Wood maintenance is different from a complete wood restoration. Restoring a wood surface means bringing it back to a like new appearance from a neglected state or deciding to switch from one stain type to another. Wood maintenance, on the other hand, is an ongoing process to keep well-kept wood looking good. Wood maintenance is simply cleaning and recoating the wood with the same wood stain that was previously used.
In preparing an exterior wood surface for maintenance, it is important to know what type of old stain is present. TWP Wood Preservative can be cleaned and recoated easily but switching from one stain to another requires a different process. Assuming you are maintaining a wood surface that has a fading TWP Wood Stain on it, you are ready to begin maintenance.
Cleaning the wood properly is essential to get lasting results. Use the Gemini Restore Kit for this. This does an excellent job of removing dirt, grime, and unwanted soils. They come in a powdered form that mixes with water.
TWP Tip: If the deck stain is 1-year-old, use a lesser concentration of cleaner for the prep. Try 2-3 oz per gallon of water. If the current stain is 18+ months, you may need a deeper cleaning concentration of 6-8 oz. per gallon of water.
Apply the wood cleaner using a pump sprayer or brush. Scrub or pressure wash the surface clean then rinse well. After the wood is cleaned and rinsed, it is necessary to apply a wood brightener. This will reverse the darkening effect of the caustic cleaner and restore pH levels in the wood. This will brighten the wood and help to ensure proper stain penetration. Do not skip this important second step in the wood cleaning process.
Allow the wood to dry for at least 48 hours prior to staining. Protect things you do not want the stain on, like windows, shrubbery, concrete, or siding using plastic or tarps. Always wear protective gear like gloves, mask, and safety glasses.
Apply any of the TWP Wood and Deck Preservatives using a brush, stain pad, roller, or garden pump sprayer. It is best to start up top on high surfaces like wood siding or gazebos and to work your way down. On decks, stain the railings first before staining the deck floor.
Be sure the TWP stain is fully penetrating the wood and wipe away any excess stain that remains on the surface. Remember, there is still an older coat of stain in the wood so you will not apply as much stain on a maintenance coat as you would on bare wood surfaces. Stain each board or piece of wood from end to end. Stopping in the middle of a section can create unsightly lap marks. Once you are satisfied that the wood has absorbed all the TWP stain that it can you are finished.