How to paint pressure‐treated wood

Pressure treated lumber is used in outdoor construction projects to provide protection against the elements. Designed to resist rot and insects, pressure treated lumber is ideal for such building projects as fences, decks, mailbox posts and landscaping boxes.

Using pressure treated lumber in an outdoor construction project provides at least two benefits. The first benefit is durability against water, sun and insect damage. The second benefit is versatility.

Durability of Pressure Treated Lumber

Pressure treated lumber is made by taking a piece of lumber and treating it with a chemical preservative. The wood is placed in a pressurization chamber whereby moisture is removed. This pressure treatment forces the chemical preservative deep into the wood and makes it invulnerable to damage caused by rotting.

The pressurizing process is important because it is what distinguishes pressure treated lumber different from other types of wood. With the moisture removed and the chemicals design to preserve the wood placed deep inside the lumber, pressure treated lumber is an ideal exterior building material.

Different Ways to Use Pressure Treated Lumber

Pressure treated lumber is ideal for a variety of outdoor building projects, including:

  • Outdoor patio decks
  • Fences
  • Outdoor railings and balusters
  • Landscaping ties
  • Garden boxes

Pressure treated lumber can be stained or painted with an exterior paint and finish that adds to its protective qualities. A good piece of pressure treated lumber should last for years with little to no maintenance.

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

The short answer is yes, you can stain or paint pressure treated wood, but it has some important restrictions you need to know first. This is not like painting regular lumber, so you should know beforehand that it will require some additional steps.

If you paint pressure treated wood with the wrong materials or more importantly too soon you will have a peeling paint disaster under the best circumstances.

So, let’s get into the specifics of how to paint pressure treated wood the right way.

Make Sure It’s Dry

First on this list is allowing the wood to completely dry. Touching it will let you know if it’s dry enough for the water test, which involves spilling some water over the wood’s surface. If the water beads up on the surface, the wood hasn’t yet dried and you still need to wait.

Many factors can influence how quickly or slowly treated wood dries. Putting it in a warm, sunny spot will help but may also cause unwanted warp. Likewise, keeping lumber in dark and damp conditions can impede the process. You can generally count on pressure treated wood to dry naturally within a couple months, but sometimes, the process can take longer in cool damp locations.

To be absolutely sure you can use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of the wood. You should wait until you get a reading below about 14%.

Start With Washing

You might have already guessed that working with treated wood requires some patience. Once it does pass your water test, you’re ready to move forward. But don’t haul out your painter’s whites and paintbrush just yet, you must clean the wood first.

Soapy water and a stiff brush will eliminate dirt and grime that accumulate on the surface. They also remove chemicals so the primer and paint can properly adhere. I recommend against a strong pressure washer because it can tear up the wood and force water deep into thee wood fibers slowing down drying even more.

When clean, the wood needs to dry…again (I know!). This may, as before, take several weeks because you’re adding more liquid on top of the chemicals already applied. The wood is ready when it absorbs the water you drop during your test.

Special Note

If you’re working on a project with a deadline, such as a backyard deck, you may want to go for pressure treated wood that’s been kiln-dried. This significantly reduces your work time by eliminating the need for lengthy drying.

Prime Before You Paint

If you were paying attention earlier, you might have noted we said prime and paint. Unfinished wood needs to be primed before you apply paint or stain. Thanks to the high content of solids, primer creates the smooth surface necessary for the paint to easily glide. It also forms a protective barrier; woods usually soak up lots of paint, which can mean more work – and more expense – that can otherwise be saved.

Your primer should match the paint you want to use: latex needs a stain-block latex or oil-based primer, while oil-based paint needs a stain-blocking oil-based primer.

Keep in mind that primed wood is flexible enough for either option. For help in choosing the best primer check out this earlier post.

Time to Paint

With the primer dry, you can finally apply paint to your project. It’s best to plan on two coats of the best quality paint you can afford. And don’t forget to let the paint thoroughly cure between coats. Re-coating too soon can cause adhesion problems.

If you are painting a deck it may be worthwhile to look into using a deck stain rather than a paint. Even if you want the appearance of a painted deck there are opaque stains that perform better on horizontal surfaces.

What Is Pressure Treated Wood?

Just in case you’re wondering, I wanted to give a brief rundown here. Pressure-treating protects the wood against rot and fungus growth. The lumber is submerged into a drum of chemicals, where high pressure is applied to ensure the chemicals deeply penetrate. Check out this post to help you choose the right kind of pressure treated wood for more info.

