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when to stain a new deckThere are many questions as to when a newly installed deck should be stained. Some stain manufacturers suggest you should wait 3-12 months to let the wood dry while others say to stain the deck right away. The answer can be both just as long as you prep the new wood properly for an application of the stain.

We are going to explain both scenarios and the proper steps to take.

Let the New Deck Dry and Weather for 3-12 Months:

  1. Most common suggestion by manufacturer. New wood is suggested to dry since it has a high moisture content. This reduces the stains ability to penetrate.
  2. The wood will dry and turn gray from the exposure to the sun's ultra violet rays.
  3. After 3-12 months you would need to apply a wood cleaner to remove the gray wood cells. This can be done with scrubbing and or light pressure washing. After cleaning the deck you will need to neutralize the wood deck cleaner with a wood brightener.
  4. Let dry for 24-48 hours then apply your deck stain of choice.

Stain New Deck Right Away.

  1. Not the most common approach but can be done if you prep properly.
  2. Apply a wood deck cleaner and thoroughly scrub and or pressure wash lightly. Neutralize with a wood brightener. These two steps will remove the mill glaze and "open" the wood pores.
  3. Apply a deck stain that is "thin" in viscosity. A heavily bodied wood stain will have a hard time penetrating into the new wood. Using a stain similar to The Sealer Store TimberOil will penetrate into the wood.

Do not over apply a wood deck stain/sealer to a new deck. Excessive stain will not soak into the wood causing the finish to dry on top of the wood. Many manufactures suggest only one coat on newly installed wood.

For deck staining instructions please read: How To Stain a Deck

If you have any about staining a brand new deck please ask below. All questions are typically answered within a day.

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mature lady homeowner
Oct. in Santa Fe, NM. Roofer rebuilt new large redwood deck 2 weeks ago. Some say let dry out for months others say stain/seal now. Need expert advice about stain/sealer brand. Thanks in advance. V. Bishop
V. Bishop , October 14, 2016
I just installed a new cedar deck and railing can it be stained right away I live in the northeast
jon provorse , October 01, 2016
Leave alone until Spring.
TheSealerStore , September 19, 2016
Replaced some cedar deck boards
I just replaced about 20 cedar deck boards that were bad on a previously stained deck. Do those boards need to be sealed before winter. I plan to strip and redo the deck in spring completely. Is it ok to leave these new boards alone until next spring when I do everything. The deck will start collecting leaves now
Jim hanke , September 18, 2016
Replaced some cedar deck boards
I just replaced about 20 cedar deck boards that were bad on a previously stained deck. Do those boards need to be sealed before winter. I plan to strip and redo the deck in spring completely. Is it ok to leave these new boards alone until next spring when I do everything. The deck will start collecting leaves now
Jim hanke , September 18, 2016
Yes you should clean and brighten the Batu. Wait until Fall for this. Prep and apply the Armstrong Clark in Amber or the Defy Hardwood Stains. Just one coat for Batu wood.
TheSealerStore , July 25, 2016
As the article states, let the wood sit for 3-12 months. Prep first with the Restore A Deck kits. Stain with Armstrong Clark or TWP stains. Nothing needs to be done with the knots.
TheSealerStore , July 25, 2016
Staining a new Batu deck
I had a new deck built that was completed in June. The deck wood is Batu. I was planning on using Messmers but am open to other products. What woud you suggest? Do i need to clean and brighten it before staining it? I want a tinted stain to enhance the wood. Thank you.
Colette , July 25, 2016
Sealing new redwood stairs
[How long should I wait to stain and seal new redwood stairs and what do I need to do with sap on the surface also what needs to be done with the knots in the wood?/b]
Doug Ward , July 25, 2016
Depends on the stain type and brand if it can be stripped or if sanding will be needed. Do you know
TheSealerStore , May 08, 2016
Messed up new deck
We redid our pier with pine 3 months ago. We just had a fiasco staining/weatherproofing it by our painter. It appears that he put it on too thick. Stain is on top of the wood. Can we strip it off and start over? Help!!!
Laura Rabren , May 07, 2016
1. If you do not wait for the natural weathering, it will fail within a year. You will need to touchup the new boards next year.
2. Yes
3. Yes
TheSealerStore , April 25, 2016
Maintenance procedure for Armstrong Clark cedar semitransparent stain
Hi, I live in Toronto Canada and have a cedar deck that needs a couple of horizontal boards replaced this year. I put the Armstrong Clark cedar semitransparent stain on the entire deck last year and plan to apply a maintenance coat on the horizontal surfaces this year. Could you please confirm if the following process is appropriate?
1. Install new cedar boards. Use Restore A Deck Kit right away to prep the new cedar. (I would prefer not to wait two-three months)
2. Wash established cedar horizontal surfaces with soapy water.
3. Apply maintenance coat on all horizontal surfaces including the new cedar that was prepped with Restore a Deck Kit.

