Yellawood vs Pressure Treated

Treated wood is perfect for outdoor applications that are susceptible to destructive elements like, water and UV rays. However, it comes in various grades and types, and you need to learn what makes each product unique before choosing one for your work. Here’s a debate on Yellawood vs Pressure Treated to get you started.

The main difference between Yellawood and pressure treated lumber is the chemical composition used during treatment.

Yallawood has micronized copper preservatives and organic compounds, while pressure treated wood utilizes copper-based ones. As a result, Yallawood products are more eco-friendly than pressure treated.

That said, read through this article for more insight on these two wood types, when to use them, and how to handle them for a successful project.

What Is Yellawood?

Yellawood is a lumber brand treated with a preservative process combining micronized copper and an organic compound. Thus, it features enhanced protection against decay, rot, and termite attack.

Previously, pressure treated wood has had a bad rap because of its toxic makeup and how these toxins leach into the environment. In addition, the main preservative, copper chromium arsenic or CCA, is not eco-friendly, and most state laws do not allow it.

But recently, Yellawood materials have become better and more accommodative. Also, although the lumber’s pressure treating process is a trade secret, it passes the Scientific Certification Systems lab or SCS tests.

On top of that, Yellawood manufacturers provide a wide array of eco-friendly treated materials for decking. However, they encourage users to use dry wood for deck installation projects. Or better still, correctly space the boards to allow the wood to dry.

MasterDeck, another Yellawood material, is the ultimate low maintenance and ready-to-go product. It is pretreated before installation, facilitating a uniform and even protection for the deck.

Lastly, Yellawood takes care of commercial and industrial applications. We have N-Durz, TideTuff, Rainwood, and Splashwood, designed explicitly for particular heavy-duty projects.

What Is Pressure Treated Wood

Pressure Treated Wood is softwood infused and treated with preservatives, which withstand various outdoor conditions. Manufacturers bundle standard softwoods and place them in a pressure tank filled with preservatives. Then, they put the tank under ultra-high PSI, forcing the chemical into the lumber’s fibers.

Usually, treated wood is spruce, pine, southern yellow pine, hemlock fir, or Douglas. The species depends on your geographical location and the framing lumber you intend to use.

However, apart from the tree species, another critical consideration is the preservative compound used in the treatment process. And nowadays, the most popular treatment chemical has copper, which carries the acronym ACA or CCA.

ACA or CCA is not an ideal bug habitat. Hence, it makes the wood moisture and insect resistant, improving its durability. In addition, treated lumber is more potent than other wood types and resists wear and tear for a long, long time.

But it is advisable to handle pressure treated wood with care as the ammonia and copper compounds therein are hazardous to your health. So, please wear a mask, gloves, and protective eyewear when cutting it.

The treated wood preservative does not react well with flashing and even causes corrosion. Also, zinc-coated and typical galvanized screws do not stand a chance with the chemicals. They quickly erode, and thus it is better to use specific brown or green coated deck screws for treated decks.

Yellawood Vs Pressure Treated Wood 

Though Yellawood and pressure treated lumber undergo treatment, they have different chemical compositions and characteristics. For instance, Yellawood products have micronized copper chemicals and organic compounds, while pressure treated wood only features copper-based preservatives.

Yellawood’s chemical preservatives are user and eco-friendly. Hence, it is suitable for outdoor furniture, gazebos, playsets, and picnic tables. On the other hand, pressure treated wood is harmful to the environment and human health as the copper preservatives are toxic. So, it is best to avoid it for objects people have contact with, like furniture.

Thanks to its unique treatment process, you can enjoy a more natural lumber appearance with Yellawood, meaning no dark-green wood tint. Conversely, pressure-treated wood has a light brown to dark-green hue, forcing you to use semi-transparent or opaque stains to deliver a lovely surface.

On top of that, Yellawood products have several necessary environmental certifications, and you can use them freely in most states, unlike pressure treated wood that has restricted use due to its toxicity.

That said, Yellawood and pressure treated lumber feature some similarities. For example, the wood types have built-in water repellents and provide superior protection to the wood.

In addition, they minimize warping, cracking, and twisting due to shrinking and swelling from weather cycles. Therefore, consumers enjoy a long-term performance.

Also, both kinds of wood undergo kiln drying, keeping the lumber from shrinking after installation. In addition, the process minimizes the natural tendencies of the treated wood to twist, split, and cup.

Is YellaWood Rated for Ground Contact?

Although YallaWood exhibits corrosion on metal, it is fit for Ground Contact, Above Ground General Use, Above Ground, and Fresh Water Immersion applications. The lumber is also suitable for direct use with aluminum products.

