Deck Stain After Building a Deck

Q. After building my deck, how long should I wait before I stain it?

A. The pressure treatment of lumber with waterborne preservatives leaves moisture in the wood. This is why fresh PT lumber often arrives wet from the supplier or is still damp at the lumber yard, and the moisture can impede the penetration of stains and paints. For best performance of paint and stain coatings, allow the treated wood to dry prior to application. Typically, treated wood will dry in 2 to 4 weeks after the decking is installed. Estimating exactly how long treated deck will take to dry is difficult, and a lot depends on how much time has elapsed since the pressure treatment, the wood’s exposure to the sun, ambient weather and temperature, etc. Consider these factors and use your best judgment, and always follow the instructions provided by the stain manufacturer.

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