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!
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?
Stain within 2 weeks of prep.
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.
Use the Gemini Restore Kit and pressure washing for prep on all wood before recoating: https://www.twpstain.com/gemini-s-restore-a-deck-cleaner-and-brightener-kit
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?
You always have to prep with the Gemini Kit when reapplying. Wait until next Spring. You are fine for now.
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?
You should not have to strip in the future.
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.
TWP 1500 is a penetrating stain, not a filming stain. Penetrating stains are not slippery.
Can you add sand to TWP 1500 to prevent slipping
No, it is not possible to add sand to a penetrating stain like TWP. No need as well.
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?
6-8 oz os okay and it is volume.
Thank you for the clarification.
Shelf life of unopened 1516?
Can TWP be used on ipe?
Yes, just one coat. Most use Rustci color.
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?
Prep with this kit and pressure washing:
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..
Looks very nice! You can use a pressure washer as a rinsing tool, washing 12 inches away from the wood. No issues with this.
Thanks for the compliment. I will get a pressure washer and follow your instruction.
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.
Electric pressure washer do not work very well and GPM is more important than PSI. Shoot for 2400 PSI or more machine and 2.5 GPM or better. FYI, when you wash 8-10″ away from the wood, the pressure drops in half but GPM stays the same. That is why higher GPM is more efficient.
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.
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?
You can strip it of you want and then brighten.
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?”
No, but always pre wet and rinse any over spray with water.
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?
You will need to fully remove the SW stain first. Send some pictures for prep help of the fence.
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?
You can prep whenever, it does not have to be dry to prep. At least 48 hours after prep or any rain to stain.
Can I put a coat of water based spar urethane over twp
No, it will peel.
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?
– You can do it now or in the Spring.
– Same prep.
Can you sand the deck after you have cleaned and brightened but before you apply stain?
If you need to, yes.
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.
It should be fairly even when you reapply. To be certain of no issues, you would need to strip and brighten: https://www.twpstain.com/restore-a-deck-stripper-brightener-kit-detail
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
You can use the Restore Kit on dry or damp wood. You apply Step 2 as soon as you are down with step 1. Stain within a couple of weeks of prep.
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?
Yes as that helps the stain to soak in better.
How do you apply the brightener to deck and railings (vertical)/
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.
Hello, prep with this: https://www.twpstain.com/gemini-s-restore-a-deck-cleaner-and-brightener-kit
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
Apply the brightener as soon as you are down with the cleaning. Wait 48 hours to stain.
Thanks for being there today to answer my question. I appreciate your quick response. I made my purchase today. I only use TWP!
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?
No. You cannot coat over the TWP.
Can you put any type of varnish or polyurethane on top of TWP?
No, you cannot.
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.
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).
The stripper will work to remove this. Brighten after.
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
Sorry but you have a solid stain and that cannot be stripped off which means you cannot use the TWP stains.
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?
Use at regular strength.
So use the whole bag to make 5 gallons for the 500 square feet?
How big is your deck?
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.
Just mix about half of the powder with 2-3 gallons of water. That will be enough for this.
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.
Wet first and rinse any overspray and you should be fine.
Thanks for all you help!!
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.
Looks good in the pictures. Leave alone until next Spring. Prep with the Gemini Kit and apply two light coats then.
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.
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!
Ann Arbor, MI
No pictures. You can do it now or Spring.
Thanks. Here are the pics.
You can do it now or in Spring. Does not matter.
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?
The brightener should be used as well to neutralize the cleaner.
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?
After sanding use this kit for final prep and then you will be okay https://www.twpstain.com/gemini-s-restore-a-deck-cleaner-and-brightener-kit
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
You will need the Gemini Cleaner/Brightener Kit for prep when reapplying.
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!
Just use the Gemini Restore Kit for the prep while pressure washing: https://www.twpstain.com/gemini-s-restore-a-deck-cleaner-and-brightener-kit
You do not have to strip it all down to the bare wood.
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.
Best to brighten the same day. It is also very easy to brighten a deck and would take 30-60 minutes. Apply with a pump sprayer, let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse with water.
I am staining juniper post and would like them to have a gloss finish what do I use to get the gloss?
TWP does not come in a gloss coating and TWP cannot be top-coated with a varnish.
I have a 5 year old deck that I stripped and prepped. I’m planning to apply twp 100 stain. We have had the wettest year I can remember and it is going on 4 weeks since I have prepped my deck. At this point, do I need to reprep the wood again? It still looks nice and bright and ready to stain. thanks!
Yes, lightly wash and prep again.
do I need to do both steps again or just brighten
I’m thinking of using TWP to maintain some ikea APPLARO furniture that’s been sitting outside for a year. It’s acacia wood with some type of penetrating oil sealer applied. Should I start with something like RAD first in that case, especially if a pressure washer is out of the question?
If you have a current stain or oil on the wood then that will need to be removed with stripping and pressure washing. Brightener after: https://www.twpstain.com/restore-a-deck-stripper-brightener-kit-detail
What is the best twp product to use on a pressure treated wood deck, newly installed and also older pressure treated steps with no finish?
See this about new wood: https://twpstainhelp.com/prepping-new-wood-for-twp-stains/
Use the TWP 100 if allowed in your state otherwise, use the 1500 Series.
What is the difference between TWP preservative stain and TWP extension stain?
Not sure what you mean by “extension” stain.
