TWP Stain Review and Total Guide

Useable outdoor living spaces have become increasingly helpful in spending quality time with friends and family. Staining decks and porches is critical to maintain them over time. TWP is a premium stain that prevents accelerated wood deterioration, and we will explore characteristics that make this product stand out!

Whether it’s a DYI project or if you intend to hire a local professional, your product selection is crucial! Professional grade stain delivers maximum protection for exterior wood surfaces, reducing potential deck wood rot and premature failures. Quality stain retains a moisture-resistant barrier that adds beauty and offers easy application. In our findings, TWP stains provide unmatched performance in nearly every category. But is TWP suitable for your project?


This review is slightly different in that it offers a real-world user experience. In no time, you will be able to contrast and compare this benchmark stain to other leading brands in layman’s terms, ultimately deciding if this product is right for you!

TWP Stain Introduction

TWP remains a premium brand, although it doesn’t have a dedicated place of purchase. Therefore, it lacks the consumer awareness and exposure that it deserves. But make no mistake, TWP has left and continues to make its mark in wood protection. 

TWP has been around since the late ‘90s. TWP is an acronym for Total Wood Protection, and this product stands up to its name. TWP has stayed true to its roots by providing and specializing in wood protective coatings that offer lasting water resistance. It is also one of the few companies that have not reformulated its products or been acquired by a prominent industry leader. 

To explain why we revere the stain so highly, we have broken down the product and its performance into three significant categories, revealing how it performs.

1) Natural Pigments (Color Retention)

TWP stains contain prepackaged natural pigments, distinguishing and separating TWP from other leading product lines. To spare your time, we will digress from explaining the meaning of natural pigmentations by offering esoteric details! Simply put, prepackaged colors withstand UV exposure better than stains that require tinting at purchase. Natural pigments are essential to fade resistance and color retention. 

2) Deeply Penetrating Formula (Water-Resistant)

TWP offers a deep penetrating formula that is easy to apply and doesn’t leave excessive solids on the surface. On the contrary, stains that leave solids behind set the stage for future maintenance as the coating inevitably blisters and peels over time, resulting in future scrapping and sanding. 

3) Mildew Agents (Prohibiting Natural Growth)

TWP contains higher levels of zinc and other additives that limit unwanted growth. Most stains will temporarily help mitigate these rot influencers, but it is naive to blindly trust brands that do not adequately resist mold, mildew, algae, and other fungi growth. 

Extended water exposure on surfaces containing inadequate mildew resistance often leads to undetected growth that can accelerate deck wood rot.

TWP Product Lines

In 2019, TWP received an outside label refresh. A few of these changes include an improved look and slight verbiage changes. Thankfully, the formulations have not changed, and the product retains its stellar performance. Depending on your stain requirements, TWP offers products for just about anything.  


TWP provides complete wood protection systems for almost any exterior wood surface. There are also solutions to help reduce VOC emissions found within the 1500 series. We have compiled a shortlist of products to help exemplify each series’s best applications.

TWP 100 Series

The TWP 100 series is the most commonly used stain. Here is a list of the most suitable areas for the 100 series. TWP 100 is specially formulated and optimized for the following areas.

  • Home Wood Siding
  • Wood Decks & Fences
  • Rough Cut Cedar Trim, Siding Shakes

TWP 200 Series

TWP 200 series is slightly more niche and can be harder to locate. This stain will likely need to be ordered. TWP 200 is specially formulated and optimized for the following areas.

  • Log Homes
  • Wood Shakes & Shingles
  • Decorative Log Ties

TWP 300 Series

TWP 300 series is distinctly used in areas that require extra water resistance. The 300 series is specifically designed for the following applications.

  • Outdoor Furniture, Picnic Tables
  • Doors, Windows, & Shutters
  • Playgrounds

TWP 1500 Series Summary

TWP 1500 series meets and exceeds the most stringent VOC standards for states within the US and is one of the few low-odor penetrating exterior oil stains.

According to TWP, the 1500 series can be applied inside and out. In our experience, the best interior usage for the TWP 1500 series is inside log cabins and screened porches.

Otherwise, there are lower VOC emitting solutions for interior areas that are not subjected to moisture.

TWP Stain Application & Appearance

Subjectively, most stains are relatively easy to use. TWP products apply within a standardized application process. We have several years of experience using TWP, resulting in exceptional customer satisfaction. Overall, both homeowners and professionals should be happy with TWP stain applications. 

Most penetrating oil stains are notorious for excessive spattering when applied by brush. The 100 and 1500 series stains especially have lower viscosity by comparison. Even though a slightly thicker stain would reduce the potential of spatters in unwanted areas, these product lines remain easy to apply. 

Wood grains and fibers retain a natural appearance after using translucent or semi-transparent formulas. The wood looks rich, bold, and uniform. However, two light coats may be necessary for new or light wood for maximum uniformity.

The less-than-bright side is occasionally TWP will flash (areas shinier than others.) This aesthetic issue most commonly occurs over dense wood and lumber containing excessive knots.

Flashing is a short-term drawback to applying stains with high oil solids. There is no reason to panic if you see shiny areas. TWP is renowned for high levels of solids and pigmentation. So, some flashing is to be expected. Those shiny areas may take as much as two weeks to dissipate. 

TWP Stain Best Usage & Limitation

While TWP is versatile, it does have its limitations. There are only a few hardwoods that will take TWP stain. For best usage, use TWP stain on treated lumber and cedar. Some of the densest hardwoods have natural oils and are dense enough to resist the stains’ effort to penetrate the surface.  

For exterior hardwoods such as Brazilian Rose and Walnut (AKA) IPE, specific, more suitable products such as Penofin are available. TWP is not intended for marine usage, including boat docks, railing, or decks. 

TWP Cost & Comparison

TWP has maintained little to no price increase compared to the inflated costs of other paint and stains. Although, any stain worth buying is expensive, considering the rising global costs of raw materials. 

There is no comparison when comparing TWP to stains such as Behr and Cabot (made by Valspar and acquired by Sherwin-Williams). The cost is comparable to Cabot stains but outperforms in almost every category. 

The good news is that TWP doesn’t contain acrylic polymers, which would merely sit on the surface like Behr. Instead, the oils penetrate deep within the wood, unlike Sherwin-Williams deck stains, mainly of paraffin wax and mineral spirits. TWP stain is an overachiever in the most significant categories. 

Maintenence & Requirements 

Among comparable stains, TWP may provide the most protection. However, proper maintenance demands staining every 12 – 24 months.

That recommendation alone may send the average consumer for a loop. And if you fall within that category, remember that nature always wins. The most critical maintenance goal is maximum protection while the stain is intact.

For an analogy, there are two decks side by side. One has TWP, and the other has another leading brand. Both decks are appropriately maintained by cleaning and staining each year. After 5 – 10 years, the deck with TWP would merely show minor age and wear. 

Natural wood decks, porches, and fences offer unparalleled beauty and are costly to build. So, it would make sense to use the best protection provided by Total Wood Protection. 

The fact is, exterior wood substrates require maintenance – there is no getting around that! Contact us for your next Raleigh staining project today!

Similar Posts