The TWP Stain Guide to Prepping a Deck in 2020

by TWP Help

The Official TWPStainHelp.com guide to Prepping a Wood 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 the 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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M Roberts
M Roberts

Hi, TWP1500 has been purchased. I’ve read a lot but still unsure. Please advise stain process for the flw: A) Phoenix, Az — temperature range 30-120 degrees B) 150 sq ft deck + 2 steps in full sun C) guessing pine with no mold or mildew. D) original stain: existing stain is approx 4 years old. brand unknown. guessing semi transparent applied to new wood. see photo #1 for our starting point. E) We inherited the deck so some answers are unknown. 1) Deck sanded 6 weeks ago – photos 2 and 3. Did we sand enough? See photos attached.… Read more »

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Ali
Ali

As we were applying brightener, it started raining. The exposed areas of our deck didn’t really change colors like the covered portion, so we assumed the rain was diluting the brightener. This led us to increase the brightener concentration a bit in those areas. Now it looks much more consistent, but the wood has fuzzing. We used a deck sander and *lightly* sanded those areas to remove the fuzz. Should we use brightener again?

Ali
Ali

We used a stripper, scrubbed and power washed our deck, then called it a day. We did not apply brightener as it rained the next day. It has been a week, and the wood is nice and dry. Do we 100% need to apply brightener still?

 
Pam G.
Pam G.

I am creating a deck table with a live tree stump that intentionally comes up through our deck, but accidentally applied TWP protectant without bleaching the surface. The plan is to add an outdoor varnish when completed with TWP. Have I botched the job by not bleaching first?

Beth
Beth

Cleaned and brightened with pressure washer, but still had some solid stain so we went ahead and completely sanded everything. Question – do we need to re-brighten/clean or can we just use pressure washer, wait 48 hrs then stain?

Rex Kreutzer
Rex Kreutzer

We are getting ready to stain our deck. we constructed it summer of 2018. Planning to prep deck for staining with Gemibi restore a deck cleaner and brighter. Our deck rails have aluminum spindles with a black powder coat smooth finish on them. Will we need to protect them from the cleaner and brightner. Secondly will we need to protect them form the Cedar Tone 101 stain or can they be wiped off afterwards.

 
Bob
Bob

I mixed 3 gallons of Restore-a-deck cleaner and haven’t been able to use it for several days. I put it in a sprayer with the top closed but unpressurized. After about 5 hours enough pressure built up in the sprayer to almost split it. Two questions: Will the mixed cleaner normally build up pressure in a closed container if not used immediately, and how long will mixed cleaner remain effective?

Marshall
Marshall

I’ve built a kitchen cypress table that will never be outdoors. I would like to keep it a little rustic so I am thinking about using Dark Oak 103. It is not necessarily new cypress but is not sinker cypress either. I have sanded with 180 grit, do I use Gemini Restorer before applying Dark Oak Stain?

Cassandra
Cassandra

I am refinishing with 1500 Cedartone after two years. I have to replace one board because of splitting and I need to flip another board over because of cupping. Those boards are marked with an “X” in the first photo. Since I will now have a mix of old, new, and unstained wood, what steps do I need to take before applying the stain? The pics below are of my deck after having been power-washed. You can also see some areas which are darker, where my patio furniture sits and, I assume, offer more protection from the weather. Thank you… Read more »

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Diane
Diane

My pressure treated pine deck has not been sealed or stained. It is 4 years old. I am cleaning it with restore a deck in about an hour.
– Do I wet the deck first before applying the cleaner?
– The deck has green algae on it. Should I apply bleach and water after brightening? or before brightening or not at all.

Thanks,
Diane

Tommy
Tommy

I have a redwood deck. 5 years ago I used Gemini stripper and Brightener and TWP stain.
I have attached photos. As you can tell, portions are exposed to more sun than others. Should I use the Gemini cleaner and Brightener or Gemini stripper and Brightener before additional stain?

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Ray
Ray

We stained our deck with your 1500 2 years ago and now trying to restain, weather permitting. We power washed with your cleaner and then applied brightener, 2 weeks ago and now wanting to apply the stain, but rain in forecast 24 hrs. after application. My understanding is we should hold off? If we hold off can we just use garden hose sprayer to clean deck and then 48 hrs. later apply stain?

