How long should I wait to stain new cedar decking before I stain, I'm not sure if I have to wait at all, but thought some master carpenters would know the answer, I'm using semi transparent stain. I live in chicago, I was going to replace the deck flooring this year, and stain in spring, or would it be better to do the job in spring, stain immediatley or wait till fall. thanks
personally i would stain the boards before installing them. or at least hit the bottom and edges before installing. then stain immediately after installing.
why wait? it's just going to get wet and dirty and start turning gray.
With cedar you want to stain as soon as possible. With pressure treated you should wait about 6 months before staining.
When staining avoid direct sun on a warm day and also time it to avoid the dew forming on the deck before the stain has a chance to dry. If the temperature will drop lower than around 10C within 24hrs then it's too cold. If it is forecast to rain within 24hrs then hold off for dry weather.
If you don't follow these guidelines then there is a good chance your deck will need completely refinished in 1 year ... I recently refinished a large deck for exactly this reason cos the previous contractor didn't know or didn't care.