The reason the majority of products fail are:

  • A product is applied too thick, over a previous coating, or a solid color stain/paint was used resulting in a film forming coating. A film forming coating is a product that does not penetrate into the wood completely. A product that does not penetrate can result in premature peeling and or flaking. All of our stains penetrate into the wood.
  • The deck/wood is not properly prepped for application of coating resulting in the stains not penetrating into the wood.
  • New wood is not dry and/or prepped for application of stain. You cannot stain a brand new deck/wood without applying cleaners to open the pores.
  • Unless absolutely necessary (removal of solid stain and/or paint), never power sand a deck. This will close the pores of the wood and your new stain may not penetrate properly. If you must, try not to use a grit finer than 60 grit. You can lightly sand by hand or with de-felting pads on low-speed orbital sanders to remove splinters and/or raised the grain of the wood.

Power Washing

We suggest that only experienced professionals use a power washer when deck cleaning or exterior wood cleaning. That being said, it will obviously make your deck cleaning a lot quicker if you do use a power washer. If you use a power washer please follow these guidelines:

    • Always use a deck cleaner and or a deck stripper. The cleaners do 90% of the work.
    • Use the power washer as a high pressure rinse off. Never as the only tool to remove or clean the wood.
    • Wash with a motion similar to sweeping of broom (pendulum motion). Wash with the grain of the wood. Exaggerate your sweeping motion, never stop and reverse your direction without sweeping up. Not doing this will result in a "stop" mark on your decking. Never use more than 1200 psi of pressure. This does not mean you cannot use a 3000 psi machine. It is only 3000 psi if you are washing from 1 inch away. If you are 8-12 inches away you will be using about half the amount of pressure.
    • Always use extreme caution when using a power washer. Improper use could result in severe damage to wood. If you do not feel qualified, contact a professional in your area. OPW services the Metro Detroit Area. For a list of qualified professionals across the country please go to:

New or Gray looking Decks/Wood

If your deck/wood is new or does not have a previous coating follow these steps:

  • When cleaning decks, use a cleaning product similar to Restore-A-Deck or the Defy Wood Deck Cleaner. This will open the pores and remove any graying and or dirt. Use a power washer or hand scrub to clean the deck.
  • After cleaning, apply a wood brightener. Wood deck brighteners are essential to the process and is the easiest step. Wood brighteners neutralize the cleaner and lighten/brightens the wood. For all types of wood, we suggest the Restore-A-Deck or the Defy Wood Deck Brightener.
  • Next, apply a deck staining or sealing product of choice. We have been in the deck/wood restoration business for 15 years and the stains we sell are by far the best that we have seen in the industry. We recommend applying the finish using a stain pad or a stain pad/sprayer method. The use of a stain pad allows the person applying the finish the ability to "push" the sealer/stain into the wood. If you are going to use a sprayer, make sure that you back wipe any puddles so that the sealer/stain is applied evenly. *Make sure that you follow all manufacturer's application directions.

Previously Coated Decks/Wood

If your deck/wood has a transparent stain or sealer, follow these steps. Transparent means that you can still see the natural grain of the wood. If you cannot see the natural grain of the wood then you probably have a solid color (opaque) stain or paint. See below for further info for solid stains/paints.

  • Clean wood with a Deck Stripper. A wood stripper will "soften" the previous stain or sealer. Use a pressure washer or hand scrub to rinse the "softened" coating. Depending on the thickness of the previous coating it may be necessary to strip it more than once. Typically, most stains and sealers will be removed with one strip. We suggest either HD80 or Defy Stain Stripper.
  • Follow the stripping process with a wood deck brightener. This is essential to the process and is the easiest step. A brightener neutralizes the stripper and lightens/brightens the wood. For all types of wood, we suggest the Citralic or the Defy Deck Brightener.
  • Now apply deck staining or sealing product you like. We have been in the wood and deck restoration business for 15 years and the products we sell are by far the best that we have seen in the industry. We recommend applying the finish using a stain pad or a stain pad/sprayer method. The use of a stain pad allows the person applying the finish the ability to "push" the sealer/stain into the wood. If you are going to use a sprayer make sure that you back wipe any puddles so that the sealer/stain is applied evenly. *Make sure that you follow all manufacturer's application directions.

Solid Color Stains / Paints

For the majority of cases, solid stains/paints cannot be completely stripped. If you want to completely remove the coating you will need to either power sand the wood decking or strip it an unknown amount of times. You cannot apply any of our coatings over solid stained or painted decks.

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re: Question for the SealerStore ........Crossin g the USA border into Canada with Deck "stains"
Yes the AC is fully compliant for Canada. TWP 100 and the TWP 1500 are not. TWP has a different mildewcide that is not allowed there unless it is registered as a wood preservative in Canada. AC is complaint.
Question for the SealerStore ........Crossin g the USA border into Canada with Deck "stains"
Email sent to me May 2016 by Canadian agency for Pest Control Products....

I reviewed the information available for the three products, TWP1500, Defy Extreme and Armstrong Clark. Both TWP1500 and Armstrong Clark contain a mildecide that would make these products subject to the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA).

I can’t see any concerns from reviewing the website information on the Defy Extreme. This product appears to be protecting the wood by providing a barrier without the use of a mildecide, thus would not be subject to the PCPA.

Hope this information helps. Please don’t hesitate to contact me again with any questions or concerns.