 
Suzie
Suzie

I’ve stripped and brightened my 20 year old pine log outdoor furniture. Which TWP product should I use? Do 2 wet on wet coats? Can I order color samples to try on the furniture!

Suzie
Suzie

Is there a performance difference between 100 and 1500 for log furniture? I’ve stripped and brightened the furniture, then palm sanded with 60 grit. I’ll blow the dust off with a leaf blower. Am I ready to apply the stain? 2 coats?

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Janet
Janet

So I had my outdoor covered porch redone using your product. The contractor DID not follow the instructions on the can. He applied the stain….came back the next day …said it was “wet” and then reapplied the following day. I got a hold of what he was using and read the application instructions. Never waited & wiped up….now it’s has that streaked “wet” look. My biggest concern will it still be an effective barrier for the floor from the elements? Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

Joe
Joe

I replaced my pressure treated decking last year so all of the wood is properly acclimated and weathered. I’d like to stain now, however, I want to level out bows and cups in the boards with a deck sander first. Do I need to wait again after sanding before applying TWP 100, also is there a certain level of sanding grit I should use so I don’t negatively impact absorption?

 
Joanne
Joanne

We stripped the deck and have some guys who are going to lightly sand and stain. Can I use the brightener beforethey sand or must iuit be done afterwards ?

Jean
Jean

If I have your stain on my deck now. Does it have to be completely removed before I can put more stain on? Restraining would be after using the restore a deck. From reading it sounds like that would be the first step, correct?thanks

Stephanie
Stephanie

We used TWP Series 100 4 years ago and absolutely LOVE it. It needs to be redone as I have some areas of wear and mold/mildew. I think I should use the Gemini cleaner to prep–correct? I would like to use the same color again. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what color it was. Can the order desk look up that info for me?
Thanks so much!!

 
Mike
Mike

What is the difference between the RAD Stripper and Brightener Kit and the Gemini Restore a Deck Kit? Is there a reason you would use one over another?
Thanks,

Matt
Matt

Here are the pictures of my fence. Cedar. About 11 months after installation.

What do you recommend. And again: thanks!

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Matt
Matt

I believe I followed all directions with the Gemini product…why might I have these discolored areas close to the knots in my cedar? What did I do wrong?
Thanks again!

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Matt
Matt

Staining deck and fence once we get enough dry days!
Posting deck pictures here, will post fence in another thread.

Deck is pressure treated pine, installed about 11 months ago. What do you recommend? Pre treat or just stain? Appreciate any advice!

Matt

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Steve
Steve

Hi, I applied TWP 100 to new deck approx 1 year ago and it developed these black streaks. I just cleaned and brightened w Gemini kit but it still has some old TWP showing in some areas. Can I recoat over this or does 100% of old TWP need to come off.

I can take a pic of cleaned deck tonight.

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SW Siseber
SW Siseber

Exactly one year ago, we applied TWP stain 100 on our new deck which had cure for year. We did all the appropriate prep work and are now ready (1 year later)to put a second coat of TWP 100 stain on our deck. We pressure washed the deck with water only. Is it necessary to use Gemini restore a deck and then the deck brightener again before applying the second coat?

Noel
Noel

Hey there, I have an old and unloved mahogany deck which has been exposed to Massachusetts winters and summers. It had a patchy solid stain coat on it but about a quarter of that stain had worn off and the deck was exposed to the elements. I sanded, cleaned and brightened the deck but in the most shaded area of the deck the color is not uniform, I presume that this is water damage which is irreparable right? My main question is would the TWP semi-transparent stain work on my deck and make the overall color uniform? We are looking… Read more »

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Bob McCovick
Bob McCovick

Hello, I used TWP 100 Pecan on my aged new wood porch in Fall 2017. Applied a deck cleaner and was going to apply a second coat this Spring 2018 but wasn’t able to apply second coat. Should use the Gemini Kit before a second coat this Fall 2018?

Danny Suarez
Danny Suarez

Hi, I stained my deck last year with TWP 1500. I had to use the stripper and brightener because it had other stain on it. I only did one coat. Should I do a second coat this year or is next year ok? Once I am going to do it, do I use the regular cleaner only or the cleaner and the brightener? Can I do all the cleaning with just a garden hose or I have to use a power washer again? I don’t want to strip it down again with a power washer I just want to light… Read more »

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

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.

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 »

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?

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.