Restore A Deck Staining BrushHow to Apply Restore-A Deck stain with wet on wet application

Applying your Restore-A-Deck 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.
  • 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 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 you Restore-A-Deck wood stain with the Restore-A-Deck Stain Brush, stain pad applicator, brush, or sprayer

If you need Restore-A-Deck 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
    paul gesche · 11/11/2018
    I have some boards that need replacing before I stain my deck. It has been said that new wood should age a few months before staining.. I have some replacement deck boards in the garage that are a few months old. Can these be used and stained without waiting a few months? If not, should I skip the new wood when staining until Spring?
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    Edward Simon · 10/20/2018
    I won't be able to apply a brightener to previously Armstrong & Clark stained deck until 1-2 weeks after deck has been scrubbed and stripped with OxyClean. OxyClean has removed the Natural Tone A&C stain How critical is the time frame for applying brightener after redwood deck has been cleaned and stripped? If timing is important, would pressure washing a cleaned deck with just plain water prepare the deck for the brightener?
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      RAD Products · 10/20/2018
      Best to brighten as soon as you can. Just rinse deck first, apply brightener, rinse well after 10 minutes.
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    PAUL R GESCHE · 10/15/2018
    I am getting ready to stain my deck. Using RAD stripper. When rinsing with a pressure washer for 15/20 minutes I get this white foam. Am I suppose to continue until water runs clear?
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      RAD Products · 10/15/2018
      Yes, but you have to neutralize with the Step 2 Brightener as well. Rinse the stripper well. Apply the brightener right away. Let sit for 20 minutes and then rinse that for 20 minutes until all soap suds are gone.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        PAUL R GESCHE · 10/15/2018
        Have a huge deck. Will take a few days to strip. Can I apply brightener after deck is stripped on another day?
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          RAD Products · 10/15/2018
          Yes but brighten as soon as possible.
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            PAUL R GESCHE · 10/16/2018
            Two questions

            1. I have stripped less than half my deck and used up the 5 gallon bag or stripper. Ordered a second bag. I am using a pump sprayer, most likely using two much stripper. Wondering, can I use a brush where I can control the amount of stripper? Or is this par for the course and I should not be concerned.

            2. See pictures: After stripping, I still have isolated parches of stain. Ordinarily I would spot sand them off, but I see where you do not recommend that approach. How should I handle this?
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              RAD Products · 10/16/2018
              1. Use a sprayer for applying. Brushes do not work well.
              2. These spots look excessively thick, almost like a solid stain. You will have to sand to remove.
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    vicki · 10/10/2018
    Hi - we are wanting to stain a newly installed pressure treated tongue and groove cedar fence (Denver CO). It will have been up for about 2-3 weeks by the time we get the product to stain. The wood was very smooth on one side when purchased and the other side was power sanded smooth prior to construction. Since the fence is new, we need to prep prior to application? How many coats of your wood stain product would you suggest? If more than one coat, how much time between coats? Also - Can you provide samples of the different colors?
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    denorah · 10/04/2018
    Last question. now that its raining, someone asked....(RAD) How long after it rains before I can stain my deck?

    Your replied 48 hours. I was wandering, since we can stain 2 hours after using brightener, why do we need to wait 48 hours after a light rain, isn't water all the same?....guess I'm hoping you'll say its a typo.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/04/2018
      48 hours if using a different brand of stain that is not RAD. Rad can be stained 2-4 hours after a light rain.
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    Deborah K · 10/04/2018
    I think the instructions at the top of page are confusing me and others. It does not say its only for new wood ect.it says ….( after cleaning and brightening and ready to stain) Start with vertical surfaces first, such as railings.. After the first coat is complete, apply a light second coat to the TOP OF THE RAILINGS 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 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.
    Alfred asked in 2nd question …….2) For STAINING, I see I’m supposed to do the verticals first (w/one coat), and then do horizontal boards (w/two coats), right?

