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Old 09-08-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


New to the forums, so hello all!

I've gotten a TON of different answers(in person and while researching articles on line) Anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months, and as far out as a year

I'm in Tennessee and had a pressure treated pine fence put up at the end of March. I've heard that a way to test is to see if water soaks in or if it beads up on the wood. (Soaking in obviously being the sign that I can stain/seal).

I've taken a few pics this morning. See attached. It rained last night, but I poured some fresh water down a couple of the planks.

Should I go for it? I've read pro's/con's about oil vs water based, and I'm torn.... what does everyone here prefer? I fly a desk during the work week. Alas! I am VERY inexperienced with home improvements


Thanks for everyone's patience and assistance!





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Old 09-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


Just realized this may not be the most appropriate forum for this question. Admin, please feel free to move, my apologies.

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


Its definately soakin in. Let it dry and go for it. OIl would be best, only draw back I see to it is clean up, but you can throw away brushes and stuf, but sprayer might be best. I've known folks to use gardening pump up sprayer, lots of pumping, use a big one. Some brushes for evening it out. Stay away from Thompson's water seal
Ya can't get a definate answer on how long to wait, cause no one knows how long its been since preservatives were applied, I've seen um weep for months.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


We will have all day arguments about which way is best. Personally I like to see PT fencing get coated asap. The point being: leaving it unprotected for 6 months to a year may be as bad as worrying about the moisture that is squeezing itself out of the wood pores. I've done it that way many times without any trouble. I'm not saying it's any kind of industry standard, but it has worked for me.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


I've gotten a TON of different answers(in person and while researching articles on line) Anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months, and as far out as a year

The reasons you've gotten differing answers of when to stain/coat/treat pressure treated lumber is 'cause there are at least 2 differing schools of though on the issue...and neither is completely right - and neither is completely wrong - sound confusing? Well, to make it less confusing, the paint industry can't exactly decide where they stand either...and neither can the pt wood industry. So, who do you turn to?

Personally, I agree with Gymschu - the sooner the better - for the reasons Gymschu gave plus the fact that wood is still wood, and as a result, and even though it may be pressure treated, it will still behave like wood when exposed to sunlight, the most damaging of all elements (splitting, splintering, cracking, warping, etc) . If you choose to stain/paint too soon, the damage you'll most likely see is the caustic burn at saw cuts and nail/screw penetrations (caustic burns will cause paint/sc stain to peel and sometimes a white powder, efflorescence, will appear) - if that happens (and will most likely happen with darker stains or paints), it can usually be remedied by wire brushing the affected area and touching-up (keep in mind, not everybody is gonna agree with me here - which I guess kinda adds to the confusion, huh?) - If there is a fair amount of efflorescence, it may not hurt to spray the affected area with vinegar prior to touching up.

Whether to use alkyds or latex is another personal choice you're gonna have to make on your own too - why? Because, believe it or not, there are differing schools of thought on that as well. And, once again, neither way is completely right - and neither way is completely wrong.

If you're gonna stain the wood sooner, rather than later, I'd personally go the acrylic (latex) route, and here's why: (1) The chemicals used in PT woods are often borne in saline and are, therefore, caustic. Acrylics perform far better on caustic surfaces than do alkyds (alkyds do this saponification thing which can cause problems with paint/stain). (2) If you do see problems as described earlier (saw cuts and nail penetrations), the touch-up on acrylics are far better than alkyds, especially if the alkyd has been exposed to UV light for a period of months or more.

If you decide to paint/stain the wood later, rather than sooner, I think I'd then use an alkyd, for this reasons: Exposure to elements will draw any caustic solution in the wood to the surface then, theoretically, be washed away with rain, snow etc. Unfortunately, when exposed to the elements, and dried via UV light, pressure treated wood has a tendency to crack and splinter. An alkyd is more capable of "rehydrating" dry wood than acrylics - and acrylics have difficulty adhering to the gray (dead) fiber of weathered wood - actually, that's not really true. Acrylic will stick fine to the grayed (dead) fiber of weathered wood, the grayed (dead) fiber has difficulty adhering to the host board - and when it breaks free, will take off the acrylic coating with it. Alkyds, on the other hand, through penetration, kinda bind in that loose, gray (dead) wood fiber. Unfortunately, if this is the route you choose (and here's why I kinda like the acrylic system better), once your wood has cracked due to drying and weathering, you can't really un-crack wood.