Benefits of wood treated in this way include:

  • Increased durability
  • Insect resistance
  • Rot resistance

For your next project, opting for pressure treated wood won’t hinder your creative possibilities. This lumber can, with a few extra steps and time, be painted just as non-treated wood. The benefit is that it arrives to you already protected from things like rot and fungus.

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

Pressure treated wood is fantastic for outdoor use. As the name suggests, it’s been treated with chemicals and sealants that protect it from outdoor elements such as rain, wind, bugs, snow, and mildew. However, if you’re not into the natural look and want to paint the wood, you’re going to have some extra work to do. While it doesn’t require a lot of additional work, it does require waiting a large amount of time for the wood to be clean and dry enough to paint. Pressure treated wood is completely paintable, but it must be done properly, otherwise the paint won’t last very long.

Step 1 – Clean the Wood

Cleaning treated wood may seem like an unnecessary step in the painting process, but the wood may have collected dust, dirt, and debris during its travels from the manufacturer to your home. Use soapy water and a stiff brush to scrub it clean—in the direction of the grain—not against it. Then rinse it clean with water.

Step 2 – Wait for the Wood to Dry

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

Regular, unsealed wood usually dries within a few days, but pressure treated wood takes much longer to dry—either weeks or months, depending on what the wood is treated with. Painting the wood before it’s dry will be a waste of time because the paint will peel away as the moisture pushes up underneath. Test the wood to see if it’s dry by dripping a few drops of water onto it. If the water soaks in, the wood is dry and porous enough to paint. If the water rests on the surface in beaded drops, the wood must be left to dry longer before painting.

Step 3 – Pretreat the Wood with Primer

You need to use primer first before painting, especially because pressure treated wood is so picky about holding onto paint. Make sure to purchase a primer designed for outdoor use (the exterior kind) with a label suggesting use for pressure treated wood. Without these special designations, your primer and paint job may not last long due to the wood’s resistance to liquids. Coat the wood in the primer according to the label’s instructions. Remember that when applying primer or paint, thin coats dry more quickly and turn out much more evenly than thick coats.

Step 4 – Let the Primer Dry

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

After applying primer, you’ll have to give it some time to dry. Fortunately, this won’t take more than a day or two, depending on the primer. Check the primer’s label for how quickly it may dry, but remember that you’re dealing with a special, treated wood that will probably need a little extra drying time for best results.

Step 5 – Paint It

Finally, you can paint your pressure treated wood! Apply at least two coats of paint for an even finish. Latex paint works best on pressure treated wood since oil-based paints can resist the surface. A proper paint job should last a few years without too much damage.

Yes, you can paint or stain pressure-treated wood, but for a long-lasting and great-looking finish evaluate the wood’s moisture content first, then use the correct paint and primer. Keep reading for detailed how to tips.

How to Paint Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood needs time to dry out before it’s painted, which takes a lot longer than kiln-dried lumber. If you just purchased it from the hardware store, chances are it’s still too wet to paint. If water beads up on the surface, it needs time to dry. Pressure-treated lumber can take weeks or even months to dry. Once the wood absorbs water on the surface, it’s ready for paint.

It’s important to use the correct type of paint and primer on pressure-treated wood. Our experts recommend priming with a latex primer and a compatible exterior latex paint, also known as water-based paint. We recommend you avoid oil-based paint.

  • Prep the area by cleaning it with soap and water to remove dirt and debris.
  • If the deck is in poor shape, use a commercial deck and wood cleaner and a power washer if necessary. Let the wood to dry before you paint it.

Paint

  • Once the wood is ready, brush, roll or spray on the primer.
  • Allow the primer to cure for the time specified by the manufacturer. Follow up with a coat of exterior latex paint and apply at least two coats.
    • Follow the recoat time window specified by the manufacturer, typically a few hours.

Congrats, you did it! Need more tips on how to paint your deck? Check out our blog on how to paint a deck the right way.

Can You Stain Pressure-Treated Lumber?

You sure can! In some cases, stain is preferred since it soaks into the wood and is easier to apply. However, you have fewer color options, and stain won’t fill in small cracks in the wood like paint will. Whichever route you choose, follow the same steps above to stain pressure-treated wood. For stain, we recommend using an oil-based semitransparent exterior stain.

