Deck Stain Facts: Frequently Sought Questions & Answers

This post was updated on October 25, 2022

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The Top Deck Staining Questions & Answers

In 1993 we started restoring exterior wood and decks and that led us to start DeckStainHelp.com which has become the internet’s largest resource for all things deck restoration related. Our deck restoration business restored over 10,000 decks and during that time, we have tried nearly every brand of deck stain and deck sealant on the market. DeckStainHelp.com was started 10 years ago as a way to help consumers find and use better prep and stain products and give customized help towards each individual deck or wood restoration project out there.  There have been currently over 74,000 Deck Stain related Questions and Answers on this site since it was started.

Deck Stain Facts Answered

This particular page was designed to help consumers and contractors find the Questions and Answers they are seeking with their wood and deck restoration projects. We plan on giving simple Questions and Answers to the most common deck staining and prepping inquiries that we receive, making it easier for the consumers to search and find what they are looking for. We will be constantly adding new Q&A posts as needed when new deck restoration questions arise.

Do You Need More Help?: Do you want personalized help and cannot find the answer in our Deck Staining Facts? Just ask below in our comment area and we’ll be glad to help. We may even make your question part of our permanent Deck Stain Facts Q&A section!

Calling all Deck and Wood Contractors: If you are a Wood and or Deck Restoration Contractor and are interested in becoming a contributor to this page with a Q&A, please email us your exterior wood or deck-related question and answer to contributors@deckstainhelp.com. *Any other inquiries to this email address will not be answered.

If approved, we will provide a link to your website with a summary of you and your business on your Q&A page!

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Use our search to find deck staining and prepping questions.

 

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Ginny
Ginny
2 months ago

What would be the best stain to use?

Deck location: California
Sun/shade 70% sun 30% shade
Wood type: redwood
Mold/mildew: no
Last stain: showed wear in traffic areas even though traffic is minimal
Stain: Olympic Maximum semi-transparent black walnut

Thank you!

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Terrence Stark
Terrence Stark
2 months ago

So I bought a home with existing deck approx 20 yrs old with 2×6 cedar that’s rotted in various locations. Ive been replacing bad boards with treated 2×6 over past several years and applying PPG Timeless semi transparent/ semi solid water base which in some areas is going over new wood and majority over old which has several coats of who knows. This summer I replaced another 20 deck boards and all the rotted 2×2 balusters on railing that I’m replacing with hog wire. I bought RAD stripper with additives but some of the older stain looks solid which I read it will not remove so I may have to go back to solid. I want to use AC oil but if I can’t remove all of the old stain which I believe is latex will it adhere? I’d like to avoid sanding. Also the deck has new green stripes everywhere and I read stripper will make them fuzzy? I’m thinking I’ll complete the rail system for safety and wait till spring to strip, brighten and stain the deck so the treated has time to weather. Will the stripper solution remain active for 6 months or should I make a smaller quantity? Sorry this sounds so convoluted. Thankyou

Terrence Stark
Terrence Stark
2 months ago

The decking is stripping nicely but I can’t remove baluster marks and I’ve noticed flexible strings of what appears to be paint on some of the railing. Thanks

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Terrence Stark
Terrence Stark
2 months ago

Okay Scott I’ve read enough that I’ll use a solid on the areas that won’t strip and go with semi transparent oil on decking. I’ll make sure whatever solid is left on has good adhesion after sanding. Maybe a two tone. Thanks again

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Terrence Stark
Terrence Stark
2 months ago
Reply to  Terrence Stark

One more thing I keep reading is semi solid and semi transparent. What’s the difference?

Terry
Terry
2 months ago
Reply to  Terrence Stark

Hi Scott, how much time can elapse between brightening and staining ? Also how long after applying ac semi transparent is it rain proof and frost proof? Thanks so much for your informative site

Terry
Terry
2 months ago

Thank you. Also, what is the shelf life of open packages of cleaner and Brightner? Thanks again.

Pam
Pam
3 months ago

In early March of this year, we added a lower level PTP deck to the house we purchased 2 years ago (on a lake in N. Georgia. The house is only 5 years old). The top deck already has white balusters and we just can’t remove and update. I’ve established (through your articles) the prep process and that we’ll use semi-transparent TWC or Armstrong Clark. My question involves color: do you (or do you have have anyone) who will help with color ideas? We need to tie in the white (I think). Our son (who does advertising in NYC and has the technology) mocked up one idea (also included in pics).
1. How do we “stain” white? Or does this have to be paint?
2. We need to do the actual deck floor area in a brown or cedar color, I think, because we have too much gray (hot tub will not be moved to stain)
3. Should top handrail be the same as the floor?
4. Thinking we need dark gray for all the underneath area to help it all “disappear” (we’ll plant in front of the underneath area later).
Adding pics of the deck and one that was colorized. It is NOT currently stained or painted!) Any help is greatly appreciated!!

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Pam
Pam
3 months ago

Thank you. One more question: Should we use oil based? I’m guessing yes, but thought I’d ask. TWP 100 will penetrate better than 1500, correct? (I’m aware Georgia doesn’t have a VOC law; we used TWP in our last house) OR, is water based better here?

OK, 2 more questions: We are going to stain the sports and underneath. A 3rd color (charcoal?) would look ok, in your opinion, correct?

Stan
Stan
3 months ago

I am building a home in South West Colorado with a lot of exterior timbers. The timbers are rough sawed fir. The fir is clean and new. What would be the best exterior semitransparent wood stain for this project. Most of the timbers are under roof and partially protected. So all of this is vertical wood, no decks.
Thanks for your help. This area gets a lot of snow in the winter.

Stan
Stan
3 months ago

From reading on the website it appears one needs to wait at least 3 months before applying these stains to new wood, is this your view as well? It seems that I remember a comment that TWP may not be a good product for new wood? What are your thoughts about using TWP 1500 series on new wood?
Thanks so much for taking time to answer these questions.
Stan

Stan
Stan
3 months ago

Is the RESTORE A DECK semitransparent ok to put on now with rough sawn fir or do I need to wait. ?
Stan

Stan
Stan
3 months ago

Thanks so much. Your website and you are awesome. This has been a big help. Have a great day.
Stan

Justin
Justin
3 months ago

I tried staining our deck and it didn’t come out like we wanted at all. I’ve tried using Valspur Wood Stripper to remove the stain and it doesn’t seem to be doing the job. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Justin
Justin
3 months ago

Behr semi transparent

Justin
Justin
3 months ago

It was behr semi-transparent

Willie
Willie
3 months ago

Howlong can u wait to stain a deck after prepping

Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson
4 months ago

Can composite (TREX) deck be stained to different color? and should I use oil or water based? How many gallons to cover 16X32?

Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
5 months ago

Hello Paul,

Just installed a new deck and screen room in May 2022 with #1 grade pine in Raleigh NC. In reading will wait 4 months before staining.

Question is for my location, what is best stain to use? semi transparent vs semisolid?

Location of deck has very shady location and will not have tremendous traffic on it.

Thank you for your assistance.
Jerry

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Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
5 months ago

Thanks

James
James
5 months ago

For pressure treated lumber do you have to stain a deck after stripping it and using brightener and can you leave it natural or does the whole stripping process destroy the treated chemical?

Craig Kohn
Craig Kohn
5 months ago

Does restore a deck fill in the wood where cracked

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