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Posts Tagged ‘new decks’

New Smooth Wood
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 opinion among homeowners that 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 the 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

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Pressure Treated Pine
Staining a New Deck

Pressure Treated Pine

See here for a more in-depth article on Staining New Decking.

Staining a new deck in 2016 has never been easier. With today’s quality wood cleaners and stains, most anyone can get professional like results. We have come a long way in wood restoration products and in 2016 most of these products are available to do it yourself homeowners everywhere. With the Internet, most of these products can be shipped directly to your home within days, making a deck staining project easier than ever before.

In addition to excellence deck staining products, the Internet also allows homeowners access to countless how-to articles and tips to help them along the way. Doing a search for deck stain help can lead you to a mountain of information that will educate and prepare you for your deck staining project. From prepping the deck, suggested dry times, stain recommendations, and right down to how to apply the stain there has never been a more opportune time.

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New Cedar Wood
New Cedar Wood

New Cedar Wood

When a deck is brand new usually the lumber is still very “green” and has a high moisture content. That is unless the lumber is KDAT lumber meaning, “kiln dried after treatment.” This type of wood is dried before it is sold. But for the average deck being built, regular cedar, redwood, or pine is used in the construction. You may have heard the term “season” and how it is important to let a new deck season prior to staining it.

To season a deck simply means to let it sit, for a season, before you attempt to stain it. This is because the wood still has too much moisture in it and staining it can trap that unwanted moisture. This can lead to many moisture problems like mold, fungi, rot, and decay. This term can be a bit misleading though. Normally a deck does not have to “season” a whole year. Many times, depending on weather and sun exposure, a deck can season much quicker. In most cases a new deck can be stained within 3-12 months of being built especially if the weather has been warm and the deck gets a lot of sun exposure.

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Pressure Treated Pine

Need Help Finding the Best Stain for New Pine Deck?

The best time to stain a deck is after it is built while the wood is still new and has not been compromised by weather damage. However, it is important to allow a new pine deck to dry out for several months before staining it. A new pine deck contains too much moisture at first and you do not want to trap that moisture in the wood by staining it too soon. Wait for the wood to reach 12% moisture level or less. This can be checked with a moisture meter. As mentioned this usually takes a few months in warm weather depending on the sun exposure the deck receives. Do not wait too long though like a year or more because that is when most of the damage occurs to unprotected pine.

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STAINadvicetipsROLLOVER

Do You Need to Stain All 4 Sides of Deck Boards?

Many people have asked whether or not it is necessary to stain all 4 sides of deck boards. To answer this question lets first take a look at why deck boards need to be stained at all.

When wood is exposed to the elements it can go through all sorts of changes. Wood is very absorbent by nature so whenever it gets wet it soaks up the moisture. This creates the wood to swell. As the wood dries it shrinks back to normal size. This repetitive swelling and shrinking begins to damage the wood causing cracks, splinters, and warping.

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Deck_Ink_Stamp

Should you Pre-stain New Wood Before Install? Simple answer is No.

Wood decks are a great way to add extra outdoor living space to any home. Not only do they provide a place for family get togethers, they can add value to your home. Building a new wood deck or replacing some boards on an existing deck obviously requires using new wood. As you probably know the new wood will need to be treated with a wood stain to protect it from the elements. One might tend to think that pre-staining the new wood prior to the install will save some time. Although it would seem that way it is really not a good idea to do so.

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New Redwood Deck Stain
New Redwood Deck Stain

New Redwood Deck

New Redwood Deck Staining Help and Tips

The natural beauty of redwood can make for a gorgeous deck that any homeowner would be proud of. Redwood is not as readily available as other types of wood, which makes it more expensive. But the cost can be justified by the beauty and longevity of the wood. A redwood deck can last for many years.

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New and Old Deck Boards
New and Old Deck Boards

New and Old Deck Boards

There are many reasons why you would have a mix of new and old deck boards but it can be a common situation. The most frequent reason is that some of the boards needed replaced due to decay or wood rot while other board were still in good condition. It is also very common for a deck owner to protect the deck with a stain once all the repairs have been made. The dilemma is that new boards and old boards look very different when they are stained.

To understand why this happens may help you to minimize the problem. Once old deck boards weather the top layer of wood fibers begin to gray and become soft. Newer deck boards are denser and are very hard. The older boards will absorb more deck stain and appear much darker than the new denser deck boards which appear lighter.

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New Cedar Wood
New Cedar Wood Decking stains

New Cedar Wood

What Stains Work Well a New Cedar Deck

There are many different types of cedar used for exterior surfaces with Red Cedar being the most common. Unlike some types of wood that need to dry out, new cedar should be cleaned and stained as quickly as possible to avoid water damage and sun fading (Always follow the stain brand’s directions though).

Many wood stains have difficulty penetrating new dense woods like cedar. If a stain does not penetrate the wood it will remain on the surface and become susceptible to peeling and flaking. The best wood stains for new cedar are deep penetrating paraffinic oil based stains that are thinner in viscosity. Stains for new cedar wood should dive deep into the wood to condition the wood cells and provide protection from UV fading and moisture damage.

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STAINadvicetipsROLLOVER

Paraffin Oil Based Stains

Most deck stain manufacturers today use both synthetic and natural oils in their products. There are several types of oils that are used in oil based deck stains. Paraffin Oil is one of the more common types of oil used today.

Pros of Paraffin Oil Based Stains

Paraffin is an excellent penetrating oil. Deck stains containing paraffin oil penetrate deep into all wood types. It conditions the wood while preventing UV fading and water damage.

Paraffin oil penetrates so well that it is recommended for newer wood decks. The newer the wood the more dense it is. Some deck stains will not penetrate the newer dense wood and will remain on top of the surface. Paraffin deck stains are able to penetrate newer more dense wood for optimal absorption and outstanding protection.

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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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