When You Need Professional Help

The above steps may be more than labor-intensive than you had initially imagined. If so, contact Five Star Painting. Our professional deck painting and staining services will give your deck a fresh coat of paint or stain. Give us a call at (888) 261-3633 or request a free estimate online and give your deck a new look and protect your investment at the same time.

Five Star Painting is a Neighborly company. Painting is just one of many home maintenance solutions available to you. At Neighborly, we are committed to being there for all your home services needs.

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

Working with pressure treated wood can be a little different than using untreated wood, and it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t do. Getting good results with pressure treated wood requires understanding the unique properties of this type of lumber.

Painting is an area where pressure treated wood definitely isn’t the same. If you try to paint pressure treated wood too soon, the paint will slough off the surface of the wood. It’s absolutely possible to paint pressure treated wood, but you need to make sure to follow the correct sequence to make sure the paint sticks and looks good.

What is Pressure Treated Wood, and What Happens if You Paint It Too Soon?

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

What is pressure treated wood and how is it made? Pressure treated wood is wood that has been injected with chemicals in order to make the wood resistant to rot, fungus, and insect damage. Using a pressurized vacuum sealed tank, a solution of chemicals (commonly including chromium, copper, and arsenic) is forced deep into the wood’s interior.

These chemicals make the wood inhospitable for the species of insects like termites and ants that frequently eat or burrow through wood, and also make the wood less susceptible to natural rot and decay.

The chemicals used in the pressure treatment are water borne, and most pressurized wood is shipped and sold in a ‘wet’ condition. This means that the water component of the chemical solution is still active in the wood, and over time that water needs to leach out of the wood and dry.

If you paint pressure treated wood too soon, the paint is going to be rejected by the wood as traces of the chemicals and the water works its way out of the wood during the drying process. Your paint will peel off within weeks of your applying it.

How to Paint Pressure Treated Wood

The most important step to painting pressure treated wood is letting the wood dry appropriately. This may take a few weeks up to as long as a month, depending on how ‘wet’ the wood was when you bought it.

One of the biggest indicators of the state of pressure treated wood is its color. When the wood is wet, the color will be a dark, greenish hue, but over time it will soften to more of a light greenish-brown. To be on the safe side, give yourself a month before attempting to paint the wood.

Like with painting any wood, it’s a good idea to wash off the surface with soap and water and allow the water to dry on the wood surface before painting.

Then, apply primer, followed by an initial coat and finally a top coat of paint like you would in any painting project.

Once you’ve dried out the pressure treated wood, the process is pretty similar to painting untreated wood, so make sure you heed that first step.

Is it Better to Stain or Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

If you prefer staining to painting, you’re able to stain pressure treated wood as well as painting it. In fact, staining can sometimes be a superior option to painting, as the stain is slightly easier to apply and soaks into the wood’s surface.

The downside to staining is that the color options are considerably more limited than painting, just like when dealing with untreated wood. And painting is able to fill in some of the imperfections and cracks on the surface of the wood in a way that staining doesn’t.

If you plan on staining pressure treated wood, make sure to follow the same initial sequence as if you were painting. Allowing the wood to dry from its chemical treatment is essential, and the stain will similarly not stick if you apply it too soon.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Pressure Treated Wood?

Ideally, you’ll use a latex paint, also referred to as a water based paint. These types of paints are superior to oil-based paints for pressure treated wood.

The process of painting pressure-treated wood involves steps you would not take—and considerations you would not make—with regular lumber. Here’s what you need to know.

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

It’s a two-sided coin: Painting pressure-treated wood comes with complications caused by the very same treatment that allows the material to last outdoors. To produce pressure-treated wood, the milled lumber (typically pine or cedar) is saturated with chemical preservatives. These chemicals minimize the wood’s natural vulnerability to insects and rot, but they also leave the wood rather wet—a state that will ultimately lead to your coat of paint eventually peeling. To paint pressure-treated wood successfully, therefore, you must be prepared to exercise a bit of patience.

Painting before the wood’s ready simply wastes a day’s effort. For lasting results, follow the instructions below.

Project Summary

  1. Clean the pressure-treated wood.
  2. Let the wood dry (note: this can take weeks or even months!)
  3. Apply primer.
  4. Apply initial coat of paint.
  5. Apply top coat of paint.

For full project details on how to paint pressure-treated wood, continue reading below.

How to Paint Pressure-Treated Wood

STEP 1: Clean the wood

First, before painting pressure-treated wood, it’s important to clean it. Use a stiff-bristled brush and soapy water. Once you’ve given due attention to the entire surface, rinse off the wood and allow it to dry thoroughly.

