It Rained Shortly After Staining. What to do?  4.8/5 (240)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

It Rained Shortly After Staining my Deck

We continue to appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below if it rained on your deck shortly after the stain was applied. Any pictures of your deck stain project will help.


Rain on Deck Stain Issues

Rain on Deck Stain Issues

It is best to never stain any exterior wood when inclement weather is forecasted, especially rain. Most deck stain brands will warn against the application of their product within 12-24 hours of rain being forecast. But as we all know sometimes the weather is not so predictable. So what do you do if it does rain shortly after staining?

You cannot do much until it stops raining once it starts. After the rain has passed and the deck has dried take a closer look. It really depends on how hard it rained and for how long. A light drizzle most likely won’t hurt anything but a good downpour can be a different story. The type and brand of stain can make a difference as well. Some stains can handle rain shortly after being applied better than others.

Rain on Deck Stain Issues?

Look for little pockets, blotches, or white spots normally the size of a dime. Any of these can indicate some damage from the rain. Read the instructions on the stain can for recoating or adding a second coat. Once you are within the time frame recommended for a second coat try applying the stain in an inconspicuous spot to see if it fixes the rain damage.

If a light recoat does not fix the problem you can also try using a mix of wood cleaner and a pressure washer to see if you can wash the spots out without harming the stain. Or you can try lightly sanding the rain spots and recoating. Care must be taken though not to over-apply the stain as this can cause other issues like flaking and peeling. If you are unable to fix the problem with washing or sanding and recoating, you may have to strip off the stain with a deck stain stripper and start over again.

Popular Rain on Deck Stain Questions:

Will rain ruin a newly stained deck?

Answer: Yes, if the stain has not fully dried or cured, it may permanently damage the deck stain.

How long does deck stain need to dry before rain?

Answer: This varies based on stain brand, type of stain, and weather conditions. The average is 4-12 hours but can be longer.

What if it rains 12 hours after staining deck?

Answer: 90% of the time there would be no issues.

What if it rains 24 hours after staining deck?

Answer: Rarely do we see any issues but there is always the possibility f the weather was cold or if the stain was over-applied.

Note on Help with Rain on your Deck Stain

-Before asking a question if rain harmed your deck, wait until the rain stops and the water fully dries off the deck or wood. Make sure to post pictures.

Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites. All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.

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John Cammalleri
John Cammalleri
8 months ago

Sorry, forgot to add photo.

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John Cammalleri
John Cammalleri
8 months ago

Hi Scott. First of all, thanks for all the valuable advice you provide. I’ve had my deck restained, and it looks great, EXCEPT:
there are darker areas around the perimeter, where a hand brush was used. (Photo attached.)

How do you recommend we fix that? Do we need to sand and redo? If so, do we still need to use brightener? The deck was cleaned thoroughly, stripped, cleaned again, then treated with brightener, before stain was applied. Hoping a sanding will suffice.

Thank you.

John Cammalleri
John Cammalleri
8 months ago

Thanks for your help. A thorough sanding is not sufficient? Reluctand to use stripper/brightener because the outer deck, railings and gazebo are fine. Don’t want runoff from stripper to ruin those.

Thanks again.

John Cammalleri
John Cammalleri
8 months ago

Thank you for your help. That’s what we’ll do.

John Greenland
John Greenland
8 months ago

I’m using Arborcoat over oil primer on cedar shake siding. How long until it’s rain ready? I’m in Maine and it rains so often that I’m grabbing every chance I get to finish. The primer is all dry for several days but I have areas that still need 2 coats of finish.
Thanks!

Patti
Patti
9 months ago

Hi Scott,
We had a new deck built with cedar wood and the contractor applied the first coat of stain yesterday. Forecast looked good, but we had an unexpected rain last night. Based on my reviews of your site, it looks like we need to make sure it is totally dry before applying second coat but not sure how long to wait and do we need to be concerned about water spots that may come through? We also need to sand out a few overlap spots. Contractor was not overly experienced with staining so looking for advice.

We used Pittsburgh Paramount – Luxury Finish + Sealant; Satin – Semi-Transparent. The rain beaded up nicely on the deck but now unsure if we need to do any type of prep before we give it a second coat of stain. Thanks for your help.

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Patti
Patti
9 months ago

I’m confused by your response. I’ve never heard of not staining new wood right away??? The stain soaked in and seemed dry before the rain.

Patti
Patti
9 months ago

Hi Scott – what grade of sandpaper do you recommend. We’re doing a little research and it looks like it will involve a 2-step sanding process?


