New Redwood Deck Staining Tips 2022 4.7/5 (71)

This post was updated on March 3, 2022

New Redwood Deck Staining Tips

DeckStainHelp.com has become the Internet’s go-to site for exotic wood deck staining tips. As with all different types of wood surfaces, we recommend you properly prep your redwood before staining in 2022. This involves allowing your redwood to weather for a few months prior to cleaning and brightening. Feel free to leave us a comment with pictures of your  Redwood projects if you have them.


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.

Although redwood is naturally resistant to decay, it can still be damaged by wet and dry conditions, constant moisture, and freezing/thawing in colder climates. A redwood deck should be cleaned and protected with a weather-resistant stain every year or so.

For help with a new redwood deck, allow the wood to weather for a few months to let the oils dry out (rough sawn wood can be finished right after installation). Prepare the surface with a quality wood cleaner and wood brightener. A two-part cleaning system like Restore-A-Deck works well. Use the wood cleaner and a brush or pressure washer to remove any dirt and mill glaze from the surface. Use the wood brightener to further prepare the wood for new stain.

If necessary, you can sand the wood once it dries to remove any remaining mill glaze that may hinder stain penetration. On new smooth redwood, sanding will also help soften the surface for better stain absorption although this step is not necessary.

Use a deck stain recommended for redwood. A semi-transparent penetrating deck stain is ideal. This type of stain will enhance the redwood’s natural beauty and eliminate weathering. When staining redwood, it is important to only apply as much stain as the wood can handle. If the stain is not absorbed within 10-15 minutes, wipe the excess off the surface.

Apply stain to the entire length of each board before moving to the next to eliminate lap marks. Start with the deck railings, then the deck floor, and any steps lastly. Always follow the staining instructions on the label, as most stain brands will apply differently from each other.

These tips will help with a new redwood deck. Keep in mind that regular maintenance is the key to a long-lasting deck that your family can enjoy for many years.

Staining a New Deck Tips Video – DeckStainHelp.com

Ask Questions Below on Staining New Redwood Decking

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Bernie
Bernie
12 days ago

Is it okay to wait a week after sanding to stain redwood? Or is it best to stain very shortly after sanding?

Kirill
Kirill
16 days ago

Hi Scott, I’m in Pacifica 1 mile from the ocean. Redwood deck installed 3 weeks ago, pergola being done now. Rain season starts in 4-6 weeks probably around end of October, and ends in April.

Can you advise, should I stain now, or wait until May? Thank you!

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Kirill
Kirill
16 days ago

thank you!

few more questions:

  1. Is it okay to use a deck if not stained? Walk there, put outdoor furniture? I read article, did not find it there 🙂
  2. I understand you recommend Armstrong Clark stain usually. Would you point to the article with good photos of the wood look before the stain and after? I understand I can make samples, that would be smaller pieces…
  3. Would you recommend a stain color/tint for redwood deck to look like attached?
  4. Is there a way to stain redwood to get ipe wood like color. I like the color, and I understand that I have a different wood.
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Dorothy
Dorothy
1 month ago

I would like to even out the colors of a. Redwood sided wall. The 2 or 3 lower planks were hit with water. Will just staining the lower portion only work?

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megan p
megan p
1 month ago

What stain was used in the photo above in the article? I tested out Valspar Redwood semi-transparent and I’m losing all of the variations between the natural colors and want the more natural look shown. Thank you!

chris
chris
4 months ago

Can I achieve a glossy look on my redwood deck? I just finished cleaning and staining this week.

maria
maria
4 months ago

My redwood deck is about 1 year old. We are in San Francisco, California and it gets full sun in mild temperatures most of the time, although we get fog in summer months. It was coated with Preserva clear penetrating oil and sealer and has turned gray. (See photos). I believe the sealer has worn off because water does not bead. The plan is to use a cleaner and power wash (hoping not to have to strip or sand), use a brightener and then reseal with a transparent redwood tinted sealer. I was planning on using Penofin Red Label but then read too many reviews about mildew and darkening. Do you agree we don’t have to strip and what products would you recommend for cleaning, brightening and sealing. Thanks!

jim s
jim s
4 months ago

Unfortunately, the the cleaner i used contained bleach and was nearly two weeks ago. Is it to late to use a brightener and should I sand or buff the fuzzies before or after the brightener?

jim s
jim s
4 months ago

Installed new redwood deck 1 year ago. Due to medical reasons had to wait until now to prep and stain. A local paint store that was recommended by a very respected painter gave me a wood cleaner in 21/2 gallon containers with what appears to be self labeled as FLD51/S2 Flood Wood Cleaner and has a manufacturers label on the back that says Premium Olympic Wood Cleaner. I followed the instructions by covering liberally with a pump sprayer,waiting 10 min. then using a pressure washer.The result is that the wood now has no natural color and ugly brown and. light to darker grey streaks and blotches with widespread fuzzies.I would like to stain now with a Armstrong Clark semi transparent stain but am afraid of what the result may be. Can you HELP?

