Building With Wet Pressure Treated Lumber

Building with wet pressure-treated lumber has been asked many times when people seek to construct various buildings without waiting for the wood to dry up. Being treated with wet pressure is the primary step for wood safety today as treatment remains.

So, yes, you can build with wet treated wood.

However, it has too many moisture components as they only downside to this type of planks.

Thus, when lifting from one position to another, they are heavy and can take too much effort.


What Should I Do Before Working With The Pressure Treated Wood?

wood kiln drying

The first advisable thing to do is to allow your furniture treated with pressure to dry completely.

Kilns will help to dry it more quickly, and if you have one, it will be an extra bonus to try to dry the wood for numerous construction projects.

In normal environmental conditions, a block of timber will normally dry.

It will take months to dry entirely, though.

Most of us can not wait until we work on a timeline, that is why we want to use the treated surface.

Some wood experts recommend that you should buy one that has dried to minimize the risk of purchasing the wrong pieces of timber, which may prove expensive in the long term.

How To Build a Wood Drying Kiln

There are few methods you can do if you want your lumber to dry easily without making it horrified warping:

  1. Use a wood kiln: Dry the lumber with a dehumidifying kiln, but be careful not to break the surface.
  2. Layout the wood flat: Place the lumber in a criss-cross pattern to make it air dry. It will take about two or three days or more. This is better achieved in stable humidity, low moisture, and warm weather conditions.

How Long Does It Take For Pressure Treated Wood To Dry?

treated lumber shortage

It can take quite a while to dry up with unseasoned wood (which is the kind that has not been dried by kiln before purchasing).

We can not measure exactly how many days or weeks, but for months on end.

To be accurate, it can be up to 6 months.

In this situation, though, when to mention about building with wet pressure-treated lumber, it would usually be the already kiln-dried kind.

As a rule of thumb, pressurized wood takes up to 72 hours to dry enough to paint or stain it.

How to Check If Pressure Treated Lumber Is Dry?

working with wet pressure treated wood

That is spraying for water onto the wood. If the board is soaking up the water, everything is dried up and well to go. However, if the water spray flows immediately outside of the board or settles down as water droplets, it needs to be dried for longer.

How Can I Build With Wet Pressure Treated Wood?

First of all, please note that always try to order enough drying time for your pressure-treated wood.

You should let your furniture dry completely before you start applying any further steps of a painting or staining on it.

For outdoor furniture, pressurized lumber is the most suitable one.

Recently, the use of Chromate Copper Arsenate (CCA) which includes compounds that are harmful to human beings and wildlife, has been discontinued by wood treatment firms.

They have instead taken advantage of the use of non-toxical Alkaline Copper Quatemary (ACQ). As ACQ is human and other animals pleasant, it prevents the activity of wood-destructive insects and other microorganisms.

These additives resist timber degradation and rotting.

Wood treated with wet pressure is increasing and very good in this condition as used for construction.

You have to give your thing enough time to dry to avoid stuff like warping.

It could take up to a few weeks before the furniture is finally dried and ready for you to makeover.

Your local environment can also impact the drying speed of the treated timber.

outdoor woodworking projects

There are steps that you need to follow to let your pressurized lumber dry before putting it to use:

Step 1:

The first thing you need to do is finding a flat surface out of the sun and not in water stagnating place.

The region with which you are staying should be sufficient enough to accommodate the length of the boards you are going to dry.

Step 2:

After the first step, put three 4 by 4-inch wooden parts with even spaces on the flat surface.

Make sure the sections are parallel and well balanced so that they can keep the pressurized board that is put on top together.

The first set of lumber pieces on the ground tends to keep the pressure-treated lumber off the ground.

Step 3:

Arrange the first row of timber treated with pressure over the 4x4s, leaving between each board for half an inch.

Step 4:

Placed three thin strips of wood in a location similar to the very first 4x4s on the ground over the top of the pressure lumber handled.

Step 5:

Follow the step above and put the ones under pressure on the top of these strips In the same way as in the initial lines.

Keep repeating until you stack the whole board and arrange the weight of the handled area and the spacer strips.

The wood is piled in the order which provides plenty of space for air to be passing through.

Step 6:

Cover the pile using the tarp to allow openings for wind can flow circularly all over the timber.

