Best Prep for TWP Stains

by TWP Help

Last Updated on January 30, 2023 by TWP Help

Best Prep for TWP 1500 Stain and the TWP 100 Stain for Enhanced Performance and Appearance.

When staining a new exterior wood surface with TWP, or refinishing an older one, it is best to correctly prepare the wood. Wood prep is important with any stain and TWP is no different. Using the best prep methods will certify a quality product like TWP stain performs as expected. This helps guarantee a long-lasting, beautiful finish.

To give your wood surface the best prep for TWP stains, the wood needs to be cleaned and brightened. For the best results, use Gemini Restore Kit. Gemini is the largest manufacturer of TWP stain, so they know what it takes to get the best prep possible. Gemini Restoration Kit is a two-part “eco-friendly” system.

Prepping TWP Stains

Step 1 is the wood and deck cleaner that gets down into the wood for a deep clean. Following the cleaner’s directions, use a scrub brush or pressure washer to cleanse the wood. This will rid the surface of any dirt, grime, or gray wood fibers to ensure the best prep.

Step 2 of the Gemini Restore Kit is a wood brightener that will “brighten” the wood and neutralize the cleaner at the same time. This warrants the best prep of the wood surface for TWP stains to ensure excellent protection.

If the wood surface has an existing stain on it that needs to be removed, use Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper. Besides removing dirt, grime, and grayness, RAD Stripper will remove old failed stains prior to applying TWP stain. The RAD Stain Stripper is a two-part system similar to the Gemini Restore Kit. Apply the stripper and clean the wood accordingly, then apply step 2 the wood brightener. Once the wood surface is cleaned and brightened, let it dry for several days before applying TWP.

This is the best prep for TWP stains and a proven method to help ensure good stain performance. Do not risk premature stain failure with inferior wood prepping. When the surface is prepped correctly, the TWP stain will give you a durable, long-lasting finish.

Questions On Prep for TWP Stains? Ask Below!

 

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Teton
11 days ago

Here’s the third picture of the side that seems to be true to color.
Also including a photo of the problem side fully cleaned before staining.

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Teton
11 days ago

Working with rough sawn cedar. New in 2014 , with honey tone. Clean and restained in ‘18 definitely didn’t get enough stain out and wasn’t happy with color.
Needed to restain the more weather exposed sides this yr. Bought stripper and brightner this time. Ended up applying twice with scrubbing the stripper the 2nd time. Finished that late Saturday evening after decent rain during the day. Started staining a side this morning and I’m disappointed in the color and don’t know what I’ve done wrong.. I’ve power washed twice until literally no color is coming off the wood.
First photo is from when it was first installed in ‘14 . Second is just now.
Now the third photo is of the other side I’m doing this yr and this seems to be coming out as I desired.

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Teton
11 days ago
Reply to  TWP Help

I have been mixing it with a drill. I’m working out of a 5 gal bucket of stain currently so I’m mixing it up every morning and then dumping it over into another container to apply. I did add bug juice to it and I’ve noticed that didn’t mix in well.
Looking at my problem side this morning I do still see some light graying on some of the wood but I don’t want to add any more stripping/brightner.
Is there anyway to know when the Brightener is fully neutralized? The wood all looked the same once applied (lighter color) is it possible it dried on before I got it rinsed off?

Teton
10 days ago
Reply to  TWP Help

So how do I know when it’s fully neutralized? It was on for the mentioned 15 mins. As I mentioned before all the wood had taken on a lighter color after the brightened was applied.
Can I mix the brightener stronger or something?
I finished my “trouble” side yesterday and I’m pretty bummed with the outcome. How do I have to let stain set before I can do this all again?

