Do-It-Yourself Wood Restoration Made Simple!

Restore-A-Deck Prep & Stain Contest 2024

by RAD Products

You can see prior years here:

Restore-A-Deck 2023 Contest
Restore-A-Deck 2022 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2021 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2020 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2019 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2018 Contest

Restore-A-Deck 2024 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 10th, 2024.
    • The Restore-A-Deck 3-Step Process must be used.
    • The deadline for entry is September 20th, 2024.
    • The winners will be decided by October 15th, 2024 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 20th, 2024.
  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.

author avatar
RAD Products Owner
Scott only carries wood deck stains and wood restoration products that perform best based on his experience using the products and his 30+ years of helping others. Scott has been approached about selling numerous restoration products through the years but selects only the products he has used and trusts to perform.
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Beth Badorf
Beth Badorf
4 days ago

Project: 35+ year old deck with new-to-us but previously used decking, deck stairs, and storage area underneath the deck
Products Used: RAD Wood Stain Stripper, RAD Paint and Solid Stain Stripper, RAD Brightner, and RAD Solid Stain in Brown Oak (3.5 gallons)
Timeframe: Two weeks due to the initial condition of the deck and direct sunlight most of the day. Wood was dry when stain was applied.

Our deck is almost 40 years old; it was built in the 1980’s by the original owner of the house. The deck boards were splintered, curled, and popping up, but the rest of the deck was solidly built.

We decided to replace the deck boards and railing in 2021 when lumber was ridiculously expensive. To save money, we purchased used deck wood from someone who converted his deck to composite wood. The used deck wood was coated in layers and layers of stain and paint, but it still had a lot of life left in it. We pulled off the old decking and replaced it with the new/old decking.

We researched the best products to restore the deck boards and landed on Restore-A-Deck. We purchased the RAD Wood Stain Stripper and RAD Brightener with the hopes of preparing the deck for stain. Unfortunately, due to a severe back injury my husband sustained while working on another house project and other circumstances beyond our control, the project sat unfinished for three years.

This June, my daughter and I pulled the RAD Wood Stain Stripper from our basement shelves that we had purchased a few years prior and got to work. But wait! We not only had stain to remove, but there was also paint to remove from the old deck boards. Ugh. Somehow I missed that detail when ordering the product a few years prior. We were hopeful that the wood stain stripper would still do the job since the paint and stain were somewhat wearing off the old deck boards. (The old deck wood sat exposed to the elements for three years.) However, the remianing layers and layers of paint and stain were challenging to remove. After using the wood stain stripper twice, there were still many stubborn paint spots left taunting us. We knew we needed more help, and we knew where we needed to go to get that help.

We ordered a gallon of RAD Paint and Solid Stain Stripper and got to work. It took two applications of this product and a powerwasher to finally remove most of the paint. After we removed as much paint and stain as we could from the deck boards, we used RAD brightener and looked forward to when we could finally start staining. Wanting to get a frest start when the sun wasn’t beating down on the deck, we waited until the following da to start staining.

As much as we wanted to use a transparent stain, we thought it best to use a solid stain on the old deck boards which bake in the sun all day long. We purchased three gallons (then a fourth gallon) of RAD Solid Stain in Brown Oak. We applied two coats on the deck boards, railing, stairs, stair railing and storage area underneath the deck. We *might* have been able to finish this in a day or two, but we were limited to working on this project before 8:30 am when the sun first hits the deck and after 6:00 pm when the sun wasn’t as intense.

The deck is finally finished and looks amazing! We are thankful for the RAD family of products. It gave our old deck new life and added (outdoor) square footage to our living space.

Alisha McGhee
Alisha McGhee
1 month ago

Project: 30 yr old partially covered deck
Products used: RAD Paint & Solid Stain Stripper, RAD Cleaner & Brightener and RAD Semi-Transparent Wood Stain in Dark Walnut – applied wet

My spring vacation this year was 8 days of stripping, cleaning, brightening and staining my 30 year old partially covered deck.
The covered portion had approximately 4 coats of solid stain in some areas, so I used the RAD Paint & Solid Stain Stripper. That worked amazing! Boy, was I relieved. After covering some areas and letting it sit, I used my powerwasher to remove the solid stain.
On the smaller deck that is exposed to the elements, there was no solid stain remaining. I powerwashed it, used the RAD Cleaner and then the Brightener. Both steps were super easy!
The best part of all of this is I didn’t have to wait days for the wood to dry before applying the stain. Springtime in Michigan – that was a HUGE selling feature!
I applied 2 coats in 1 day using the RAD 14″ Staining Brush, which made the job extremely fast. The color is beautiful and I am so happy with the product and results. I will be reordering soon as I have my front porch to finish before winter!

