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Old 08-02-2012, 10:30 PM   #1
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How long should i wait before painting pressure-treated wood?


I've just had a new set of stairs built on my porch (see photo), and the contractor said I should wait for the wood to dry out before I paint it.

How long should I wait? The stairs are outdoors in the Catskills (northeast mountains).

Also, any suggestions on paint? The contractor recommendation was an "opaque stain" -- not sure why.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
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How long should i wait before painting pressure-treated wood?


If you do a search on here you will find dozens of topics on this very subject.

Most of us will tell you not to paint treated lumber. It contains too much water and lots of chemicals that continually fight to get through the paint film. A better choice is a semi-transparent or solid color stain. Used to be that you needed to wait 3-6 months for the PT to "dry" out and accept stain. I've had success waiting as little as ONE month to apply the stain.

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Old 08-04-2012, 09:04 AM   #3
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How long should i wait before painting pressure-treated wood?


The answer to your question will depend on what type of treatment was used and how dry it was when you bought the timber. You may have to wait six months if it is very wet unless it is a type you can treat immediately.

Do try the search engine for this site. As mentioned there are many, many posts on this subject.

I would not use a solid color stain on the stair treads. Stick to a semi-transparent or I guess a semi-solid that penetrates more into the wood than rests on top of it. You can use a solid stain on vertical pieces if you want. Semi-transparents and semi-solids come in a wide range of colors so you should find something compatible. Solid Color Acrylic Stains, like Sherwin Williams Woodscapes, can be tinted any color like paint.

Stay away from box store stains products. No matter what you use, add refreshing the surfaces every 2-3 years to your anticipated maintenance list. If you get more out the products than that chalk it up to good luck or something.

Definitely stay away from wax based sealer products like Thompson's Water Seal.

Last edited by user1007; 08-04-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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How long should i wait before painting pressure-treated wood?


And sand off those grade marks on the wood before apply anything or there going to show through.
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