more and then stain. It should be fine.
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            Anthony · 04/06/2021
            I sanded and stained according to the directions (using TWP 1500 in Honeytone) and the green was kind of highlighted by the stain. Definitely looks better than it did before I started, but I'm wondering if there is any way to decrease the green tones at this point or is that just the unfortunate result of previous owners that didn't care for the deck for ~5 years?  
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              RAD Products · 04/06/2021
              It is internal, there is not a way to get it out as it is part of the wood
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                Anthony · 04/06/2021
                Ok, thanks for the prompt responses! 
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    John Costanza · 04/03/2021
    In July 2020 we sanded down deck and put on only one coat as per your instructions with a sanded deck.  This spring we’d like to put on addition coat(s).  #1. The deck still looks great and I’d hate to use your cleaner and “start from scratch”. Can I just gently clean with power washer and apply another coat or must I use the cleaner. #2. Should I do wet-on-wet coats regardless of your answer to #1.  Thank you, John. 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/03/2021
      You can lightly clean with the RAD Cleaner at 1/2 strength. Apply and then lightly pressure wash rinse. Just one coat of the stain.
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    Joe · 04/03/2021
    I have a deck I stained last year with your semi product they my dog and winter beat up.  What's the best way to put another coat on it?
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    Michael Oja · 04/02/2021
    So double checking the stain needed.    I bought 6 gallons of your solid stain, my deck is about 580 square feet and of course railings and 3 steps.    I thought that would be enough based on the coverage of 200-350 square feet per gallon.    I have reading comments on here though, where you are recommending a lot more stain than that for smaller decks, such as 4-5 gallons of stain for a 12X16 deck.   What is the real coverage of each gallon of stain?
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      RAD Products · 04/02/2021
      Coverage varies on porosity of the wood and how thickly you apply. Also, many people do not measure correctly and do not include all wood such as steps, rails, flooring, outside edges, etc. For two coats, we would normally say that 6 gallons would be correct for the 580 sq feet. If you did not include railings and steps then you have more than the 580.
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    John · 04/01/2021
    Can I clean today and then brighten the next day?