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Restore-a-deck.com

Restore-A-Deck Prep & Stain Contest 2022

by RAD Products

You can see prior years here:

Restore-A-Deck 2021 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2020 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2019 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2018 Contest

The RAD Wood Restoration 2022 Contest is closed!

First Place

Stef (Page 1)

First Place = $500

Second Place

Natalya (Page 1)

Second Place = $300

Third Place

Rita Lease (Page 1) 

Third Place = $150

Thanks to all the entries this year! All entries were excellent and that made it very hard to choose the winners!

We will be contacting the winners via email.


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Restore-A-Deck 2022 Wood and Deck Restoration Contest Details

  • All Restore-A-Deck Prep and Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain must be purchased first from this online eCommerce site (Restore-A-Deck.com) between January 1st – September 6th, 2022.
  • The Restore-A-Deck 3-Step Process must be used.

RAD Stain Steps

  • The deadline for entry is September 19th, 2022.
  • The winners will be decided by September 30th, 2022 by our team.

The RAD Contestant Winners will Receive

  • First Place = $500
  • Second Place = $300
  • Third Place:= $150

How To Enter Contest

  1. Enter by September 19th, 2022.
  2. In the comment section below, post a short description of your deck/wood staining project, the Restore-A-Deck products used to prep, and the Restore-A-Deck Stain Color used. Was the Restore-A-Deck Stain applied the same day as the prep? Yes or No?
  3. Examples of wood projects that can be entered: Decks, Fences, Wood Side Homes, Log Cabins, etc.
  4. 1-2 pictures before the prep of the wood. You can still enter if you do not have the before pictures. 
  5. 1-2 pictures after the prep of the wood using the RAD Prepping Products. You can still enter if you do not have the after prep pictures. 
  6. 2 pictures after the staining using the Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain must be included.
  7. If having trouble uploading the pictures, please make your picture(s) size smaller (below 3 MB).

Any questions or issues posting, please ask in the comment area.

We look forward to all the entries!

*Disclaimer: All products must be purchased from Restore-A-Deck.com. The contest is not open to products purchased from other online dealers or from physical stores. All 3-Steps in the Restore-A-Deck system will need to be used to win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place: Step 1: Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper. Step 2: Restore-A-Deck Wood Brightener. Step 3: Restore-A-Deck Wood Stains.

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Judi Smith
Judi Smith
1 month ago

What a difference! We recently moved into a home with a very neglected deck which was partially made of recycled material from a previous project. After researching different stains, we chose to go with Restore-a-deck. We purchased the stripper, the brightener and the cedar toned semi transparent stain. We were able to strip and brighten the deck in one afternoon, but after starting to stain we ran out of daylight. Then the rain started! We had to wait several days before we could finish the project and we were apprehensive that it would not look as good as if it were completed in one day. However, we are delighted! This product took our 15+ year old deck and made it look like new. (Note: In the last picture the lighting was different) Thank you Restore-a-deck for making making such a great product!

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Cheryl Weber
Cheryl Weber
4 months ago

what’s the estimated shipping time to Illinois

Mike Bosyj
Mike Bosyj
5 months ago

What’s the estimated shipping time to Virginia?

Natalya
Natalya
1 year ago

Just finished staining—just in time for this contest!

A few months ago, we bought our first house. The cedar deck and balcony were in bad shape. Messy, ugly, and mossy. Parts of the deck were built at different times—between 4 and 10 years ago—so the wood was also mismatched.

This was a big project—over 1,000 square feet plus railings! I split the project into two: first the balcony, then the deck. The balcony went quickly, a few days including repairs. The deck took me about three weeks to complete because I only worked in the evenings, and I mostly worked by myself.

The first step, stripping, was the hardest because the deck was so dirty. I didn’t use a pressure washer. I just scrubbed and used a hose on the highest jet mode. This worked well! For the vertical railings, I added both boosters to the stripper.

Then I sanded the handrail and some other small areas with 60 grit paper.

Brightening was easy, because by then the deck was pretty clean. After brightening, the older and newer woods looked about the same (and now, after staining, you really have to look to see the difference).

I expected the last step, staining, to take a really long time because of all the railings. But once I got two helpers, it went quicker than we expected. We used 4” and 2” stain brushes for the railings and the 14” yellow Restore A Deck Wood Staining Brush (connected to a long handle from a home store) for the deck itself. I *highly* recommend the yellow brush! I was able to stain four planks at a time and with a lot less effort! Plus, this brush made it easier to avoid over-application.

What I really like about the dark walnut stain is that it matches the color of the pressure treated supports, which are visible from the street. I also like the dark walnut’s deep earthiness. Next summer, we plan to change the house’s siding colors to lighter, more natural colors that will really make this stain pop. 

Julie Figg
Julie Figg
1 year ago

Restored an older deck that was covered in old paint, stain and a variety of polyurethane coatings. A real mess. First step was a good pressure wash which I combined with Restore A Deck stripper wash. I didn’t have a sprayer so I put on some heavy duty dish gloves and used a 2.5 gallon bucket to mix the product in. The stripper was swabbed on the deck surface with a big sponge that I dipped in the solution of stripper. Broke the deck area into thirds and stripping and cleaning each section separately. The stripper was fabulous, it dissolved all the prior coatings that were all over the deck. I could not have done it without the power was sprayer which was set at 1700 psi. I held the hi pressure nozzle about a foot from the deck surface and kept the wand moving doing one long board at a time. Be careful with the combination of the stripper and dissolving coating, very slick! The total process of stripping and washing was 7 hours. Deck surface square footage was 500 square feet. 
Since the deck wood was pretty old I elected to sand the surface with a 5 inch hand held circular sander. This eliminated what I call wood fuzz that was caused by the pressure wash process as well as smoothing out areas of small splinters. 
Restore a Deck Brightner was then applied to the deck surface. Boy, does this really wake up the wood and bring out the beauty of the grain. I would not skip this step, as seen in the photo look at the boards that are brightened vs on the left in the photo not brightened. Again, breaking the deck surface into thirds I applied again using a sponge and bucket. If you don’t have a sprayer this is an alternative that works well.  Make sure to give the deck surface good rinses with clean water after applying both the stripper and brighter. To help move the Restore a Deck stripper and brighter off the surface I used a 3 foot squeegee on a pole. Just lessened the rinse time a bit with scraping the water off the deck surface. The brighter process only took about 3 hours.  
Since Restore a Deck is advertised as being able to use on a damp deck I decided to not wait for the deck to dry completely. I made sure there were no puddles of water but the deck was damp. Using the deck brush sold by Restore a Deck I poured Cedar semi transparent stain into a paint tray and began to stain. The 10 inch brush let me work 2 boards at a time.  This is the first time I have brushed stain on a deck and it is a game changer. Works so much better than a roller, a brush, or a rag. Able to get down into the cracks between the boards easily!  The deck brush allows stain to be applied evenly and quickly.  The increased pressure that can be applied to your brush pole allows stain to be pushed into uneven areas on the deck boards. Total time staining a 400 square foot deck was 3 hours.  Total amount of stain used was a little over 2 gallons. I only used one coat as 2 coats were not needed, looked fabulous with just one coat. 
The final photos show the balusters as black. I had originally planned on staining them but given their old and worn condition painting them worked much better and really set the stain color off beautifully. 
I have worked on several decks prior to ordering and using Restore A Deck.  This is now my go to product due to the effectiveness of the stripper and brighter and beautiful color and luster of the stain. 

