How Long Should you Wait Before Staining your New Pressure Treated Pine Fence?

When to stain a new fence is a common question we receive from customers and we would like to answer it for you here! We could simply throw out the rule of thumb right away, but we would also like to share with you the back story of your pressure treated Frederick Fence product!



The Purpose of Pressure Treating

The pressure treatment process adds years to the life of the product by enhancing and protecting its stability. It protects wood from all kinds of pests, such as termites, and other kinds of threats like mold and rot. Pressure treating wood makes it a much more versatile building asset in the construction industry. If it is an outdoor project, you can trust pressure treated pine.

The Pressure Treatment Process

The pressure treatment process begins when a load of pine lumber is placed into a large cylindrical tank. The tank is then filled with a liquid mixture that causes the chemical “pressure treated” reaction within the wood. A machine attached to the tank then pressurizes the inside so that the liquid penetrates every inch of the wood. Just imagine your at-home kitchen pressure cooker, but MUCH bigger and filled with wood! Once the wood has soaked up as much of the treatment as it can, the tank is drained, and the residual liquid is suctioned away. The wood is now ready to be distributed and used for construction projects.

If you are interested in learning more about the treatment process, check out this website that features some videos on how it all works.

Kiln Dried Pressure Treatment Products

Some pressure treated products are kiln dried, meaning that after going through the same treatment process they are placed in a kiln to speed up the drying process and cut down on the otherwise lengthy drying time.  Kiln drying the wood also helps reduce splitting and warping, which is commonly seen in some pine wood products.


Our Pine Product

The pine product we use to build your pressure treated fence is freshly treated and not kiln dried. Because of the level of freshness of the product, the wood is still considered wet when your fence is built. Your pressure treated fence boards will also appear to be green in color. It is not caused by mold or mildew. The green tint is caused by the pressure treatment process and will fade with time.


Wait Time

In our area, it is wise for you to wait four to six months before staining, sealing, or painting your new fence. If you apply anything to it too soon, the wood will not absorb the product and you will have to do it again very soon. It will be a waste of your time and money to try staining pressure treated pine while the wood is still wet. Not only can it be a waste, but it can be detrimental to your fence’s integrity. Putting sealers over wet wood can trap moisture inside and cause your fence to rot from the inside. We want your return business, but not that quickly! Please do what is best for your fence and wait to treat.

A quick test you can use to see if the wood is dry enough is called the sprinkle test. Sprinkle some water on a flat part of the wood’s surface. If the water beads on top of the wood, it is too wet. If the water absorbs into the wood right away, the wood is dry.


We also highly encourage you to pick a week when the weather is dry to apply products to the wood. Make sure the fence has a few extra dry days prior to treatment before you treat. Also make sure there will be a few dry days afterwards so that the treatment can properly soak into the wood and dry again as well.


If you have any additional questions or would like to get a free estimate for a pressure treated pine fence, feel free to call us at 301-663-4000. We would be happy to help!