Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood

Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood?


If you prefer a modern-looking than the natural appearance of wood, you need to read this post. Can you paint pressure treated wood?

Allow us to help you gain a deeper understanding of whether or not pressure treated wood can be painted or not to save you time, money, and effort.

In this article, we will talk about painting pressure treated wood, if this is made possible, and the important things you need to keep in mind.

What is a Pressure Treated Wood?

Pressure treated wood is perfect for outdoor use. This type of wood has been treated with sealants and chemicals, protecting it from outdoor elements like rain, snow, wind, bugs, and mildew.

However, if you are not into the wood’s natural look, you may want to paint it and you are going to do some extra work to do. It does not require a lot of work, but you need to wait for a large amount of time in cleaning and drying the wood enough to paint.

Yes, pressure treated wood is paintable, but it should be done properly for the paint to last long.

What Are the Things You’ll Need?

The things you need to paint a pressure treated wood include the following: pressure treated wood

  • primer
  • latex exterior paint
  • water
  • soap
  • scrub brush
  • painting tools (like paintbrush and sprayer)

How to Clean a Pressure Treated Wood?

Cleaning the pressure treated wood is important. This step may seem unnecessary. However, the wood may have accumulated dirt, dust, and debris. You can use a soap and water solution and scrub using a stiff brush toward the direction of the grain and not against it. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after cleaning.

Waiting and allowing the wood to dry thoroughly. Unsealed wood may dry within a few days. However, a pressure treated wood may dry in weeks or months. The time depends on the type of treatment the wood had. If you paint the wood before it is dry, the paint will just peel away when the moisture pushes up.

Check the wood to see if it is dry by just dripping a few water drops onto it. As the water soaks in, it will dry the wood and will be porous enough to properly paint. However, if the water in beaded drops rests on the surface, the wood should be left to dry for a few more days before painting.

How to Pre-treat the Wood?

Primer is used to pre-treat the wood before painting. This is a very important step because a pressure-treated wood is picky when holding paint. You can purchase a primer specifically designed for outdoor use with a label indicating used for pressure treated wood.

The primer and paint may not last long because of the resistance of wood to liquids. Apply a primer in the wood according to the instructions on the label. Keep in mind that when it comes to applying a primer or paint, only apply thin coats because they dry faster and evenly as compared to thick coats.

After the primer is applied, you need to allow some time to dry. This won’t take more than a day which depends on the primer. Check the label of the primer to determine the time you need to wait for it to dry. Pressure treated wood may need additional drying time for the best results.

How to Paint a Pressure Treated Wood?

You need to apply at least 2 coats of paint and achieve an even finish. Latex paint is the best type of paint for pressure treated wood because oil-based paints resist the surface. It will last for a few years without so much damage.

There are different opinions when it comes to how long a pressure treated wood should allow sitting prior to painting. Some people say 6 months or a year. However, it depends on the dryness of the wood when it was initially installed.


Yes, you can use paint to pressure treated wood. You can use latex or oil paints for a pressure-treated lumber. Priming is important before painting. Applying 2 coats are important and allow enough time so the primer dries properly and the first coat of paint should dry before you add another coat. We are happy to help shed light on this matter. Do you find this post very helpful? Like and share this post and comment below.