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
    Nicole · 07/29/2020
    Deck after stripper and pressure washing
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    Nicole · 07/29/2020
    Just finished using the RAD stripper. Some stain still remains. The stain was sherwin Williams. Do I brighten then sand off rest or let it dry for a day then sand followed by the brighter?
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      RAD Products · 07/29/2020
      The SW was a solid stain. Are you using the RAD Solid stain or the Semi-transparent?
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        Nicole · 07/29/2020
        I’m going to use Armstrong-Clark semi transparent
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          RAD Products · 07/29/2020
          You will need to sand to remove the rest of the SW stain and then Brightener.
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            Nicole · 07/29/2020
            Ok thanks
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              Nicole · 08/01/2020
              So I thought I sanded all old stain off. After Brightener I realize some still remains. If I sand it off what steps do I need to take before I can stain? Thanks.
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    Colin · 07/28/2020
    is it possible to order your wood stain for delivery to Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada? If yes what is the cost for product and shipping? I was amazed by the reviews on your product!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/29/2020
      Yes. Just add to cart and enter your shipping info for the total cost.
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    Deb · 07/28/2020
    How can I remove the stain drippings from my aluminum ladder?
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      RAD Products · 07/28/2020
      I am sorry but do not know what you mean and what kind of "stain" a ladder would create?
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        Deb · 07/28/2020
        I used your semi transparent wood stain to refinish the siding on my garage. The stain dripped on the aluminum ladder and I need to clean the ladder.
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          RAD Products · 07/28/2020
          Use a graffiti remover cleaner from your local paint store.
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            Dab · 07/28/2020
            Thank you!
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    Bob Wainwright · 07/28/2020
    Hello:
    I previously contacted you regarding refinishing a Mahogany Deck a couple of years ago. The Deck(s) are comprised of three separate areas...two are located on both the East and West facing sky as well as, a covered segment. The East facing Deck should have been refinished a couple of years ago and really needs it now, in fact I've noticed the grain is raised. The West side needs it too but the Sun hasn't done as much damage. The covered portion needs washing/cleaning and then refinishing. All areas are approximately 7 years old...all have been coated with allegedly quality semi-transparent, oil based penetrating stains several times, always pressure washed prior to coating. Photos are attached.
    At the time you had recommended a stain that would match the original Honey Brown. Unfortunately all related data had been lost on a compromised memory drive!

    Thank you,

    Bob Wainwright
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      Bob Wainwright · 07/28/2020
      Thanks for your prompt reply. I was perusing your Web Page and found this page "Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain on Exotic Hardwoods IPE" the color shown on this page is very, very close to that on the interior deck area. I don't plan on stripping the interior portion and, the exterior that needs refinishing is directly adjacent.Therefore both will need to be very close in finish. Ideally, using the recommended Kit for IPE Hardwood, I'd like to strip, brighten and stain the exterior and just wash and re-coat the interior. As the exterior's grain is raised would probably have to sand it?
      What's your opinion of the "TWP 1500" material for my application? Which color to achieve my goal of attaining that shown on the aforementioned "Hardwood IPE" page. Please refer to the attached photos.

      Thank you for your help.

      Bob Wainwright
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        RAD Products · 07/28/2020
        The interior has to be stripped as well as you cannot apply a different stain brand like the RAD over a previous coating. If you cannot strip then you will have to sand it off with 60-80 grit and then clean and brighten for prep after. The color for the RAD stain on the picture of the page you mentioned is Light Walnut on IPE wood.

        TWP 1500 is not designed for hardwoods.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/28/2020
      For the Prep, use the Restore A Deck Stripper/Brightener Kits: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/order-restore-a-deck/rad-kits-best-price/restore-a-deck-stripper-brightener-kit/flypage.tpl.html

      For the Stain, try the Restore A Deck Stain in Natural. It will give a look that is similar to a clean "wet look". For a little more color, try the Light Walnut. It will be a richer reddish/brown.
      https://www.restore-a-deck.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain/restore-a-deck-wood-stain-5-gallon/flypage.tpl.html
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    Pete · 07/28/2020
    Add to Pete.
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    Pete · 07/28/2020
    900 sq feet deck. 30 year old pressure treated pine. underneath red oak forest. Various transparent stains thru the years. No stain in last 10 yrs. How to proceed? The rails are dismal. How long before covering new wood? Thanks.
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    Larry · 07/26/2020
    I have a new deck. Pressure treated pine. It has aged 6 months. I have about 920 square feet. I will need Cleaner, Brightner and I’m going to use the solid Coastal Gray stain. How much of each of these products will I need?
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      RAD Products · 07/27/2020
      2 each of the RAD Cleaner and Brightener. About 8-10 Gallons of the solid stain for two coats.
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    Kevin Wittinger · 07/26/2020
    If I am using your stripper and brightener on a log home and then apply a borate coat to the entire home. What prep is required before using your stain?
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    RM · 07/25/2020
    Hi,

    I used Restore-a-Deck stain (light walnut) on my deck a bit over a year ago and I would like to apply the same stain again in the near future. I've read on this website that before doing so, I should first do a light application of the cleaner and brightener. I'm wondering what is meant by a "light application" of the cleaner and brightener. Should I apply a smaller amount of the cleaner and brightener than usual? Should I not power wash to the same degree as usual? Or is there something else I should be aware of?

