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
    Chris D · 09/23/2019
    I have a 20x20 foot cedar deck which we just pressure washed the prior Cabot stain (deck is 1 year old) how much stain would I need to purchase? We just had two days of hard rain and are due to get more in two days or so. How wet can the boards be in order to apply, the reviews I've read said your product can be applied to damp wood?
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    FredR · 09/22/2019
    I only need to do the deck railing - The floor is Trex. I measured 320 square feet (160 on each side). The deck is at least 15 years old and I need to strip semi transparent stain. From the explanation above, I only need one coat for the rails, but 2 for the top of the railing? how many gallons do I need?

    Also the top of the railing has no stain left. Can I use the stripper there too to make it easier or do I need to have cleaner for the top and stripper for the rails?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/23/2019
      Strip all is fine. About 2-3 gallons should work.
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    RJ · 09/22/2019
    What is the best product to remove dried stain from vinyl siding?
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    RJ · 09/22/2019
    What, not why. Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/22/2019
      Second coats need to be applied wet on wet, not wet on dry. The first coat once cured will not allow another coat to soak in if only 48 hours later.
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    RJ · 09/21/2019
    Good morning, I had a crew prep and stain my deck yesterday. It does not look like they did a a good job of applying the stain equally and appears to be drying with splotches. Can I put another coat on tomorrow? It will be within 48 hours or do you think that’s too long? Also, I see some spots where they let the stain drip and puddle. Can those spots be sanded out and stained over? Really disappointed in their work but having to deal with it. Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/22/2019
      No, you cannot add another coat if the first coat has already dried. You would have to weather for 6-12 months, prep and then apply another coat. You could try to spot sand the spots sand then reapply but you would have to take it down to the bare wood and it may not blend after.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RJ · 09/22/2019
        Why would the prep steps be at the 6 month timeframe? Cleaner only? Thanks
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 09/22/2019
          Correct.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            RJ · 09/22/2019
            Ok, and only one coat at that time? Will that be enough to even out the application? Thanks
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    Austin · 09/03/2019
    I finished step 1 (clean) and step 2 (brightener) 3 days ago on my deck. When starting the staining do I need to dampen the wood at all? Or can I apply the stain to the dry wood?
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    Ryan Benson · 08/27/2019
    I'm new to staining and had a concern with overlapping and best application practices.

    I'm going to order a cedar stain 5gal kit for the white cedar fence on the front of my house (84' x 4' x 2) just to see how it looks before I fully commit with the rest.

    1.) My plan is to tackle the front on one day and the back for another day. Will I have any issues on the 2nd day using the cleaner and brightener on the side opposite of a finished and stained side?

    2.) This is new wood (10 months old) and vertical so I think only one application is recommended? Would I need to get a wood moisture meter. The wood seems sufficiently dry.

    3.) Will I only get visual overlapping if I accidentally hit an area that has already been stained and is outside the 20min-1hr window?

    4.) Since I plan on doing one side in the same day, could I use the cleaner and brightener on the whole section and then move onto staining? I saw under step 3 that the stain was best applied same day as prep 2-4 hours at 70F and 50% RH.

    5.) What is the process I would go in? I saw a video someone was power washing, but I don't see that mentioned anywhere in the steps.


    Sorry for all the questions. I'm trying to be thorough in my prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kathleen Willis · 08/03/2019
    Is it ok to apply a darker stain over a cedar stain color and make the deck a little darker
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/03/2019
      Depends on the brand/type of stain and when the cedar stain was applied.
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    Marcia Olson · 08/01/2019
    The current deck is stained Red, solid. Is it necessary to sand all old stain from deck when using gray Restore-A-Deck Solid Stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/02/2019
      No, you do not have to remove all of the current solid stain if applying the RAD solid stain. Make sure to remove what is loose or not intact to the wood. You can cover the rest.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bill · 07/22/2019
    Is a 20 year cedar deck that's been sanded , cleaned and brightened considered new wood? One or two coats?
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    Igor · 07/16/2019
    I have flipped and sanded most of my 300 sq ft redwood deck and replaced about 15 percent with replacement boards. The entire deck has been finished sanded with 80 grit. I plan on staining entire deck in 3 months. One coat for old and new boards ok and then restrain as needed in a year or two. For best even results is there better method?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/16/2019
      Yes, but make sure to clean and brighten after the 3 months before applying stain.
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    Clare · 07/13/2019
    Note the deck proper is being done using Dark Walnut semi transparent stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Clare · 07/13/2019
    My deck is fairly large and I am fairly old. I would like to take 3 days to do the staining is the following schedule ok?