Pat
Pat
9 months ago

Hi Scott
I stained my decking brown 4 days ago and it rained about 12 hours later and I noticed that the rain water on it was brown. I swept all the water off and when it’s dry it’s fine but as soon as it gets wet the water turns brown again! I can’t let my dogs walk across it and they get wet brown paws. What can I do please?

Many thanks in advance for your advice
Pat

Tom
Tom
10 months ago

HI Scott,

I plan on painting a shed with Cabot Solid Color acrylic stain and sealer. I had the medium base (1808) tinted to match previous color. I’ve had luck using deck satin on vertical surfaces. Shed is 18 years old and in good shape. Looking to freshen it up. I don’t have a lot of free time to do projects like most of us. My question is on any given day this week rain is predicted in the afternoon/early evenings. Temperatures mid 80’s to low 90’s. It seems dry time would be 4-5 hours maybe 6 before rain is predicted. Is this enough time or do you think I’ll run into problems. Project is in the Dutchess county.
I’d appreciate any advice.
Be Well

Tom

GiGi
GiGi
11 months ago

Will the morning dew mess up my deck stain if it hasn’t dried completely
I used Valspar solid with the primer built in.
It’s been 5 hours since I finished it and it’s still wet 🤦‍♀️

Jeremy
Jeremy
11 months ago

I used Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Wood Sealer on my deck and started 10am yesterday and finished around 12pm. It’s now expected to rain this afternoon around 4 or 6 pm. That would be about 30 hrs. The can said to allow 48hrs. Will I still be ok?

Dori
Dori
1 year ago

Hi. I just had my deck stained with Benjamin Moore Arborcoat. The contractor filled in holes and knots with some sort of wood filler/ epoxy. It has rained almost every day since the work was done. I checked the deck today and noticed that the filled in holes are mushy and the stain has bubbled. Will the areas eventually harden?

David Lee
David Lee
1 year ago

hi, i cleaned and prepared my deck and then it rained before i stained. do i need to re-clean and re-apply more wash/prep before applying stain?

Li fan
Li fan
1 year ago

Hi Scott, I used Thompson’s wasterseal stain and sealer all in one semi-transparent for a deck. After 12 hours rain started. Is that a problem? Here were pictures from the rain.

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li fan
li fan
1 year ago

Thanks. What does white spots look like?

Mary P.
Mary P.
11 months ago

We stained on Monday. It is now Thurs and I’ve noticed white spots where water from my plants have occurred. the water is pooling and doesn’t seem to be evaporating. Will these white spots go away? Does this mean every time it rains we will have spots all over the deck. Thanks or any advice you can give.

Mary P.
Mary P.
11 months ago

Thank you for your quick response.

Pam
Pam
1 year ago

hey! So I power washed and sanded my deck. Rinsed it off with the hose. Leaves are falling here in Ny and its starting to get cold. Can I Paint on the oil primer two coats and then wait until the spring to put on the Arborcoat waterbased solid stain in the Spring?

Jenifer Gregory
Jenifer Gregory
1 year ago

I power washed rails/ privacy feature deck and let it dry 48 hr. now it looks like rain might start in a about 12 hrs, chance increasing over next 2 days. I only have upright wood to stain as deck floor is composite. it’s water base semi trans.should I chance. my time is limited to have time. n (tried in may, power washed then rained forever and then got too hot forever). live in midwest and cold weather weather next . it might be 3-4 wks before I will have time to stain again. will I need to re prep again?

Jenifer
Jenifer
1 year ago

Thank you . It’s behr semi Do you think I can chance it if the rain is supposed to start about 10 to 12 hours from now?

Alyson
Alyson
1 year ago

Hi Scott, I put on my first coat of Behr’s solid wood stain yesterday and finished around 2pm. I woke to very chilly temps, 36 degrees and dew all over the deck. After it dries out, can I put plastic over it and apply a second coat tomorrow, or do I have to wait longer due to the dew? I was hoping to apply a second coast this afternoon, or is this too soon?

Alyson
Alyson
1 year ago

Great! 🙂 Thank you. But then is it okay to be staining in direct sun, even if the temps won’t be going up higher than 64 degrees?

Alyson
Alyson
1 year ago

Thank you again Scott!

Denise
Denise
1 year ago

I pressured washed my deck, let it dry and then used Flood CWF-UV Clear. Temperature was in the low 60’s. Roughly 24 hours after application, I noticed the deck was still wet and unfortunately it started to rain heavily. What do you suggest?

