How to Apply Restore-A Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain with wet on wet application
Applying your Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain easily to exterior wood is a reality thanks to advancements in wood stain technology. It should be noted that there is a technique for applying to exterior wood for best results. This is called wet on wet application. Following this wet on wet application guideline is recommended when you wish to apply a second coat of stain on top of your first coat of stain before the first coat has completely dried or cured. This allows for fewer issues to arise over the drying period for a perfect, clean, finished product.
Our recommended guidelines for wet on wet stain application:
- Always properly prep your wood surface first with Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Stripper followed by Restore-A-Deck Brightener.
- Hot sun application tips: Restore-A-Deck Stain Hot Sun Application
- Start with vertical surfaces first, such as railings. Make sure horizontal and other surfaces are protected from excess paint. After the first coat is complete, apply a light second coat to the top of the railing only between 20 minutes to 1 hour after the first coat has been applied.
- Repeat this process for all benches or vertical structures.
- Once all vertical surfaces are stained, apply one coat of Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain to flooring and horizontal surfaces, ensuring the entire floor is covered.
- Reapply a second light coat 20 minutes to an hour after the first coat has been applied to all flooring and horizontal areas.
- Note that it is ok to walk on the first coat of stain even if it has not dried completely, but take precautions to not step in your second coat of stain to ensure a smooth finish.
Some final tips:
- Only apply 1 coat to new wood. Skip the second coat, you won’t need it. See here for tips on new wood: Restore-A-Deck Stain and New Wood
- Wear shoes and clothes you do not care about getting the stain on. It’s bound to happen.
- Apply the coats quickly to ensure you are not overlapping
- Only apply 1 overall coat to vertical surfaces while horizontal surfaces may require 2
- Avoid excessive application, filming of the stain may occur
- It is recommended to use the Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain with the Restore-A-Deck Stain Brush, stain pad applicator, brush, or sprayer. If using the Restore-A-Deck Solid Stain, use a hand brush, roller, or airless sprayer.
If you need Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain application help, feel free to post a comment. If you have any suggestions or tips we are not mentioning, we want to hear from you. Leave a review including pictures of your finished product and indicate how well the project has been holding up over time.
I have a bunch of stain left over from 2 years ago when I did my deck. They have been stored closed and a cool dry place. Are they still good.
Probably. The shelf life is 3 years in unopened.
So from the store they have duct tape over the top. That counts as sealed right? I never opened them but maybe they were opened to add dye?
The duct tape is used to protect the top from coming off during shipment.
Okay. My deck has some stain on the horizontal boards. The vertical
Boards are fully covered. I plan on putting the same stain down again. Should I strip the old stain or just clean the deck.
Post a couple of pics in the comments so we can help with the prep.
Here they are.
Clean and Brighten while using a pressure washer.
I stained my deck with light walnut last year. Great job. I have enough stain for second coat. Can I put another coat this year because I fear that if stain is not used, it will go bad
Yes. Clean first.
I prepped and applied Restore-A-Deck Wood & Deck Stain last year. I would like to apply a second coat this season. Can I just wash the deck with a hose nozzle, let dry, and apply stain?
You always need to use the prep products when reapplying.
Hello! I’m in Southern California and the weather has been perfect for staining. I stripped, brightened and stained with two coats of the semi-transparent stain (about 30min between coats) with the cedar color two days ago. Two things: the deck is still sticky. Is that normal? It’s not tacky where color is coming off, but it’s sticky. Should I refrain from putting anything on it, like furniture or plants?
Secondly, dust from my shoes are printing the patio. Is that normal? How do I get that off with the deck being a bit sticky still? Will that always be a thing or am I ruining the wood?
Please let me know and thanks in advance!
Sticky typically means it was over-applied. Let it fully cure out before using. It could take a week or longer.
oh, ok! and if we are already using it? 😅
Can I clean my deck and then stain later? If so, how long can you wait to stain. Also can you apply stain with sprayer, or which method would be best to apply and do I need to wet it down to apply.
Yes, stain within 2 weeks of prep for best results. You can apply it to damp or dry wood. If you spray, back brush to ensure an even application.
How would you handle the cracks/vertical surfaces between boards? Brush first then pad on the flat surface?
The stain will get into the cracks when using the brush or pads.
Going to strip, brighten and stain with semi transparent. Had a few deck boards replaced 1-2 years ago – they are bare wood. Can I follow the same prep/stain procedure for the older, stained wood on the newer boards?
