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Painting pressure treated wood

It’s an interesting issue. Pressure treated wood doesn’t need to be painted in order to protect or preserve it from the elements because it’s been pressure treated! But there can be times when aesthetics or design dictate that it would look better painted a particular colour. Painting pressure treated wood is possible if undertaken with care and thought. It can, however, be a timely task and if you have a large volume of wood to paint, you might like to talk to us about our vacuum coating line in Hull.

In the meantime, here’s some guidance on painting pressure treated wood.

painting pressure treated woodClean it thoroughly

Even if the wood is brand new, it should be carefully cleaned and prepared to ensure that you enjoy the optimum result from your painting. Remember that the timber has been through a pressure treatment process involving saturating it in chemicals and water. It will then have been stored somewhere to start the drying process and might now have debris and dust on the surface.

Use a stiff brush to first brush away any loose debris and then brush it all over with soapy water. Now rinse it thoroughly using a hosepipe and leave it somewhere to dry.

Now be patient – it needs to dry

Given that the moisture content of the pressure treated wood might have been quite high anyway, following its treatment, you need to allow sufficient time for it to dry out completely before moving to the next step.

Depending on where you are storing it and other factors such as the weather, this might take days. Even weeks. Be patient and when you get to painting the pressure treated wood, it will pay dividends. Starting to paint too early can result in the paint peeling off or not adhering. It would most definitely be a false economy.

The “is it ready” test

When you think the timber is ready for painting, sprinkle a bit of water onto it. If the water soaks into the timber, you’re ready for the next step. If it beads up on the surface of the timber, you need to wait for it to dry out more.

Primer first

Painting pressure treated wood always starts with a good primer. Check the tin to ensure that the primer is suitable for pressure treated wood and if you’re using the timber outside, check that it is an external primer.

Using a brush or a paint sprayer, apply the first coat of primer. Wait for it to dry fully (probably a day) and then apply a second coat.

Top coats next

Choose a latex paint – oil paints can resist the surface on this type of treated timber. Apply one coat carefully, using a brush or paint sprayer. Once it is fully dry, apply your final, top coat.

painting pressure treated wood

Taking these steps when painting pressure treated wood will ensure that you have a finish designed to last for a few years. Do be warned that re-application will be necessary in subsequent years and the frequency will depend on the surface, how it has been used and the local environment.

There are other ways to coat pressure treated wood should you wish and we can apply other such products with our vacuum coating line so please do get in touch if we’re able to help you.


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