Procedure Of Painting Pressure Treated Wood – Is It Possible?

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Pressure-treated wood is great for outdoor applications like deck & fence. This type of wood can stand against rotting, insects & fungal activities. Despite being a sturdy option, you may not like the greenish appearance of pressure-treated wood. Frankly, I myself don’t like that greenish look either.  

If it’s a normal wooden structure, paint should do everything related to appearance. But, what about pressure-treated wood? If you’ve ever wondered – can you paint pressure treated wood & wanted to know the proper procedure, this article with a comprehensive how-to guide is for you.

Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

You can paint pressure treated wood only when the wood is completely dried. Don’t try painting wet pressure-treated wood; it won’t be a beneficial approach. On the other hand, paint can durability if applied in the right way. Follow the next segment to know the proper way of painting pressure-treated wood.

How Do You Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

This pressure treated wood is stiffed, durable & mostly wet even after arriving in stores. This heavy moisture causes the main problem while painting over it. Other than that, you can paint pressure treated wood like regular wood. Stay tuned as I’ll be showing how to paint pressure treated wood in the following segment.

Things You’ll Need To Paint Pressure Treated Wood:

Make sure you’re well prepared before executing the painting task. Consider getting all of these things I’ve listed below for an easy & hassle-free painting experience.

  • Stiff Bristled Brush
  • Paint Sprayer or Brush
  • Soap & Water
  • Moisture Meter (Optional)
  • Water-Based Primer (Latex Primer)
  • Water-Based Paint (Latex Paint)

How To Paint Pressure Treated Wood: A Complete 5 Steps Guide

Now that you’ve got everything you need for the painting purpose let’s dive into the step-by-step guide. If you follow these steps correctly, you won’t need any experts for painting your pressure-treated wooden deck or fence. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Step 1: Clean Dirt & Debris From The Pressure Treated Wood

No matter what type of wood you’re painting, cleaning is a must. Pressure-treated wood is used for outdoor applications (mostly) & that’s why they tend to attract lots of dirt & debris.

Use soapy water to wash the tumbler thoroughly. Later on, you can use a stiff-bristled brush to rinse off the soapy water. Preparing the place is important as well. Consider washing the surroundings too.  

Step 2: Let Your Wooden Deck/ Fence Dry

If you’ve newly bought a pressure treated wooden deck or fence, you may have to wait a lot (1 to 3 months) before you can start painting. Pressure-treated wood tends to hold an immersive amount of moisture & it takes time to dry completely. But the question is – how will you know if it’s ready for paint? 

Follow these tricks below to know whether your wood is ready or not:

  • Consider using a moisture meter. If the moisture is less than 14%, you can start the painting process.
  • Splash a little water on to the wood. If the wood soaks water in, it’s a positive sign & you can start painting.

Step 3: Apply Water-Based Primer

After knowing your wood is paint-ready, it’s time for doing another additional yet vital task. Priming is crucial as it helps the adhesion of paint with wood. For pressure-treated wood, I recommend using a water-based primer (also known as Latex primer). Use brush or spray, whatever you’re comfortable with.

Step 4: Allow 24 Hour Primer Curing Time

Let the priming cure for some time. It shouldn’t take more than a day or 24 hours. When the latex prime dries completely, proceed to the next part, which is painting.

Step 5: Apply Two Coat Of Water-Based Paint

Finally, you can give that pressure-treated wood a new look. Apply the first coat of water-based paint & wait for some time. Later on, apply the second coat of paint too. Consider checking the manufacturer’s guidelines on how many coats you can apply.

What Kind Of Paint Should You Use?

Use water-based paint (also known as Latex paint) on your pressure-treated wood. Besides latex paint, I recommend using a water-based primer as well for the best durability. Avoid using any oil-based primer or paint on pressure-treated wood.

Precautions While Painting Pressure Treated Wood

Painting pressure-treated wood isn’t a tough job; it needs proper guidelines & tolerance of patience. Still, the precaution listed below is necessary.

  • Don’t Use Oil-Based Primer Or Paint
  • Allow Wood & Primer Dry Thoroughly
  • Read The Manufacturer’s Guideline Of Primer & Paint

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Is It Safe To Paint A Pressure Treated Wood?

Yes, it is safe to paint pressure-treated wood only with proper preparation & care. For long-lasting results, choose the right combination of paint & primer for this painting task. Also, don’t forget to give your pressure-treated wood time for drying before you start painting.

What Should Be The Drying Duration Of Pressure-Treated Wood?

You should wait at least 1 month before proceeding towards painting a pressure-treated wood. This drying process varies from place to place due to changes in weather & humidity conditions. That’s why try using a moisture meter & start your painting when the wood’s moisture is 14% or less.  

Can You Paint Wet Pressure Treated Wood?

No, you can’t paint a wet pressure-treated wood. Wet wood doesn’t absorb primer & paint effectively. That’s why it will be worthless if you paint wet pressure-treated wood. Consider waiting for the wood to dry completely before you start your painting task.


I hope this article was helpful enough to satisfy your queries regarding painting pressure treated wood. Painting a piece of pressure-treated wood is a good & reliable solution to the greenish appearance problem you might face.

Pressure-treated wood captures heavy moisture & moisture doesn’t allow the paint to be absorbed. For this reason, dry your wood thoroughly before you start painting & you’ll be good to go.

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