Is the thickening gel required for the deck floor or is that just used for vertical surfaces?
You should be fine with the new wood. As for prep products, what stain brand are you stripping?
Sikkens SRD semi transparent. A lot of it has worn off.
Post some pics, please.
here you go
The RAD Stripper without the additives should work for this. Brighten all wood after.
Thanks so much!!!
oops. more questions:
I used the calculator. 275 sq ft. Says I need 3 gallons for 2 coats? Seems like a lot of stain.
Also, how long will unused stain keep?
You are between 2-3 gallons for two coats applied wet on wet. Unopened stain will last a few years.
How to tackle the spaces between the boards? I cleaned, brightened and stained with semi transparent dark walnut on a 6 month weathered new pine board deck. Now we are ready to redo the process. The boards have shrunk and you can see the unstained board edges. I want to be sure to get those, can I do all the between board edges first then stain the surface? Or is is better to do the opposite, and do the between board edges after staining the surface?
Best to apply to the surface only and then let the stain run down the sides. If you try to do the edges only before or after the floor staining, it will be very blotchy with the overlapped areas.
If I am doing a fence application do I follow the recommendation of only 1 transparent stain coat since it’s all vertical? The fence has been installed for 1 year at this point.
Fences typically need two coats as they are very absorbent wood.
What is the goal of preparation? I.e. in what condition should the wood be prior to Re staining? Should it be bare wood? Can new stain be applied on top of old stain that has been cleaned and brightened
That would depend on what brand and type the previous stain is. If a different brand of semi-transparent stain and you are using the RAD semi-transparent, then the old coating needs to be removed. If using the RAD solid stain, then you do not have to remove the old coating fully.
This is for an ipe deck.
RAD semi transparent stain is the current stain
Clean and brighten for prep if using the same stain and color.
What is the minimum outside temp the air can be?
🙁 what if it is like 48..what happens to the stain? It has been such a quest to get it stripped and brightened and finally ready and then it got cold.
It could dry sticky if it is too cold and cannot cure correctly.
We are FINALLY getting around to staining our deck. Had to wait for temps to go below 90 in TN and not raining.
We bought the yellow brush, but can we use a paint sprayer to apply the stain? Or what is usually the best approach for the spindles on the railing? Also, is the benefit to sanding in between the stripper and brightener just for the personal preference or does it benefit the wood? Thank you.
Brushes are better but if you spray, you will have to back brush to ensure an even application. No need to sand unless you have some fuzzies from prep that you want to remove: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/wood-fuzzies-furring-on-deck/
Recommendations, please. About 50% of the exposed portion of the deck is new, replacement PT wood installed in June 2022. The other half of the exposed wood and two sections of covered decking is wood that was last stained in 2017. How should I proceed?
Post some pics and what stain brand and type were used last time.
Stain:Olympic Elite Semi-Transparent. Pics attached. Many thanks
The railings look like a solid stain?
As we recall, the railings were done with the cabin stain, not the deck stain.
So you are just doing the floors?
That’s correct, just the floors
Wait until Spring for the new wood to weather better. Strip and brighten all wood using the Stripper/Brightener Kits and both additives: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html
Many thanks. You’ve been most helpful – Great customer service!
Is it ok to use my garden hose sprayer to mist dry wood or will that be to heavy of a mist? I plan on wiping the wood to get rid of any puddles. Also, how long do I need to wait after misting? Thanks!
See tips here: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/how-to-restore-a-deck-stain-to-damp-wood.html
I’m about to strip my 3 year old cedar deck that has some stain left, some bare wood, then brighten before the stain. I read earlier that I should only sand when wood is dry. When should I sand, before or after the brightener? If I sand dry, then I will need to wet down the wood before staining, won’t I?
Brighten after sanding. You can stain to a dry or damp deck.
If using RAD semi-transparent, will a pump-up sprayer aid in application on rails?
You can spray it but you will need to watch overspray and back-wipe any drips to ensure it is applied evenly.
I have cleaned and brighten my cedar gazebo floor. I will stain again with TWP semi transparent cedar stain. Can I do wet on wet for a 2 coat stain with TWP? If not, can I add a second coat later??
As long as the wood is bare and not new you should be able to do the 2 coats wet on wet.
is wet on wet ok for solid color stain or is one coat recommended
You cannot do a wet on wet coat with the solid stain. It needs two coats and the first coat must be fully dry before applying the second coat.
Got.. so to confirm. Use stripper, immediately use brighter, wait until dry to the touch, apply 1st coat of solid stain, wait 48 hours, apply 2nd coat of stain, wait 24 hours before foot traffic or furniture.
