It Rained Shortly After Staining. What to do? 4.8/5 (231)

This post was updated on November 5, 2022

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.

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David Lee
David Lee
29 days 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 month 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 month ago

Thanks. What does white spots look like?

Pam
Pam
1 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month ago

Thank you again Scott!

Denise
Denise
2 months 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
2 months ago

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

Nick
Nick
2 months 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
2 months ago

Thank you for the quick response.

Katie
Katie
2 months 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
2 months 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 2 months ago by Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
2 months ago

Thank you, sir!

Ruth
Ruth
2 months 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
3 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months ago

Pics

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Steve
Steve
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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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Nicholas
Nicholas
5 months ago

Hi! What an amazing resource! Thank you so much!

We stained our new cedar deck a few days ago with Olympic Semi Transparent Semi Solid Atlas Cedar Oil Stain and it rained about 12 hours after… we attempted to tarp and dry the rain as it happened… then it rained again about 12 hours after that…

Now that it’s dry it looks like there are some dry spots near the knots in the wood… do you think I should apply another coat of the stain?

Thanks!

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Karin
Karin
5 months ago

Hi, First, thank you for your article. I’ve waited till the rain dried off the deck before asking my questions. I painted using Cabot solid stain over semi- transparent which was applied 2 years ago to a deck which had been left untreated for 3 years (the deck is about 5 years old). I stained in the evening when the sun was not on the deck, weather was in the 80s, paint had just been mixed at Lowe’s, deck was properly power washed and dried, and no product was applied to the deck surface before staining. Within 2 hours of staining the deck it began to downpour. (the weather app said no rain) It rained hard for 15 minutes (as we ran around in horror trying to tarp the deck LOL). This morning the deck was wet and paint could be scratched loose with a fingernail. After baking in the 90 degree sun I tested again at 1PM. It is now very solid paint, dry to the touch, but slightly tacky if I leave my hand on the hot deck for a minute, and appears to have no bubbles or flaws. My questions; How do I know it’s fine or needs to be stripped? Am I able to apply a second coat over Cabot solid stain because the wood soaked in the first coat as fast as I could roll or hand paint it and the surface shows small splits. The pictures are from 1:00 today, they show the edge of the stain that was painted last (I’d run out of stain) and the deck’s entire surface. Thank you so much for your help.

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Karin
Karin
5 months ago

Wow! Thank you for your quick response. Guess I dodged a huge problem.

Karin
Karin
4 months ago

Scott, I know this isn’t the right thread but you were so helpful with my rain questions, I have one more. I painted all the rails and posts with Olympic solid stain we had left from painting the house. My thought was it would match nicely however with 10 people living here it became very obvious that the flat stain holds fingerprints very very well. I want to paint in a higher gloss but Lowe’s paint counter can only suggest Cabot solid stain over the Olympic, but it is also a flat sheen. Is there a more washable option for me? Thank you

Karin
Karin
4 months ago

Ok, I researched & noticed you recommend Restore a Deck. Would that be more washable than the Olympic stain? Would it be safe to apply another coat of R.A.D or Cabot over the existing 2 coats of the Olympic which were applied 3 days ago? The Olympic really isn’t washable & I’ve put so much work into the deck that I hate the thought of not being able to wash dirt off the rails. Thank you

Karin
Karin
4 months ago

I took your advice and tested the Cabot solid stain in white over the existing stain. It definitely has a slight sheen in comparison to the Olympic but is not glossy (which is fine). Would you consider Cabot a quality brand? I didn’t see your recommendations till after I purchased & applied 4 gallons of the Cabot and it had rained on the newly stained deck brining me to your site. BTW, you were right, the deck is just fine 🙂

Karin
Karin
4 months ago

I forgot to mention the rails and posts are white.

Kelly Stokes
Kelly Stokes
5 months ago

We had a contractor stain our new cedar deck and he used Sherwin-Williams semi-transparent Super Deck with two coats. It’s been more than 24 hours (more like 36) and it rained this morning and now lighter areas are showing where some of the puddles were. Photos attached. Also there are marks on the steps where our dogs go up and down the steps. What should we do now?