Last edited 10 days ago by Teton
Robert R.
3 months ago

I have 2 section of 8’ board on board boundary fence of different vintage & condition that I am switching to TWP100.
1) The first fence I assume just needs to be cleaned & brightened, yes?
2) Does the second fence need to be stripped? It’s 8+ years old north face and never been stained since installation. I still see some stain color but no coating.
3) If stripped, is it possible that the stripper will run to the opposite side and potentially damage the stain on that side? My neighbor stained his side last year and I already do not enjoy good relations with him so I need to avoid causing any damage to his side. I’d prefer not to risk stripping if possible.

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Robert R.
3 months ago
Reply to  TWP Help

For an older fence such as this, should I be applying 2 coats of TWP100 (wet on wet) or does the vertical surface only require a single coat applied?

 
Steve W
10 months ago

Cedar deck has existing TWP 100 cedartone. Applied one year ago. See pictures. Existing stained deck has darker spots and isn’t very smooth and even. I think because I didn’t remove 100% of the prior TWP 100 cedartone last year. My intention this year is to strip the existing deck and reapply the same TWP 100 cedartone to even out the appearance. I started this process. Used RAD kit (cleaner + brightener) along with the RAD cleaning booster on a small section. It removed most of the previous cedartone but as you can see, previous stain still exists. I’m worried that if I stain on top of the old cedartone with new cedartone, I’ll be back in the same situation again. Questions:

  1. Should I 100% remove the old cedartone before applying new cedartone to avoid dark splotches?
  2. This time, should I sand the deck, then use RAD kit again to get 100% of the old stain off then reapply?
  3. Also, I might run out of summer to finish this project. Should I leave this small section bare and not stain it until next year and let the wood grey, or should I quickly stain to protect it (knowing it won’t be smooth) then properly strip it down next year?
  4. I have left over RAD cleaner + booster and brightener solution (about 3 gallons). Can I save this for next year?
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Susan Monkman
10 months ago

We are restoring a deck that has TWP 205 stain put in about 4 years ago. We just used the cleaner. How long do you wait to apply the Brightener to neutralize the cleaner? Do you let the deck dry first and then apply the Brightener? And how many days to wait before applying the stain?

Thanks
Sue

Stephanie Blair
1 year ago

Our deck is 416 sq ft. and was stained with TWP 100 series pecan one year ago after weathering for 6 months (was a new deck). We are using pecan again and will use the gemini cleaner and brightener first, how many gallons of stain will we need to stain this year?

 
Alan McCoy
1 year ago

After prepping my redwood deck with with the Gemini cleaner and brightener, can I wait as long as 3-4 weeks before applying TWP 1500 stain, or should I apply the stain sooner?

Richard Donnelly
2 years ago

I stained my new siding a couple years ago with TWP 1501 stain and now a few areas are fading especially wood with flat grain. I want to re-stain around the end of summer and want advice on how to best do it.
Thanks,
Richard Donnelly
Kingston, WA

Chris
2 years ago

I live in Missouir and have a cedar deck that is 3 years old. One year after it was built, I stained it with TWP 120 Pecan in Fall of 2019, then did a maintenance coat in Spring 2020. I used the gemini kit before the first staining. This fall is 2 years since original staining, when do you recommend restaining? Also, will I need to use the RAD at that time, or can I just clean and do a recoat?

Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks, at what point in the life of this deck will I need to use the RAD to strip the deck, rather than just the Gemini kit?

 
Gary
3 years ago

We are putting the TWP 1500 around our pool – Will it be slippery when wet – That is why I was asking about using the sand.

Thank you

Gary
3 years ago

Can you add sand to TWP 1500 to prevent slipping

Ron
3 years ago

Received the Step #1 Professional Grade Eco-Friendly Cleaner and the Step #2 Professional Grade Eco-Friendly Brightener. The Directions For Use of the Brightener (Step #2) calls for 1 cup (a volume of crystals) of Brightener per 1 gallon of warm water. But the Directions For Use of the Cleaner (Step #1) calls for 6 ounces of Cleaner (crystals) per 1 gallon of warm water. Is the 6 ounces volume (fluid) ounces or weight ounces?

Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thank you for the clarification.

 
Ann K Christy
3 years ago

Shelf life of unopened 1516?

Mel
3 years ago

Can TWP be used on ipe?

Ron
3 years ago

Sanded, with 60 grit sandpaper, tack cloth cleaned, used a blend of 50% 1 gallon TWP 1502 Redwood stain and 50% 1 gallon TWP 1516 Rustic stain to pre-stain all western red cedar boards I used to build a patio privacy screen/fence. The project took about 3 years to complete and some boards have had more exposure to the outside than others due to the order in which they were assembled on-site in the screen. Most of the boards in the finished screen look like the stain has faded and so I want to apply the stain mixture again to give them more color. I bought more of the above stains last year and blend them. How should I prepare the boards of the screen for another application of the blended stain?

Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thank you for the suggestion of the cleaner and brightener kit. I will get one but am hesitant to pressure wash the surface due to the softness of the western red cedar wood. I will check the kit directions to see if there is a hand wash alternative method for doing the cleaning.
On another subject, the color samples I bought from TWP stains early on helped me to experiment and find the ideal color for my patio screen. I could not find an oil-based stain or other in the local market that gave me a reddish-brown color I wanted. The 50% TWP 1502 Redwood stain and the 50% TWP 1516 Rustic stain blend gave me that color. See photo showing the stain applied to western red cedar wood..

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Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks for the compliment. I will get a pressure washer and follow your instruction.

Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

What are recommended pressure and water flow ratings for the pressure washer to use with the deck cleaner and brightener kit on wood? I found an electric powered pressure washer that I want to use on a composite material deck that has a pressure rating of 2000 Pounds per Square Inch and and water flow rating of 1.2 Gallons per Minute.

Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thank you for the guidelines on a recommended pressure washer. If the cost a gas powered pressure washer is prohibitive, I may look at renting such a pressure washer.

 
Hunter
3 years ago

I will be re-staining my deck that has TWP 100 Dark Oak already on it. I have unopened containers of RAD Stripper and Brightener. Can I use the stripper as Step 1, or do I have to use the cleaner instead for prep?

TIMOTHY ALAN LEONARD
3 years ago

I PLAN ON RESTAINING MY FENCE WITH TWP PRO SERIES SEMI SOLID STAIN. WILL THE GEMINI PREP KIT KILL PLANTS AT THE BASE OF MY FENCE?”

TIMOTHY ALAN LEONARD
3 years ago

I have a 5 yr old cedar fence , 114′ X8’h that was stained 5yrs ago with a semi-transparent TWP 1500. Wife didn’t like the buttery color, so 2yrs ago when we had our house painted we had it restained in a semi-transparent cedar color. Painter power washed and used a Sherwin -Williams product that looks bad. We want to restain it with a TWP semi-solid cedar color. I’m concerned about your prep kit as it sounds like it might kill plants on both sides of the fence. What do you suggest I do?

 
Sean
3 years ago

Stained my new deck last year with twp 1501 natual. this year when can i begin to prepare and reapply the stain? do i need to wait for 3 continuous dry days to prepare and another 3 dry days to apply the stain?

Connie Williams
3 years ago

Can I put a coat of water based spar urethane over twp

Jim
3 years ago

I applied TWP 100 Series stain to my pressurized wood deck about a year ago. The deck had been installed the previous year and this was the initial staining, which I prepped with the Gemini prepping products. I am considering restaining again now under the theory that I will get even deeper penetration and avoid having to restain for several more years. I have 2 questions:

–does this sound like a good idea?

–what type of prep do I need to do now? Same as before? Less?

 
Karen
3 years ago

Can you sand the deck after you have cleaned and brightened but before you apply stain?

Chris Sampson
3 years ago

Deck is 3 years old. Had lots of black discoloring and algae. Light sanding, then used Gemini cleaner and brightened. Staining with same twp redwood as before. Will it cover evenly or blotchy with some spots left of stain? Any tips to make sure will look even, 2 coats wet on wet.

