Choosing the Right Timing to Stain Your New Deck

image of a deck, but do you know When to Stain a New Deck?

Decks add beauty to your home, and a decision to install and stain yours means that you are going to invest your time and financial resources. With such an investment, there’s little to no margin for errors; therefore, you need to know when to stain a new deck.

It is recommended that you wait for about 3 months or more before you can stain your new deck. This waiting period allows the wood to weather hence creating an excellent porous surface that will form a strong adhesion with the stain.

When staining your deck, you must get it right so that you don’t spend to end up with a less satisfying finish.

Why Should You Stain a New Deck?

Staining is a crucial step to help extend your deck’s service life and get the best out of your investment. Much as most decks are constructed using the durable pressure treated wood or even cedar, these woods cannot withstand sunlight or excessive water for an extended period. Therefore, staining will help them last, especially if you can maintain the practice.

Whenever you stain your deck, the formula is absorbed into the upper layers of the wood; in turn, it provides a weatherproof barrier that protects against moisture and UV rays.

Failure to stain your wooden structures like decks will result in discoloration or rustic appearance. Much as rustic look might be appealing to some degree; your structure will deteriorate with each passing day.

There are stains with different colors, including rustic appearance. It would be best if you instead chose to use such a stain instead of leaving your deck unstained.

When is My New Deck Dry and Ready for Staining?

Some times, you can stain your deck as soon as you install it, mainly when the wood you used arrive dry from the lumber store. However, you need to verify that the wood is dry by doing the simple test where you spill water over the surface, if the water beads up, then give it a few more weeks to dry. 

Choosing the Right Timing to Stain Your New Deck

If you want to get the best out of your deck, then stain it during Spring or Fall. Summer and winter come with extreme temperatures, which are not the most appropriate for staining of a deck. 

Other factors influence the best time to stain a deck. For example, it is a bad idea to stain your deck in the middle of the summer when there are extended hours of direct sunlight. Too much sunlight may affect the proper application of the stain.

Most of the deck stains require application when the temperatures are mild, with less moisture content as well as rains.

How to Prepare Deck for Staining

There are essential preparation steps that you need to undertake as you ready your deck for staining. Cleaning is vital whether you are working with a new or previously stained deck. Here are some of the necessary steps in preparing a deck for staining.

Step One: Cleaning of The Deck

The first thing you need to do if you are looking to stain your deck is to clean the deck.

Oxygenated bleach wood cleaners are excellent compounds fo deck cleaning. These formulas are useful when it comes to the removal of dirt, mildew, nail stains, as well as algae. Some of the wood cleaners include Howard Products RF3016 and Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck and Fence Pressure Washer Cleaner.

You could go further and acquire a wood brightener as an additional step in restoring the appearance of older surfaces.

Sweep the surface of your deck, remove all the debris before you can apply the deck cleaner using a roller or sprayer.

Step Two: Scrub Away the Cleaner Using a Thick Bristle Brush

Allow you cleaner to soak the deck for about 15 minutes before you start to scrub it using a stiff synthetic bristle brush.

Note: Avoid using wire brushes as they can create spots.

Scrubbing thoroughly plays an essential role in removing all dirt and residue. Don’t let your cleaner puddle.

Step Three: Rinse the Surface of the Deck Using Pressure Washer

When cleaning your deck using a power washer, you need to be extra careful so that you don’t damage your deck wood. If you are not in a position to pay for a professional washer, ensure that you direct the power washer with a 45-degree tip and set the pressure at 1200 – 1400 psi, this will help protect the deck against damages. Keep the distance between the pressure washer and wood at 8 – 12 inches for best results.

Allow your deck enough time to dry.

Step Four: Sand the Areas to Remove the Persistent Residue

As soon as you are sure that the deck is dry, use a wood sander for sanding the surfaces that have stubborn residue lightly. After sanding your surface, rinse it again using clean water and give the deck about 2-3 days to dry properly

Step Five: Stain Your Deck

Once you are sure that the surface of your deck has dried completely, apply your deck stain using a brush, roller or a sprayer where applicable.

Watch the video below on cleaning and staining a deck:

Safety Observation When Cleaning a Deck Using Pressure Washer

  • You should be able to quickly turn off the pressure washer and release pressure from the system.
  • Every time you are operating a pressure washer, ensure that you are on a stable surface with a great balance as well as a solid footing.
  • At any point, you should not leave a spray gun or wand unattended while the pressure washer is in use.
  • Stay sensitive and aware of where you’re directing your pressure washer spray.
  • Whenever you use a pressure washer, try much as you can to always have your eye protection.
  • Avoid at all costs pointing your pressure washer spray gun or the wand at people, plants, or even animals.

How Many Coats of Deck stain Should I Use?

Well, it is acceptable that you apply stains that your wood can absorb. It translates to about 2 coats unless you’re staining extremely dense hardwoods- these woods can only absorb a single layer of wood stain.


For you to get the best results with the staining of your deck, you need to get the right timing for such a project. You can get the right products in the market but still end up with the “worst” finish. So,

Are You Still Wondering When to Stain a New Deck?

I hope not, and if so, you should know that it is appropriate yo wait for about 3 months or more until you can consider staining your deck.

As for the season in a year, I recommend that you stain your deck during fall or spring as they provide the most suitable conditions for deck staining.

Did you find this article helpful? Kindly share your thoughts about this blog in the comment section below.

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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