There 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 the 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:
- The most common suggestion by the manufacturer. New wood is suggested to dry since it has a high moisture content. This reduces the stain's ability to penetrate.
- The wood will dry and turn gray from the exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays.
- After 3-12 months you would need to apply a wood deck 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 deck brightener.
- Let dry for 24-48 hours then apply your deck stain of choice.
Stain New Deck 1-2 Months after Install.
- Not the most common approach but can be done if you prep properly.
- Apply a wood deck cleaner and thoroughly scrub and or pressure wash lightly. Neutralize with a wood deck brightener. These two steps will remove the mill glaze and "open" the wood pores.
- 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. The excessive stain will not soak into the wood causing the finish to dry on top of the wood. Many manufacturers 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.