How to Dry Pressure Treated Wood for the Best Project (Quick and Cheap)

Pressure-treated wood is an excellent choice for projects because the wood will be subjected to dampness and insects, both of which can cause it to rot and deteriorate.

Dry Pressure Treated Wood is treated with a chemical that makes it resistant to rotting and insects.

You obtain these properties due to the manufacturing process that immerses the wood into a solution capable of resisting insects and moisture. Therefore, the wood is wet.

Chemicals have been put on pressure-treated wood to stop it from rotting. It is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture and decks.

Pressure-treated lumber takes two to three months to dry.

In that case, it is necessary to dry pressured-treated wood to increase its capacity and extend its usefulness over time.

What is the difference between Kiln-dried and pressure-treated wood?

Kiln drying and pressure treating wood are two distinct procedures.

Kiln drying eliminates water or moisture from wood cells, while pressure treating wood adds a preservative.

In contrast, pressure-treated wood involves taking the air out of the wood cells and injecting water and fire retardants deep within the wood’s cellular structure to offer long-term protection against termite, insect, and fungal attacks.

Why is drying wood so important?

You face many problems if your wood has a moisture content level above (11%) eleven percent.

It is recommended that exposed wood, like exterior and interior cladding, be treated on the surface by a business with a primer film at least 60 micrometers thick as a dry layer.

This difference in moisture content stays in place to a greater or lesser degree depending on how long it takes between drying and packaging, the temperature and relative humidity of the outside air, and the time between drying and packaging.

The low amount of moisture on the surface keeps microorganisms from growing well.

How to dry pressure-treated wood

Two common methods to dry pressured-treated wood can work on drying the pressure-treated wood, but you must consider budget and time constraints.

The first way is to dry the wood in a kiln. It can dry wood that is 25 mm thick to a moisture level of 18% in about 10 hours.

But if you want to dry wood to 8% moisture, it takes about 28 days in an oven.

The second way to dry wood is with air. Fans can be set up to blow across the surface to help dry the wood even more.

If you want to dry pressure-treated wood naturally, you have to lay it out flat and stack it in a crisscross pattern.

Wood needs time to dry out in the air, so lumber is stacked and spaced out so that all sides of the wood are visible.

Generally, one year is needed for every inch of lumber thickness for the wood to dry enough to work.

Air drying pressured wood

How to air-dry pressure-treated wood? You can stack them and leave them out to dry for at least three months.

Air-dried logs cost up to 30% less than kiln-dried logs because there is no need to make a big investment and pay a lot to run the kiln.


  • It doesn’t use an advanced tool; everyone can do it anywhere if there is a place and time.


  • The drawback is that you need a long time to complete the process.

Kiln drying pressured wood

A kiln is a big oven where the airflow, temperature, and humidity can all be controlled. In a kiln drying process, indirect and direct heat is used to heat the wood.

Kiln drying kills all insects, eggs, mold, and fungi in the wood because of how hot it gets. It also dries out the resin, which would be wet at room temperature if it wasn’t dried.

The long time it takes to weather helps eliminate moisture and other things, making it a much better and safer fuel.


  • Kiln drying is the most efficient and reliable way to dry wood.
  • The wood that comes from the drying process is the most consistent and stable.
  • By getting rid of moisture, kiln drying makes wood furniture lighter.
  • Kiln-drying the wood keeps it from warping or getting small cracks over time. This makes the furniture very durable.
  • Kiln-dried wood can be finished in less time.
  • Kiln drying wood can make it last longer.


  • Kiln drying is also the most expensive method.
  • Kiln dried Needs skilled workers.
  • Most people don’t have a kiln, so they go to a service that only dries wood this way.
  • Due to how quickly the wood dries, it must be checked for flaws like warping, internal cracks, surface cracks, and end splits.

How long does it take for pressure-treated lumber to dry?

The drying time for pressure-treated lumber varies depending on the humidity of the wood, the drying process, and the type.

So many factors play that without understanding them, it’s impossible to say anything.

Unless the wood has been dried for some time, it usually takes at least a month to dry it by air or a kiln.

Some woods even require more than 5 months.

