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Staining A New Deck

Staining a New Deck

New Smooth Wood

Over the past year we have numerous questions asked on the site, but none was asked more than “What stain or prep is needed for my new deck”? There seems to be an incorrect opinion among homeowners that is is okay to stain new wood right away or even before the deck is installed. This is incorrect for most wood types and stain brands.

In this article we will cover the required prep and waiting period needed before applying a stain for the first time.

New Smooth Decking

New smooth decking boards are not porous enough for most stains to be able to penetrate properly. This is mainly due to:

  • Mill glaze when cut
  • High moisture content
  • Chemicals in Pressure Treated Wood

Most wood stains when applied to new wood will have a very difficult time of penetration into the wood cells. This will result in an uneven application and premature stain failure by quickly fading or peeling. Remember, the better the stain soaks into the wood, the longer the life of the stain.

How To Prep for New Smooth Wood:

  1. Install wood and let weather for 1-12 months. This varies depending on the stain brand. Read and follow the manufacturer directions
  2. After waiting period you should use a wood cleaner and a wood brightener. This will remove the dirt, UV graying, and mill glaze.
  3. Let wood dry for a few days after the cleaning.
  4. Apply 1 Coat Only of the stain! Even after the waiting period, new wood is still not very absorbent to stains. Over applying the stain will not give long lasting results. One even coat that soaks into the wood is what you would want to achieve.
  5. Be prepared to apply a maintenance coat in 12-18 months.

Once you get through the first couple of years, your deck stain will perform much better as the wood will allow more stain and a deeper penetration into the wood.

TIP: Do not sand new wood. This will smooth the wood, reducing the stain’s ability to penetrate into the wood.

Rough Sawn Wood

Rough Sawn Wood

Rough or Rough sawn Wood

Rough sawn wood is not used for horizontal decking surface, but rather verticals such as fencing, wood siding, etc. This side of the wood does not have a mill glaze and is very absorbent. As long as the wood has a low moisture content, it can be stained right away.

Stain Brands for New Wood

In our opinion certain brands of stains will work better on new wood. Through the years we have tried numerous stains on new wood and we have found that stains that contain paraffin (non drying oil) will penetrate into new wood better, even coverage, and can applied sooner.

We would suggest one of these 2 brands for new wood if you do not want to want 3-12 months to allow the wood to weather.

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain – Waiting period of 2-3 months

Timber Oil Brand – Waiting period of about 1 month or less

If choosing either brand, you will still need to prep the wood to remove mill glaze with cleaning and brightening.

Please ask any questions you have below.


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1,187 responses to “Staining A New Deck”

  1. dorota says:

    We have a new cedar deck in Toronto Ontario. It is about 1 month old. Alot of topsoil dirt has gotten onto the new deck and we have tried brushing and hosing it off. It is still visible. Can we use a chemical on the new cedar that to remove all the dirt stains before staining? I have read that some cleaners will make the deck white looking and I want to avoid this. What is the best cleaner for new cedar deck before staining?

  2. Carla Rogers says:

    I am currently having a new redwood deck installed in SLC UT. Can I treat with linseed oil only and if so, how long should I wait before applying to the new wood? I sent in a question a few months ago and heard nothing back. Does someone actually read these comments???

  3. Nate G. says:

    Hello,

    I live in northern Illinois and just last fall had a new cedar deck put in, so it weathered maybe 6-7 months. It gets mostly shade, but one side gets a lot of sun. Mold issue is minor I would say. I've heard oil based is the way to go and would like something that lasts so I only have to do it every 3-4 years. Would like a medium to dark color option. What is your suggestion for a recommended brand?

    Thanks,

    Nate

  4. Joe Cotruvo says:

    What is the best way to remove the blue or black stenciled markings on supposedly premium pressure treated pine deck boards that is applied by the mill? I have tried bleach, alcohol, thinner, and paint remover without much success.

