Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

The wood will get a coating that protects it from moisture, provides some hardness and makes painting easier. This process requires no special equipment but the paint should be used on unpainted surfaces or in conjunction with an oil-based primer before topcoat.

Paint is a very versatile substance and there are many different types of paint that you can use on pressure treated wood. You will need to know what kind of paint you want to use before painting your pressure treated wood. Read more in detail here: what kind of paint do you use on pressure treated wood.

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Pressure treated wood is intended to endure a long period, but the procedure also entails the addition of a few chemicals to the wood. As a result, many individuals dislike the green tinted appearance and seek to cover it with a thick layer of paint. That raises the issue of whether pressure-treated wood can be painted. 

It is feasible to paint pressure-treated wood, but it is first necessary to determine how much moisture is present in the wood. This will help you figure out what kind of primer and paint you’ll need to keep the chance of peeling to a minimum. You can paint the wood if you follow the appropriate steps. 

Wood that has been pressure treated is meant to endure the elements. As a result, you’ll want to avoid doing anything that will impair the wood’s integrity, or you’ll wind up with rotting or pest-infested wood. Continue reading to discover how to paint pressure-treated wood effectively. 


Contents Table of Contents

  • What Is the Best Way to Paint Pressure Treated Wood?
  • Should You Paint Pressure Treated Wood After It Has Been Pressure Treated?
  • What Happens If Pressure Treated Wood Is Painted Too Soon?
  • How Do You Know When Pressure Treated Wood Is Ready to Be Painted?
  • Wrap-Up


What Is the Best Way to Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

To begin, the wood must be totally dry. This will take much longer than with regular wood, and if the pressure treated wood is fresh new, it will need to dry for at least a couple of months, depending on the season.

When painting wood that has been pressure treated, it is equally critical to use the correct primer and paint. Instead of using oil-based paints, use latex primer and paint. 

Painting pressure-treated wood consists of four key steps:

  • Prepare the wood — Before you even consider painting pressure treated wood, make sure the wood and surrounding area are well cleaned. This may be done with soap and water. You’ll want to make sure that all debris and grime has been wiped away, leaving just a clean surface. 
  • Power wash — After cleaning away the dirt and debris that you observe, it’s a good idea to give the area a fast power wash with a pressure washer. This will give you a completely blank canvas on which to work. After you’ve finished this step, you’ll need to wait a while for the wood to cure. Before moving on to the following stage, make sure the wood is totally dry. 
  • Primer after drying — After you’ve double-checked that all of the wood is totally dry, it’s time to prime. Whether it’s your porch, railings, or deck, you’ll apply this straight to the wood. Before moving on to the next stage in this procedure, be sure it has had enough time to cure. Read more about the finest primer for pressure treated wood in our post.
  • Start painting — As soon as the priming has dried, you may begin painting. Make sure you use the appropriate paint for the task before applying it on the wood. You’ll want to apply at least two coats, so give yourself enough time between them. 

While many people like the rustic appearance of pressure treated wood in its original form, others choose to paint it. Following these procedures will assist you in completing this task efficiently and will result in a beautiful piece of wood when completed.


However, it is critical to follow each step to ensure that the paint is applied correctly. Whether you’re wondering if you can apply interior paint outside, read this article to learn why you shouldn’t.

Should You Paint Pressure Treated Wood After It Has Been Pressure Treated?

Wood that has been kiln dried and pressure treated may be painted immediately away. Even better, you can paint the wood the same day it’s been treated. Any other form of pressure treatment, on the other hand, requires a two- to four-month wait before painting. This is to allow for drying time. 

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Before painting pressure treated wood, it’s crucial to be patient. Before you begin the project, ensure certain everything is absolutely dry. If you don’t, the paint will begin to peel away from the wood before you get a chance to appreciate it. While you may be eager to get started right away, you should wait a few minutes before mixing the paint. 

What Happens If Pressure Treated Wood Is Painted Too Soon?

If you paint too soon after the pressure treatment, the chemicals and water used will have an influence on the condition of the wood. Allow time for these chemicals to sink deep into the wood, where they will settle and continue to perform their work for years.

If you paint too quickly, the chemicals and water will return to the surface. This not only reverses the pressure-treating process, but it also generates an unsuitable surface for painting. If you attempt to paint before the wood has had a chance to cure for a few months, you will most likely discover that the paint does not adhere to the wood. This has an adverse effect on the wood and does not look attractive. 

How Do You Know When Pressure Treated Wood Is Ready to Be Painted?

Pressure-treated wood should only be painted after it has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. Because water and chemicals may be found far under the surface, determining whether the wood is dry can be challenging. Before you paint the wood, make sure you know how long ago it was treated. 

Water is required to get everything in its appropriate location so that the chemicals used in pressure treatment of wood may do their work. This is why such wood gets quite moist. Moisture is there, even though you can’t see it. 

Because this sort of wood takes two to four months to cure, you’ll want to know when it was treated before painting it. It’s also a good idea to think about the wood’s thickness. If you’re not sure when it was pressure treated, wait a few months to be sure the drying process has begun. 


Preventing early rotting and deterioration using pressure treated wood is quite effective. As a result, it’s critical to maintain the integrity of the wood, even while painting it. If you wish to paint this sort of wood, remember to follow the methods outlined above. 


The “can you spray paint pressure treated wood” is a question that has been asked many times. It’s not recommended to do so, because it can cause the wood to become weak and splinter.

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