How Long Should Deck Stain Dry Before Walking On It? (Explained In Detail)

Staining a wood deck is not a challenging task. All you need to do is adhere to the necessary steps outlined in this post. 

However, leaving it cured completely before walking around might be a problem. Most people get it wrong, which affects the wanted result in the end. 

If you wonder “how long should deck stain dry before walking on it?” browse through this article for the final answer. 

How Long Should Deck Stain Dry Before Walking On It?


Deck stains should dry to the touch in about 1-2 hours under normal conditions. However, you should not walk on it after at least 4-6 hours. It would be best if you waited a little longer than the standard duration in areas exposed to high humidity levels or cooler weather. 

When Can I Move Furniture Back On My Deck? 


Putting furniture or plants back on your deck after a few days of staining is not a good idea! Acrylic stains and paints require a whole week of extremely dry conditions to be reachable and sometimes even longer. But if you are using light deck objects in your house, like small chairs, it is completely fine to put them back on the deck after a few days of painting. 

However, it is best to wait at least a week before placing heavy objects such as a sunbrella or a table with a heavy base. As a related reminder, avoid placing potting plants directly on your deck. They are prone to dry rot because of water being unable to escape as you water your plants.

3 Factors That Affect A Stained Deck Drying Time 

Several factors influence the drying time of stained wood, some of which are listed below.


Types of stain 

The type of staining product you apply on your deck will decide how long it takes to fully dry and when it is safe to place furniture on it. There are numerous products available, all of which serve the same general purpose of staining decks. 

Nonetheless, each of those products operates distinctly. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain product information by scrutinizing the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how long it will take for your wood pieces to dry with that kind of stain. 

Furthermore, adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions will aid in the proper staining application over the wood.

Types of wood


The type of wood also counts, and it is an essential factor to consider. Different woods react differently to chemicals and stains. Furthermore, each wood has a different pore size, and whether you’re working on a new deck or an old one affects the curing time. 

If you want to build a new deck out of pressure-treated wood, you should let it dry for months before applying stain to ensure that it lasts as long as possible when it seeps into the wood’s pores.


The weather conditions are also necessary. It would be best to stain your deck when the weather is dry. Humidity extends the curing time. Similarly, in dry weather, there is always less humidity, which automatically shortens the curing time.

Further watching: How To Stain A Deck?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens if it Rains Before Deck Stain Dries?

If it rains within two days of staining your deck, for instance, the water will penetrate the wood pores and remove the stain. The result will be a splotchy, uneven surface. As soon as you apply the stain, it will peel and flake off if it rains shortly afterward.

What’s The Ideal Weather For Deck Staining?


It is best to stain your deck in cool and dry weather, as this allows the stain to penetrate the wood well. So, watch out for cloudy weather conditions to stain your construction, and avoid rainy seasons if at all possible! If you must stain your deck, do so after the sun has stopped shining directly on it.

Can I Wash My Deck with a Pressure Washer? 


Yes, you can clean your deck using a pressure washer. Use a pressure of no more than 1200-1500 pounds per square inch (PSI). A 1500 PSI pressure washer is considered dangerous, and if used carelessly, softwoods such as pines might get damaged.

Therefore, if you tend to pressure water on your deck, make sure to use a low PSI to avoid damaging it.

How Soon After Pressuring Water Can I Apply a Stain to The Surface? 

Your deck will only need a fresh coat of stain once you’ve cleaned it and removed all of the old stains. To stain a pressure-washed deck, how long should you wait? Leave your pressure-washed deck around 48 hours to dry if you are working in a stable environment. 

If you want to ensure that the deck stain is completely dry before staining it, it is best to wait 72 hours before proceeding.

How Can I Determine Whether My Deck Is Dry Enough For Staining Before I Start Applying It? 

In addition to the methods mentioned at the beginning of this essay, there are two other ways to assess if your deck is ready for staining: These are the methods: 

Test your wood’s water/moisture capacity by using a moisture meter. To ensure that you have accurately measured the wood, use this tool on the other different areas. This signifies that your deck is ready to get stained if the reading falls within the range of 12 to 15 percent. You should wait until the wood is completely dry before staining it if the levels are higher. 


Pouring water on wood is another widely promoted approach. After a few minutes, you can color the wood if it has absorbed the water. You can’t stain something that has water pooling or beading on it. Allow the surface to dry for a longer period before using.

Final Thoughts

So, how long should deck stain dry before walking on it? We believe it is no longer a tricky question after you have grasped all our explanations and tips in this article. Be remindful about the recommended curing time; then, you will have your glorious decks in hours.