Depending on how long it is stored in the shop, it takes around 3 days to 1 week for you to start staining or painting your pressured treated wood.

If your wood just came out of a kiln oven, it takes two to six days to dry out enough to stain or paint.

Before installing pressure-treated wood, is it necessary to let it dry?

It is installing the wood before completely dry has pros and cons. It isn’t very easy to determine which one delivers the best side.

Those not choosing to kiln-dry the wood are more likely to benefit from installing pressure-treated timber before it dries.

Some woodworkers believe that installing it before it dries and allowing it to dry naturally while it is already in place is the ideal method.

Shrinking and warping due to uneven process becomes a reason against installing before it dries. Your creation could be wrecked when the wood dries entirely due to the shrinkage and warping that occurs when wet wood dries.

What happens if you stain or paint pressure-treated wood too soon?

Stains will not adhere well to pressure-treated wood if applied too soon after it has been stained. The wood will not look like it should, and the stain might wear out faster than it would otherwise.

The sprinkle test can help determine if your wood is dry enough to stain or paint.

You only need a few drops. You can wait and see if the wood soaks them up before moving on.

The wood is not ready for staining if it does not absorb the drops immediately. Longer absorption means the wood still contains a water level that is high enough to hinder the test.

How do you tell if pressure-treated wood has dried out completely?

The water test, a digital moisture meter, or simply touching the treated lumber can all be used to determine whether it is completely dry or not.

Use your eyes and hands, and please wear gloves to inspect the wood to see if it is dry. Is the ground still wet? You can tell right here.

The wood should be sprayed with a little water. If the water has been absorbed, it is dry enough for staining or painting pressure-treated wood.

Water-repellent surfaces can keep timber moist even though they have been cleaned.

How to dry pressure-treated wood without warping

Don’t dry out the wood too much. Over-drying the lumber is possible. It leads to the splitting and cracking of the wood grain.

Before warping, the wood looks equal on the surface, edge, and all spots.

After a while, the water evaporates slowly, and drying starts naturally.

However, the process is uneven because one side might receive more exposure than the rest.

To avoid it, you must work on drying this kind of wood in a single project.

No long time delay and check all sides carefully. For furniture, it is necessary to dismantle it before drying is started.

Is pressure-treated wood waterproof?

Pressure-treated wood cannot resist water. The wood’s chemical preservatives are ineffective against decay.

Because of this, it is susceptible to rot and moisture absorption, and deterioration over time.

Pressure-treated wood, on the other hand, can be waterproofed and sealed to prevent water damage. It is recommended that you waterproof it To extend the life of the wood

Wood that has been pressure-treated is resistant to rot and insect infestations because of the chemicals.

However, the wood will still be able to absorb water even if these chemicals are used. You may seal it without causing any harm.

You need polyurethane or any strong finish to stick directly on the surface for sealant.

The procedure begins with a cleaning and then sanding. The latter is mandatory if your wood is a finished product.

Sanding will smooth the edge, surface, and any spot on the entire wood.

Read the instruction label on the can. Check again the drying time and more guidelines to preserve the leftover.

You may apply several coats to get the extra protective layers.

How long to let pressure-treated wood dry before painting?

Before applying a stain to treated lumber, allow it up to 120 days in the open air. Waiting 60 days seems enough, even less than a month.

You do not over-dry the wood by regularly checking it with the water-based test.

It’s now time to begin painting it properly and carefully. Even if it gets wet or is out in the weather, it won’t break.

Moist and insect-repelling chemicals are infused into each plank.

When using wood that has been utilized, this is recommended. Keep in mind that wood swells when wet and shrinks when dried.

Warping, cracking, and splinting occur as a result of the movement.

Warping can occur if you paint treated lumber too quickly because of its high moisture content. The wood should always be allowed to dry completely before painting.

You won’t have to worry about a peeling paint job or an uneven surface.

Final Thought

For most large-scale drying operations, conventional kiln drying is more effective than air drying.

Choosing the right method to dry pressured woods depends on many factors, depending on your time, cost, and type of woodworking project.

As you know the wood drying methods, we hope you can make a wise decision before you start your projects. Good luck.

Drying Pressured Treated Wood FAQs

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