So there you go...no real simple answer. Good luck on whatever you decide - and remember there is no definitive right way to do it.

Last edited by ric knows paint; 09-08-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:08 PM   #6
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


Thanks for the input, all.

It's been about 6 months. I'm assuming this would be considered "later" than "sooner"

So, I would want to go with alkyds, based on the above reasoning.

I'm also guessing alkyd is oil based, and acrylic would be water based?

See? Told ya I was green
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #7
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dlnp22 View Post
Thanks for the input, all.

It's been about 6 months. I'm assuming this would be considered "later" than "sooner"

So, I would want to go with alkyds, based on the above reasoning.

I'm also guessing alkyd is oil based, and acrylic would be water based?

See? Told ya I was green
Sorry, I made some assumptions...I sometimes use the terms "alkyd" and "oil base" synonymously...and, in this conversation, acrylics equal water-base.

I think you're at a point where you'd be safe going with either product. Your wood does not look that weathered that a latex wouldn't work - and it certainly looks dry enough to put an alkyd on safely. Back to you again.

Have you decided what color you're going with?
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


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Originally Posted by ric knows paint View Post

Have you decided what color you're going with?
Not yet.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


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Originally Posted by ric knows paint View Post
Have you decided what color you're going with?
Or picked an opacity level. The color charts will be very different.

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Old 09-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #10
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


Thanks for that image. Definitely going with a semi-transparent.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:58 PM   #11
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


So to get a nifty post like that, i gotta buy 4 diff cans of stain?
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:50 PM   #12
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


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Originally Posted by notmrjohn View Post
So to get a nifty post like that, i gotta buy 4 diff cans of stain?

yes
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #13
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


I stripped my side of the neighbor's fence(runs the length of the rear of my lot), and have found that it's cedar. Sure doesn't match my PT pine

SO, because all the wood is in great shape, and looks GREAT nice and natural, I've decided on an acrylic transparent cedar tone for the PT pine. Will let dry and see how close it gets to the actual cedar. If it fits(well enough), I'll just do a clear transparent on the cedar portion.


PSHEW. Pressure washing a whole fence SUCKS. 3 days later and my arms is still dragging on the floor. Need to start hitting the gym!
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:26 PM   #14
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dlnp22 View Post
I stripped my side of the neighbor's fence(runs the length of the rear of my lot), and have found that it's cedar. Sure doesn't match my PT pine

SO, because all the wood is in great shape, and looks GREAT nice and natural, I've decided on an acrylic transparent cedar tone for the PT pine. Will let dry and see how close it gets to the actual cedar. If it fits(well enough), I'll just do a clear transparent on the cedar portion.


PSHEW. Pressure washing a whole fence SUCKS. 3 days later and my arms is still dragging on the floor. Need to start hitting the gym!
Think of it this way...the hard parts over with, the painting (staining) part is actually kind of fun (in comparison, at least). It's a good idea to test a board or so with the acrylic cedar tone, don't be surprised if it requires 2 coats to come close to the color of natural cedar.

I don't want to throw a wrench into the system now, but if the acrylic doesn't work so well color-wise, I think it's Cabot that has an oil "toner" in cedar color that is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l...and makes PT look just like cedar (I think it's Cabot, someone out there knows what I'm talking about though)...Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:10 PM   #15
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How long to wait for staining a PT pine fence?


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Think of it this way...the hard parts over with, the painting (staining) part is actually kind of fun (in comparison, at least). It's a good idea to test a board or so with the acrylic cedar tone, don't be surprised if it requires 2 coats to come close to the color of natural cedar.

I don't want to throw a wrench into the system now, but if the acrylic doesn't work so well color-wise, I think it's Cabot that has an oil "toner" in cedar color that is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l...and makes PT look just like cedar (I think it's Cabot, someone out there knows what I'm talking about though)...Best of luck to you.
Yes, you've thrown a wrench in Per the sample's and pictures, I think we're going to end up pretty good with what we're looking at. I'll be honest, I only went to the Depot. Pop in law gets a 10% vet's discount, and they seemed to have nothing but acrylic. Hoping for the best

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