When to Stain a New Deck – Ask THE Handyman St. Louis – GET IT DONE!

I had a new cedar deck built this spring.  Is it too late to get it stained?

Congratulations on your new deck.  I hope you have been enjoying it!

Although it is close to the time when you will not want to stain the deck (under 40 degrees overnight), there is something else to consider.    Before cedar (and treated wood as well) should be stained or painted, it needs to “weather” for a while.  In other words, it needs to dry out.  Usually, a 3 month wait is recommended.  As a side note, I have never been able to get an answer to the following: if only the top part of a board is sealed, why can’t the boards “weather” from the bottom, where there is no stain or sealer?  If anyone can answer this, I’d love to know.

However, if you want to keep the new color and not let it start to turn grey, there is something that you can do.  Flood makes a product called “Seasonite” that can be applied to new wood.  Although it doesn’t give protection to the wood like a sealer, it does prevent it from turning color.  This means that in the spring, after the deck has weathered, you will be able to stain it, without having to do a lot of power washing or deck cleaning.

The product goes on just like a stain or sealer, so you can apply it by brush and roller, stain pad, or if you have the right equipment, sprayer.  However, if you are not an expert with a sprayer, I would not recommend using it for this.  You would be amazed how many decks I’ve seen stained with sprayers and the stain is all over the siding.  As well, if you have a patio under your deck, laying plastic on the patio is a recommended practice.

There are other products like Seasonite, just be sure to read the label and ask a professional any questions.  And remember, check the minimum temperature for the stain or sealer before applying this fall.


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