    Thanks very much.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/25/2020
      You can use the Cleaner and Brightener at 1/2 strength for maintenance coats.
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    bob · 07/25/2020
    I have an old redwood deck that I had painted with bahr deck over a few years ago, I stripped and sanded the oil paint off down to the wood and it is ready for me to use your product which I'm going to receive next week to clean and bright it. My question is how how long can I wait before I have to put Armstrong Clark clear stain on it as I haven't ordered the stain yet and I'm sure it'll take a few weeks before I receive it.
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    Brian Rowland · 07/24/2020
    Hi. I have a 6-year-old Southern Yellow Pine deck that I plan to stain with RAD Semi-Transparent. It has already been stripped but requires sanding along most surfaces. I would like the wood--particularly the deck boards and railings--to be a smooth as possible. What is the finest grit sandpaper I can use that will not inhibit penetration of the stain? I don't mind if staining takes a little more work or time in order to get a smoother finish, but not at the risk of the stain failing to penetrate as it should.

    Also, I need to patch a few deep gouges in a couple of the railings before staining. Are there any wood fillers that are recommended or that should be avoided?

    Lastly, can an insecticide additive (e.g. NBS 30 or Bug Juice) be mixed with RAD Semi-Transparent stains? If so, some guidance on that would be appreciated. Thanks much!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/24/2020
      60-80 grit. Wood filler will not work on decks and will not "stain" to blend. Do not use them.

      You should be fine with either insect additive.
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    Annie · 07/24/2020
    How long after 2nd coat of solid stain can deck be walked on (just to get from house to the grass beyond the deck)? We aren’t planning on putting the furniture back on the deck or spending any time on it until 48 hours after Application, but are having a small group of people over and there’s only 1 way into/out of the house to get to the backyard so we’re wondering if everyone can step on it up get to/from the house/grass within a few hours of 2nd Coat application. Thanks!
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    Bill · 07/23/2020
    I have a 20+ year old redwood deck that hasn't been stained in at least 5 years. It was weathered and gray, but, has now been completely power washed and some of it has been sanded to a smooth finish and close to its original color. Once the smooth finish sanding is complete, can I go directly to applying the natural color semi-transparent stain? Thank you!!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2020
      Do not over sand. 60-80 grit at most. Then clean and brighten the wood after to help open the wood pores so the stain can soak in deeper. Just one coat for sanded wood.
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    Ray · 07/23/2020
    Hello - I have an old redwood deck I'd like to stain (the deck has been cleaned and brightened -- and I may do some light sanding where needed). I'd like to use one of your stains specifically designed for redwood decks with a color that will match of nearby IP deck (see pictures of both decks. I'm hoping for a stain that's one-coat. Can you please recommend a stain I should use?
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    George · 07/23/2020
    I do not have running water at our camp. What would be the best way to wash off the cleaner and brightener? Also, I have lots of spindles and railings. I do not know if can get deck and spindles all d e in one day. Should I do spindles and railing first then next day the deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2020
      You need water for prep or it will not work. You may want to rent a water tank truck for the day with a pump and attach a pressure washer to it. You can break up the prep into consecutive days.
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    Ray · 07/22/2020
    I have a 2000 sq foot redwood deck that has a Behr Solid Terra Cotta stain applied 10 years ago
    Pictures are enclosed
    I have a power Washer
    The bad wood has been repaired and areas redone and now in good shape
    My questions are
    1 ) which of your refinish products should I use to remove solid stain ?
    2 ) how much deck remover will I need ?
    3 ) what is the best method for application
    4) directions for application
    5 ) Do I need to reapply primer to redo the solid stain on the raw wood?