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Scott Simard
4 years ago

Before using the restore kit does the deck need to be dry. We are dodging rain and trying to get the deck done. Also how much time do you need to wait if any between step 1 and step 2. Last question how long can you wait before restaining max time. I know minimum 48 hrs. Thank you

 
Peggy Muller
4 years ago

Back again. I am confused. Since I have sanded my deck, do I need to prep the wood with the brightener before applying the stain?

Peggy Muller
4 years ago
Reply to  Peggy Muller

How do you apply the brightener to deck and railings (vertical)/

CJ-MI
4 years ago

I have my deck stained professionally two years ago using brightener and TWP 101. Now I’d like to do it myself, again using TWP 101. How to prep it before staining? It’s not clear either Gemini cleaner kit or RAD stripper. Could you please give me some guidance on how to prep properly? Thanks.

Steve Friedman
4 years ago

I plan to use the Gemini cleaner and brightener. Does the cleaner need to dry before using the brightener or do them at the same time? Also, how long should I wait to stain? Thanks

Steve Friedman
4 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks for being there today to answer my question. I appreciate your quick response. I made my purchase today. I only use TWP!

 
Chris
4 years ago

Building a patio table from construction lumber that will be on a screened in porch. Roof overhead and minimal sunlight exposure. Planning on using TWP 1500 stain on the table, can I apply a marine grade varnish over the top of the stain?

Chris
4 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Can you put any type of varnish or polyurethane on top of TWP?

Kirk
4 years ago

I cleaned and brightened my fence two day ago thinking I would stain today. We are having some rain now so I must wait to stain.
How long is the window between clean/brighten and staining? Is there a point that is too long and I need to clean/brighten again before staining? I am using 1500.

Mike
4 years ago

2,000 sqft deck is over a covered patio so anything I use to strip/prep needs to not destroy the vinyl panels under it (they have holes and will drain). Most of the deck has no stain left like picture 1 but protected areas and corners still have stain like picture 2. Do I need to sand or will Restore-A-Deck strip the old stain without damaging the vinyl underneath? Not sure what prior owner used but I found an old can of Cabot in the garage. Planning on using TWP 100 (South Carolina).

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MartyMlynarski
4 years ago

We have a 40 year old deck which has been stained few times over the years. It is time to do it again, time flies. I have come across your product line and am very interested in using them. I have read about the RAD, and brightner ,at what point would I power wash? Which stain would I use, we’re just North of Chicago in Wis. We would like to match the existing color. Thank you Marty and Dar

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Michael Ward
4 years ago

Hi there…I am getting ready to prep a deck for a “freshen up” application of TWP stain. I have the Gemini Restor-A-Deck product which I did purchase from you. The current TWP deck stain has been on there since spring of 2019 and the current condition is documented in the attached pictures. It was initially applied after I had belt sanded the entire deck. The current stain does retain some water repellent quality as is clear when it rains. You recommended Restor-a-Deck as the prep in response to my previous inquiry. My question now is whether or not I should apply Resor-a-Deck full strength or not. There is no other oil-based stain remaining other than the TWP application. The product instructions say the powder says coverage is 100-220 square feet per gallon depending on stain to be removed. At what strength would you suggest using this stripper and its companion brightener on the deck surface I have described?

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Michael Ward
4 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

So use the whole bag to make 5 gallons for the 500 square feet?

Michael Ward
4 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Two levels and stairs totaling just about 500 square feet. Spindles and rails have a pigmented oil based stain (Sherwin Williams) on them that I will not be stripping . We will be freshening up those as well with the matching pigmented stain after as well after I do the floors and steps which have TWP on them.

Michael Ward
4 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

I have latex based painted aluminum siding on the house abutting the deck. Do I need to barrier this with a plastic drop cloth before rinsing off or will wetting the siding be enough to protect it? Also under the deck there is painted aluminium where the rinse runoff may get on the house should I wet that and contemporaneously rinse it off as well during the rinsing phase.

