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Take Your Temperature to Ensure Success

A common mistake when applying stain is not taking weather, temperature and moisture into account. Staining when the deck surface is too hot or the wood is too wet; when rain is too imminent or when nighttime temperatures are too cold can all lead to problems down the road and shorten the life of your stain. 

Here are a few key facts to consider before applying a fresh coat of stain: 

  • Most stains can be applied from about 50° F to 90° F — but many people don’t realize this range refers to the temperature of the wood surface, not the air. 
  • A day that’s 70°F and sunny can push deck surface temperatures above 90°F leading to application challenges and shortened open times. 
  • Likewise, surface temperatures need to stay above the minimum until the stain is completely cured, which includes overnight temperatures.

Common misconceptions

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If you didn’t know how important surface temperature is to staining results, you aren’t alone. It’s a common misconception that only air temperatures matter and that those temperatures need to hold for 24 hours.

Just keep in mind: it’s the temperature of the wood surface that matters. A surface that is too cold (as well as air temperatures that are too low) will interfere with coalescence (cure) of the coating, which can lead to premature adhesion failures (cracking and peeling) and less durability.

A surface that’s too hot to touch is generally too hot to stain. The stain will dry too quickly, compromising penetration, adhesion and durability, and it will be hard to avoid unsightly brush and roller marks in the finish.

FLOOD Pro series helps you get the job done

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When deadlines for completing a job are short, and weather is a challenge, FLOOD Pro Series semi-transparent and solid color stains give you more opportunities to get the job done. FLOOD Pro Series solid color stain can be applied to a damp surface, so you can cool a hot deck by misting before application. You can apply it to rain-damp wood as long as the wood can absorb water, which opens up staining days in a rainy week and makes it possible to clean and apply in the same day. FLOOD Pro Series Solid Color stain also resists rain within 12 hours of application, which means rain won’t damage the finish or interfere with cure, opening up more staining days when rain threatens in the forecast (most stains require a rain-free window after application of 24 hours).

Unlike most stains, FLOOD Pro Series Solid Color stain can be applied down to 35°F, so you can apply earlier and later in the staining season. FLOOD Pro Series Acrylic/Oil Semi-Transparent stain can also be applied down to 35°F.

Pro tip:

New wood does not need to be allowed to “weather” before staining. Wood should be stained as soon as possible after it is installed to protect it from sun and moisture damage. Remember to follow label or technical data sheet directions for preparing new wood.

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