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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    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!
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    The Sealer Store · 09/01/2014
    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.
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    Carol Sullivan · 09/01/2014
    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.
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    The Sealer Store · 08/27/2014
    Best to wait 23- months, prep, and stain with the Armstrong Clark.
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    a morgan · 08/27/2014
    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?
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    The Sealer Store · 08/19/2014
    -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.
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    Nicole Laplante · 08/19/2014

    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.


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    The Sealer Store · 08/06/2014
    No not really.
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    Bruce MacFarlane · 08/05/2014
    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. [b]IS THERE A DOWNSIDE FOR THEM to build it Fall 2014?[/b]
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    The Sealer Store · 04/11/2014
    susie, look at the Armstrong Clark Stain in the Amber color for this deck.