Nate B
Nate B
1 year ago

This Labor Day weekend my wife and I celebrated by doing some labor! We cleaned, brightened, and stained our front and back decks over the span of three days. Both decks were very grayed due to constant direct sunlight. The vertical surfaces took the most  to prep (lots of spindles!).

We used the RAD Kit with the cleaner and Light Walnut Semi-Transparent stain. I cleaned the wood using a pump sprayer and a power washer. Then for all horizontal surfaces I stained using the RAD stain brush – it worked great!

Most of the pictures are of the back/side deck instead of the front deck. The ones where the vertical surfaces are stained but not the horizontal show the horizontal wood after it was cleaned/brightened. It also shows a great contrast between the stained/unstained wood. The color looks fantastic.

Overall using the RAD system was great, and I’ll definitely be using more for future maintenance coats!

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1 year ago

Had a big project this year. Clean, brighten, and stain a deck, gazebo, walkway and dock. Researched products and found RAD. Used all three (Cedar) products and will do so again when it’s time. Glad I did because the project turned out great! 

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1 year ago

The refinishing job we just completed with Restore A Deck products included about 425 square feet of deck and an arbor. We first used RAD products in 2019 after switching from another water based system I had used for years. Many positive reviews and the better availability of the RAD products helped me decide to change. This time I used the RAD Cleaner, Brightener and the Light Walnut stain. To prep, I wetted the wood with water and applied the RAD Cleaner and then used a pressure washer with the delicate tip to thoroughly rinse and remove grime. I followed up with the RAD Brightener and rinsed with the hose. Some of the deck surfaces were stained a few hours after rinsing, the rest were done the following day. The RAD stain was applied with a combination of paint brushes and a car washing brush with two coats being applied per the instructions. Application was a breeze, and the decks and arbor look great especially the day after. The pictures show some of the various states of the wood during the job from as was, to cleaned  and brightened and stained wood. Next up will be some staining of furniture with a new color for us, Cottage Gray. We are really pleased with the way the deck and arbor look!

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1 year ago

We have been in this house since fall of 2014. The woman who previously lived here was disabled and her husband built a deck with a long boardwalk between the driveway to the deck and back door, so she could go in & out, but they never stained or did anything to the wood – and it showed. We never used the space much because it was looking pretty dingy and sad. In 2019, we finally got around to ordering the Restore-a-Deck 3 step system clean-brighten-stain, but by the time we got to it, it was pretty late in the fall season and the weather did not cooperate for us and the finished product did not hold up over time due to our own lack of planning for the impending and immediate low temps, wet weather with lots of rain, tons and tons of leaf litter falling on it, and then the snow started and that was it. We never got to the top platform of the deck at all. We planned to do the system again in the summer of 2020, but we all know how 2020 went for most of us, so that plan did not happen.

Fast forward to 2022, we re-ordered the 3 step system, using the Cedar color semi-transparent stain again, and did the entire project in a span of two days – we cleaned and brightened on Day 1, and did all the staining on Day 2. It is a lot of decking to do but with two of us doing the work, it went quickly. We had thought we’d have to replace the lumber on much of the boardwalk, and on the entire top platform of the deck that we had never previously done anything to as it was looking pretty worse for the wear, but the lumber prices were outrageous so after we cleaned and brightened it, we figured we would give it a chance and stain it and see how it came out. Well, everything came out WAY better than expected – I even ordered an extra 1 gallon of stain to do the railings a week later, and they came out great too! This formerly unused, unloved, worn-out looking space feels totally and completely renewed and is now my favorite place to be! The best part is that it has given me the encouragement and confidence to tackle a whole bunch of other home improvement projects that are now in progress! We get a ton of snow here in central New York state, and the deck will take a beating with snow and ice all winter. Now, every Spring, we will clean and add a maintenance coat as soon as the rainy season has passed so we can enjoy the space all season long for many years to come!

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1 year ago

We moved into this home 2 years ago, and the deck hadn’t had any maintenance in many years. Our project encompassed nearly 1600 square feet of deck boards PLUS the associated posts. The deck is entirely cedar.

I search all over the internet trying to make the best decision on what stain to purchase, and after many real world reviews I landed on the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner, Brightener, and Cedar Semi-Transparent Stain.

I ordered 15 Gallons of stain and used all but one gallon. I also sanded the entire deck with a deck sander using 80 grit prior to cleaning.

We cleaned and brightened the entire deck in one day. We also stained roughly 1/3 of it that same day. The remaining deck I completed the following weekend. Fortunately, we had a great natural place to stop, and you can’t see any difference in color or shade of the stain. I simply misted the deck on the second day and completed staining. I also purchased the deck brush and would never do it differently again – it worked fantastic!

Very satisfied with the finish – especially the color!

Stef
Stef
1 year ago

Our pressure treated deck is 12 years old and was very neglected; our old semi-transparent stain was worn and the wood was mildewed and green. We replaced the tops of the railings last year and the color difference between the new wood and the old, stained wood was dramatic (not in a good way). I’ve never stained a deck before, so I was a bit apprehensive to start such a huge project (over 1600 sq ft of wood including the fence and lattice – yikes).

