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Coating Your New Deck - How Long Should You Wait?

Coating Your New Deck - How Long Should You Wait?

You’ve just built your new deck and you’d like to paint, stain, or seal the handrails and deck boards…how long should you wait? Some say a year, some say 6 months.

There is no quick and easy answer to this. The chemicals used to produce pressure-treated lumber work to protect the wood against rot and insects, but leave it too saturated to paint immediately. Doing so will result in peeling paint as the chemicals slowly leach out of the wood.

The volume of chemicals used in treating wood determines the length of time the wood will need dry out. Other factors like climate and time spent in the lumber yard will also affect the time. Using wood that is stamped KDAT (kiln-dried after treatment) reduces the waiting time substantially, but it is considerably more expensive.

You can use a moisture meter to test the wood’s moisture content. If the moisture content is less than 15% it can usually be painted. Another less scientific method is to sprinkle some water on the wood. If it beads on the surface, you’ll need to wait. If it is readily absorbed into the wood, you should be able to coat the surface.

Before painting, staining, or sealing your deck components, you should power wash the deck with a bleach mixture and rinse thoroughly. After giving the deck adequate time to dry out, you should be ready to go.

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Why Customers Choose Beach Painting

  • Expertise - we have the experience and versatility to take on the most demanding painting and residential construction projects.
  • Integrity - we only use the highest grade materials and take the time to do the job correctly.
  • Dependability - our employees are directly employed (not subcontractors) and covered under our liability and workers' compensation policies.
  • Professionalism - we carefully measure all components of the work and provide a detailed scope in our estimates and proposals.
  • Longevity - with over 20 years of steady growth, we have become the largest full-service painting contractor on the Outer Banks.
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