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Kelly Stokes
Kelly Stokes
5 months ago

Thank you. After the rain the sun came out and the deck dried. The spots appear to be gone but of course not the marks on the steps. We’re debating putting treads on the steps.

Dan Butler
Dan Butler
5 months ago

I used Cabot semi solid stain on my deck yesterday with rain in the forecast for tonight. It started raining this morning and now it’s going to rain all day. When I touch the wood it’s like the stain is wet again. Is there anything I can do?

Mace Matthew Colodny
Mace Matthew Colodny
5 months ago

Same happened to me…
ANY SUGGESTIONS ???

Kim O
Kim O
5 months ago

What is the best stain/sealer for my newly built white pine shed? I’m get overwhelmed with all the information I’m reading

Rich
Rich
5 months ago

I used Cabot correct deck stain 1st coat and it looks like it’s going to rain after 6 hours of drying time. Should I cover it with a tarp or just leave it alone

Dan L
Dan L
5 months ago

i have treated my deck of old boards with cleaner and water sealer. The i added a stain sealer on top, and it is looking good -unchanged after heavy rain. will the stain color last?

Deborah
Deborah
6 months ago

My can of stain got water in it sitting on the porch is it still good??

Carla Coon
Carla Coon
6 months ago

Our deck is Huge over 600sf not including the front porch deck and one by a pond. I have been successfully maintaining it for thirty years with CWF-UV recoating every 2-3 years. Whether they changed the formula (I suspect they did) or wether it just could not take any more stain, it needed to be stripped and sanded. It has been a grueling job for one woman with a power washer, a belt and palm sanders. I used Sherwin Williams Super Deck in semi-solid. We live in upstate NY and our area gets a lot of rain. It’s been a dance coordinating last coat sanding and putting down finish I can tell you! The job has been done in sections. Due to the windows of weather opportunities between rains and needing the boards dried before sanding, I could only manage one coat on each section. It should have had 2. Can even tell it needs 2. It just couldn’t happen not even in the week.
My question is can I safely do a second light coat in the fall four months later? Will it adhere or will it just sit on top and flake. I’m so afraid of the latter. This is my first time using a semi-solid.

Derrell
Derrell
6 months ago

I applied first coat to all of my wood yesterday and it looks great so far…its been about 17hrs drying but this morning it was still a little oily. I was planning to apply the 2nd coat of stain sealer today but now itsraining. My wood boards are underneathmy deck and was getting wet so i wiped them with a cloth and propted them up so rain could run down and not rest on. Is this ok? And when will i be able to apply 2nd coat?.

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Ruth Leuenberger
Ruth Leuenberger
6 months ago

Handyman used messmers oil for ipe deck. He said it would rain the next day but wouldn’t be a Problem. Rainingvhsrd 12 hours later. Deck seems to have oil mixing with the rain. Will deck need to be redone? He also did not wait half an hour to wipe off excess in some places he just coated and wiped is this a problem?

Louise
Louise
6 months ago

Had deck stained just over 24 hours ago. Will chlorine affect the color of used on gutters?

Kitty Couch
Kitty Couch
6 months ago

If I keep the porch wet can I clean my house around it with water & bleach? Will it effect it right away or will it take days to show up? Thanks so much I never thought this would be a problem till someone said you can’t get bleach on stain decks…

Pattie Lessel
Pattie Lessel
7 months ago

My deck has milky places all over it after the first rain after staining
It was several days so I don’t know what could have caused it
Please help

Cher
Cher
1 year ago

This was posted as an answer to question. This is not the right answer. They asked about a porch that has a roof.

Barbara
Barbara
1 year ago

How can we cleaned a stained deck

Barbara
Barbara
1 year ago

Will hit the deck work on a stained deck with black mould on it

Michael Lanich
Michael Lanich
1 year ago

So I cleaned and brightened my deck but the last week has had some random light showers, so I haven’t had the 72 minimum window to let the deck dry, stain and cure before more rain comes.