STEP 2: Let the wood dry

Between the chemicals used to treat the lumber and the water used to clean it, the drying time may be as protracted as a few weeks—or even a few months. How do you know when it’s ready? Once the wood feels dry to the touch, sprinkle a bit of water on it. If the water soaks in, then the wood can be painted. If the water beads up, go back to playing the waiting game. Note that for a time-sensitive project, it may be wise to choose pressure-treated wood marked as having been kiln-dried after treatment (KDAT). The timeline for painting KDAT wood is considerably more condensed.

STEP 3: Apply primer.

Only once you’ve confirmed that it’s dry can you begin painting pressure-treated wood. Start with primer formulated for exteriors, and make sure that the manufacturer lists the coating as suitable for use on pressure-treated wood. Note that, while priming and painting pressure-treated wood may be easiest with a paint sprayer, opt for a brush (or use both in combination) if the job entails detail work.

STEP 4: Apply two coats of paint.

Having primed the wood—and having allowed sufficient time for the primer to dry (it should take no more than a day)—move on to applying your top coats. You should expect to do two. Avoid using oil-based paint here; on pressure-treated wood, latex performs much better.

It’s worth mentioning that in outdoor applications where the finish will be subject to the elements, paint lasts longer on vertical surfaces like fences than it does on horizontal ones like decks. If you don’t like the idea of repainting every two or three years, consider staining the pressure-treated wood instead. Yet another option is to allow the wood to weather and become gray, and then to coat it with a protective sealant. Of course, sealant must also be reapplied, but many consider the job to be less demanding than repainting, which often entails scraping away parts of the old finish.

Using pressure treated wood for outdoor projects – such as decking and front doors – is essential.

That’s because pressure treated wood is great at resisting rot and wood-nesting bugs.

But the after effect of pressure-treating wood isn’t particularly pleasing to look at.

So its no wonder you’re asking yourself; can you paint pressure treated wood?

The good news is, yes you can. However, before you rush off to start painting you need to consider a few things. Things such as;

  • Have you first cleaned the wood surface of all dirt and grime?
  • Have you given the wood enough time to dry out?
  • Are you using the right type of primer on the wood?
  • Have you given the primer enough time to dry too?

If you can answer YES to all of those questions, then you are good to go.

But do you really need to paint pressure treated wood?

First things first, take a moment to consider whether or not you need to paint the wood in the first place.

The process of painting this type of wood requires a fair bit of preparation – and some regular upkeep afterwards.

But if you’ve thought about it, and your heart is still set on adding a little more color to the wood, then read on to get the full scoop on how to paint pressure treated wood…

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

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Pressure treated wood is amazing for any outdoor projects. This wood has been treated with chemical sealants before it was placed in a pressure chamber, hence the name, to force the chemicals deep into the fibers of the wood. This process of sealing the wood makes it very resistant to the elements and to certain types of bugs but it also makes it kind of hard to paint. So in this article, I will go a little more in-depth and try to explain how to paint pressure treated wood properly and permanently.

In short, to paint pressure treated wood you have to clean the wood from any dust or dirt with some soapy water and let it dry for a couple of weeks. Then you have to apply some primer for outdoor use. Let the primer dry and then paint your pressure treated wood with the color of your choosing.

So these are the basic steps of painting pressure treated wood but there are a couple of more small things, that you should watch out for before you actually get to paint your pressure treated wood.

If you are not careful or patient enough then your paint job may not turn out as expected or the paint may chip off or fade over time.

I will start by explaining what pressure treated wood is and how it is made so that you can better understand why it can be challenging to paint it.

Then I will explain exactly how to properly paint it in simple steps. And finally, I will answer some frequently asked questions.

So let´s get started with painting pressure treated wood!

Table of Contents

What is Pressure Treated Wood and How is it Made?

Pressure treated wood is a cheap alternative to naturally element resistant wood types like cedar or redwood. It is widely used for a lot of outdoor projects but there are some projects, where you should not use it even if it is cheaper. But before we get to that, we will first take a look at how pressure treated wood is made.

Pressure treated wood is made by soaking the wood in a liquid preservative, in the Us that preservative is mostly alkaline copper quat or ACQ.

Then the wood is placed in a pressure chamber to force the chemical into every fiber of the wood. This will make the wood very resistant to fungi, bugs, rain, snow, and pretty much anything that may harm the wood outside.