Michael Ward
4 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks for all you help!!

Mike - Ann Arbor, MI
4 years ago

Thanks for your great Q&A site. There are many similar questions here, but mine is a bit unique. We put a completely new top surface on our multi-level deck in cedar 3 years ago. We used a competitor’s product for the first 2 years and it was not positive. It looked great for a month and then started deteriorating very fast. We thought that it was the product, so we had it sanded down and re-done 2 years ago, after the first year. After 2 years in a row of that, I went into research mode to find THE BEST product, and found yours. All of the reviews and testimonials are clear.

We had a very trustworthy painter that we work with switch to TWP last year. He power washed and sanded off most/all of the old treatment last summer. He did not use the Gemini prep that you recommend here, but it still looked really great late last summer, and in the Fall and even this Spring with the switch to TWP. SO GLAD that we switched!! We only did one coat, since we were a bit “gun-shy”, based on the prior experience. I attached 2 pics of the deck this morning. It still looks great this spring, but it also looks to me like it could use another coat or two. Looks faded and like the wood is thirsty.

I’m not even sure if we should touch it yet. But it definitely looks like it soaked it up over the winter. Do you still recommend that we use the Gemini cleaner/prep if we re-coat? Cleaner and Brightener? Please specify which. Also, do you recommend one coat, or two wet on wet, of the Preservative after we sort out whether to use the Gemini or not?

I have a matching paint on the ballusters, railings, and faces of the steps, as you can see in the pics. Will the Gemini harm that?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Mike - Ann Arbor, MI
4 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks for the quick response. It will be tough to break the habit of doing it every year!! ; )) We really like this product, and are glad that we switched.

Mike Lee
2 years ago

Good morning. Well your advice last Fall was to wait until this Spring to use the Gemini kit and re-apply. Due to labor shortages we haven’t been able to get it done this summer, and now we are faced with the same question as last year – should we re-coat it this fall or wait until spring? Attaching some pics for your reference. Thanks!

Mike
Ann Arbor, MI

Mike Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  TWP Help

Thanks. Here are the pics.

Mike

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DEAN VAN ARSDALE
4 years ago

I applied 2 coats of 1500 on new cedar decking last summer. Horizontal decking is fading quickly and I want to install maintenance coat of same product and color. Can I just applied Restore-A-Deck Cleaner (not Brightner) and then stain; or do you recommend strongly to use the Brightner after cleaning?

Renee
4 years ago

I had Australian timber oil used on a deck that is just now three years old. The old stain was sanded off. I would like to use TWP 100 but see that you recommend stripping rather than sanding. Would I get good results if I were to apply TWP 100?

Archie Archie
4 years ago

my deck has TWP 1500 Natural on it now applied in 2017 and it still looks good except for a few areas that are exposed I would like to put another coat on it this summer. My question is do I need to use the cleaning and brightening prep chemicals on it again, or just need to wash it good. thanks

 
Jane del Villar
4 years ago

Hi, I coated my deck with TWP 1500 Pecan two years ago after sanding, removing the previous flaky brand, cleaning, brightening, eyc.–the whole 9 yards! I would like to re-stain my deck this spring. Do I really need to remove all the existing TWP stain before doing so? Or would it be enough to clean the deck well and then re-apply? Thanks for any information you can give me. I love all TWP products!

Nick
4 years ago

I can’t find where now, but I thought I read that you should clean and brighten (Part 1 and Part 2 of RAD kit) all in the same day. I’m not sure I can do both parts in one day. Does it hurt if the wood dries for a day or so between cleaning and brightening? I know the wood has to dry before staining, but wondering about between cleaning and brightening.

Cindy
4 years ago

I am staining juniper post and would like them to have a gloss finish what do I use to get the gloss?

 
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