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Best Primer for Treated Wood

Are you after a cozy ambiance? Is your business scouting for some materials to get that comfy look and feel? Are you considering treated wood to take your exterior and interior designing skills to the next level?

If so, go for a woody vibe to achieve that.

Treated wood is becoming a trend these days because of the relaxing aura it creates for any type of property. But of course, like any other material, you need to know the hacks and the right products to use. Search for the best primer for treated wood and perfect paint to go with it. 

A little research will save you time, costs, and of course, elevate the product’s functionality.

Best 3 Primers for Treated Wood in 2020

Now that you are familiar with the basics of priming and painting your treated wood, it’s time to know which primer can help you best in achieving that captivating finish.

1. Rust-Oleumum, Flat Gray Primer

This primer is very flexible as it is suitable for different types of surfaces such as wood, metals, unglazed ceramic, plaster, and more. It’s also ideal for both indoor and outdoor projects, which make it a perfect choice. 

It is user friendly because of its mild odor and water-based formula. You are assured of a smooth and durable finish because of the primer’s resistance to chips, fast-drying feature, not to mention the long-lasting protection it provides, of course. 

The flat finish feature is one of the impressive features of Rust-Oleum. This primer minimizes imperfections, smoothen surfaces in a snap, and provides a one of a kind base for your paints.

2. KILZ Premium Interior and Exterior Primer

KILZ premium primer is known for its stain blocking feature and high flexibility. You can use it on wood, metals, cast or wrought iron, plasters, wallpaper, masonry, etc. Additionally, you may also apply it under a latex paint or over oil-based one.

The primer’s high hide formula blocks previous colors and other stains. An ideal product if you’re after a color change or minimizing a surface imperfection. Nothing to worry about if you’re planning to have it applied indoor or outdoor as this primer is safe and suitable for both. 

It has zero VOC and low odor. A perfect product for high humidity spaces like laundry rooms and bathrooms. Its mildewcide protection will protect the surface from unwanted molds.

3. Rust-Oleum 3554 Zinsser High Hide Cover Stain Primer and Sealer

Rust-Oleum High hide cover and stain primer is oil-based and great in hiding tough stains caused by water, fire, and smoke. It can block tannin bleed and seal exterior wood for good. 

This primer is very flexible when it comes to surfaces as it can work very well with cured plaster, concrete, metal, wood, and used drywalls. It is very efficient for indoor and outdoor, which makes it handy and useful. 

If you’re working on a tight timeline and tricky stains, this primer is an ideal solution to that. Its adaptability to any type of surfaces, range of capabilities, and time efficiency makes it a perfect partner in ensuring a flawless result.

Do I Need to Prime Pressure Treated Wood Before Painting?

Should you head straight for a painting job because it’ll save some costs?

Well, not exactly. This could save you time but not money. Directly painting it could get the work done immediately but never assure a long-lasting and exquisite finish.

So what do you need to do before that paint job? 

Applying the right primer before your chosen brand of paint is a must. Treated wood is known to be choosy about holding on to paint as it has excellent resistance to any type of liquids. Make sure to pick a good brand specially designed for pressure treated one to get the results you wanted. 

At the end of the day, using the perfect pair of primer and paint will do the trick. The smooth application has its importance, too, but without the right materials on hand; this will serve no purpose at all.

How to Apply Primer and Paint on Pressure Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood needs ample time to dry and be 100% ready for painting. Most experts would recommend applying a primer, which should, of course, be compatible with the type of paint you’re using after. Every primer comes with a detailed manufacturer’s instructions, so make sure to read and follow such. 

For paints, you can choose between water-based ones and oil-based polyurethanes. Both are good, but the latter is more advantageous to use on pressure treated woody doors or furniture. Oil-based paint creates a harder finish, provides protection against moisture, stains, etc. and smooth out drips quickly.

Before starting your painting job, it is imperative to ensure that the primer has settled. Treated wood takes time to dry, and you need to wait to achieve desired results. Once dry, you can apply the paint in two coats (at least) for the smooth and pleasant looking finish. 

Generally, the application of the primer and even the paint should be in thin coats to ensure you cover the whole thing evenly. Just make sure to use the best primer for pressure treated wood for proper setting. An excellent paint job will last for years with minimal retouch on the side, of course.

Factors to Consider to Find the Best Primer for Treated Wood:

Primers are critical in any painting job, especially when using treated wood. But this doesn’t mean that you can pick any available and affordable primer on hand. You also have to consider some essential factors to achieve the results you wanted.


The first thing you need to consider is your primary purpose — why you are applying a primer to your treated wood.
If you are after blocking watermarks, smoke, tannin, grease, etc. to avoid bleeding your topcoat, then it is best to go for a stain killing primer. High-quality latex or oil-based primer will do if you are using a clean and in good condition treated wood.


You must get something that could quickly adapt to any type of paint, surface, and project. Opting to an easy to use and premixed one is ideal, but it’s also very important that the components of the product are flexible.


Primers are mostly formulated to go well with anything instantly. But one factor you need to check is if it’s safe to use in occupied homes and workspaces. Treated woods are also utilized indoor, so choose something with zero VOC, mild odor, and is easy to clean up with soap and water.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to use a primer for pressure-treated wood?

Primers can be skipped if you are using paint in very good condition. However, using one is always recommended, as this helps ensure uniform and flat finish. Furthermore, applying primers can block watermarks, grease, smoke, tannin, and other stains that can possibly bleed the topcoat.

2. What type of primer can I use for polished and new wood?

If your wood isn’t stained at all, then using a latex-based or oil-based primer is ideal. Both products can improve adhesion, increase durability, and make your paint look exquisite.

Doing a little bit of research will help you determine the best one. Check on some reliable reviews and take them as a simple guide.

3. Can you paint treated-wood immediately?

This is a wood that is smooth, stain-free, and paint ready. With this type, you can go with the painting job promptly. But if you’re after a long-lasting and great-looking result, then applying fast-drying latex-based or oil-based primer is highly suggested—some dry as quickly as 30 minutes. 

In unusual cases, depending on the resistance of your wood, primers would take days or even weeks to dry. It is best if you can give it ample time for an exquisite outcome.

4. What is the proper way to paint treated wood?

You need to start with a thorough dusting, drying, applying the best primer, and finishing it with good quality paint. However, you can skip the cleaning part, but the travel time from your supplier may have collected some stains and dust. 

Once you’re done with the first two steps, you can go ahead with the priming and painting. Ideally, the brand of primer and paint should complement each other. Also, both should be done in two coats to achieve a smooth finish

Pressure-treated woods are beautiful pieces to incorporate in your interior and exterior styling. But you have to be very keen on remodeling it, especially the painting part. Consider using the best primer to go with your pain and get satisfied with the outcome.