When can I stain my fence?

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Old 12-07-09, 11:50 PM
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When can I stain my fence?

It's newly built, pressure-treated pine.
The stain I found is an Alkyd semi-transparent.
I thought I could apply in 40 degrees or over, but this brand/type instructs 50 degrees or higher. I'm also up against working in between rainy days which are bringing lower temps along with.

I've been told to wait until next spring or summer with the pt pine AND I have also been told to stain before the wood grays. And that within 3 months the graying will show.

What should I do? I want to stain now. Can I?
:helpme 2:
 
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Old 12-08-09, 05:08 AM
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General rule of thumb for most coatings is you can paint at 50` and rising and should stop at 55` and falling. You can fudge a little with oil stains because they are thinner than most coatings.

The wood needs to dry out from the PT process before applying any coating. Wood doesn't usually turn grey until after it's dried out. If the wood turns grey before the weather allows you to stain, you can wash the fence with a bleach/water solution making sure to rinse well. This should bring back the original color and unlike the pt process, it usually only takes a few days for the wood to dry from cleaning.

PT wood can dry in as little as a few weeks or as long as several months. It depends on how wet it was when installed, how much wind and sun it receives, or shade and to some extent, the weather/temperature conditions.

Sorry I couldn't give you a yes or no answer - just too many variables
 
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Old 12-08-09, 03:08 PM
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More Stain Questions

Hhmm, just looked at the weather forecast. Is 25 fudging it too much? Sounds like I'm missing the weather window for staining unless we have an Indian Summer.

How do I know when the wood is dried out from the PT process?

AND since I probably won't be able to stain now, would this a good time to go ahead and build my deck and pergola, so they will be ready to stain next Spring?
 
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Old 12-08-09, 03:27 PM
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Dried lumber is lighter but that doesn't help much when it's installed Some say to use a moisture meter but I never had one. You can kind of tell by eye, the wood isn't as dark looking. The main thing is it doesn't look the same as it did when you installed it. Not a great answer but the best I can do

I don't think there would be any issues building in the winter.... as long as your fingers don't go numb You might have to pick a good day for the footers or concrete the posts - however you intend to support the deck.
 
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Old 12-08-09, 03:36 PM
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I do have some loose lumber that I could weigh. haha I heard that if you add a drop of water to the wood and it doesn't absorb immediately then it's not ready to stain. I don't know if that means it's ready when the drop does absorb right away, but it's something.

I can take a lot of photos of the fence to have before and after photos - darker to lighter. Perhaps that will help.

I'll let my builder worry about his numb fingers.
I don't think he'll complain.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 05:50 AM
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The water drop test is mainly concerning if it's time to recoat a deck. If the stain/sealer repells the water it still has some life in it but if the stained wood obsorbs the water, the stain is no longer giving any protection. I'm not sure if it works with new uncoated PT wood.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 03:26 PM
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The rule of thumb in your circumstances is to wait 6 months to a year for some of the Pressuretreated chemicals to "rinse" off the wood surface, as well as dry from within, and that is in good drying weather, not Winter. You can rent a moisture meter or buy one for a $100 that will let you know when moisture content is around 15%, which would be ideal...your wood won't hit that for some time yet. Another consideration is observance of your products drying temperature, using it below that, and I'd add 20 degrees to be sure it dries, is that when a product does not dry within it's formulated time, it may not dry at all. This could result in having to get it all off, or by taking a chance and topcoating it in better weather, both kind of unattractive options....so if you haven't started it, wait for warmer weather...if it grays, and it will, use the bleach option as previously mentioned, on a nice hot Summer's day.....
 
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Old 12-12-09, 11:55 PM
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Cool

All the advice is very helpful. You're description of the bad effects if done wrong has definitely gotten me over wanting to get it stained 'right now!' I wanted to get it done so bad. Fortunately, by the time I finally settled on a stain color, the temps had dropped too low and I was given the chance to hear all of this great advice. I was checking the weather for an Indian Summer, but I am ready to wait now.

Thanks everyone!
 
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