Use Wood Brightener Before Staining Your Deck

Wood Brightener does 3 things for your deck – it neutralizes any remaining stain stripper or wood cleaner, it restores and brightens wood to its natural, bare state, and it opens the pores of the wood. All 3 of these things are critical to getting the longest lifespan out of your deck stain and will save you time and money in the long run.


  1. Brian Preston says:

    Our deck is about 50 ft long by 20 ft wide. Rather than risk over application or missing the wet on wet window, should I apply one coat now (autumn), then use Deck Brightener in the spring followed by the second coat?
    Thank you.

    • defyadmin says:

      Brian, there shouldn’t be any problem with you applying 2 wet-on-wet coats now. Just make sure the stain isn’t puddling on the surface. This can be avoided by applying the stain with a car wash type brush. It forces the stain into the pores of the wood so that it doesn’t form a film. Both coats should be applied within 10-20 minutes of each other.

  2. Tom says:

    We put on a deck in August of 2014. We waited until July 2015 to stain it. We used Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightner as directed. We purchased DEFY Semi Transparent stain from the sealer store. Unfortunately someone told me to only put one coat on since it was new wood and to put a second coat on this year. We also applied the stain when it was 90 and sunny as we were running out of dry days in the forecast. The stain has not worn well. I realize it is from only one coat and applying in the hot sun. I have just purchased DEFY semi transparent 5 gallon bucket and want to do it right. Can I use the cleaner and then the brighter before I stain or do I need to use a stripper instead of the cleaner. There is no peeling just weather look, like areas that didn’t take as much stain as others. Thanks for your help.

    • defyadmin says:

      Tom, you should be able to just use the cleaner and brightener. Once that’s done, allow the deck to dry out and then apply the stain. This time, don’t apply in direct sunlight as that can cause it to dry too quickly. You’ll want to apply as much stain as the wood can absorb. That may mean 1 coat, or it could be 2 wet-on-wet coats. If you use a car wash brush like in these videos, it will help force the stain into the pores of the wood, which will increase the longevity.

  3. Greg says:

    Our deck was finished 2016 and we applied an oil base stain the following year. How well does your product cover over oil base stains?

    • customerservice says:

      Greg, You will need to remove the oil stain before applying Defy. It’s a penetrating product and needs to go into bare wood in order for it to perform.

  4. Larry Willbur says:

    We are in Florida. Installed a new PT deck 4 months ago and cleaned and brightened the deck two weeks ago but have not been able to stain it due to weather. Do I need to clean and brighten again before staining?

    • customerservice says:

      Larry, If the wood hasn’t turned gray and gotten dirty again you shouldn’t need to clean and brighten again. Typically it takes more than a few weeks to start graying.


    My deck has a solid stain on it that was peeling in spots after 3 years. I tried a stripper on a portion of it but it did not work well. I followed up there and on the rest of the deck with scraping and sanding the areas that were peeling. What are the next steps to do before applying your solid stain?

    • defyadmin says:

      Hi Darlene, as long as the solid stain that’s currently on your deck has good adhesion and is not peeling, you can apply our solid stain over top of it. It sounds like you’ve already prepped it, so the next step would simply be to stain it.

      • Tammy Aldrich says:

        Hello! Do you need to clean and use a brighter before applying the solid stain over the existing solid stain?

        • defyadmin says:

          Tammy, cleaning and brightening is never a bad idea, but for the solid stain, as long as the wood is clean and there’s no dirt or mold, and the stain isn’t peeling off, then you may be able to skip the cleaning and brightening. Cleaning and brightening is much more important for the semi-transparent and clear stains.

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