Veronica Roscoe

A/ Regional Manager, Pesticide Compliance Program
Health Canada/ Government of Canada
End of quote

An earlier email from the agency said I could not bring TWP100 into Canada as the product was not registered? In Canada.

The big question(s).......

Can Armstrong Clark stain (oil based) for decks and fences be legally brought into Canada from the USA?
Same question for TWP1500!
Frustrated guy
Thank in advance to all
re: exotic hardwood maintenance
Prep with the Restore A Deck Kits. Most use a pigmented oil to enhance the grain. Ipe Oil would work
exotic hardwood maintenance
I have a screened porch of exotic hardwood, can't remember what specific type. Installed about 10 years ago & oiled ( unsure what oil) at that time. No treatment since and it is quite dirty & scratched in places. I assume I should wash it with TSP or something similar & re-oil. Recommendations as to cleaning and oiling? My preference would be for a clear oil since it does not get a lot of sun & I don't want to darken it. It gets blown in rain during big storms only. Thanks
Stain the new boards now but apply another coat in 6012 months to them. Clean, lightly sand if needed, brighten the wood and rinse deck well with water. That is the proper steps.
Steps if I DO need to sand
My treated deck has not been stained for about 5 years. No stain left on deck with sun exposure and some stain left where it gets no sun. I had to replace quite a few boards which I did last fall. They have been in the weather for about 6 months. Once place says to AVOID sanding if possible and another says sanding will help match old and new wood. I also would like to smooth some of the old boards because of potential splinters. IF I sand... what is the proper order? Clean..Brighten Sand and THEN STAIN? Waiting for samples I ordered from you yesterday to pick a semi sold Armstrong Clark for Deck in the Blue Ride Mountains...??? Is that a good choice....???? Thanks

Sorry...One more....I just found 2 boards that I would like to replace. How long do I need to wait until I stain them. Should I let them weather for a period and then replace them and stain them separate or can I stain them with the rest of the deck ?
Eng Mgr
Are there any cleaners available to prepare a PT wood fence that wont harm the plants shrubs roots planted within 8-10" of the fence along bottom.
re: Solid stained deck
Try the TWP 100 Series for this after removing the old stain.
Solid stained deck
I plan to rent a sander Saturday to remove the solid stain which was applied to my 550 sq foot pressure treated wood deck several years ago. It is now in poor shape. I will then get a semi transparent stain/sealer. Which do you recommend and can you give me an estimate of cost? I have deck cleaner I purchased from Lowe's yesterday, but it isn't opened. I live in Ypsilanti, Mi
re: Staining of new deck
Stain the new wood with AC or the Timber Oil. You will need to wait a few months. We do ship there.
Staining of new deck
Just finished my new pressure treated spruce deck. Just wondering how long do I have to wait to stain it? I was also told to use a high quality stain like Armstrong Clark. Your thoughts? I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada which usually means snowy,cold winters. Will this severely harm my deck if I have to wait until spring to stain it? Do you ship to Alberta? Is there a 1800 number I can call? Thanks for your help!
Sorin, You should not use a water based stain on top of a oil based stain. TWP is an oil based stain, not a water based stain.
If I use oil base stain (Armstrong-Clar k) for a new deck, can I use a water base one (TWP) when it's time to re-seal it (in 2-3 years time, let's say)?
I am asking this question knowing that I will have to strip/clean the old stain, but concerned about compatibility, because I don't know how deep the cleaner (RAD) would work.
Thank you
Yes the deck has to dry for a couple of days after the prepping.
Do you have to let the deck dry after it is cleaned and brightened, before applying the stain.?


have your product, want to be sure to do it right.
re: Home Owner
If there is still remnants of an old sealer then you should use a stain stripper followed by a wood brightener. If not then a deck cleaner will work. We like the Restore-A-Deck Products for the prepping. As for the staining, any of the product we sell are substantially better then the Thompsons or Behr.
Home Owner
I have three decks on the back of my house, all pressure treated wood.
I have always put a sealer on them. I have used Thompson and Bear sealers.
I have always tired to use a environmental cleaner prior to sealing the decks.
They need to be cleaned and sealed again this year.
What do you recommend to clean and seal them with?
re: Homeowner
Depends on what stain you used but I doubt you can do anything about that.
I have used a transparent stain on my deck and it is dull. It beads up when water is applied. My problem is, when it is walked on with dirty or muddy shoes, even my dog leaves prints when its paws are muddy, the tracks willl not come up when i spray off with the water hose. I literly have to scrub off with a scrub brus and cleaner. Is there anything that I can apply to give an easier way of keeping it clean? Thank you for any suggestions and help.
re: New SYP pine treatment
Tony, what state are you located in?
New SYP pine treatment
I'm about to tear out my old porch floor and replace it with untreated southern yellow pine. I want to dip each piece in a sealing/stainin g bath and allow to dry before installing. What do you suggest?

Thanks in advance for your response.
re: treated wood deck
Best to clean and brighten to prep for a stain. Which stain did you sue two years ago? If a high quality stain I would go with the same product again.
treated wood deck
2 years ago I bought 5 gallons of stain and put on my deck. It was about 8 months old at the time. It is on the north side of the house and receives sun most of the day. This year it looks like the wood is drying out. It looks like it needs something on it. Do I restain or need a preservative? What do you recommend? Thank You So Much Linda