I read many reviews online before deciding to try Restore a Deck products. My first test was the back side of the hot tub enclosure fence; I used stripper to remove the old stain, brightened one part of the fence, and then tested the stain colors before proceeding with the whole project. After I did this, we ordered more stripper, cleaner, and brightener to prepare all of the wood. 

I was amazed at how well the old stain was removed with the stripper (I also used the thickening and boosting additives for the vertical hot tub enclosure). I also used the stripper for the horizontal railing pieces, as they were much darker than the new wood. We used cleaner for everything else because there was not much stain left on the old wood. This project took several weeks and we prepared everything based upon the information online at RAD. Once we had everything stripped and cleaned, we brightened the whole project and proceeded to stain everything with the Light Walnut stain. 

We applied the stain with brushes and used a pump sprayer for the lattice (brushing this back in). I was so thankful throughout the project that the stain is water-based – cleanup was so much easier than the other stains my husband used in the past. When we finished the deck, we had some stain left over and decided to stain our cedar table and benches (we’re gluttons for punishment (LOL!)). The cedar took the stain beautifully!

I’m really happy with the overall result. I’m especially pleased with how the new wood blends with the old on the main deck railing. It rained several days after we finished the staining and the finish held up beautifully. I also really appreciated the RAD Q&A and the quick responses to questions. Thanks so much!

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1 year ago

The decking and top rail of a 30 year old deck was replaced with new 2X6 untreated pine boards. I waited 15 months before staining the deck. I used restore-a-deck cleaner and brightener to prepare the wood. The stain was applied the following day using a paint pad and a brush to stain between the deck boards. I used RAD light walnut semi-transparent stain. The weather was warm but not hot. I applied a light mist of water before applying the stain since it seemed to be drying too quickly. I only applied one coat of stain and will apply another in about 12 months. The stain appears uneven but I’m hoping that will be improved when the second coat is applied. I only applied stain to the new decking and top rail.  

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1 year ago

The decking and top rail of a 30 year old deck was replaced with new 2X6 untreated pine boards. I waited 15 months before staining the deck. I used restore-a-deck cleaner and brightener to prepare the wood. The stain was applied the following day using a paint pad and a brush to stain between the deck boards. I used RAD light walnut semi-transparent stain. The weather was warm but not hot. I applied a light mist of water before applying the stain since it seemed to be drying too quickly. I only applied one coat of stain and will apply another in about 12 months. The stain appears uneven but I’m hoping that will be improved when the second coat is applied. I only applied stain to the new decking and top rail.   

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1 year ago

I bought my house earlier this summer and the deck was badly in need of refinishing. I was thrilled to find that the Restore-A-Deck system allowed for prep and stain on the same day, which was badly needed due to how much it has rained here this year. That said, shout out to the amazing customer service team at RAD for helping expedite my order so that we could get the products in time for our first dry weekend in a over a month!

I needed to remove an old and peeling solid deck stain, so I was aware it might not all come off, and I chose the beautiful darker Espresso stain color just in case I needed the extra coverage. We added both the booster and thickening agent RAD products to the stain stripper, and left it on for about an hour. I was thrilled that nearly all the stain came off with just some light power washing. The brightener step after that was an unbelievable transformation and rinsed off easily. We had stained nearly half of the deck when we ran out of daylight and planned to finish the next day.

Mother nature had other plans though, so instead, I found myself fearing the loss of all our hard work while we watched a drenching downpour of rain hammer the deck all day. I was so worried about whether the stain would wash away but it held up amazingly. Then it rained and rained some more… at least every other day for nearly 2 weeks. Finally, as soon as the weather looked promising, we got to work finishing the first coat of stain on the exposed wood. We used a stain pad on the main deck and a small 1/4 inch nap roller on the vertical surfaces which worked amazingly. We finished the next day with the second and final coat of stain.

Today the deck looks absolutely incredible, and our friends and neighbors can’t believe that we didn’t sand the entire thing. After the stain cured, all of the wood actually feels newer and so much smoother to walk on. I could not be happier with our experience and will enthusiatically recommend the Restore-A-Deck system to anyone and everyone. We still need to stain our new bare-wood fence to match now, so I’ll get to experience the wood cleaner version soon enough too! Thank you guys for making such a great product and for all the helpful tips and tricks on your website. 10/10.

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1 year ago

We have lived in our house 6 yrs and we neglected the deck and fence far more than we should have for a variety of reasons so this year when I went full time with my pet sitting business I set time aside to stain and update the deck and rebuild the wood fence. I took all the balusters off the deck and replaced it with wire and framed it out with 2x4s and built a gate for the top of the steps. I used the RAD Cleaner and Brightener and Cottage Grey semi-transparent with 2 coats and the coverage is fantastic and I used so much less than I expected!! I bought 7 gallons expecting to use 4-5 on the deck and the single gallons were on sale at the time so I got 2 knowing I planned to do a couple of other small projects and eventually the fence. I used less than 2.5 gallons on the whole deck with 2-3 coats in some places plus the lattice used to make a storage area under the deck. I started the project in the spring and then it rained all summer and I was finally able to finish the last bit of stain on the new wood. I’ll be using the cleaner/brightener/stain on the fence over the next few weeks, that is going to be a several day project. I’m so ready to have it all done!! Because I’m a pet sitter and board in my home I have 3-8 dogs running up and down the steps and across the deck at any time so I do think I’ll need to put another coat of stain on the floor of the deck in the spring because there’s some places dog nails have gouged or scrapped to bare wood. We won’t talk about what my hardwood floors look like inside, yikes. I will say that pee and poop do clean off very easily now compared to the untreated wood, this is important with an almost 18 yr old dog who usually makes it out the dog door but doesn’t use the stairs alone.

I’ve had a ton of compliments from my returning clients who knew what the before looked like and I’ve recommended the stain to them and several neighbors I’ve been so happy with it. Because I was so worried about a long dry time and harmful chemicals in other stains I kept putting this project off because I didn’t have enough time to dedicate to it but being able to use the stain on damp wood was a game changer and I was able to knock out the cleaning and staining in 2 days and the dry time was so much quicker than other stains I’ve used in the past. As you can see from the variety of dogs in the pictures I stay busy so the ease of this process was amazing for me. I read through all the guides and helpful tips and all my questions were answered. I did it alone, I have a husband but he does not enjoy building or outdoor projects, I joke I’m the yard dog and he’s my house cat but he does a great job making sure my water cup stays full while I’m working, holds boards when I need another set of hands, and tell me I’m doing a great job. I’m in my happy place working on a project so it works out well.  

