Why Do I Need to Wait to Stain My New Deck with TWP

info buttonAfter a new wood deck has been constructed it is important to protect it from the elements. Unprotected wood will be prone to graying, warping, cracking, splitting, and mold/mildew infiltration. Protecting your wood deck is easy with TWP Total Wood Preservative. There is however a waiting period to allow new wood to season prior to stain application.

New wood is commonly called “green” wood. Meaning it has not had time to season or dry. It has a very high moisture content. You may notice the difference in weight of a newer deck board and an older one. The newer one is much heavier due to all the moisture it is holding. As the wood dries it also shrinks. This is noticeable in the gaps between deck boards. They will be tight together after first construction and as the wood shrinks the gaps will become larger.

 

Applying TWP deck stain to a newer deck too soon can result in a failed deck coating. The stain will trap moisture in the wood, which can cause several problems. Mold and mildew can spread quickly underneath the stain eventually leading to rot and decay. The moisture will also keep the wood stain from penetrating properly and may cause it to peel and flake off the surface. TWP wood stain is designed to penetrate deep into the wood for maximum protection. If the wood has too high of moisture content the stain cannot penetrate correctly.

There are some people who believe you have to wait and entire season or 1 year before you can stain new wood. This is normally not true and actually a lot of the wood damage can occur in the first year if the wood is not protected. Most types of wood will be ready to stain within 4-12 months after being erected. All new wood should be prepped with the Gemini Restore Kit before staining. Wait time can vary depending on sun exposure, weather, and temperatures.

For TWP wood deck stain to give you the best results on a new deck, the moisture content of the wood should be 15% or less. This can be easily checked with a moisture meter. If you do not have access to a moisture meter and you have waited several months of hot summer weather, you can do a drop test with water. Sprinkle a few drops of water in several areas of the deck. If the water soaks in right away indicating the wood is dry it is probably okay to stain. If the water does not soak in right away, the wood may still be holding too much moisture.

Be sure your new wood deck has had plenty of dry time before applying TWP deck stain. This will guarantee proper wood penetration giving a naturally enhanced look that will last and perform as expected.

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    J. Hembroff · 10/18/2017
    Mid October our pretreated wood deck was finished. We live in upper Michigan. Should we seal or stain before winter sets in?
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      TWP Stains · 10/18/2017
      Hello, as the article states, wait 4-12 months and then prep and stain. That would be Spring based on when you finished.
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    Rob · 10/11/2017
    My new deck has the "HT" Heat Treated Thermally modified wood for planking and railings . The rest is pressure treated. The HT wood is dry, with moisture content about 10%. The deck was just built. Can I seal the HT wood right away? My contractor is adamant that I do it right away. Thanks, Rob
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      TWP Stains · 10/12/2017
      For this wood type, let sit for 30 days and prep first with the Gemini Restore Kit. Only one coat.
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    TWP Stains · 08/16/2017
    Steve LAKEY:
    Live in St.Louis. Having cedar deck installed late September. Contractor says treating with two will be fine. Seems to contradict your procedures. Please advise.
    Thanks

    He is wrong. Need to wait and prep.
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    Steve LAKEY · 08/15/2017
    Live in St.Louis. Having cedar deck installed late September. Contractor says treating with two will be fine. Seems to contradict your procedures. Please advise.
    Thanks
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    TWP Stains · 08/12/2017
    June Castonguay:
    I live in mid Michigan and just had a deck installed work completed the first week of August. I know I should wait 4-12 months. If I wait for months the weather will be too cold to stain. Is there anything I should do to protect the deck during the winter there will be plenty of snow.

    It will be fine and normal to go through the Winer. Prep with the Gemini Restore Kit and stain in the Spring.
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    June Castonguay · 08/12/2017
    I live in mid Michigan and just had a deck installed work completed the first week of August. I know I should wait 4-12 months. If I wait for months the weather will be too cold to stain. Is there anything I should do to protect the deck during the winter there will be plenty of snow.
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    TWP Stains · 08/14/2016
    Ms Barb Thiesfeld:
    Will the tallin still come through the redwood after i stain the deck with the wood preservative?

    Typically it does not, but that would have nothing to do with the stain, but the quality of your wood.
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    Ms Barb Thiesfeld · 08/13/2016
    Will the tallin still come through the redwood after i stain the deck with the wood preservative?
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    TWP Stains · 04/27/2016
    Debra K.:
    If deck is built using kiln dried tight knot cedar 5/4x6, can it be stained transparent within a month or does the 4 month seasoning still apply?

