I recently bought some fence panels like the ones shown here:

Omega Lattice fence panel

It is my intention to paint them white. However I am finding it difficult to get consistent information on best practice.

As far as I have been able to discern, the wood is pressure treated with Tanalith E.

I am fairly sure I need to use a primer, as per the guide here:

This states:

For best results, you should use a primer before painting. Look for a primer that’s for exterior use and that specifically states on the can that it can be used on pressure treated wood. Once the primer is dry you can technically use any kind of exterior paint that you’d like. Again though, for best results, we’d recommend a latex based paint. Oil-based paints do sometimes have trouble sticking to pressure treated wood, and a latex based paint job will simply last longer.

However a different site states:

Basic latex paint that you find at local home improvement stores is usually fine to paint wood furniture with. It tends to be one of the easiest paints to work with when it comes to painting furniture. That being said, though, the durability of a latex paint isn’t as great as an oil-based paint’s.

This directly contradicts the first statement.

So my question is, which type of paint if best for outdoor, pressure treated wood? Latex or oil? I'm assuming that water-based paint is right out, as rain would wash it away!

Also, it would be very helpful if someone would be kind enough to provide some general tips, or things to avoid, as this will be my first time undertaking such a task. Thank you.

  • 2
    The second site only mentions wood furniture, not PT wood. Like comparing apples to oranges.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


My background is retail paint store management 21 years.

A few days before and after obtaining the materials, you'll need to pressure wash the wood, wait a day for it to dry, then apply the primer.

You need to use an oil based primer like Zinsser's Cover Stain, Insl-X Prime Lock. This will block the chemicals used in the pressure treatment from bleeding through the paint film. Acrylic water based primers "might" block these chemicals, oil based "will" block these chemicals.

Then you can use an acrylic water based stain, acrylic water based house paint. I suggest acrylic because oil based finish (final coat) products have a tendency to mildew, they also have a tendency to chalk quicker than acrylics.

Benjamin Moore's Arborcoat acrylic solid stain line (#640) is a good one. Or, if you want even more longevity, go with Benjamin Moore's Aura line. (#629)

If you can rent a sprayer, this will make it easier, otherwise brush and roll. The brush needs to be any Nylon/polyester blend. Roller cover needs to be between 3/8''- 1/2'' Woven or microfiber for both the primer and the finish.

Water based exterior paint, if applied properly under the proper conditions will not wash off in the rain.

  • Any thoughts on moldy cedar soffit stain? I've had more go moldy recently - diy.stackexchange.com/questions/184567/… Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 15:02
  • 1
    Don't stains normally work by soaking into the wood to change the color? How is a stain going to work over an oil based primer? Won't the primer seal up the wood, preventing the stain from soaking in?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 18:15
  • Transparent stains designed to penetrate yes. Thats not what we are discussing above. The ones I suggested above, no.
    – Rob West
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 18:50

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