Eric S
Eric S
4 months ago

Posting pictures on behalf of Jim S

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jim s
jim s
4 months ago

the pics below show what it looked like wet and then what it looked like (bleached out with various greys and brown streaks and blotches)when dry. pics sent by Eric s

Kathleen
Kathleen
8 months ago

Hello, we have just installed a new redwood deck December and will wait till Spring to finish. The support structure is pressurized wood.
Questions:
1. Do we finish both the redwood and pressurized woods by doing a one coat spray application of oil type semi-transparent? (we do need UV protection).
2. Do we spray both top and under the deck?
3. Have you tested or have knowledge of a product called Cutek? We are looking for a product that is great on initial application and easy maintenance in the years to follow.
Thank you

Spencer
Spencer
1 year ago

Purchased a home that had a redwood deck installed in 2014, we don’t know how frequently it was maintained, but it’s in need of maintenance now. I’d like to pressure wash and reseal, but I’m not sure with what. Would you be able to provide a recommendation? We’re in New Mexico, and get a ton of Sun, so I think I may need something tinted to provide UV protection.

Thanks for the help!

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Alfred
Alfred
1 year ago

Just built a new redwood deck this September 2021, If I let it weather for three months as recommended it puts me in the winter rainy season. What should I do? Please Help!

Scott
Scott
1 year ago

Just built redwood vegetable planter boxes and want to maintain the look (color) of the redwood. Boxes have already been filled with soil. 3 main questions:

  1. Will a clear sealant (without stain pigment) help to avoid UV discoloration?
  2. Are there SAFE products to ensure the vegetables are “clean” and not drawing up unhealthy chemicals?
  3. Will sealing it cause more rot because moisture cannot escape through exterior?

I live in California a few miles inland from the coast. Relatively mild weather without a ton of heat.
Thanks for your help!

Fatima Hernandez
Fatima Hernandez
1 year ago

Hello I have a redwood pergola can I use a clear stain to maintain the current look?

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Jeannie goodfield
Jeannie goodfield
1 year ago

Doing a clear stain on new redwood. Do I need two coats?

Candy
Candy
1 year ago

Hi there, I just installed the new fences, may I ask for your opinion, do I need to stained for the Redwood

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Matt
Matt
1 year ago

I just installed a new redwood deck in Colorado (lots of UV, temp changes all year). I’ll weather it the next couple months then I plan on cleaning with the RAD products. the mill I bought the wood from says the best choice for their redwood is “penetrating oil” but I’m unsure which products qualify under that category. Can you clarify?

I want to maintain the natural color variations (sapwood heartwood) and wood figure as much as possible. Thanks!

Carole Poe
Carole Poe
1 year ago

We have redwood siding on our home that has been there 30+ years. We have stained it every few years, sanded a couple times. It is uniformly brown/red. We’re now replacing sections after putting in new windows and doors, The only redwood we’ve been able to purchase has a lot of yellow in it, some really large areas and it doesn’t look good with the existing wood. Any suggestions on how to stain it so that it matches. Maybe staining the yellow section first allowing to dry, then staining the whole plank?
Thank you.l

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

My wife does not want a “red” redwood deck. We are trying to match our redwood to to our house which is more of a walnut colour. Can you stain redwood to have a walnut colour and if so how would you do that and what product would you use to do so?
Thank you

Elisabeth
Elisabeth
1 year ago

Hi, I’m not sure about the redwood type and if I should stain it immediately or later (it was just installed yesterday). So attached a picture. If I have to stain it immediately, do I need to wash it with water before or put any other product before the stain? Thank you,

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Les Zold
Les Zold
1 year ago

Located in NorCal Bay Area. Last year we had a redwood con heart deck and dock installed. To maintain its natural look the contractor used Penofin transparent penetrating oil finish to seal. He prepped the wood by acid washing and then repeating the process. Do we need to seal again this year or is a good acid wash sufficient. In places the wood is dirty, grimey, with a few dark areas. Can you recommend a good grade acid wash.
Thanks

frank
frank
1 year ago

can a redwood exterior stain be used on a white oak park bench

Vera
Vera
1 year ago

We were staining some beams with an iron sulphate fertilizer and some of the overspray hit our new unfinished redwood deck causing the stain to “spot” on the redwood. Is there anything that will lift the stained spots at least to a lighter tone?

