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Deck stain dried out the wood?

We recently stained our new deck. Before staining it, the boards were very smooth. Now they are rough and in places seem to have shrunk or moved. It feels like the wood has dried out. We were planning to use the same stain on the floor of our screened porch and possibly on our front porch as well, but I want to know what happened first, and if it is possible to avoid it happening. We used Olympic Elite Woodland Oil Mountain Cedar stain. Thanks for your help!
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Posted 2018-07-18T23:01:14+0000  by HMoon HMoon
 

Hello HMoon and welcome to the Community.

 

Naturally, wood fibers swell as they absorb moisture and shrink as they release it causing the wood to expand and contract.  Consequently, wood tends to move with the seasons or whenever you change location.  Although wood is constantly expanding and contracting, wood does not move equally in all directions.  The grain structure causes it to move differently in three different directions

 

I am assuming you used pressure treated wood for your deck.  If not please let me know. 

 

The process of pressure treating wood forces liquid chemicals into the wood to act as preservatives, insect deterrents and sealants.  This causes the lumber to swell.  After treatment, the lumber is stacked into bunk for transport.  The lumber is not completely dry at this point. If the lumber you installed had retained some excess moisture, it would dry out when exposed to the air and summer heat, thus shrinking and moving.

 

Pressure treated lumber should be allow to dry or weathered for four to six months before it is stain or sealer.  Then a cleaner should be used, like Behr Premium All-In-One Wood Cleaner helps transform old, dirty, mildew stained wood surfaces into clean wood that is then ready to stain or finish.

 

If you have more questions, please let me know and thanks for your inquiry.

 

Charlotte

Posted 2018-07-19T14:23:18+0000  by Char_HD_CHI

Traditionally, new decks would be allowed to dry out for several months before being stained. This was done mainly to assure that there was no "mill glaze" on the wood. Mill glaze sometimes occurs when the rough lumber is made smooth in a large surface planer. The surface plane has long blades which spin at several thousand revolutions per minute. Especially if the mill is not keeping the blades really sharp, the surface of the wood is heated and polished, which results in the grain being closed up. If mill glaze is present, the stain will not properly penetrate and premature failure will occur.

Waiting a few months before staining also lets the wood stabilize. I suspect that you might have gotten wood with a high moisture content. Such wood will shrink and the swirling grain of the wood will become more pronounced, the softer wood recessing. If bothersome, the deck can be re-sanded to again make it more level. It is advised when sanding to not use finer than a 80 or 100 grit sandpaper, as machine sanding with fine sandpaper can create its own mill glaze.

An oil stain, of itself, should not cause wood to swell. The moisture in water based stains can conceivably cause some swelling of the grain.
Posted 2018-11-29T03:01:53+0000  by ordjen

Traditionally, new decks would be allowed to dry out for several months before being stained. This was done mainly to assure that there was no "mill glaze" on the wood. Mill glaze sometimes occurs when the rough lumber is made smooth in a large surface planer. The surface plane has long blades which spin at several thousand revolutions per minute. Especially if the mill is not keeping the blades really sharp, the surface of the wood is heated and polished, which results in the grain being closed up. If mill glaze is present, the stain will not properly penetrate and premature failure will occur.

Waiting a few months before staining also lets the wood stabilize. I suspect that you might have gotten wood with a high moisture content. Such wood will shrink and the swirling grain of the wood will become more pronounced, the softer wood recessing. If bothersome, the deck can be re-sanded to again make it more level. It is advised when sanding to not use finer than a 80 or 100 grit sandpaper, as machine sanding with fine sandpaper can create its own mill glaze.

An oil stain, of itself, should not cause wood to swell. The moisture in water based stains can conceivably cause some swelling of the grain.
Posted 2018-11-29T03:01:54+0000  by ordjen
 
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