  5. Matt Wilson says:

    My deck was built last June, I cleaned and brightened and stained on Monday with Armstrong-Clark cedar trans, looks great. Rails structure are cedar and decking boards are pressure treated. It's rained once or twice after drying and I noticed the water is beading nicely on the cedar parts and only so so on the pressure treated deck boards themselves. The deck gets a tonne of sun, almost all day so I was thinking a second coat would be a good idea at least on the pressure treated boards. Would you recommend this? And if so what's the best process? Just wait until the rain has dried and re-apply?

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      Hard to say if a second coat would be a good idea or not. Too much stain is a bad idea. If it looks good, then leave as is and apply another coat when it starts to fade.

      • Matt Wilson says:

        Ok, thanks for the info. I've read on this site and on the AC website that recommends a "maintenance coat" every year or when the stain starts to fade. I can't find any info on what's involved with this maintenance coat. Do I need to clean and brighten again or just give the deck a rinse? I would be using the exact same AC stain.

  6. Spencer says:

    Bought pressure treated pine (bought from Home Depot) and had it delivered in late March. The wood sat outside until deck was completed by mid-April. I want to stain with toner or semi-transparent to protect from the sun while maintaining a close to natural color. I have two questions: (1) can you suggest a brand of stain, and (2) does that brand act as a water sealant as well? If not, should I follow stain with sealant?

  7. Anthony says:

    I live in Oklahoman, just had red cedar fence put up a month ago want to stain it , being just a month old should I still clean it or can I just apply stain ?

  8. Kris K. says:

    IPE deck in Central, TX – My deck is 7 months old and it has finally stopped raining enough for me to stain it. There are cracks in some of the boards (long cracks) that have appeared as the deck has dried. They are too deep to sand and they are rough to walk on (and are slightly raised in places). Is there a way to fill these cracks before staining? Do I sand the areas that are high to smooth them? Also, I have a couple of stained areas where metal fire towers sat on the deck over the winter. Cleaning and brightening hasn't removed these stains – should they be sanded? I'm worried the stain won't adhere evenly unless the entire deck is sanded (which I believe is a no-no for new decks). Many thanks for the help! Love the articles and look forward to having a beautiful deck with your help. ~Kris

    • You cannot and should not ever use a crack filler on outside wood. It will not work and will not blend with a stain. Cracks are normal on exterior wood. Just leave as is. As for prep, cleaning and brightener is normal. You probably have rust spots for the metal towers. Looks like black stains. A Wood Brightener typically removes this. If it does not, then it is very deep into the grain and I doubt sanding will remove it. As for the stain, look at Armstrong Clark in Amber or Mahogany color.

  9. David Puteska says:

    Hi, thank you for the great site. So informative and unbiased reviews. My question is a bit different as it's for a Cedar Playset.

    Location – Northern New Jersey
    Type – Cedar Playset installed in Early May 2016.
    Sun – Located in both full sun and partly shaded area.

    My questions are 1. How long to wait to Stain; What prep to do; and Recommended Product. Some ideas (thanks to your site) are Defy Hardwood or TWP 100 or 1500.

    Thanks,
    David

  10. Deb says:

    I am in Seattle and am about to install a tight knot red cedar deck, 425 SF, 13 x13 ft. It gets a lot of SE sun. I have read up on Penofin, TWP, Armstrong Clark and Timber oil Brand stains. I have ruled out Penofin.

    I do not mind waiting until September or next spring for it to weather and see better reviews and overall ratings for TWP, but your new wood deck article recommends the paraffin ingredient in a stain, which can be applied in 1-4 months, with Armstrong or Timber Oil.
    . It looks like TWP does not have paraffin but I am not entirely sure. I a m just going by internet information. The TWP website does not show their ingredients.
    Can you enlighten me?
    thank you,
    Deborah

    • Very little to no paraffin in the TWP. Use the AC or TO this year. You can always switch later if you want to.

