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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to replace the decking portion of my deck (the structure itself is fine). Recently moved into a new house and the prior owners never treated the boards. They're beyond repair at this point.

While I'm at it, I am planning on replacing the ballisters/top rails, etc. The deck is on the second story, so accessing the outside of the ballisters to stain them after installation won't be ideal.

Are there any issues with treating and staining the ballisters prior to installation, as opposed to after? Anything else I should take into consideration as I move forward?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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If it's pressure treated you need to wait 3 to 6 months before staining depending on where you live to give it time to dry out.
If not there's no way for the stain to soak in and you will just be sealing in the moisture which will cause a mold problum from then on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Joe. Any opinion on what type of wood I should get? Definitely preferred pressure treated wood over the trex material.
 

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No idea on what's avalible in your area because you left off your location when you signed up.
Also would need to know what your budget is.
IPE would last for ever and never need any stain.
If your on the west coast Ceder seems to be real populer.
On the east coast your stuck with pine unless your willing to pay.
There's lots of composits out there that would be trouble free.
All depands on what your willing to pay.
Composit can triple the price.
 

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journeyman carpenter
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if you go with composite though you really have to pay close attention to what brand your buying.. several of them have been having severe warrenty issues.. nothing to do with the install but manufacturing.. a few companies have announced their folding do to this
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm in the Washington DC area. I'm guessing Pine is my best bet.

Any issues with going with a big box store to get the wood? What brand of stain do you recommend?
 

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Roofmaster
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For the most part, the PT lumber they sell in the big box stores is very low grade material. You can get KDAT (Kiln Dried After Treatment) pressure treated material, but you will never get it at HD or L. Look for specialty lumberyards, and stick to No. 1 The stuff the big box stores sell looks like No. 3 to me, but they sell it as 2

Make sure you use stainless steel fasteners with ACQ, Galvanized will not last over the long haul.
 

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I prefure ceramic coated decking screws over stainless.
Reasons being there 1/2 the cost and harder so there's less cam out.
Both are ACQ approved.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For the most part, the PT lumber they sell in the big box stores is very low grade material. You can get KDAT (Kiln Dried After Treatment) pressure treated material, but you will never get it at HD or L. Look for specialty lumberyards, and stick to No. 1 The stuff the big box stores sell looks like No. 3 to me, but they sell it as 2

Make sure you use stainless steel fasteners with ACQ, Galvanized will not last over the long haul.
Any specialty lumberyards you'd recommend - I'm in the same area as you.

Also, assuming I go with KDAT - would that mean I could stain prior to installation since it will be dry?
 
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