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
    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 
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      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.
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    Donna · 07/29/2021
    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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/30/2021
      -Brightener will help open up the grain of the wood after sanding.-Two coats will be needed.-Use both a roller and a brush.
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    Steve · 07/29/2021
    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 6x6 posts, 4 2x10 beams, & 11 2x8 rafters.  Thanks!
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      RAD Products · 07/29/2021
      Yes, you must prep new wood to remove oxidation and mill glaze. We need a total sq footage added up for product amounts. Thanks
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Steve · 07/29/2021
        Thanks.  Would the cleaner alone be adequate?  Area to be covered equals about 45 sq ft.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 07/29/2021
          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.
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            Steve · 07/29/2021
            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.
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              RAD Products · 07/29/2021
              3-4 gallons of stain for the one coat needed on newer wood and one Cleaner/Brightener prep kit will work.
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                Steve · 07/29/2021
                Fair enuff, thanks for your guidance!
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    christopher · 07/27/2021
    How do I gauge whether I should be closer to 20 min or an hour for the second coat?
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      RAD Products · 07/27/2021
      Does not matter too much, just do not exceed 60 minutes.
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    Julie · 07/22/2021
    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 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/23/2021
      Just lightly clean is okay since you have a base coat. Mix the powder at 2-3 oz per gallon of water.
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    Jeff e. · 07/20/2021
    Are the cleaner and brightened still effective a week after mixing?
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      RAD Products · 07/20/2021
      Brightener yes, cleaner is only good for 4-6 hours after mixing.
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    Dan B. · 07/14/2021
    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.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/14/2021
      Brighten and then give it a good pressure washing rinse. Brightener after mixing is good for up to a year.
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    gene · 07/14/2021
    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 ?
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    Tara · 07/11/2021
    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? 
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    Jorge Lopes · 07/06/2021
    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...
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    Daniel W Bigger · 06/30/2021
    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?
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    ken · 05/31/2021
    stripped &stained deck last year going to clean  brighten & give deck a maintenance coat 1 or 2 coats
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    Abbie · 05/30/2021
    We applied RAD Semi Transparent last Spring and I'm not sure if this expected but in the areas with high sun, the stain is basically gone. Did we do the prep wrong (we used the stripper since it was the first time)? Is it OK to just use the Cleaner this time around? Should we apply 2 coats of stain or is the one coat maintenance appropriate?
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    Mac · 05/30/2021
    Hi Again - I wanted to semi-transparent stain again this year a deck board that lies under the dripline of the roof in Montana. It appears that the repeating drips have worn away the two coats to the bare wood. I'm wondering about suggestions.? Also is obvious that I couldn't use your garage epoxy coat over that one stained board?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/30/2021
      Only way to prevent this would be to add a gutter. You cannot use an epoxy on wood.
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    Mac · 05/29/2021
    Hi - I stained my deck about 9 months ago in Montana. I left my partially empty containers of solid  and semi stain, and some unopened ones of semi in a shed. I believe there was prolonged freezing a couple of times in the winter though I was in California. After prepping today, I went to apply the stains. It seems they were ruined. It seems specifically that there was thin liquid and clumpy curdled-like solids, especially in the solid stain. Is there any redeeming the unopened jugs? (I'm guessing not.) Eh?
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    Michael · 05/28/2021
    Applying maintenance 2 coats with the cedar semi-transparent stain. Can I use a airless sprayer? 
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      RAD Products · 05/29/2021
      Yes, but back brush to ensure it applies evenly. Do not over apply.
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    Ralph Brown · 05/28/2021
    With your solid stain, how long must you wait before applying a second coat to a horizontal surface?
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    bill · 05/26/2021
    I have cleaned and brightened deck and realized that some sanding is required on some of the railings only. If I sand those areas, do I need to do anything different before staining.  5 year old pressure treated deck with no previous stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/26/2021
      Lightly clean and brighten after any power sanding to open up the wood pores for the stain.
