Painting (not Staining) Pressure Treated Lumber

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I am removing the boards on an old back porch (dimensions about 4X8.) The existing boards are true 1" thick 5" wide tongue and groove that date back about 60 years. The porch is basically a "farmers' porch" with a roof but no enclosure. Having examined several options including the use of T&G fir flooring, I have decided to use 6" decking boards as these have exactly the right thickness and the 10' lengths that are best for the dimensions of the porch. (The boards will need to be cut to 49 1/2 inches. I wish they could be 48" but they're not.) Ideally I'd like non-pressure treated, but try to find them! These need to be painted, not stained, to match the charcteristics of the house, built in the 20's. I know that PT is not even the best for stain, but is there any hope for paint? Does anyone know any one who has done this, what they did, and if they had any success? My other thought would be to use composite and paint that, but I don't know if I'd gain anything and it would be much more expensive. Any ideas are warmly appreciated. Thank you! Frank
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I have used opaque latex stains on decks. Works fine. I have also <gasp> painted PT stock with latex paint. In both cases, the wood hadweathered for about a year. Don't know if that makes a difference.
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Most PT lumber comes pretty wet from the supplier. Paint goes best on dry wood, un-weathered wood (best adhesion)
so what you got is conflicting requirements......PT comes weather, allowing to "weather" (really alllowing it to dry) gives better adhesion than wet timber, weathering (UV exposure) degrades surface wood fibers (reduces adhesion)
Best of all worlds....dry PT stock but good luck finding it :(
Or you could just install wet & let dry...since your porch is covered, depending on exposure, you might not get much UV exposure.
cheers Bob
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PT wood even stained expands and contracts way too much. After a couple years it will look HORRIBLE. PT does all sorts of wierd stuff l;ike barber poll. The treatment makes it much more likely to expand and contract
Have a family friend who replaced their deck this year because their dad painted the PT wood. the wood was good physically but appearance YUK.
Solid stain is a much better choice.
Its my strong belief one day PT will be treated like asbestos with guys in moon suits taking it away along with the soil under the deck
presently kids shouldnt get under PT wood because the dirt is contaminated with chemicals.
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HB-
Please explain
......The treatment makes it much more likely to expand and contract ..............
PT treatment can change fundamental behavior of the wood?
Don't get me wrong.....I'm not a fan of PT but my experiment with PT has been that PT'd DougFir is dimensionally stable but the more typical HemFir that ships nearly dripping wet, twists & bows as it dries.
Treaters prefer the HemFir because it treats quicker (at least that's what I was told)
When used as mud sill & anchored in place it tends to behave itself
OP-
We used to stack & sticker green framing timber (2x's & 4s's) put a cluster of 20" box fans on the end of the stack & blow air though it 24/7 for a couple weeks to get the moisture content down near 12% This was indoors in SoCal....YMMV depending on local weather.
PT'd HemFir would really dry qucikly but I's hate to see the resulting bows & twists. We ordered about 20% extra on our framing materail so we could dump the un-usable ones.
cheers Bob
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Well seemingly all the PT wood around here FOREVER twists, bends, expands and contracts a LOT. About 5 years ago I installed a PT wood railing on some new concrete steps.
The railing went in the fall I waited nearly a year before solid color staining at the carpenters suggestion. Was ging to sell hoime wanted everything perfect.
railing split repeatedly, had to stain repeatedly.
told the PT chemicals make the wood less dimensionally stable, espically in a area with freezing weather
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with oil, painted with latex, and never, ever had a problem. Yes, I wait at least 6 months to prime and paint a new install, but the PT has always lasted as long as the regular clapboards. No twisting, shifting, etc. Are you putting in enough nails/screws/fasteners? I just truly don't know what everyone is complaining about. My 25 year old deck looks just great, and it is 100% PT. I paint it every 2 years with milk (shaker) paint, and while it fades after 2 years, it doesn't bubble, peel, flake, etc. I just don't get the problem with PT.
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On Jun 2, 6:48 pm, <h> wrote:

It's a combination of things, I think, h. As with all other wood products, 25-yr old PT isn't the same as new product. Another is the naive belief by many that a 4x4 or 6x6 green piece of wood cut from a twig w/ the core running through it can/should dry completely dry w/o checking and/or cracking. Of course, in the real world, it ain't a' gonna' happen. The last is few have the patience to wait for the wood to dry thoroughly as you apparently have before trying to paint...
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You're consistently an "over-reacter", Haller... :(
Observation of reasonable precautions in direct ingestion/exposure is warranted, but to the best of my knowledge there is no direct indication of any serious problem from common exposure to PT lumber in construction nor play equipment, for example. The worst I've seen expounded upon is the possible relatively minor reaction to splinters and some burning when handling wet material during its use.

