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
    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 
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      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?
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      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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    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? 
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      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.
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        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.
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            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?
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    Cindy · 03/31/2021
    I have a floating dock with a connected  walkway with a connected deck over a pond that has fish and turtles in it. Will the stripper, cleaner, and brightener harm the aquatic life from the runoff when rinsing?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/01/2021
      They are eco-safe products but you should avoid the runoff as much as possible as it will modify the pH balance of the water at the surface very slightly for a short period if time.
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    Eileen · 10/19/2020
    What temperature is too cold to apply stain? Thanks, Eileen
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    ken · 10/14/2020
    I restored my deck in august stripped, power washed, brightened , & stained with semi transparent stain 2 coats wet on wet. looks great its a small 8 by 20 deck I have plenty of stain & brightener left to single or 2 coat this spring would this be ok to do if so do I need to order some cleaner before brightening & staining would I hose off or power wash off cleaner and brightener
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/14/2020
      You always need to use the cleaner when recoating. Apply and light pressure rinse both. Just one coat of stain.
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    Ron · 10/14/2020
    I have a deck that is half covered (screened) and half open to the elements. I recently used restore-a-deck cleaner with a pressure washer and then brighter on both sections and then applied restore-a-deck dark walnut on the open half with two coats and followed instructions to the letter, the results were great! However, on the screen side, I took too long to apply the second coat due to numerous obstructions which kept me from using the deck brush properly so the end result has areas against walls that are very dark areas and appear overloaded with stain so it does not look great. I want to start over on the covered section but seeking your advice to begin again and strive to match the side of my deck that turned out great. The original deck was 3 year old unstained treated pine so I did not need to use the stripper. I have plenty of restore-a-deck cleaner and brighter left over and I would like to use these instead of a stripper if you feel I can get away with that. Can I use 80 grit sanding the side of my deck that did not turn out great, follow the sanding with the restore-a-deck cleaner with pressure washer and then restore-a-deck brighter to get the screened portion of my deck ready again for staining or do you recommend another approach?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/14/2020
      Yes, you can do this but after sanding, you can only apply one coat of the RAD Stain.
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        Ron · 10/14/2020
        Thank you for your prompt reply. I do want to fully confirm your directions... I should sand with 80 grit, apply restore-a-deck cleaner, pressure wash then apply restore-a-deck brightener followed by only one coat of stain (not two coats) - correct? - Thank you again for your support!
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 10/14/2020
          Yes, correct!
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            Anne · 10/19/2020
            Hi, sorry to dovetail on someone else's question, but is the advice for one coat only here BECAUSE of sanding? I have an old, weathered deck and everyone tells me I should sand it before staining, but I was also assuming two coats since it is old and worn, so I just want to make sure I understand why the one-coat recommendation here above? Thank you!
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    Will Evans · 10/13/2020
    Hello, just to confirm I only do one coat on vertical surfaces such as spindles and support posts? Thank you!
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    James Calamis · 10/04/2020
    Last year I applied the solid stain to a 35 year old redwood deck and it came out better than any stain I've ever applied. The only thing was that it took twice as much stain as expected, and I was only able to give it 1 coat. This year I used your deck cleaner to wash the deck and applied 2 coats. The upper deck was done on 1 weekend and came out great. The lower have was given 2 coats, and then unexpectedly, it rained ... for 3 days. Once the lower deck dried, it was covered with white steaks. See attached photos. As I understand, its too late, after having applied it, to restain this fall. I plan on waiting until the spring, clean the lower deck again, and again restain. Any other suggestions?
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    Jennifer · 09/25/2020
    Will significant morning dew on properly prepped wood affect staining? Should I allow the wood to dry for a few hours before staining? It was stripped and brightened last week, then sanded and brightened two days ago. Started staining yesterday but have more to do today.