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Denise
Denise
1 year ago

Is it safe to apply more stain if needed after it thoroughly dries?

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

I stripped, sanded, and brightened my 256 PT deck, and finished 2 days ago. I planned to stain it tomorrow with TWP 1500 – Cedartone. The original weather forecast was that it would be clear for 48 hours. Now the forecast has changed, and rain is expected about 36 hours after staining. Should I hold off or go ahead and stain the deck.

Thanks,

Nick

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

Thank you for the quick response.

Katie
Katie
1 year ago

I sanded our deck and put the first coat of Cabot Deck Correct on it yesterday. About 4 hours after application some unexpected rain came in. It rained pretty steady for a few hours but never seemed to be a heavy driving rain. Most areas seem to be fine but there are some white marks and just one board that has some bubbles as shown in the picture. Do you think the rest of the deck will be ok to put the second coat on after everything thoroughly dries and I can just sand and start over on the board with the bubbles? Any idea of what causes the white spots? Thanks in advance for your advice!

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Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago

Hey! Thanks for doing this. I am sure we are fine, but just wanted confirmation that everything is good, so I don’t drive myself crazy. I did 2 coats of Behr premium waterproof 100% acrylic which says rain resistant in 4 hours. After a forecast of no rain, we had a random really hard 1 hour rain about 22 hours after 2nd coat was applied. The first pic is about 3 hours after the second coat (no rain) and the second pic with more shade is 24 hours after the heavy rain (50 hours after 2nd coat). Thanks for your help!

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Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago

Thank you, sir!

Ruth
Ruth
1 year ago

We had some dew drip down from an overhang the night we stained and found this the next morning. We used Messmer’s UV+. Should we try and add more stain to these spots, sand the boards down and stain them again, or something else? Thanks!

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Lillian
Lillian
1 year ago

Is it better to use a brush vs a roller ti stain your deck?
I want to know your opinion. Personally I am liking a brush😎

Candy
Candy
1 year ago

Hi, I put a first coat of stain on a deck yesterday when it wasn’t calling for rain. The forecast has now changed with a 70% chance of thunderstorm tomorrow, starting about 48 hours after I finished. I was going to put on 2nd coat today but then it will only be about 36 hours before it might get rained on. Thinking I should hold off on the 2nd coat, hope the first holds up well, and then do a 2nd when there is less likelihood of rain. Does that sound right? Can I do the 2nd coat several days after the first?

Laurie Jones
Laurie Jones
1 year ago

Live in SC where we have quick hard rains every other day to relieve the heat. Can I use a oil based stain and cover the deck with a large tarp to protect it? I am in a timeframe to get this done. I could put up bases to hold the center of the tarp up so the center isn’t weighted down.
Thank you
Laurie Jones

Randy T
Randy T
1 year ago

Hired a company to paint house and stain deck. They pressure washed, sanded, then stained with Cabot Australian Timber Oil. It rained two hours later. Water pooled on the wood. It looks awful, splotchy and scaly. The pics show it several days after staining was done. Contractor thinks “more stain”, I had to stop them and ask them to go get educated before doing anything. That’s what I’m trying to do here…

What an awesome resource to be able to ask the opinion of others to figure out what to do, thank you!

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Randy T
Randy T
1 year ago

One more question if I may, could something else have caused this condition or is it rain water for sure? Thank you in advance.

Randy T
Randy T
1 year ago

Sorry to ask more questions… the contractor had the crew pressure wash the stain off the wood instead of sanding. The wood looks “fuzzy” and I see lines in the wood from the pressure washing…

How deep of doo-doo am I in?

Randy T
Randy T
1 year ago

Pics

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Steve
Steve
1 year ago

Hey Scott – I just stained my deck w Cabot Australian. It was starting to cure last night. Rained this morning and feels wet to touch and coloring looks as though I just applied the stain. Assuming i’ll Have to re do but is there a chance after it dries it will cure and be okay?

thnx Steve

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

Hey Scott – thnx! It diaries and seems to have cured although there are a couple of washed out/ faded spots. Can I spot stain the areas washed out or just give the entire deck a second coat? Thanks again for your help

Sharon
Sharon
1 year ago

We hired a local handyman to paint our deck. Trying to beat the rain, he waited only 24 hours before painting. It then rained 12 hours after he finished. He used a Sherwin-Williams product. There also seems to be sap bubbling up, as well. What should we do next? Can these spots be sanded and recoated?

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