You can apply your second coat of solid stain as soon as the first is dry. Best to do it all same day. 1-4 hours after the first coat.
Ok.. that makes it easier. I was going by cure time, not dry time. Makes sense.
Can I strip and clean while it’s raining?
Light rain, not pouring.
I’m about to stain my deck with your product for a second time. It’s been three years since initial staining. I know I will need to use the cleaner. Do I also need to use brightener for this time? Also, should I do two coats (which I did last time) or will one be enough this time? Thanks in advance.
Clean and brighten is the correct way. Two light coats.
I’ve ordered your stripper, additive, brightener, yellow brush & 5 gals. of semi-transparent dark walnut stain. All should arrive today.
My deck is about 25 yrs. old. It is 400 sq. ft. I would like to do 2 coats wet-on-wet, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to apply the stain quickly enough to finish the 1st coat & be ready to do the 2nd coat in the 20 mins. to an hour time frame.
I’m thinking that if it doesn’t look as though I’m moving fast enough to do the whole deck & then start the 2nd wet-on-wet, maybe I should do half of the deck 1st coat & then 2nd coat wet-on-wet and then repeat with the second half of deck? Not sure if that’s a good idea? I’d hate to run out of stain although I should have enough?
Or maybe if the timing doesn’t work out after the 1st coat, I should just wait until Spring to do the 2nd coat.
Many thanks for your advice.
Do all and then recoat all. If the timing does not work then do another coat in spring. Lightly clean first.
I just used the same stain on my deck (new wood). I cleaned and brightened it first and I do love the product and the color. The directions tell you not to apply it in direct sun and within certain temperatures. Hard to find an overcast day with no rain expected for 12 hours but I think that is important. The stain took darker where the boards were in the sun and took lighter where the boards were in the shade so I ended up with what looks like a line like I stopped in the middle of the boards but I didn’t. I’m hoping it will even out next year when I do the second coat. It took me all day to do the prep and one coat on a 250 sq ft deck. A lot of work, but worth it.
1) My old deck boards were run through a planer so it is now fresh wood with no existing stain remaining. I plan to clean and brighten before I use the RAD dark walnut stain on it. Do you suggest two coats now, or do only one coat now and reapply a second coat next year?
2) If the second coat goes is to go on next year, do I need to clean and brighten again before applying?
1. One coat now. Another as needed in 1-2 years.
Rolled semi-transparent stain on ipe deck and ended up with uneven finish. Can I put on second coat a week later with brush or pad? Do I need to do anything to prep the deck for the second coat?
Stain pads and or brushes are best for applying. Post some pictures here for reapplying advice.
I had my old deck removed and replaced with a Trex deck in late October of 2021. Since cold weather was approaching, I had not used any product on the underneath pressure treated structure and posts yet. I plan on using your dark walnut semi-transparent stain. –My first question is, as you can see in the picture, do I have to pull away the gravel and dirt at the base of the 3 support posts to protect that part of the pressure treated wood as well and if so, how far down do I need to go, if at all? The picture shows one that I had pulled away gravel and dirt 5 inches down. These posts are set in closer to the house and are not exposed as much to weather as my old deck posts were. You can see a bit of a vertical post from my previous deck. –My second question is do I also need to stain the underneath structure? Thank you!!
Just do the exposed wood. No need to go down farther. No need to stain the underneath structure.
Oh boy, that’s a big relief and thank you for responding so quickly!
Couple more questions:
1 Should I use the RAD cleaner followed by the RAD brightener and semi-transparent stain “wet on wet”? (The deck was installed 8 months ago and is in very clean condition.) Or should I treat it as “new wood” and just use the RAD brightener prior to a coat of the semi-transparent stain and followed by a maintenance coat a year later?
2 Would you recommend sanding the corners and the surface lightly to get rid of any roughness and sharp edges prior to doing whatever treatment is recommended?
ps..I can’t tell you how happy I am to come across your company and products!! After reading a lot of questions submitted and reviews, I was very impressed with your customer service! I will definitely place an order as soon as I receive your response to my two additional questions!!
1. Yes on prep. Just one coat.
2. No need.
There’s one other thing that I’m a little concerned about. My contractor mentioned in the contract’s “scope of work” that he does not warranty treated lumber that is not sealed withing 3 months of project completion. I’m guessing that your product is a stain and not a sealer, and would only a stain be sufficient to prolong the life of the pressure treated wood? I did mention to him when he finished the deck that I could not seal due to the colder weather approaching soon after. Like I’ve mentioned before, I had done no kind of treatment yet.
