The process of wood staining can vary from surface to surface. Many variables come into play during a stain application like wood type, age and porosity of the wood. Not all wood surfaces are the same and the staining process will vary from surface to surface. When dealing with pressure treated lumber and other porous or aged wood surfaces you may have to apply two coats. Unlike paint you typically do not have to let the first coat dry before applying a second coat but it depends on the wood stain you are using.
If you are using a wood stain like Defy or TWP for example, and need to apply two coats, then a “wet on wet” application is suggested. In this case it is very important to not let the first coat dry completely prior to applying the second coat. You should wait approximately 20 minutes between coats without letting the first coat dry. Brush any stain drips, runs or puddles into the surface before the stain dries. Not doing so will result in over application, which causes a shiny or blotchy looking finish. The dried shiny, over applied areas will end up chipping and flaking.
All the stain applied in one coat or a two coat wet on wet application needs to be absorbed into the wood. Do not allow excess stain to dry. Brush it in or wipe it away with a clean stain rag. Apply only as much stain as the wood can easily absorb. These are general instructions for a wet on wet application. Be sure to follow the wet on wet application instructions that are on the stain label. These are the suggested application directions of the manufacturer and will give you the best results possible.
Remember to never over apply and to brush or wipe away any excess stain that is not absorbed. Apply only as much stain as will be absorbed. This will give you a professional like finish that will provide lasting protection.