    • Deb says:

      Thanks for your reply. I decided to build the now 13 ft x 14 ft completed deck with AYC, Alaskan Yellow Cedar b/c it was such great deal: 3/4 x 6 boards. I read and was told AYC is more rot, mold and mildew resistant than red cedar. It has a very smooth surface and it quite light yellow in color.

      More info: it is only a foot at the most from the ground which is dirt, with weed control fabric over dirt. Joists are PT on pier blocks. I wanted a smooth transition to walk onto deck from existing paver pathway next to it, so we kept the deck level with this.
      I have looked further into the best stain choices and remain confused: I have read that the linseed oil in some products attract mold.

      the deck gets full sun until about 3, when we have sun, and has no over hang or awning.

      So what is the rationale of AC over either TWP 100 or 1500? I see other Seattle or NW posts with TWP 100 or 1500 recommended. Semi transparent best? How long should I wait to apply stain?

      I am like everyone else, wanting ease of care, longevity and beauty.

      thank you again,
      Deb

      • Wait a few months at minimum and clean and brighten the wood to prep and remove any mill glaze. Of those brands, the TWP 100 would give better results for mold prevention. Use a semi-tranaparent. Defy also makes some good stain that do well to prevent the mildew and mold.

  11. Wayne says:

    I have ordered kiln dried western red cedar for the surface and mahogany for the railing and balusters. If you're familiar, this is a "deck house" home. What would you recommend?

  12. Pete says:

    New Kiln-dried Canadian Western Red Cedar installed late Oct. 2015
    Low-deck (under 2 feet) off house and about 13×24 ft
    Pacific Northwest, Portland, fairly rainy with moderate temps, but all sun south-facing and can be toasty May-Sept
    Planning to apply cleaner and brightener and then medium pigment semi transparent penetrating stain
    Deck more white then rich red now and bit grayed when wet with a bit of mildew or water like spots in a few places and some board cracking
    Recommended cleaner and brightener?
    Any other prep recommended beyond that prior to staining?
    Recommended stain and why based on what characteristics of ingredients and my conditions?
    Thank you so much! Very helpful to see the different threads here.

  13. Christie says:

    I’m restoring a large cedar deck in the Toronto, Ontario area, that was not properly finished by the previous owner (sealer used, not stain). That said, I sanded down to bare cedar to start over (deck age is about 5 years, but now looks close to new). At this point, I planned on cleaning the deck, but do I need to complete another quick sand with say 120 grit before staining? Appreciate some help, so much conflicting information online!

  14. Ned says:

    Just installed a new cedar deck (Toronto area) and plan to stain it with Aussie Timber Oil. After sanding it (w/grit 80), do I hose it down using regular garden hose or just brush/mop debris before applying the stain? If water is used, how long (drying is enough) before applying the stain?

    Thanks

  15. Heather says:

    I find your site to be very helpful. Thank You! We are "renovating" our deck (in Southwestern Ontario, Canada) by removing one area that was elevated by 8". Now the perimeter of our deck (3 boards wide) is old and the central area is new MicroPro Sienna. We're planning to wait until the Fall to clean and stain the entire deck. In the meantime, can I strip the solid stain off of the old perimeter or should I wait to do it all in the Fall? Also, we're installing a new Trex railing and will need to strip the old stain from around it. Is there any concern about using the deck stripper around the post sleeves? Any insight you can provide is much appreciated.

  16. C. Lash says:

    I've always used a moisture meter & won't stain unless the wood shows 15% or less. Never had a problem in 40 yrs.
    Also, I used Cabot's Deck Correct on a badly weathered deck recently & the result was impressive.

  17. Aggie says:

    Hello,
    Our new deck was completed and stained (within 30 days by contractor using semi transparent TWP California Cedar) in November last year. It faces afternoon sun so is already needing a second coat pretty badly. How should I prep/clean deck and should I use the same TWP stain again? Anything with better sun protection available? Thank you!

