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TWP 1500 Stain Review 2014 4.17/5 (16)

TWP 1500 Series Deck Stain Review

TWP 1500 Review

TWP 1500 Stain RatingsImportant Note: This is our 2nd Review of TWP 1500 Series. Our first review of the TWP 1500 Stain was started in 2010 and completed in 2012.

See Here for First Review: TWP 1500 Series Review

TWP 1500 Series Preservative is an  Oil-Based EPA approved wood enhancing preservative that stops structural damage and exterior wood rot on treated or previously treated above ground wood surfaces such as fencing, decking, roof shakes, wood siding and log homes.

*Note: TWP 1500 and the TWP 100 are the only deck stains registered by the EPA as a wood preservative. The 1500 is compliant in all US states while the 100 Series is not.

TWP Deck Stains – 1500 Series Review

TWP 1500 Stain Deck Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8.5

For the pine deck we used the TWP 1530 Natural. This is not a “clear” but rather a traditional cedar color in our opinion. The manufacturer stated they made this color in the 1500 Series to match the color of the TWP 101 Cedartone. This allows for an easy switch from the 100 Series for consumers who are in a low voc state.

The wood grain was highlighted naturally with the 1530 Natural semi-transparent tint. The 1500 does not mask or film on top of the wood grain.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8.5

Excellent at preventing UV graying at the two year mark.  For the vertical railings, the TWP 1500 lost very little of the color. For the horizontals, we saw close to 80% color retention.

Same results as last time and one of the better products for preventing color fading

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

The TWP 1500 penetrates deep into the wood reducing the chance of wearing. We find that the 1500 Scored well here for a low VOC oil based stain.

Note that when staining brand new wood with TWP, we have found that it is best to let the wood season in the elements for at least 3+ months. Once it is weathered, we prep with a deck cleaner and wood brightener to enhance the stain penetration. Only 1 coat of the TWP 1500 for new smooth wood.

Cost Per Square Foot: 8

TWP 1500 Series cost us $38 per gallon. Coverage for the TWP 1500  on the pine deck was close to 1500 square feet per gallon for the first coat and 250 for the second coat. We used 5 gallons for the 450 sq. feet.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 9

No mold in the sunny areas of the deck floor. There was some mold growing on top of the TWP around the railings. This was close to a pine tree though and may have been the cause.

This result is normal with TWP products as they contain an EPA registered fungicide and a mixture of natural and synthetic oils.

Ease of Application: 8

TWP 1500 series applies fairly well. It is slightly thicker then the 100 Series so you do need to be careful of not over applying. Make sure that all puddles that have not absored in 30 minutes are wiped down. Best to apply with a stain pad. Attach this to a pole and “work” the stain into the wood. You can spray as well but you will need to back wipe for an even appearance. The 1500 also takes a little longer to. Closer to 6+ hours. We have noticed that rain will not affect the 1500 Series as long as the stain has an hour or two to absorb.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 10

The 1500 Stain did not “darken” in color at the two year review. This is excellent for an oil based stain as many of the other brands have the darkening problem.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

TWP 1500 Series can be reapplied with a minor cleaning first with a good quality deck cleaner. We have found that the TWP can be easily removed if needed with a deck stain stripper as well.

Overall Score TWP 1500 Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.44

TWP 1500 Series is one of the better wood and decking stains and is one of our top choices. As contractors we really like stains that penetrate deep into the wood and can be reapplied without sanding. TWP 1500 fits this and more by adding excellent UV and mold protection. Maintaining with TWP every 2-3 years is easy.