Thanks for your support! smilies/smiley.gif
Steve Rankine , April 24, 2016
Clean and brighten first with the Restore A Deck Kits. Stain with Armstrong Clark Stains or the TWP. You can do it now or wait until Spring time.
TheSealerStore , November 09, 2015
I had a deck installed early June of 2015....deck boards are AC2 Green Thickdeck.....I would like to know when to stain it....I would like to use a semi-transparent stain....I am noticing a few gray tones on the deck...I am also looking for a reliable stain recommendation.....and the process I need to go through...
Thank you for your help
Judy Heintzman , November 08, 2015
If the weather cooperates then stain now. If not you can wait but you will have to clean again in the Spring.
TheSealerStore , October 15, 2015
Stain Before or after Winter?
We just stripped our deck (Oct) and are wondering if we should stain it before or after the winter.
Please advise.
Kevin Cheezum , October 15, 2015
re: New Deck
No it will be fine to let it go through one Winter.
TheSealerStore , October 06, 2015
New Deck
I am getting a new deck installed now and i live in chicago -- i hear its good to wait several months before staining.......if i wait......will the winter season and snow hurt the wood if i wait until spring to stain it? thank you.
renetsil , October 05, 2015
You will be fine.
TheSealerStore , September 14, 2015
Australian Timber Oil & new deck
I had a covered deck (PT Pine) built in May of this year and have just (9/12/15) used a wood cleaner and a brightner on the deck and if the weather holds plan to stain it with Australian Timber oil this weekend (9/19/15). Is it too soon to use this type of a product on the deck? I live in middle Tennessee. Thanks.

