Whether you hire a contractor or build your project yourself, note: treated wood will last a long time, therefore so will your workmanship. You'll be happier – and your project will look better – if you take your time and observe the following construction techniques.
Moisture, salt, and other agents can cause metal corrosion, but new non-metallic Wolmanized® L³ Outdoor wood is no more corrosive than untreated wood. Check with your hardware manufacturer regarding specific uses.
For those projects needing building code compliance, you can use hardware with the minimum protection permitted by codes and local regulations. Aluminum can also be used in direct contact with this wood.
No maintenance is needed to renew resistance to fungi and termites. Wolmanized® wood has a lifetime limited warranty against these organisms. However, protection is required to maintain the wood's appearance against weather. Sun and rain cycles cause stresses in lumber and result in swelling, shrinking, warping, and cracking.
Painting & Staining
You can stain or paint Wolmanized® wood. You can also coat this wood with a water repellent; in fact, we highly recommend it. The best way to tackle these jobs depends on the wood you have, its exposure, and the coating you plan to use. Many light-colored latex paints can be used successfully following brush-application of an oil-based primer. Primer should not be applied by sprayer, nor should coatings be used if their manufacturer advises against a primer. Always follow the manufacturer's directions and take special care in sealing end grain, holes, and other penetrations with the primer.
How long must you wait before the wood is dry internally?
The time it takes for wood to dry out depends on the climate and the wood's exposure. In summer in the American southwest, deck lumber open to sunshine can dry in a few days. In cool, damp weather or when shaded by an overhanging roof or tree, it will take much longer for wood to dry. As a fairly safe average, we recommend waiting six months before applying paint.
Typical treated wood
When wood is pressure-treated, it is saturated with a liquid solution of preservative diluted in water. In a typical situation, the wood you buy is still somewhat damp.
PAINT – Do not apply paint until the wood is dry, both on the surface and internally. Otherwise, as the wood dries out, escaping moisture will cause blisters and poor adhesion in the paint. We recommend a six month waiting period before applying paint (see more below). Once the wood is dry, the procedure for painting treated wood is no different from that for painting untreated wood. Application of a primer is suggested for best results. (We recommend against using paint on deck flooring because frequently used pathways, such as from the steps to the door, will become worn.)
STAIN – Some stains are heavily pigmented and form a film, just as paint does. The recommendations for their application are the same as those for paint, including our advice against using them for the floor of a deck. Most stains, however, are more transparent and do not block moisture movement. There are other differences, though. Stains may be oil-based or water-based. Some formulations can be used immediately; others perform best when the wood is allowed to dry for a while. Best advice: follow the stain manufacturer's instructions.
WATER REPELLENT – Most water repellent brands say that it is okay to apply a water repellent without delay, which is ideal timing. For other brands, a slight delay is recommended. Again, it is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Treated wood with built-in water repellent
To protect against moisture damage, some Wolmanized® Outdoor wood has water repellent as well as preservative, as does Thompsonized® Wood. The water repellent slows down the rate at which the wood absorbs and releases moisture.
PAINT & STAIN – The recommendations are the same as above, but it may take longer for the wood to dry out. Therefore, the delay may be longer. For instance, we recommend waiting 30 days before applying an oil-based product to Thompsonized® Wood, and waiting a year before using a water-based stain.
Treated wood that is re-dried after treatment
In some areas you can buy treated wood that is Kiln Dried After Treatment (KDAT) or Air Dried After Treatment (ADAT). In these processes, moisture is removed from the wood before shipment to a lumber dealer. KDAT or ADAT will be marked on each piece of wood on either the end tag or an ink stamp.
PAINT, STAIN, WATER REPELLENT – The moisture content of the wood is already in balance with atmospheric moisture levels, so coating can proceed immediately.