Ken Kohlman
Ken Kohlman
1 month ago

Combo project (part2).
Added Pictures.

T. Robinson
T. Robinson
2 months ago

Wood: Treated SYP.
Product: Restore a Deck- Natural Semi-Transparent. Applied with air sprayer for handles and pergola, and 14″ brush for deck surface.
4 kits of 5 gallon combo kit.

My project may be a little more involved than most, and took a little more time but ultimately this is the final project and my entry for 2024. Before you can restore a deck, you must build a deck…..The year is 2023, my wife informs me that she would like to have a pool built after discovering we are pregnant and the kids need something to do all summer. After having a couple of pool quotes and realizing this was not in the realm of possibility I got to work and pricing out my DIY options….. after some careful drawings, planning, and pricing it down to the final nail….. We decided it was a GO. I got to work. I spent mainly Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, sun up to sundown working on my vision. After 3 months of working, it was done. 36×40 Deck around a 25ft partially in ground pool…. The wood I got for the project was treated SYP and extremely wet, thus I felt it was necessary to give it 6 to 12 months to really dry out before I started my restore deck staining

Fast forward to April 2024, there is a long weekend on the horizon, and sunny weather ahead. It is time to stain the project I worked on for so long. After more research I decided the restore a deck option was the best option for me.

The first day was spent mainly cleaning/pressure washing, brighting, and rinsing….sun up to sundown. It took me approximately 12 hours to fully clean/brighten all surfaces with the restore a deck cleaner and followed up with the brighter on all surfaces including the deck, the wall, Pergola and the handrails. Apply with hand sprayer. I started off using a 40 degree nozzle on the Pergola, handrails and wall, and used a surface cleaner on the deck surface itself. Worked in approximately 10 x 10′ sections starting in the back corner, working my way towards the front, ensuring I went high to low. Walls, Rails, Pergola, Deck surface. After completing the whole deck with the cleaner, I went back to where I once began earlier that morning and started brightening, same process same pattern, 10 x 10 sections working my way back towards the front. This is where the magic really started to happen (see photos were I spilled a little)……As sections begun to dry that I had done earlier in the day, you could really tell how well the product was working. It was not until the next day, where I would really see the fruits of my labor after it fully dried. 


The following day, after drying overnight it was time to stain. I once again started on the rails, working my way around, using a drop cloth under the rails to try and prevent splatter, and shortly realize this was nearly impossible and would take too much time. I resorted to using my small paint sprayer for the rails given all the nook and cranies. It took me a little while to dial in the settings but I finally got it to where it would coat evenly. I then moved onto the Pergola, and after starting with a brush quickly went back to the air sprayer. While I probably lost a lot of product doing it this way, there was a large amount of surface area to cover, and frankly it was taking forever with a paint brush as the larger brush would not fit in the small sections, and the overhead work was killing my shoulders. Once the rails and Pergola were done, I moved onto the back wall utilizing the 14 inch brush, and this went extremely quickly. Once this was done it was time to do the deck. Once again utilizing the 14 inch brush, this all was a rather quick process working in small sections at a time. I finished around 3 PM on day 2, then stood back and got an idea for what it was really going to look like.

After letting it dry overnight I decided to do 1 more coat, just to help blend in some sections and areas that may have been a little light or heavy with the stain. I am glad I did this, and you could tell how much less stain I had to use the second time as the wood already took in the majority of it from the day prior. The deck is 36×40 = 1440 Sq ft, minus the 25ft pool, plus the back wall (6’x40ft), plus the pergola, and rails. I ended up ordering 4 of the 5 gallon stain cleaner/brighter combo kits, for a total of 20 gallons. I had 2.5 galls of stain left after 2 coats.

After drying I could not be more satisfied with the results. There certainly are some spots where the stain ran, or had streak marks, but this is a product of me rushing due to the amount of surface area I had to cover, and not the product itself. In all I am hoping to get 5 years out of this before I have to do it again, and will have an older kid by then that can do it next time!

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