No...
Treaters prefer whatever is available locally. Your experience in CA reflects the proximity to western species. In the south/east, most commonly PT is yellow pine.

When restrained in a strait jacket, so do most violent people... :)
...
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well lets see you arent allowed to cut PT wood at a lumberyard because the dust can be hazardous
you supposed to keep kids away from the underside of decks because the chemicals like arsenic leach out and get concentrated in the ground. Much like LEAD, and little kids are espically vulnerable to the chemicals...
Note PT wood has been reformulated because of these hazards and before you say its been used for years so its safe so was lead in paint, asbestos in all sorts of things like brake shoes.
Today guys in moon suits remove both lead and asbestos:)

Hey years ago a regular 4 by 4 was fairly stable, barber polling a rare event. With PT wood thats to be expected. Same for large cracking. The home I sold the buyer asked his inspector since the 4 by 4 railing posts had large cracks and splits.
Inspector said thats normal for PT.
Incidently stain even solid color works well, paint doesnt really absorb, and on PT is a waste it cant be maintained to look good:(
Go ahead and paint it, in a few years you will be asking about how to strip it and stain, but thats impossible once its been painted
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I've never seen that although there's very little reason to cut it anyway. But, otoh, EPA/OSHA has also listed "ordinary" wood dust as carcigenic and to be avoided in the work place so it's quite possible (even probable?) any restrictions you've seen are in response to that as opposed to strictly related to ACQ-treated lumber...

Well, that's one of the common-sense items I alluded to although like the lead and asbestos the risks for other than the extreme cases tend to be far overblown. Like, sure, it's not good for a 2-yr old to be consuming quantities of lead-based paint off a peeling windowsill next to the crib in a slum tenement, but realistically, what's the ingestion path for the average youngster of your acquaintance?

Same as for the arsenic-based PT vis a vis ACQ -- can you find a case documented of a serious exposure-related incident of a kid on a playground swingset or similar? I don't recommend making toothpicks or toy blocks out of it, but then again, walnut sawdust is highly toxic to horses and some people are pretty allergic to it as well.

Direct work is far, far different than casual exposure. And, in most cases, the requirements for handling both of the above really far exceed that required for adequate protection. There's a whole industry grown up feeding itself over and therefore, promoting the hysteria to maintain their revenue stream.

The phenomenon is _not_ new and is related to how the wood is dried and subsequently handled, not the pressure treatment per se. It is compounded somewhat by the use of lesser quality timber in general owing to higher demand and the non-existence of old-growth timber to harvest any longer (at least for construction grade lumber). If you took the same stick of wood and didn't PT it, but didn't dry it under controlled conditions either, it would warp and contraction crack as it dried virtually the same as if it were PT'ed.