Product Information:

TWP Help? Search Google: TWP Stain Help
More Info: TWP 1500
Cost: $37.99 per Gallon, $184.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Oil-Based
Available Colors: 1500 Clear, 1501 Cedartone, 1502 Redwood, 1503 Dark Oak, 1504 Black Walnut, 1511 California Redwood, 1515 Honeytone, 1516 Rustic, 1520 Pecan, 1530 Natural
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1-2 Coats. “Wet on Wet”. Only 1 coat on new smooth wood.
Coverage Per Gallon: 150-250 sq. ft for first coat. 200-300 for second coat if applied.
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 4-12 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 350 Compliant in all States (Registered as Wood Preservative by EPA)
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Gemini Coatings

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: Applied 2011 and Reviewed Summer 2013
Deck Wood Type: Pine Treated Decking
Deck Square Footage: 450 Square feet
UV Exposure: 50% Full Sun, 50% Shade. South Exposure.
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used:
Natural 1530

*All products tested and results are from our experience as wood restoration contractors. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

Please Rate This Product. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

310 responses to “TWP 1500 Stain Review 2014”

  1. Jim Gibson says:

    I am considering using the TWP 1500 product on outdoor furniture that is made of Australian Jarrah wood. For prep we are removing everything down to bare wood. Any comments on using this product for this use?

    • We have not used TWP on this wood type but have on other exotic woods. You have to be careful that you do not over apply and that you back wipe off any excess stain that does not absorb in 30-45 minutes.

  2. Dawn, can you post some pictures in the forum area please.

  3. Judy Mulheirn says:

    I live in Dallas Tx, and have a 20 year old pressure treated yellow pine deck that hasn't been sealed in over 10 years. I had it pressure washed last week and would like to put a dark stain and sealer on it. Do I need to sand it also? And what product do you recommend. It does have some raised grain and feathering. Its a large deck also, 21×25, so I assume the best application will be with a roller. Any comments would be helpful.

    • No need to sand but if you want, try buffing with a floor buffer and white 3M sanding pad to remove the raised grain. Roller do not work well. Use an exterior stain pad. Try the TWP 103 Dark Oak or the Armstrong Clark in Rustic Brown.

  4. Alice says:

    We live in Missouri. We have a new deck that faces east, and it is about 6 months old. It was built with the Yellawood pressure treated pine. According to the Yellawood official website, as long as the water doesn't bead up after the "sprinkle test", it's fine to seal and stain. Am I correct? Should I use TWP 100 series, TWP 1500 series or Defy stain? We don't have a dealer near our home, and we want to buy the correct products, otherwise it's very hard to return if we are not satisfied.

  5. Monte says:

    My experience with TWP 1500 has been very disappointing – in less than a year the horizontal surfaces of my deck are spalling and flaking across significant portions of the deck. The vertical surfaces seem in better shape. It's been a long time that I've had this experience (many years ago with products called Superdeck and Wood Iron). Full disclosure – I live at 7,000 feet in Colorado, I spent an inordinate amount of time prepping my deck, as it is 16 years old, and my prep included use of the Gemini Restore System as well as sanding of all surfaces. I can't think that I screwed-up something in the prep, and I was careful to not overapply stain in the 'wet-on-wet' process. I have no doubt that many of you can make TWP products work, but here I am going into late fall/winter, and my deck is not in good shape after a mere 10 months. Prior to going to TWP I had always used Penofin Blue Label (transparent redwood). So why did I switch products? At this point I'm definitely asking myself that question – I guess like everyone else I search for the better mousetrap, and Deckstainhelp clearly provides wonderful assistance for those who want to do their best in taking care of their redwood decking. So, I moved to TWP based on DSH's ratings. Frankly, I shouldn't have quit on Penofin Blue label – come spring it is going back on my deck – I now have reinforcement for my belief that nothing penetrates and stays uniform in color and condition than Penofin.

    • Monte, sorry it did not work for you. Just to note, TWP is a penetrating stain. If the wood is prepped properly and it is applied properly then it will soak 100% into the wood. This means it cannot peel or flake. Something had to be be done wrong if it flaked on your wood as that means is filmed \”on top\” of the wood as it dried and did not penetrate.

      Sorry again that is did not work for you!