Vera
Vera
1 year ago

Thank you!

Kathy
Kathy
1 year ago

Have a 40ft deck redwood. 2 years old. I want to bring back the redwood to its natural color like the posts. Do I sand or just use a brighter and then stain.

Kathy
Kathy
1 year ago

Just to confirm using a cleaner than a brighter will bring the natural redwood color. No sanding needed

Susan
Susan
1 year ago

What happens if I paint my new sawn redwood while it is still damp

Keith Rego
Keith Rego
1 year ago

Hello, great information! We have a brand new redwood deck that we have let sit and weather for 4 months. We live in southern california. We have seen the tannins extracted and discoloring from the weather. I now want to seal with a natural look and tone. I was planning on sanding to work the tannins and grime away then seal. Would it be best to use a cleaner then brightener for new deck installation? Also, can you recommend any clear natural sealer for redwood? Thanks! Keith

Marcia
Marcia
1 year ago

I had a majority of my deck replaced this summer. I used redwood and have to use solid color stain to match the part we did not replace because it has a covered roof. I read that if you are doing a semi solid or solid stain you should wait 12 mo this before staining. Is that correct?

Pam
Pam
1 year ago

Does new redwood need a conditioner Before staining and preserving the wood

Dorothy Noteboom
Dorothy Noteboom
1 year ago

We have a redwood rainbow swing set. What is the best stain to use on it!

AbelM
AbelM
2 years ago

I have an insect question. Is it recommended to treat a new redwood deck with insecticide while waiting for it to dry out before sealing it? Im worried about termites and carpenter ants.

Thanks,

Abel

AbelM
AbelM
2 years ago

Sounds good… .thanks alot! 🙂

Jenn
Jenn
2 years ago

Hello,
We are building a shaded area on our deck with redwood 4x4s. Our deck has ipe railing. Could you recommend a stain for the redwood to match the ipe color better?
Thank you

Joke De Frenne
Joke De Frenne
2 years ago

Hi. We are currently rebuilding our deck and are using redwood posts (4X4 from Home Depot) that we would like to keep looking as natural as possible while at the same time protecting them from rain, sun and wind. Can we treat the wood as soon as we get if from the store? We have sanded the posts. What products should we use? We love the look of natural redwood and would like to keep it like that as much as possible, but we also wouldn’t mind if some product would intensify the colors a bit. How often should we reapply products? We live in a desert kind of climate (hot summers, cold winters, pretty dry).

Dennis
Dennis
2 years ago

NorCal Silicon Valley, 3 month old redwood 1×3 with 1 inch spacing lath patio cover. What transparent or semi-transparent stain would you recommend? Also, can I paint the tops of the lath with white paint to minimize UV and moisture damage to prolong time before restaining?

Wane Marcus Behrman
Wane Marcus Behrman
2 years ago

New redwood deck installed Sept 1. Can we wait till spring in Colorado or should we stain before? Thank

fox
fox
2 years ago

Do you recommend brushing or rolling on the stain?

AbelM
AbelM
2 years ago

New Redwood Deck
Hello there… we have just installed a new Redwood deck around our large tree in the backyard. Ive read that we should let the deck dry out for a couple of months before staining and sealing it. The thing is that the sprinklers will be hitting the deck everytime we water. Will this be a problem during the 2-3 months while we wait for it to acclimate and dry out? Should we cover the deck in the meantime?

Thanks for any tips, from a newbie

Abel

AbelM
AbelM
2 years ago

Thank you sir!

AbelM
AbelM
2 years ago

Do you recommend I go with the TWP 1502 Redwood for stain and seal?

Rand Feura
Rand Feura
2 years ago

Best stain choices?
1. California
2. Partial shade
3. Redwood
4. No
5. New untreated
6. New untreated

Rand Feura
Rand Feura
2 years ago

Thank you very much!

Rand Feura
Rand Feura
2 years ago

Is it feasible, or even recommended to use a paint sprayer?

Rand Feura
Rand Feura
2 years ago

Thank you again

tiffany
tiffany
2 years ago

Hi, I have a question. My husband and I will be staining siding or what I believe is redwood exterior paneling. There is 2 coats of paint currently on the redwood paneling, gray and green. Our plans are to sand the exterior siding and stain it with a semi-transparent stain, However, I’m wondering how you would go about doing so. Would it be easier to sand the paint off or strip? Also, should we put a wood conditioner down? All help is welcomed thank you!! Also, looking for the best stain to really show the natural grain. We use Sherwin Williams but are open to any product or manufacturer.

