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What is the Best Stain for Pressure Treated Wood?

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Wooden bar in hardware store. Treated wood panels at sawmill wholesale warehouse

Pressure-treated wood is a great option for homeowners who want to protect their property from moisture and termites, but it can be difficult to know what stain to use on this type of wood. In this article, we will discuss three different types of stains and which one is best for pressure-treated wood.

Types of Wood

Pressure-treated wood is a type of lumber that has been treated with chemical preservatives to extend its lifespan. Pressure-treated wood is often used for outdoor projects such as decks, fences, and play structures. While it is designed to be resistant to rot and insect damage, it can still be susceptible to staining.

Wooden bar in hardware store. Treated wood panels at sawmill wholesale warehouse
Wooden bar in a hardware store. Treated wood panels at sawmill wholesale warehouse

There are a number of different products that can be used to stain pressure-treated wood, including: linseed oil, chalk paint, paintballs, Rustoleum Painter’s Touch, toluene-based paints, fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP), wool felt, and olive oil or vegetable oil.

Each of these products has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right product for your project.

For example, linseed oil is a natural product that is easy to apply but it can be messy and it doesn’t provide much protection against UV rays.

Chalk paint is another natural product that is easy to apply but it doesn’t provide much coverage.

Paintballs are a great option if you want to achieve a uniform look but they can be difficult to apply evenly. Rustoleum Painter’s Touch is a synthetic product that provides good coverage and protection but it can be expensive.

Another popular method is to use a lighter fluid-based paint, such as toluene. This will help the stain to penetrate the wood and provide a long-lasting finish.

You can also use a fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), such as Corian or Lucite. These materials are very durable and will not be affected by the chemicals in the pressure-treated wood.

Finally, wool felt is another excellent option for staining pressure-treated wood. It is important to make sure that you use wool felt, as opposed to felted wool, which is a different material altogether. Whatever method you choose, be sure to apply the stain evenly and allow it to dry completely before using the pressure-treated wood.

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Types of Stains

There are many types of stains available to treat pressure-treated wood. Here are a few examples:

  • Wood glue and water stain: This is a popular option for treating small areas. Just wet the wood, apply the glue, wait 10 minutes, and then stain.
  • Enzymatic stain: This type of stain is made with an enzyme that catalyzes the breaking down of the wood’s natural oils. This produces a darker color and longer-lasting results than traditional water stains.
  • Rustic paint: This type of paint is designed to look like rust on untreated wood. It requires two coats for full coverage, but the finished product will look more realistic than standard paint.

How to Apply a Stain

When it comes to stains for pressure-treated wood, there are a few different types that can be used. One option is to use a traditional wood stain. These stains are available in a variety of colors and can be applied with a brush or a spray bottle. Another option is to use a pre-mixed stain. These stains are more concentrated and can be applied with a brush or a spray bottle.

What to Do If the Stain Gets Dripped on the Wood

If you have pressure-treated wood in your home, you may be wondering what the best stain for it is. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best stain for pressure-treated wood will vary depending on the type of treatment and the specific details of your project. However, some general tips that will apply to most pressure-treated wood stains are listed below.

First, it’s important to remember that pressure-treated wood is intended to resist water damage. This means that any stain or finish applied to it must also be resistant to water damage in order to be effective. Some common water-resistant stains and finishes include oil-based stains, sealers, and waxes. If you’re looking for a more durable finish, consider using a water-resistant varnish or paint.

Another factor to consider when choosing a stain for pressure-treated wood is the color palette available for this type of lumber.

Pressure-treated lumber comes in a variety of colors, including light colors like yellow and orange, which can be difficult to stain, and darker colors like black or brown. If this is a concern for you, it may be better to choose a stain that matches the color of the lumber. For example, if you are using pressure-treated lumber that is stained black, you may want to choose a dark brown or black stain for your project. This will help to camouflage any imperfections in the lumber and give your project a cohesive look.

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Tips for Preventing Streaks

Pressure-treated wood is a popular choice for outdoor projects like decks and fences, but it can be difficult to keep it looking its best. Pressure-treated wood is treated with chemicals that help to protect it from rot and insect damage, but these chemicals can also cause streaks and discoloration. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent streaks on pressure-treated wood.

First, always use a sealer or primer before painting or staining pressure-treated wood. This will create a barrier between the wood and the finish, helping to prevent the chemicals in the pressure-treated wood from coming into contact with the finish.

Secondly, be sure to apply the finish evenly and in thin coats. Thick coats of paint or stain are more likely to streak and drip, so it’s important to apply the finish sparingly.

Finally, always allow pressure-treated wood to dry completely before applying a finish. If the wood is still wet, the finish will not adhere properly and is more likely to streak. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your pressure-treated wood looking its best for years to come.


So, what is the best stain for pressure-treated wood? The answer to that question isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Different factors – like the age of the wood and where it will be used – need to be taken into account when making a decision. However, we hope this article has given you a good starting point and helped you understand the different types of stains available on the market today.

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