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1 year ago

Restoring my deck was a labor of love, since the previous owner used what seemed to be a solid stain. I received some helpful tips from Scott at RAD and purchased the RAD stripper with both additives, RAD brightener, and RAD Semi-Transparent Light Walnut stain online. I first used applied the stripper using a deck sprayer, let it dwell for 45-60 minutes and used a combination of a scrub brush and Ryobi power washer to remove the stripper. This took a surprising amount of the old stain off, and definitely did the heavy lifting of stain removal. To get the remaining stain off, I ended up power sanding the entire ~600 sq. ft deck with an Oribtal sander and 80 grit sandpaper which took far longer than I care to admit. Due to summer plans, this ended up taking a few weekend working days to complete. In hindsight, I would have rented a floor sander from Home Depot. Nonetheless, the remaining old stain fully came off, and the deck looked awesome. I would mention there were a couple small areas I didn’t apply the RAD stripper to and tried to power sand directly. This method took WAY longer and really highlighted the effectiveness of the stripper to me. I then applied the RAD brightener once the deck was fully sanded. We got quite a few days of rain so the RAD stain was not applied same day as prep, instead the following weekend. I used a 5″ deck brush to apply one coat of the stain, since power sanded. Overall, I am very happy with the results and would definitely recommend the RAD 3 step process. The newly finished deck looks great, and I think an additional coat of RAD stain next year will make it look even better. I am greatly looking forward to a much lower effort maintenance process with the RAD cleaner, brightener, stain in the future! Great products.

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1 year ago

Here’s my entry for the 2022 contest. I’m hoping the judges can show some love this year to the Restore A Deck product entrants who attack vertical surfaces. It’s more labor-intensive and takes much attention to detail to make sure every surface is covered with the product, considerably more than doing a horizontal deck. I did 110′ of fence with the RAD 3-Step Clean, Brighten, & Stain with 2 coats of Transparent Cedar. Due to some nasty ground hornets this wasn’t done wet-on-wet. I’m going to leave a pic of last year’s entry at the end of this post. The product has held up so well! It’s definitely a testament to the three-step process.

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1 year ago

After years of dealing with an old deck that was not stained properly. We finally resurfaced the deck. The wood was pressure-treated lumber and aged for about 6 months before this process. We used the Clean, Brighten, then Stain process. We did it all in the same (long) day. The photos are Before, After Clean, After Brighten, After Stain. The color is Natural Semi-Transparent. 

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1 year ago

My deck is over 30 years old with original stained wood that was stripped years ago from another stain, about 10 year old wood that had Restore-A-Deck put on them about 5 years ago and 9 month old unstained new wood. It was quite the challenge for a 66 yo woman with a bad back with it being a large, almost 600 square foot deck. The wood was multicolored from the different ages and the oldest wood still had some of the original stain that I couldn’t sand off previously. Therefore, I used Restore-A-Deck Cedar Solid Stain as recommended and after the sample showed that it would cover all the different colors completely. As the deck was so large, I cleaned and stained in sections and on different days. The left over cleaner and brightener from about 5 years ago worked fine.
The first 2 pictures show the original deck condition, the next is during cleaning and then 2 pictures of the final result. I did not have to use a power washer as the push broom worked fine with the cleaner and brightener and I used rollers made for deck stains to apply most of the stain with a paint brush for the rest. 
I am very happy with my RAD deck and if I can do it, anyone can! 

Leslie Swartz-Williams
Leslie Swartz-Williams
1 year ago

I needed to strip and restain a 20 year old ironwood deck. After the complete RADprep, I used TWP Redwood stain.  I couldn’t be happier with the results. 

Maria
Maria
1 year ago

We moved into this house 2 years ago, I have no idea how old the deck and fence are but they definitely needed an upgrade!
First we used the clean/brighten kit on the deck and fence and were blown away by how fresh the wood looked after! It was a very easy and quick process, we got it done during our toddler’s 2 hour afternoon nap (Saturday).
The next day we stained the deck using CEDAR. We love the colour!! Staining was also very easy, once again we got 2 coats done during our son’s nap (Sunday).
We were so proud of ourselves that we got it all done in one weekend, and it was so easy!!
We ended up painting our fence to match our gate colour. Painting turned out to be a huge pain in the butt, took us multiple weekends to get done. While we like the colour contrast between the fence and the deck, whole time we were painting the fence I was thinking, “We should have just used restore-a-deck to stain this fence, we would have been done so much sooner!”
Thank you restore-a-deck. As a certifiably UNhandy couple with no DIY experience, you made the process of upgrading our backyard easy, fun and affordable! Would definitely recommend.

reiver
reiver
1 year ago

Painted once in over 30 years – our deck was a peeling, splintery, shaky structure when we moved in nearly four years ago.  It is a combination of treated lumber and fir.  We replaced boards, steps, and drilled in many new screws.  I assiduously sanded, cleaned and prepped the deck before painting with Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat (spindles, steps and deck = 1900 sq ft!) only to see it blister and peel over the winter.  Research pointed me to Restore-a-Deck products.  After again replacing boards, and rescrewing with enough metal to disrupt every marine compass for miles, I followed the process recommended by your experts:
1. Restore-a-Deck Stripper and power-wash
2. Restore-a-Deck Brightener and rinse – Over 2.5 hours of rinsing
3. Scrape and sand remaining loose paint and spots of overly enthusiastic power-washing
4. Another 2.5 hours of rinsing
5. Dry – we live in the PNW – no overly wet areas
6. Two coats of Restore-a-Deck Solid Stain in Coastal Gray – kept the coats thin so got about 345 sq ft per gallon.  
Finished deck looks beautiful, and a few dragged chairs and tables didn’t affect the finish at all.   THANK YOU.  Looking firward to having the same beautiful deck in the spring!