I can't say as I have personally tried to paint any of the new ACQ so can't realistically comment on whether there is any effect or not. I actually rather doubt that if it were dried thoroughly _first_ and the surface prepared that it wouldn't hold paint nearly as well as the old which I have quite a bit of painted here that hasn't been any more problem than the rest of the house/barn adjacent to it. The key is imo, the "thoroughly" part -- non-kiln-dried PT takes a long time to dry on it's own and most people don't wait that long. Then, most also don't take the time to surface prep including a sanding and proper primer, etc., to give the paint a fighting chance...
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Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA): Consumer Safety Information Sheet: Inorganic Arsenical Pressure-Treated Wood CCA Table of Contents
General Information Alternatives Guidance Documents Risk Assessments & Reviews Sealant Study Technical Guidance Use Cancellations Report an Incident Contacts for CCA Information For More Information
[Including Chromate Copper Arsenate (CCA), Ammoniacal Copper Arsenate (ACA), and Ammoniacal Copper Zinc Arsenate(ACZA)]
Consumer Information:
This wood has been preserved by pressure-treatment with an EPA- registered pesticide containing inorganic arsenic to protect it from insect attack and decay. Wood treated with inorganic arsenic should be used only where such protection is important.
Inorganic arsenic penetrates deeply into and remains in the pressure- treated wood for a long time. However, some chemical may migrate from treated wood into surrounding soil over time and may also be dislodged from the wood surface upon contact with skin. Exposure to inorganic arsenic may present certain hazards. Therefore, the following precautions should be taken both when handling the treated wood and in determining where to use or dispose of the treated wood.
Use-Site Precautions:
All sawdust and construction debris should be cleaned up and disposed of after construction.
Do not use treated wood under circumstances where the preservative may become a component of food or animal feed. Examples of such sites would be use of mulch from recycled arsenic-treated wood, cutting boards, counter tops, animal bedding, and structures or containers for storing animal feed or human food.
Only treated wood that is visibly clean and free of surface residue should be used for patios, decks and walkways.
Do not use treated wood for construction of those portions of beehives which may come into contact with honey.
Treated wood should not be used where it may come into direct or indirect contact with drinking water, except for uses involving incidental contact such as docks and bridges. Handling Precautions:
Treated wood should not be burned in open fires or in stoves, fireplaces, or residential boilers because toxic chemicals may be produced as part of the smoke and ashes. Treated wood from commercial or industrial use (e.g., construction sites) may be burned only in commercial or industrial incinerators or boilers in accordance with state and Federal regulations. CCA-treated wood can be disposed of with regular municipal trash (i.e., municipal solid waste, not yard waste) in many areas. However, state or local laws may be stricter than federal requirements. For more information, please contact the waste management agency in your state, which you can find at http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/stateweb.htm.
Avoid frequent or prolonged inhalation of sawdust from treated wood. When sawing, sanding, and machining treated wood, wear a dust mask. Whenever possible, these operations should be performed outdoors to avoid indoor accumulations or airborne sawdust from treated wood.
When power-sawing and machining, wear goggles to protect eyes from flying particles.
Wear gloves when working with the wood. After working with the wood, and before eating, drinking, toileting, and use of tobacco products, wash exposed areas thoroughly.
Because preservatives or sawdust may accumulate on clothes, they should be laundered before reuse. Wash work clothes separately from other household clothing.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

<<More snippage>>
Yeah, it MAY cause a certain problem. Take precautions.
Having worked with CCA (which is not made any more due to the threat of junk lawsuits and not because the EPA or anyone else recommended the production be halted) for the last 30 years, I believe that I have a certain knowledge about its use. I can guarantee that I have been exposed to more CCA than ANYBODY that is exposed to casual contact. I have had months where I did nothing but saw and install PT lumber on huge decks, pool decks, etc. I did not (nor was it recommended at the time) use any dust masks, gloves, etc. I am fine. Just had a checkup when I turned 52 and everything is great (except for the getting old part).
This is one of those overblown, paranoid delusions that make some people a lot of money and many people very afraid.
Take precautions and don't worry about it. The newer stuff is supposed to be less dangerous, so you can probably eat it.
NOTE: I do not condone, nor recommend eating ACQ treated lumber. It tastes terrible.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
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well some people chain smoke for a lifetime and die at 90 of old age, while others with less exposure get emphsema, heart disease, cancer, and die young from smoking./
one persons report does not determine safety of anything.
In 1985 my mom wanted a raised bed for growing vegetables. after looking into PT I built it frome reguar wood, concerned of PT chemical leaching into food. It was considered PERFECTLY SAFE at that time. by 1995 PT was out for growing around veggies.
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I've been around even longer than Robert and I don't recall ever hearing a recommendation for _other than_ treated lumber for garden beds. That said, of course, who knows how many millions of old (or even new) creosote-treated ties have been used for the very same purpose? Or, of course, any of the treated lumber (pressure or not) has also been used whether recommended or not by millions for garden beds I'm sure.
Can you find even one actual citation of a confirmed illness or serious complications attributable to CCA? In several previous discussion like this no one has yet provided that firm confirmation of there being a real problem. With all the carpenters and other construction workers like Robert who have handled the stuff for years, it would seem the epidemiological evidence would be quite readily available if it were really a hazard, yet as near as I can tell, it doesn't exist. That pretty much tells me the "problem" isn't a real problem.
Cigarette smoke, otoh, _does_ have a strong correlation w/ morbidity statistics that is irrefutable and widely available. "Carcinogenic", otoh, in the sense given by EPA tests on lab rats wherein they're exposed to direct contact w/ the substance at dosage levels that are simply unobtainable in real world scenarios isn't particularly useful for judging actual risk -- in fact, it leads to the ridiculousness one sees in CA where virtually everything is labelled as a risk of some sort.
All I"m asking for is a little more perspective on actual vis a vis perceived risks here. If you can find the epidemiology data, I'll be right in line...
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well at the time 1985 a good friend went all wierd that PT for veggies was fine I finally told him thats what I did to shut him up. maybe 10 years later he called after hearing my mom had cancer and apologized for recommending PT, he said the chemicals were found to cause cancer. I assured him it was plain wood not PT
I will google this but what we do know the chemicals were changed because of health concerns. that validation right there to some sort of trouble. I THINK some states and countries have baned it but not certain....
kinda reminds me of lead and asbestos before they reached critical mass:)
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I realize this was backwards of what I intended -- I meant it to read as follows--
I've been around even longer than Robert and I don't recall ever hearing a recommendation for _other than_ NONtreated lumber for garden beds. ...
...

