Yes. That’s the short answer. How long you want it to last will require much more explanation. Pressure-treated wood should be purchased when you’re creating an outdoor structure that is exposed to the elements and open air. Internal lumber doesn’t need to be pressure treated, and so long as it doesn’t get very damp, there is no reason to use pressure-treated lumber indoors. The external walls of homes, decks, and every outdoor building should all be made of pressure-treated lumber that will hold up to the elements for more than a couple of years. To make the wood last even longer, you can stain it, or better yet, prime and paint it!

Step 1 – Washing the Lumber

Thoroughly wash the wood that you’re going to be painting. You want to ensure the wood is completely clean of moss, mold, mildew, or dirt. Anything left on the wood will prevent the paint from adequately being absorbed through the surface and will inevitably result in premature chipping. Professionals use industrial soap and hot water with a brush for this purpose. For wood that has been sitting for extended periods, it’s not uncommon to utilize a pressure washer to free the lumber of long clinging grime.

Step 2 – Thoroughly Dry the Lumber

Let the freshly cleaned wood sit out in the sun. You don’t want to risk ruining your grass or shrubs, so it’s best to let the wood sit somewhere there is stone or pavement. Be sure to prop the wood up on sawhorses or rocks – something that will keep it from laying flat on the ground and growing more moss or mildew. For reclaimed wood, even if it’s pressure treated, sometimes it’s best to let the wood dry for an entire year before coming back to it to stain, prime, or paint it! For most wood recently purchased to do a job, just a few days will be sufficient to ensure it’s good, dry and ready for use!

Step 3 – Don’t Skip the Primer

A crucial mistake made by many people for many years? Not using an exterior primer. Exterior primer is essential because it fills holes and pores in the wood with a compound that allows for excellent paint adhesion. Not only does this mean your wood will look even more pronounced in whatever color you choose, and the dreaded paint chipping will be avoided for years to come, but it also means less material will be used in the painting process. Since the paint binds to the primer, rather than being absorbed by the wood, less does more! 

Step 4 – Let the Primer Dry, Fill the Gaps!

Trying to paint on top of primer that hasn’t thoroughly dried will result in catastrophe. The smudging and discoloration is a nightmare because it requires removal. Professionals know they can’t simply paint over the lumber or you’re going to have obvious defects that will be very unsightly and draw the sight of passersby. Give the primer a few hours to dry and you can start walking around, looking for touch up spots. Understand that touch up spots will look exactly like the rest of the primer so there will be nothing unsightly or obvious.

Step 5 – Paint Evenly

Now that the pressure-treated wood is ready for painting, it’s important the best practices of exterior painting are used. Don’t buy two different lots of paint – make sure all the paint was created at the same time so that the materials are identical. Too much is better than too little! Experienced professionals will only use the best equipment possible. There is a big difference between cheap and high-quality paint brushes. Nobody wants bristles falling apart and sticking into the finished product. Should a paint gun be utilized, even and measured strokes are to be used from 6 inches away from the wood. Fast and ugly is still ugly, so there is no reason to try to rush a speedy machine!

The seasoned professionals at Trico Painting have a level of professionalism unrivaled by anybody in the area. Exterior painting, like that which involves pressure-treated wood, is one of their many specialties.