  18. Dan says:

    I had a new deck installed last week using what I understand to be higher grade treated lumber than the big box stores typically carry. Installer said I can stain/seal after 2 weeks, as this lumber is treated differently than the pressure treated I have been familiar with in the past – minimal need to dry out. The labels read "Select, micronized copper azole, Culpeper". The boards are definitely brighter, cleaner, smoother than decking lumber I have used in the past. It already appears to be dry to the touch. After a rain, there is no beading.

    Is it really ok to go ahead and stain in the next couple of week or two?

    I am partial to TWP 100 having used it on my fencing. Would this be appropriate for my new deck?

    Thank you,
    Dan

    • No it is not okay to do now. Always follow the directions of the stain manufacturer that you choose, not your builder. TWP wants 4-12 months of weathering, unless it is KDAT. KDAT should weather for at least a month. All new wood needs to be cleaned and brightened as well.

  19. Bridget says:

    I'm stressing out trying to determine when I should stain my deck. I just moved into my house in May and obviously want to protect my investment and get my deck stained ASAP. The inspector said I could/should wait until the late fall/winter so the wood dries out, but others have told me the wood will warp sooner.

    The deck is made out of pressure treated lumber (any specifics I'm not sure since we bought the house as is), and I'm going to assume it was installed around January or February of this year (so 6-7 months ago). From what I've been reading, the wood should be ready to stain, but the problem is I live in Florida and summer is our wet season so trying to find a 72 hour window where the weather is 100% guaranteed dry is a bit difficult. I've bought a Behr brand all-in-one transparent acrylic stain. The paint can says it will dry within a few hours, but takes a day or two to cure. I'm thinking the Florida sun and heat might even make that process a bit faster :p The deck is completely sun exposed and is showing signs of weathering (greying etc.).

    I guess my main question is, should I wait until the dry season comes to stain the deck when I'll have a guaranteed window of dry weather, or should I stain the deck now to prevent any further weathering and/or potential warping even if it may rain within 24-48 hours? Which would be the lesser of two evils?

  20. Glenda Botwinski says:

    We took up our 13 year old deck boards and turned them over to expose the underneath side. Should this be treated as a new deck or an old deck when staining. I have Cabot stain to apply but nit sure what waiting time and/or prep should be done.

  21. Wendy M says:

    We have a 28 year old full sun floating deck in western PA. We had planned to replace it this year, but other expenses arose. We have replaced the worst boards with pressure treated pine. We're considering Sherwin-Williams solid stain so as to match the colors as evenly as possible. We are hoping to get another 3 years of use before we replace the whole deck. What do you think of this product? And would about 4 weeks be enough drying time for the replacement boards? They are about 1/8 of the total surface. Thanks so much; your advice has been so helpful!

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      Not a fan of SW products. If you want a solid, try Flood or Cabot solid stains. Wait a another month or two for the new wood to weather and clean for prep.

  22. Jake says:

    Good day, thanks for the great website.
    I live in eastern VA with lots of sun and humidity, and rain. Previous wood on deck saw a lot of mold/mildew so apparently I am prone to a high degree of that as well.
    I only replaced the horizontal wood since the vertical is still decent. Previous wood stain was oil based semi-transparent by Olympic. I laid new pressure treated decking around May 10, 2016. Looking to lay a stain down here in the next month or two. Questions are: 1. Should I wait for the high humidity months to pass and apply in Sept? Is humidity a factor? 2. Oil vs Water based stain? 3. Also, is Cabot semi-solid as good as the Cabot gold? The Gold has a good description with the important keywords, like mold, water, UV, etc resistant. 4. What can I re-coat the vertical wood with that was previously applied with semi-transparent oil based? any prep necessary?
    Any other stains you would recommend?
    Thanks again.

    • Yes Sept would be better. Oil based. Cabot is a poor products nowadays. Strip and remove the verticals and coat all the same. Use TWP 100 series or Armstrong Clark.

