Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood for Wall Studs? Easy Tips to Handling Pressure Treated Wood

Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood for Wall Studs?Pressure treated wood is common for framing and other interior applications. It is usually an excellent option because of its superior rot and insect resistant qualities. However, you must avoid using the lumber on countertops and cutting boards as it has potentially toxic chemicals. Also, you need to answer some questions such as can you use pressure treated wood for wall studs? Such questions will help you get the best and stay safe while using pressure treated wood.

So, yes. You can use pressure-treated wood for wall studs. And even though there are concerns about using treated lumber for interior applications, there is no danger if you use it indoors. However, you need to ensure that you do not use the treated wood on surfaces with food contact. Also, you can use pressure-treated wood where the frames touch the foundation.

That said, let us dive into a more detailed discussion about pressure treated wood and wall studs. Please keep reading for more insightful information regarding the use of treated wood:

What Does a Wall Stud Do?

First, we need to know what a wall stud is before we can understand what it does. So, a wall stud is a vertical two-by-inch beam that supports the home’s frame. You will find it behind the drywall, approximately 16 to 24 inches apart.

In addition, wall studs form the wall’s framework and are thus an essential element during building and renovation projects.

On top of that, the studs are usually sturdy and thick metal or wood that secures screws on the wall. Therefore, if you want structural support, you have to use them. However, you will find variations in how constructors frame walls and locate the studs.

Also, these studs come in handy when you need a solid foundation for shelves and cabinet installation on walls. So, many homes and non-masonry buildings depend on them to enhance construction stability.

How Do You Tell If There Is a Stud In the Wall?

Knowing what a wall stud is and identifying it in the wall are two different things. You can easily tell a stud when you see one lying on the ground. But, identification becomes more complex when it is in the wall.

Wall studs are essential in many other scenarios apart from building in houses. For example, they are useful in trim work, repairing drywall, installing wall-mounted appliances or fixtures, and fixing electrical outlets. So, it would help if you learned where the studs are located as it helps find a solid place to drive your nails.

In addition, you need wall studs to hang decor in your house effectively. Drywall can easily crumble and does not support heavyweight. Thus, you need to identify the studs before you make any heavy hangings on the wall.

Fortunately, you don’t need to tear down the drywall in a stud hunt anytime you are doing an installation project. We have an electronic device that helps to get these attachments_the stud finder.

These small devices are handheld and show where the studs are as you slide them along the finished wall. Also, they scan the wall density and thus, give a beep alert when it senses a stud. Therefore, you need to use them with a marker to create visible marks on wall regions with any solid element underneath.

Can I Attach Drywall to Pressure Treated Wood?

It is okay to use drywall with pressure treated wood. Besides, it helps you to create a sturdy drywall foundation. However, ensure that you maintain a secure fit with the vertical runner neds between the ceiling and the floor.

On top of that, it would be best to avoid drywall screws in treated lumber. So, be sure to look at ASTM codes that specify the most suitable fasteners for ACQ-treated wood. Also, hot-dip galvanized or stainless steel anchors, fasteners, and hardware will do an excellent job.

Even so, although galvanized screws will work with treated woos, ensure that you do not use them with pressure-treated lumber in contact with the soil, in areas with salt content in the air, or high-moisture regions.

When Should I Use Pressure Treated Lumber?

Wood is an excellent material for construction projects. Moreover, modern constructors design magnificent structures from it. But, we have to emphasize what your project needs, especially if you are considering pressure-treated lumber.

Pressure-treated wood offers enhanced durability for construction projects and does not deteriorate as natural wood. Also, the wood comes in handy in regions where the is the risk of excessive moisture. So, if the wood will come into contact with moisture, you need to consider treated lumber.

You need to use treated wood when you use the following materials.

  • Retaining walls, which hold back soil and support landscaping projects. 
  • Beams and posts that are underground or in contact with the ground.
  • Wood touching masonry or concrete as these materials are porous.

Additionally, it would be best to get pressure-treated lumber for landscaping projects and outdoor decks because of its durability. However, a ground-contact application will not last long. Thus, ensure that you apply a sealant.

Are there any precautions when using pressure-treated wood? Yes. There are. Experts advise that how you use the wood determines the treatment it needs. For example, if you use it for indoor projects, it would be best to consider slightly treated or normal wood. 

