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 the 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 ultraviolet 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. 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.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lawrence Tyler · 07/05/2020
    When the contractor built my cedar deck they trimmed the edges with prmered fascia. Can I use semi transparent Stain over it?
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    JDavis · 07/01/2020
    How soon should I stain the deck after pressure washing?
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    Amy · 07/01/2020
    I had my deck resurfaced and the installer did not tell me I needed to weather the new wood and agreed to stain it. The stain is patchy and uneven. Is it possible to sand it off? I liked it better untreated. Do I need to wait until next year to apply a second coat? What are my best options to remedy the situation? Thank you
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      The Sealer Store · 07/01/2020
      Remove it all and then let the wood sit for 3-6 months before prep and stain.
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    Brandi · 06/28/2020
    Moved into a home with a porch that is 7 to 10 years old, never stained. What steps do I need to take to stain?
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    Barb B · 06/27/2020
    Hi there!
    I just re-built my deck and was wondering if I can put my furniture on it while it’s drying out. Thanks for the help!
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    Vijaye Walker · 06/26/2020
    Is there a product that can be applied to the new deck to preserve the new wood color until its dried and ready to stain?
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      The Sealer Store · 06/26/2020
      No, you want the wood to weather naturally then prep for new wood.
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    Joe H · 06/23/2020
    Hi, installing a new cedar deck (small, appx 200 sf) using architect clear grade. Question: would you recommend cleaning & brightening then sealing immediately after install or hold off on this process for a time? If so, any particular recommended wait period? Not certain with this grade if a wait is necessary or recommended. thank you.
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      The Sealer Store · 06/23/2020
      Yes, you have to wait and prep. The wood type does not matter.
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        Joe H · 06/23/2020
        thank you! would 3 to 4 months be adequate or would you suggest longer? Appreciate your feedback.
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          The Sealer Store · 06/23/2020
          That varies based on the stain brand but typically 3+ months is good.
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    Jessica · 06/16/2020
    Bought a house and they put in a deck right before I bought it and sealed it right away and didn't let the wood weather at all. The wood is green looking still cause they didn't let any of the moisture come out of the wood. What would you suggest I do.
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    Liz · 06/11/2020
    How long do I have to wait to seal a new redwood deck? Do I have to prep (sand, brighten or clean) before I stain it. What is the best stain for redwood? The deck gets full sun in California where summers can be in the 90s.
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      The Sealer Store · 06/11/2020
      The answers to your questions are in the above article. It does not matter the wood type.
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    Stuart · 06/10/2020
    We had a new pressure treated pine deck built in January. I'm trying to decide when to stain. We live in Alabama. It has been exceptionally rainy this winter/spring and now is hot. Water still beads when dropped on most of the deck boards. Parts of the deck are starting to gray a bit. Any recommendations on ideal timing?
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    Barry · 06/10/2020
    I had a new pressure treated deck top put on 7 months ago. As long as water doesn't bead up, can I apply a stain/sealer without any pre-treatment of the deck? Thanks
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    Steve · 05/25/2020
    I'm installing 5/4 cedar decking on a covered porch and I get staining should not be done for 3 - 12 months. I'm curious about the bottom of the deck boards not receiving any stain. That's okay I assume? Thanks
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    Sara Rubenstein · 05/22/2020
    I just had a deck installed a few days ago we haven’t stained it yet I am noticing splintering around all the nails should I just hand sand them before staring or is there some special I need to do?
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      The Sealer Store · 05/22/2020
      After the wait and prep, you can lightly sand off any splinters prior to staining.
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    John Rein · 05/18/2020
    Just finished install on a new 14x19 wood deck and looking for info on future sealing and or stain after weathering. Would like to maintain original wood grain finish if possible with a clear or transparent product. What would you advise
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    Denise · 05/16/2020
    The deck. Stained after 5 months
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    Gina · 05/16/2020
    Stained with semi transparent. New wood. Just did one coat even though can said 2. I may do another coat in the fall. Too hot and sunny out there. Love how it looks. First time doing a deck at 70.
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      Gina · 06/06/2020
      TWP brand. Cedartone. Water base. Easy to use. It’s thin.
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      tim · 06/06/2020
      what did you use to stain that deck. That is the color i want.
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    Dmitriy · 05/15/2020
    another question on timber oil - my deck is approximately 900 sq ft (not including the railings and such) - would 1 5 gallon of timber oil be enough to stain, or should I order 2?
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      The Sealer Store · 05/15/2020
      You will need 7-10 gallons.
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        Dmitriy · 05/15/2020
        Thank you super helpful. Last question - timberoil has VCOC at 550 level, is that considered a semi-transparent, or transparent? Thanks again.
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    Ann Singer · 04/30/2020
    I'm having a new deck put on. Im using untreated fir wood. Should I wait to stain it or can I stain boards before they are put down? Also I live in a area with alot of snow in the winter what is a good brand of stain to use?
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    Adam H. · 04/28/2020
    Hi and thank you for the answer in advance!

    I recently added a WC Western Cedar deck back in December here in St. Louis Missouri. The deck gets about 85-90% sun, so we are about 4 months of weathering, and it was ready for a seal treatment. Winter and spring have been normal. Days in the upper 60's to 70's, and lows in the 50's. it is about to change, and will be 80's to 90's very quickly.

    I was preparing to seal it very soon when the nighttime temps stayed above 50's, but I just had to have 5 boards replaced due to splitting, cracking, and some workmanship. So now I have weathered boards and new boards, 1 rail, and 4 deck boards.

    3 Questions
    1. What is the best way to seal it now with the new boards, just seal them all?
    - Some of them are starting to grey a bit, see pic.
    2. What is the best seal / stain for a natural Wet look?
    3. it is spring, how long of a dry period do I need before the next potential rain hits?

    Thanks again for the help, it is much appreciated!

    Sincerely,
    Adam H.
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    Stephanie · 04/18/2020
    And do we need to let it age first before doing anything? We were hoping to paint/stain before assembling as that seemed easier.