    1 to 2 months will work for Kiln Dried. Still need to prep with Gemini Kit and only 1 coat this year. Another coat in 12-18 months for the horizontals.
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    Debra K. · 04/26/2016
    If deck is built using kiln dried tight knot cedar 5/4x6, can it be stained transparent within a month or does the 4 month seasoning still apply?
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    TWP Stains · 03/27/2016
    David Haugen:
    I MUST replace a seriously degraded >40 yr old deck. Majority of deck boards in full southern sun, others in full shade. Stain must tolerate many cycles of (1) freeze/thaw & (2) snow cover/above moisture. "Kiln-Dried-After Treatment" (KDAT) Southern Yellow Pine. The cited KDAT supplier stresses the IMPORTANCE of applying stain IMMEDIATELY after installation to avoid absorption of rain/high humidity. QUESTIONS: May I successfully apply TWP to KDAT before "weathering"? If yes (A) which will be most effective (series 100 or 1500?), (B) should I pre-stain all sides of the KDAT before installation, (C) should I use "Gemini Restore Kit" before staining to assure stain penetration? In a "water-test" are water drops readily absorbed by "as-received" KDAT? Which "hidden" deck board fasteners do you recommend & why?

    Wait about 1 month after install of the KDAT and prep with the Gemini Restore Kit. Use the 100 series if allowed in your state otherwise the 1500 Series. Only 1 coat of the TWP. Not sure on fasteners.
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    David Haugen · 03/25/2016
    I MUST replace a seriously degraded >40 yr old deck. Majority of deck boards in full southern sun, others in full shade. Stain must tolerate many cycles of (1) freeze/thaw & (2) snow cover/above moisture. "Kiln-Dried-After Treatment" (KDAT) Southern Yellow Pine. The cited KDAT supplier stresses the IMPORTANCE of applying stain IMMEDIATELY after installation to avoid absorption of rain/high humidity. QUESTIONS: May I successfully apply TWP to KDAT before "weathering"? If yes (A) which will be most effective (series 100 or 1500?), (B) should I pre-stain all sides of the KDAT before installation, (C) should I use "Gemini Restore Kit" before staining to assure stain penetration? In a "water-test" are water drops readily absorbed by "as-received" KDAT? Which "hidden" deck board fasteners do you recommend & why?
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    TWP Stains · 11/10/2015
    DaveThompson:
    Just installed a new con heart redwood cap on my retaining wall (80 LF) here in Northern California. We are just coming into our rainy season. How long should I wait to stain and what product would you recommend?

    Please see this about new wood:
    http://www.twpstainhelp.com/prepping-new-wood-for-twp-stains/

    You will need the 1500 Series.
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    DaveThompson · 11/09/2015
    Just installed a new con heart redwood cap on my retaining wall (80 LF) here in Northern California. We are just coming into our rainy season. How long should I wait to stain and what product would you recommend?
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    TWP Stains · 10/29/2015
    Steve W:
    I just put in a new Covered Porch of Douglas Fir. I live in Central Idaho. I understand that i need to wait to let the wood cure. However, it gets snowy and deep here in the Winter. Should i cover the Porch with Plastic etc.. for the winter and open back up in the spring to prevent Snow getting in and sitting on the wood deck

    No. Just leave alone and prep/stain in spring.
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    Steve W · 10/28/2015
    I just put in a new Covered Porch of Douglas Fir. I live in Central Idaho. I understand that i need to wait to let the wood cure. However, it gets snowy and deep here in the Winter. Should i cover the Porch with Plastic etc.. for the winter and open back up in the spring to prevent Snow getting in and sitting on the wood deck
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    TWP Stains · 10/16/2015
    TRISH:
    What temperature works best. Can you stain in the fall of the year?

    Above 45 degrees. Yes you can stain in the Fall.
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    TRISH · 10/15/2015
    What temperature works best. Can you stain in the fall of the year?
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    TWP Stains · 10/07/2015
    Betsy Hamilton:
    My deck was finished in 4/2015. I thought the wood was wet/green/treated improperly. The GC stood w/ it being cured fine. TWP stain was applied. It's been 4.5 months and the deck is black. I believe the wood was green. Can you look at pictures and advise me? I have photos before staining (that show green wood) and now a mold covered deck. I am meeting w/ my GC this week. Thank you. Betsy Hamilton

    You have to strip it off and start over as you did not wait 4-12 months and most likely did not prep correctly. I would suggest waiting until Spring to do this.
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    Betsy Hamilton · 10/06/2015
    My deck was finished in 4/2015. I thought the wood was wet/green/treated improperly. The GC stood w/ it being cured fine. TWP stain was applied. It's been 4.5 months and the deck is black. I believe the wood was green. Can you look at pictures and advise me? I have photos before staining (that show green wood) and now a mold covered deck. I am meeting w/ my GC this week. Thank you. Betsy Hamilton