However, hot-dipped galvanized screws are not ideal for exterior applications due to corrosion. Thus, it is prudent to check the local building codes and guidelines and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on the best fastener to use.

You can use YellaWood for ground contact in areas with proper drainage and minimum exposure to standing water or water immersion. This way, the preservatives in the wood will not leak into the environment.

Can You Burn YellaWood?

It is not okay to burn YellaWood. Warning tags stapled to newly purchased treated lumber warn against burning it. In addition, the preservatives in the wood are toxic and dangerous to handle. So, burning it causes exposure to toxic smoke and ash, harmful to both people and the environment.

Besides, incinerating YellaWood does not destroy the arsenic and other compounds in it. Hence, burning the treated lumber releases the chemical bond holding arsenic. And just one tablespoon of the ash contains a lethal poison dose.

The Journal of American Medical Association reveals that even one minute amounts of the ‘fly ash’ from burning treated lumber have severe health consequences. Further, arsenic does not have a specific odor or taste to warn you of its presence.

Therefore, please take the treated lumber to an approved construction debris disposal site. In addition, consult with the local authorities to determine the most suitable disposal options for your area.

Can You Stain YellaWood?

pressure treated wood resists fireYes, you can stain YellaWood. All you need to do is prepare the surface and stain properly for a professional result. In addition, give the coats enough time to dry before use to avoid interfering with the final finish.

Here are some guidelines to help you perfectly stain your wood.

  • Check the Weather Forecast

Suitable weather is crucial for an excellent staining outcome. More so, you need a dry weather interval that allows the surface to dry before and after applying the stain.

In addition, the recommended temperature range should be from 55 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit during application. Therefore, choose a fair-weather day to guarantee you a professional and durable finish.

  • Buy Enough Wood Stain and Mix Thoroughly.

It is essential to have a thoroughly mixed formula before and throughout the application. Also, the rule of thumb here is to stir and mix until the solution blends from top to bottom.

Continue mixing the stain until there is no visible striation or separation of its ingredients. Also, the stirring tool should meet no resistance from standing solids at the container’s bottom.

  • Prepare the YellaWood.

Start by covering or masking fixtures, plants, and other surfaces you do not want to stain. Also, please note that, unlike paint, wood stains feature a loose viscosity, making it hard to avoid runs and drips.

But the good thing is that YellaWood Protector stains and sealants have perfect viscosity that minimizes the above risk. So, it levels smoothly on the surface, preventing excessive film build-up.

Other wood preparation strategies include;

  • Cleaning

An attractive and durable finish needs a clean surface free from residual material from prior finishes. In addition, adequately cleaned lumber provides a much more forgiving and easy-to-stain surface than weathered or older wood. 

Therefore, clean the surface thoroughly to remove grease, dirt, mold and mildew, grime, other stains, and discolorations. Even better, the exercise guarantees excellent coverage and color uniformity.

  • Sanding

Older unstained wood needs sanding to remove discolored spots and deliver a more uniform surface color. Further, previously stained lumber requires sanding to strip it down to uniformly bare wood.

You can use a chemical stripper for tough and stubborn finishes and stains. But thoroughly rinse the surface and clean it with a neutralizing cleaner to enhance proper stain adhesion.

  • Drying

Finally, allow the wood to dry to facilitate excellent formula penetration and surface adhesion. Ideally, the moisture content should be below 15 percent.

You can also test the lumber for dryness by sprinkling a few water drops on the surface. If the wood absorbs the moisture, it is ready for staining. Oppositely, if the water beads up on the wood, it is too wet to stain. 

  • Get the Correct Stain Application Tools

Using the correct stain application tools is equally critical to delivering a successful project. Luckily, you can use multiple applicants to provide a good finish and are not limited to only one strategy.

Here is a list of standard stain applicants.

  • Synthetic Bristle Brush

Although a paintbrush is perhaps the most labor-intensive staining strategy, it is the most effective. Moreover, it is the most logical option for smaller jobs and hard-to-reach surface areas like balusters and railing frames.

In addition, since YellaWood staining products are hybrid formulas, blending alkyd oil and acrylic components, it is advisable to use synthetic bristles. This way, you provide the needed stiffness for the acrylic compound.

On top of that, brush width and size should fit the wood’s surface dimension. For instance, use three or four-inch brushes for fence pickets or deck boards and consider one or two-inch ones for fine work like staining trim and balusters.

  • Staining Pad

A staining pad is an excellent choice as it facilitates uniform stain distribution and works the stain perfectly into the lumber. You can also attach the accessory to a long handle for added convenience.

