With the right preparation, pressure-treated wood can be painted or stained. Before it can be considered for this process, however, 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.
What is Pressured-Treated Wood?
Wood that is chemically treated with preservatives, such as chromated copper arsenate or CCA (an arsenic-based chemical) or alkaline copper quaternary or ACQ (a water-based chemical), under extreme pressures become pressure-treated wood. This is typically done to protect the lumber from insects and extend its longevity.
Using soapy water and a stiff bristled brush, scrub all surfaces to be painted, removing any chemical residue that may be left. Rinse well with clean water and dry completely. Pressure washing the wood is not advisable because doing so creates nicks and chips in the wood, leaving it vulnerable to insects. Drying the wood may take several days or weeks, depending on the temperature and humidity in the area. It's important to allow the wood to dry thoroughly before attempting to paint; otherwise, the paint or stain will not adhere to the wood properly.
Selecting the proper paint or stain is important when deciding to cover pressure-treated wood. A water-based stain is recommended for proper absorption into the wood. Paints need to be acrylic-based latex exterior use for CCA-treated wood, exterior or interior use for ACQ treated wood. An acrylic-based latex primer is also recommended for painting pressure-treated wood. The primer provides a set surface for painting, eliminating the need for multiple coats of paint color.
CCA-treated woods should not be used indoors, because they're designed for outdoor use only. ACQ-treated woods can be used inside the home for moldings and trims; however, they should never be used for eating surfaces, such as tables, cutting boards, or countertops. Regardless of the type of wood being used, follow general safety guidelines when doing any home construction or decorating project, and wear proper eye protection and gloves.
Can You Paint a New Pressure-Treated Deck?
Pressure-treated wood is soaked in chemicals and is often still wet when delivered to the lumber yard. Depending on how long the...
How to Paint Treated Wood
Pressure-treated wood is made using a high pressure process, which forces various inorganic preservatives deep into the core of the wood. This...
How to Stain Pressure-Treated Lumber
Wood is a product of nature, which means that even lumber that has been pressure treated is vulnerable to the fading power...
How to Make Paint Stick to Pressure Treated Lumber
Pressure-treated lumber is used for such outdoor items as decks, railings and fences. Treated wood is soaked in a chemical that makes...
How to Paint Treated Wood for a Deck
Pressure treated lumber is one of the top sellers in back yard decking materials. While it is inexpensive, easy to work with...
How to Paint Treated Plywood
Builders have used treated plywood as an exterior siding for homes since the 1940s, according to a publication issued by the North...
How to Paint Treated Lumber White
Most wood used for residential and commercial use is pressure treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). The wood is treated with CCA...
How to Seal and Coat Pressure-Treated Landscape Timbers
Pressure-treated landscape timbers have a preservative coating that protects the wood from common issues, including infestation by termites, weather-related damage and rotting...
How to Use Untreated Lumber Outside
Learn how to use any type of wood outdoors, with or without sealant or preservatives. Includes options for different wood species.