I was wondering whether I could get some plastic sheeting to cover the deck and rails when I know it’s going to rain so that the deck doesn’t get soaked again and I can uncover it when it’s nice enough to allow it to continue drying or even start staining if it’s already dry at that point?

s.g
s.g
1 year ago

Hi,

Deck stain was applied yesterday. As it’s drying, I am noticing the following:

1. some lines in a portion of the deck
2. some fuzzies and white residue – these came about during the prep, but I expected them to be gone after staining

(The person applying the stain did walk across a couple of times holding a rag wet from water, or holding the paint tray/brush with stain in it . A push mop with a rag tied around it with a string at each end was also used to wipe the floor of any excess stain. Not sure if any of this might be related)

My questions:

1. Any idea why the lines are there and how to fix it?
2. What to do about the fuzzies and white residue – Will this go away on its own in a few weeks?

Thank you.

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Last edited 1 year ago by S.g
s.g
s.g
1 year ago

Hi,

1. There was actually a grill there with wheels that they moved, so that would make perfect sense. I might need to ask them to sand that section and re-stain there, will that work?

2. Could you please clarify your second response – what does not go away, the fuzzies or the white residue/spots around the knots? What caused this and how do I fix it?

Thank you

Last edited 1 year ago by S.g
Catherine McLeod
Catherine McLeod
1 year ago

We stained our covered deck with oil based stain. It became very foggy and had tons of moisture on it. It dried in some areas but is super “shiny” in others and seems sticky still in the shiny areas. It’s now been 5 days of nice weather. What do we do….. thanks for your help!!

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Catherine McLeod
Catherine McLeod
1 year ago

Is there a mineral spirits product you would recommend?

Catherine McLeod
Catherine McLeod
1 year ago

Mineral spirits didn’t work. Some parts are still “sticky” and shiny. What’s next ? Do I have to sand it? Could I put a clear sealing coat over the whole thing and then it will all just be shiny : )

Corrie Ariens
Corrie Ariens
1 year ago

Oh and I do plan to use one of your recommended brands when we redo next spring. Unfortunately I came across your website after the fact! Oh well! Lesson learned!!

Corrie Ariens
Corrie Ariens
1 year ago

We live in western Washington state and applied Australian Timber Oil to our deck that has not been maintained since being built about 14 years ago. We cleaned it and pressure washed it first and allowed it to dry. Of course it rained that night. The sections under the roof seemed to fair okay and are dry but the sections that got rained on are still kinda tacky. Even after drying all the way. When it rained really hard over the weekend the water seemed to seep into the stain and it created a yellow kinda film on the top that I could scrape off with my finger nail. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the sticky parts to keep excess dirt and grime from collecting over the winter? I know this is most likely a start over in the spring situation but it’d be nice if it wasn’t sticky all winter. Thanks for any advice. I’ll attach pics of the dry deck. The lighter spots are where the yellow film forms when it’s wet.

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Shannon
Shannon
1 year ago

Hello, similar story to others here: I think unexpected rain might have messed up the deck seal we applied. Either that or I was a bit heavy handed in applying the deck seal.

It’s a new deck and we used Behr transparent deck seal. It rained maybe 6-8 hours after we sealed the deck. It was overnight so I couldn’t tell how hard it rained but there was water pooled on the deck the next morning.

Question is: should we pressure wash and re seal it or is it okay for the upcoming winter? What do you recommend?

Shannon
Shannon
1 year ago

Sorry I thought the pictures were loaded! Here they are.

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Shannon
Shannon
1 year ago

Notice in some areas the colour is more saturated and shiny despite it feeling completely dry.

Maud O'Leary
Maud O'Leary
1 year ago

It rained very heavy and persistent the next day after my first water based staining. When can I apply the recommended second coat.?

Doris Swansson
Doris Swansson
1 year ago

Hi Support Team

I painted my garden boxes, inside and outside with Pure 100% Linseed oil and it rained 12 hours later. A real down pour all day. It looks like the rain has washed of most of the oil. When I started we were not expecting rain for four or five days so am really upset that I have wasted my time and money in painting the boxes with oil. So what happens now.? Do I have to wait for them to dry to recoat.? The stain was applied to garden boxes not decking so is the procedure the same as decking..