    Day 1) Clean and brighten entire deck. Then apply white solid to rails.

    Day 2) Moisten deck then stain 1/2 of deck by doing entire lengths of board runs for half of the deck

    Day 3) Moisten deck and finish the rest of the deck again doing entire lengths of board runs for remainder of the deck.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/13/2019
      As long as you have a clear straight edge between the deck boards between day 2 and 3, you should be okay with this.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Clare · 07/10/2019
    I ordered Dark Walnut semi transparent and white solid for our decks but so far we are having a very wet and cool summer. It has basically been raining almost every day and while usually not hard some days it is.
    a hard rain. How dry does the deck need to be in order to do the cleaning and staining? We do occasionally get two rain free days in row.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    greg sipich · 07/06/2019
    I ordered restoreadeck dark walnut stain to use on a treated pine pool deck which is six years old.i used defy cleaner & defy brightener & was curious about the wet on wet application.you say to apply a light second coat to all hortizonal surfaces between 20 minutes to 1 hour after the 1st coat has been applied.the weather is hot & humid,so the stain is going to dry fairly quickly.you don't want to apply 2nd coat after 1st coat has appeared to dry,correct?
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    lma · 07/02/2019
    I'm going to try to get to some of the vertical surfaces today. It shouldn't be in direct sun, but it'll be in the 80's and the wood is probably pretty dry ( last water was Sunday). Should I dampen first?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/02/2019
      Lightly misting with water will help make it easier to apply.
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    Greg · 06/27/2019
    I was told Restore-A-Deck comes in a Cape Cod Gray kind of color. Is that true? I don't see it on the website.
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    Jo marie · 06/24/2019
    We have used the restore a deck stripper and will use the brightened before staining. Attached are a couple pic of the boards after stripping and power washing. It is a 20+ year old deck. It had paint stain on it. I don't know brand. I worked hours to get it all off. Please tell me I could use your semi transparent stain on it now!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/24/2019
      Hello,

      The pictures do show that it can be stained as the previous coating has been removed.
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    Katherine Nejberger · 06/16/2019
    Yesterday we stripped, brightened and stained our deck, but ran out of stain before we finished the first coat. I must have miscalculated the amount of stain that we needed. I ordered another and we plan to complete next weekend. Any pointers to make it go smoothly? Is it necessary to apply 2 coats on the verticals?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/16/2019
      You can get away with one coat on the rails. Best to finish the deck with one coat on all. Do a second maintenance coat in late Fall or Speing to the floors. It will be better this way since half is done and dried.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Katherine Nejberger · 06/20/2019
        My hubby really would like to finish this project. Is there any harm to stain a second coat a week after the first coat??? If we wait til Fall, what prep is necessary? Btw love your fast shipping!!!!!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/21/2019
          It will not take if you do it a week later as the first coat will have cured and will repel the next coat. A light pressure wash and rinse should be enough to apply a coat in Fall. If you wait until Spring, use the Cleaner while pressure washing.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    MKer1 · 06/12/2019
    Hi, I stripped, brightened, and stained my porch (front and back). I finished the front porch 2 weeks ago, and the back porch just within the past few days. The front porch has some areas that are flaking on the walkway (See photo with red arrows) and my back porch the top of the railings look very similar (yellow box). We were very careful to follow the instructions precisely, we did two coats on the horizontal surfaces (one coat on vertical surfaces). The wood was damp, and we put on the second coat 20-40 minutes after the first coat even going so far as to use a timer to ensure accuracy. Additionally, the back porch looks vastly different, color wise, than the front porch (comparison photo). The decks were built at different times but neither are "new wood" and we stripped/brightened both of them. I would expect wood to accept stain differently, but the back porch looks like nothing was done to it after two coats.