On the other hand, consider extra tips on lumber treatment if you want to engage in exterior projects.

In addition, the chemicals in treated wood consist of pesticides. Therefore, ensure that you get gloves and face protection when cutting the wood. You can also paint the exposed wood surface with a water-repellent paint, finish pr stain. This move protects your skin if you need to kneel or lean on the sides.

Can You Build With Wet Pressure Treated Wood?

It is possible to build with wet pressured treated wood? Any wood, wet or dry, creates crafts and structures. But, even so, if the lumber is too wet, you will have slippage issues. For example, your tools will be spinning off the surface.

On top of that, the wood will shrink after drying. This scenario will mess up your measurements as the board shortens.

Should You Let Pressure Treated Wood Dry Before Using?

Yes. You should allow treated wood to dry before you use it. Moisture causes the lumber to expand, which is not a good prerequisite for staining or painting.

Luckily, some techniques help you to dry the wood without exposing it to warping. You can:

  • Use a homemade kiln.
  • Store the lumber in a dry place and allow it to dry naturally.

So, how do you know that the wood is dry and ready for us? Use the sprinkle test.

The simple procedure involves sprinkling water on the wood’s surface. Then, you check whether the wood absorbs it in 10 minutes or less. If the moisture disappears into the wood in less than ten minutes, you are good to begin painting or staging.

On the other hand, if the water remains on the wood’s surface, it would be appropriate to give it more time to dry.

What Happens If You Paint Pressure Treated Wood Too Soon?

Treated wood has various chemicals that protect it from potentially destructive pests. However, you need to stain it or add an extra coat of paint to preserve it from harsh weather conditions.

That said, remember that if you do not prepare the wood sufficiently, the stain or paint will not adhere properly to the wood’s surface. Therefore, the lumber will not get sufficient coverage, and you will have to restrain or repaint later.

So, ensure that you wait for the wood to dry before painting or staining. You can also prepare the wood by priming and cleaning.

What Happens If Pressure Treated Wood Gets Wet?

If pressure-treated wood gets wet, it is ineffective for staining, painting, finishing, varnishing, and waxing. This scenario occurs because the protective formulas cannot adhere to the lumber’s surface or penetrate deeply into the wood fibers. Therefore, you need to first dry the treated wood before using it in any way.

In addition, wet treated lumber shrinks about ¼ inch once it dries. Therefore, it will cause a gap on the deck if there is excess moisture in the wood fibers. Luckily, you can sort the issue by fattening the planks as tightly as possible to the prior board.

Also, a natural gap will occur anyway, even if you use dry wood. So, make it a habit to fasten the planks tightly.

Do Interior Walls Need Pressure-Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated lumber is more suited for exterior applications and walls that are prone to pests. Therefore, you don’t need to use it inside the house. Also, there are multiple health concerns on treated lumber that may discourage you from using treated wood for interior walls.

For example, the wood has chemicals that may negatively affect the respiratory system if you use it for indoor walls. It also has phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and cresols that you should not use in an enclosed space.

In addition, these chemicals also contribute to other health issues such as eye irritation, skin reactions, and cancer. Also, the treated lumber may have diluted poisons that can cause serious health hazards. Therefore, you need to know the chemicals that are in the wood before you consider it for any interior use.

On top of that, health experts have concerns about having food around treated lumber. For example, using cutting boards from pressure-treated wood increases the risk of contaminating food.

Additionally, treated lumber is highly flammable, and depending on how you use it indoors, you may expose yourself to danger. A small fire may easily eru[pt out of control if it comes in contact with pressure-treated wood inside the house.

Can You Use Treated Lumber for Framing?

You can use pressure-treated lumber for framing. But, you need to consider the potentially toxic chemicals that are in the wood. So, it would be best to use the wood for outdoor projects and frames in contact with the foundation.

In addition, house framing runs a low risk of getting wet, and thus, pressure treatment is not necessary. 

Wood frames in contact with the foundation may suck up water from the concrete and rot gradually. Thus, pressure-treated lumber is perfect for you if you want to enhance your home’s stability and longevity.

In the same sense, if you suspect that your frames may get wet at one point or another, it would be best if you use treated wood during construction. Also, pressure-treated wood has a longer life span than natural wood. So, it will work well for outdoor decks, sheds, awnings, and barns.

