Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood? (Yes! Here’s How)
Pressure-treated wood undergoes special processes to make it durable and free from insect and mold infestation or decaying. However, this wood is mostly greenish, while some are brown or tan. These colors can be limiting, making it a challenge for those who don’t like them. But can you paint pressure-treated wood to your favorite color and enjoy using it for various projects?
Yes, you can paint your pressure-treated wood. Painting pressure-treated wood will make them colorful and beautiful, and more durable. Before painting this kind of wood, ensure you give it enough time to dry off well. Doing this will also enable you to have a better-looking finish that’s long-lasting. But choose the right paint for this project and primer it before painting.
Read on to understand more about painting pressure-treated wood and how to do it.
How To Paint Pressure Treated Wood?
Painting pressure-treated wood will give it a perfect sheen and enable it to last longer, especially if used for outdoor projects. However, before painting this type of wood, ensure it dries thoroughly as it requires adequate time to dry.
Also, choose the right paint and primer to use on pressure-treated wood. A latex primer and latex paint best suit such a project and will give you the best results. When you paint pressure-treated lumber for outdoor use like fencing, they’ll last longer than those on horizontal surfaces.
Tools and materials required:
- Paint sprayer
- 4-inch paint brush
- Stiff bristled brush
- Garden hose
- Mild liquid detergent
Use the following steps when you want to paint your pressure-treated wood;
Clean The Pressure Treated Wood
It’s advisable first to clean it before you paint this wood.
- Wash it using a bristle brush and the liquid detergent or soap and water.
This will help remove dirt and debris, which can give you challenges while painting. After that, give the wood enough time to dry off.
However, consider using a commercial wood cleaner, power washer, and commercial deck if the wood is not perfectly shaped. But it’s advisable not to use a power washer as the high pressure will remove the preservatives on the wood and force water through them.
Moisture on the wood fiber will encourage rotting, while the absence of the chemical preservative will make it vulnerable to pests.
Give It Time to Dry
Remember that the water and chemicals used to treat this wood will make it longer to dry. It can be weeks or a few months. After that duration, you can touch it to feel if it’s dry. Alternatively, sprinkle some water on the wood. If it absorbs the water, you can go ahead and paint it.
But if it beads up, give it more time to dry off. However, if you want to speed up the drying process, consider piling the wood in a crisscrossing pattern and allowing them to air dry. If not, opt for kiln-dried lumber, which is oven-dried and takes less time to dry.
Primer The Wood
After the pressure-treated wood dries well, you need to primer it. Use primer paint for exterior surfaces and ensure the manufacturer labels it as fit for use on pressure-treated wood. Don’t use oil-based primer on pressure-treated lumber.
Consider using a paint sprayer instead of a paintbrush to avoid too much work. But a paintbrush will make the primer adhere to the wooden surface better and give it a clean and smooth finish.
Priming the wood will enable the paint to stick on it with ease. It will also prevent the wood from absorbing the paint, preventing you from doing several coats without satisfactory results.
Apply The Paint
Apply the paint to the wood. This is after the primer dries off, which can be after one day. Then apply the first coat and let it dry before doing the second one.
- Use latex paint as it does better on pressure-treated wood.
Doing two paint coats will enable the pressure-treated wood to last longer. It’s advisable to use exterior latex paint on pressure-treated wood as it holds better on wooden surfaces.
Apply A Top Coat
If you don’t want your paint to fade away after some time, do apply the water repellent finish as the topcoat. This additional layer will also make your pressure-treated wood look newer and attractive for a long time. You can also opt to stain this wood to protect it further from decay or damages.
When Should I Paint Pressure Treated Wood?
The best time to paint pressure-treated wood is after cleaning and allowing it to dry well.
Remember, during the pressure treatment process, the water in the chemicals used gets absorbed in the wood. This leaves the wood wet after the procedure. So, you need to give the pressure-treated wood time to dry off completely, which depends on its thickness and the kind of treatment used. The time will also vary depending on where the wood is stored and when it was treated.
What Happens If You Paint Pressure Treated Wood Before It Dries Well?
Pressure-treated wood has high moisture content meaning it will be damp when you buy it. So, if you don’t give it time to dry off before you paint, you’ll not have the desired results.
The finish won’t look good, the board will warp, and the paint will peel after some time. The paint won’t dry well as the moisture on the treated wood will keep it wet.
Tips On Maintaining Painted Pressure Treated Wood
- Avoid having water on the painted pressure-treated wood to reduce the chances of having mold or dew on the surfaces. You can create ventilation between the boards and the surfaces below it to prevent water from sticking on the wood.
- Apply ultraviolet ray protection on the pressure-treated wood. Do this if you’re going to use it for outdoor purposes like fences. Apply this additional protection after you clean the deck. Also, ensure you regularly clean the wood to have it in good shape for years.
- When you use this kind of wood in an area with a lot of sunlight, it’s likely to swell or shrink. It will shrink when dry and will crack after about six months. But you can prevent this by not leaving gaps between the boards when making a deck. The pressure-treated wood can also swell when it soaks water. It’s advisable to apply sealant on it to avoid this.
Why Is Advantageous to Paint Pressure Treated Wood?
- Although pressure-treated wood tends to be durable, the painting will make it last even longer. Remember, the paint will help repel water, prevent mold growth, and reduce chances of decaying.
- The paint will also make the wood attractive as it comes in dull and uninviting colors. Pressure-treated wood is either green, brown or darker. Such colors can be limiting for those who love colorful shades for decks.
- Painting pressure-treated wood will help it repel insects, dust, and moisture, making it be in shape for a long time.
Can You Stain Pressure Treated Wood?
You can stain pressure-treated wood if you’re not into painting it. Staining is easy to do but will leave the wood with cracks and imperfect finishes.
The stain color options are also less limiting. However, the stain will soak deeper on the wood and make it have a different color from the original one. Before applying the stain, ensure you prime the wood to avoid exposing it to air, water or dirt.
Also, consider the time you’ll need to wait before staining this type of wood to reduce regrets after doing it too soon.
You can paint your pressure-treated wood to give it a vibrant color and also prevent it from insects and water. When you opt for painting this wood, ensure you primer it first. But this is after cleaning it and giving it enough time to dry off well. Also, choose the right paint and primer which will adhere to the wooden surface without giving you many challenges.