  23. Amy says:

    I have just used RAD to clean and brighten a new PTP deck (built 10 mos. ago). I noticed the 4×4 vertical posts holding the railing are still quite green due to the chemical treatment of the wood. The rest of the deck has virtually no green showing. Is it still ok to stain the entire deck now with AC semi-solid stain, or should I wait to do the posts later, after more weathering? The deck faces southeast, mostly full sun during the day, located in PA.

  24. Swami says:

    Hi,

    I'm new to this post. It is a great website with lot of information.

    My deck is 18 months old. Is this time good enough to stain? I'm from crown point, IN (near to Chicago area). What stain, cleaner and brightener product do you recommend? Some people are not recommending power washing and they suggest a wash using a hose. I believe these are the steps:
    1. washing
    2.appy cleaner and then brightener
    3. washing
    4. stain.

    What would be the waiting time for each step?

    Which method is best for staining? Spraying or hand brushing or rolling?

    Thanks

    • Yes you can stain now. Nothing wrong with using a pressure washing as a high pressure rinsing tool. The issue is when it is used to aggressively or bad technique:
      http://www.deckstainhelp.com/deck-cleaning-tips/

      Apply the deck cleaner and pressure wash off at 8-12 inches away using a pendulum motion. Rinse well when done. Apply the wood brightener and rinse only after 15 minutes. Use a Restore A Deck prep kit for this.

      Wait 48 hours to dry and apply the stain. Use a stain pad for applying.

  25. Mike Weiss says:

    Deck Location State: San Jose, Ca
    Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade: partial shade will put a gazebo (metal with canvas top) on top of the deck
    Wood Type: 2×6 Redwood
    Mold or Mildew Issues: No

    Would prefer little to no pigment (as close to clear as I can get while still getting UV Protection). Also, if there is a product that could be used on the new redwood fence (1×12 boards) as well, that would be a huge bonus.

    Any guidance would appreciated!!! Thanks so much for your time!!!

  26. Roger Donck says:

    We are building a new deck with western red cedar. We are located in Northern Ontario and the deck has full eastern exposure – lots of sun until late afternoon.

    Would sanding the boards with 80 grit sandpaper to remove the mill glaze shorten the amount of time the boards should weather prior to staining?

    Also have been looking at Samsin Dec stain. It is a water based product which claims to use advanced technology to provide superior protection previously only available from oil based products. Any thoughts on this product? We are looking for a good quality semi transparent stain that will be relatively easy to maintain – key is to not be forced to strip the deck entirely when we need to reapply in a couple years (hopefully).

    Would prefer to find a product that we can purchase locally rather than ordering over the internet if possible, but won't sacrifice from what would be a superior product to do so.

    Any guidance will be greatly appreciated.

    • No sanding will not shorten the weathering. Sorry, but never used the Sansin so cannot offer advice on this.You are very limited in Canada to quality products locally.

  27. Alicia says:

    Do you have to stain a medium grade new redwood deck at all. Central California mild weather.
    Some local contractors friends say no. It seals moisture in. The builders said stain it right away. My contractor said not necessary (but he wants more money,unsolicited extras.) I do trust him anyway. I m not sure he said that meaning don't spend it on stain? so I'm not sure what to do.

  28. MBearH says:

    Live in Minnesota. Had a deck built last year and just hired someone to stain it. Apparently they never stained a deck before even though they claimed they had. It was a semi_transparent oil based stain. The problem now is some of the rails and floor boards got numerous coats are so thick it looks like paint and it is sticky. Other spots are a very thin to heavy one coat. The guy we hired wants to come back next week to finish staining it. Meaning adding another coat. My question is what do you suggest we do? I am afraid if he adds more it's just gonna be sticky and look like paint. Is our deck ALREADY ruined. First time it's been stained. How can we fix it? Need help ASAP

