Restore A Deck Staining BrushHow 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.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Olivia · 11/11/2022
    What is the minimum outside temp the air can be? 
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      RAD Products · 11/12/2022
      50.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Olivia · 11/12/2022
        :( 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.  
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          RAD Products · 11/14/2022
          It could dry sticky if it is too cold and cannot cure correctly.
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    Olivia · 10/21/2022
    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. 
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    WILLIAM W POWELL · 10/13/2022
    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?
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    Robin Keener · 10/13/2022
    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!
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    Lindagail · 10/12/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/12/2022
      Brighten after sanding. You can stain to a dry or damp deck.
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    Steve Taylor · 10/05/2022
    If using RAD semi-transparent, will a pump-up sprayer aid in application on rails?  
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      RAD Products · 10/05/2022
      You can spray it but you will need to watch overspray and back-wipe any drips to ensure it is applied evenly.
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    Deltad · 09/27/2022
    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?? 
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      RAD Products · 09/27/2022
      As long as the wood is bare and not new you should be able to do the 2 coats wet on wet.
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    austin · 09/26/2022
    is wet on wet ok for solid color stain or is one coat recommended
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/27/2022
      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.
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        austin · 09/27/2022
        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.
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          RAD Products · 09/27/2022
          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.
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            austin · 09/27/2022
            Ok.. that makes it easier. I was going by cure time, not dry time. Makes sense.
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    Jesstine Meagher · 09/21/2022
    Can I strip and clean while it's raining?
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    David · 09/07/2022
    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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/07/2022
      Clean and brighten is the correct way. Two light coats.
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    D.L. Baack · 08/22/2022
    freezing
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    Susan · 07/27/2022
    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.
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      LuAnne Miltakis · 07/28/2022
      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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/27/2022
      Do all and then recoat all. If the timing does not work then do another coat in spring. Lightly clean first.
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    LuAnne Miltakis · 07/08/2022
    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?

    thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/08/2022
      1. One coat now. Another as needed in 1-2 years.
      2. Yes.
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    Rick VD · 06/24/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/24/2022
      Stain pads and or brushes are best for applying. Post some pictures here for reapplying advice. 
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    Robin Tassone · 06/19/2022
    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!!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/19/2022
      Just do the exposed wood. No need to go down farther. No need to stain the underneath structure.
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        Robin Tassone · 06/19/2022
        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!!
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Robin Tassone · 06/19/2022
        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!!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/19/2022
          1. Yes on prep. Just one coat.
          2. No need.
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    Connie Upson · 06/14/2022
    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 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/15/2022
      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.
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    Sandy Chelnov · 06/13/2022
    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!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/13/2022
      Stain pads and brushes are best for application. Rollers are not as good as they can splatter.
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    Julie · 06/12/2022
    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.  
     
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      RAD Products · 06/13/2022
      No need to apply between the boards and the brush will get down in there some as you use it.
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    Justin · 06/08/2022
    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.
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    Julie · 05/16/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/17/2022
      One coat.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Julie · 05/21/2022
        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.
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    Hackett · 05/10/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/10/2022
      Verticals (spindles, rails, etc) typically only need one coat so no need to do wet on wet for the verticals.
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    Andrew L · 05/04/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/04/2022
      Yes, that works but do not sand finer than 60-80 grit and only apply one coat of stain to sanded wood.
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        Hackett · 05/11/2022
        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?
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          RAD Products · 05/11/2022
          It would not hurt to brighten all again. Just one coat for sanded wood.
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    Jimbo · 03/20/2022
    For cedar shake and cedar clapboard siding that has been installed for 12 years is wet on wet recommended after stripping/brightening?
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    Martin · 03/08/2022
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/08/2022
      Yes, clean and brighten for prep. You can never apply a sealer over the RAD Stains.
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    bpiner · 12/20/2021
    Can you recommend a couple options for airless sprayers when applying Semi-Transparent stain to fencing (new redwood).
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 12/21/2021
      Any quality brand of airless sprayer will work to apply the RAD Stains.
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    Jupiter9 · 10/26/2021
    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? 
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    Karie Conway · 10/06/2021
    I did not realize we were supposed to do 2 coats on old wood, can I add a second light coat 2 weeks later?
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      RAD Products · 10/07/2021
      No, it will not take now. You can lightly clean and apply a coat next year if needed.
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    RJ · 09/25/2021
    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 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/07/2021
      You cannot stop and start in the middle of boards, it will not blend.
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    Rick · 09/13/2021
    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.

    Thank you!
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    CJA · 08/26/2021
    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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/27/2021
      Yes, just needs to fully cure.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        CJA · 08/28/2021
        Is it ok to put furniture back? We have a party coming up!