However, the tool may not access hard-to-reach corners like crevices between boards. Therefore, it is advisable to have a brush nearby to help cover the entire surface.

  • Roller

The roller allows you to do most of the work standing up and delivers the most efficient coverage per stroke. But you still need to back-brush the wood to fill in crevices and facilitate a uniform coat without runs and drips.

  • Airless Sprayer

A sprayer delivers the highest initial application rate. Also, it is possible to rent the accessory if you do not own one and can’t afford to buy it. However, consider back-brushing the stain to deal with inconsistent application areas.

  • Use the Most Suitable Staining Application Method

The usual temptation is to minimize motion when applying the formula, especially when staining at floor level. But the strategy creates lap marks at the end of the section, leading to inconsistent coverage.

So, adhere to the ‘End-to-End’ rule regardless of the tool used for the initial application. Work from one end of the surface to the other and blend end-to-end brushstrokes as you move.

This technique provides better and uniform coverage over the entire surface. It also makes the second coat application possible without moving or walking on the uncured first coat.

Also, ensure that you back-brush the wood after a spray or roller application as it provides a uniform stain tone and thickness and eliminates uneven spray coverage or roller laps. Even better, it works the formula thoroughly into the wood’s texture and grooves.

Apply two thin stain coats. The alkyd ingredients deliver the best possible penetration with an optimal acrylic top layer and curing between the two components. So, one thick coating will hinder penetration and cause a film coating build-up.

The interval between coats should be 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the temperature and humidity levels. Also, please note if the break is too long, the layers will not cure together, and the first coat’s water repellency will compromise bonding.

  • Dry and Cure the Stain 

The final stain coat will dry in less than 24 hours, and the final curing needs at least 72 hours. But remember that the drying and curing durations depend on the ambient humidity and temperature. So, choose the most suitable staining day.

In addition, consider covering the newly stained wood to protect it from excess humidity during drying. However, ensure that you allow sufficient air movement and ventilation for proper curing.

Finally, let the wood dry for a day or two before bringing back furniture and other objects. But you can resume light usage in six hours, depending on the moisture content and temperatures. 

  • Clean Up After Staining

This step is probably your least favorite, but it is considerably easier with YellaWood Protector Stains and sealer. The formula delivers the benefits of a penetrating oil finish, and you do not need mineral spirits or solvents to clean up tools or handle occasional spills na drips.

Is YellaWood Kiln Dried?

Yes, YellaWood is kiln-dried to restore its original moisture level. In addition, the process gives the composite’s installation attributes the natural character and beauty of real wood.

Additionally, kiln drying the lumber helps it dry evenly and minimizes the natural tendency of freshly treated wood to cup, shrink, or warp. The wood also weighs less and is thus easier to cut, handle, and install.

What Are the Different Grades of Treated Lumber?

Treated wood comes in five different grades; Premium, Select, and Number one, two, and three. The higher the lumber grade, the fewer the splits, knots, and general defects. Therefore, it is prudent to specify your product requirements to get the most suitable lumber.

For instance, number two or a higher grade board is better for constructing a backyard deck, whereas Select structural or SS is perfect for joists and other load-bearing projects due to its strength and durability.

Here’s what to expect from the grading standards.

  • Premium. This grade is the highest and is ideal for decking with a three quarter radius edge.
  • Select. It boasts high consistency, a great appearance, and very few flaws. Moreover, the wood knots are sound encased, and it requires a 1/12 slope at a minimum.
  • Number 1. The wood allows for one hole every three feet and does not have splits larger than the board’s width. In addition, knots must be smaller than 2¾ for a perfect result.
  • Number 2. This grade is the lowest you can use for deck construction. You need a hole every two feet, and knots should be smaller than 3½ inches. Also, the wood will not accommodate splits larger than 1½ the board’s width.
  • Number 3. The lumber is the lowest pressure treated wood quality availability, and it is best to avoid it for deck projects.

The above lumber grades try to describe the wood quality accurately. Grading inspectors at a wood mill consider the different boards and separate them depending on decay, knots, warp, wane, damage, and grain angle. Then, they put stamps on the lumber for easy identification.

On top of that, some mills include an additional letter grade, A, B, C, or D, to note the wood’s overall appearance and blemish extent. 

Is Pressure Treated Wood Better Than Cedar?

Pressure treated wood is studier and more weather-proof than cedar. It is also highly resistant to insect attacks and rot. Therefore, you can use it for ground contact projects and expect them to last.

However, it is prudent to assess the differences between pressure treated wood and cedar critically. This way, you’ll determine the best alternative for your work. So, let’s check some common variances between the two lumber types.