  29. Ruth says:

    Campbell River, Vancouver Island
    Partial Shade
    Pressure Treated (green) Pine- some 8yrs old some 3yrs old
    Mold or Mildew Issues: no
    Peeled off
    Sikkens Cetol SRD Semi-transparent
    I stained on pt pine deck – the stain peeled in most areas except where close to the house over the fall and winter. Pressure washed and re-stained next year – same problem. I am in the process of sanding the deck down to bare wood and plan to stain end of Aug or early Sep. How fine do I need to sand – I'm using 80 grit sandpaper right now. I would like advice on selecting a semi transparent stain with a brownish tint that I can also use on my new PT (brown) pine fence 6 X 6's and also that the stain is available in Canada (Vancouver Island). Also -can I re-stain the following time when it needs it or do I have to go to bare wood each time I stain the deck?

  30. Angelo Palumbo says:

    New deck question: Above you stated, if you do not want to wait the 3-12 months, use either of the two stains below. I'm willing to wait the three monthsor longer if needed. The fence appeared to be dry when I installed it, no visible sign of moisture. I have new white cedar fence, smooth on one side and rough on the other. What stain do you recommend and what cleaner and brightener? I live in Pueblo Colorado.

  31. Diane Beavers says:

    Having new red cedar deck boards put on existing 14 x 30 base and new 16 x 16 addition with new red cedar railings and steps. How long do we have to wait to stain/seal the deck boards, steps and railings? What is the best product to use. If we have to wait and put furniture etc back on deck, what do we have to do once it's ok to stain/seal? Don't want wood to grey.

    • Please read the above article that will explain the waiting period, the needed prep, and the stains we suggest.

      • Diane Beavers says:

        Read the article just wondered what stain will be better as our new red cedar deck faces south shaded by ample trees and gets 3-4 hours run. Will also get sap and pollen from ample and pine trees. Can't decide on AC of Timber Oil and if we go with Timber Oil now can we change to other later. Which has a stain th at is closest to maintaining natural color of red cedar when it's wet. Don't want grey. Thank you.articles are very helpful.

  32. jcrasch says:

    Cedar is a softer wood. Is there anyway to make the surface stronger to resist scrapes,scratches and surface destruction. We have already stained with Sikkens semi-transparent stain. Jcrasch

  33. Ann M says:

    New deck 10 months old of pressure treated pine 8×14
    SW Ohio with morning sun and afternoon shade
    No mold or mildew
    Would prefer clearer stain but good uv
    What cleaner/brightner to use
    What type of stains
    What steps to take for best results
    We appreciate your guidance!

  34. Regena says:

    New cedar deck just finished we would like a clear shiny finish what are met options Live eastern Washington state get morning sun

    • Clear shiny finish means it will peel and and blister, creating major hurdles to fix. Deck stains are not meant to be shiny. You also need tint/color if you want to prevent UV discoloration.

  35. Chris says:

    Hello!

    I'm in Northern VA and had a new pine deck installed 2 weeks ago-about 360 sq ft. I bought 5 gallons of Behr semi-transparent stain and the all in one deck cleaner+polisher. How long should I wait before I put the cleaner on and then for the deck to be stained? Home Depot thinks the cleaner will get rid of the manufacturers ink labels after brushing.

    Thanks!!

  36. Yvette says:

    We put a new cedar deck on last summer. We washed/cleaned with Thompsons 3in1 wood cleaner. Our deck now appears white in many places and true original wood color in other places. How do I get the true wood color all around before I apply the a her semi-transparent wood stain?
    Enjoy all your advise-thanks!

  37. bungalow42 says:

    Wow that was fast. Thanks for the recommendation. I see that Timber Oil Brand is also recommended for new decks and requires less “seasoning”. Any reason this would not be as good as Armstrong Clark for my deck?

