Best Stain for New Pressure Treated Pine

Pressure Treated Pine

Pressure Treated Pine

Whether you have had an old deck replaced or simply had a new deck added on, there are certainly a lot of benefits. Wood decks increase a home’s curb appeal and value. They add extra outdoor living space and are the witness of many to come family gatherings and get-togethers. A new deck’s strength and sheer durability makes you feel like it will last forever. But as some homeowners soon find out, that newness can wear off and that once beautiful deck becomes a neglected eyesore.

But there is hope and to keep your new deck looking new and lasting for many years to come, you merely have to take care of it. Weather and elements like moisture and fading UV rays are a new deck’s biggest enemy. So the goal in keeping a deck looking good is to provide it with some protection.
Some deck owners are under the false impression that “pressure treated” means the wood has already been treated from weather. The truth is that the chemical treatment added to pine is to deter bugs and insects from eating the wood. There is no water repellency or sun blocking treatment in the wood whatsoever. So let’s be clear, new pressure treated decks still need to be treated with a water repellant wood stain.

Staining a new deck is much different than staining an old deck. Older wood is drier and very porous. It will absorb most any type of wood stain and be adequately protected. New pressure treated pine on the other hand has higher moisture content and therefore is much denser making deck stain penetration more difficult.

You want to allow a newer deck to age because initially the moisture content is entirely too high. Trapping moisture in the wood by staining it too soon is not good. Once the deck has dried for 3-6 months, and has moisture content of 12% or less, it is ready for stain.

Even new decks need to be cleaned. During the aging process some dirt and contaminants will embed into the wood. There may also be some mill glaze present that could keep a new deck stain from penetrating. Wash the new pine wood deck with a good deck cleaner and allow it to dry.

When looking for the best stain for new pressure treated decks choose a formula that is specifically designed to penetrate the dense surface such as the exotic hardwood stains. The new pressure treated deck stain needs to penetrate well to be effective. A stain that lacks in performance will remain on the surface and will be prone to peeling.

New wood can stay looking new with a little care and regular maintenance. Clean the wood as needed and apply a quality pressure treated deck stain that can penetrate new dense wood. This will guarantee increased effectiveness and outstanding protection for your new deck.

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51 Responses to “Best Stain for New Pressure Treated Pine”

  1. matt g says:

    Is ptp that was installed 11 months ago still considered new? If so which stain do you recommend?

  2. Brenda Lee says:

    I just had a deck built. We used pressure treated spruce. The colour is light and I was wondering what needs to be done to seal and also to get a darker finish than I have now I luve in Nova Scotia, Canada. Thank you.

  3. DeLaine Youpatoff says:

    I live in KY. In April, I had a new deck built with pressure treated wood. I want to cover it with one of the products meant to prevent ultra-violent light damage. Since this deck was built in April, when should this product be applied? I did apply Thompson's water seal a month ago. Please let me know when to apply the uv protective product and if you have other recommendations. Thank you.

  4. Lynn says:

    For south facing decks n best Durability, living in Canada. What type of stain should I use? I was told semi solid or solid is that true?

  5. Paul says:

    I have a new deck built in December of 2012. When will it be ready to stain with semi-transparent stain and what stain,and what preperation would you recommend?

  6. Mandy says:

    We just build a screened in enclosed porch. We took 2×4's and cut them in half and made frames. We haven't put the screens in yet so it will be easier to stain. On the cut sides and end cuts, we used Wolman Copper coat as the wood is pressure treated pine. We were going to put the wolman woodlife classic on the rest as were told can apply now to preserve the wood from cracking etc when dries – it is water based. And then were told we could put an oil based stain on in 30-60 days over the top of that. My question is, is that true? I don't want to be having to take that off before applying stain. We live in an area with lots of trees and have had termite issues so I wanted to get something on it now to preserve the wood while it is drying and then apply an oil based stain in a couple months.

    • Mandy, no you cannot keep adding coatings especially putting the oil on top of the water based stain.

      • Mandy says:

        Hi thank you for responding. I am a bit conflicted on what is right still so maybe with some extra info you could help. I live in Omaha NE in an area with lots of very old big trees. The enclosed porch will be mostly in shade with a little getting partial sunlight. The previous deck was completely chewed – gone because of termite issues. So we built the new one properly on top of concrete versus the wood having ground contact. With that said, I was told and read many articles that for pressure treated wood (mine is pine made by yellawood) it will start to crack and warp during the drying process. I was also told that a "preservative" should be applied immediately. I spoke to Rustoleum who makes the Wolman products and he said this is just a preservative – no repellent or sealant or stain – to help protect the wood during its drying process. It is called Wolman woodlife classic wood preservative. Cuprinol also makes a wood preservative. But both places said they will just soak into the wood and can then stain 30-60 days afterwards with an old based stain. So what are your thoughts on the preservative and also what do you recommend as a stain for me given my location and surroundings with alot of mold fungus issues also as it is very moist around there with all the shade. Thanks again and I love your site!! Mandy

        • Mandy, personally we think preservatives that are applied right after construction have no real benefit. If it was us we would just let it dry out correctly and weather some, prep as needed in a few months, than apply a oil based stain like TWP or Armstrong Clark

          • Mandy says:

            okay thanks for the input. I just went out there and looked today and the 4×4 posts are starting to crack down the middle. So I don't know what to do as I can only assume that is going to get worse if I wait??? My heart feels that your opinion is the same as mine and to just wait til dry but I am afraid this is going to look terrible by the time its ready to stain as there will be so many cracks etc.