Applied TWP 1530 on new IPE deck last summer. Lots of discoloring in portion of deck exposed to sun. Plan to redo stain. Any recommendations on top of literature on this site specific to. IPE
IPE wood requires an annual application. Prep with this and recoat: https://www.twpstain.com/gemini-s-restore-a-deck-cleaner-and-brightener-kit
We are the third place TWP Stain winners from 2018 and are planning to add a maintenance coat this weekend. Thanks for an awesome product! I have attached a few pics of the weathered areas of our deck and are asking which cleaning method would be best advised to re-coat our deck. The color is TWP 100 Cedar 116. These areas are in areas that get a lot of midday sun and have had problems with mold and algae build up over time. Will we have to completely strip the entire deck to get a consistent finish or will the normal clean and brighten be okay? We love our TWP products and get complements on this deck constantly. We are in Louisiana and need the product very quick. Can 5 gallons be delivered within 2-days (by this Friday)?
Prep with the Gemini Restore Kit. It does not have to be fully stripped. No, it will not get there by Friday. Takes about 3-4 days to Louisiane.
Three years ago we applied TWP stain to the log siding of our house. It’s time for a new coat – if we’re not changing colors or stains do we need to do the Gemini Restore kit before applying TWP this year? Or would simply power washing be enough prep?
Need the kit while pressure washing.
In MN. Last year I rebuilt part of the deck with new wood. Will use gemini kit to clean and brighten before applying 100. I stripped the old part last summer, used gemini and applied 100. For maintenance coat I should use gemini to clean and brighten? And just one coat of 100?
Yes. Prep again with Gemini and 1 coat of stain.
3 years ago, I stripped, cleaned and brightened my large deck , then applied TWP1500 in Cedartone color. I am planning on cleaning and using the brightener again this spring, (not stripping) however, this time I want to use TWP100 in the same Cedartone. The deck is currently very faded . Is this the correct process to re-stain if I am switching from TWP1500 to TWP100?
I’m in Texas, deck faces south and catches extreme afternoon sun and heat.
If switching from 1500 to 100, you will need to strip and brighten the wood.
My deck has TWP 1520 Pecan stain which was applied 3 years ago and its time to re-stain the deck. I would like to know what needs to be done to the deck before applying the same stain? Do I need to strip the stain or will cleaning and brightening be good enough?
Use the Gemini Cleaner and Brightener Kit for the prep: https://www.twpstain.com/gemini-s-restore-a-deck-cleaner-and-brightener-kit
I live in northern Washington state the temperature during the next five days is predicted to be mid 60s with lows in the low 40s no rain. Fog in the mornings sun in the afternoons. My question is, are these conditions too cool for preparation with restore a deck and a maintenance coat of the TWP 1500
Temps are fine.
I’m getting ready to stain the exterior siding on my house. We removed the previous coats of stain and varnish by sanding down to bare wood.
I stained a few boards with TWP to test various tones. My plan was to pick a color and take the samples off by sanding.
However, when I tried to sand it down the wood completely filled the sand paper immediately – picture below.
What’s the best way to remove those few test samples of TWP 100.
Sanding is the best way. The stain is not fully cured and that is why it is gumming up. Another week and it should come off better.
You would try stripping if that does not work:
Hi Matt. What are the names of the color swatches? I like the color on the very bottom, Im thinking it’s Pecan, can you confirm? Thanks a bunch
I can’t remember the swatches – since it was 3 years ago. The color we selected was Pecan.
I had a 4 month old Alaskan White Cedar deck that I stained last year and had a problem with when I went to clean it this Spring. After trying many options, I power washed it, let it dry, completely sanded it down, and applied your brightener. That was a little over two weeks ago and we’ve had rain consistently enough that I haven’t been able to apply the TWP 100 stain. Dry weather is forecast. What do I need to do to re-prep? Thanks! Seattle
Lightly pressure rinse again with water and apply the wood brighener again.
At this point deck is over a year old, should I apply wet one wet? Thank you.
Yes. Two light coats applied wet on wet.
I am preparing some red cedar I obtained from a sawmill in Ky. for a privacy fence in Fl. It is rough cut but I am running it through my planer to improve it’s beauty. Is it necessary to clean such fresh wood and will one coat of TWP 100 be adequate?
You should treat this like new smooth wood. See this article for tips: https://twpstainhelp.com/prepping-new-wood-for-twp-stains/
I have used the Gemini Restore kit on 10/2 for our cedar fence. We had an insane amount of raining days that we never were able to achieve a 48 hour dry time with a 24 hour cure time. Is it too late to stain on 10/19. It will be 3 days after the 2 week period.
You should be good to stain!
I have an older deck with a worn coat of another brand of semi-transparent stain. I’m planning on sanding rough spots before stripping and brightening, then applying TWP 1520 after it dries.
Does the entire deck need sanding for the stain to soak in properly, or can I just do the rough spots?
Sanding the whole deck would be best so the TWP soaks in evenly. If you spot power sand, the stain could be lighter in those areas. If just a light hand sanding, you are most likely okay.
I used TWP on my new deck about 3-4 years ago. This past weekend I pressure washed everything (getting ready to reapply TWP). At this point the wood looks pretty clean – not quite a bare wood look since I used the Dark Oak stain. At this point, am I good to stain or do i need to brighten before? This is my first maintenance coat of TWP so want to make sure I am doing it right.
Can you send a picture?
Just took this…..the clean looking board is new un-stained wood from a new gate that we just added. So you can see the contrast between the previously stained deck floor (pressure washed) and the new wood.
You will need to clean and brighten for the proper prep using the Gemini Restore Kit:
I see alot of your guidance says to use the Restore Kit while pressure washing. If I order today, and maybe receive by end of week, is it ok if apply a week after pressure washing?
You use the Kit while pressure washing. Waiting a week after the prep to stain is fine.
I already pressure washed the deck – did that last weekend. So do i have to pressure wash again in order to use the gemini restore kit?
Your pressure washing without the Step 1 Cleaner was not sufficient prep based on the pictures. You will need to redo and use the Deck Cleaner (Step 1) of the kit while pressure washing.