Rosari Balogh
Rosari Balogh
2 years ago

Hello; should I use a primer before painting a redwood deck?

Rosari Balogh
Rosari Balogh
2 years ago

Should I put a primer first before painting a redwood deck?

Ann
Ann
2 years ago

I have an uncovered deck in Montana. We re-built it using some of the old redwood boards, and some new. It was sanded last summer and looked beautiful, but has since faded to gray. The new ones (finished yesterday) are still red. What should I do to restore/keep the red color? It get snow/rain/leaves and sticky leaf debris from the popular trees every year, but not much sun. The planks are screwed in from the top.

Gina
Gina
2 years ago

I read your article indicating you should wait to stain the redwood. The new wood has been delivered and I had planned to prestain. What about the bottoms of the boards and the cut edges. If we don’t prestain how do we address that!

MissConnie
MissConnie
2 years ago

I am almost finished belt sanding the old “Deck-Correct” and other stains from my 30+ year old redwood deck. The wood looks beautiful, and I need to decide what to put on it. Some have said to use “Lifetime Wood Treatment” – which they say lasts 10 years, is organic – but turns it a dark silver grey – whereas I’d like to be able to have the colors show that I am seeing now. What is best?

Karen Meredith
Karen Meredith
2 years ago

My husband put a Behr transparent waterproofing wood finish on the bottom of the redwood deck boards before laying the deck. He got many “waterproofing spots” on the unfinished top of the boards. What is the best way to get rid of the spots/stain. We don’t intend to stain the deck for a month or so…

Albert Kunz
Albert Kunz
2 years ago

This isn’t a deck question, but what would be the best treatment for a redwood picnic table & benches ?
I would prefer to not “seal” with a clear finish, but would like a safe surface for food & drink. It will be stored outside, and being in northern IL it will see winter weather.
Thanks !

Albert Kunz
Albert Kunz
2 years ago

Yes, brand new, I haven’t built the table yet. I have reinforced polymer legs & stainless steel hardware and am wondering if I should do something to the Redwood before I build it.
This is a “Honey-Do” project, I’m not a “wood person” and I want to do the project correctly…..ONCE ! Question or Post a Review…

Albert Kunz
Albert Kunz
2 years ago

Brand new, I have’t built the table yet. I only want to do this project 1 time & I want to protect the wood as much as possible..before I build it.

Ceasar M Maldonado
Ceasar M Maldonado
2 years ago

I live in the Denver metro area and just had a new redwood deck built. I don’t want to stain but I want to seal the deck to protect from the elements. From what I read, do I need to really wait for July/August to seal the deck? What sealer would be recommended? Thank You.

Ceasar M Maldonado
Ceasar M Maldonado
2 years ago

What recommendations for a stain/sealer for the redwood deck? I am new at this; thank you for your suggestions/help.

Stephanie B
Stephanie B
2 years ago

Hi – I live in Northern California. We have a large custom deck that gets massive sun exposure on most of the deck and lots of pool water.. We have been using the Flood UV but find the surface oxidizes by the end of the summer and chips & cracks off and it is a MAJOR project to do ever spring. It’s a maintenance nightmare. I feel like I need to strip it down and use something that allows intermittent touch ups, like something kind of oil penetrating product that I can clean and add more as needed through the summer and doesn’t require full stripping between applications. Mildew is not a problem for us. I’m desperate for a better solution. My deck plagues me every spring.

Stephanie B
Stephanie B
2 years ago

well it looks pretty good right now – we already did it. I’m planning ahead for next year after reflecting on the whole process this year.

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Karen K
Karen K
2 years ago

It is June. I am installing a new fence with Redwood. I live in the greater Philadelphia area (Pennsylvania). Sounds like you are recommending that one needs to wait to stain the wood, though I hate to lose the beautiful color. What would be the soonest I can stain it in the PA climate here? 4 months is October. Does it need to be above a certain temperature to stain wood? Do I need to wait until next spring? What is the best product for this area?

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen K

What color did you need up staining your redwood fence? I just finished building a redwood fence as well and am reluctant to use a tinted sealant because the natural wood is so nice to look at. I’d love to see a picture of your stain finished fence.

Biokarmic
Biokarmic
2 years ago

By mistake I put a dark stain on the brand new Redwood Deck. How do I remove it and restore to original Redwood color?

Stan
Stan
2 years ago

New redwood deck – How long before applying stain or varnish to unseasoned redwood?

Kathleene Barber
Kathleene Barber
2 years ago

What is good for a redwood swing set 2 yrs old

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