The TWP Stain Guide to Prepping a Deck in 2020

by TWP Help

Last Updated on January 19, 2021 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 for TWP Stains

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 with TWP

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 for TWP Stains

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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Sandy
Sandy
29 days ago

I applied TWP 100 to pine barn doors last year after allowing the new wood to age 12 mths. The doors have faded and appear to need a 2nd coat. I know you recommend Gemini cleaner and brightener but will that remove the existing coat of stain? Obviously, being vertical doors, they don’t get the same level of dirt that a deck floor would and I really don’t wont anything that would remove the existing stain. I went with TWP with the understanding I can clean and stain over top of the previous coat. In a previous reply to kelliG you stated the cleaner brightener would remove the stain.. Thanks!

Last edited 29 days ago by Sandy
KelliG
KelliG
2 months ago

I’m getting ready to re-stain the rail top and floors of my deck with TWP 1500. The spindles and vertices don’t need it. Which power wash product shall I use if I plan on power washing everything? If I can’t get a TWP product because of timing, which one is recommended that can be purchased at a local retail store?
Thanks for your help!

KelliG
KelliG
2 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

So this won’t take away my existing stain?

KelliG
KelliG
2 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Ok good to know! Thanks!

Sheila
Sheila
3 months ago

Do I rinse ?

 
Sheila
Sheila
3 months ago

I used the Gemeni Restore a deck it turned my deck green

Sheila
Sheila
3 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

Do I rinse

Sheila
Sheila
3 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thank you 😊

Patricia
Patricia
3 months ago

I just sanded our 10 yr. old 300 foot cedar decks.
Is it necessary to use cleaner before the brightener on newly sanded wood?
Is sanded wood treated the same as New wood?

Casey
Casey
3 months ago

Stained my deck a few years ago with 100 series pecan. Prepping to restain it, but want to go with cedar tone this round. How would this work?

Casey
Casey
3 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Dang! Was hoping I wouldn’t have to strip it? Any way around not having to strip it?

Casey
Casey
3 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Gotcha. If I just went with pecan again would I still need to strip?

 
N. Cummings
N. Cummings
3 months ago

I applied series 1500 TWP stain in 2017. The deck needs restaining. Should I use Gemini Restore-a-Deck prior to restaining? Thanks.

N. Cummings
N. Cummings
3 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks. How much of the original stain will this process leave on the boards?

Dugan
Dugan
3 months ago

What can be done to avoid the long wait times for “new wood”/”smooth wood” applications, i.e. 4-12 months? Can the mill scale be removed by rough sanding or rough sawing the surface?

Judy
Judy
4 months ago

Forgot to add photos for question do I need to remove old stain completely before cleaner/ brightener steps?

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Judy
Judy
4 months ago

I have a different big box store transparent stain ( cedar tone) on my cedar deck. I have spent 2 days sanding it off with a belt sander. What a job! I have removed 85 % of previous stain ( killing my muscles) Each surface has been sanded but still some stain remaining. Does it all need to come completely off? Will the cleaner remove any of the previous stain? ( got the cleaner/ brightener also from you folks. Maybe I have to do the stripper or power wash too? Ugh

Kathryn Epps
Kathryn Epps
5 months ago

I power washed fence before I read about this product. Can I skip steps one and two? Took me a million hrs already to pw 1400 sq ft fence. It looks clean and bright to me.

Last edited 5 months ago by Kathryn Epps
Kathryn Epps
Kathryn Epps
5 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

The one problem I see is surface is hairy in places as a result of washing too close.

Teresa Beaird
Teresa Beaird
5 months ago

I cleaned, brightened, and stained our deck last summer. Overall it still looks great. We have a few areas that are a bit green. What’s the best way to clean that will not remove the stain. I can’t go through that entire process again this year. Thanks!

 
Todd Durham
Todd Durham
11 months ago

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
1 year ago

What is the shelf life of twp 100 series pecan

Leonard Stambler
Leonard Stambler
1 year ago

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?

Leonard Stambler
Leonard Stambler
1 year ago
Reply to  TWP Help

My deck is 400 square feet and my sprayer holds 2 gallons so I have no need or desire to mix all gallons at one time. Your label says that the product weighs 32 ounces which means I should be mixing 6.4 ounces of product for each gallon of water. My container of Step 1 weighed 32 ounces for both the product and the container. My container for Step 2 weighed 30 ounces for both the container and the product. In other words neither container contained the correct net weight of product in accordance with the label. Please send The missing product.

 
Dan
Dan
1 year ago

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 thinking therefore that I would clean/bright/pressure wash/stain the deck as is, then turn all the boards over and do same, thereby sealing all the wood top and bottom. Is this step really necessary? I have 1500 sq and it’s already a lot of work.

MyJean
MyJean
1 year ago

Forgot to add photos- before and after

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MyJean
MyJean
1 year ago

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 do you suggest for a scrubber? I have 4 sections of decks, including stairs so I want to get it done properly.
Thank y’all!

MyJean
MyJean
1 year ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Is 48 hours the maximum time before the stain is applied?

MyJean
MyJean
1 year ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Hmm. What is the maximum time ??

MyJean
MyJean
1 year ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thank you. That changes everything!

 
Catherine McCabe
Catherine McCabe
1 year ago

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

Vicky
Vicky
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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 for stain. Can I treat this wood as ‘seasoned/dry’ wood and proceded to apply two coats of TWP stain, or do I need to follow the steps for new wood decks? Thanks!

Paul Heinecke
Paul Heinecke
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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 to protect from graying right? I’m thinking 50/50 mix. My deck is full sun.
Thanks

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Liisa
Liisa
1 year ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thank you! What is dry time after stain application before it’s safe to get rained on?

 
Michael Ward
Michael Ward
1 year ago

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 to apply a “refresher” coat of your product to spruce things up a bit and provide added protection. I am concerned that trying to apply such a coat now will not penetrate (as the water is beading after all) and dry on the plank surface…which I understand to be a real problem. I have included photos of the application to my decking, the first photo from 2019 (without the stone shows the initial application. The seconf photo (with the stone) shows the current 2020 condition of the stain with some of the typical mild black staining that can be found elsewhere on the deck in some places (maybe where water “stands” after the rain?). What is your folks’ advice for the re=application of your product in these circumstances? Very happy with your product and the results and I DON’T want to mess it up by reapplying inappropriately. THANKS!!! Michael from CT 🙂

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D&S
D&S
1 year ago

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 there a compelling reason to do the more onerous (i.e., more time-consuming & expensive) 2-step stripping/brightening process? Thank you for your helpful & generous advice!

Courtney Williamson
Courtney Williamson
1 year ago

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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Courtney Williamson
Courtney Williamson
1 year ago
Reply to  TWP Help

So I don’t need to do anything else beforehand?

 
Chris
Chris
1 year ago

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 from the cleaner/brightener? Cover with plastic before doing the surfaces that I was not able to get to last fall?

Chris
Chris
1 year ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks – can I apply the cleaner to wet wood? As in it rained and the wood is still wet, but I’d still like to start the job.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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?