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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Todd Durham
Todd Durham

I applied TWP stain on to a new deck 2 years ago. Now after 2 applications of step 1 cleaner, I still have a lot of black mildew. What’s your recommendation for next step to remove the mildew? I’d like to reapply same stain after this prep stage.

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Donald lloyd
Donald lloyd

What is the shelf life of twp 100 series pecan

Leonard Stambler
Leonard Stambler

The instructions for Step 2 call for 1 cup of powder per gallon of water. The label says the 2 lb container will make 5 gallons of Step 2. The container does not hold 5 cups of powder! What is the correct concentration for Step 2?

 
Dan
Dan

Hi, i have a 10 year old pt deck that was only sealed once (water-based and failed). The gemini cleaner brightener/pressure wash mostly cleans up the gray and black weathered wood, but doesn’t really get back to a bare-wood look on the decking. So, will the stain still take and look ok? i’m using the Rustic TWP 1500 series stain. Do I have to sand also to get back to the fresh wood? Also, I’ve been advised that stain/seal frequently fails because the underside of the decking wasn’t sealed and allowed moisture to erode adhesion from below. I had been… Read more »

MyJean
MyJean

Forgot to add photos- before and after

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MyJean
MyJean

I have a western red cedar deck built last August. The step one restore a deck was applied with a mop, soaked for 15”, and then rinsed, and the brightened applied. We live along the coast so the temperatures are in the low 60’s. The section of the deck this morning now looks blotchy and uneven; under the eaves one color, and the rest a “calico” effect. I’m hesitant to apply TWP tomorrow. Should I have applied with a garden sprayer instead of a mop? I used a pressure washer to moisten it but a hose to rinse. What tool… Read more »

 
Catherine McCabe
Catherine McCabe

If I use the RAD stripper do I need to also use the Gemini cleaner and brightener before I stain?

Vicky
Vicky

This is the first time I have owned a home with a deck. I replaced all of the deck bords with new cedar. If I’m reading the articles right, I should wait 12 mo the before cleaning and staining, yes?

Stefanie Hobson
Stefanie Hobson

I just finished cleaning and power washing (step one of Gemini kit). I’m left with a fuzzy look ok much of the dimensional lumber. Can I still brighten and stain?

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warren watkins
warren watkins

We have a 4-yr old, 400sq ft deck of treated pine 2x6x8ft. Also have 13 boards that have been stored under a front porch. When new, used a product called Rescue-it, a type of solid paint-type stain. There are several places where the deck boards have rotted and need to be replaced. I can use the stored boards to replace the rot – no new wood is needed. Then plan to take the remaining deck boards and flip them over to the unstained underside of the deck. I would use the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner/Brightener system first to get the deck ready… Read more »

Paul Heinecke
Paul Heinecke

I am using Step 1 stripper and step 2 brightener on my log siding. It will likely be over 2 weeks from the strip/bright stage, then sanding, then staining. Do I need to brighten again prior to staining?

Liisa
Liisa

Hi, my deck hadn’t been sanded in 10 years so sanded with 60-80 grit. Can I just do wood brightener step, let dry, then stain? Or do I have to use the cleaner step then brightener? If it’s raining today, Sunday, is drying all day Monday and Tuesday safe to start staining Tuesday afternoon or should I wait until Wednesday? Also, how long does freshly stained deck have to be dry before it’s safe for rain? 12 hours? 24 hours? Last, if I mix the 100 series Pecan and clear to lighten it some, it should still have enough pigment… Read more »

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Michael Ward
Michael Ward

Hello. I have a question regarding when to reapply 1500 series stain. I initially applied 1500 series to my deck after completely sanding off previous products in the spring of 2019.. I was very happy with the results and with the product’s performance during the “deck” season of 2019 here in CT. The deck seems to have developed some mild staining (mildew?) on some of the planks in the meantime. The planks still seem to “bead” water when it rains even though the color may have faded a bit since last year. My question is when might it be best… Read more »

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D&S
D&S

Hello! What’s the difference between the Safe Strip stripper (1 step; no brightening step needed) and the Restore-A-Deck Stripper & Brightener? We would be stripping one light coat of TWP 100 Series stain that was applied improperly. Can we get by with the Safe Strip product to prep for the re-stain, and avoid the 2nd brightener step? The TWP stain coat was misapplied about 6 months ago and the wood is now just over a year old. It’s not in terrible condition; the stain just wasn’t completely brushed in like it should’ve been. Would either stripping product/process work, or is… Read more »

Courtney Williamson
Courtney Williamson

I power washed half of my deck to see if it would be sufficient or not. Do I need to remove every bit of old TWP if I am reapplying the exact same one?

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Chris
Chris

Hi, curious if there’s any change when applying the cleaner and brightener to vertical surfaces? I cleaned/brightened/stained my cedar deck last fall, though I was not able to get to it all. I have the stairs left to do as well as the band boards that wrap around the entire deck, these band boards are the “vertical” surfaces I am referring to. Just curious if there’s any other guidance with these vertical boards since the cleaner/brightener won’t sit on top and work like they do with the horizontal boards. Another topic, do I need to protect the previously stained wood… Read more »

Matt M
Matt M

I just received your stripper, brightner and 1500 stain. I’m replacing the deck boards this weekend with red cedar. I’m leaving the rest of the deck in place, but will need to strip it. Should i do it all at once after i install the new cedar? Will the stripper hurt it? Or should i strip it now and then brighten and stain everything later?

George Robinson
George Robinson

In the summer of 2019, I properly prepped and applied one coat of TWP stain on my pine deck, installed in October 2018. It is now time to apply the second coat of TWP. The deck wood looks in great shape. What do I need to do before applying the second coat of TWP stain? Do I have to use a cleaner since the previous stain was applied only a year ago? If so, what do I need to use to prepare for the second stain application?

 
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!