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Pressure-Treated Decking: Understanding Sealing, Painting and Staining

Pressure-treated wood is an ideal material for building a residential deck. Basically, this type of lumber is infused or imbued with chemical preservatives, which provide protection against common forms of wood damage. The wood is then placed in a special holding tank with depressurised conditions, ensuring that the preservative penetrates the deep pores of the wood. This treatment ensures that softwoods such as pine are durable and resistant to damage from fungi, insects and rot.

On the other hand, pressure treatment does not make the wood infallible or enhance its aesthetic appeal. Therefore, if you would like to improve the long-term performance and the appearance of your decking, you should consider using an additional finishing treatment. Here is a brief discussion to help you understand the common finishing methods suited for pressure-treated timber and consequently, choose the right fit for your new deck.


Pressure-treated wood should be coated with a layer of sealant for ideal performance. This will protect the lumber from the natural corrosion and weathering that occurs when building materials are exposed to external environmental conditions. Simply speaking, the pressure treating process is designed to provide the best protection to the internal parts of the wood. The sealant will do the same from the outside by limiting factors which cause accelerated wear. When buying your sealant, it is advisable to choose a product with UV stabilisers for better outdoor performance. In addition, apply a transparent or even semi-transparent sealant coat to retain the natural appearance of wood.


You can enhance the visual appeal of your decking by using paint. This option is ideal because you can alter the colour of the surface to suit your personal aesthetics and your home's design. When applying paint as your finishing material, you should ensure that the lumber is completely dry. You can evaluate the dryness by sprinkling some water on the decking. If the drops form beads, the wood is not completely dry. You have to wait until the time when the water will be absorbed into the wood. For the best performance of the coating, ensure that the surface is primed and the paint is applied according to the manufacturer's recommendation.


Stains are ideal for enhancing the natural grain of wood and even altering the colour. Like paint, this finishing should only be applied after the lumber is completely dry. When choosing your preferred stain, you should look for products with water repellent properties and UV stabilisers. In addition, compare opaque, semi-transparent and clear stains before making your decision.