This method of sealing, however, is also the reason why painting pressure treated wood is so difficult. The chemicals will pretty much keep anything from sticking to the wood, including paint. But don´t worry, there are methods to paint pressure treated wood despite the chemical seal.

As I mentioned above, pressure treated wood is great but you should not use it for everything. Even though the chemicals are bound to the wood they can still migrate into the earth or they can be washed off in small amounts by water. So if you plan on building a raised garden bed, for example, then pressure treated wood is probably the wort choice for it.

You can use pressure treated wood for outdoor furniture or decking but you should not use it close to any plants especially if they are vegetable plants, that you plan on harvesting. There is a great article from “fine gardening” about using pressure treated wood and its disadvantages when used for gardening. You can read it right here.

How to Properly Paint Pressure Treated Wood

So now that you know how pressure treated wood is made and what you can use it for it´s time to see how you can properly paint it.

Clean the Pressure Treated Wood and Let it Dry

Before you can start painting the wood you have to clean it first.

Simply use some soapy water and a towel to clean the wood from any dust or dirt, that might be on it. This is important because if you don´t clean the wood the primer may not stick to the wood as good as it otherwise would.

After you cleaned the wood you have to let it dry for a couple of weeks. Yes I know, that sounds like a very long time but the wood has to be completely dry before you can properly work with it. Unfortunately pressure treated wood takes a very long time to dry completely. Depending on the type of wood it can take up to a month.

You can easily test if the wood is dry enough for priming by dripping a little bit of water on the surface of the wood. If the water soaks in the wood, then the wood is dry enough but if the water stays on the surface in forms of drips or if it takes a long time to be absorbed then your wood is not dry enough yet.

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

Prepare the Pressure Treated Wood with the right Primer

Before you can paint the pressure treated wood you first have to prime the surface of the wood with a primer.

The primer will stick better to the wood itself than any paint and it will at the same time create a perfect surface for the paint to stick to.

Be sure to use a primer, that is meant to be used outside. You can buy a paint primer at your local hardware store or right here on Amazon.

Apply an even layer of primer on the wood and try to cover every part of the wood as good as possible.

Follow the instructions of the primer before you apply it just to be sure. Some primers require you to lightly sand the wood before you can apply the primer. So make sure to check the instructions, just to be sure.

Let the primer dry. Depending on the kind of primer you are using this can take a few hours or a whole day.

If you missed a spot or if the first layer wasn´t enough then you can easily apply a second layer if you feel like it´s necessary. Some Primes even require you to apply a second layer although this is quite rare.

Paint the Wood

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

And now finally you can actually paint the wood.

I recommend using latex paint because oil-based or water-based paints won´t stick well enough to the primer and will eventually wash off if you don´t seal them to protect them from the elements.

Even though you can paint wood with acrylics I would not recommend it for wood, that is going to be outside.

You can buy latex paints in your local hardware store or here on Amazon. I recommend latex paints from Rust-Oleum. They are quite cheap and I had really good results with them. The satin finish looks really good but you can get a shiny finish as well.

Try to apply the paint as evenly as possible and apply at least two thin layers to get a good smooth finish. Let the paint dry completely in between layers or you may end up with weird looking darker spots.

You can use a paintbrush or a roller. Depending on your project, you may even need both.

A paintbrush is great if you have a lot of hard to get corners or a lot of smaller areas where a roller can’t get to easily.

A roller, however, will make it easier for you to apply the paint evenly.

I usually use both. A roller for larger surfaces and a paintbrush for the hard to get to parts of my projects or if I want to add some detail to a project.

Pressure treated wood is amazing for any outdoor projects. This wood has been treated with chemical sealants before it was placed in a pressure chamber, hence the name, to force the chemicals deep into the fibers of the wood. This process of sealing the wood makes it very resistant to the elements and to certain types of bugs but it also makes it kind of hard to paint. So in this article, I will go a little more in-depth and try to explain how to paint pressure treated wood properly and permanently.

In short, to paint pressure treated wood you have to clean the wood from any dust or dirt with some soapy water and let it dry for a couple of weeks. Then you have to apply some primer for outdoor use. Let the primer dry and then paint your pressure treated wood with the color of your choosing.

So these are the basic steps of painting pressure treated wood but there are a couple of more small things, that you should watch out for before you actually get to paint your pressure treated wood.

If you are not careful or patient enough then your paint job may not turn out as expected or the paint may chip off or fade over time.