Step 7:

Allow the stack to dry for approximately 2 weeks.

To assess how dried they are, apply moisture inspection methods.

2 Quick Ideas Of How To Speed Up The Drying Time Of Pressure Treated Wood

pressure treated lumber

1. Kiln-dried pressure-treated lumber (Kiln drying method – KDAT)

You have two choices: Build your own KDAT board or buy one from the nearest lumber yard.

If you have bought the wood from a standardized lumber yard, they should have already kiln-dried it for you.

This method is called Kiln Dried After Treatment (KDAT wood). All you need to do is waiting for 2 or 3 days before working on it.

However, building your own wet pressure treated wood is obviously cheaper than buying one. Moreover, it is not too difficult to make.

Check out this tutorial form FarmCraft101 to learn how to turn any dehumidified timber into a simple homespun kiln:

2. Wood stacking (Air drying method)

This method is way easier, simpler, and more effective (when being done right) but takes a longer time. However, it will not disappoint you.

Follow the below advice for a perfect do-it-yourself  drying:

  • Paint the end of the boards with latex paint. Put double side-by-side stickers under them to ensure that the check will not go past the second stick. The kind of stickers does not matter much as long as you make them all the same size.
  • Figure on the cutting of appropriate stickers for each board run to lay each 2 inches along the board length. Determine the sticker length by estimating the stack diameter you plan to build. When the stickers are removed, start to stack the boards as illustrated below.

Building With Wet Pressure Treated Wood

  • Make sure the base is leveled but ensure a minor drainage slope. If the ground appears wet, remove a vapor barrier.
  • Only choose straight, faulty boards with no thickness of fewer than 2 inches and a width of under 12 inches. Also, check the stack often. If it dries too slowly, it is maybe the signal of stains or mildew. On the other side, excessive checking means drying too fast.
  • The most accurate method of measuring humidity content is to calculate by a moisture meter. Check both exterior and interior furniture every few weeks.

Commonly Asked Questions About Building With Wet Pressure Treated Lumber

Can i Build With Wet Pressure Treated Wood

1.Why Do I Need To Use Pressure Treated Lumber?

Lumber’s biggest enemy is biological attack: destruction from rain, sun, and wind, as well as damage from termites, fungi, and borers.

Pressure-treated wood is the type that has saturated with organic preservatives to protect from environmental harms and insects.

The board is placed in a depressurized storage stank to extract the air and substitute it with a container.

2. When Can I Use a Wood Sealer For The Pressurized Wood Cover?

Climate change may impact when and how much sealers have to be used.

A premium wood sealer that containing an ultraviolet stabilizer is used to optimize surface protection and keep your deck looking fine.

You can know how to place a sealer on the surface by dripping sweat.

When the water is drained steadily, it’s time to use a sealer.

If the water droplets bead up, your board is protected. Make sure you check it every year.

3. May I Use Pressurized Landscape Timber As a Fence Or Deck Post?

pressure treated lumber sizes

No. Landscape timbers are not recommended for use as a structural post, as they are not treated for ground contact and are not protected with restricted lifetime warranties (in contrast with 4×4 pressurized dimensional wood and 6×6 pressurized timbers).

4. Can Pressure Treater Wood Be Used For Gardening? How About Using For a Picnic Table But Not a Countertop?

Treated timbers are becoming more common and functional to build up gardens and flower beds.

the latest experimental studies have found that the use of preservatives in plants has not been significant.

The additional value of lifetime tolerance is treated wood for tomatoes, floral margins, plantings, retention walls, trellises, and compost bins.

However, picnic tables are usually intended to be used for serving pre-prepared food, while kitchen counters are mostly used to make food and sometimes to cut raw food surfaces.

5. Can I Paint Treated Wood?

Whereas treated wood has a more conveniently protected layer, we do not suggest coloring it.

Pressurized timbers do not need protection from other elements.

But if you really need to decorate, make sure your board is dry before application.


Building with wet pressure treated lumber will still be the topic any time a craftsman talking about the pressure method. When you go finding this in the market, you will find it dried or need a little longer to dry since most have gone through a drying process called kiln dried after treatment (KDAT).

Thus, even when you get a wet one, you do not need to worry about using damp pressure-treated material for building.  

Further Reading: 

Tags: water repellent, deck boards, wood preservative, long time


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