    A) What is causing this peeling and cracking and can we fix it since it doesn't look great...

    B) Why would the back porch look like it hasn't been stained even after stripping, brightening, and two coats? And is there anything we can do?

    Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/13/2019
      1. That is over application or the wood was too "wet" in those areas as the stain was not able to soak in fully in those areas. Best to touch them up for now. In the first pic, just spot touch up. On the railing, lightly pressure wash the entire top board and apply another light coat to all of the board. Lets see if that makes it better.
      2. The wood is taking the stain "differently" on the back deck and is not related to the stain color since you are using the exact same. This could be due to the "density" of the wood being different. If much harder or denser, it would stain much lighter in color. Did you notice if the stain covered much better (you used less) on the back porch? Another possibility was that you did not rinse the brightener well. Do you recall if you rinsed the brightener for 20 minutes or more after it sat?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Mker1 · 06/13/2019
        Hi, thank you for the advice. We will spot fix the first two issues. RE: your last questions, no, the back porch took about the same as the front porch, slightly less because it’s slightly smaller. Very sure we rinsed off all the Brightener, we used two hoses and rinsed until no foam, took us quite a bit to do the whole thing.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dave · 06/01/2019
    I just finished applying the stripper and cleaner. The wood is drying pretty fast but I'm sure the boards are soaked from all the water from the pressure washer.
    I'm not sure if it's safe to apply the stain yet. Is there a rule of thumb for the timing to apply stain after finishing with the cleaner?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Nikki · 06/01/2019
    Hello! These might be silly questions but I am new to all this. When does wood change from "new" wood to "old" wood? I have a deck that is at least 1 year old (Maybe a few months more? Not sure when previous home owners built it) and has never been stained. Should we apply 1 or 2 coats? Also, is it necessary to purchase something to "seal" over the stain once it has dried?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2019
      If a year old, it is not new anymore. Apply 2 light coats wet on wet. You cannot use a sealer over a deck stain.
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    Nettie · 06/01/2019
    My deck is 3 1/2 yrs old. Do I need to apply two coats of stain?
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    Clare · 05/31/2019
    total area needs
    White solid 156 sq.ft.
    -and
    If all in Dark Walnut 2180 Sq. Ft.
    -or
    IF fence in Natural
    Dark Walnut 372 sq.ft.
    Natural 1808 sq.ft.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2019
      White solid= 1-2 gallons
      Semi-transparent equates to 100 sq feet per gallon for the 2 coats applied wet on wet so about 20-22 total gallons for 2180.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Clare · 06/01/2019
        How much prep material will be needed. None of the wood has been treated; the main deck was built last summer, the fence varies between 2 and 3 years old. The small deck is about 5 years old..
        Note I do have a power washer and hope to use my garden pump sprayer for the Semi-transparent.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/01/2019
          3 of each Cleaner and Wood Brightener should work.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Clare · 06/03/2019
            We live in Alberta, Canada. Will the RAD products pass customs inspection?
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    Tom · 05/31/2019
    Two years ago I applied Rust-Oleum Restore 10X to my deck. I haven't had much luck with it since my deck is now peeling like crazy. I have scraped off as much 10X as I can but the rest isn't peeling and would require much more work to remove. I have purchased R-A-D solid stain and need to know if I can cover the existing 10X or if I need to sand down to the bare wood.

    Thanks

    TomD
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    MKer1 · 05/31/2019
    Hi! We're currently redoing our front porch. I stripped it, brightened it, everything is great. I'm doing it in sections since I'm by myself, usually 4 planks at a time (as far as I can reach since I have to do a second coat) after work and it's going fine. I did my 4 planks last night, and despite it being a 0% chance of rain, it looks like it rained last night (minimum 6 hours after I did the work). It looked symmetrical and perfect when I went to bed, but when I woke up there are light splotches all throughout the 4 boards I did (a couple are indicated in the picture). Is this because of the water? Is there anything I can do, or will it just be like this until the next time I stain? It looks so bad compared to my other boards :(
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2019
      That is the grain of the wood and the way it is taking the stai. More dense there. Not much you can do about it right now.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        MKer1 · 05/31/2019
        It seems very coincidental that these 4 boards have this issue and no others (including a whole walkway ramp not pictured). If you look at the photo, you can see the same open grain by the stairway that does not have this issue either....
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Clare · 05/28/2019
    We need some help in determining what we need to order as well as any tips.
    I hope to apply the stain using my garden pump sprayer for thr fence.
    We live in norther Alberta, Canada
    All the lumber is CCA Preasure treated no ground contact, probable spruce as that is the most common wood used up here.
    The 6x6 coloums are rough cut everything else is milled.
    I have a power washer

    We have 2 decks a large one in front I built last summer and a small one in back unknown age at least 5 years as we moved in 4 years ago.

