NEW WOOD Allow new wood to dry before staining or sealing. Drying the wood is particularly important for pressure-treated lumber because the waterborne preservative
leaves moisture in the wood. This is why fresh PT lumber often arrives wet from the supplier, and the moisture can impede the pen- etration of stains and paints. For best performance of paint and stain coatings, allow the treated wood to dry for 2 to 4 weeks prior to application. Estimating exactly how long treated wood will take to
dry is difficult, and a lot depends on how much time has elapsed since the treatment, the lumber’s exposure to the sun, ambient weather, etc. Wood with natural preserva- tives, such as Western Red Cedar, cypress and redwood, do not require as much drying time because the wood was never pressure-treated with a preservative. Contrary to popular belief, new wood still needs to be cleaned to remove any “mill scale”, which is a compression of the grain during the milling process that can cause the stain to float or run off without absorption. Clean the surface with an oxygenated bleach. Here’s another tip for new wood used for horizontal surfaces like decking and handrails: Fill any knots and imperfections with exterior wood filler. A low spot such as a porous black knot in a pine deck board makes a prime place for water to accumulate with no drainage. These are the weak spots in the armor of your wood protectant where pools of moisture will have the most time
Prior to staining these new deck boards, we filled all knots and imperfections in the horizontal surfaces that would otherwise collect water during rain.