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Painting Pressure-Treated Wood | September 2019

Yes, you can paint pressure-treated wood. However, for a long-lasting and great-looking finish, you’ll need to take a few key things into consideration, such as:

  • Type of paint used
  • Moisture content of the pressure-treated wood
  • Primer used
  • And more

If you don’t want to stare at the green hue of pressure-treated wood, we can help. Not only will painting it transform the look of your deck, it’ll help the wood last longer, too. Keep reading to learn the best way to paint pressure-treated wood from Five Star Painting.

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 read 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.


  • 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.

Pressure-treated lumber is a great option for decks. But if you can’t decide between composite or wood decking materials, Mr. Handyman can help. Mr. Handyman is part of Neighborly’s trusted network of home service providers trusted by homeowners nationwide, and can build your deck for you.

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.

Professional Deck Painting and Staining

Would you rather spend your weekends with the family? Our professional deck painting and staining services will give your deck a fresh coat of paint or stain. Our efficient and trustworthy professional painters have years of experience. 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.