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How to Pressure Treated Wood: Complete Guide
Life and Style Daily
September 30, 2021
5 min

Are you thinking of painting pressure treated wood that you can use inside your home this rainy season?

Rainy days are ideal for staying inside and feeling secure with the warmth of a blanket and hot beverages. However, they are not cost-effective if your house is created with only a few woods to keep everything together. If these woods are not treated with the appropriate materials, they may deteriorate over time.

But thankfully, not all woods are as easy to fall like that. Some pressure treated woods are effectively working to combat these issues with different uses. Are you interested to know more about their structure and what they can mostly do? Read more to find out.

What is Pressure Treated Wood?

When you think of the woods that builders usually use, pressure treated woods and rot-resistant cedars are the go-tos. They are high-performing woods that resists the damage coming from moisture and insects.

But since rot-resistant cedars cost more than pressure-treated wood, the latter is usually used in building decks and other outdoor designs.

Generally, in pressure-treated wood, you will see that these woods are treated with a solution that repels insects or rot. The wood endures for several years because of this treatment. The sizes usually come in 2x4 boards, but this lumber also varies in sizes appropriate for the project you’re going for.

How Is Pressure Treated Lumber Made?

If you’re wondering how they process making these kinds of woods, these woods have gone through an elaborate process, ending up being sold with the tag “Pressure Treated Wood.”

First off, they will have to obtain a considerable amount of wood that will be treated with chemicals and put under pressure. These woods are placed in a treating cylinder that accommodates the size. After it is placed, the cylinder is shut, and the air is sucked out from the containment because of the vacuum.

After that, the manufacturers will insert a solution made of preservatives inside the container. Then, the already made pressure inside the container will exert its way inside the dead wood cells, resulting in pressure-treated wood products.

Some manufacturers are painting pressure treated wood after they have been through so much pressure to apply the finish by dipping it or spraying some coating of preservatives.

Is Pressure Treated Lumber Safe?

It was deemed harmful to use the pressure treated woods back then, especially if the manufacturers were using preservatives. But since the preservatives (such as chromated copper arsenate or CCA) can be stronger than expected, it is harmful to the health of any human who has prolonged contact. Often these materials were used in the playgrounds, so they tried to change them with other preservatives that are good and safe to use in residential homes.

The manufacturers come up with safer alternatives. They use Acid Copper Chromate or ACC and some wood treatments such as borates instead of CCA. The borates are only great for indoor use because the water can instantly get through this chemical.

Even though it is already clear that the new derivation of the pressure-treated woods is safe and suitable for many uses like decks, porches, sheds, garden boxes, walls, swings, and sandboxes for children, it is still necessary to keep the distance between food products that involve ingestion.

When Should You Use Pressure-Treated Wood?

If you are looking forward to shaping up your outdoor landscape walls, gazebos, and even decks, pressure treated wood is the one you can go to. These woods are great for giving your outdoors a great structure and design and your furniture like loveseats, benches, or even tables.

Aside from that, these woods are great for those who can have contact with water or rain. You can see that some houses have their kitchen and bathroom floors tiled with wood.

How To Tell if Wood Is Pressure Treated

Usually, when you have your building or renovation project going on, you may want to consider getting lumber that is treated, so you will have to see if the material that you’re going to use is treated or not. There are several ways to see if the wood is treated.

The first way to recognize the pressure treated woods is at the tag. You can see it in the stores where they have the tags displayed on the end of the wood where it states whether the material is pressure treated or not.

It not only displays whether or not the tag has been pressure treated but also the chemicals utilized. They can use copper or tebuconazole as preservatives. Copper is a beautiful choice for extending the life of the wood. Whereas using tebuconazole is good for fungicide.

And if the tag is not present in the wood, you can easily ask for a fact sheet that also states the chemical they used in the lumber.

If fact sheets and tags are unavailable, the color of the woods can be found. Yellow or white woods are not treated, so you’ll know next time you’re seeking pressure treated woods.

The next thing is looking for a greasy scent. The grease can tell that the preservatives have been applied because natural ones don’t possess that distinct smell. It also has a unique width that is thicker than any other lumber and usually has stamps.

Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

It is feasible to paint pressure treated wood, and this is something we recommend. On the other hand, painting pressure treated wood can be more complex than staining it, depending on the situation.

Because the preservatives affect the pressure-treated wood, it becomes more challenging to keep the paint looking good. However, don’t give up hope in this particular instance. It is still possible to paint it in numerous steps without encountering any difficulties.

How to Paint Pressure-Treated Wood

To start painting pressure treated wood, if the wood is newly treated, you should make the wood breathe out for three months before painting on it. To really see if your wood is good to go, you can get a moisture meter or test it out by applying some water on the surface to see if it is still too wet.

But if all is done and set, you can start by putting on a mask and gloves because they are essential to prevent getting the risk of inhalation and indigestion. The preservatives can act harshly. That’s why wearing a dust mask and gloves is the first step, so painting it would not compromise your health.

Moreover, after prepping up with the mask and gloves, you may want to ensure that the wood is clean and apply a primer to the specific type of lumber you’re using.

Let it dry for some time, and then see if it is good to go now. If it’s good to go, your paint can go now with your plan of coating it with your preferred paint.

You should also see that you always keep up with maintaining the paint and the wood to last longer.

Pros and Cons of Pressure Treated Wood

Wanting to see the pros and cons of using pressure treated woods? We got you. Here are the pros and cons to help you see if it suits your project and budget.


  • It resists insects and rot. Since it is preserved with many chemicals that ensure that no insect or moisture can easily penetrate the material, you can guarantee that this is good for you.
  • It resists weather changes. When choosing the standard lumber, you can see that it quickly rot due to moisture. Pressure-treated woods are not like that.


  • Using the pressure treated wood can harm your health. One of the setbacks of using pressure-treated wood is that it can adversely affect your health when you try to modify it into furniture or even paint it. Also, it is essential to note that these are heavy to lift because of the added moisture level in the wood.
  • Besides that, you can see that this material will need to have a lot of treatment that can derange your budget from the original plan.


If you’re looking for the best material to utilize for an outdoor or interior project, pressure treated wood can ensure that you’re using a material that can survive dampness and insects. Aside from that, you can shape it as you want and paint it any way you want.

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