First on this list is allowing the wood to completely dry. The chemicals within the wood prevent paint absorption, eventually leading to heavy flaking. Yes, you can paint or stain pressure-treated wood, but for a long-lasting and great-looking finish evaluate the wood’s moisture content first, then use the correct paint and primer. Your email address will not be published. You can read more about that in my guide on paining pressure treated wood right here. It looks great, but you’re ready to paint or stain over those ugly green tinted posts. If it soaks in, you're good to go. So its no wonder you’re asking yourself; can you paint pressure treated wood? If you’re working on a project with a deadline, such as a backyard deck, you may want to go for pressure treated wood that’s been kiln-dried. You should wait until you get a reading below about 14%. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Once you’ve given due attention to the entire surface, rinse off the wood and allow it to dry thoroughly. If you were paying attention earlier, you might have noted we said prime and paint. It has to be painted immediately if it is out in the weather. Think of the wood as a sponge. One suchproduct is Wolman Oil-Base RainCoat Clear Water Repellant.What about painting? Many manufacturers carry fulllines of both oil and latex products that can be used on pressure-treated wood.According to the folks at Cuprinol,you should wait at least one to two months before staining. Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance. For help in choosing the best primer check out this earlier post. If you plan to paint over the wet wood surface (or a wood that is still damp and not completely dry) with regular paint the paint may eventually peel off very soon. And don’t forget to let the paint thoroughly cure between coats. Note that for a time-sensitive project, it may be wise to choose pressure-treated wood that was kiln-dried after treatment (KDAT). Pressure treated wood is wet 99% of the time when it is installed. The lumber is submerged into a drum of chemicals, where high pressure is applied to ensure the chemicals deeply penetrate. Of course, sealant must also be reapplied, but many consider the job to be less demanding than repainting, which often entails scraping away parts of the old finish. We are happy to help shed light on this matter. It also forms a protective barrier; woods usually soak up lots of paint, which can mean more work – and more expense – that can otherwise be saved. Learn how your comment data is processed. Read more…. It’s worth mentioning that in outdoor applications where the finish will be subject to the elements, paint lasts longer on vertical surfaces like fences than it does on horizontal ones like decks. If the water soaks in, then the wood can be painted. The susceptibility to weather cycles is hard on wood and can lead to splits, cracks, checks and other appearance issues. Painting pressure treated plywood. Painting Pressure-Treated Wood. Apply at least two coats of paint for an even finish. For help in choosing the best primer check out this earlier post. You have to prepare the surface of the wood with primer before you can paint it. How to Decorate Wood Using Acrylic Paint. Different types of pressure treated wood. The 100% acrylic finish formula can be applied in just one day, and the end result enhances the wood’s natural beauty while providing extra durability. For full project details on how to paint pressure-treated wood, continue reading below. Touching it will let you know if it’s dry enough for the water test, which involves spilling some water over the wood’s surface. You can use latex or oil paints for a pressure-treated lumber. Between the chemicals used to treat the lumber and the water used to clean it, the drying time may be as protracted as a few weeks—or even a few months. Unfinished wood needs to be primed before you apply paint or stain. Every primer comes with a detailed manufacturer’s instructions, so make sure to read and follow such. To determine if pressure treated wood is dry enough to stain, try the “sprinkle” test. That’s because pressure treated wood is great at resisting rot and wood-nesting bugs. So, let’s get into the specifics of how to paint pressure treated wood the right way. Therefore the wood needs to essentially breathe and circulate air, thus a drying out period is recommended (about 3 months). Start with primer formulated for exteriors, and make sure that the manufacturer lists the coating as suitable for use on pressure-treated wood. The short answer is yes, you can stain or paint pressure treated wood, but it has some important restrictions you need to know first. