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HandyFrank 09-30-2013 12:33 AM

When to stain pressure treated wood?
I built a nice Pergola mid summer out of pressure treated wood. It seems to be dry now and I was considering putting a coat of stain (Either a darker color, or a clear) to help protect it for the winter and the future.

Has enough time passed if its only been completed for about 2 or 3 months? I thought I once read you are supposed to wait a full year, but it seems long and the wood looks like its dried out.

Is a clear stain ideal to help protect it from the winter, snow, rain, cold, etc?

Any tips appreciated.

chrisn 09-30-2013 06:10 AM

need a moisture meter to check for sure

HandyFrank 09-30-2013 10:29 AM


Originally Posted by chrisn (Post 1247947)
need a moisture meter to check for sure

Didn't even think of that, good idea! I'm going to order one up and check it out.

Jmayspaint 09-30-2013 10:41 AM

You would do yourself a big favor to sand the floor before staining/sealing. Of at least wash it good.
People often make the mistake of thinking new wood does not require any prep. I learned the hard way years ago to get the most out of a stain job, the wood needs to be prepped even if its new.

If you get it right the first time, its so much easier to maintain long term.

HandyFrank 10-05-2013 11:23 PM


Originally Posted by chrisn (Post 1247947)
need a moisture meter to check for sure

So I bought a cheap moisture meter and it reads between 13% and 18% depending where I probe and how close it is to the ground. I read that anything under 19% is acceptable to stain. Is that accurate?

Does it make sense to stain pressure treated with a clear coat to help protect if I don't want to put a color stain on it? If I want to stain it a color later can I do it 2 or 3 years down the road when the clear fades away and will it absorb the color then as it should?

Jmayspaint 10-07-2013 08:42 AM

Technically 18% or lower is ok for most stains. I like to get 14% or lower myself.

Most clear sealers are going to complicate using a solid stain in the future. Some more than others.

You might look into using 'Seasonite' its a product designed to protect new wood during the curing process and can be stained over in the future.

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