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Professional painting preparing home exterior for initial coat

Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is aesthetically pleasing when left unpainted and is great for outdoor use. Most individuals choose to let the natural colors and grains of the lumber represent themselves. However, this type of wood has a greenish color that you might dislike. So, you might be wondering if you can paint pressure-treated lumber.

The great news is, yes, you can paint pressure-treated wood provided that you follow some essential preventive measures and matters associated with the pressure treatment chemical itself.

Why Is Painting Pressure Treated Wood The Best Option?

Pressure-treated wood has been treated with chemical preservatives that safeguard it from mold, decay, insect infestation, and water damage. It contains copper azole liquid compound introduced into the lumber under high pressure. That copper helps to preserve the lumber.

But despite that, the lumber will still be exposed to corrosion and weathering after some time. Paint will not just improve the vibrancy it lacks, but also give an added layer of protection from elements.

Painting the surface of the lumber with high-quality paint delivers a thin protective layer that keeps it safe from UV degradation and deterioration of the wood surface. It may prolong the life expectancy of the wood, though you must say goodbye to its natural color.

Most surprisingly, painting the pressure-treated wood produces a commodity that can increase revenue or profit margins for pressure-treatment industries.

How To Prepare Pressure-Treated Wood For Painting

Prepping your wood is important to extend the lifespan and secure the most promising results. This is different from painting regular lumber, so you must understand beforehand that it will need a few additional measures.

Allow Treated Lumber to Dry Completely

If you’re planning to buy some pressure-treated woods from a hardware store, you must ask the seller the length of time it’s been cured and assess it first-hand before it’s delivered. Although the wood has been under direct sunlight, don’t start the painting project right away.

Check if your pressure-treated wood is ready for painting. One way to determine this is by spattering a few drops of water over the wood’s surface. When water beads up on the facade, let the wood dry. Allow it to dry naturally for three to four months.

If you lack time to wait for your treated lumber to dry, use kiln-dried wood. This wood is dried in a kiln (oven) faster than air-drying. Using kiln-dried wood is ideal if you need to speed up the drying process.

Clean The Wood’s Surface

The wood may have collected dust, dirt, and fragments that may impact the paint coat. For a clean surface, use soapy water and wash using a stiff brush following the direction of the grain. After scrubbing the entire surface, rinse off the wood and pat it with a dry rag.

For best painting practices, use a commercial wood cleaner and a power washer for deeper cleaning. Additionally, if your lumber has shaving, flaking, or has any damage, then a pressure washer can remove those chips or flakes.

Again, wait until the wood is completely dry. Untreated wood may dry within a few days. However, pressure-treated wood may need several weeks to dry. Although you should grant the wood time to dry, never over-dry it as it’ll cause the wood to crack.

To make sure that the wood is dry, you can gauge moisture content by placing a moisture meter on the surface. You must wait until you reach a reading lower than 14%. Never paint on wet wood as the primer or paint layer will immediately flake. After it passes the water test, you’re ready for the next step.

How To Paint Pressure Treated Wood

Apply Primer

Primer makes the smooth surface vital for the paint to efficiently glide and adhere adequately to the wood fibers. It also creates a defensive block; woods normally absorb so much paint, indicating more effort and more expenditure. The best type of primer to apply for painting treated wood is latex primer. Prevent using an oil-based primer as latex holds better.

Use the brush to prime narrow, recessed, or high areas that the paint roller will not reach. Next, using a roller, apply the primer to the remaining surface to evenly coat the lumber. Once you’re done applying the primer, let it cure for the allotted amount of time.

Apply Paint

With the primer dry, you can now apply the highest-quality paint you can afford to your agenda. It’s best to apply at least two coats of exterior latex paint. Avoid using oil-based paint for treated wood as well.

While you paint, keep in mind that horizontal surfaces on your lumber are more vulnerable than vertical surfaces. Let the first layer fully cure before applying the second coat. It’s beneficial to observe the manufacturer’s guidelines to get an outstanding finish.

Can You Stain Pressure Treated Wood?

Yes, you can also stain pressure-treated lumber. In certain circumstances, the stain is much better as it seeps through the lumber and is also easier to smear. However, these stains won’t cover small gaps in the lumber like paints will. Though you can utilize any paint or stain based on your preference, simply follow the exact steps above to stain the treated wood. If you prefer staining rather than painting, pick out an oil-based semi-transparent exterior stain.
Professional painter coating roller with blue paint

Call A Professional For Help

Small painting projects can definitely be down on your own, however, when talking about larger and major projects, it appears reasonable to hire a professional to get the paint job done faultlessly. Particularly with a demanding material like pressure-treated lumber, it can be tough to address the moisture content and know if a primer is needed or not.

At ProServ Painters, we provide reliable painting services including painting pressure-treated wood. If you have further queries regarding whether you can paint treated wood or any other painting project you’re in the throes of, call ProServ Painters for a consultation and free estimate.

For more information or to receive your free estimate call ProServ Painters at (804) 214-7811 today!

Schedule a Free Estimate