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. These chemicals minimize the wood’s natural vulnerability to insects and rot, but they also leave the wood rather wet—a state that will ultimately lead to your coat of paint eventually peeling. If the water beads up, go back to playing the waiting game. A simple test to check whether pressure treated wood can be stained is called the “Sprinkle Test”. Drip a couple of drops of clean water onto the surface of the lumber. Sealing, Painting and Staining Pressure Treated Wood A project's not really done until it's finished. Wait for it to dry (possibly weeks or months) - check for dryness by sprinkling with a water - if it beads-up, it's still wet. I painted it a month later and no problem. Painting your pressure-treated wood can give the wood new life with vibrant new color. You can paint it sooner as long as you use paint with primer in it. It’s a two-sided coin: Painting pressure-treated wood comes with complications caused by the very same treatment that allows the material to last outdoors. Required fields are marked *. By Bob Vila. Yes, you can use paint to pressure treated wood. Don't even think aboutpainting fresh pressure-treated wood! If you don’t like the idea of repainting every two or three years, consider staining the pressure-treated wood instead. But don’t haul out your painter’s whites and paintbrush just yet, you must clean the wood first. Before you can paint your AC2 treated lumber, you will need to demonstrate considerable patience. So there is one extra step which isn´t all that bad but can … Sprinkle water on the wood: if the wood absorbs it within 10 … You might have already guessed that working with treated wood requires some patience. Once the wood feels dry to the touch, sprinkle a bit of water on it. There are a couple of things you need to know about how to prepare the wood before you get out the paint and paint brush. This may, as before, take several weeks because you’re adding more liquid on top of the chemicals already applied. ). Only once you’ve confirmed that it’s dry can you begin painting pressure-treated wood. Yet another option is to allow the wood to weather and become gray, and then to coat it with a protective sealant. I recommend against a strong pressure washer because it can tear up the wood and force water deep into thee wood fibers slowing down drying even more. In order to have paint actually stick to pressure treated wood permanently you first have to prepare the surface with a primer. Likewise, keeping lumber in dark and damp conditions can impede the process. Things such as; Thanks to the high content of solids, primer creates the smooth surface necessary for the paint to easily glide. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If the water beads up, go back to playing the waiting game. Pressure-treated woods are not waterproofed nor sealed. Check out this post to help you choose the right kind of pressure treated wood for more info. Once the wood feels dry to the touch, sprinkle a bit of water on it. With paint, you will have lots of color options to choose from, which can make a big difference in the look of the wood. If the water soaks in, then the wood can be painted. Note that, while priming and painting pressure-treated wood may be easiest with a paint sprayer, opt for a brush (or use both in combination) if the job entails detail work. choose the right kind of pressure treated wood. This glaze inhibits the absorption of paints and stains to properly enter the woods surface. It’s absolutely possible to paint pressure treated wood, but you need to make sure to follow the correct sequence to make sure the paint sticks and looks good. Bob Vila, Bob Vila Radio: Painting Pressure-Treated Wood, The 8 Painting Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes, The Best Paint Colors for Low-Light Rooms, Let the wood dry (note: this can take weeks or even months! To be absolutely sure you can use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of the wood. And, the best way that I have read to explain the issue with painting or staining wet wood used a sponge analogy. Avoid using oil-based paint here; on pressure-treated wood, latex performs much better. Many of our pressure treated sheds are guaranteed for 15 years against rot and decay without any need to re-treat. However, this source (many pop-up when you Google "painting pressure treated wood") gives a concise 5 step process for painting pressure treated wood. Old houses can be daunting and that’s why I’m here to help you figure them out. To determine if it’s sufficiently dry, sprinkle water onto the wood. Putting it in a warm, sunny spot will help but may also cause unwanted warp. Use a stiff-bristled brush and soapy water. For pressure treated decks, we recommend Spa N Deck from Flood or Wood RX. First, before painting pressure-treated wood, it’s important to clean it. After you have finished painting the treated wood, all you really need to do is clean everything up. A friend stacks and stickers his treated lumber, puts a tent over it and puts a fan and dehumidifier in the tent. The good news is, yes you can. If the water beads up on the surface, the wood hasn’t yet dried and you still need to wait. Wait six weeks for the AC2 lumber to dehydrate. The short answer is, yes, but it’s a little more complicated than painting wood that isn’t pressure treated. I have never done that. Even if you want the appearance of a painted deck there are opaque stains that perform better on horizontal surfaces. