How Can I Determine If a Pressure Treated Wood Is Ready For Staining?

Staining Pressure treated wood gives it an extra dash of protective covering prolonging its longevity and gives a glamorous allure.

Thus, how can you determine if a pressure treated wood is ready for staining?

To help answer this question, we shall consider a couple of scenarios.

However, pressure treatment and staining can amount to some damaging results if not undertaken correctly.

To ascertain whether a pressure-treated wood has achieved the right moisture content for it to undergo staining.

You first have to conduct the ‘sprinkle test.’ Wondering how to go about it, the test involves sprinkling water on the wood piece to be stained.

If it absorbs the water within the first ten minutes, then it’s ready for staining.

However, if you encounter that, the water stagnates or forms some beads on the piece of timber’s surface.

It thus means that the wood hasn’t entirely dried thoroughly.

Another way to check is that if you lift the timber piece and feels heavy in your hands, it needs to dry further.

For the best staining results and ease of working with the wood, you should ensure that you stain a completely dry wood or risk redoing the work.

The Best Time for Staining Pressure Treated Wood

During your home improvement phases, you will come across a vast array of pressure-treated timbers.

The wide varieties will require different staining procedures, which will be dependent on various factors.

It will entail you to stain the timber at a specific time or under certain conditions, as you will find out outlined below.

Pressure treatment involves the use of highly pressurized water, which contains chemical preservatives.

Under immense pressure, the preservative solution is forced into the fibers of the wood.

That’s why it’s first required to let the wood dry and lose the excess water.

There are different varieties of wood treatment processes available locally.

  1. Wet pressure treated wood– The process involves impregnating the preservatives into the wood using force.

It usually appears like a greenish color when you collect the timber from the hardware. The drying period is around 2-3 weeks in low humid areas.

  1. Kiln-dried pressure treated wood– the process involved in infusing the preservative is more like a wet process, but the variation comes during the drying stage.

The kiln-dried lumber comes fitted with a stamp or tag indicating ADAT, i.e., Air-dried after treatment or KDAT, i.e., Kiln dried after treatment.

The stamp shows the process the wood has undergone and that it can stain without further treatments.

The kiln process is more effective in that is helps in preventing warping of the timber, a phenomenon witnessed during drying.

Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood

The Process of Staining Pressure Treated Wood

Staining Pressure Treated Wood

Enjoy the elegance and glamour of pressure-treated wood without having to worry about losing or compromising integrity.

Having garnered essential know-how on pressure treatment, it’s about time to move into the next phase.

Though the wood treatment process guarantees that the timber is insect and rot free, it may leave the wood looking unsightly, thus requiring the wood to be stained.

With a couple of handy DIY’s techniques, your oddly looking surfaces will undergo a complete transformation.

Besides beauty, staining will help prevent the wood from cracking from the freezing and thawing conditions.

 Tools and Equipment required;

  • Pressure washer
  • Stainer
  • Stirring rod
  • Paintbrush or roller

#Step 1. Prepping of the surface

It’s advisable first to clean the surfaces that require to be stained.

Remove dirt or debris that may be on the wood.

However, if you’re to stain wood that has aged for a while, you will require an extra trick in removing the buildup of grime.

Pass by the hardware store and purchase a wood cleaner.

Note: You will have to let the wood dry out totally before moving in and start on the stain application.

The periods may vary depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

#Step 2. Test for the moisture content in the wood.

Once you have ascertained that the wood has dried, you can rule out any wrong assumptions by conducting the following test.

The bead test, performed as we had earlier outlined.

Alternatively, you can hammer a nail directly into the wood and check for any water that will seep out.

If you notice some wetness when driving in the nail or beading water, you will have to let it sit on for a more extended period to be completely dry.

#Step 3. The best weather conditions

It’s best to carry out the staining work during the day and presumably during a clear sky. The Stainer will require around 24 to 48 hours for dry to handle period.

Pick a day when you have sunny conditions.

 #Step 4. Stainer preparation

Ensure that the Stainer thoroughly blends perfectly before commencing any applications.

Keep stirring all through to ensure that the Stainer is homogenous.

Test out the Stainer on a piece of wood. To ensure it has the right consistency and whether it’s your chosen color.

#Step 5. Application of the Stainer

Once you’re satisfied that the Stainer is thoroughly blended, you can start on the application.

It’s worth noting that brush strokes pay a crucial part in overall beauty. For the vertically aligned surfaces, it’s advisable to work your way from top to bottom.

The method ensures that any drips are painted over and covered as you stain the lower parts.

Exposed parts will require additional coating because they tend to soak more Stainer.

The Ready seal is an appropriate Stainer that paint over pressure-treated wood.

Does Staining Timber Really Help?

Timber is porous and susceptible to destruction by the weather elements.

Unprecedented freeze and thaw conditions make the timber swell and shrink resulting in the timber cracking.

Painting and staining the wood ensures that the timber has a protective covering against the rainwater, snow, or even dew.

The Stainer also acts as a barrier against the damaging sun rays that may lead to discoloration and warping.

Final Thoughts on Staining Pressure Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is by far the best timber to use in the construction of your fence and deck.

Even though that treatment will help prevent insect attacks and wood rot, staining is hugely crucial.

Hoping this article has helped you shed light on how you can you can carry out staining pressure treated wood.

The stainer will improve the timber’s performance and give it a chance to withstand the detrimental effects of the weather.

Use the tests mentioned in the article to determine when to start staining the treated wood to avoid having a repeat job.

Note: There a couple of considerations to put in place, for example, when staining over factory processed timber.

The moisture content might be right, but the wood isn’t ready to be stained yet.

You will have to sand over the wood or use a neutralizer to remove the glazed mill layer.

The layer usually is a result of the heat and pressure used during manufacturing.

Test for a mill glaze layer by sprinkling water.

If the water beads on the surface, it’s evidence of a glazed layer.

Read more: How To Adjust Old Cabinet Door Hinges

Leave a Comment