This post was updated on January 18, 2023
Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Review 2023
This is our 6th Year for the review of the Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain. This review will be updated through the years with new pictures as the stain ages. In 2017, our first full year of using the Restore A Deck stain, we had no issues with performance and saved a tremendous amount of time with the ability to prep and stain on the same day. We will continue to offer the Restore A Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain as one of our go-to decking stains for the 2023 restoration season.
*We prefer the application to damp wood as it performs better and applies easier.
Note: Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain can be applied to dry or damp wood. Applying to damp wood allows you the ability to prep and stain on the same day, saving you a tremendous amount of time.
Summary: Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain is an advanced, water-based, semi-transparent stain formulation designed to penetrate deep into wood pores for maximum protection and longevity. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain protects the wood from harmful UV rays and damage caused by water penetration. Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain is safe to use, has a low odor, and is easy to clean up with soap and water. It is ideal for all wood types including pressure-treated pine, cedar, fir, or redwood.
Recent advancements in water-based wood stain technology have allowed the active ingredients in the Restore-A-Deck Stain to offer better UV protection, excellent penetration into the wood grain, the ability to apply to damp wood, all in 4 beautiful semi-transparent colors that highlight the natural wood grain.
RAD Wood and Deck Stain will increase the life, appearance, and durability of all exterior wood surfaces. With the easy-to-apply and maintain Eco-Safe formula, you’ll be able to finish faster and enjoy your exterior wood or deck for years.
Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Ratings (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8
– The Restore-A-Deck wood stain color we used was the Semi-Transparent Light Walnut. The initial appearance was a rich brown with a hint of red (see pictures below) after drying. The Restore-A-Deck Stain penetrated extremely well into the wood grain on our test deck. No surface film on top of the wood.
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 9
– Restore-A-Deck had little to no fading at the 2-year mark. Excellent color retention should be achieved through years 2-3 as well based on initial pictures and testing. See below for a picture.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9
–At the 2-year mark, there was no wearing or peeling.
Cost Per Square Foot: 8
– We applied two coats to our 150 sq foot deck that included all railings and steps. Less than 1 gallon was used for this at a total cost of $40. This equates to $.30 a square foot. Very reasonable pricing and better than most other top brands.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10
– Similar to other water-based deck stains, the Restore-A-Deck Wood stain will not promote the growth of mold or mildew. This is one of the primary advantages of using a water-based coating. At the 1-year mark, the deck showed no signs of any mold or mildew.
Ease of Application: 9
– Our favorite aspect of the Restore-A-Deck Wood stain is the ability to stain and prep on the same day! We tested this by cleaning and brightening the wood with the Step 1 and Step 2 Restore A Deck Cleaner/Brightener Kit and then applying the RAD stain 1 hour after the prep. The wood was visibly wet on a few areas of the deck and damp to the touch throughout. The Restore-A-Deck actually applied easier to the damp wood than any other water-based stain that we have used previously. We also found that the coverage was better when applied to damp wood. In theory, the stain will actually absorb better when applied to damp wood. The water “swells” the wood pores and “pulls” the stain deep into the wood as it dries. Applying to damp wood will also help avoid potential issues with Applying a Deck Stain in Full Sun.
See before and after pictures below.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8
– As expected, there was very little darkening for the Restore-A-Deck Stain or color shifting. See picture at 2-year mark above.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 8
– The Restore-A-Deck will be an easy clean and reapplication as needed.
Overall Score Restore-A-Deck Stain at 1-Year Period: 8.63
– The Restore-A-Deck is an awesome exterior wood stain and has shown the ability to outperform other water-based and oil-based wood stains. Restore-A-Deck’s 3-Step system allows you to save time and money when it comes to restoring your exterior wood and decking. No other system that we have used or tested has allowed the ability to Prep and Stain in the Same Day. If you are looking for the future of exterior wood and deck stain, then you should consider the Restore A Deck Wood Stain and their prepping system.
More Info: Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain
Cost: $45.99 per Gallon, $209.99 per 5 Gallon Pail. Products ship free on their website.
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent Water-Based
Available Colors: Natural, Cedar, Light Walnut, Dark Walnut, Cottage gray
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats. “Wet on Wet” for older wood. New wood = 1 Coat.
Coverage Per Gallon: 100-150 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 2-4 Hours
VOC Compliant: 50 VOC Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 150 Square feet
UV Exposure: 50% Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: Light Walnut
*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.
Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain Photos
How To Restore Your Deck All in One Day – DeckStainHelp.com
Deck Stain Help & Questions
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.