    Your response was …… .....2. Correct

    then next person must of been confused also ,she asked ...Linda B · 09/22/2018
    If your instructions for vertical deck surfaces say to use only one coat, why did you advise J Edwards to apply 2 coats to a fence? Your reply …..

    .RAD Products · 09/23/2018
    Fences are rough sawn wood and much more porous. This will require two coats.

    I'm just trying to calculate amount of stain I need. Which one of these instructions is correct? this is for the RAD . I'm sorry, I apologize if I missed something....just verifying for a rough cedar fence 12 months old with no prior stain or anything, I do in fact need 2 light coats on entire fence and not just a light second coat to the TOP OF THE RAILINGS ONLY between 20 minutes to 1 hour after the first coat has been applied. Love this helpful site. Thank You, just confused because I swore I would only go by manufactures directions after all your advice, and these 2 instructions contradict each other. I just want to do it right first time. 2 coats on entire fence for a 11 month old never stained before rough cedar fence? correct? ignore what it says under .....
    Our recommended guidelines for wet on wet stain application:
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/04/2018
      Fences are rough sawn wood and need the two coats applied wet on wet.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Adam · 09/29/2018
    So followed the directions and woke up after prepping the deck and have these green splotches. Any idea what this is from or how to remove?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/30/2018
      That is something bleeding internally out of the wood. See if sanding that board will remove it.
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    Alfred Gomez · 09/26/2018
    RAD – got all my RAD supplies last week (10 gals light walnut stain, 2 x stripper & brightener, stain brush, 3 x 7” stain pads)! Plan on stripping & staining our deck in about 2 weeks. My questions:

    1) We have a large deck (~950 sf), so I obviously won’t be doing everything in one day. Am I okay to strip & brighten one weekend, then stain a few days later, probably the following weekend? If so, do I need to do anything special (like rinse the deck) before I stain it?
    2) For STAINING, I see I’m supposed to do the verticals first (w/one coat), and then do horizontal boards (w/two coats), right?
    3) For STRIPPING & BRIGHTENING, I didn’t see anything specified, so I plan to do it all together as I move section-to-section. Meaning, pump spray one section of verticals AND horizontals with STRIPPER, then power wash that section. Then move to the next section and do the same until I’ve stripped the entire deck. Then I plan to do the same thing with the BRIGHTENER … i.e., pump spray one section of verticals AND horizontals with BRIGHTENER, then rinse off that section with the hose. Then move to the next section and do the same until I’ve brightened the entire deck. All of that correct?
    4) Is there a recommended way to use the stain pad when staining the verticals/spindles? … leave stain pad on the blue plastic handle thing, or just hold the stain pad by itself (since that may make it easier to conform to the spindles)?
    5) In the past, I’ve used brushes and paint rollers for staining, but I keep reading on the RAD site to use the stain brush to apply the stain. That would definitely be easier, so I ordered a stain brush and am going to give it a shot. Question, though. I was going to use a 5-gal bucket for the stain. Should I use a bucket grid (like I would for a paint roller) in order to let the excess stain drip off the brush before I apply the stain? Any tips on best way to apply the stain with the stain brush are appreciated.

    Thanks for your time & help, RAD! Really hoping these RAD products do better than the staining products I’ve used in the past.
    Al
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/27/2018
      1. No. My blow off debris.
      2. Correct
      3. Yes, correct.
      4. Use on the handle.
      5. No need for grid, just dip and apply like you are moping a floor making sure it is evenly applied.

