Staining a New KDAT Deck 5/5 (11)

by Deck Stain Help

Updated February 2020

How To Stain a New KDAT Deck

DeckStainHelp.com has become the Internet’s go-to site for all things wood deck restoration related. As before, we recommend you wait 1-2 months to stain new 2020 KDAT wood surfaces to allow the wood to weather, creating an ideal porous surface that will hold the stain better. We encourage customer interaction on our site, so if you have stained a new KDAT surface, we want to hear from you. Feel free to leave us a comment with pictures of your projects if you have them.


When to Stain a New KDAT (Kiln Dried Wood)

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 staining performance issues as trapped moisture will wreak 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 much sooner. Because all the moisture has been previously removed, the wood will not shrink or need as much 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.

Best Tips and Steps for Staining New KDAT Decking

  1. Install wood first. Wait 1-2 months of weathering.
  2. Prep wood with a deck cleaner and wood brightener to remove mill glaze and or open grain for the stain.
  3. Choose a stain such as Armstrong Clark. This allows maximum penetration into the wood grain.
  4. Apply only 1 coat of the stain.
  5. Apply a light maintenance coat 9-18 months down the road.

Stain new KDAT decking within 1-2 months after install for the best results. No need to let the wood weather longer. Staining a new KDAT deck properly will allow you to enjoy your new deck for many years.

Questions? Ask Below


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Kathy
Kathy

We are replacing a 1300sq ft deck around the pool. Thinking of using Yellawood. Their video says you can stain it right away. Also looking at Wolmanized by Hickson. Don’t want to mess it up by doing the wrong thing.

GDunlap
GDunlap

We installed a deck (KDAT) and have waited 2 months for it to season. Following the suggestions listed here, we purchased the RAD and were intending on using the TWP Rustic Oak stain. The problem that I’m having is that this stain is only available online. I ordered the stain on November 4th and was just told by the company that it wont be available until the 21st, meaning I wont have it until sometime after that. Unfortunately, I leave on November 22nd and won’t be home again until January 6th. My question is this, if this stain is so good then why isn’t it available in a store somewhere? They do have 3 stores within 100 miles of my home (Greenville, SC) listed on the TWP website but when I called them there wasn’t one store that actually carried it. It’s very frustrating. I was hoping to have this deck completed before I left for my trip. Can you recommend a stain other than TWP? A stain that can be purchased in a store and not ordered online, if possible.

Thank you for tips and advice, I appreciate it!

michael mcgraw
michael mcgraw

We had a small front porch built with KDAT last fall. it is probably 5’x4′ with hand rails spindles and 3 steps. It is 8 months since it was built. You suggest a deck cleaner and wood brightener followed by Armstrong clark stain. Would this still be the process even though the deck is 8 months old? I imagine I can use a small roller for applying stain to much of the deck. I would need to use a brush or rag to do hand rails and spindles. It almost seems a rag would be easier to do the spindles. Is there a reason to use a brush rather than a rag. I have zero experience with this and would love not to screw it up. Could you suggest a specific deck cleaner/wood brightener and the specific type of stain I want to use? I want to make sure I idiot proof the process as much as possible.

thanks

Michael M.

Susan Boyd
Susan Boyd

2 months ago we installed a kiln dried Northern Spruce bunkie – precut tongue & groove bunkie kit. The wood has darkened somewhat in colour since we constructed it.
We plan to use a transparent stain. Must we stain it now in early September or can we wait til next spring? Our bunkie is in Ontario Canada up north near Parry Sound. Stain now or wait? What stain do you suggest we use! Thank you!

Bill Perkins
Bill Perkins

I want to pre finish my KDAT decking in a garage before installation .In humid coastal Georgia I’m thinking this is as dry as the material may get . As the material was prepped to receive the pressure treatment (mill scale removed ? ) ,won’t it now similarly accept the stain without further prep ?

Greg
Greg

Great website, lots of good advice.

I live in northern Maryland, and I have a PT deck that’s been neglected. Most of the floor boards are in good shape – they just need some work. I plan to replace the few that need it with either new PT or KDAT, and sand the ones that I’m keeping along with the rest of the deck. I think I’ve settled on RAD cleaner, brightener, and semi-transparent stain. Here’s my approach:

(1) replace floor boards that need it with new PT or KDAT and set nails in existing boards
(2) wait for new floor boards to season (2 months for KDAT, 6 months for PT)
(3) sand everything
(4) apply cleaner & brightener
(5) apply stain (2 coats)

Here are my questions:

(a) After sanding, what’s the LONGEST I can wait before applying the cleaner, brightener, and stain? Is it days? Weeks? Months? A whole year? I imagine that at some point too long a wait would “negate” the sanding due to weather.