  6. Angie J says:

    deck site: North East Georgia untreated wood approx. 12 yrs. old. deck is covered but we have two long sets of stairs and a landing that is exposed to full sun and elements. Used pure bleach and washed off. Looks great except for board warping and some bad cracking! Deck is sound but needs cosmetic help! After reading post I understand the bleach might not have been the best approach! I Don't know if I need to do a little sanding because my wood looks little fuzzed. And then use the restore and brightener then! And I'm not sure of the best stain. I thought the 1500 due to the condition since it stops rot and decay. Or if I need to use the Defy to help harden wood back up after my bleach job! But you have recommended the 100 series to most location around me. So confused! Please help for my poor deck's sake!!! Thanks for the advice!

    • Any of those stain brands would work. Normally you would use the 100 Series for your area. Both the 100 and 1500 help to prevent rot and decay. Your prep is fine for now. No need for more cleaning and brightening.

  7. Greg Meade says:

    I'm about to stain a very dry log cabin. 8 years ago it was stained with Sikkens . Pressure washing remove your most of the stain. My client wants the best stain used on his home, what do you recommend?

  8. Dana says:

    My pressure treated pine screen porch was built in July 2015. It has weathered over a Maine winter and I plan on staining it in May. After 10 months including a winter – do you think that would count as "new smooth wood" meaning I should only hit it with 1 coat? Or should I go for 2 coats? I don't want a splotchy puddled stain mess and I would prefer not to over order stain! Would TWP1500 still be my best bet? The railings are in partial sun and behind the screen (labor intensive to re-stain) – do you think the stain would last 5 years on the vertical rails?

    • I would prep well then apply 1 coat to all wood. You can always add another light coat to the horizontals in 1-2 years. The verticals will last 3-6 years depending on exposure.

  9. Kristi says:

    We live in South Central PA and applied Ready Seal (Nat. Cedar) 6 yrs ago to our red cedar deck. Looking to bring it back from it's neglected state this spring. Does the remaining Ready Seal (mostly on the upright railings) need stripped if we go with the TWP 1500 or can we wash, clean and brighten and apply it over the Ready Seal? Or maybe we'd be better off sticking with the Ready Seal and not waiting 6 years?! Thanks!

  10. Kevin says:

    I have a wooden deck about 15 years old and painted in a red color. I bought the house last year and want to refresh the deck as it is peeling and weathered. Want kind of prep is necessary and will TWP work?

  11. Rick says:

    I built a knotty cedar deck 6+ months ago and am ready to prep for staining. I'm leaning towards TWP 1500 versus the TPW 100 since I'm a NY resident. I plan on prepping with Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit. Is the TWP 1500 the best option for a cedar deck, southern exposure with full sun most of the day? The decking has a beautiful natural yellow/orange color after a rain storm. What is the best color choice to achieve the same look as when the wood is wet?

  12. Ken says:

    Can a sealer be used after staining a deck or fence? Would that help the stain to last longer than a couple yrs? If so can you use any good sealer?

  13. FRED GRZESIAK says:


  14. Karla E. Minnesota says:

    I put TWP stain on our deck last summer. And I am so pleased the way it looks this spring! Is it a good idea to put on another coat or wait another year? And when we do put another coat on it, what is the best way to prep for another coat?

  15. Susan L. Southern WI says:

    Very informative site, thank you. Beginning construction on a new PT pine deck in about 2 weeks. Pretty low/ground level, southwestern exposure, not much shade in the area yet. My question is this – I've been using the highly recommended TWP 100 in Honeytone to preserve the bamboo on some fence panels that went in about 3 years ago. The TWP simply does not do what I was told it does. Used it primarily to preserve the bamboo and prevent mold/mildew, but it just doesn't work in sun or in shade. After 4 separate TWP applications, removing the mold and mildew from the bamboo before I reapply, I'll still get mildew growth within a couple of months. My contractor still recommends TWP, but wondering if you have any alternate suggestions for my deck, or ideas why it's failing on the bamboo. Hesitant to stain/seal the new deck with a highly recommended product that doesn't seem to have worked for me. Thanks in advance.