  7. Deck Stain says:

    I was wondering what would be a good stain for my deck. It is pressure treated pine. 1 year old. Faces South. It gets a lot of sap from a pine tree overhead. I live inCalgary, Alberta, so the weather is very hard. It changes quickly and we go from +30 to -40 Celsius throughout the year, with wind, snow rain, hail etc.
    It also gets a lot of sun. Should I use an oil based stain?
    Any advice you can give would be appreciated. Thanks.

  8. Deck Stain says:

    I have access to benjamin Moore, Home Depot lines and Minwax, CIL, Sico, Saman, Cabot and Varathane stains. Which of these would you recommend?

  9. Andrea Hedrick says:

    My husband is just finishing our new deck – used kiln dried pressure treated wood. Was told we could stain it now since wood was kiln dried. Is that correct? what would be best to use to stain it?

  10. Bill says:

    I built a deck with pressure treated pine in Early August in the Adirondacks in northern NY. Can I stain now before the winter which is usually very severe?

  11. Matt says:

    We have a playset made out of kiln-dried PT yellow pine installed in Atlanta in June. I was hoping to get it stained/sealed this week. Which product would be your choice for this application considering that kids will be playing on it? Thanks.

  12. carol says:

    I have a large new two-tiered deck (pressure treated pine) that was finished at the end of July. Can it go through a Minnesota winter before I stain it? It seems too soon to do it now. Thank You!

  13. pam says:

    I have new large deck (pressure treated) one week ago. when I can stain or seal it. can you help me that which brand of stain is good. and what type oil based semi transparent, ihave no knowledge about it but I love decks so plz help me to sort out.
    thanks

  14. Steve says:

    I have a large deck which I built about 10 years ago. When it was new, I put Behr's transparent stain down and it seemed to work well. Back then the stains were oil based but now they're all water base, apparently because of the environmental issues here in south Florida. I'm getting ready to re-stain it (this is about the 4th time since the original stain) and I wondered if I have to completely strip the old oil based stain before I can apply the new water base stain. In other words, do I have to take it all the way down to the natural wood?

  15. Steve says:

    I had another question. I have a box of composite deck screws but I originally used stainless steel screws. I need to replace a few boards and wondered if I could use the composite screws or is it more advisable to stay with the stainless steel for the pressure treated wood deck. I know this isn't a stain or finish question but I haven't been able to get an answer anywhere else. Thank you for your advice.

    • Steve, it would be best to strip off all of the old stain when switching brands and even more so if changing from oil to water or water to oil. As long as the screws are \”rust proof\” I do not think it matters. BTW, oil based stains are still available in all states.

  16. Jean says:

    I am replacing my old deck with a new one using pressure treated pine. I live in South Florida near the water and the deck faces south. I've read your article for both water-based and oil-based stains and still don't know which one is best for my deck. Thank you.

  17. Gale says:

    We had a large deck built around our swims ming pool last spring. We used pressure treated wood and I want to put some kind of protection on it this year.. Would it be better to put a stain or sealant on it? What would be the best product to use around the pool?

  18. Michelle Kernea says:

    We recently purchased a house with a deck that needs to be restained and fixed. One of the boards need to be replaced but wasn't sure the rest of the deck won't get worse while we wait for the one board to weather. Any suggestions? We are also wondering about the best stain to go with as we are looking at a nontransparent stain. Have you heard anything about the Olympic restore or rescue products for decks? Thanks for any help you can give us?

  19. Joe says:

    Just installed ptp deck 5 months ago.can I stain with the Armstrong stain now or do I still have to wait up to12 months. Thank you.

  20. Willi from Nashville says:

    I live in Nashville, TN. Our deck was built around 1999 and is (I believe) pressure treated pine located in partial shade. It does not have any mildew or mold issues. My issue is that it turns dark and looks dirty after a few years. What is the best semi-transparent sealer you could recommend?

  21. Abby says:

    URGENT: I live in Columbus, Ohio and have a pressure treated pine wood deck. After 1 year, I cleaned it with Olympic Deck Cleaner and used Flood CWF-UV Natural Tone Clear Penetrating Wood Finish for Fenced, Decks and Sidings. After 1 year, most of it had worn off and had grey blotches on the wood even though it stated it would last 4 years on decks. I have washed, stripped, and sanded he wood back its natural finish. It was very hard and time consuming and I need to know what would be best to use that would last at least 5 years and leave the wood looking beautiful where you can still see the wood grains. Also what is best to clean the deck with after sanding? I need to get this done before the weather turns too cold. Thank you kindly for your help.

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