When to Stain a New KDAT Deck? Right away or wait?
Although pressure-treated lumber is protected against fungi and insects, regular maintenance is required to achieve optimal weather protection. Staining and occasionally refinishing the wood will ensure your wood project will be enjoyed for years to come.
However, when pressure treated, or other types of wood are new there is a waiting period of 3-6 months when using most stain brands. The wood has to season before you can stain or seal it. New wood has a high moisture content. As the wood dries out it shrinks and becomes more porous. Some weather damage can occur during this seasoning period but staining new wood too soon can lead to stain performance issues as trapped moisture will reek havoc.
A way around this issue is to use KDAT (Kiln-Dried After Treatment) lumber. Moisture is removed from the lumber prior to arriving at the lumberyard. The advantage of KDAT lumber is that you can stain or seal it right away. Because all the moisture has been previously removed, the wood will not shrink or need time to season. Basically, it is like seasoned wood that has not had to season naturally and been susceptible to the elements. You will need to prep the surface though with a deck cleaner and wood brightener before staining. This will help remove any mill glaze. We also suggest only applying 1 coat of stain to new KDAT wood.
New KDAT decking can even be pre-stained prior to installing if you prefer (we suggest installing first). If it is not pre-stained it should be stained as soon as possible to eliminate risk of water and UV damage. KDAT lumber will still be smooth and less porous than aged wood so using the proper type of penetrating deck stain is important.
Best Tips and Steps for Staining New KDAT Decking
- Install wood first.
- Prep wood with deck cleaner and wood brightener to remove mill glaze and or open grain for the stain.
- Choose a stain such as Armstrong Clark. This allows maximum penetration into the wood grain.
- Apply only 1 coat of the stain.
- Apply a light maintenance coat 9-18 months down the road.
Stain new KDAT decking within a week or two after install for the best results. No need to let the wood weather. Staining a new KDAT deck properly will allow you to enjoy your new deck for many years.
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