How To Tell If Wood Is Treated- 7 Signs To Look For

Wood is one of the most popular materials we use in furniture making. However, wood can also be a source of environmental pollution if not treated properly. Wood is the way to go if you’re looking for a versatile and durable building material.

It’s strong enough to support large loads and flexible enough to make it easy to create complex shapes. Wood is also a renewable resource, which means you can replace it if damaged or destroyed. Plus, it’s a natural product, meaning no involvement of harmful chemicals in its production.

Here we’ll be discussing the different ways wood treatment and the signs. We’ll also share some tips on how to tell if the wood is treated and the best ways to protect it from environmental damage. Stay safe and healthy while playing around with wood.

How To Tell If Wood Is Treated

What Does Treated Wood Mean?

What Does Treated Wood Mean

If you’re thinking of buying wood, it’s important to know what treated wood means. Treatment of wood requires process with a safe, nontoxic sealant that protects it from weathering and mold and fungus growth. This treatment also inhibits the absorption of moisture, making treated wood resistant to rotting and insects.

The color of treated wood may change over time. It becomes a darker hue because of the absorption by the cellulose fibers. Untreated woods will always retain their natural color, whereas treated woods can range from light brown to dark brown or black.

7 Sign To Know And Tell If The Wood Is Treated

7 Sign To Know And Tell If The Wood Is Treated

Wood is an essential material for our daily work. Not only does it provide structural support, but it’s also a natural resource that we can use to create many different items. If you’re looking to buy wood, it’s important to know if  it went through treating process. Untreated wood may be unsafe for your home or business and cause health problems. There are seven easy ways to tell if the wood is treated, and the signs are as follows:

1.Wet Wood

 Wet Wood

If you find the wood wet, it probably went through a water-repelling treatment. This will help to protect the wood from fungus, decay, and other pests. If  carpenters did the wood treatment process on-site, then it will likely result in a strong odor and you may see it as discolored. The wood won’t feel as smooth as untreated wood, and pressure applied to it might warp or crack.

2.It’s Slimy

It's Slimy

Any wood not treated with a sealer or varnish will be very slippery to grip and move around. Paint, stain, or any chemical treatment on the wood can make it difficult to handle. If the wood has an unpleasant smell, it’s probably because of treating with chemicals in some way.

And if you can scratch the surface – which indicates the signs of untreated one. Then you should avoid using this lumber in your project altogether as it could be dangerous.

3.There Are Insects On It.

There Are Insects On It.

Insects can be a real nuisance when it comes to wood furniture. Look for splotches, brown patches, or lines on the wood – insects cause this. The wood you’re looking at may get an insecticide treatment. If so, it’s important to be cautious. Treated wood is much more toxic than one without treatment. It’s also worth noting that treated wood may not last as long as untreated wood since it’s vulnerable to warping and rotting.

4.The Wood Smells Bad.

The Wood Smells Bad.

If the wood you use for your projects smells bad, it signs some chemical treatment. This treatment can do several things: make the wood more durable and less prone to breaking, change its color (usually towards a yellow or brown hue), and increase its fragrance.

However, all these benefits come at a price – the treated wood is usually brittle, doesn’t hold shape as well as untreated wood, and might even emit an unpleasant odor. It will easily break apart if you try to cut or scratch it.

5.The Wood Color Change

The Wood Color Change

When we treat any wood, it will change color from its natural color to a darker color. This darker color is often popular by the name “staining.” It’s is also more resistant to moisture and decay, which makes it a good choice for some applications.

Treated lumber may be available in several colors, including white, light brown, red oak, mahogany, black walnut, and birch. Treated lumber usually contains a chemical treatment that darkens the wood’s surface. The amount of coloring will depend on the type of treatment we use and the stage of the wood’s life cycle.

6.The Wood Changes Its Size.

The Wood Changes Its Size.

The easiest way to identify  the treated wood is to visually examine it. If the wood has a dull, non-reflective appearance, it most likely went through a treatment with a sealant or finish. Other signs of wood treatment include a change in its size or color and an increase in moisture levels.

You may even find the wood infested with insects and other pests that will cause damage. Treated wood, on the other hand, does not shrink or crack when it dries out and is free of insect and pest infestation.