Thank you again!!
Deck Stains are sealers as well.
I’m ready to stain an 8 yr old cedar deck. The stain has been removed and I used Brightener. Since I had to sand different areas of the deck does that mean I can only apply one coat I wanted to do the wet on wet method with the first coat being light walnut and the second cedar. Now that I sanded some of the deck can I mix the 2 stains and apply one coat . We live in Maine
You can mix stain colors prior to applying but you would never want to apply one coat of one color and the second coat of another color. Do the one coat now to be safe. You can lightly clean and recoat if needed next year to the floors.
I ordered 5 gallons of semi-transparent (Dark Walnut) stain. I thought that it was supposed to be shipped with a Restore-A-Deck Stain Brush but there was no brush in the box. Its being applied with a roller and brush. Hope that this isn’t an issue!
Stain pads and brushes are best for application. Rollers are not as good as they can splatter.
Bought a staining kit… with application, do you need to apply between the boards? If so, do you do that first or the horizontal boards first? I bought the RAD big yellow push brush.
No need to apply between the boards and the brush will get down in there some as you use it.
I applied my first coat of stain on Sunday but I think it needs a second coat of dark walnut semi transparent stain. Is that still possible? It has rained every day since.
Sorry but no, we do not suggest it. A second coat if applied has to be wet on wet. https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-wet-on-wet-application.html
Applying now and the stain may not penetrate. You can lightly clean and redo with another coat in 6-12 months.
I applied two coats of RAD semi-transparent stain to new deck boards in Sept. 2020. Did nothing to the deck since then. After clean and brighten prep this year, do you recommend one or two stain coats?
Cleaned and brightened yesterday and it appears most of the two coats of RAD semi-transparent applied in Sept 2020 were removed in the process. Was that expected? Given this outcome, is one coat still the recommendation? Including a photo during cleaning and one after clean and brighten.
Yes, and one coat is sufficent.
It says only apply one coat on verticals surfaces so no need to wait 20 min to 1 hour for wet-on-wet? Just the single coat, one time?
Verticals (spindles, rails, etc) typically only need one coat so no need to do wet on wet for the verticals.
I ordered the stripper, brightener and stain. My deck is a little rough and I want to rent an orbital deck sander to smooth it out. I don’t want to sand over the old oil stain and clog the sanding pads…..I was thinking of stripping first, letting it dry, then sand with the deck sander and then apply the brightener. Would that work?
Yes, that works but do not sand finer than 60-80 grit and only apply one coat of stain to sanded wood.
The deck floor has been cleaned and brightened. Have some stain drops on deck floor from staining verticals. I then orbital sanded by hand (used 60 grit, small hand sander) deck floor to get rid of stain splash drops. Used blower to blow off any sanding residue. Do I need to brighten again? Was planning to do the wet-on-wet application to the floor but your reply above says apply 1 coat?
It would not hurt to brighten all again. Just one coat for sanded wood.
For cedar shake and cedar clapboard siding that has been installed for 12 years is wet on wet recommended after stripping/brightening?
Yes that is correct.
Applied RAD in 2021 June. Do I need just to clean and brighten before I do another coat this year? Can a water repellent be done over this in a period of time?
Yes, clean and brighten for prep. You can never apply a sealer over the RAD Stains.
Can you recommend a couple options for airless sprayers when applying Semi-Transparent stain to fencing (new redwood).
Any quality brand of airless sprayer will work to apply the RAD Stains.
A question about maintenance coat. We did our first single coat on our deck about 17-18 months ago, using your semi-transparent stain. We are ready to re-coat. So, do we do just one single maintenance coat at this time? Or, two coats?
I did not realize we were supposed to do 2 coats on old wood, can I add a second light coat 2 weeks later?
No, it will not take now. You can lightly clean and apply a coat next year if needed.
I’ve got a pretty large deck and will be working alone. It will take more than an hour to put the first coat on it I start and go across all of the deck. Can I do it in smaller sections and apply the second coat before moving to the next section? Will the sections match? Thanks
You cannot stop and start in the middle of boards, it will not blend.
Yesterday, I applied both the stripper and the brightener. Then I ran out of time to be able to wait for the deck to dry 2-4 hours before starting with the stain. My hope is to stain the deck today. The deck, however, looks dry now. Should I wet it again and wait for it to dry a bit, but not totally, before starting the staining? Or can I just start staining with the deck as it is now?
