Latest Discussions : Lawn & Garden


11:04PM | 10/02/04
Member Since: 06/19/04
23 lifetime posts
Rule Of Thumb

There are many different opinions on this subject some say wait a year other say like wait 3 weeks. There is no rule to this. If you live in a dry climate then you do not have to wait long. If it hasn't rained after you built your deck then stain it. Most quality deck stains have been formulated to be applied soon after a deck is built.

Most PT wood is dry at to within 15%-12% of moisture content. But if the wood is left out side at a lumberyard or home improvement store then there is no telling how much moisture is in the wood. Then it is wise to wait a two weeks before staining. (No rain during that period) If you put a drop of water on a deck and it soaks up quickly into the wood then you are okay to start staining. The deck is dry enough. Or you can buy a wood moisture meter that will tell you how much moisture is in the wood. All above is depending on climate and time of year you built your deck.

I have articles and links here just click onto this link



03:10PM | 10/04/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
Are you suggesting that quality decks are built with PT lumber for a walking SURFACE?

Good deck surfaces are IPE`, Composites like Tex and Correct-dek, Port Orford cedar, Clear verticle grain Fir, Redwood, etc. The best finishes for such are from Penofin, IMO

Only low quality economy builders use PT lumber for anything other than the frame portion of a deck.

Then, there is the dryness issue.

The standard for kiln dried framing luimber is 19% surface miosture. it can still be more damo inside the piece of lumber. Then the liquid chemical is forced into the wood under pressure. It is common here for PT lumber to be delivered straight from the plant "pond dried" as we say, still dripping with treatment chemical. It might be that you are in the SW US where the wood dries more quickly by time it gets to you. But by and large, PT lumber is not delivered dry at 12% as your article implies.

We have painted and stained PT lumber wqith success, but only after an appropriate dry time lowering the MC to around 12%.

Were I forced to stain a PT deck before that, I would only use a latex product formulated for decks and only do the up-facing surface to allow the lower face to continue dispersing moisture to the air.

Waiting a year would likewise be poor advice because by then the UVB rays of the sun would have damaged the surface of the wood requireing sanding to achieve a good bond.

There is some good advice on you website, and the Behr products are fine too, but if you are advising ( as it seems here) to usae PT decking and then to apply stain soon after, many folks will be disappoihnted if they follow that kind of direction

Excellence is its own reward!


04:52AM | 10/05/04
Member Since: 11/19/02
59 lifetime posts
Piffin is on the money with this one. Rarely is PT delivered anywhere with under 23%MC, and that number is IF it's been KDAT (kiln-dried after treating).

12% might occur when the lumber seeks equilibrium moisture content in a dry environment (as in the Southwest, as he mentioned), but KD studs aren't even manufacturer-dried to a level that low. Season-checking would be a major problem.

We always say that if you can't get a moisture meter onto the wood (most people can't) then wait until you have an excellent stretch of weather before you consider staining. No rain, plenty of sunlight, and stick to stain (no paint). The water test is a decent enough SWAG indicator or how dry your deck is.

If you insist on painting, then you should wait much longer.


01:36AM | 10/08/04
Member Since: 06/19/04
23 lifetime posts
Again it depends on what deck material you are using and what part of the country you are from. My rule is for PT decking. Most people use this because it is less expensive the Iep (South American Hardwood a/k/a Brazilian Hard Wood ) Composites or Cedar.

Here is another Rule Of Thumb for PT decks:

1) When you screw into the deck and fluid comes out do not stain right away. WAIT!

2) If you place your deck boards tight together wait till there are spaces between the boards. Then you will know that your boards are dry. (Be careful on this one if your deck sits mostly in the shade don’t do)

3) Check with the manufacture of the stain to when you should stain your deck using their product.

Staining your deck too early can cause problems down the road and more work.

When in doubt wait three dry weeks.

On thing about Iep Wood is that Ipe decking is one of the most expensive decking materials. It is not a very abundant tree in the rainforest and is subject to over logging in forests that are not certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Save the rainforests and use USA wood.


09:14AM | 10/08/04
Member Since: 11/19/02
59 lifetime posts
As a pressure treater of Southern Yellow Pine, I respectfully have to disagree with some of the earlier assertions you made regarding moisture content in PT, Iceman. Other than that, the advice is okay.

One other thing to remember with PT is that it's important to pre-drill anywhere that you'll be using screws.


05:09PM | 10/08/04
Member Since: 12/27/02
543 lifetime posts
Of the hundreds of decks I've built over 30 years none have had pressure treated wood as a finish.

This is from NY & ONT in the 80's BC & WA in the 90's and here in CA now...

I don't believe a quality deck finishes with a PT product, framing is a must, but never as a finish.

With that, and as mentioned pt lumber is delivered and used "green" the best way whenever possible is to just leave the framing as is, then there is no upkeep.

If you do paint or stain pt as decking be absolutley sure you get a finish specifically made to withstand the traffic. Most paint suppliers will have deck finishes... ( usually made for decent stock albiet).. specific to decking traffic.

My first response would be look into a quality decking finish stock if you are going to the expense of building a properly designed deck.

Alter Eagle Construction & Design


05:38PM | 10/08/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
The IPE` I use is no more expensive than composites and can save money on materials considering that it can span 24" - saving money on the framing. It is harvwested from managed forests. Did you know that Ipe` is a wood that was once burned as a weed for the slash and burn subsistance agriculture but jharvesting now provides jobs and a higher standard of living for folks down in SA while making use of a formerly wasted resource instead of contributing to CO2 pollution?

Excellence is its own reward!

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