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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    The Sealer Store · 05/08/2016
    Depends on the stain type and brand if it can be stripped or if sanding will be needed. Do you know
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    Laura Rabren · 05/07/2016
    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!!!
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    The Sealer Store · 04/24/2016
    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
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    Steve Rankine · 04/24/2016
    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! :-)
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    The Sealer Store · 11/09/2015
    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.
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    Judy Heintzman · 11/08/2015
    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
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    The Sealer Store · 10/15/2015
    If the weather cooperates then stain now. If not you can wait but you will have to clean again in the Spring.
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    Kevin Cheezum · 10/15/2015
    We just stripped our deck (Oct) and are wondering if we should stain it before or after the winter.
    Please advise.
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    The Sealer Store · 10/06/2015
    No it will be fine to let it go through one Winter.
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    renetsil · 10/05/2015
    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.
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    The Sealer Store · 09/14/2015
    You will be fine.
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    Gerald · 09/14/2015
    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.

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    The Sealer Store · 06/10/2015
    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.
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    Jayne · 06/10/2015
    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.
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    The Sealer Store · 05/27/2015
    Yes wait about a month, prep with a deck cleaner and wood brightener, then stain with the Timber Oil.
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    Ashley John · 05/26/2015
    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.
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    The Sealer Store · 05/20/2015
    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.
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    D DEEKS · 05/19/2015
    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.
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    The Sealer Store · 09/12/2014
    You will be fine.
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    dwayne sloan · 09/12/2014
    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!