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    CJ · 05/21/2021
    Once I have stripped the deck and it's dry, then I sand the fuzzies and then apply the brightener - correct?
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      RAD Products · 05/21/2021
      Correct.
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        CJ · 08/18/2021
        Well, that was my plan. However, the orbital sander I rented didn't work. It was as if it became stuck to the deck. I assume it did not have enough power. I had a thousand sq feet of deck, and pole sanding seemed like too much work. So I ignored the fuzzies and added the brightener. 
        Then I applied TWP 101 Cedartone Stain with a Wooster Bravo Stainer Brush that I attached to a pole so I could stain standing up. It did a pretty good job of getting between the 2x4s. I loved the stain color and the deck appearance was better than I expected for a 32-year-old deck. I completed the deck 6 weeks ago and it still looks great. I don't know what happened to the fuzzies - but they are gone.
        I reduced the work by using the same solid stain on the substructure that I used on the house resulting in a two-tone deck. 
        Here's some before and afters. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Greg · 05/21/2021
    Heading out of town for 1 week.  Can I strip / brighten using RAD before I leave, wait 1 or 2 weeks, then apply TWP stain?  Or should I only wait 2 days after brightening, and just do the whole thing after I get back?  
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    Kim Bullard · 05/08/2021
    We have a very large deck. Do you recommend applying the two coats of semi transparent stain in sections? I’m worried the first coat will dry before we can get to the second coat otherwise.
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      RAD Products · 05/08/2021
      Just have someone follow up with the second coat 20-40 minutes after the first coat while the first coat is being applied to the deck all at once.
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    Lynn · 05/05/2021
    I have a 20+ year old deck that has never been stained and sits in full sun.  I used 30 Sec Deck Wash to clean and it has cleaned up nice.  Can I just use the deck Brightener and then stain the deck, without going through the stripper process as you recommend.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/05/2021
      The 30 Second Cleaner is bad for wood as it contains bleach. You will need to redo the prep with both the RAD Cleaner and the Brightener otherwise you could have a chemical reaction with the stain leading to failure.
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    deck2deck · 04/28/2021
    For the transparent stain, what happens if you only apply one coat?  I didn't read the instructions carefully and only applied one coat yesterday; it looks good but is it too late for the second coat?
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      RAD Products · 04/28/2021
      It should be fine. You can always add a light coat next year after prep if needed.
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    Rob · 04/21/2021
    Do you recommend 2 coats of the solid stain, or just one? If two, do you need to have first coat fully dry? Also can you strip and brighten one day and stain the next day or a couple of days later? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/21/2021
      You will need two coats. Second goes on after first fully dries. You can stain to damp or dry wood. Days later is okay.
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    Melvin Jenkins · 04/17/2021
    maintenance coat
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    Calcote · 04/07/2021
    Does a wet-on-wet application run the risk of overlap lines or is it easy to spread if you find a heavy area where you overlapped?
    Also, is there any way to get solid stain in a 5 gallon? I need 7-8 gallons!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/07/2021
      You do not apply wet on wet with the RAD solid stain. RAD Solid Stain comes in singles only.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Calcote · 04/07/2021
        Ok. What are your thoughts on old and new wood together, the semi-transparent being looking the same across both? Not cleaned yet...new wood is 6 months in. Old wood is 10 years. Treated pine.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 04/07/2021
          No, you cannot get new and old wood to look the same this first time staining. The new wood is less absorbent so it will stain lighter in color.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Calcote · 04/07/2021
            One more question - are the main application differences for the solid 1) just one coat and 2) you can use a roller? I assume you can still apply to damp wood.
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            Calcote · 04/07/2021
            Solid it is then. I'll follow instructions, thanks!
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    David · 04/05/2021
    I used cleaner and brighter yesterday. I'm going to stain today do I need to re wet the wood first its dry?