Pressure-treated wood currently is on-trend. From the deck to the fence, it is widely seen everywhere in the home’s outdoor. Wood is evidently a natural product. Though the wood is pressure-treated, it is exposed to the fading power of sunlight.

Staining on pressure-treated wood can help maintain its fresh appearance and provides added protection. So, how to stain pressure treated wood? Well, pressure-treated wood requires special consideration while staining.

When it comes to staining, you can stain regular wood instantly. For the pressure-treated wood, you might have to wait a bit, or you can stain it immediately. The option you choose decides the surface prep needed before staining.

With a few effective techniques, you can stain pressure-treated wood. These steps are essential to give your deck, fence, and other structure a stunning look and long-lasting protection. Let’s discuss it more below.

What Is Pressure Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is a specialized wood that is treated by submerging in a liquid chemical preservative. Then the wood is placed in a pressure chamber that forces the chemical into the wood fiber.

how to pressure treated wood

The pressure chamber makes sure that the chemical penetrates the core of the wood. This process is much effective than just soaking the wood into chemicals. However, the chemical is what protects the wood from rot and insects.

The Benefit of Pressure Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is the best choice to build decks, poles, playground, and boardwalks. Because of the treatment process, it becomes a sturdier material that is less exposed to fungal, rot, and insects. Here are some of the benefits of pressure-treated wood;

how to pressure treated wood
  • Pressure-treated woods are quite affordable than most types of woods, such as redwood, cedar, etc.
  • These woods can resist scratches, dents, and wears, which makes it a durable
  • Pressure-treated woods are incredibly versatile as it allows for staining with any color.
  • Pressure-treated woods can keep insects and bugs away from your home.
  • These woods are easy to repair.

How to Stain Pressure Treated Wood?

The way how you’ll stain the wood depends on the characteristics of the wood. Some wood has preservatives, such as arsenic. Those units are enforced into the wood fibers to protect it against termites, mildew, and rot.

Also, other pressure-treated wood requires different treatment. Knowing the right way to stain is essential to have a long-lasting effect on the stain on the stain. Below, you’ll get to know how to stain pressure treated wood used in the deck.

Step 1: Treat the Wood

Pressure-treated wood requires a specific time to “cure” after installing it and before staining. We’ve considered about two months of cure time. Make sure you’ve waited at least this much time before starting the project.

Step 2: Clean the Wood

As a prior step to stain the deck, you need to clean it to remove any dirt and debris. Get started by sweeping the deck to take away leaves, twigs, etc. After that, you need to wash the deck to remove any fungal residue and grime build-up.

Some people wash the deck wood with bleach or other harmful detergents. DON”T DO THAT! You can try a power washer or pressure washer. It can damage the wood if the nozzle is held near to the surface or setting is very high.

Make sure you held the nozzle is at least 12-16” above the surface. Then, start the washer with a PSI of 1500. Be careful while cleaning to make sure the wood isn’t getting extorted.

Step 3: Drying

Before you jump to the staining process, the deck has to be dry ultimately. Leave the deck for one or two days. If you expect to rain in the area, cover it with plastic sheets. All in all, it is better to stain the pressure treated wood in the summertime.

Step 4: Preparation for Staining

If you are using oil-based stain, it will likely splash on nearby areas as it is very thin. Therefore, you need to cover surrounding bushes, grass, and underlying concrete pad with tarps.

Step 5: Start Staining

First and foremost, you need to know the type of stain your deck needs. Some fresh wood is too absorbent to accept stain. We prefer to use Thompson’s Water Seal as it quickly penetrates and stains the wood as well.

You can use a paintbrush to stain the wood. The bristles in the brush help to spread the stain all over the deck. Brush the wood until each part is covered with stain.

Step 6: Let it Dry

Any pressure-treated wood requires a second coat of stain for a perfect finish. So, before applying the second coat, let the first coat dry properly. You may have to leave it for 12 to 24 hours.

Step 7: Apply the Second Coat of Stain

Now, apply another coat of stain as you’ve used the first one. Make sure the first coat has dried. Sometime you won’t need the second coat if the first one is done correctly.

Spray some water over the wood. If the wood absorbs it, it means the wood requires a second layer. Brush over the edges and make sure the stain spread evenly. Finally, leave it again for 12-24 hours before using it.

How Long to Wait Before Staining Pressure Treated Wood Fence?

Earlier, people used to wait for at least six months before staining pressure-treated wood. That’s not the case with newly-treated woods. Today’s pressure-treated woods are equipped with the preservatives, like micronized copper.

how to pressure treated wood

These days, pressure-treated woods are ready to stain within 30 days or less. Here the local weather condition also comes into consideration. Some premium pressure-treated wood becomes ready to stain after its pressure treatment.

You can stain those units as soon as possible. Conversely, some ordinary pressure-treated wood requires about 2-3 days, and you can use water-based stain over it. It is better not to wait for long as the UV rays can damage the wood fiber.

Can I Stain New Pressure Treated Wood?

Absolutely, you can. The key is understanding the nature of the pressure-treated wood and the right time to stain the wood. You cannot do it sooner or later, otherwise, it will harm the wood.

Can I use Pressure Treated Wood Indoors?

Yes, you can use pressure-treated wood indoor in any interior except countertops and cutting boards. The most common type of preservative used in these wood is Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA), which is an extremely toxic material. So, it is better to avoid using in a place that is associated with the food.  


This is how to stain pressure treated wood. You can now stain your own deck or outdoor seating area without hiring a professional. There is plenty of the best stain for pressure treated wood available in the market on Amazon. Go, grab one, and follow our easy-to-follow steps.

Decorate your home exterior with pressure-treated wood as you wanted!

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