R-A-D™ PaintStrip Solid Strip
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1 year ago

We have a house built in 1877 and though we’re not quite sure when the deck was built, it definitely had been neglected for many years. Before starting the RAD process, I went around and replaced all the screws that were loose or broken, and replaced a few deck boards that were broken. I used the RAD cleaner to clean the deck, and then repeated the cleaner. I did two coats on the RAD brightener as well. After that, I went over and sanded some of the rougher spots, and added some wood filler to some big gauges in some of the wood. I applied the stain the next day – I was unlucky and it started raining the first day so I could not finish then. I did two coats of stain to get a deep color, and it looks great! I was able to complete the project by myself over two days. I’m also including a bonus photo of how the deck looks two months after staining – it’s still holding up well!

Color used: semi-transparent cedar

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1 year ago

Our beloved deck is 15 years old.  In the first 8 years, I treated several times using Benjamin Moore Arbor Coat solid stains.  Kids got to the age where I spent more time with them, so about 7 years of neglect.  It looked terrible and was an eyesore.  My family was afraid to even go on the deck due to nail pops and rotten wood.

Researching the project on restore-a-deck.com, I posted several questions to ensure I understood the job in front of me.  Based on the advice received from the site, I had to power sand the solid stain off.  This was a job that took over 100 hours, primarily on the railing.  158 pickets later and about 75 linear feet of railing, I completed that part of the job in 3 months.  Add onto that the awkward struggle of power sanding from a ladder to do the exterior part on sloped ground.

I chose Dark Walnut Semi Transparent stain and used the RAD stripper (with the 2 additives) and Brightener.  Based on the size of my deck (about 1100 sq feet), I used 2 combo kits.  I also purchased the application brush based on the advice from the site.

My favorite picture in the series is a picture of the top rail sanded without stripper/brightener joining next to sanded with stripper/brightener.  I thought the wood looked pretty good after sanding…but WOW.  Look at what this product did to make the wood beautiful.

I started this project in March, and took me till Father’s Day in June to complete.  It was so satisfying to have a Father’s Day meal outside on the deck with my family and hear the compliments and talk about what a difference the Restore-A-Deck products made.

Again, based on the valuable advice from the site, I only applied one coat of stain and did not stain the new wood after replacing rotten boards.  I look forward to the spring to apply the second coat.  This time being able to use the cleaner instead of the stripper.  

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1 year ago
Reply to 

In terms of using the RAD products, I broke the project into 3 sections over 3 weekends.  The main part of the railing/deck was 2 sections over 2 weekends.  The exterior was the 3rd section.  I did try to do all 3 steps in 1 day.  The first section was completed, and unfortunately a pop up thunderstorm washed away and thinned out the stain quite a bit.  The forecast for the day was 15% of storms…unfortunately, it rained hard for about 3 hours.  So I had to spend extra time reapplying the stain as it had noticeably thinned.  To avoid the risk of late afternoon thunderstorms, I did sections 2 & 3 in 2 days each.  First day was stripper/brightener.  2nd day stain so I could apply in the morning before the daily risk of afternoon thunderstorms.  

This seemed to be a better compromise for my schedule instead of breaking the project into many more sections to do all 3 steps in a single day and try to finish by 1pm.  Probably would’ve needed 8 sections for that approach.  

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1 year ago

Contest entry: Pictures continued for Deborah Pulver

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1 year ago

Contest entry:Products used-Restore a deck cleaner and brightener; Restore a Deck stain-Light Walnut and Natural; large stain brush;Some of the deck was cleaned ahead, parts were cleaned, brightened and stained on the same day.

Our deck was built with pressure treat pine in 2018 but wasn’t completed until 2019. It was never stained. I started researching stains in 2020 and read a lot about Restore a Deck products. I liked the idea of water based stain, but quite frankly I was nervous about purchasing from a company that only sold their products in our area via the internet. After a lot of reading, I wasn’t sure my husband and I would be able to manage doing the project ourselves. The deck is very large, around 1500 sq feet, and we are in our 70s. I contacted some local contractors to get a quote to have it done. The pricing wasn’t bad, but after all my reading, I was concerned about the lack of prep they were planning. Everyone was quoting pricing to just wash the deck before staining. Some offered pressure washing for an extra charge, and no one offered the brightening process before staining. With those concerns, we decided to attack the project ourselves, but asked our family to assist us. The plan was for my husband and I to have the deck cleaned, pressure washed and brightened ahead so it would be ready to start staining early Saturday morning when our family could get here. I ordered the cleaner,brightener, stain and stain brush from the internet and was relieved and surprised that it came so quickly.
I didn’t think the deck looked too bad, but once we started cleaning and pressure washing it, I was totally shocked at how dirty/stained it was. I was so relieved that we had decided to do it ourselves so everything was cleaned properly before the stain was applied. Unfortunately, I also totally underestimated how much time it would take. We worked on the cleaning and pressure washing step all day Thursday and Friday and still weren’t done. On Saturday morning, our some of our family helped us brighten and rinse the part that was cleaned while others continued cleaning and pressure washing the remainder so it could be brightened. Meanwhile, others started staining the rails, lattice and deck boards that were ready. So, although it took several days to prep and stain some of the deck, other parts were prepped and stained on the same day. We were very glad that the deck only needed to dry a few hours after prep so we could continue the staining process.
Light walnut stain was used on the railings, lattice and deck boards. We used an airless sprayer to apply the stain to the railings and lattice and back brushed them to even out the coverage. We used the extra wide stain brush from the website to apply the stain to the deck boards. We were able to finish the deck late Saturday evening. We were very tired after finishing and were happy for soap and water clean up for the sprayer and deck brush.
The next day I stained the upright posts and framing for the roof of our covered deck with light walnut stain and the following day I stained the ceiling with Natural colored stain using a stain pad.
Because of the size of the deck we only did one coat but are planning to do another coat next spring.

Lydia
Lydia
1 year ago

Finally, a cleaning, stripping, and staining deck project that’s easy- even for one person. However, I was not able to do the entire project in one day – I was able to complete in a short period of time. Started by cleaning the deck of the green algea from being partially under a Maple tree. From that point, I used the stripper to get rid of previous stain. This worked really well – I did it in sections. My deck is approximately 15′ x 25′. Once all the stripping was complete and I was happy with the outcome, I applied the brightener. Amazing the look after this step! I then applied the stain (light walnut). I noticed the stain brush on the site and decided to add it to my order AND I highly recommend you do the same. I have never had stain so easy and painless to apply – perfect size for deck boards. The staining went quick. Before the new brush, I always used a roller and hand brush which took me so long to complete, but this time it took only a little over an hour for one coat. Follow the process that is recommended and you will be happy….like me. Thank you. 