That said, building codes are different for every region. Therefore, possible uses for pressure-treated lumber vary. So, it would help to consult with the local building contractors, enforcement officers, or architects on the building guidelines.

On top of that, we have modern pressure-treated wood that you can use for indoor purposes. But, we recommend that you clean all the sawdust and debris before you occupy it. Further, ensure that you wear a respirator when you work with treated lumber.

Also, pressure treatment increases the wood’s weight and increases the work you need to do during construction. But, fortunately, the support capabilities and the strength of the treated lumber are the same as those of non-treated wood. So, whichever one you use for the interior frames, you will get perfect results.

But, as we have discussed above, pressure-treated wood will leach harmful chemicals into the home. So, it would be best to avoid it. The minor added benefits are not worth the potential health hazard and risks.

Lastly, the interior framing should always be dry_And thanks to the sheeting, siding, and roofing; it will never get wet. Therefore the rot-resistance attributes of treated lumber serve no purpose in indoor framing.

What Is the Longest Drywall Screw?

Drywall screws are a standard fastener for drywall sheets to ceiling joists or wall studs. You will get various sizes, but you need to know the correct size for your project. For example:

  • ⅝-inch drywall: Use one and ⅝-inch or two-inch drywall screws
  • ½-inch drywall: Use one ¼-inch or one ⅝-inch drywall screws
  • ¼-inch drywall: Use one-inch to one ¼-inch drywall screws

In addition, screws suitable for construction usually range from one inch to eight inches long. But, as we can observe from the above list, long screws cannot work for drywall as they are prone to popping out later. 

Therefore, the longest drywall screw to use is probably ¾ inches in the wall. And if you want a range, ⅝ to ¾ will get you home with the construction.

What Is the Best Grade of Pressure Treated Lumber?

The best grade of pressure-treated wood is #1 or #2. These grades have planks that are freer of knots and blemishes. In addition, decking materials such as 5/4×6 and 2×6 look good on #1 or #2 lumber.

The main variance between #1 and #2 is the wood grain’s slope, spacing, and size. Also, the number of holes and knots and the split lengths vary between the two grades. However, you can use both wood types for load-bearing purposes.

But, bear in mind that the spacing between supports in #1 is more suitable than #2 for greater spans.

On top of that, you will see a noticeable difference in the price and scarcity of #1-grade wood.

Why Is Treated Lumber Cheaper Than Untreated?

Pressure treated wood is a common option for most woodworking projects. It delivers a hardier attribute than natural wood, and thus, is more resistant to elements, moisture, and general physical damage. So, you can use it for boardwalks, decks, poles, and playgrounds.

Additionally, although one may deem treated wood to be more affordable than the natural one, it is notably cheaper than redwood and cedar. Also, it is strong and will serve you for an extended period. Therefore, you will spend less on repairs in the future.

On top of that, the treated wood resists dents and scratches. Therefore, it remains in good shape and guarantees you decades of maximum beauty.

Does Treated Lumber Need to be Sealed?

Yes. You need to seal treated lumber. Because although it is resistant to insect attacks and rot, excessive moisture poses a threat to its lifespan. Therefore, if you use it bare in outdoor spaces, it can easily split, warp and develop mildew.

Sealing pressure-treated lumber is an excellent way to preserve it from moisture. Hence, consider the practice for exterior applications regardless of whether you use treated or non treated wood.

Also, ensure that you give the wood enough time to dry before you apply the sealer. The chemicals in the lumber may leave moisture behind. So, depending on the climate, a few days are sufficient for it to dry.

What Do You Seal Cut Pressure Treated Wood With?

You can use Cut-N-Seal to seal cut pressure-treated wood. It is a water-based brush-on formula and water repellent that handles cuts and holes in treated lumber.

In addition, Cut-N-Seal is user-friendly, thanks to the low odor it produces. Also, it is easy to use and cleans up with soap and water.

On top of that, Woodcare Clear Wood Preservative also helps to preserve wood from borers and decay. You can also use it as a cut end sealer on treated pine and softwood timbers. However, the product is only suitable if you use it above the ground. So, ensure that you follow the necessary precautions and specifications.

How Do You Dry Pressure Treated Wood Without Warping?

