Fire-treated wood is a great way to ensure your building is protected from fire damage. Although there are common misconceptions associated with most types of treated wood, one that people have about fire-treated wood is that it is more difficult to paint than non-treated wood. For those interested in using fire-treated wood, it will be good to know that you can safely and effectively paint fire-treated wood. There are a few painting methods that are most successful with fire-treated wood, and it can be helpful to also be aware of these if you plan on painting fire-treated wood.
Also, it is important to understand the proper paint application for treated wood so that there is no adverse reaction between the paint and fire-retardant chemicals in the wood — which may compromise the fire-resistant capabilities of the wood. The following is everything to know about painting fire-treated wood, including what fire-treated wood is and how to paint it in the most appropriate way.
What is Fire-Treated Wood?
Fire-treated wood is wood that is more resistant to fire. Fire-retardant chemicals are used to make the wood less flammable by creating a barrier that prevents the wood from catching fire. This makes buildings safer and reduces the risk of severe fire damage to a building if a fire were to occur.
Fire-treated wood is typically more expensive, but it is often worth the investment long-term, especially for buildings that are more vulnerable to fire. Treated wood is similar in appearance to untreated wood, and you can paint treated wood in a similar manner.
According to Section 602 of the International Building Code (IBC), there are five types of construction. To qualify for construction type III or IV — which is considered safer than type V, the building must use fire-treated wood or other non-combustible materials.
Painting Fire-Treated Wood
The most important step when applying paint to fire-treated wood is properly applying the coats of paint. It is also important to ensure all necessary steps are taken to ensure the fire-resistant chemicals are not affected. Several tips to follow when painting fire-treated wood include:
- Follow manufacturer paint coating instructions
- Clean the fire-treated wood before painting
- Test a small area before applying large coats of paint
- Do not use water-based paint or stain
- Test the paint in the actual climate in which the wood will be used
It is important to choose the right paint before applying any coat. You will need to check the flammability of the paint and ideally use a paint that is not water-based. If the manufacturer of the wood or of the paint has any specific instructions, be sure to follow them closely.
Use a Penetrating Oil Stain
A penetrating oil stain is commonly used for outdoor wood applications, such as fences, exterior siding and decks. Penetrating stains are more water-resistant and offer superior protection from UV light. More importantly, penetrating stains do not damage the fire-retardant chemicals in treated wood.
Penetrating stains also look great. Most commonly, they are used to enhance the natural color of the wood, rather than change the natural appearance to a different color. It will take up to 48 hours for the penetrating stain to dry, and the color should appear lighter as it does so. Be sure to wait for the stain to dry completely before moving on to the next steps.
Consider Using a Primer
Wood primer serves a lot of purposes. It can make the paint you apply on top look better and last longer, and ensure each coat of paint goes on the way it should. Additionally, wood primer provides a layer between the treated wood and the paint. This can prevent the chemicals in the wood from becoming compromised by the paint.
Although choosing the right type of paint may be enough to keep the fire-resistant properties of the wood intact, using a primer is a great way to further ensure the wood is properly protected. It is easy to apply, and you can often purchase the paint and the primer together in one set.
Work With Curtis Lumber & Plywood
Choosing the right type of plywood for construction projects is important. There is not a simple answer to the “best” type of plywood, as it depends on the purpose, the environment you are in, and a variety of other factors. At Curtis Lumber & Plywood, you can get the help you need to find the right building materials and making sure your projects go smoothly.
Get in touch with our team at Curtis Lumber & Plywood today to learn more about our fire-treated wood. Our plywood professionals can help you make an informed decision about the best type of wood for your next project and explain the pros and cons of treated wood and untreated wood in greater detail.