The TWP Stain Guide to Prepping a Deck

 

With wood decks maintenance is vital to the structural integrity of the wood. Cleaning, prepping and staining a deck are the 3 main keys to deck care. With any deck stain, including TWP the prep work is crucial. No matter how superior the deck stain is it will not perform properly or give you the results you expect if the wood is not prepped correctly. The following is a TWP guide to prepping a deck that has never been stained or currently has TWP stain already on the wood. If you have a stain of a different brand, you will need to remove it with a stain stripper. See this for more info Switching to TWP Stains.

Cleaning the Deck

Prior to staining with TWP the deck needs to be cleaned thoroughly to allow for proper stain penetration. Use a quality wood cleaner like the oxygenated cleaner Gemini Restore-A-Deck. These types of cleaners are safer on the wood than bleach based cleaners and will effectively remove dirt, mold, mildew and grayed wood fibers. It is important to get back down to clean bare wood. Apply the wood cleaner as suggested by the label instructions. Let the cleaner dwell and soften up the pollutants before using a scrub brush or performing a light pressure washing.

If an old failing stain is present it must be removed. A wore down semi-transparent stain may clean off with an oxygenated cleaner. If the old stain is stubborn then you might have to use a wood deck stain stripper instead of a cleaner. Once the pollutants and any remnants of old stain are gone the deck should look new again.

Using a Deck Brightener

A deck brightener, also called a neutralizer is the next step after cleaning. Because the cleaners and/or strippers are caustic in nature they need to be neutralized. Apply the deck brightener immediately after cleaning and according to the directions. Then allow it to dwell for several minutes before rinsing off with water. This will lower the pH level of the wood and make the wood grain “pop”. This acidic nature of the wood surface will allow TWP stain to dive deep into the wood and result in a more professional like finish.

Dry Time

After cleaning and brightening the deck it needs to dry prior to staining. With a moisture meter you want 15% or less moisture content before applying stain. If you do not have a meter, typically 1-2 days of dry weather is adequate time for the wood to dry completely. Now the deck is ready for TWP stain. Following this TWP guide to prepping a deck will ensure the stain lasts longer, enhances the appearance and performs as expected.

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45 Comments on "The TWP Stain Guide to Prepping a Deck"

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Andrew
Andrew
I recently purchased a home with an 8 year old wooden deck (I’m not really sure of the wood type). In those 8 years, I know that it was only stained once using a transparent stain. Needless to say, it needs some care. So I’ve purchased the Restore-a-deck cleaner, Restore-a-deck brightener and 5 gallons of TWP 1500. My issue is that I somewhat foolishly aggressively power-washed about 1/3 of the deck before reading that this could cause ridges (which it did) that could eventually lead to splintering. So what is my best way forward? I can sand the part that… Read more »
Chris Smith
Chris Smith

Used the Gemini deck restore this weekend to prep for restaining with 1500. Deck has a 2 year old coat of 1500 that was failing a little in high traffic areas. The 1st step of the Gemini kit removed a lot of the original coating which surprised me. Just used a pump sprayer and scrub brush. Should I repeat the process to remove all of the old coating? I’ll be using the same color of 1500 for application.

Pollo
Pollo

What needs to be done to prep an old, mostly sound deck that was painted with what appears to be water based deck paint, top and bottom surfaces…several storeys tall.
The paint is mostly there except for the surfaces that are walked on and exposed to the elements.
What would work best in this case? Should I simply match the color and keep adding paint?!
Thanks

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Heidi Gaddess
Heidi Gaddess

We stained our porch with TWP 1500 series 2 years ago. It held up great but is now ready for a maintenance coat of the same color. My husband used the Gemini Clean and Brighten kit 2 nights ago. It left some of the wood looking very splotchy with patches of stain remaining. Will it be okay to just stain as per directions? Or do we need to clean it again? Picture is attached.