(b) Related to the question above: do you see any problem with sanding all VERTICAL surfaces while I’m waiting for the new floor boards to season, then sanding all horizontal surfaces AFTER the new floor boards are seasoned, and finally cleaning, brightening, and staining everything at the same time? [This would mean the vertical surfaces would be sanded months before the horizontal surfaces.] If this is OK, would it also be OK to sand ALL existing wood while waiting for the new floor boards to season? This would allow me to get the sanding done now, rather than having to wait 2-6 months.

(c) I see no reason to do any pressure washing at any point, since I’m sanding everything. Do you agree? If not, please explain where the pressure washing would fit in the 5-step plan outlined above.

(d) Do you know of any sources for KDAT in the Maryland area? I’m having trouble locating it around here.

Thanks,

Greg M

michael mcgraw
michael mcgraw

I had a front porch done with KDAT in the late fall of 2018. It is June 2019 and I would like to get it stained in the next few weeks. I was told waiting till spring to stain was a good idea. Do I still want to do a deck cleaner? How long do I have after applying the cleaner to apply the stain? This is a front porch about 5′ x 5′ with steps and railings and spindles. Can the deck cleaner and stain be applied with a brush? We like the appearance of the KDAT which kind of looks like a cedar. Do I just want to find a stain that closely matches the color of the KDAT? Thanks very much.

Pam
Pam

I am replacing an old deck with new cedar. I am buying it from a lumber yard that I have worked with for years. They are telling me that the wood has been dried & is stored inside so there is no need to wait to stain it. Is that true? One problem that no one seems to be mentioning regarding installing the decking and waiting to stain it, is the fact that the underside and sides need stained. My contractor is asking me to stain all four sides of the decking prior to installation so that the unstained wood doesn’t sit on the floor joists. If you believe I can stain it right away, do I still need to put a cleaner on it before staining?
Also, when I checked the stain reviews, ONE TIME WOOD PROTECTER came up as the best stain for a horizontal deck. But I noticed you didn’t mention them?

Robert Lawson
Robert Lawson

Installed 480 sq ft Yellawood premium KDAT decking, 6/1, need to fill screw holes with some non-skrinking filler, and intend to lightly orbital sand with rental rig,…. We want a clear finish on our outdoor deckto keep the beuaty of the wood,…Please suggest a filler, if full deck light sanding OK and what clear sealer is best, We live near Atlanta,….

Thanks,….. Bob

Laura Terrell
Laura Terrell

My contractors requested KDAT lumber for my deck, but the material has no kdat stamp and has a stapled on label “Everwood”. I have read all KDAT lumber is stamped. Is that always the case?
Thanks

Don Ho
Don Ho

Ca. I just lightly sand kdat, then wipe down and stain?

Kathleen Develez
Kathleen Develez

Is it necessary to do 2 coats wet on wet on new kdat deck with defy extreme

Coughlin
Coughlin

We had a deck built in 2016 with KDAT lumber. No one told us anything about it, but we waited 2 -3 months to stain it – which we did with TWP stain per our contractor’s suggestion. It was a disaster. The deck looked horrible and we found out we were supposed to pressure wash or somehow remove the mill finish. We tried a stripper, then applied Thompson’s water seal – which looked good for about a month. We have had to restain and attempt to make the deck look decent – including sanding some of the wood down – and it still looks like garbage. We are now planning on ripping this crap wood off and replacing it with Trex or a similar product so we never have to stain warping, splitting wood again Buyer beware!

jed
jed

I’m in a tough spot and have to install a kdat porch at the beginning of december in Cleveland. I cant afford composite and untreated wont survive. Will the flooring make it through winter if I dont get a good day to stain? There’s so much conflicting information out there.

Steve Colsson
Steve Colsson

Correction on my earlier email question….Kdat lumber…..

Steve Colsson
Steve Colsson

I am installing a new front porch floor using Keaton primed tongue and groove wood. Any recommendations
On installing…..and paint recommendations?