JimF
JimF
1 year ago

30 year old pressure-treated deck, very weathered with almost complete absence of previous stain after pressure washing. The deck is v-shaped and is attached to a pressure-treated walkway. The first pictures are after pressure washing. The second set are after stripping and brightening, with some boards still damp and some replaced with new boards. This was done in one day. The last set are a solid cyprus stain, done in two coats over two days. 

Rita Lease
Rita Lease
1 year ago

We live in an historic home in our town.  It has always had a functional outside staircase that ran up the back of the house. The house can have an upstairs apartment and this the entrance.  We had a new staircase custom built after the previous staircase had to be removed to accommodate a new roof. Part of the roof line extends under the stairs.  The staircase is made from treated lumber that had been seasoned for two years. It has three landings, 20 steps and 101 colonial spindles.  On July 27, 2022 I started the project using RAD prep to wash the stairs.  I am so glad that I did this step because it made such a difference in how clean the stairs were.  I didn’t think they looked really that bad but once I saw what came off  – Whew nice!  As others have posted it is good to give the prep wash time to work. I chose classic white and coastal gray for the solid stain colors.  It took several coats/touch-ups of classic white to achieve the look we wanted.  I was quite nervous after the first coat of classic white because it really soaked in.  I just kept working, onward.  Coastal gray needed two coats.  Because of the size of the project I could not prep and stain in the same day.  In fact, in August the rains came to southwest Wisconsin and so I worked in between storms.  I completed the stairs August 24, 2022.  I felt I needed to submit additional pictures to get the full scale of the project.  I am 65 and my husband who help stain and coped with my wanting to be so particular is 70. It turned out beautiful.

Our house
Before cleaning
Top landing before cleaning
Stairs before cleaning
Landing after cleaning
Stairs after cleaning
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1 year ago

Our 484 square foot cedar wood deck was built 12 months ago, and we let it naturally weather in the Pacific Northwest climate before we stained it. We were able to prep and stain all in one day. First, we used Restore-A-Deck Cleaner to clean and scrub the deck. Next, we used Restore-A-Deck Brightener to remove stains from fallen leaves and our heat lamp. We waited about 4 hours before we applied Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Cedar Stain. We love how it came out!

Photos included:
–2 pictures before the prep of the wood (1 close up; 1 entire deck)
–2 pictures after the prep of the wood (1 close up; 1 entire deck)
–2 pictures after staining the wood (1 close up; 1 entire deck)

Eric
Eric
1 year ago

My deck looked pretty worn from the crappy Thompson’s I had on it before. I decided to Go Big. Restore-a-Deck Cleaner, Brightener (day one), Semi-Transparent Stain (day two). Looks better than new!

Derp
Derp
1 year ago

This doesn’t qualify for the contest since we used a different stain, but thought I’d post if it might be helpful info for others. 

We re-stained my son’s Eagle project, seven 4-ft long redwood benches. We used the cleaner and brightener, let the benches dry overnight, then reapplied Armstrong Clark semi-transparent stain (which is the brand we originally used 4 years ago). We were able to clean five benches with one bag of cleaner. We might have been able to clean additional benches if we had a power washer. Instead, we applied the cleaner and brightener with cheapie manual spray bottles and rinsed off with a hose attachment that simulates a power washer. We did not use as much brightener as we did the cleaner. 

Our mistake was being too impatient for the cleaner to work and scrubbing harder than we should have. Once we realized that, we began to appreciate how well this product works. Even the smaller pieces and hard-to-get-to spots in the backrest were well cleaned.

Overall, we are very happy with how well RAD worked! 

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1 year ago

Contest entry:
I have a two level 450 square foot mahogany deck that is about 33 years old, plus an outdoor shower area (not shown).  I used Restore-a-Deck stripper, brightener and semi-transparent natural stain.  Staining was not done same day as prep, due to direct sun during large parts of the day.  It was done a few days later. Attached are 2 pics before prep and two pics taken about 1.5 months after fished stain.  No photos of after prep, before stain.

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1 year ago

Your product is AMAZING, and so easy. “A Picture is worth a thousand words!”

Before and After:

fred
fred
3 months ago
Reply to 

Is this LIght walnut?

Erika Romine
Erika Romine
1 year ago

I am extremely happy with the Restor-a-Deck products. Last summer, I actually sanded and reapplied a different brand of solid stain from a local hardware store. That product did not bond and started peeling in areas that got a lot of rain within a few months. I was not looking forward to starting at square one again.
However, the Restore-a-Deck line is far superior to what was on the deck when I bought the house. The prep steps were a challenge, but definitely worth it. I could tell as I put on the first coat of Coastal Gray that this was going to be a totally different story from last year.
I waited overnight between the brightening and applying the stain- mostly because I ran out of daylight. 

Pictures 1 and 2
Before: A sad case of last year’s (different) product coming up

Picture 3
After Stripper with Additive 

Picture 4
After the Brightener

Picture 5 and 6
After applying two coats of Coastal Gray Solid Stain

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1 year ago

Deck project

I built a large deck on the front side of my house in the Fall of 2021. The decking material is 2×6 cedar, with solid cedar fascia boards. I let the deck weather over the last 9 months, and recently completed the Restore-a-Deck process from start to finish over the course of two days.

I decided to use the 3-step Restore-a-Deck process which involved using the cleaner, followed by the brightener, and finally I used the Restore-a-Deck semi-transparent stain in light walnut.

I separated these 3 steps out to give a better idea as to how it went:

1. Restore-a-Deck Cleaner- prior to cleaning, I sanded the surface of all wood with 40 grit sandpaper. The cleaner mixed easily in a 5-gallon bucket and I applied it with a 2 gallon hand pump sprayer. I applied the cleaner to the deck and watched it immediately go to work. The cleaner starts foaming slightly as it attacks the mildew and stained areas, leaving other surfaces unharmed. I could literally see stains and mildew being removed in a matter of 10-20 minutes. After letting it sit for 10-20 minutes, I pressured washed the entire surface at around 1500 psi (from a distance of around 9 inches) and saw an immediate difference. The silvered wood was now gone, as was the green algae, and black mildew. I followed the initial pressure wash with a second pressure wash to ensure the cleaner was properly removed. The wood appeared darker but had regained its natural beauty again.