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Jerry Vosti
Jerry Vosti
This is more than a question. You must be very careful using the stripper restore part of the process. I had everything all set and ready to go and I used a very thick glass container to mix the first part of my solution. It exploded. Luckily there was no damage to me, but it could’ve been very serious. I understand after discussion with your customer service that you Will send me some more stripper powder but I highly suggest you put a warning out to everybody about this I do not see any mention about not using glass containers… Read more »
Philip
Philip

What is the difference between the two stripping products you sell? I think one is Safe Strip and the other Strip A Deck.I’m trying to remove a 7 year old semi transparent TWP stain.

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Angela
Angela

Stripped and brightened our deck and now there are wood fuzzies all over. Do we have to sand these?

Michelle
Michelle

Back in June of this year, I prepped and stained our two year old, never been stained deck (cedar supports & trim and pressure treated decking) according to instructions given on the website. It was in the mid-90s when I stained it, and I don’t think I did the wet-on-wet application properly, as it is already showing “dry” or very light looking spots. So I’d like to re-stain to protect it over the coming winter. There is minimal mold/mildew, mostly dirt and dust. What type of prep should I do? Do I need to start from scratch with the cleaner/brightener?

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jim
jim

I have a pine deck that I have your 1500 cedar tone stain on and want to go back to a clear or natural look. I have pressure washed it and removed a lot of the stain. what do I need to do to prep the wood before going to a clear or natural stain? Part of the deck is covered and part of it is exposed.

solr
solr
Powerwashed the deck ( about 8×30) last year, made of yellow pine pressure treated lumber about 7 years old now. But the guy who did it used some chlorine bleach in the mix with the power washer. He then stained it with 5 Gal of TWP 1500 cedartone which I purchased from you. All the vertical surface still have their color and look great, but all horizontal surfaces outside the soffets over the deck, and top rails have lost their color tone and look a dull dark brown to grey. Deck gets about 3 hrs sun per day. The areas… Read more »
Sean Gronemeier
Sean Gronemeier
Hello, I started the proccess of staining my cedar deck today by using the restore a deck cleaner. I used it all and with using a powerfull tip on the hose it got alot of the dirt, mildew, and grey up but I noticed when I used a scrub brush more was coming up. It got too late and I wanted to redo the cleaning so I didnt use the brightener. Also, there is a white haze in spots. I rinsed well but I read elsewhere that this haze is like a fuzz of old wood fibers. They recommend renting… Read more »

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Koko
Koko

Hello, My question is in regards to colour. Living in Toronto Canada I want to try the TWP 200 stain. I want a natural cedar colour and looking at your chart I am thinking of the Cedar Gold. The Cedartone seems to be more on the brown side. The stain I am replacing is the Flood UV5 Cedar. Any recommendations?

Jeff S
Jeff S

I followed all the steps last year and the deck looks great. I just want to do a cleaning this spring. What products & techniques do I need?

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

I stained my deck 2 years ago using TWP 105 Cape Cod grey.
I want to re-apply the same. What prep work do I need to do?

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David Latch
David Latch

I have a partially stained covered deck. Some areas, like the underside of the roof were never stained so it’s just dirty. I also replaced a number of boards last summer (from your postings, I decided to give the wood a full year to dry out).
Here’s my question – it appears to strip and restain the deck will be a 3 step process. Please tell me if I’m right:

1. Strip deck using Step 1
2. Neutralize stripped area using Step 2
3. Go over entire deck (including originally unstained areas) with “Restore-A-Deck” to clean.

Nancy
Nancy
My deck was built four summers ago, stained the following summer then re-stained last summer. This summer I need to sand the deck. It has some slightly warped boards and several sections with large splinters of wood out. Do I need to clean the deck with the Gemini cleaner after sanding or just get the sawdust out? I’ll be filling in some of the cracks with filler. Does your stain cover the filler OK? Lastly can I use your stain on deck furniture? I have a chair made with eucalyptus wood that needs re-staining.