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
    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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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 L Swanson · 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 L Swanson · 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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rich Burke · 06/07/2018
    pictures of prepped deck
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rich Burke · 06/07/2018
    My deck is very large, about 1000 square foot. If I apply the first coat on the entire deck it will take me probably 2 hours before I start the second coat, is that too long to wait? If so, I will have to come up with a strategy to do a portion at a time which is I am pretty sure what I should do - just verifying.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2018
      Yes, too long to wait. Best to do the second coat within the 20-60 minutes of the first coat.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Rich Burke · 06/07/2018
        ok one more question, should I use the wood staining brush or a pad to apply? The way I have done it in the past is apply with a pump sprayer then spread evenly with a pad. If I use the brush would that process work as well?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/07/2018
          The pad and the brush both work well and the best. Yes on the spray and then back brush method.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Margaret · 06/06/2018
    I've purchased 5 gallons of RAD. It may not be possible to do 3 coats in one day. I don't see any instructions that's not "wet on wet". Is it ok to do the second coat after the first coat dries?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/06/2018
      No. Has to be wet on wet if doing the two coats.
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    Rebecca · 05/28/2018
    How long does it have to cure before you can walk on it without ruining it. We have dogs and I'm wondering time to keep them off the deck. Thanks!
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    Bruce Eveleth · 05/17/2018
    How do you determine whether the deck needs one or two coats?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/18/2018
      Age of wood and the type wood usually help to determine if 1 or 2 coats are needed. You only want to apply as much stain as the wood will allow to soak in.
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    Mary · 05/16/2018
    Hi, are there any stores in the Chicago area that stock Restore A Deck stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/16/2018
      There are not. Shipping only takes 1-2 business days to arrive.
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    Steve · 04/18/2018
    Our deck gets a lot of rain and little sun over the winter. We plan on restoring our deck this spring. Do we need to wait until the deck dries out some before starting the stripping, brightening, staining process if we are using Restore-A-Deck stain? If so, would a moisture meter be helpful?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Donna · 03/07/2018
    I'm refinishing a previously stained deck that will need to be stripped first and then brightened. It says the brightener must dry 2 days before staining but it never stops raining here in OR until summer. Can I apply the stain if the brightener hasn't dried?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jan · 03/06/2018
    How is your cleaner/brightener/stain on redwood? I've got a 'new' redwood deck that's aged for 4+ months in Southern California. I've power washed it and I'm ready to move on with a semi-transparent stain. My goal is to retain the beautiful grain and lighter color of natural redwood.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/07/2018
      Hi Jan, the prep kit and stain works great for redwood. Since the wood is new, make sure to only apply 1 coat of the Restore A Deck Stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jan · 03/07/2018
        Thanks, I appreciate your quick response and your site! It's got so much info from an experienced, but seemingly unbiased viewpoint. (Constructive criticism - the graphics look so professional, it appeared to be a manufacturer's promo site.)

        One more question for my new, but seasoned deck: After using RAD cleaner and brightener, do you have an opinion on which stain would have the LEAST color but sufficient UV protection between 1)Restore-A-Deck semi-transparent "Natural" or 2)Defy Extreme "Clear"?