I will start by explaining what pressure treated wood is and how it is made so that you can better understand why it can be challenging to paint it.

Then I will explain exactly how to properly paint it in simple steps. And finally, I will answer some frequently asked questions.

So let´s get started with painting pressure treated wood!

Table of Contents

What is Pressure Treated Wood and How is it Made?

Pressure treated wood is a cheap alternative to naturally element resistant wood types like cedar or redwood. It is widely used for a lot of outdoor projects but there are some projects, where you should not use it even if it is cheaper. But before we get to that, we will first take a look at how pressure treated wood is made.

Pressure treated wood is made by soaking the wood in a liquid preservative, in the Us that preservative is mostly alkaline copper quat or ACQ.

Then the wood is placed in a pressure chamber to force the chemical into every fiber of the wood. This will make the wood very resistant to fungi, bugs, rain, snow, and pretty much anything that may harm the wood outside.

This method of sealing, however, is also the reason why painting pressure treated wood is so difficult. The chemicals will pretty much keep anything from sticking to the wood, including paint. But don´t worry, there are methods to paint pressure treated wood despite the chemical seal.

As I mentioned above, pressure treated wood is great but you should not use it for everything. Even though the chemicals are bound to the wood they can still migrate into the earth or they can be washed off in small amounts by water. So if you plan on building a raised garden bed, for example, then pressure treated wood is probably the wort choice for it.

You can use pressure treated wood for outdoor furniture or decking but you should not use it close to any plants especially if they are vegetable plants, that you plan on harvesting. There is a great article from “fine gardening” about using pressure treated wood and its disadvantages when used for gardening. You can read it right here.

How to Properly Paint Pressure Treated Wood

So now that you know how pressure treated wood is made and what you can use it for it´s time to see how you can properly paint it.

Clean the Pressure Treated Wood and Let it Dry

Before you can start painting the wood you have to clean it first.

Simply use some soapy water and a towel to clean the wood from any dust or dirt, that might be on it. This is important because if you don´t clean the wood the primer may not stick to the wood as good as it otherwise would.

After you cleaned the wood you have to let it dry for a couple of weeks. Yes I know, that sounds like a very long time but the wood has to be completely dry before you can properly work with it. Unfortunately pressure treated wood takes a very long time to dry completely. Depending on the type of wood it can take up to a month.

You can easily test if the wood is dry enough for priming by dripping a little bit of water on the surface of the wood. If the water soaks in the wood, then the wood is dry enough but if the water stays on the surface in forms of drips or if it takes a long time to be absorbed then your wood is not dry enough yet.

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

Prepare the Pressure Treated Wood with the right Primer

Before you can paint the pressure treated wood you first have to prime the surface of the wood with a primer.

The primer will stick better to the wood itself than any paint and it will at the same time create a perfect surface for the paint to stick to.

Be sure to use a primer, that is meant to be used outside. You can buy a paint primer at your local hardware store or right here on Amazon.

Apply an even layer of primer on the wood and try to cover every part of the wood as good as possible.

Follow the instructions of the primer before you apply it just to be sure. Some primers require you to lightly sand the wood before you can apply the primer. So make sure to check the instructions, just to be sure.

Let the primer dry. Depending on the kind of primer you are using this can take a few hours or a whole day.

If you missed a spot or if the first layer wasn´t enough then you can easily apply a second layer if you feel like it´s necessary. Some Primes even require you to apply a second layer although this is quite rare.

Paint the Wood

How to paint pressure‐treated wood

And now finally you can actually paint the wood.

I recommend using latex paint because oil-based or water-based paints won´t stick well enough to the primer and will eventually wash off if you don´t seal them to protect them from the elements.

Even though you can paint wood with acrylics I would not recommend it for wood, that is going to be outside.

You can buy latex paints in your local hardware store or here on Amazon. I recommend latex paints from Rust-Oleum. They are quite cheap and I had really good results with them. The satin finish looks really good but you can get a shiny finish as well.

Try to apply the paint as evenly as possible and apply at least two thin layers to get a good smooth finish. Let the paint dry completely in between layers or you may end up with weird looking darker spots.

You can use a paintbrush or a roller. Depending on your project, you may even need both.

A paintbrush is great if you have a lot of hard to get corners or a lot of smaller areas where a roller can’t get to easily.

A roller, however, will make it easier for you to apply the paint evenly.

I usually use both. A roller for larger surfaces and a paintbrush for the hard to get to parts of my projects or if I want to add some detail to a project.