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
    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?
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      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 
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      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.  
     
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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?
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      RAD Products · 05/17/2022
      One coat.
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        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?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      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.
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        CJA · 08/28/2021
        Is it ok to put furniture back? We have a party coming up! 
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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!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      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.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            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.
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              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.
              • We will reply to your comment shortly
                Steve · 07/29/2021
                Fair enuff, thanks for your guidance!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    christopher · 07/27/2021
    How do I gauge whether I should be closer to 20 min or an hour for the second coat?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      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?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      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? 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/12/2021
      Just let it cure out and dry. It will be okay.
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        Tara · 07/12/2021
        Thanks!
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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.