2. Restore-a-Deck Brightener – Following the cleaning, I applied the Restore-a-Deck brightener, while the surface of the wood was still damp from the first step. The brightener was also very effective. I used a different 2 gallon pump sprayer and applied it over the entire surface, much the same way I applied the cleaner. Within minutes, I saw the wood transform into a bright, crisp version of its former self. The wood looked better than when I bought it from the lumber yard. After about 15 minutes, I used the pressure washer again and thoroughly flushed. I could literally see the dark stained colors draining away from the wood. I rinsed again with the pressure washer to be sure it was all off.

3. Restore-a-Deck Semi-transparent stain – light walnut – I completed the first two steps of the process (cleaning and brightening) somewhat later in the day, so I waited until the following day (late morning) to stain. I waited until the deck was in shade for optimum absorption and to prevent it from drying to quickly. The stain absorbed readily into the wood and I applied it with a nice wide 4.5 inch stain brush, ensuring the stain was ample enough to cover but not enough to pool.

I attached a few photos – a couple taken before I started the 3-step process, a couple after the cleaning/brightening, and then a couple after the stain was applied. I’m very pleased with the effectiveness and quality of the products so far.

Brian van Devender
Brian van Devender
1 year ago

The screen porch on the back of my house is four years old, made out of pressure-treated pine and had never been stained. I purchased the RAD clean and stain kit and, unfortunately for me, applied during the hot month of July! The exterior boards were very weathered and white from being directly exposed to the Southern sun and I was skeptical as to whether or not the cleaner would work. It not only worked, it made the boards look brand new again! I only wish I had taken before pictures but I was so anxious to get started I forgot. I applied the Step One Cleaner with a pump sprayer and only worked in short sections at a time, being careful to not let it dry. After about 10 -15 minutes I scrubbed it (by hand to prevent damage to the screens) with a stiff bristle brush then hosed off with a garden hose with a small jet stream. I then applied the Step Two Brightener, also with a pump sprayer, then vigorously rinsed after about 15 minutes. In some places I re-applied the Brightener, waited and rinsed again. To scrub and rinse all of the boards (inside the porch and out) took about a week, only working in 4 -5 hour morning “shifts” to avoid working in direct sunlight. I waited 2 – 3 days before applying the stain and was careful to lightly wet the wood with a pump sprayer of clean water before applying. I used a combination of a 2″ nylon bristle brush and 1″ and 2″ foam pads, which I found seemed to work the best since I was working so close to the screens. The overall job took most of two weeks but that included moving and setting up multiple ladders (by myself!) and avoiding the sun. The porch came out beautiful and looks brand new! It was well worth the effort and I would do it all again using the same products if I had to. I have recommended the RAD product to my neighbors, though at 66 years old I’m not volunteering to do it for them!

Erin
Erin
1 year ago

We knew when the deck was built in June 2020 that it would need to be stained, but other expenses came up, and I honestly couldn’t find a stain in Canada that had great reviews, so it never got done. I was worried that after 24 months we may have waited too long to protect the pressure treated deck and cedar fence. My partner is a contractor and even he couldn’t believe the difference after just cleaning and brightening the deck, but the true transformation came after applying the light walnut semi-transparent stain! We worked together, with him applying the stain with an airless paint sprayer, and me back-brushing the product. This method was especially helpful as it allowed us to easily apply a coat to the underside of the deck as well, so we know that the wood will be protected from above and below. 
Even despite a minor shipping mishap, Restore-A-Deck provided incredible customer service and I’ve already shared our great experience with several friends. I’m happy that we opted to pay a little bit for shipping so that we could use this exceptional product in Canada!

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1 year ago

Had used Sikkens last year and it needed to be re-done already this year. After RAD answered ALL my questions, I decided to go with them. I had initially used a powerwasher to remove the original stain. They suggested I still use the stain remover so I did. I then used the brightener and then the light walnut as the stain. I also purchased the brush. I must say it couldn’t have been easier and the results were, well, look at the pics! outstanding!

Gina
Gina
1 year ago

My husband had one more chance to get this right by Mother’s Day or I was calling in the professionals.  Here’s our before pictures, after the cleaning, after the brightening process and finally our finished product.

We’re quite happy and after refinishing this massive 2 tier deck every 2 years…we hope this last a while longer.

fred
fred
3 months ago
Reply to  Gina

Hi, what color did you use on the deck and what type of wood is the deck constructed from?

Carlie
Carlie
1 year ago

Not sure why, but first post went to 2020 page…

Very pleased with the Restore-A-Deck products used on our pool deck. This pieced together deck contains old green treated wood and newer cedar look treated lumber. Cleaned and brightened in one day. Staining took 2 more (due to working around busy schedule). Everything looks fantastic and blends really well now. I used the Cleaner, Brightener and Semi-Transparent Stain in Natural Oak. The color is nutty rather than orangish. Applied with stain pad and it went on very smoothly. Great products!

Justin P
Justin P
1 year ago

I used the restore a deck system to restore my back deck. I opted for the stripper and the booster to remove previous stain. Then I used the brightener and power sanded once dry. After sanding I applied the stain in the evening so the sun wasn’t beating on it. It looks great! Happy with the results. With about 650sq ft to do, this system made it easy! 

TB
TB
1 year ago
Reply to  Justin P

Looks nice.
Which color semi-transparent stain was this?  Would this be Cedar or Light Walnut? 

Justin P
Justin P
1 year ago
Reply to  TB

This is a light walnut stain. Turned out lighter than expected but still a pleasant color.

Justin
Justin
1 year ago
Reply to  Justin P

Some more finished shots!

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1 year ago

Wish I had taken photos last year with this contest in mind. Our deck was neglected for many years before we moved in. The wood was very sun damaged, lots of checking and some holes from decay. We gave it a coat of Cabot simi-transparent with only a power wash for prep. Did not work out so well, 3 years later it was looking very bad and we decided it should be done right this time. In 2021 it was power washed, then sanded with 60 grit paper. Life got in the way and nothing more was done until 2022. I don’t have good photos of just how bad the deck looked in places before we started, but it was very green with a little black added for interest. Cabot stain was almost gone in many places. Lots more green had grown in shady areas over that year. Deck was then restored using using Restore-A-Deck Three Step Process. First cleaner, a light power wash and rinse, then Brighter, another light power wash, followed by lots of rinsing. I purchased the Combo Kit and used one coat of Cedar Simi-Transparent. Our deck ended up needing only one 2.5 gallon container, so we have more for next time. We are very happy with how the deck looks now and have friends who are considering using Restore-A-Deck after seeing the result. 

