Can You Stain Wet Wood

Can You Stain Wet Wood?


During summer, it is the best time to stain and seal your deck to prepare for the heavier foot traffic, barbecue parties, and exposure to the harsh elements ahead. However, can you stain wet wood? In this post, we’ll answer these questions and we will provide some tips so you can stain your deck professionally. Let’s get started!

Why Stain a Damp Wood?

Sitting on a deck is not that relaxing if you see the mistakes you’ve made when you applied the weed stain. While staining a damp wood is now possible, it is better to remain patient and wait for your wood deck to dry. Staining damp wood is a newer concept. There are wood stains that specifically made and commercially available for damp wood.

How to Prepare Staining Damp Wood?

Properly prepare the wood surface using the correct prep products. Preparation is the key to the longevity of the stain. Wait for 2 to 4 hours after the preparation time to let the wood dry. The stain can be applied to a damp wood. However, it should not be applied to a visibly soaking wet wood.

How to Stain Wood?

Starting with the vertical surfaces should be done first, like the railings. Make sure that the horizontal surfaces are also protected from any excess paint. When the first coat is completed, you can apply a light second top coat.

Repeat the same steps for vertical structures and all benches. After staining all vertical surfaces, apply one coat of the special damp wood stain to horizontal surfaces and flooring and ensure the entire surface coverage. Apply the stain 20 minutes to 2 hours after you applied the first coat. For newer decks or less than a year old, apply one stain coat only.

Tips and Tricks When Staining Wood

Prepare the deck surface. The wood should be dry, clean, and contaminant-free. If you apply a sealer or stain over a damp or dirty wood, there will be no proper adhesion.

Ensure that there’s no mildew by using a wood cleaner and thoroughly washing your deck. You need to wash the deck with a wood sealer or stain remover if there’s still residual signs of the old sealer.

Use a wood deck brightener because wood strippers and cleaners can darken the wood. Let the deck dry thoroughly before sealing or staining. It is crucial to follow the instructions for applying a stain or sealer.

Some products are specifically designed to be applied using a roller, brush, sprayer, or stain pad. Select the method that’s most appropriate for the layout of your deck and its surroundings.

Do not apply too much stain or sealer. Brush any sealer or stain that are not absorbed by the wood. Swiping an absorbent rag also works. Otherwise, excessive sealer or stain will leave a puddle that will eventually drip or leave a shiny flaky spot.

During the preparation phase, don’t use steel wool or wire brushes because it embeds metal fragments into the surface of the wood which could lead to rusting and staining in the future.

What are the Safety Precautions?

Wear protective clothing. You can wear old clothes you don’t use anymore. Protect the outdoor outlets when you are washing your deck. The bushes and surrounding plants should be protected during staining and cleaning. Also, protect the surrounding concrete and paving stones.

Stain the vertical surfaces first and use a drop cloth to avoid staining the surface below because drips may show up as dark spots. Stain the floor surfaces of the deck last, so you won’t need to walk on a fresh stain. Allow the deck to dry completely before you replace the deck furniture or allow your pets and children to walk on it.

You need to avoid staining your deck for at least 24 to 48 hours if it gets wet. Moisture present in the wood prevents the stain from correctly adhering to the deck, resulting in a thinner coat which will result from washing off after a few rainstorms.


Staining a damp wood is possible but staining a visibly wet and soaked wood is not a good idea because the stain will less likely adhere. Commercial stains are also available made to be used for damp wood. Have you enjoyed reading this post! If so, like and share as well as comment below.