    Thank you in advance
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2020
      Solid stain cannot be stripped fully. Use the stripper to remove as much as of the loose stain as you can. You can then cover the intact stain with the RAD Solid Stain. Do not prime the wood. Use a roller and brush to apply.
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    Harrison · 07/22/2020
    I need to reapply a maintenance coat of Armstrong Clark transparent stain on my fence. It has been 3 years since I applied the initial coat. I am confused on the prep part. Do I use the cleaner only? Or do I need to use the brightner too? I think I am supposed to clean only and then stain. Would you please confirm? Thank you.
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    Zak · 07/21/2020
    Hi there, I have my deck already painted with semi solid brown color, more than 60% of the deck is already peeled. all prep is completed (sanding, cleaning,..) and ready now to be stained, do you have as semi solid stain as i didn't find in your website, otherwise what do you suggest in this case? thanks.
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    Rick · 07/21/2020
    I just stripped, brightened, and stained my deck with the Restore-a-Deck product (cedar stain). Right after putting on the second coat, it unfortunately started raining for around 15 minutes and then stopped. I looked at the deck 12 hours later and looks fine. Will it be okay or has this compromised the product in some matter?
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      RAD Products · 07/22/2020
      Hopefully, it is fine if it looks good. There is no other way to tell and nothing you can do at this point.
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        Rick · 07/22/2020
        Thanks for your response and I hope you are right. A follow up question: I know there is nothing I can do at this point, but do you think the product will have a shorter "life" given what happened? Meaning, am I going to need to stain again in 1-2 years instead of 2-3 years?
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    Matt · 07/21/2020
    So I needed to sand off some old stain...down to the wood. I have your walnut semi transparent stain. Planning to clean, brighten and then stain next...should I do 2 coats wet on wet or one coat and wait until spring?
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      RAD Products · 07/22/2020
      If you sand only do one coat. You can do it now.
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        Matt · 07/22/2020
        Any harm using cleaner and brighter before staining? 95% has been sanded off but there are some spots that sanders can’t get to. Was hoping I could use cleaner (or stripper) to remove the rest And then proceed with stain. Thanks in advance
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          RAD Products · 07/22/2020
          You should clean and brighten after sanding as it will help the stain to soak in deeper. As far as using stripper or cleaner, we would need to see pictures.
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    Andrea · 07/21/2020
    Last year did a full reno of our pressure treated deck. 12x24, with railings. It's around 15 years old but still in good shape. We sanded everything down to bare wood and replaced a few pieces (and all the spindles) where needed. Cleaned and brightened then stained with TWP 1500 Pecan. The color was gorgeous and everything looked great. It's been almost a full year and I'm noticing some fade, mostly in the areas hit by full sun. Is it ok to re-stain the areas that look faded or should I wait another year? I don't want to over apply and end up with the mess we had before the reno. Also, the new pieces we stained are a touch lighter, can I re-stain them as well? Thanks in advance!
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      RAD Products · 07/21/2020
      You cannot spot prep and apply. Either do all now of just wait until next year.
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        Andrea · 07/21/2020
        Will the faded areas get damaged going thru another winter without having much stain on them? I would prefer not to do the whole thing over again yet. Could we spot treat just the stairs to re-stain them or even just pressure wash them good and put on another coat (that's where the worst fade is)? Thanks again.
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          RAD Products · 07/21/2020
          It will be fine until next year. Just leave it for now.
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    dale · 07/21/2020
    can you effectively apply semi trans with an airless sprayer?
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    Ladybug · 07/20/2020
    Also, how long will the RAD solid stain last befpre needing to be reapplied?
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      RAD Products · 07/20/2020
      2-3 years on deck surface. Twice as long on vertical wood.
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    Ladybug · 07/20/2020
    We have an older deck that is about 1000 square feet. Just prior to us purchasing the house the former owners applied Messner's oil based solid stain. That was about 6 years ago. It is no longer water resistant. We want to use RAD solid stain. What prep is needed? We were planning to pressure wash then apply the RAD solid stain. We also have a few boards (about 8) that we are replacing. Will they need to weather or can we just prep them with the rest of the deck? How much stain will we need to purchase? Can we apply the stain in direct sunlight- it is a large deck without a lot of shade.
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    Corie · 07/20/2020
    What is the best tool to use when applying the RAD Semi-Transparent stain to a cedar fence? Sprayer? Brush?
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      RAD Products · 07/20/2020
      Easies is to spray and then back brush right away to ensure it is applied evenly.
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    Cynthia Gault · 07/20/2020
    Do you have to use a sealant after using your water-based stain?
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      RAD Products · 07/20/2020
      No need and it is actually not possible to apply a sealer over a deck stain.
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    sue · 07/20/2020
    My deck and stairs are over 20 years old. Last used a solid stain which is peeling in places. Should I sand and,powerwash before using stripper and brightner.
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      RAD Products · 07/20/2020
      Strip off what you can. Let dry and sand off any more loose or peeling stain. Cover the intact stain with a new coat of the solid stain.
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    Logan · 07/20/2020
    I've read elsewhere on here that the cleaner doesn't last too long once mixed, a few hours to a day. How about the stripper and brightener?
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      RAD Products · 07/20/2020
      Only the cleaner has a shelf life once mixed with water.
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    Bob · 07/20/2020
    I pressure washed my year and a half year old, pressure treated deck, and it looks really good. Can I go right to stain or do I really need to clean and brighten? Thanks.