Pressure treated wood is a popular choice for outdoor projects because of its resistance to rot and decay. Although it is designed for outdoor use, some people may choose to use it for indoor projects as well. If you are one of those people, it is important to know that there are some things you should avoid doing if you want the pressure-treated wood to last.
Just like any other person, you may have stained your brand-new, pressure-treated deck before it is even dry. Oops! So, what happens if you stain pressure treated wood too soon?
Well, the finish or sealant that you use on your deck will partially protect it from ultraviolet (UV) light and weathering. However, premature staining will still cause damage – the wood just won’t be as susceptible to it.
Before applying a stain, be sure the wood has absorbed all of the extra moisture. Check to see if the wood has absorbed the water, indicating that the drying process is complete. The wood is ready to be stained once it has dried.
All at a Glance
Should pressure-treated wood be stained?
Although staining pressure-treated wood is not required, it will help protect the wood from the elements and improve its appearance. If you want to stain your pressure-treated wood, make sure you use a water-based sealer or paint that is suitable for outdoor usage on wood.
When can you stain the pressure treated wood?
Some people recommend waiting a month or three after the wood has dried before staining it. Your local home depot may even claim that it is superior, but this is simply not true. It will also damage the stain’s ability to stick to the wood as time passes. Waiting any longer will only squander the treatment it received when it was pressure washed.
The type of pressure-treated wood determines the answer to this inquiry. Waterborne preservatives are used on some woods, whereas fire-retardant chemicals are used on others. CCA (chromated copper arsenate) and ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary) are the two most popular forms of waterborne preservatives (ACQ).
After about two to four weeks, CCA-treated wood can be stained, but ACQ-treated wood takes six to eight weeks to stain. Before staining pressure-treated wood, always read the manufacturer’s instructions.
How Long Does Pressure Treated Wood Take to Dry?
The beautiful thing about pressure-treated wood is that it can withstand the elements rather well. When you want to stain it, however, that positive becomes a negative. It may take a long time for it to dry completely.
Pressure-treated wood will dry out in two to three weeks on average, but depending on the humidity of the location, you may need to extend that period. You can check that you have all of the tools you’ll need for the rest of the process during this time.
Picking out a stain color, getting paint brushes or rollers, and gathering cleaning supplies are all good ways to get ready for the next steps.
How to tell if your pressure treated wood is ready to stain?
When the excess moisture from the treatment procedure has evaporated, pressure-treated wood is ready to stain. For example, premium pressure-treated wood like lumber can be stained right away, that is, as soon as you get it.
This is because it has previously been prepared and is completely dry. If you got your lumber from a home center, it’s much more likely that it wasn’t prepped.
The “Sprinkle Test” is a simple method of determining if pressure-treated wood can be tinted. Apply a few drops of clean water to the surface of the wood. If it beads up and rests on top of the lumber right away, you’ll have to wait some more. You’re ready to stain if it absorbs into the wood within ten minutes.
How should you stain your pressure-treated woods?
Even if the wood is brand new, staining may not cling to it if it hasn’t been washed. It’s quite straightforward when it comes to fresh wood. You use your pressure washer to remove any debris and then rinse with clean water. The
method is a little more challenging with older wood because you’ll need specific cleaners to remove old stains and debris that have accumulated over time. Different sorts of cleansers can be used depending on the type of contamination.
- Choosing the right stain
It’s important to keep a few factors in mind when selecting a stain for the wood. Start with a translucent stain if you don’t have much expertise staining wood or simply aren’t sure about a darker hue.
Starting with a lighter stain ensures that any mistakes or second-guessing may be quickly covered up with another layer of a deeper stain. The heat will be reflected if you stain with a lighter color. The wood will absorb the heat if you dye it deeper.
Another consideration is the quantity of sun the wood will receive on a regular basis. Consider a lighter hue that will reflect the sun and its heat rather than a dark color that will absorb it if it will be exposed to the sun for most of the day.
After you’ve made sure the wood’s surface is clean, the first thing you should do is read the stain can you’ve chosen. Stains can differ from one another in a variety of ways that affect the staining process, regardless of quality, color, or kind.
Make sure you’ve read the instructions and understand what to expect at each stage before applying the first coat of stain. When it comes to staining, pick your favorite tool. For a quick and efficient application, people have employed paint rollers or garden sprayers.
Whatever you select, make sure you always have a paintbrush handy. A project with several small nooks and crannies will make it difficult to access with larger instruments. You can give specific attention to each unique section of your wood with a paintbrush.
But before you begin, think about how you’ll get out. Make a note of where you’ll be able to escape the working area quickly after staining and work toward that location. This will prevent you from treading on your hard work as it cures.
You merely need to wait for the stain to cure after it has been applied. Keep foot traffic to a minimum and wait until the wood is totally dry before putting furniture on it.
What happens if you stain pressure treated wood too soon?
There are a variety of things that can happen to wood that has been stained too soon, and here’s how to fix them.
- The stain will not adhere to the wood.
When staining in a damp environment, streaks and blotches will appear. We call it ‘’Wood Glaze’’. You may check this by dripping some water on it. A wood glaze is visible when water drops bead on the surface. If this happens, give it a little more time to dry.
Solution: If it’s totally cured but still has a wood glaze, lightly scratch away damaged spots with sandpaper to make it more absorbent.
- The stain will not absorb into the wood.
Solution: There is still time. Simply allow the wood to cure completely. It’s as simple as reapplication with lighter pigmented stains. However, if you apply it repeatedly to opaque or darker stains, it may not turn out the way you planned.
Before reapplying the stain, you can remove the first layer using sanding or chemical treatment. If you’re still unhappy with the outcome, you should consider refinishing the wood.
Also Read: Best water based polyurethane for furniture
When Does Pressure-Treated Wood Turn Gray and Why?
After prolonged exposure to the weather, pressure-treated wood can turn gray. If exposed to UV radiation for an extended period of time, the wood may lose its color. Similarly, if it is repeatedly rained on and then allowed to dry without protection, it may dry out and crack. The staining process guards against both of these issues by reflecting UV rays and acting as a rain barrier.
There are just a few options once the wood has been exposed to the environment to the point of cracking and discoloration.
A translucent stain will not come out perfectly due to the damage the wood has experienced. The deterioration and gray hue will also continue to show through, and your problem will not be solved. If you have old, aged wood, the best option is to stain it with a semi-transparent or darker color stain. This will hide a lot of the damage while also protecting the wood from additional harm.
Conclusion: What Happens If You Stain Pressure Treated Wood Too Soon
While staining wood may appear to be a simple operation, there are other factors to consider. It’s a difficult but gratifying task, from choosing the right wood and stain to having the patience to wait for the wood to dry.
It’s also crucial to use the right tools, so plan and execute your wood stain project carefully. Impatience can cause you to apply your stain too soon, which can cause you more trouble than if you wait.Keep in mind that when handling pressure-treated wood, especially when it’s still damp, you should wear gloves and perhaps a mask.
It’s preferable to perform the project in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside in the fresh air. And after coming into contact with treated lumber, wash your clothes promptly in a separate cycle.