      Make sure to rinse the brightener for 10-20 minutes when done.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Linda B · 09/22/2018
    Since I have a rough wood fence to stain, I am concerned about wood fibers breaking off and sticking in the application tool. Can you recommend a tool for a rough wood application?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/23/2018
      Spray on the first coat and back brush the second coat with the staining brush.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Linda B · 09/22/2018
    If your instructions for vertical deck surfaces say to use only one coat, why did you advise J Edwards to apply 2 coats to a fence? I too have a large, 1-year-old rough wood fence to stain. I plan on cleaning and brightening. Does applying with a brush versus applying with a sprayer make a difference between 1 coat or 2?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/23/2018
      Fences are rough sawn wood and much more porous. This will require two coats. Does not matter on what you use to apply.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    J Edwards · 09/21/2018
    We put up new rough cedar privacy fence last summer and I am just getting the time to seal it. I plan to use your cleaner and brightener and then dark walnut stain. It's a big fence -- about 3500 sq ft of area -- so I'd like to use an airless sprayer if possible. Do I need one coat or two? If one coat, can I do one coat w/o back brushing? If two, can I do wet-on-wet w/o back brushing? Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/22/2018
      Two coats will be needed. Apply the first coat with a sprayer and then back brush in your second coat about 20 minutes after.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sherry Cross · 09/16/2018
    We have a very large porch and wondering if we put the second coat on the next day if it would be okay?

    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/16/2018
      No that will not work. Has to be applied wet on wet if doing two coats.
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    KAREN M WICKHAM · 09/10/2018
    What type of application tool would cause less drips applying TWP 100? I have to be concerned with steel siding below the deck along the house
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    KAREN M WICKHAM · 09/10/2018
    I have prepped my deck with the RAD kit, cleaner and brightener. Now waiting 48 hours to dry. The deck is 4 years old, never been stain and was weathered from southern sun exposure in ND. Do I need to apply 1 or 2 coats of TWP 100 stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kirk · 09/09/2018
    I cleaned and brightened the deck but it has been 2 weeks since brightening. What do I need to do before staining?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/09/2018
      Lightly wash with water to remove any dirt.
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    Kirk · 09/09/2018
    I have prepped my deck to be stained. How long after it rains before I can stain my deck?
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    Kirk · 09/04/2018
    How long will it take the stain to cure before rain will affect the performance of the stain?
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    Rebecca · 08/16/2018
    Hi, I have cleaned and brightened the wood on our deck and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of our RAD semi transparent stain (should be today!) In walking around and looking at it one last time, I have noticed a few areas that needed more sanding after drying. Should I rinse off the deck again to clear it of any wood dust (as well as just regular Texas dust and pollen)? Since it's been in the triple digits, and the deck is in a sunny area. would it be a good idea to wet each area as we are staining to delay the drying time a bit, so we can make sure to get the second coat on before it all dries?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/16/2018
      Yes, lightly rinse off the dust. Hopefully, you did not spot sand with a power sander as the stain will take lighter in those areas if you did.

      No, do not spot wet the wood before staining. It will not dry evenly.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Rebecca · 08/16/2018
        No. I just used 80 grit sandpaper on my hands and knees. :)
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lee · 08/15/2018
    I want to be sure I understand the prep and staining steps. I have a 20 year-old PT pine deck that has been stained multiple times over the years. Can I strip, brighten and stain all in the same day using the Restore-A-Deck products?
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      RAD Products · 08/15/2018
      Yes as long as the multiple coatings of stain that you currently have on the deck can actually be stripped off. When you have a buildup of layers, it may not be possible to strip fully. Feel free to post a picture.
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    RJ · 08/09/2018
    Hi, I didn’t have time to get the second coat on right after the first coat. It has now dried. Can I still install a second coat or should I wait now,? This is the water based RAD stain.
    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/09/2018
      No, not now. Best to wait until Spring. Lightly clean first.
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    suzanne · 08/08/2018
    Applying to a second story balcony. If any stain (or cleaner or brightener) drip down will it discolor/color the concrete or vertical latex-painted white posts? I can lay a tarp on the concrete. Would the stain rinse off with water on the white posts?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/08/2018
      You cannot get any stain on the concrete or white posts. Cover or tarp them well. The prep products will not do any harm.
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    Jill k · 07/14/2018
    Hi - using all RAD products, we stripped, brightened and then did a wet on wet stain application. it has been 6 hours since the first stain application and the deck is completely dry. can I do a 2nd coat if I spray the deck down with water after the first coat is cured?
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      RAD Products · 07/15/2018
      Sorry, but no you cannot do this once cured. If need be, do light cleaning and recoat in the Spring of next year.
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    Brian · 07/09/2018
    I ran out of time before applying the wood brightener. Can I simply dampen the wood and then apply the brightener in order to achieve desired pH balance?
    Also, is it recommended to use a sealer after staining?

    Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/10/2018
      Yes, you can do this. You cannot add a sealer on top of a deck stain.
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    Larry · 07/08/2018
    Hello,

    Is there a shelf life for RAD stain? And what if the container has been unsealed/opened?
    I’m pretty sure I ordered more than I need, but I’m hoping to use it the next time around (in ~2yrs).

    Thank you very much!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/09/2018
      If sealed 100% at the lid you should be okay for a couple of years as long as it stored in a temperature controlled room. It cannot freeze.
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    Gary J · 07/02/2018
    I was only able to apply one coat to the deck this year. I want to apply 2 coats next year. Will I need to do all of the prep work again, or will power washing be enough?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/02/2018
      You will need to prep with the products prior to recoating. Typically it only needs one coat.
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    Courtney · 07/01/2018
    We installed new pressure treated pine deck over a year ago. Clean, brighten, and 2 coats of stain? Or just one? Thanks.
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    Colin · 06/18/2018
    The above instructions talk about having a 2nd coat for horizontal surfaces. Do I need a 2nd coat if I'm staining a fence? Also, if I wait a week between cleaning / brightening and the actual staining, do I need to wet the wood with a hose prior to staining? The reason I ask is because I heard the coverage is better and the RAD stain absorbs better when the wood is wet.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2018
      No, the stain can be applied to both damp wood or dry wood. Coverage is about the same. Two coats for a fence.
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    Brett · 06/17/2018
    Using all your products, I cleaned, brightened and applied one coat of cedar; the results are excellent. The one mistake I made was not applying a second coat within 30 minutes or so. Now that it has been several hours and dried, when may I best apply a second coat? The wood was never stained but did go through several tough Vermont winters. I should have taken a clear "before" photo but the difference is still noticeable, i think.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/17/2018
      It looks really good! Best to not do another coat until next Spring at this point.
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    Gaylord · 06/07/2018
    20 yr old pressure treated pine deck.was prepped by using RAD stripper, sanding off all old stain to bare wood, waiting 2 months, applied RAD cleaner then brightened. Applied RAD dark walnut with pad then back brushed. Did wet on wet 30 minutes between 2 coats. Stain looks very uneven and blotchy, I.e. Darker in some areas like there was more then less pigment suspended in the stain.Stirred and mixed often but didn't change the irregular coloration. Quite disappointed in the way it looks. Now that it has dried a few hours, is there anything I can do to even out the pigment coating? What do you suggest might be the issue? What next steps?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2018
      The pigment is very evenly dispersed in the RAD stain and would not cause this issue. Has to be the application method or the way the wood absorbed the stain. Meaning the wood was more or less absorbent in certain areas. Did you spot sand? That would cause the uneven absorption.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Gaylord · 06/07/2018
        The entire deck was down to bare wood. I suspect its the pine wood grain that causes absorbent issues. Since its dried for 8 hours now I assume my only choice is to strip and start over or live with it until I get the energy to strip again. I don't think brushing another coat would be a good idea because it will probably be too much product and will flake or lift. Is that right?

        Will the RAD stripper lift most of the pigment? Will it be better to strip it now while it's fresh or wait til it weathers some? e.g. Fall or next spring
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/07/2018
          More is not better after it starts to cure. You can try a light cleaning and reapply next Spring or remove it then. Much easier to remove after 1 year.
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    Rich Burke · 06/07/2018
    pictures of prepped deck