Doris Swansson
Doris Swansson
1 year ago

I live in Australia so not familiar with the TWP or Armstrong Clark stains. As they are garden boxes and I will be planting vegie and herb plants in them, so are these stains food safe or will they leach into the soil and contaminate whatever plants are sown in them. I am new to garden boxes so not sure what to use to waterproof the inside of the boxes. Have read that Linseed or tung oil is best for this purpose any info would be gratefully appreciated.

April
April
1 year ago

Had a contractor come out to stain my decks and fence. He used Thompson’s Water Seal on the fence and Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil on the decks. Started to rain as he was finishing up and now have some white bubbly patches on fence and decks looks unevenly stained. Does he need to come back out to reapply?

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April
April
1 year ago

Like, restain everything all over again?

April
April
1 year ago

Oh, no.😓 Thanks for your help @ Deck Stain Help!

Last edited 1 year ago by April
Megan
Megan
1 year ago

I power washed & “sealed” this table with Thompson’s Water Seal (oil based/clear). The first week the table looked fantastic. Then we had a hard rain about 3 weeks after staining and now have water spots. How can this be fixed?

B4 sealing, We power washed the table & let it dry >4 days. Water seeped into the wood, no beading.

Waited for dry days at 70-80 degrees to apply stain. Applied one coat and let it dry in shade 3 days(73 hours).

We started using the table. Water beaded on surface and it looked perfect.

Now, 3 weeks post stain, had a heavy rain a couple days ago. The table ow has water spots all through the water sealer.

What happened? How do we fix this?

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Lori
Lori
1 year ago

What do I do? Here’s pic of white blotches and some still wet after 24 hrs.

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Lori
Lori
1 year ago

Thank goodness it’s on the railings. I will do that (pressure wash then recoat). Thanks for your quick reply. Truly appreciated 😊

Phil
Phil
1 year ago

Here is the pic

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Phil
Phil
1 year ago

Can anyone suggest a remedy for this…this is the second coat of Cabot deck correct and it rained 10 after applying.

Eamon
Eamon
1 year ago

I put a clear ‘no nonsense’ water based stain on my decking. After being caught out with rain shortly after the decking has left a cloudy / milky look in certain areas. Would another coat fix this?

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Jackie Tileston
Jackie Tileston
1 year ago

I put down a Thermory kiln dried spruce deck, and am ready to coat it with their Cutek wood protecting oil. The Cutek says not to use if wood contains more than 17% moisture, but I don’t have a gauge, and really need to do it today. It rained day before yesterday ( a midnight torrent), was dry yesterday and today (sunny) – do you think I’m good to go? (No rain in the forecast now). Thanks!

Debbie Potter
Debbie Potter
1 year ago

I started staining my deck rails and spindles today. Using Cabot solid color acrylic stain and sealant. Finished up for the day at 6pm. And theres a chance of rain after midnight. Should I be worried? Seems to be drying fast. Thank you

Bob Daffer
Bob Daffer
1 year ago
  1. Contractors cleaned and re-stained our deck with Sherwin Williams SuperDeck semi-transparent oil based stain. It rained about 4 hours later, a quick downpour, and then cleared up. The water sitting on the deck made the area under it look pinkish when the sun hits it (first picture) but looks perfectly fine when dry (third picture). I waited a full day (recommendations on the can say not to apply within 24hrs of rain) after and put some more water on the area and got the same pinkish look under the sun, but the wet deck out of the sun (second picture) looks normal . The contractor has agreed to come back and sand and refinish if we want, but I am wondering if that is necessary if the deck looks good when dry.
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Leanne grisold
Leanne grisold
1 year ago

I oiled our new deck last month with Intergrain universal timber oil. It rained the next day about 9 hours after. There were patches after the water dried.
I sanded it back when we had a few good sunny days and reoiled. It still has patches and now has white marks on some boards. See pictures attached. We are in Australia and weather is cool

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Leanne Grisold
Leanne Grisold
1 year ago

Is the best way to sand it back again to remove the stain or is there something else.