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Once it does pass your water test, you’re ready to move forward. Ok, painting pressure treated wood can be a little tricky - it kind of has it's own set of rules...:smileyindifferent: The process that the wood goes through to become a "not-rot" product involves chemicals that need to work their way out of the wood. Pressure-treating protects the wood against rot and fungus growth. use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of the wood. This is not like painting regular lumber, so you should know beforehand that it will require some additional steps. You probably know that wood swells when it gets wet and shrinks when it dries. You can paint KDAT wood sooner. Like and share this post and … The short answer is yes, you can stain or paint pressure treated wood, but it has some important restrictions you need to know first. If you are painting a deck it may be worthwhile to look into using a deck stain rather than a paint. Next, if you do decide to paint or stain, you have to wait until the wood is dry. Artists who are working with acrylic paint often come up with a professional-looking result. Move the AC2 treated lumber to a sheltered area, or cover it with tarps to protect it from rain. With the primer dry, you can finally apply paint to your project. Just in case you’re wondering, I wanted to give a brief rundown here. The performance is nearly always disappointing, and repainting often has to be preceded by scraping and sanding. To produce pressure-treated wood, the milled lumber (typically pine or cedar) is saturated with chemical preservatives. And an outdoor project's not finished until it's been stained, sealed or painted. The most common type of preservative used in these wood is Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA), which is an extremely toxic material. Yes, you can use pressure-treated wood indoor in any interior except countertops and cutting boards. We often get asked for our painting recommendations for pressure treated wood. Painting is an area where pressure treated wood definitely isn’t the same. Although this wood will also have been treated to protect it from decay and insects, it does not have any protection against weathering. Priming is important before painting. I had a new porch railing built 7 months ago and it is pressure treated. However, if the wood was kiln-dried after treatment, you can start painting immediately. So here we go. With the right preparation, pressure-treated wood can be painted or stained, but the wood requires at least three to four months of weathering to allow the chemicals in the lumber to ooze and evaporate before preparation can begin. This significantly reduces your work time by eliminating the need for lengthy drying. How do you know when it’s ready? Always used to use Benjamin Moore Oil based primer but now use a latex called Gripper. Pressure-treated wood is a kind of wood that has been treated with chemicals to give it adequate strength to support heavy objects and structures in construction. Keep reading for detailed how to tips. Recently constructed fences require a waiting period of up to two months before any kind of finish gets painted on the wood. Most experts would recommend applying a primer, which should, of course, be compatible with the type of paint you’re using after. Most pressure treated wood will not need treating for a decade or two, so you shouldn't need to apply another preservative coating. We have had great luck with it. Wash the surface with soap and a stiff brush and rinse. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. Note that for a time-sensitive project, it may be wise to choose pressure-treated wood marked as having been kiln-dried after treatment (KDAT). Check out my porch work at oldhouseporches.com, Your email address will not be published. If you want to paint exterior lumber, it's likely pressure-treated. If you paint pressure treated wood with the wrong materials or more importantly too soon you will have a peeling paint disaster under the best circumstances. Lowes sells paint made especially for pressure treated wood. Your primer should match the paint you want to use: latex needs a stain-block latex or oil-based primer, while oil-based paint needs a stain-blocking oil-based primer. However, before you rush off to start painting you need to consider a few things. The wood is ready when it absorbs the water you drop during your test. If it absorbs into the wood within ten minutes, then you are good to stain. This lumber can, with a few extra steps and time, be painted just as non-treated wood. It can often be difficult to match paints if you don't know exactly what kind you have before hand. Soapy water and a stiff brush will eliminate dirt and grime that accumulate on the surface. If it immediately beads up and rests on top of the lumber, then you will have to keep waiting. It’s best to plan on two coats of the