Gerald , September 14, 2015
Clear means it will not prevent graying. Tinted stains will prevent UV graying. The richer the tint/color, the longer it will last. Prep new wood with a Restore A Deck Kit. Wait 1 months to apply the Timber Oil Brand then do the prep.
TheSealerStore , June 10, 2015
new redwood deck--when to apply sealer?
We are in the process of building a new redwood deck and want to treat it with a wood sealer, have been considering a Timber Oil, but we're open to other suggestions. Have been reading it is best to wait for the wood to dry. How long should we wait for the redwood to dry and what product is best for redwood? We want a clear sealer.
Jayne , June 10, 2015
re: New cedar deck
Yes wait about a month, prep with a deck cleaner and wood brightener, then stain with the Timber Oil.
TheSealerStore , May 27, 2015
New cedar deck
We are getting ready to install a new cedar deck. We live in wisconsin and the deck is south facing meaning it is in the sun all day. I have been reading many blogs/websites on if to wait to stain or stain the deck right away. I plan on using the timber oil brand stain which recommends to wait a month before staining. I know the harsh uv rays are not good for cedar. I would like to know what is best to ensure we do this right the first time.
Ashley John , May 27, 2015
Either would work for you. Defy Extreme is water based and can prevent mold better. AC is oil based and can penetrate into the wood better then a water based stain will.
TheSealerStore , May 20, 2015
I notice either Defy Extreme or Armstrong Clark are the usual suggested stains for particular questions. What is the criteria that determines which one to use. We are currently building a pressure treated deck in the northern prairies of Canada and I was just wondering which one to use. Of course, we will wait till this fall to stain.
D DEEKS , May 20, 2015
You will be fine.
opwdecks , September 12, 2014
I have read the instructions completely. I am all in for waiting but last year bad snow storms and acummalation. I will keep shoveling under control. shall I be alright to wait it out till spring ? Thanks!
dwayne sloan , September 12, 2014
re: Old deck with some new wood
Defy wants you to wait 3 months for the wood to weather and dry out. you will also need to clean and brighten after that for the final prep. Best to wait and follow the directions. Defy is an excellent stain.
TheSealerStore , September 01, 2014
Old deck with some new wood
I have a 10 year old deck. It had been neglected and had to replace about l/3 of the boards with pressure treated wood 3 weeks ago. I pressure washed, sanded and cleaned right after. I plan to use wood brightner next before staining. My dilemma, old wood passed water test but water still beads up on new wood. Since I have old and new wood on same deck I'm confused how long I need to wait to stain/seal since I have two different woods on same deck. I don't want the old wood to deteriorate more, but obviously need to stain all the deck at same time. Wanted to use Defy Stain and live in Houston, TX area. How long should I wait to stain and is Defy a good choice.
Carol Sullivan , September 01, 2014
re: new decing just built 27/8/14
Best to wait 23- months, prep, and stain with the Armstrong Clark.
TheSealerStore , August 28, 2014
new decing just built 27/8/14
hi i have just finished my decking when would be the best time to start stain it?
would i have to clean it first or can i apply the stain straight away?
a morgan , August 27, 2014
re: How to stain a gazebo
-Prep firs with the Restore A Deck Kits and light pressure washing
-Use the Armstrong Clark Stain
-For tools, use a pump sprayer and stain pads. Spray what you can and back wipe with pad to ensure an even application. Take caution to not over psray on to glass, siding, plants, grass.
-You can skip the sprayer if you want and do all with the stain pads.
-Do outside first and do from top down.
TheSealerStore , August 20, 2014
How to stain a gazebo

I would like to know how to stain a gazebo made of new cedar outside and inside.

What tools to use and what stain would be the best. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Nicole Laplante , August 19, 2014
re: Cedar deck - Fall installation
No not really.
TheSealerStore , August 06, 2014
Cedar deck - Fall installation
We are planning a new deck for late Oct. 2014, in Minnesota. The vendor states: "We could complete the work this fall. This would allow the wood an opportunity to cure for a few months and get the residual moisture out of it. We would put a lifetime sealant on the wood to internally protect the wood. This product is not for aesthetics. It will grey but is impressive at enhancing the life of the wood. We could then come back in the Spring, Pressure Wash, Sand, and Stain." Alternatively, they could build it Spring 2015. IS THERE A DOWNSIDE FOR THEM to build it Fall 2014?
Bruce MacFarlane , August 06, 2014
susie, look at the Armstrong Clark Stain in the Amber color for this deck.
TheSealerStore , April 11, 2014
I have a cumaru deck, what stain would you use.
It is south facing with intense heat, CA.
susie , April 10, 2014
re: when to Stain & best product to use
"clear" has not color and will not offer UV protection. You need a semi-transparent color to get UV protection. Look at the Armstrong Clark or Timber Oil Brand after prepping with the Restore A Deck Kit.
TheSealerStore , March 23, 2014
when to Stain & best product to use
I have a newly built deck that was built 11/13 of last year. It is a wood deck built of pressure treated wood. nothing has been done to it. I want to stain it clear. I want to know when to stain it, what is the best product to use and how to use it. I want something that will last a long time. If clear is not the best thing to use, what is. I'm thinking clear because of what I have to do when I have to re-stain it. I want something that will last. What is the best product to use? I know I have to do something soon.
S. A. Smith , March 23, 2014
re: Just built new decking
Vicki, wait until Spring. Prep first with the Restore A Deck Kits.
TheSealerStore , November 10, 2013
Just built new decking
Hi we are wondering how long we have to leave our decking until we can stain it it is kupar hard wood
Vicki , November 09, 2013
Marla, replace wood first, clean and brighten, than stain.
TheSealerStore , August 25, 2013
Going to strip and brighten then stain 15 yr old cedar deck, but need to replace a few decking boards in what order should I proceed?thanks
Marla , August 23, 2013
Son-in-law built new deck over the top old cement pad for new hot tub which will arrive in 2-3 wks. Is it okay to put water sealer on new wood now? Not much time before tub gets here.
Sandra , July 28, 2013
re: staining on the water after winter
It is okay to wait until Spring.
TheSealerStore , October 06, 2012
staining on the water after winter
I have a deck that was finished in August. I live on the water on Long Island. Is it safe to wait until spring to stain the deck, after it is snowed on, and exposed to the sea water for so long?
WriterS , October 05, 2012
Staining a deck
I am having a new deck installed next week. I live in Maryland and we are having temps in the 80 -90's. I am hand picking the driest wood. How long should I wait to stain the deck? Should I use a stain with a sealer? Should I use a stain or semitransparent paint? I am thinking about using Behr or Cabot, which is better for my area? Which one is mildew resistant and fade resistant? I will wait for your answer. Thanks, BJ
BJ Rounsaville , June 06, 2012
re: Year old deck
I personally would buy a stain stripper followed by a wood brightener. This will remove all the dirt, grime and year old Penofin. You may be able to get by with a cleaner and brightener but it really depends on ow well the Penofin has held up. If it still looks good and the stain has not worn off unevenly then you could use just a cleaner and brightener.