7.It Doesn’t Feel Smooth.

It Doesn't Feel Smooth.

If you’re looking for a piece of furniture with a smooth, soft feel, it may disappoint you. Most wood treated with chemicals and/or pressure-treated lumber (PTL) will have a rough or bumpy surface due to the treatment process. In addition, the wood might smell bad or exhibit like other signs of treatmet. This is because PTL creates toxic byproducts that can leach into the environment.

It’s important to note that if you want to refinish any piece of furniture treated with PTL lumber, remove all traces of the treatment before proceeding! This way, your new finish will not contain harmful toxins and won’t cause any adverse effects on your health or environmental surroundings.

How To Treat And Protect Wooden Furniture

How To Treat And Protect Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture is a beautiful and timeless piece of furniture that can last for years. However, taking care of it and protecting it from damage is important. Some ways to do this include treating it with a sealant or paint or using a protectant like lacquer or polyurethane resin. If you’re thinking of treating your wooden furniture with a sealant or wax, then here are some tips to help you get it correctly:

  • Before treating the furniture, make sure that it is completely dry. This will prevent any water damage during the treatment process.
  • Apply a small amount of sealant or wax to a cloth and dust the surface of the furniture you want to treat. Avoid areas where the sealant or wax will touch the fabric.
  • Work from top to bottom and left to right, covering all surfaces of the furniture.
  • Let the sealant or wax dry for at least two hours before using your furniture.

You can do a few things to protect your wooden furniture from moisture, sun damage, and pests. First of all, make sure to seal all cracks and gaps in the wood with a sealant. This will help keep moisture out and prevent rain, snow, or wind damage.

You can also apply a coat of wax or paint to the furniture every couple of months to protect it from the sun’s rays and keep it looking clean and new. And finally, don’t forget about pests. Make sure to install screens on all windows and doors that lead into the room where you kept all wooden furniture so that bugs cannot get inside.


Wood is one of the most popular materials used in furniture and decorative items. When it comes to wooden furniture, you need to pay attention to the quality and how well it has been treated. You can judge the treatment of a wooden piece by checking its appearance and touch. You will notice that treated wood is smooth and easy to clean, but untreated pieces often feel rough and have a dark color.

However, wood can also be treated in several ways that impact its durability, color, and overall look. If you’re looking to buy wood treated in any way, look for the signs in this blog. Knowing the signs to look for, you can decide whether the wood is treated.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Do Pressure-Treated Wood Has Specific Colors?

Ans: Pressure-treated wood is typically a pale green or yellowish color. And the color may vary depending on the type of preservative carpenters used. Other signs of pressure-treated wood include a distinctive odor, fasteners, and the absence of decay. Pressure-treated wood may also feel heavier than untreated wood due to its higher moisture content.

2.Identify The Difference Between Untreated And Treated Wood?

Ans: Untreated wood – wood without treating with sealants or preservatives. Treated wood –  sealed, stained, painted, or otherwise treated wood to protect it from moisture, insects, and other damage. Treated wood may have indication with product label on the surface of the wood. Other signs of treated wood include discoloration, odor, and texture changes.

3.What Happens If You Burn Treated Wood?

Ans: If you burn treated wood, you’re releasing toxic chemicals into the environment. These chemicals can be harmful to humans, animals, and plants. Additionally, treated wood releases smoke that is more hazardous than smoke from burning untreated wood. As a result, it’s best to avoid burning treated wood altogether if possible.

4.What Happens If You Use The Untreated Wood?

Ans: If you use untreated wood, it can easily decay and damaged by insects, water, and UV rays. Over time, untreated wood will become discolored, warped, cracked, and splintered. It may also suffer from rot, mold, mildew growth, and termite infestation. It is important to treat it with a protective coating or sealant to protect wood against damage and ensure its longevity.

5.Which Wood Is Better For The Environment?

Ans: Untreated wood may be better for the environment than treated wood, depending on how it is sourced and used. Untreated wood is more likely to be sustainably sourced and may require less energy to produce. Treated wood may contain hazardous chemicals that can leach into the environment over time. However, untreated wood may be a better environmental choice, depending on your project needs.

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