How To Paint Pressure-Treated Wood

Woody Jackson | Last modified on January 5th, 2022

Pressure-treated wood is a popular choice for use in any application that might be exposed to the elements because it is treated with chemicals that protect it from rot and insects. 

However, because these chemical treatments are not paintable, pressure-treated wood looks like unfinished lumber until it has been painted. This article will show you how to paint pressure-treated wood either on its own or as part of an already constructed project.

How To Paint Pressure-Treated Wood Guide

So, to paint pressure-treated wood, you should first clean the wood properly, let it dry, and apply primer. Then, you need to coat the wood with several layers of paint and give it time to dry completely. Keep reading to get a step-by-step guide about painting pressure-treated wood with no fuss.

Why Should You Paint Pressure-Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, but the chemicals used in the treatment process sometimes have a greenish tinge that isn’t as appealing as natural wood. Painting pressure-treated wood can help remediate this issue. Because of its chemical treatments and drying time, pressure-treated lumber should not be painted before it’s installed into a project.

Why Should You Paint Pressure-Treated Wood?

5 Steps To Paint Pressure-Treated Wood Easily

Before you start painting pressure-treated wood, you will need a brush to get deep into small spaces. A flat brush will work well for this purpose.

You will also need to use a primer if the area you are painting is not protected by mold and mildew-resistant coating. Many workers usually use water-based paint in the color that they prefer. Light and dark colors such as white and gray are good choices for this type of project.

Apply multiple thin layers of paint to the pressure-treated lumber until it’s completely covered. Be careful not to have any large areas of bare wood when you’re done painting.

Clean The Wooden Surface With Brush And Soap Water

Use a brush to remove dirt and grime from the surface of pressure-treated wood. Add soap water to the brush if needed. Rinse everything off with tap water.

Then inspect your pressure-treated lumber to ensure it isn’t rotting or infested with bugs. If everything is good, use a dry rag or sponge to wipe away any excess moisture on the wooden surface using a circular motion.

Clean The Wooden Surface With Brush And Soap Water

Let The Wood Completely Dry

High humidity and low temperatures can cause pressure-treated wood to warp, so let it dry after cleaning the wood. Wait for 5-10 days or even 2-3 weeks until your treated lumber no longer feels sticky. Be sure to store the lumber in an area that gets good airflow and is protected from rain or moisture while it dries. This will ensure that the wood doesn’t warp and that your paint job lasts as long as possible.

Let The Wood Completely Dry

Apply Primer

If you’re painting pressure-treated wood, it’s a good idea to use a primer to protect the surface from mildew and mold growth. This step is optional but recommended if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of painting over mildew or mold later down the road.

Apply Primer

Use a roller or paintbrush to apply 2 or 3 coats of primer to the painted surface of your pressure-treated lumber, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Apply First Coat Of Paint

Once you finish applying the primer, apply a smooth coat of paint. Use a roller when possible to save time and effort. Otherwise, apply multiple thin layers of paint using a brush or roller until completely covered. Do not add any additional coats until the previous one has dried completely.

Apply A Top Coat Of Paint

When you are completely satisfied with the look of your painted pressure-treated wood, you can apply a final coat of paint to bring out any details that may be hidden beneath the previous layers. If needed, use a roller to apply multiple thin layers until the surface is completely covered.

How To Paint Pressure-Treated Lumber

When painting pressure-treated lumber, you have to be aware of several factors. First, use a roller when possible to avoid applying multiple layers of paint and wasting time. Second, allow the wood to dry overnight before applying any additional coats. Finally, be sure to remove any leftover primer when you are finished with each coat of paint.

How To Paint Pressure-Treated Lumber

The Bottom Line

To paint pressure-treated wood, you should use a primer to protect the surface because it is less resistant to mold and mildew than natural wood. Apply thin coats of paint so that each layer can dry completely before adding new layers. This will help ensure that you don’t accidentally leave any bare spots on your painted surface.

Paint takes good care of both the appearance and durability of the material. It can be used on raw or finished pressure-treated wood to give it a new look and extended life.

I hope this article gave you vast information about how to paint pressure-treated wood with no fuss.

FAQ

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Pressure-Treated Wood?

Latex paint will work, but it is essential to follow the directions on the paint can. Some paints have a longer dry time or need a primer to stick well. You may also need a primer for pressure-treated wood.

What Happens If You Paint Pressure-Treated Wood Too Soon?

If you paint pressure-treated wood before it has a chance to dry after being treated for at least 60-90 days, it can end up with water stains and require more time in the oven. This is something you should be aware of when painting your project.

Is It Ok To Paint Pressure-Treated Wood?

It is not recommended to paint pressure-treated wood because it will work to remove the preservatives added as they wear off. This can cause the wood to be more prone to moisture and mold, causing a lot of damage to the wood and its structure.

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