Tap to Read ➤

Painting Pressure Treated Lumber

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani Apr 20, 2019
In a pressure treated wood, chemical preservatives are infused deep inside the wood to minimize rotting and microbial attacks. Painting pressure treated lumber is recommended in order to prevent the toxic effects of the preservatives. Here is an information regarding the same.
The process of treating different types of wood with preservatives under high pressure was invented in the early 1900s. Today, it is used as the most effective tool for increasing the durability and versatility of woods.
Wood, in its natural form, is susceptible to decay, and insect and pest infestations after being exposed to the environmental factors such as soil, air moisture, rainwater, and heat. Hence, the usage of wood is limited to indoors and other areas where they do not come in contact with water and ground.
In order to combat the drawbacks of natural woods, the logs are treated with chemical preservatives under certain controlled conditions to make pressure treated wood. During the procedure of making pressure treated lumber, wood is fed inside a large enclosed tank. The pressure inside the tank is reduced to create a vacuum condition.
Following this, preservatives are introduced in the tank. Subsequently, pressure inside the tank is increased, so as to force the chemicals deep inside the wood. Painting pressure treated lumber is usually recommended to prevent the direct contact of the chemicals with humans and animals.

Painting Tips for Pressure Treated Lumber

Commercially, pressure treated wood is available as large logs, posts, decks, boards, and plywood. Since they are made for protection against the attacks of fungi, black mold, insects, and pests, the chemical preservatives used in the process have toxic properties.
Studies reveal that leaching of the chemicals in soil can even lead to soil intoxication. On the safety note, it is advisable to paint the pressure treated lumber for using in applications which involve human contact.
Painting pressure treated lumber should not be done immediately. The reason behind this is that the preservatives in the wood hamper the paint adherence in the wood surface. In majority of the cases, the waiting period is about 3-6 months.
You can refer to the label for information regarding the preservatives. According to manufacturers, staining prior to painting also helps in enhancing the paint adhesion capacity of the woods. You can stain the fresh pressure treated lumber after about 1-2 months.
Though most of the commercially sold pressure treated lumber are paintable, cleaning of the woods should be done to increase the absorption of the paints. You can scrub the surface of the wood by using a stiff-bristle brush with soapy solution, and then rinse the wood thoroughly with clear water.
The next difficult and lengthy step for painting is proper drying of the wood. Complete drying is essential for strong adherence of the paint in the wood surface. Depending upon the weather conditions, drying may require a few weeks to even months.
Speaking about the type of paint, you can use either the latex or oil based products. For using the wood in both sunny and dark conditions, you can opt for latex paints. Nevertheless, prior to purchasing the paint, always check the label, whether it can be used for painting in woods or not.
For painting the pressure treated lumber, you can make use of a regular brush or a pad. If available, apply the paint with a sprayer to give a uniform finish. Allow the paint surface to dry properly. This is how painting of pressure treated lumber is done.
Disclaimer: This content is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.