    The back deck will be one color dark walnut

    We plan on doing the front deck deck in 2 tone with the railings white and the deck and skirting in dark walnut.

    We will also be treating our fence in either dark walnut or natural coat. The fence is 2 & 3 years old.

    Below are the results from using your calculator.

    -------------------------------------
    Front Deck (U shape)
    Front Portion
    25x6
    Sides
    6x4.5 x2
    Total
    34x6
    Steps
    3@6.17

    FRONT DECK Decking

    For 223 sq. ft. of surface area, you will need approximately:
    1 - Kit(s) of Restore-A-Deck (Both Cleaner and Brightener)
    OR
    1 jars(s) of Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper
    1and jars(s) of Restore-A-Deck Brightener
    AND
    3 gallon(s) of Wood Deck Stain (assuming 2 coats. Use 2/3 amount for 1 coat)

    --------------------------------------
    FRONT DECK Railing

    For 156 sq. ft. of surface area, you will need approximately:
    1 - Kit(s) of Restore-A-Deck (Both Cleaner and Brightener)
    OR
    1 jars(s) of Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper
    1and jars(s) of Restore-A-Deck Brightener
    AND
    2 gallon(s) of Wood Deck Stain (assuming 2 coats. Use 2/3 amount for 1 coat)

    ----------------------------------
    Back Deck
    5x8
    Railing
    9x3.5
    Steps
    5@5.5

    For 99 sq. ft. of surface area, you will need approximately:
    1 - Kit(s) of Restore-A-Deck (Both Cleaner and Brightener)
    OR
    1 jars(s) of Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper
    1and jars(s) of Restore-A-Deck Brightener
    AND
    1 gallon(s) of Wood Deck Stain (assuming 2 coats. Use 2/3 amount for 1 coat)

    ------------------------------------

    Fence Dark Walnut or Natural
    Most of the fence is ours and will done on both sides the rest is our neiighbors and we will only be doing our side.
    Doing length times height we get
    Our fence is 662 sq. ft. per side (2 years old)
    Rest is 484 sq. ft. (3 years old)
    total surface to treat is:
    1808 Sq. Ft
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/29/2019
      What is the total sq footage in that will be treated in the Dark Walnut? Same with Natural if you use that? Lastly, the sq footage of the white railings?

      We do not need all the other info, just total sq footage for each area.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Clare · 05/29/2019
        Front railing 156 sq.ft.
        Front Decking 223 sq.ft.
        Front skirting 50 sq.ft.
        Rear Deck 99 sq.ft.
        Fence 1808 sq.ft.
        thus
        White Solid 156 sq.ft.
        If only Dark Walnut 2180 sq.ft.
        If both colors
        Dark Walnut 372 sq.ft.
        Natural 1808 sq.ft.
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    Dave · 05/27/2019
    I just finished stripping, brightening and staining the top portion of my deck - it measures 16 x 12 feet and is about 2.5 years old.

    I was surprised how thin the stain is. I brushed 2 coats on, one with a paint brush and the other using the brush that was sent with the stain. What mystifies me is I only needed 1 1/4 gallons of stain for the 2 coats.

    I'm sending some pics to show you the condition of the deck before I worked on it and in it's finished state with 2 coats. I still need to do the bottom portion of the deck - I haven't started on it yet. Should I spray on a 3rd coat to the top portion or does it look OK to you? Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ryan · 05/26/2019
    Good morning. I stripped, brightened, sanded and rinsed my deck last week. It has rained very heavily 5-6 times since then. Am I ok to go ahead and stain when the weather is good or will I need to do anything before staining?