About a month ago we built a small 8 foot handicap ramp out of pressure
treated plywood. Didn't treat it with anything. We had a lot of rain.
Noticing a long of cracking going on along the vertical plane.
Also made side barriers using plywood. The porous sides face horizontally.
I'm getting a bit of warping already. Need to seal off the top. I have
some door weather strips I'm going to seal off the openings.
Found a can of Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane in the cellar.
I was thinking of spraying it over all the surfaces. Probably give it a few
coats. Would this be the way to go or should I apply something else and/or
use a brush?
New pressure treated is wet, maybe 40%-50% moisture, wood need below 15%
to varnish. It can take months to dry, the only way to know is buy a
moisture meter. Varnish is not for pressure treated, stain is. Cracking
is normal for pressure treated, but your plywood was a mistake as its
interior grade im sure. Wait till its dry and stain it, forget the
I built a new floor for an old truck bed out of pressure treated 3/4
plywood and covered it with many coats of spar varnish. Within months
it had all yellowed, cracked, and peeled. There has to be something
more suited to the application.
Charlie S. wrote:
A varnish is no good for a deck. Its a lot of maintenance. Also,
pressure treated lumber is very wet and will crack, split and warp as it
dries. Normally for a deck, once it dries out. We recommend a
penetrating oil like Penofin or Sikkens. Plywood is terrible outside
(Not as bad as particle board) but will de-laminate when it gets wet.
Even "exterior" plywood will do this eventually.
I'm not sure the best think to do for your ply. Replace it with a
suitable material would be best. Aside from that. A good exterior primer
and paint may extend its life the best. For the pressure treated the
sikkens is available as a sold color stain that could be tinted to match
or compliment your color choice for the deck stain.
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