  • Decay and Rot Resistance

Treated wood is durable, but it requires regular maintenance to keep looking good. In addition, it is prone to splitting and cracking, and it would be best to stain it for added protection.

Conversely, cedar resists rot and decay, thanks to its makeup. It also features a low density that makes it flex with temperature changes, resisting cracking. Thus, it lasts longer in wet areas.

  • Appearance

Treated wood is copper in color and has a wider grain. In addition, it turns grey with time. On the other hand, cedar has a narrow, even, and straight grain. You will observe a pale yellow hue if it’s sapwood or a pinkish-red color for heartwood. And eventually, the wood turns to a silvery grey.

  • Smell

Although the chemical treatment may give treated lumber an initial odor, it wears out quickly after installation. Therefore, you won’t observe any specific smell. 

Cedar has phenols that give it the ‘cedar smell.’ However, lower-quality lumber with more sapwood will not have a strong aroma. 

  • Hardness and Strength

Pressure treated wood is denser than cedar and thus prone to dents and dings. Also, although pine is not as sturdy as fir and hemlock species used in treated applications, they are all stronger than cedar. 

Cedar is softer than most softwood used in pressure treatment as it is less dense. It also has unique flexibility, making it easy to handle, cut, and manipulate.

  • Durability

Pressure treated wood is durable because of the treatment it undergoes. And once it cracks or splits, it is prudent to apply a stain or paint. Otherwise, water will soak into the lumber’s fiber, catalyzing rot and decay.

Conversely, cedar is highly durable even in fluctuating weather conditions. In addition, it is not affected by the contraction and expansion that comes with cold and hot temperatures.

  • Lifespan

You can expect a treated deck to last at least ten years before problems set in. Also, weather extremes affect the lumber, and you need to maintain the deck properly to keep cracks and splits from turning into rot and decay.

A cedar deck with annual cleaning and regular maintenance will last 20 years without decay or rot issues. After this duration, some boards may start cracking due to wear and tear, allowing water to penetrate the wood fibers.

  • Installation

Pressure treated wood installation requires a mask, gloves, and eye protection. In addition, you need unique, vinyl-coated screws because the chemicals in the wood will corrode standard coated fasteners.

On the other hand, cedar installation is straightforward without any special handling protection. The wood will also accept standard deck fasteners recommended for exterior use.

  • Environmental Concerns

You should handle pressure treated wood with care. In addition, never burn the wood. Instead, take it to the designated treated lumber disposal site during disposal. Oppositely, cedar is eco-friendly and does not harm the environment after disposal.

That said, it is also good to appreciate the scenarios when cedar and pressure treated wood is most suitable. In addition, besides building a deck, you can use pressure treated lumber or cedar in multiple outdoor projects. 

Let’s take a look.

  • Fencing

Cedar is perfect for fencing, and its sapwood keeps it rot and decay-resistant. However, ground contact can make it rots much faster. Thus, it is best to keep the wood posts off the ground.

Conversely, pressure treated wood exists primarily for ground contact projects. More so, treated lumber with o.4 preservatives per cubic foot is ideal for burying fence posts and lasts up to ten years. 

  • Outdoor Furniture

Cedar is perfect for outdoor furniture like tables, minibars, and recessed planters. In addition, since it is light and easy to cut, making furniture is a highly achievable application.

On the other hand, treated wood is not ideal for outdoor furniture. It has copper compounds that can irritate your skin and cause health issues upon inhaling. Therefore, please avoid exposing your skin to pressure treated lumber.

  • Pergolas

A pergola can use cedar or pressure treated wood, and the only difference would be the aesthetics. Also, since the structure is above the ground, the principles you’d use for a deck apply here.

  • Saunas

It is best only to use cedar to construct saunas. They feature extreme moisture and heat, which only cedar can withstand without experiencing damage. In addition, the saunas are for people to sit inside and relax. Therefore, you cannot use pressure treated wood.

Also, even if you used the treated lumber on the sauna’s walls and floor, the heat plus the wood treatment is a dangerous combination to avoid at all costs.


Outdoor wood is prone to harsh weather conditions and other elements such as insects, mold, and fungi. Consequently, most woodworkers prefer to use pressure treated timber for heavy-duty and ground contact projects. But do we really understand the various treated woods out here? Follow this discussion to find out:

Yellawood vs Pressure Treated

Unlike pressure treated wood Yellawood is preferred for outdoor furniture, thanks to its non-toxic qualities. In addition, it protects the wood from rot and decay, delivering a longer lumber life span.

Pressure treated lumber is still in use, but most states have regulations on its applications and disposal, turning most of the attention to its counterpart, Yellawood.

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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.

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