    • Does the 100 Series actually penetrate into the Bamboo? I think you are using the wrong version. The TWP 300 Series is designed for Bamboo.

      • Susan L. Southern WI says:

        Sorry for the response delay – my original response doesn't seem to have posted. The bamboo was left to weather for a year before any coating was applied, so yes, it did penetrate. But I did have trouble sourcing TWP locally and the 100 was all I could find, so perhaps that's the root of my problem. TWP is highly recommended for bamboo in most Japanese garden forums, which is how I originally heard of it. If I end up not using it, what would be your alternate recommendation for my location? Thanks much.

  16. Jeffrey says:

    We live in the NW and have left our new cedar deck "age" for over a year now and getting ready to apply the TWP cleaner/stain process (most likely the 1500 series) but the wife would like a darker stain on top of the railings and a lighter shade on the rails/flooring. Has anybody tried this combo?..or better just to stick with one shade? It's a rather large deck at nearly 900 sq.feet plus I have my work cut out for me this spring.

  17. Paul says:

    I have a pt pine deck in Syracuse NY that is less than 10 yrs. old. Horrible winters but deck is in full sun. It's been stained a few times with Sikkens Cetol SRD water based stain. Love the color and how it soaked into the wood but the floor turned dark and looked pretty bad where it's always in full sun. Sanded the deck down to bare wood and cleaned and brightened with Behr cleaner/brightener. Considering switching to the Sikkens oil based version, or possibly TWP 1500 or Armstrong Clark. I've read more negative reviews for the TWP than AC but some seem to be from poor prep. Looks like I can use one coat with either one. Which one would you choose since I can't decide? Thank you.

    • Both TWP 1500 and the AC are excellent stains. TWP works very well for mold and that have been part of your problem turning dark.

      • Paul says:

        Actually the deck floor only darkened where it is exposed to full sun. Would the darkening be caused by mold if it's in full sun?

      • Paul says:

        Also, even after being sanded the section of floor that was fully exposed to sun is still darker than the rest of the floor.

  18. jerry says:

    I have a five year old cedar deck in northern Illinois in full sun stained when new with semi transparent stain stripped horizontal boards and restained after two years I am now flipping boards but have to replace some plan on using hd80 and twp 15 00. Should I add new boards and then strip or strip the flipped boards then make repairs ?

  19. Dave says:

    I have a 2 year old cedar deck that has never been stained. We pressure washed then scrubbed with oxalic acid and it looks like new again. I live in Minnesota and the deck sees morning shade and hot afternoon sun and lots of winter snow cover. What treatment do you recommend? Considering Sikkens SRD and TWP. Would appreciate you're suggestions.

  20. Susan says:

    Need advice. I live in Salt Lake City. Had a new redwood deck built last year. Used TWP 100 Clear two weeks after
    being built. It was hand sanded down by contractor. Come spring it was all peeling and flaking. Some places the
    finish is sill there but very few spots in the sun. The shade is not as bad but still poor. Deck is on south side. How should I restore this and with what product?

    • TWP wants you to wait 4-12 months for new wood to season and prepped with a deck cleaner. Sanding and waiting only two weeks was premature and the TWP never had a chance to soak into the wood correctly. Basically the directions were not followed correctly and caused your failure. Prep by using the Restore A Deck Stripper Kits. Stain again with the TWP, but if you want protection from graying, you will need a tint, not the clear.

  21. Jimmy says:

    Live in Maine…… have a PT 15 year-old deck… am in the process of sanding it down to get rid of the weathering. Fairly sure I'm going with TWP1500, however, I'm concerned with how the stain color with look on the pt wood. With the greenish hue I wonder how this will affect the final color. Is there any kind of reference to view which would give an indication? TWP is only available via mail and I not like to make a mistake with color choice.

    • Have you considered some samples? This is always the best way to go as colors will vary when using a semi-trans stain based on your wood type, age, prep, etc.

