Colored Framing Lumber: Why?

Colored Framing Lumber: Why?

Suppose that you are driving by a construction site or watching a home improvement show on tv. To your surprise, the frame of the house being built is bright blue or pink. What’s the deal?

Colored framing lumber is simply wood that’s been treated with protective coatings. Different colors represent different types of protection from the elements. The coatings can resist moisture, mold, or insects. Other types of treatment even make the wood fire-resistant. The best type of wood for your project depends on the location and what type of hazards are most likely to affect the house.

Although the frame looks striking while the house is being built, the colors will ultimately be covered with drywall and other materials, so won’t be visible.


PinkWood creates Fire Rated I-joists, called PKjoists, as well as fire-resistant lumber for use in home construction and commercial buildings. The pink coating can slow the spread of fire in the treated wood, giving residents valuable time to escape the home in case of fire. The coating has the ability to absorb heat when exposed to flames. The joists will also resist warping, shrinking and crowning.

PinkWood is available in both Canada and the United States and requires no special tools to assemble.


Conrad Forest Products makes the lumber known as BluWood, which is coated with a bright blue coating that resists insects, moisture, and mold. It can also resist termite damage and rot. BluWood is a great choice for damp climates or basements where moisture could pose a problem.

The BluWood coating is applied to the lumber in two stages at the factory. The application is closely monitored for quality assurance. The treatment can be applied to nearly any species of wood. The wood can then be used just like any other lumber. Wood with the treatment is guaranteed for the life of the house. BluWood is then able to be recycled after use.

Eco Red Shield

This distinctive red lumber made by Eco comes in a few varieties. The lumber is available with moisture, mold, and insect repellants, or with fire inhibitors. There is also a variety that has both moisture and fire protection. The manufacturers claim that the fire inhibitors can provide precious minutes in the event of a fire, which could save lives by allowing people enough time to exit the building safely.

Eco also makes D-Fence, treated fencing material that can help protect against the spread of mold, insects or fire at the boundaries of the yard.

Celebrity Status

The use of colored framing lumber has become popular on celebrity contractor shows, like Holmes Makes It Right on the DIYnetwork, and This Old House. Mike Holmes says that he uses coated lumbers whenever possible on the job. These endorsements may lead to requests for the lumber by clients as the concept catches on.

More Than the Minimum

Although most codes don’t require the use of treated wood, it can be a way of showing your clients that you care about their safety and the stability of the building in the long term. Going beyond expectations can give you an extra edge over the competition. For a relatively small increase in price, you can have security and peace of mind concerning the quality of your work.