Kiln Dried Wood: 9 Quick Answers (For Beginners)

Kiln Dried Wood

If you have so many unanswered questions relating to kiln-dried wood, you’re finally in the right place. 

First, you need to understand that kiln-dried wood involves wood that is dried in a kiln or oven. The kiln allows you to control conditions such as humidity, steam levels, and temperature for a specified period. 

It, therefore, lets you dry your wood quickly to the required moisture content compared to air-drying. 

Excessive moisture content in wood can present challenges such as crowing or buckling in a wood floor, adhesive problems in finished products, kicking and binding while machining, and twisting and warping in the lumber. 

Here, we provide all possible answers related to kiln-dried wood. 

Can You Get Woodworm In Kiln Dried Wood?

The kiln temperature is usually about 55 degrees or above. When you raise the kiln temperature beyond 55 degrees, it can kill woodworm and eggs. Therefore, it’s rare to notice woodworm in kiln-dried wood.

However, kiln drying isn’t as effective as intensive heat treatment used to kill insects and woodworms in wood. You should also note that the temperature required to kill woodworms varies with the type of wood. 

Can Kiln Dried Wood Get Wet?

Kiln-dried wood can reabsorb water and get wet. As a result, it will warp, expand, buckle, or potentially develop mold. 

Since the kiln drying process makes the wood more predictable and workable during the hand-crafting or machine-milling process, you should keep the dried lumber under controlled conditions after it comes from the kiln. 

Leaving it exposed to the environment can make it absorb moisture, become wet, and swell. This reduces its workability. 

Is Kiln Dried Wood Safe For Gardens?

As we have seen, kiln-dried wood is dried in the kiln to reduce the amount of moisture. This wood undergoes drying to prevent excessive warping. It also reduces its weight. 

However, it isn’t sterilized. 

It’s therefore perfect and safe to use in gardens since it has no chemical compounds that might leach the soil. Such chemicals are present in pressure-treated lumber. 

The only challenge with kiln-dried wood is that it’ll deteriorate faster when in contact with the soil since it isn’t treated. It, therefore, requires a constant replacement at least every 2-5 years.

Can Kiln Dried Wood Be Painted?

Absolutely! You can paint kiln-dried wood any time you want. The wood won’t warp easily like wet lumber, thus making it easier to paint. This can be attributed to the moisture that escapes during the drying process. 

If you want to paint your wood immediately without having to wait for it to dry, we recommend purchasing kiln-dried pressure-treated lumber. 

Can You Stain Your Kiln Dried Wood?

Yes, you can stain your kiln-dried wood to ensure it lasts many years. You can stain kiln-dried wood immediately since it’s dry when you buy it. 

However, for pressure-treated wood, some stain brands require that you give the wood some time after kiln drying before staining. 

What If You Stain The Wood Before Drying?

If you stain the wood before it dries probably, the stain might not be absorbed properly. 

We, therefore, recommend that you allow your wood to lose all the moisture before drying. 

Can Kiln Dried Wood Be Used Outside?

Yes! You can comfortably use kiln-dried wood outside. Even though the wood might contract and expand based on the seasons, the contraction and expansion will have a minimal effect on the wood since it’s installed at a very stable moisture level. 

Apart from employing kiln-dried wood as framing lumber in an outside environment, you can also employ it to install a cedar deck. 

Another question arises whether you can store kiln-dried woods or logs outside. And the simple answer is that, yes, you can. However, this is only possible if you protect them from snow and rain and guarantee good airflow. 

How Much Does Kiln Dried Wood Shrink?

When you heat and dry the kiln environment, drying happens quicker on the outside, causing the outer fibers to experience shrinkage. This amounts to shrinkage of between 0.23%-0.27%, which happens to have no practical significance. 

The lumber’s interior core will be at FSP (fiber saturation point) moisture content, thus limiting the exterior shell from too much shrinkage. 

Besides shrinkage, kiln-dried wood also loses almost 20% of its color. This can be attributed to the high kiln temperature that kills the colors of the wood grain. 

Can You Use Kiln Dried Wood In A Smoker?

Absolutely! You can use kiln-dried wood for smoking meat. This wood is the best option for outdoor cooking

The only challenge is that it’s exposed to heat that makes it very dry. This causes the wood to lose flavor and burn quickly. 

Alternatively, you can use air-dried wood that has a higher moisture content. It’s a more reputable option if you’re looking for effective performance. 

Will Kiln Dried Wood Rot?

Absolutely! Drying your wood in a kiln won’t make it rot-resistant. Whether the wood is untreated or kiln-dried, it’s likely to start rotting just a few days after getting wet. This is also true if you fail to dry it appropriately. 

Even though it might take years for the rot to become a major problem, it might be impossible to prevent it from happening once it starts. 

We, therefore, recommend that you dry your wood properly. If possible, paint and stain the wood to increase its durability. 

Will Kiln Dried Wood Crack?

One benefit of kiln-drying is that it prevents wood from developing small cracks and warping over time. This results in highly durable furniture. 

Kiln drying has proven to remove about 90% of the moisture in the wood, causing it to be resistant to fungal decay. You’ll therefore notice minimal defects and an increase in wood workability. 

However, since the drying process is quick, you need to take caution to keep in check seasoning defects like internal cracks, warping, end-splits, and surface cracks. 


Like we have seen, kiln-dried wood involves wood dried in the kiln. The good thing about the kiln is that it allows you to control conditions such as humidity, steam, and temperature. 

The kiln normally dries wood quickly and prevents problems such as buckling of the wood floor, warping, and kicking while machining. 

For more durability, we recommend that you paint and stain your kiln-dried wood. Also, feel free to employ kiln-dried wood in your smoker. 


Is Heat Treated Wood Safe for Gardening? 

Difference Between Green and Kiln Dried Wood

Fundamental Aspects of Kiln Drying Lumber