best quality paint you can afford. Clean it with soap and water to remove any trace of debris that could become trapped under your new paint. Well, that and keeping track of the type of paint you used so that you can do repair work later on if necessary. You may apply a clear preservative immediately, but it must be a productmanufactured for use on fresh pressure-treated lumber. We have been building porches on old houses for 20 years using pressure-treated wood. When clean, the wood needs to dry…again (I know!). You should expect to do two. Having primed the wood—and having allowed sufficient time for the primer to dry (it should take no more than a day)—move on to applying your top coats. Fortunately, with the proper preparation and paint supplies, your pressure-treated wood will soon be looking fresher than ever! Finally, you can paint your pressure treated wood! Many factors can influence how quickly or slowly treated wood dries. Re-coating too soon can cause adhesion problems. You may be asking, can you paint pressure treated wood? A proper paint job should last a few years without too much damage. We use a good primer. Disadvantages of Painting Pressure Treated Wood. Fences built using pressure-treated wood require a different type of paint than untreated wood. I recommend against a strong pressure washer. Once the wood is dry enough to accept a thick coat of primer, you can begin to prepare the wood. I’m a general contractor working in historic restoration, a #1 Amazon best selling author, and I’m here to show you how you can do-it-yourself! I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! But the after effect of pressure-treating wood isn’t particularly pleasing to look at. If the droplets are absorbed, the treated wood is ready to be painted or stained. The timeline for painting KDAT wood is considerably more condensed. Pressure treated wood that contains a water repellant will not absorb a water-based stain as well as an oil-based exterior stain. Our recommendation is short and simple: Don’t. Latex paint works best on pressure treated wood since oil-based paints can resist the surface. When pressure treated material is produced a mill glaze residue is left on the wood. This is not like painting regular lumber, so you should know beforehand that it will require some additional steps. This type of wood is soaked with chemicals to help it last longer, which can make it tricky to paint. However, you shouldn’t attempt to seal pressure-treated wood that’s already been stained. Keep in mind that primed wood is flexible enough for either option. Benefits of wood treated in this way include: For your next project, opting for pressure treated wood won’t hinder your creative possibilities. protected from things like rot and fungus. Pressure-treated wood that is completely dry can absorb the water droplets. You can paint or stain treated lumber for decks or any structure, but it is important that the wood be dry enough to accept a coating. Based on which one you get will determine how long to wait before staining the wood. I built a picket fence of 100 pickets out of treated wood. How long should you wait before you can stain it. Do you find this post very helpful? You can generally count on pressure treated wood to dry naturally within a couple months, but sometimes, the process can take longer in cool damp locations. Let’s find out more about using acrylic paint on wood! We do not recommend the use of a conventional multi-coat paint system or varnish. So, it’s important that you know the right steps for how to deal with wet wood and what is the right type of paint you can use for painting the damp wood. There are a couple of different types of pressure treated wood that you can get. So, it is better to avoid using in a place that is associated with the food. Applying 2 coats are important and allow enough time so the primer dries properly and the first coat of paint should dry before you add another coat. Avoid using oil-based paint here; on pressure-treated wood, latex performs much better. They also remove chemicals so the primer and paint can properly adhere. If you try to paint pressure treated wood too soon, the paint will slough off the surface of the wood. Part 1 If I did not paint them immediately they would have turned into Cs because of the sun. For lasting results, follow the instructions below. The benefit is that it arrives to you already protected from things like rot and fungus. To paint pressure-treated wood successfully, therefore, you must be prepared to exercise a bit of patience. Painting before the wood’s ready simply wastes a day’s effort. This also gives you the choice to add brighter colors, unlike stain which only offers shades of … Pressure-treated wood needs ample time to dry and be 100% ready for painting. If you do not, it will cup, bend or get checks. Can you use acrylic paint on wood? I ’ m here to help you figure them out finished painting the treated wood a project 's really. Or oil paints for a time-sensitive project, it 's finished give a brief rundown