John
John

Any suggestions on when and what type of stain to use on new pressure treated kiln dried pine columns

David Sommerlath
David Sommerlath

What is the best deck staining brush OR pad?
5/4 cypress and KDAT pressure treated 6″ decking
So many options and opinions–I thought I ask the experts–YOU guys !!

Joe V
Joe V

I read your best tips for KDAT and noticed that in step 1 it states that:
“Install wood first. Wait 1-2 months of weathering.
However the in the last paragraph seems to conflict with the step 1; it states:
“Stain new KDAT decking within a week or two after install for the best results. No need to let the wood weather. …..”
Please clarify what is the proper duration to wait before I apply the stain.
Thanks
Joe
PS We tested some samples of the AC semi-transparent stains and liked the results

Natasha Madison
Natasha Madison

Hi. My Wife and I are incredibly confused! We bought new cedar deck boards two weeks ago to build a floating deck that will be 6 inches off the ground. We did buy treated pine, ground rated to build our base. We are not going to stain the pine as we cannot wait a year and it won’t be seen anyway. The lumber yard told us we could stain the cedar deck boards now. As I have been searching the internet for the best stain, I have found many sites saying that cedar still needs to weather. The manufacturer of our cedar says it’s kiln dried, doesn’t have a stamp or say anything about KDAT. We have no place to store this wood except outside in our backyard under tarps. When we originally laid out the boards to see how it will look once we build it, the boards having been on the grass for a few hours were damp and warped. We then put them on sawhorses and they are much better now. We are having our entire back patio poured with new concrete in a few weeks and need the floating deck built. We spent a large amount of money on these cedar boards and don’t want to do the wrong thing but we have a hundred different people telling us a hundred different things. We were also told to pre stain all six sides of the cedar by the lumber yard otherwise the boards will get moisture trapped in them etc. especially since it’s a floating deck that will only be 6inches off the ground. We live in Cincinnati Ohio where we have very humid summers and our winters can be quite rough. This deck is also going to be right under a large oak tree as we need the shade. Making it impossible to wait 3-4 months to stain as the leaves will be falling and there is no way to keep them off the deck. I also have concerns for the tree affecting the deck stain and or wood. We also have 2 large dogs that have destroyed 2 previous decks just by running on it. Can we stain it now or do we have to wait a month or two? Should we do all six sides prior to install? Whats the worse case scenario if we stain now? We are planning to clean it first. Please help us!

Julie bowlick
Julie bowlick

Is it normal for my new KDAT deck to have black mildew spots on a few boards after only a month installed? live in Atlanta and have had a very wet spring!
And if contractor says kdat used but it’s not stamped what did he use?

Arbee
Arbee

We have a new KDAT floor installed in screened porch and want to go with a solid stain. Do you need to use a brightener on a new KDAT deck if using Flood Pro Series Solid acrylic stain? How long should we wait and what prep steps are recommended.

Teresa Quandt
Teresa Quandt

I’ve noted your ongoing referral to TWP or Armstrong Clark stains for KDAT decking. Can you please explain why you prefer these options? As neither are locally available, it’s a tremendous inconvenience. The benefits would need to be tremendous.

Ken James
Ken James

I’m in the process of doing a KDAT cedar deck and was wondering about sanding and final prep. I have quite a few cracks and holes that I’d like to fill before I stain, what grit would you recommend on 5/4 cedar?

Manny
Manny

We had a KDAT redwood deck installed. It has been 2 months.
1. Can we just pressure wash or do we need to use Deck Cleaner and Brightener?
2. How to remove water stains?

Patricia
Patricia

Is the Crystal Clear DEFY stain as effective as the semi-transparent colors?

Patricia
Patricia

I have just cleaned and brightened my new KDAT deck floor. How long should I let it dry out before applying stain? Also, the article here says to put on one coat of stain now, then another in 9-12 months. Does that advise apply to using the DEFY Extreme water-based stains, or just the oil-based?

Thanks for your help.

Peter Anderson
Peter Anderson

We are having a large second story deck redone in YellaWood KDAT. The Yellawood info says KDAT products must be painted, stained or sealed immediately after installation . We have been having showers here in East Tennessee almost daily so my question is; What happens if the KDAT gets wet before I can get some stain on it?

Thank you

Patricia
Patricia

I had a new KDAT installed a few months ago. I didn’t understand that it could be stained right away and we have had a very wet spring. It feels like it is starting to “cup” a bit already and I feel like I have waited too long. I am ready to stain now, but I will need to clean some surfaces stains. Can you advise me on how to clean it and prep for stain? Also , what type of stain do you recommend?

