Applying a Deck Stain to Damp Wood 4.7/5 (3)

by Deck Stain Help

Updated February 2020

How to Apply Deck Stain to Damp Wood

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Applying a Deck Stain to Damp Wood on the same day as prep? We here at have been receiving inquiries asking how best to apply a deck stain to damp wood. This is a newer concept, as before, stains could only be applied to dry wood that has been prepped with a waiting period of 2-3 days after prep. So far, the only stain that we have tested that can be applied to damp wood is Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain.

Tips for applying stain to damp wood

  • Properly prep your wood surface with correct prep products. Prepping is always the key to the stain’s longevity. Any questions on how to prep, please see our extensive articles in the main menu.
  • Wait 2-4 hours after the prep to let the wood dry somewhat. The RAD stain can be applied to damp wood but not to visibly soaking wet wood.
  • Start with vertical surfaces first, such as railings. Make sure horizontal and other surfaces are
    protected from excess paint. After the first coat is complete, apply a light second coat to the top
    of the railing only between 20 minutes to 2 hours after the first coat has been applied.
  • Repeat this process for all benches or vertical structures.
  • Once all vertical surfaces are stained, apply one coat of Restore-A-Deck wood stain to flooring
    and horizontal surfaces, ensuring the entire floor is covered.
  • Reapply a second light coat 20 minutes to an hour after the first coat has been applied. For new decks, less than a year old, only apply one coat of stain.

Deck after prep showing damp wood but not soaking wet.

Restore A Deck Stain After Prep







Our deck immediately after damp wood application

Restore A Deck Stain Damp Wood Application

Have you applied stain to damp wood? We want to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Leave us a
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Angela Waterford
Angela Waterford

One of my house’s decks has damp wood, and the stain is starting to leach. Thanks for suggesting that I should prep the wood surface with the right prep products to make sure that it adheres correctly. I think I’ll hire someone to restore the look of my deck as well so I can make sure that it’s going to be good.


RAD= Restore-A-Deck brand?


Sherwin Williams has a semi trans stain that states it can be applied to damp wood. Any experience with this product? I am fighting the weather, every day I think I am ready and it’s starts a rain again. I need to sand and stain soon.

Cris Santiago
Cris Santiago

I built a farmhouse dining table. Made of Douglas Fir. The wood is damp not kiln dried. Can I stain and which is the best stain, oil base or water base


What stain is used in the above picture?