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Pressure Treated Wood

How Long Does Pressure-Treated Wood Stay Green?

Green fences aren’t exactly in high demand, but that’s probably what you’ll get with pressure-treated wood. The chemicals used to preserve the wood do cast a green hue, but the good news is: it’s temporary. Read on to learn why pressure-treated wood looks green and how long you’ll have to live with a green fence.

Why Pressure-Treated Wood Looks Green

The pressure treatment process, also known as tanalisation, involves a combination of chemicals designed to protect the wood from insects and rot. The wood is placed in a large pressurized tank to help the chemicals absorb deep into the pores. Since most pressure-treated wood is light in color, it comes out of the ‘bath’ with a green tint to it. This is mostly from the copper in the chemical mixture.

How Long Does Pressure-Treated Wood Stay Green?

Fading times vary based on the species of wood, the amount of sun exposure it gets, the precipitation in the area, and other factors. Some wood may fade to a warm honey color in a matter of weeks, but others may take months to get rid of the green. No matter what though, your wood will eventually go from green to brown to grey as its left outside.

Can You Stain Pressure-Treated Wood?

Yes, you can stain pressure treated wood. In fact, we strongly recommend it. Staining not only preserves the appearance of your wood, but it also protects against cracking, sun damage, wood rot and much more. You can choose from a wide range of fence stain colors, and you should plan to stain your fence about every 3-5 years.

With regards to timing, you’ll need to make sure the wood is dry before staining. A good way to test this is to splash some water on the wood. If it rolls off in beads, it’s not dry enough for staining. If it soaks in like a sponge, the wood is ready to be sealed.

Paint will not protect your wood in the same way stain does. Paint is subject to chipping and cracking, but stain simply fades over time. Stain penetrates deeper into the wood than paint, yielding a longer-lasting finish with better protection. If you want to change the color of pressure-treated wood, opt for some sort of stain.

Will Pressure-Treated Wood Turn Grey?

Without any stain or sealant on the wood, it will eventually turn grey. You can reverse some effects of this with pressure washing, but ultimately the best way to protect your wood is with stain. This will extend the life of your fencing and keep it looking pristine.

How to Protect Your Wood Fence

If you want to preserve your pressure-treated wood fence, follow these steps:

  • Keep landscaping away from the fence. Trim bushes and other plants to create a 6″ clearance around the fencing. This will reduce pests and moisture exposure.
  • Stain your fence on a routine basis. The timing varies, but you should plan to do this every few years.
  • Be careful with your weed eater. This can damage the bottom of the fence if you come at it too aggressively. Practice weed eating techniques before you hack away at the bottom of your fencing.
  • Rake leaf piles away from the fence. These piles can become a breeding ground for pests, and they also trap moisture on the fence pickets.
  • Complete fence repairs in a timely manner. Time will only make these issues worse, so it’s best to catch them at the earliest signs. Do periodic perimeter checks to look for fence damage.

If you’d like a quote for a wood fence installation, contact All Around Fence at (443) 838-9374.


All Around Fence serves the Maryland region with top quality fence installation and fencing products.

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