Q: Why is it necessary to wait a few weeks before staining a new pressure-treated deck?
A: Treatment with waterborne preservatives leaves moisture in the wood that can impede penetration and drying of stains and paints. In fact, a freshly treated piece of lumber might contain as much as 2 to 4 gallons of water per cubic foot. For the best performance of paint and stain coatings, the wood needs to dry prior to stain/sealer application. Typically, treated wood will be ready for finishing 60 days after installation, but estimating exactly how long to wait is difficult because it depends on the time elapsed since pressure treatment, sun exposure, local temperature and recent weather conditions.