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
    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!
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      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.
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          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?
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      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
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      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!
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          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.
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    Jeannie · 09/10/2020
    In listing the recommendations for use/application of the Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain, all items are mentioned except a roller. Can a roller be used in its application on a wood fence?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/10/2020
      Rollers do not work very well with penetrating semi-transparent stains as they splatter and do not apply very evenly.
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    Julie · 09/09/2020
    Another pic
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    Julie · 09/09/2020
    Pressure treated pine deck. 15 months old. First time for prep and stain. Cleaned and brightened with RAD products two days ago to prep for RAD semi-transparent stain.

    1. Light graying remains in a few places. Leave as is or spot treat with cleaner and brightener?
    2. Goal is to stain within two weeks of prep, correct?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/09/2020
      You are good to stain within 2 weeks.
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        Julie · 09/12/2020
        Are the ends and edges of decking and stair treads considered vertical or horizontal surfaces?
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    Jennifer V. · 09/07/2020
    How long do I wait after stripping to apply brightener?
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    Kit · 09/03/2020
    Can you apply a second cost the next day?
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    Fran · 09/01/2020
    Why is my deck tacky and what to do about it. Really followed instructions.
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      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      That would happen from over application and or improper prep.
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    Gena · 09/01/2020
    We have a 1400 sq. ft. deck that is pressure treated pine that has been down a year now, so we need two coats withing 20 to 40 minutes of each other. My question if my husband starts the first coat and I come behind him with the second coat we will eventually have to walk on it when applying the second coat. Will that damage it or show foot prints?
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    Tom · 08/31/2020
    I stripped a large 1600 s/f deck about a month ago. We had a death in the family and I had to travel for work. Can I just brighten and use the semi-transparent stain or do I need to clean and brighten again?
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      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      Clean and brighten would be best.
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        Tom · 09/04/2020
        Do I need to use a pressure washed again with the cleaner?
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    Julie · 08/31/2020
    Have RAD Semi-Transparent Stain and RAD Stain Brush. Any tips for applying stain to decking where the RAD brush can't reach, such as decking tucked under siding and under Trex railing? I am concerned that addressing these places on all four sides of deck is really going to slow me down and mess with the finished look.
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    Natallie · 08/31/2020
    I am in the process of stripping and sanding my deck. Should I fill the old nail holes with exterior caulk before or after I clean and brighten?
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    Russ · 08/30/2020
    I applied the brightener 4 days ago....I am going to wait a full 2 days without rain before applying the stain....is that ok or do I have to brighten again.
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    Dan · 08/29/2020
    I got some fuzzy wood after stripping and brightening, not fibers ripped from power washer but the fuzzy wood that alwasy seems to show up, is it ok to stain over top of it or does it need to be completely sanded?
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    joe · 08/26/2020
    Here are some pictures. Front has the pillars
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    joe · 08/25/2020
    I stripped, lightly sanded and then use brightener about a week ago. All RAD products. Weather is good to stain now with RAD products. Since easier to apply wet should I lightly mist the deck boards (very light no puddles)?
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    joe · 08/17/2020
    Hi - If I am using RAD Brush on deck floor, is back brush by hand still required on 1st or 2nd coat?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/17/2020
      Using the RAD brush is back brushing so no need to do anything else. You only back brush after spraying.
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        joe · 08/26/2020
        Hi. Front deck and pillars look amazing - RAD cedar has deep, rich color. Rear deck not as good. Rear is same wood but more weathered because not under porch. Some parts of same board are not as dark / rich as front or even some in rear. Did I not apply enough? Not wait long enough between coats? Thoughts would be helpful so I can fix in 9 months. Next year can I clean with Oxi clean then RAD brighten and rad restain heavier where it’s too light ?
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          RAD Products · 08/26/2020
          Post some pictures and not suggested to prep with OxiClean but the RAD Cleaner. Much more effective.
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            joe · 08/26/2020
            Front porch looks great
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              DebraO · 11/11/2020
              Hi Joe. I love how your front porch came out. What type of wood is it, what is the age and which stain did you use? Thank you!
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            joe · 08/26/2020
            Front deck comparing. Looks amazing
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            joe · 08/26/2020
            And far corner showing not as dark
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            joe · 08/26/2020
            Here is picture of rear
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              RAD Products · 08/26/2020
              The difference in color for the floor is based on the prep and the wood, not the stain. You have some internal darkening going on. You may need to strip and brighten next year so the color evens out.
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                joe · 08/26/2020
                What about the far corners. Yes there is some darkening in middle. But same issue in corners or did I apply heavier in those places
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                  RAD Products · 08/26/2020
                  Yes, looks like you applied heavier there.
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                    joe · 08/26/2020
                    Also if I decide not to stop again can I just clean next year and apply heavier where it is too light...as if I were doing 2nd coat again?
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                    joe · 08/26/2020
                    Thanks. Last question for now. Does it matter how long it dries after first coat 15/20 minutes v 1 hour. Will longer dry result in darker 2nd coat wet on wet?
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                      RAD Products · 08/27/2020
                      No, that does not matter as long as it is applied evenly.
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    veronica · 07/20/2020
    Also, does the deck need to be sprayed with water before applying the stain? It's a porch and so not in full sun. Thanks!
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    veronica · 07/20/2020
    if I am using a staining pad to apply the semi-transparent stain, do I dip the pad into a bucket of the stain and then rub it on the wood? how do I know that I am not over-applying?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/21/2020
      Make sure hen applying that it fully soaks into the wood.
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    Dave c · 07/20/2020
    If you use Your solid stain Over a semi transparent stain all I have to do is pressure wash and I can’t apply damp? Isn’t this advice the opposite of everything else your website says. Please clarify since you say your product works best with damp wood that has been stripped.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/20/2020
      You cannot apply a solid stain over an old coating of the semi-transparent stain while the wood is damp. It would have to be dry. If you strip and brighten all of the semi-transparent off, then yes, you can apply it to damp wood.
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    Jim Abbatoy · 07/06/2020
    I didn’t know of the RADbrush when i ordered. Can a paint roller or other soft broom be used with semi-transparent?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/07/2020
      Not a roller or push broom. Use an exterior stain pad or regular handheld brush.