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Thread: Any way to easily speed up pressure treated wood drying to be able to paint it

  1. #1
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    Any way to easily speed up pressure treated wood drying to be able to paint it

    Long story short, I've been building a small awning to keep rain off my solar inverters. I had built headers, braces and rafters out of some cedar I had lying around, and had painted it to match the house.

    When installing it, I realized that I had cut the ledger too short, and it has to be replaced. Not having any more cedar, I bought a couple of 2x6 pressure treated boards, which are pretty sopping wet.

    They're outside now, a little in the sun and wind (we get lots here), on stickers with bricks on them, but I've been reading that it will take months for them to be dry enough to paint.

    It has to be painted the house color due to SWMBO.

    Is there an easy way to speed up this process that doesn't involve building a solar kiln? I guess I could install it and paint it later, but that's on a ladder leaning over the inverters, so not my preference. And parts would be painted, and parts not painted.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  2. #2
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    I have made a quick kiln by stacking and stickering lumber on a plastic sheet and rolling the plastic into a bag then putting a fan on one end. A heat source speeds things up. I small electric heater placed behind the fan is fairly safe but not something that I leave un-attended. We have a commercial dog grooming hair dryer that I use to blow into a lumber drying bag. I use 100% acrylic solid color stain and get good results on treated lumber that is far from dry. If the visible wetness on the surface of the wood has disappeared the 100% acrylic will stick well.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
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    I don't know of any effective quick-dry method for PT that ends up with a straight board without checks. In your situation I think I would go buy some KD cedar or you may be able to find KDAT PT (kiln dried after treatment).
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  4. #4
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    Let it dry a bit before cutting to size. Make your project and let it air dry in place for a few months and be ready to paint. Forcing it to dry fast is asking for the wood to protest. Just don't leave a hand plane on it over night, been there done that.

  5. #5
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    I will try an experiment with a fan. I have some fresh treated out in this rainstorm we are having. Two or three days of steady air flow and I will put on acrylic. The wood will be no where near dry other than on the surface. I have observed that getting the 100% acrylic on sooner rather than later helps with checking, warping, and splitting, because it slows the process down.
    Treated yellow pine is problematic regardless of how you handle it. Kiln dried after treating is a good idea. I have had a thought to kiln dry first. cull out all of the warped and split boards, then pressure treat the select wood. and kiln dry again (a fantasy).

    .IMG_0509.jpg IMG_0508 2.jpg Here is the general idea and some wet treated.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 04-29-2022 at 3:40 PM. Reason: images
    Best Regards, Maurice

  6. #6
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    The best solution for this is to purchase what's called kiln dried pressure treated material. It can be a little harder to find and is likely more expensive, but...it's dried similar to other KD construction lumber after treatment and can be finished far sooner with a lot less shrinkage.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    The best solution for this is to purchase what's called kiln dried pressure treated material. It can be a little harder to find and is likely more expensive, but...it's dried similar to other KD construction lumber after treatment and can be finished far sooner with a lot less shrinkage.
    Thanks for the info, Jim. I wish I had asked before purchasing.

    I left the wood out on my back sidewalk for 2 days, in the afternoon Florida sun (mostly shaded) and a windy day. The boards are on stickers, with weights on them in appropriate places to hopefully keep them straight while drying out. On day 2, I put a fan on it. If I had done this a week ago, we had no rain here for weeks. Yesterday afternoon and today - we're gonna get a little wet, so time to bring the boards inside.

    It's inside my climate controlled workshop now, with a fan on it. I'm likely going to have to install it, wait a few months, then get on a ladder and paint it. Not my preferred method. I should have driven to my lumber supplier to just get some cedar and jointed/planed it perfectly straight, painted it, and been done with it.

    Maurice - looking forward to the results of your test. Thank you so much for doing that.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  8. #8
    I haven’t tried this but a vacuum pump and bag would speed things up. Others with experience with vacuum presses might be able to advise on the merits of this approach.

    On further review, this may not be a great idea. Volatile sap condensing in vacuum pump can damage the pump.
    https://www.qualityvak.com/anote10h.html
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 05-03-2022 at 9:05 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    I will try an experiment with a fan.

    .IMG_0509.jpg IMG_0508 2.jpg Here is the general idea and some wet treated.
    The 4 x 4 in the plastic bag with fan lost .08 KG in 3 days. it does not feel cool to the touch, two tiny hairline cracks have appeared. I ran the 1500 watt heater for 3 hours on sat. and sun. mornings.

    The 4 x 4 left sitting indoors lost .03 KG and feels cool to the touch.

    I put Olympic One 100% acrylic paint and primer on the samples. It took longer to dry on the wetter wood. After 4 hours the "paint" on both withstands the tape test, the abrasion test, and the abrasion followed by tape test.
    It's desperate measures, Get it built, Get it painted, Get paid, Get home. It is treated yellow pine it will need paint again soon no mater what. Cool to the touch is my marker for too wet to paint.

    IMG_0515.jpg
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 05-03-2022 at 8:14 PM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  10. #10
    You're over thinking it. You're not building furniture.

    Sticker the boards for a week or two if they are really wet they will lose a lot of moisture quite quickly.

    Its an outdoor application, right? 20% moisture is still ok.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    Its an outdoor application, right? 20% moisture is still ok.
    To build, yes. To paint, no...and that's what the OP is concerned with.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    The attic of my house makes a good kiln for drying wood. Put the wood up there with a fan and it dries pretty quickly.

  13. #13
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    While building out house we had to dry a bunch of green cedar in our garage. Used a couple of large dehumidifiers and frequently emptied the water extracted. Took a couple of weeks before they were ready for painting.

  14. #14
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    I've had a fan on it, indoors in my climate controlled workshop for about a week now. MC running about 22% now (was >30% on arrival).

    I'll likely install it outdoors in a few days, and let it acclimate for at least a month, then paint. It would be nice to get that done before rainy season here, so it will be close.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  15. #15
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    Is there an easy way to speed up this process that doesn't involve building a solar kiln? I guess I could install it and paint it later, but that's on a ladder leaning over the inverters, so not my preference. And parts would be painted, and parts not painted.
    No - there's really no practical way to speed up any part of the process. This is one of those thing that only time can do.
    Even kiln dried pressure treated will need a month of exposure.
    Rush this part & you'll end up having to sand off the blistering and peeling stuff you apply every year for the next 20 years.
    Believe me - if you hate getting on that ladder now, having to do that every year or 2 for the next 20 years isn't going to improve the experience.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

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