I am putting up a pine PT post fence in front of my home. The fencing is new and green and I would like to stain it a natural wood color.I don't want to put it up green or wait for it to dry or turn a more natural color for a year. Any ideas?


If you stain it now, it will change the end color of the wood. You have to wait for it to turn natural, so either wait six weeks or put it up green. The outside environment will dry it faster than sitting in a pile.

Reasons Green lumber accepts stain poorly, while older wood absorbs stains relatively well. The porosity of wood can vary greatly, even within the same piece of wood. Green treated wood refers to lumber infused with chemicals that delay or prevent deterioration.

These chemicals reduce the possibility of wood rot. Unfortunately, they also infuse the wood with deep-set moisture that prevents uniform stain absorption. Let the green treated wood sit and dry out before attempting the project. Test the stain before committing to full-scale application, or you'll end up with disappointing results.

PS: Make sure your sealer is water- and UV-resistant and contains anti-mildew and anti-algae agents to help the wood stand up to weathering effects.

  • I've always been told, it's best to leave Pressure Treated timber (outside, exposed to the elements) a full year before applying paint or stain.
    – Mike Perry
    Jul 22 '11 at 17:46
  • A full year might be too long, in my opinion. It's already been damaged by UV by then. I would say it's best to wait only until it is dry enough to accept stain. Some PT lumber (not so much any more) will have some sort of wax on it as well. If that is the case, then you'll have to clean that off first. Mar 7 '13 at 6:11

You really should wait at least a month or so before staining, in my opinion. However, if you really want to get it up and color it now the only option I see is to stain it now, wait for it to change color when the wood is finally seasoned, and then stain it again.

I recently stained my pine fence, but it had been up for almost a year (too long), so I had to pressure wash it first. I used a power sprayer and it went pretty smoothly.

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