A.Wood finishes expert Bill Feist responds: Most pressure-treated wood sold in lumberyards is treated with CCA (chromated copper arsenate). Although this type of pressure-treated wood is paintable, be aware that painting is possible only when the wood has been cleaned (using soapy water and a stiff bristle brush, followed by a clear water rinse), and allowed to dry thoroughly. Getting the wood dry can sometimes be a problem, because treated wood is often sold very wet from the treating process. Depending on the climate and drying conditions, it may be necessary to dry the wood for several weeks before painting.

An exterior all-acrylic latex house paint would be the best choice for painting pressure-treated wood. Exterior acrylic latex house paints can normally be used on many different substrates — aluminum, galvanized steel, masonry, concrete, brick — as well as pressure-treated wood and fiber-cement siding. However, always check the label on the...

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