      • Jimmy says:

        Yes. I was trying to avoid the extra cost and thought there might be a reference picture of various stain colors on pt wood. On another note, when do I use a cleaner vs. a brightener —- I'm sanding everything right now so am getting most of that weathered look taken off.

  22. Beth says:

    We are stripping off TWP Redwood from the previous owners. I believe it was TWP 1500. We live in Illinois so I don't think they used TWP 100 unless they bought it from out of state. How long as the 100 been unavailable in IL?

    We want to use dark oak or black walnut. Do we need to be sure all of the redwood color is gone before applying the new stain color?

  23. Rochel says:

    We patched our weathered deck and now want to stain the entire thing. There is 10% new wood, the rest is old and grey. May I use the TWP 1500 after pressure washing the deck?

    • Prep with a deck cleaner and pressure washing. Brighten after. If you stain now instead of waiting the 4-12 months that TWP requires, then you will need to apply another coat to the new boards next Spring.

  24. Scot Brownlie says:

    I have a new cedar fence that is about a month old. It appears to be rough sawn so can I use this right now as your article on new wood suggests? Not clear when the article says to let the wood dry. Does that mean I have to wait 4 months?

  25. Tamera Field says:

    Wonderful site! We have a new 1000 sf redwood deck in Southern California. Some of the deck get full sun most of the day, while the rest is covered by a patio cover. The deck has been seasoning for nearly six months now. We are considering TWP. We are very lazy people (at least I'm honest!), and want something that will wear well, and not be too much maintenance.

  26. david says:

    I just purchased 5 gal of TWP 1500 for my redwood deck and redwood fence. Live in california central valley. its hot in the summer over 100 degrees. I applied ducks back to the deck last year and I removed pretty much all of it with a pressure washer. do I need to do any further prep or can I just go ahead and stain?

  27. Tom Kraft says:

    I have approximately 500 sq. ft. of 2nd growth redwood full dimension 2×6 I milled on my band mill drying inside. I hoped to stain it before laying it down on the stringers. Would it be wise to stain all 4 sides, and if so what product and process would you advise?

  28. Pauline says:

    Massachusetts, PT porch facing northeast, so some sun but not much. Was constructed late fall 2015, planning to stain for first time this week. Someone recommended power washing it instead of using a cleaner since it's had minimal use and is still "new"ish. So, we did that, then sanded. Provided we clear off debris right beforehand, are we okay to use this product or do we definitely need to use the recommended cleaners as well? Feeling anxious about colder nights coming and causing application issues if we have to do additional prep, but obviously don't want to do bad job. Many thanks!

  29. Glynn says:

    I live in Raleigh North Carolina and have a KDAT pressure treated deck that was built in January of 2015. In June of 2015 the deck was power washed and stained with TWP 100 and here it is after only 16 months and the deck looks terrible (the boards have dark streaks, water doesn’t bead, boards are grayed out in places, etc.). In correcting this issue I have used Thompson’s Oxy Foaming cleaner along with Cabot’s Ready to Use Wood Brightener followed by power washing to clean up the mess but the boards still exhibit dark areas and streaking. The deck is partial sun and partial shade and it seems to be more troublesome in the sunny area. My gut feeling tells me to use a stripper to remove what is left and go back with an oil based stain instead of the TWP 100. What are your suggestions?

    • Hi Glynn,

      It seems you did not follow the directions for new wood and TWP. You have to prep before staining with their Gemini Restore Kit to remove the mill glaze, only one coat should be applied, and they want another coat within 12-18 months. this is normal for new wood. See our article on this:

      New wood just does not last very long the first time stained and this is normal with all stain brands. Your results with TWP will be better the second time staining

      If you want to switch, you will need to strip and brighten for the prep.

      A Couple of other things to mention. TWP is oil based and beading water is not important nor do high quality stains actually bead water, they shed and allow the wood to breathe.

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.