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.

RAD Contest BUTTON 2020 small

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 ( 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 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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    Natalya · 09/19/2022
    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. 
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    Julie Figg · 09/19/2022
    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. 
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    Nate B · 09/19/2022
    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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    jlaystrom32 · 09/19/2022
    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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    Chris · 09/19/2022
    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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    Corrie Baum · 09/19/2022
    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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    Sam Tilley · 09/18/2022
    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!
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    Stef · 09/18/2022
    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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    Terry French · 09/18/2022
    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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    Terry French · 09/18/2022
    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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    Jenny Ryals · 09/18/2022
    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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    Heather Comer · 09/15/2022
    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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    Christian Ramirez · 09/14/2022
    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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    iRONic · 09/14/2022
    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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    Stacey M · 09/09/2022
    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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    Bonni Field · 09/09/2022
    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! 
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    Leslie Swartz-Williams · 09/09/2022
    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. 
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    Maria · 09/09/2022
    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.
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    reiver · 09/09/2022
    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!
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    Rachel · 09/09/2022
    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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    Scott Grimes · 09/06/2022
    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, 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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      Scott Grimes · 09/06/2022
      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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    Deborah Pulver · 09/06/2022
    Contest entry: Pictures continued for Deborah Pulver
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    Deborah Pulver · 09/06/2022
    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.
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    Lydia · 09/04/2022
    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 me. Thank you. 
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    JimF · 08/29/2022
    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. 
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    Rita Lease · 08/29/2022
    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.
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    Z · 08/22/2022
    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)
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    Eric · 08/19/2022
    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!
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    Derp · 08/14/2022
    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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    STEVEN STAHL · 08/14/2022
    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.