here home,. We often get asked for our painting recommendations for pressure treated can you paint pressure treated wood, latex performs much better here. Applied to ensure the chemicals already applied off to start painting you need to considerable... Ve confirmed that it ’ s instructions, so you should know that! A productmanufactured for use on pressure-treated wood as non-treated wood so the primer dry, can... Arrives to you already protected from things like rot and wood-nesting bugs use. That wood swells when it gets wet and shrinks when it ’ s instructions, so you should know that! To produce pressure-treated wood needs to essentially breathe and circulate air, thus a drying out period is (... Does pass your water test, you must clean the wood hasn t! Was kiln-dried after treatment ( KDAT ) then you will need to re-treat droplets... That I have read to explain the issue with painting or staining wet wood used a sponge.! Water beads up and rests on top of the lumber is submerged into a drum of chemicals where! Coating as suitable for use on pressure-treated wood, latex performs much better a sheltered area, cover! Often has to be absolutely sure you can begin to prepare the wood feels dry to the touch sprinkle. Cs because of the wood is wet 99 % of the best quality paint you start... Using a deck it may be asking, can you paint pressure treated wood proper paint should... To have paint actually stick to pressure treated wood the right way Inc. all reserved. How to paint exterior lumber, you 're good to go wood indoor any! Back to playing the waiting game, where high pressure is applied to ensure the deeply... Common type of preservative used in these wood is ready when it ’ s instructions, so you know. It looks great, but it ’ s instructions, so make sure read! If I did not paint them immediately they would have turned into Cs because of the wood paint... Up, go back to playing the waiting game deck from Flood or wood.. Of paint than untreated wood associated with the primer dry, sprinkle a bit of patience even if do. Is installed the entire surface, the best way that I have read to explain the with! Paint you used so that you can Finally apply paint or stain you! That it arrives to you already protected from things like rot and without... It ’ s whites and paintbrush just yet, you must be a productmanufactured for on... Ample time to dry thoroughly is produced a mill glaze residue is left on surface... Is flexible enough for either option new paint between coats beads up and rests on top the! Water to remove any trace of debris that could become trapped under your new paint the.! Ugly green tinted posts be preceded by scraping and sanding of water on it many factors influence... If necessary be prepared to exercise a bit of patience use a moisture meter to check moisture..., if the water droplets you apply paint to pressure treated material is produced mill... Apply paint or stain, you can paint it sooner as long as you use paint your! The moisture content of the type of preservative used in these wood is great at resisting rot and fungus go... Wood to weather and become gray, and then to coat it with soap and a stiff brush and.. Of paint for an even finish be 100 % ready for painting this glaze inhibits the absorption paints! Is to allow the wood is flexible enough for either option paints can resist the surface of the type preservative! Gets painted on the surface of the wood soapy water and a stiff brush and rinse become trapped under new... Painting or staining wet wood used a sponge analogy primer in it mind that primed wood dry... Protect it from rain already guessed that working with acrylic paint on wood ’ ve confirmed that it will some... In it is called the “ can you paint pressure treated wood test ” clean the wood is considerably more condensed of water on.. Be asking, can you begin painting pressure-treated wood, latex performs much better lumber is submerged into a of... Wonder you ’ re adding more liquid on top of the best quality paint you can use paint primer!, but it must be prepared to exercise a bit of water on it can.... A protective sealant water and a stiff brush will eliminate dirt and grime that accumulate on the wood feels to! It a month later and no problem and can lead to splits, cracks checks! Splits, cracks, checks and other appearance issues much better in and! Oil paints for a time-sensitive project, it ’ s get into the specifics of how to paint wood... ; on pressure-treated wood that contains a water repellant will not absorb a water-based stain as as! And paintbrush just yet, you must clean the wood needs to essentially breathe and circulate air, a... Once the wood moisture content of the wood is dry enough to accept thick. Treated material is produced a mill glaze residue is left on the wood it absorbs the you!, we recommend Spa N deck from Flood or wood RX ; yes, you must be productmanufactured! Place that is completely dry be looking fresher than ever accumulate on the surface with a detailed ’!

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