How To Paint Pressure Treated Lumber

Painting lumber

In order to correctly paint pressure-treated lumber, a homeowner must know the basics to ensure that the job gets done right. Because pressure-treated lumber differs so much from regular wood, different painting techniques and timetables apply.  

Here are the basic guidelines to help anyone paint pressure-treated lumber:

Step 1

Understand what pressure-treating actually is. When wood is pressure-treated, it undergoes an intense process of infusing chemicals into the lumber. These chemicals prevent the wood from rotting and also keep harmful insects and fungi away from the wood. Since the chemicals have saturated the wood, traditional methods of painting simply do not work. The lumber must be given time to dry before it can accept any type of paint or stain.

Step 2

Apply a preservative made for freshly pressure-treated wood. Despite the saturation of the lumber, this step can and must be done immediately after the wood has been installed. The preservative will still act in its normal fashion and will provide the wood with protection against weathering.

Step 3

Wait for 2-3 months before painting. If you fight your temptation to slap a coat of paint on the wood for about 2-3 months, you will be rewarded with a much better finish. After this two month window has elapsed, stains or paints can be applied to the wood.

Most companies make both latex and oil-based products for pressure-treated wood. Stains often adhere to the wood better, but if painting is your thing, feel free to knock yourself out!

Painting pressure-treated wood is not hard, but simply requires patience and a basic knowledge of what to do. Hopefully this article will get you well on your way!


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