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
    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.
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    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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?
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    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?
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    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"?