  38. Viviana says:

    I have a brand new cedar deck being built with horizontal cedar railing boards and cedar privacy panels. The cedar for panels and rails are a little rough. Im leaning towards using AC. The boards have been installed for about 3 weeks or so. Can I stain the deck and/or the rails/privacy panels now or do I need to wait to let them weather. My contractor is telling me to apply oil now to protect it. What should I do? Are there other brands you recommend that I can use if I choose to stain now? I live in Chicago, IL and it's been very hot and humid lately, if that plays into the decision making process.

  39. Jim says:

    Building a composite deck with treated pine rails and either cedar or redwood cap rail. Also have a rough cedar privacy fence. I see from the article that the rough cedar fence can be stained right away. The pine and cedar or redwood cap rail are a question. Do you think these could be stained right away or need to weather first? Specifically, does the choice of the cap rail material result in a difference in need for aging? Best early stain among Timber or AC if using cedar or redwood? Thank you.

  40. Jennifer says:

    Installed new pressure treated deck last fall. Am doing research now to stain. Is there an all in one wood cleaner & brightner or are they separate products and which would you recommend? Do I have to use a pressure washer to clean–I hate using them. Also is it just flooring that has to be cleaned or are we talking all the rails and handrails too? What product would you recommend for Northern Illinois winters and summers–we have a shaded backyard and I worry about mold and mildew growth so would water based be better vs oil? Lastly, then when we touch up eighteen months or so later, do we just apply coat on top of the other or do we have to strip and clean? I would prefer to use a product where I can just reapply it every other year vs having to strip and sand. Thanks

    • The cleaner and brightener have to be separate. Use Restore A Deck Kits. Pressure washers as a rinsing tool will make the job much faster and will clean better as well. It does not have to be used though. Scrubbing and rinsing will work. All wood should be prepped. If you use a penetrating stain like TWP 1500, you can clean and reapply as needed.

  41. FoggyCoastCalifornia says:

    Am installing an IPE deck in Coastal California where there is fog, drip from redwoods, some direct sun in summer only, and my three top concerns are: 1. minimize mildw/mold that creates slippery surface (my untreated redwood sitting out doesn't seem to have this problem but i fear the tight grain of IPE will mold faster) 2. I WANT it to turn gray and blend with grayed out cedar siding naturally & soon. 3) I want to protect the wood from drying out and cracking or cupping, as I have minimal deck screws holding it to joists.
    Already from the posts I gather I should wait a couple of months doing nothing to the top surface of the boards until just before the rainy season hopefully starts in September.
    Before I screw down the boards should I protect them underneath in the short term? Or not bother.
    I've used Penefin Transparent Redwood every couple of years happily with my redwood decks, since I don't mind the chocolate tending color, though I don't care for the pungent smell of the first two weeks.
    I called Penefin and they suggested waiting a couple of months as it starts to gray, then cleaning it with mild detergent or their Cleaner, then applying the Blue Label in Clear, that protects while allowing more graying. Or use the Red Label Clear for having more mildocide than the Blue Label, though Red Label has a 99% UV blocking rating, which is anti-graying. And while I could use their cleaner NOT to use a brightener. And not to use their hardwood product since I want a naturally gray result.
    Any suggestions for how to proceed for achieving my 3 priorities? Should I bother with the underside boards? If and when my ipe gets slippery, suggestions on cutting the mold? THANKS you have a great site and service.

    • No need to do anything to the underside. I would stay away from the Penofin. It attracts mold and darkens in color. Prep with a deck cleaner, no need for a brightener. Use a true clear sealer with no pigment as they will gray naturally. Try TWP 1500 Clear or Defy Extreme Clear.

  42. Terra Gardner says:

    Two days ago a contractor rebuilt 2 decks for me and replaced many old boards with new boards. He applied a primer. You don't mention primers. What should I do now/next? Terra

  43. Maureen says:

    older deck, cleaned and semi transparent stain last October per the products recommendations, by spring 1/4 of it was back to gray. Manufacturer warranty got me a new can of the stain, but what should I do to prep it? Water beads on the boards that held their color.

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.

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