Kyle Smith
Kyle Smith

As someone had mentioned here, Yellawood tech support suggests staining all 6 sides before installing. My deck is about 8″ from the ground in a few spots. Do you still feel it’s best to leave one side of the kdat deck boards untreated on the underside of this is the case as with low to ground installations? Thanks

Justin Leonard
Justin Leonard

I am about to install new KDAT decking. I read that it isn’t supposed to get wet before I stain it. But I also read that I’m supposed to clean it before I stain it. Seems like cleaning it gets it wet? Can you clear up the confusion here. Does cleaning the wood get it wet in the sense that it risks the decking drying out in an uncontrolled manner and warping, checking, etc? Thanks!

Marvin Morrison
Marvin Morrison

What’s the best method for application for deck stain? Brush? Roller? My deck is new KDAT and is 12 x 16.

Marvin Morrison
Marvin Morrison

I am planning to build a KDAT deck and work at a trim store. Our KDAT vendor suggests that KDAT boards should be stained on all six sides before installation. Your thoughts?

Russ Bateson
Russ Bateson

1 month old deck made of timbertec composite( deck only). Top rails are kdat. Balusters are kdat. Underside kdat except for main posts which are regular pressure treated. Want white for railings and gray below deck. Been told to hand paint in a light gloss…spray it all…one person said not to use stain. According to my research, one coat of white stain for kdat….any decisions or recommendations?

james conrad
james conrad

Okey Dokey, stumbled into this site and it's completely blown up my staining plans! My deck is existing but the decking was rotted so i removed all the 2X6 decking. The 2 x 12 joists below were in good shape so i power washed them and applied rust-oleum woodlife classic clear to the joists.
I am now installing Cox DuraPine dry 5/4 X 6 decking and was going to apply the woodlife classic to the 5/4 decking, followed by an oil based primer and latex/acrylic topcoat, am i messing up?

Tiger61
Tiger61

I installed KDAT from Yellawood on a large deck 7 years ago.
I applied Sikins Cetol stain and the boards are now splintering and cracking badly.
Is there a solution other than replacing the boards? I have heard about "Deck Over" and "Smart Seal", but am leary of those products at this point.

JPL
JPL

My Yellawood KDAT is ~ 2 years old. The Cabot stain I used failed (lots of mildew/mold). I stripped the stain now will clean and brighten. Should I only use one coat or go for wet on wet application. What is your stain reccomedation? Also from a cleaning standpoint, Cabot product has bleach in it. Cabot technical support recommends their product of course. Why shouldn't one use bleach based cleaner? Many wood organizations still reccomend a mild bleach and powdered detergent solution. Live in the Southeast.

Jack Reston
Jack Reston

What are the drawbacks to pre staining KDAT deck boards before installing?

Leslie R
Leslie R

Hi, I sure do appreciate your website! We just had a KDAT pine deck installed. We're planning to use the Restore-A-Deck cleaner and brightener this weekend, and stain with Armstrong-Clark semi-solid stain next weekend. My question: is it safe to store any remaining stain in a garage? Garage temp ranges between from a low of 20 degrees to 85 degrees.

EMH
EMH

Is there a difference between KDAT (that is stamped such) and the T&G fir wood we bought that we were told is kiln dried?
I am trying to figure out if it needs to weather for some months before staining or if I can do it now. We're close to the end of our warm weather in SE Michigan. From what I see the Defy Extreme or TWP is appropriate for fir but if you have other suggestions, it's appreciated. The fir T&G was installed on our bungalow's north facing front porch earlier this week and we want to keep it beautiful. Thanks in advance!

Mary Gail
Mary Gail

I am ready to install a new KDAT deck in KY. Can the surface be sanded to eliminate mill glaze before staining or should it be washed? If washing is best, what product do i use? Ihave purchased an oil based semi solid stain from Cabot.
Thank you for any advice.

susan
susan

My KDAT deck was installed about a year ago. Leaves and other debris have fallen and the deck is now dirty. What is the best way to clean? Can it be pressure washed with whatever soap is used to pressure wash a driveway and clean the outside of a house or does it need a special product, and if so what and how should it be applied? Please reply ASAP. Thank you.
(P.S. I love my new deck