The above sections have revealed that you need to dry your pressure-treated lumber before use. So, I will not be surprised if you have concerns about what to do if you want to dry the wood perfectly without any warps.

Well, lucky for you, we have two techniques that you can use to dry pressure-treated wood.

  • Kiln Drying Method

This technique is pretty simple, and you can do it alone. Moreover, if you buy wood from a well-to-do yard, they should have kiln-dried it. 

Sometimes the yard will not have time to dry the wood for you. So, you can get to it once you get home. However, it would be best to give the lumber two to three days to dry before resulting in this method.

Even so, sometimes the wood is still wet after the three days. In such a scenario, consider the following remedy.

  • Find a better lumberyard for your wood needs.
  • Use the kiln-dried wood technique.

The strategy requires you to dry the lumber in a ‘kiln’ oven until the moisture level reaches your preferred level. Also, you can build a kiln or purchase one. But, building a kiln is much better as it is cheaper than purchasing one. Besides, it is also very easy to construct. So, save yourself some money and build something.

Also, ensure that you do not overdry the lumber as you may end up with cracked splinter-prone wood.

  • Wood Stacking

Some people refer to this technique as the Air-Drying Method. It is easy and highly effective as it ultimately provides results. However, it would be best to be patient as it takes longer than the kiln drying method.

Fortunately, the method will always deliver excellent results. So, the wait is worthwhile.

How Do You Keep Pressure Treated Wood From Rotting?

You keep pressure-treated wood from rotting by coating it with oils, paints, varnishes, waxes, and protective sprays. This practice enhances its durability, and you can use it for an extended period.

In addition, treated wood may crack and split because of excess moisture, leading to a fungi infestation or high-rate rotting. So, a protector will assist in keeping the wood in shape.

On top of that, some wood protectors have a fire retardant that helps to enhance safety. Therefore, if you have pressure-treated wood in the house, there is nothing to cause worry!

Even so, it would be best to apply the protector or sealant periodically_at least once a year. None of these products guarantee you lifetime projection. Thus, inspect the treated wood frequently for wear and tear signs and take maintenance measures.

A regular maintenance routine will work wonders for your wood regardless of whether it is treated or not. Also, since treated wood comes with additional insect-resistant qualities, periodic maintenance will deliver unmatched durability.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I Use Pressure Treated Wood for Picnic Tables?

Yes. You can use treated lumber for picnic tables, benches, chairs, and so forth. However, it would be best to use alkaline copper quaternary treated wood. It is the safest for such projects.

  • Is It Okay to Drill Into a Stud?

You should not screw or drill more into a stud as most electrical wites run through its center. In addition, you can have a pilot hole instead of driving a screw right through_even if you miss the stud, the hole is easier and quicker to fix.

  • How Do I Know I Hit a Stud?

Use your fist to knock on the wall and listen for a hollow or solid sound. A hollow sound shows that the stud is not beneath. On the other hand, a solid sound shows that you have hit a stud.

Also, you will find the studs about 16 to 24 inches apart. So, when you find the first one, it is easy to estimate where to find the next one.

  • Is It Better to Stain or Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

Staining and painting are popular protective methods that help to preserve the wood. They offer a covering that repels moisture and keeps the lumber from rotting and water-related damage.

Both staining and painting will deliver similar results. However, exterior paint adheres less to treated wood and is more likely to peel after some time. Therefore, experts advise that you consider staining than painting.

But still, you can paint your treated wood as long as you follow extra precautions. They include waiting for the lumber to dry completely and using a latex primer before application. Also, it is more suitable to use water-based paint.


There are given benefits of working with pressure-treated lumber_you will say goodbye to premature wood damage and decay. Also, the wood will remain insect-resistant and enjoy a longer life span. However, there are mindboggling concerns about whether it is suitable for indoor use. So, we try to answer the question:

Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood for Wall Studs

You can use treated lumber for wall studs. Moreover, it will give you added benefits, especially for frames in contact with the ground or concrete. Therefore, as long as you adhere to all safety precautions, you can use treated wood for interior projects.

But, ensure that you consider the costs you will incur. For example, even if you get treated wood, you will still need to add a protective coat to preserve it from harsh weather conditions. Also, pressure-treated lumber’s added attributes of insect resistance do not apply to interior projects. So, it all boils down to the nature of the project.

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.