What is the best way to paint or stain pressure-treated wood?

Pressure treated wood can be painted or stained to match any existing deck or patio. Even if you don’t want to change the color of your wood, you should apply a clear water repellant sealant to protect it.

Wait 0 to 90 days after installation to allow the wood to dry before applying stain/sealant or paint. During the treatment process, wood is injected with ACQ and becomes damp due to chemical treatment. Atlantic Fence recommends using  a high quality latex-based paint or a linseed oil-based stain. Stain may be transparent or semi-solid. Stain may be added to sealant, or you can use a sealant that is premixed with color. Painted wood does not require additional sealant.

When applying paint or stain to pressure treated wood, make sure the boards are completely dry.  Try to apply on a dry but overcast day with the temperature above the limit specified by the manufacturer.

Brushing provides the best coverage. Be sure to brush all exposed wood and work the sealant into the end grain. If you spray, follow sprayer instructions especially regarding distance from wand to wood.  Holding the wand too far away can result in inadequate coverage.  Even when spraying, it is a good idea to use a brush on the cut ends and around joints.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on weather conditions when applying. Sealant cannot penetrate the wood properly when temperatures are too low.