FYI, you do not need both a stripper and a cleaner. Just one or the other depending on what you are trying to do. Both should be neutralized with a wood brightener.
TheSealerStore , April 16, 2012
Year old deck
I built a deck a year ago and now that the weather is better it time to use it. I wanted to clean it and bring it back to the new. The deck is flanked by douglas fir and the needles pollen salt air and debris have really aged it. I wanted to stain the deck again but, since I stained the boards before laying them, would i have to buy a cleaner, stripper and brightener or would i just have to buy a cleaner and brightener and then re-stain. The deck is cedar and the stain that I used was penofin. Thanks for your replysmilies/smiley.gif
Miller , April 15, 2012
re: New Decking with Ink Logos
We sell mostly transparent and semi-transparent "penetrating" wood decking stains. You cannot apply a primer with these products. It would be best to clean the deck first to remove the blue ink logos and if needed lightly sand.

If looking for a dark red color you might want to look at the Armstrong Clark in Mahogany or Sequoia colors. Armstrong Clark
TheSealerStore , March 12, 2012
New Decking with Ink Logos
I just purchased a new home with patio and wood decking. The home has been in the construction phase for about 6 months. I want to stain the wood a very dark redwood. My decking boards have factory blue logos stamped on the boards and several are showing on top of the deck floor. Most of the logos are under the floor. Will a dark stain cover the stamped logos or should I paint or apply primer first? I really do not want to do this every couple of years....so tell me paint vs stain applications. Thanks
Robert D. Wellington , March 11, 2012
re: Pressurized wood deck was built one month ago
It is cutting it close. New PTP is very wet wood and should dry for 1-2 months. If you decide to do a coat I would suggest 1 very light cost this year and then reapply another light coat in the Spring.
TheSealerStore , October 13, 2011
Pressurized wood deck was built one month ago. It rained during construction and for two weeks solid thereafter. Last 11 days have been sunny and dry. I'd like to stain before winter however water still beads up on wood. I plan on cleaning and brightening with Defy products. Staining horizontal surfaces with Defy Epoxy Fortified and rail pickets with Cabot Semisolid black. What do you think? Can it be done before winter or should I wait?
mjk , October 12, 2011
re: New deck
Yes it should be fine to let it sit through the winter.
TheSealerStore , August 15, 2011
New deck
We are building a new deck with pretreated wood. If we wait to stain the wood, we are wanting to do a more natural stain. If we wait to stain it the deck will sit through the winter with snow on it. Will that be fine.
Kendra Haas , August 15, 2011



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