Learn which product is best to use to seal and stain a pressure-treated wood proch. Get tips on how to let pressure-treated wood cure before applying stain, and which season of the year is best when applying exterior stain.
LESLIE: Kirk in Missouri needs some help with a porch project. What can we do for you?
KIRK: Hello, I’ve built a porch and I’m using CCE wood  and I’m planning on leaving it cure for a year. And then I was wanting to water-stain it and then stain it. Is that a good way to go?
TOM: You said you wanted to water-stain it and then stain it. (chuckling) What exactly do you mean, Kirk?
KIRK: Well, I guess with Thompson’s water sealer, I believe.
TOM: Oh, you mean seal it and then stain it.
TOM: Well, I would skip all that. I would go right to a solid-color stain. Use an exterior-grade, solid-color stain. It’s going to seal the wood, it’s going to preserve it from UV degradation and it’s going to add some color all in one step.
KIRK: OK. So forego the Thompson water sealer, correct?
TOM: Yeah, I don’t think you need to do that if you’re going to stain it. But you want to use a solid-color, exterior stain . And that’s going to give you good durability, it’s going to seal the wood and it’s going to stop it from cracking and checking and protect it from ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. But you do still, Kirk, you want to let it sort of stay outside unfinished for a season. This way you’re letting all of those weatherproofing materials that they put into the lumber to sort of come out of it, it dries out a little bit and then it will better adhere the stain to the surface.
KIRK: Does that make a difference because it’s CCE?
TOM: Because it’s pressure-treated?
TOM: Yeah. I mean that’s why we say that usually wait a couple of months. I mean I think you probably – you may want to wait the whole season or just wait a half a season. A couple of months of sun is enough to kind of evaporate out most of the chemicals that are leaching toward the surface of that.
LESLIE: Yeah, I would let it be out for the whole summer season because you’re dealing with …
TOM: You want to go the whole season?
LESLIE: Well, only because you’re dealing with a high-moisture situation. You’ve got humidity. You know, it’s just going to be icky for staining and it’s not going to stick and once autumn hits, when it dries out – you know, the air is dry, the weather is a bit better – then you’re able …
TOM: Yeah, but do it in the fall; don’t wait the winter, right?
LESLIE: Yeah. Oh gosh, no.
LESLIE: The fall; like the summer season.
TOM: Right. Alright, I can go with that.
KIRK: OK. Yeah, I built this thing last October before the first snow flew, so it’s been sitting there through the winter and now I guess, once the – so maybe end of the summer will do it?
TOM: Yeah, that sounds good, Kirk.
KIRK: OK, thank y’all very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.