Can You Stain Pressure Treated Wood

Can You Stain Pressure Treated Wood?


Green-treated wood may last a long time but it becomes ugly. Many people think that pressure treated wood have limited capabilities when it comes to stain or paint applications.

Can you stain pressure treated wood?

Does pressure treated lumber need to always stay green?

Let’s answer these two common questions about pressure treated wood in this post. Pressure treated wood does not need protection against rot but staining can help in reducing surface cracking. Let’s find out more!

What Are the Types of Green-treated Lumber?

Wet treated wood is the most common kind of green-treated lumber that’s still wet when you purchase it. It is noticeably heavier as compared to kiln-dried lumber. Let it dry out about a few weeks to 6 months before you apply any stain. Properly and completely drying the pressure treated wood will give you a better end result after staining it, thus saving your time, money, and effort.

Treated wood with water repellent is another type of treated wood. Some manufacturers add a water repellent to lumber. It has a tag referred to as Thompsonized. If you purchase this type of lumber, make sure to use an exterior stain (oil-based). If you paint a pressure treated wood using a water-based stain, it will not adhere well, thus wasting your time, effort, and money.

Kiln-dried after treatment or KDAT. You can stain a dry treated wood right away using either an oil-based or water-based exterior stain. Pressure treating protects the wood against elements, preventing insect attacks, and minimizing the effects of aging. You can stain pressure treated wood for a more beautiful look and long-lasting protection. It prevents cracking and splitting of wood when seasons change.

What Are the Things You’ll Need?

Here are the things you’ll need to stain pressure treated wood:

  • wood stain
  • paint stirrer
  • nails
  • brush
  • deck cleaner (optional)
  • pressure washer

Preparation in Staining Pressure Treated Wood

Before staining a pressure-treated wood, it is important to clean it first using a pressure washer to knock loose dirt or residue. If you are dealing with older wood, there are additional steps you need to take in order to remove stains. Stop by at your local hardware store so you can buy a specially developed wood cleaner suitable for decks, fences, and other wood structures.

It is essential to wait until the pressure-treated wood is dry before you apply a stain because the chemicals used in treating the wood usually leave additional moisture. The drying time varies from a few weeks or a few months, which depends on the climate and weather.

It is important to know the weather forecast. Make sure that no rain is anticipated. Stain applications should be dried about 24 to 48 hours. You need to be certain that the weather is good with precipitation-free skies.

How to Apply Stain to Pressure Treated Wood?

The next step is thoroughly mixing the stain. You can mix the stain in the hardware store at the time of purchase, or you can choose to shake it well at home. Make sure to stir the stain to ensure the best stain application.

It is tempting to rush finishing the project completely. Test the stain by choosing a small area and brushing on the stain. Allow it to dry prior to proceeding on working the entire structure. By doing this test patch, it will help ensure that you will be happy at the end result. It will also confirm that the stain is applied properly without any issues like wetness.

Just continue staining if everything looks good. As you are applying stain to pressure-treated wood, remember that back brushstrokes may cause color variation and constitute additional coats. If you’re staining a fence or a vertical surface, begin at the top so you can cover any runs or drips as you’re working your way down. Keep in mind that exposed ends may require additional staining because of greater absorption.


Yes, you can stain pressure treated wood. Doing so will provide extra protection and prolongs the lifespan of the wood. Staining makes the pressure treated wood more beautiful and durable, as well as preventing insects from infesting it. We hope you enjoyed reading this article. You can like and share this post and provide your comment below.