Pat Hilliard
Pat Hilliard
1 year ago

Sorry. Posted to contest tab. Ill repost on question tab

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1 year ago

Hello! We had this deck built in 2016, using cedar decking. After 6 years of northern Wisconsin seasons (rain, snow, sun, shade, subzero temps, you name it) the deck was quite weathered, and had a lot of greenish algae. I used the Restore-A-Deck 3 step process, first with Cleaner, then Brightener, followed by staining with RAD Semi-transparent stain in Natural color. The first 2 wet-on-wet stain coats went on the damp deck right after brightening. Then the third coat a week or so later, applied in bright sun on a dry surface. The deck is beautiful!

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1 year ago

Restore a deck beats North Eastern PA wear and tear!
My deck was beaten up from age and the weather changes in NEPA, sun to rain to winters mix to snow.
As you can see from the photos, the top 2 are before pics.
The second 2 are after stripping with the booster additive and brightening, notice how the top deck boards compare to the new side boards from the first 2 pics… you can’t tell the difference.
The last 2 are after semi transparent dark walnut stain was used. This color is simply gorgeous!! Deep rich brown with a hint of black and reds.
Although the age of the deck a solid stain could of been used I like to still see the grain in the wood. To me the grain popped even more with age. 

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1 year ago

My husband built a 2800sqft deck in 2019. After letting the wood weather for several months, we stained it…but boy did we make ALL the mistakes! We stained a full Sun deck during July in Tennessee! We also over applied the product thinking that would help with the almost instant drying. Long story short, it quickly turned into a splotchy peeling mess. 
After much research, reading lots of reviews, and planning for Tennessee weather, we purchase RAD stripper, brightened, and stain. The entire deck, rails, and steps used 3 stripper & brightener kits and 25 gallons of light walnut stain. It took two full days to strip the deck due to its massive size. On the second day we brightened the entire deck. The next weekend we stained the deck using the wet on wet method, except for the couple of new boards that were replaced due to leaching sap. Those boards only received one coat of stain. 
It was a lot of work, but the products we used were amazing. The stain was highly superior to the previous stain we used, and the light walnut is such a beautiful color! 

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1 year ago

Hello..
It has been 2 years since I stained my deck the first time using your RAD cleaner, brighter, and Cedar semi transparent stain. It was time to freshen it up and apply a maintenance coat. So,  I got my power washer out and proceeded to clean, brighten, and re-stain using the same RAD products. (Two days) 
I did the wet on wet application, I am very happy with the results. See attached pics. 
But I have a question: I was all done with the staining and approximately 33 hours later the weather changed and it started to rain and the temperatures dropped in the low 40’s maybe upper 30’s. With the drop in temperature and rain will this effect the longevity of the wear and tear of stain?
Look forward to your reply. 
Thanks for your time.
Best regards,
Dave Kenney 

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1 year ago

My deck restoration project is finished for this year. The results are fantastic following the Restore-a-Deck 3-step process and using the recommended products. This is my first experience using the Restore-a-Deck system. I stripped the entire deck in one day using a pump sprayer to apply the stripper and a power washer to wash away the dirt, mildew, and old oil-based finish. On day two I brightened and rinsed the entire deck. Because of rain in the forecast I waited two more days before applying the stain with a 4″ stain brush that I had on hand. The deck’s horizontal surface area is about 400 square feet. Attached are a few images of the deck before and after stripping and brightening. I used the booster and thickening gel additives which produced an excellent stripping result, particularly on the vertical surfaces like the privacy fences and deck skirt. Also attached are a few images of the deck after one coat of the semi-transparent stain in Light Walnut. I used just under 2.5 gallons of stain for the one coat for my deck. The entire deck is constructed of Cambara with some Red Meranti mixed in for railing tops and trim boards. The deck was built in 2008 and is now again like new. I plan to clean and re-coat in 2023, if needed. I recommend the Restore-a-Deck system.

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1 year ago

Deck measured 700 sq ft with floor boards replaced 15 yrs ago. Previously only pressure washed to clean and treated with Olympic Maximum Transparent stain every 2-3 yrs. Was not satisfied with past results so looked online at deck stain reviews and found RAD recommendations. Your question/answer section and customer testimonials convinced me to take a chance on RAD. Purchased the kit (Semi Transp Natural/stripper/brightener) plus the Gel and Booster. Also the 14” applic brush. Ordered on a Wed morning, one box arrived on Thurs and 2nd box on Friday – super fast shipping. Because of weather and other commitments, we planned to take 3 days to complete project.

Day 1 – Rainy day. I pressure washed the entire deck to remove excess surface dirt and grime. The next day after using the RAD stripper and additives, realized I probably didn’t need to do this step.

Day 2 – Good weather day. In a clean 5 gal bucket, Mixed enough stripper + gel + booster to make 3 gallons of solution. Used almost all of this. Applied with an Ortho 2 gal garden sprayer using the red High Volume Fan nozzle. Found that many spots needed to be scrub brushed too. There were a couple of spots that were deeply stained but since we put mats/rugs over these small areas we did not restrip or sand there. After complete pressure wash we were ready to apply brightener. Again mixed enough brightener to make 3 gallons. Thoroughly rinsed sprayer and used to apply brightener. We weren’t sure how thick to apply the stripper and brightener so we just sprayed to completely cover surface. Probably could have put on a little thicker but didn’t want to run out. Thoroughly pressure washed brightener. Used a palm sander with 80 grit to sand the few “fuzzies” on seats and rails.

Day 3 – Good weather day. Stained the vertical posts, seats and rails with 4” wide paint brushes. Stained all floor boards and steps with the 14” brush and was amazed how well this worked. Applied 2nd coat using the wet on wet recommendations. The entire staining process took less than 2 hrs and we only used one 2 ½ gal jug. We were very pleased with the results. We have enough unused product left over that we can save and use again in 2 yrs. We could have done entire process in one day but we had other commitments plus as “senior citizens” we decided not to push it.

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