Well, I unless this "good friend" happened to be also be an ag extension agent or someone trained in epidemiology or other relevant medical areas I don't know that I'd think that a qualified recommendation. In my previous post I was thinking of recommendations for garden plots from places such as university ag extension or similar organizations, NOT home/garden improvement shows on TV or such...I can believe a bunch of them probably did suggest its use.

Not necessarily. I've not researched the rules changes for CCA/ACQ extensively but often as in the case of some pesticide bans there has been far more lobbying from only a few special interest groups than real widespread science-based justification for the bans. I wouldn't be all surprised to find a few very vociferous "socker-mom" types were the driving force behind the whole thing.

Again, the biggest problems there were really litigation-based as opposed to risk-based. Not that lead ingestion isn't a problem, but the magnitude of the "cure" far outweighed the magnitude of the problem. Asbestos certainly was/is an industrial hazard, but again, it could have been controlled/contained far more easily and in a less costly manner than what ended up happening. Again, much of it was litigation based as opposed to widespread actual hazard. Other than occupational exposure, most of the other uses of the products themselves were actually quite benign.
--


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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I watched the whole thing in real time, and I can assure you that although many groups were lobbying and threatening lawsuits, they could NEVER get the EPA or anyone else to label CCA treated lumber as dangerous. The companies that produce it, however, saw the onslaught of lawyers and potential litigation. They decided it would be cheaper to change the formula rather than fight. There is alot of evidence about this for those that don't have a dog in the hunt and weren't paying attention at the time it was going on.
As dpb said, do some research and try to find a single proven case of harmful effects caused by exposure to CCA. You won't find it. Except for a few idiots that burn it and are harmed by the smoke, there is no evidence that it has harmed people by normal exposure to the lumber.

Kinda reminds me of asbestos, now. It is considered to be a potential threat to mankind, but it is really only a threat to people that are exposed to it for years on a daily basis. Such as the workers that are being paid huge amounts of money to remove it from our schools and workplaces. If you are really afraid of it, you should talk to experts on the subject that will tell you just how ridiculous it is to be bothered by it at all.
Remember VA tile? The commercial and residential tile that was in every grocery store and every kitchen floor for decades? Ever wonder what VA stands for? Vinyl asbestos is the correct answer. How many children crawled around on that floor while their mothers were shopping or cooking? How many people do you know that are suffering from asbestos exposure (asbestiosis). None, unless you know someone that worked in the asbestos manufacturing industry for at least a decade.
Instead of just believing all of the sky is falling rhetoric by the nanny state protectors, it might be a good idea to look into the real harmful effects of things before you start warning everyone about them.
Those of us that ARE exposed to these substances on an almost daily basis HAVE to find out the real facts about them because it affects our health and longevity. Now, who are you going to trust on these issues,...someone that once heard or read something, or someone whose health depends on the facts about them?
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
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I can't wait for this to dry out. What about the idea of using composite? (Thanks all for your help!)
wrote:

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You can buy kiln-dried treated lumber. Of course, I've seen lumber yards that then store it outside in the weather so it gets soaked again, so you have to be sure that it has been subsequently handled as dried. But, as others have said, painting before dry is futile (as, of course, it is for non-treated ). If you haven't already started the project, what I normally like to do w/ PT is to buy it in time to let it dry before using. It does take, as someone else noted, care in handling to be dried to control movement, but once done it will be reasonably stable, particularly where it doesn't get much direct exposure to water.
If you go that route, best results will be to paint before installation and to use a fine-tooth crosscut saw to make the ends as neat a cut as possible, then soak them up really well w/ the paint.
As in most cases, the preparation for painting will be important as well -- a "scuff" sanding is advised to provide a good surface for adherence -- the planer tends to hammer the surface.
Whether the composite decking material is paintable, I'm not sure on all brands whether it is recomended or not, check the manufacturers' information. I know Aztek is, I'm not so sure about Trex, for example.
I'm guessing you're talking of the 5/4 decking as the right thickness? And if you're talking about present decking you're not planning on replacing the T&G but just a butted spacing? For a covered porch floor, I'd be tempted to order the fir despite the price and use a solid stain. What material was the original?
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