If I do need to re-wet, I presume I wait 2 to 4 hours again? I’m in Texas so I’m racing the sun. After about 10am or so, the sun starts to hit the deck.
You can do it dry or damp: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/how-to-restore-a-deck-stain-to-damp-wood.html
It is very very humid here and my screened porch has not fully dried after 5 days. Will it continue to get better? It’s just a little sticky.
Yes, just needs to fully cure.
Is it ok to put furniture back? We have a party coming up!
I scraped off all the old stain, the got it professionally sanded and now down to bare fresh wood using a 80 grit. Its smooth. I will be using RAD solid oak brown. 1) do I need to use a brightener 2) Do I use one or two coats 3) Do I use a roller or brush. The deck is 30x 60 ft. Thank you.
-Brightener will help open up the grain of the wood after sanding.-Two coats will be needed.-Use both a roller and a brush.
It’s been a full year since I built my 12x12x8 pergola out of PT lumber, so it should now be safe to stain & seal. I’ll be applying one of the semi-transparent colors of Restore-A-Deck, using my HVLP sprayer. Is it really necessary to clean/strip/brighten virgin wood? Also, have you any idea how much product I’ll need to cover the stated dimensions? There are 4 6×6 posts, 4 2×10 beams, & 11 2×8 rafters. Thanks!
Yes, you must prep new wood to remove oxidation and mill glaze. We need a total sq footage added up for product amounts. Thanks
Thanks. Would the cleaner alone be adequate? Area to be covered equals about 45 sq ft.
You need both the cleaner and then the brightener. You have a lot more than 45 sq feet to stain based on your pic. You have to add up all sides of the boards that are being stained. For example, one 6″x6″ by 10-foot long post would equate to 20 sq feet for all four sides.
Thanks again. Dropped a zero there (Doh!) & also forgot to factor in the braces. Total area be ’bout sis hunnah fawty-too (642) sq ft.
3-4 gallons of stain for the one coat needed on newer wood and one Cleaner/Brightener prep kit will work.
Fair enuff, thanks for your guidance!
How do I gauge whether I should be closer to 20 min or an hour for the second coat?
Does not matter too much, just do not exceed 60 minutes.
September 2020, cleaned, brightened, and applied 2 coats semi-transparent RAD stain to new wood that was aged 15 months. Happy with result. Looks like wood has some graying and green in a couple places. Time for a maintenance coat? If so, do I clean and stain one coat and skip brightener? Thanks
Just lightly clean is okay since you have a base coat. Mix the powder at 2-3 oz per gallon of water.
Are the cleaner and brightened still effective a week after mixing?
Brightener yes, cleaner is only good for 4-6 hours after mixing.
Stripped and brightened shingle siding and pine soffits 4 weeks ago. Can I just re brighten, or do I need to use the cleaner, rinse and rebrighten before staining with your semi transparent. Also, what is shelf life for brightener after mixing.
Brighten and then give it a good pressure washing rinse. Brightener after mixing is good for up to a year.
i’ve been waiting for over a week to stain my deck but humidity has been 70% or more . can i still stain? Does not look like its going to get any better and need to get job done . Any tips ?
Yes, you should be okay.
We stained our deck last weekend with RAD semi-transparent. It was a hot day, but we started early and were done before the hottest part of the day. We used the hot sun application method. There are some areas that are still slightly tacky. I read online that mineral spirits might help. Any recommendations?
Just let it cure out and dry. It will be okay.
PTW deck gets full sun all day long. Which cedar look stain should I use for my large deck (application will have to be done in full sun). In winter I use snowblower to clear deck. Applied a semi-transparent stain last year and it has all peeled off…
You should never use a snowblower on a deck, it will damage the wood and stain. Strip and brighten for prep to remove the current stain. Stain with the Restore A Deck Stain after.https://www.restore-a-deck.com/restore-a-deck-wood-stain/restore-a-deck-wood-stain-5-gallon/flypage.tpl.html
OK but I need to use a shovel instead which is probably no better. I live in Canada and it snow for about six months a year.
Stripped and brightened pine soffits and cedar shingle siding. Do I do one or two coats of semitransparent on this older wood? Is it better to do wet on wet or can I just apply to dry wood?
Two coats and has to be applied wet on wet.
Does the first coat go wet on wet or can i apply to dry wood?
You can apply to damp wood (not soaking wet) or dry wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/how-to-restore-a-deck-stain-to-damp-wood.html