The Best Ways to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use

The Best Ways to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use
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The best ways to treat wood for outdoor use..

Wood needs special care and treatment to ensure that it lasts for a long time. If you’re planning on using wood at your outdoor space, you need to be well-informed about the best way to treat the wood for outdoor use.

In this blog, we will talk about the types of wood sealers, oil finishes, stain-sealer combinations, varnish options, and pressure treatment methods that are ideal for treating wood for outdoor use.

We will also cover FAQs such as how long the wood can last in the sun and if there is any harm in doing so.

How To Treat Wood For Outdoor Use

Before treating wood for outdoor use, it is important to understand the types of dry rot that your wood might be experiencing.

Different types of dry rot require different treatments.

How To Treat Wood For Outdoor Use - 1. Wood Sealers
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1). Wood Sealers

Wood sealers are a type of treatment used to protect wood from weathering and cracking.

Wood sealers come in a variety of formulas and can be applied to the exterior or interior of the wood.

They provide long-lasting protection against weathering and fading. The best wood sealers are easy to apply and leave no residue or mess behind.

They are effective at protecting wood from the elements, but they don’t always have the desired effect.

Therefore, it is important to apply wood sealer regularly to maintain its protective properties.

Soft wood is more porous than hardwood, so if you choose this route, As a consequence, it will need additional sealant to provide adequate protection. The sealer will penetrate much more deeply into softer wood.

Using a wood sealer is quite straightforward:

  • Step 1: Give the wood a quick sanding before cleaning it.
  • Step 2: Apply the sealer liberally to the surface. Brush it on or apply it with a cloth if you don’t want to use a brush. It is also possible to use a spray gun. It’s crucial that you not apply any sealer streaks to the finish.
  • Step 3: Let the sealant dry completely before applying it. 24 hours is typical, although some may be considerably quicker. Check the product label for an estimate of how long it will take.
  • Step 4: Before applying another layer of sealant, lightly sand the surface. Make sure to use the best sandpaper you can get your hands on.
  • Step 5: If you want, do a third or fourth layer after allowing the second to dry.

2). Oil Finishes

Before plastic-based sealers existed, you might be curious how people waterproofed their wood. The truth is that they would use a variety of oil finishes on outdoor wood. These hand-rubbed oil treatments are really easy to apply to your wood, and they also make it look great.

Linseed oil or Tung oil are the two most commonly used oils for wood finishing. Tung oil is derived from the Tung tree, whereas linseed is derived from a plant called Flax. Although they aren’t the same, both of these plants have similar properties.

Although they won’t sink as deeply as some other materials, these oils soak into the wood’s grain. They’ll still provide a waterproof finish, even if they don’t quite meet expectations.

Tung oil has a lengthy history of use (particularly in China) that dates back thousands of years, whereas linseed oil is typically utilized for musical instruments and other costly wooden crafts. Several items, particularly those with the brand name “Danish Oil,” combine these two elements.

Follow these procedures to achieve a hand-rubbed oil wood finish:

  • Step 1: Give the wood a quick sanding after you clean it up.
  • Step 2: The oil finish should be applied to the surface using a paintbrush with soft bristles.
  • Step 3: Let the oil sink into the surface completely. For a better idea of your timeframe, check the product label. When the product is drying, add a little bit more if you see dry patches.
  • Step 4: To remove the extra oil that didn’t seep into the wood, use some dry, clean rags.
  • Step 5: Sand the surface lightly before painting.
  • Step 6: Add as many additional layers as you want. Throughout each layer, apply a light sanding to the surface.

These finishes protect the wood from weathering and decay, as well as provide protection against insects and other pests. Different oil finishes require different treatments to best protect the wood from the elements. For example, some oil finish require weekly treatment while others only need monthly application.

After treating wood with an oil finish, it needs to be protected from the sun and rain to ensure that the coating remains effective. It is important to follow the instructions provided with the oil finish to ensure that it is properly applied and maintained.

3). Stain-Sealer Combinations

Wood outdoor furniture is prone to moisture and weather damage, making stain-sealer combinations a great way to protect it from the elements. You can apply stain-sealer combinations in a variety of ways, including spray or brush application.

They come in a variety of colors and finishes to match your outdoor furniture perfectly. Whether you’re protecting wooden decking or outdoor furniture, stain-sealer combinations are an indispensable way to extend the life of your investment.

They are cost-effective and safe, making them a great choice for outdoor furniture protection. Plus, they easily provide long-lasting protection against moisture and weather.

You may ensure that your wood is dark enough to hide any discoloration of the plastic finish by using a stain/sealer combination. Moreover, these items have the potential to shade your wood extremely precisely. The degree of darkness you get on the polyurethane will be determined by the quantity of pigment used.

It’s the same process as with a wood sealer product to employ a stain/sealer combination. While they will most likely take longer to dry between coats, combo products are applied in a similar way. When preparing the surface, they may also need to take additional steps, so make sure you read the label carefully and follow its instructions.

4). Varnishes

Varnishes, like sealers, are polyurethane-based products that provide a protective finish. Many oil varnishes, on the other hand, exist, so what sets them apart? The manner in which a varnish functions is what distinguishes it from an oil finish.

Unlike most of our other options, varnishes are not intended to soak into the wood. Instead, a varnish provides a water-resistant finish that is progressively added to create a hard exterior layer. This will act as a barrier that keeps out moisture while absorbing shock without derving the wood.

Just follow these simple steps to finish any wood item:

  • Step 1: Try to find a quiet area to work in. The varnish must not be contaminated by dust, lint, and other microscopic debris. Ventilation should be good in your work environment.
  • Step 2: To add a little rougherness to the surface, use some fine sandpaper. The varnish will stick better if you do this. For the greatest smoothness, sand with the grain of the wood.
  • Step 3: Remove all wood dust from the freshly sanded surface using a tack cloth or something similar.
  • Step 4: Add mineral spirits (roughly equal proportions) to the varnish. This will help it heal more effectively.
  • Step 5: Use a soft-bristled brush to apply the varnish to your pieces while they’re flat. Begin by brushing against the grain, then brush again with the grain for a second coat.
  • Step 6: Allow the varnish to dry completely before applying. Exact drying time (24 hours is typical) should be noted on the product label.
  • Step 7: Until the desired thickness is achieved, apply more coats.

Wood treated with varnish is weatherproof and resistant to rot and decay. Varnish can be applied to wood of all types, from rough-texture wood to finished wood. Both rough- and finished-wood varnishes protect wood from moisture, insects, and other damage. They are suitable for outdoor applications in all types of weather conditions.

Different varnishes are designed for different weather conditions, ranging from dry to very humid climates. Some varnish require special application techniques that vary depending on the type of wood being treated. It is vital for outdoor wood projects to carefully choose the best varnish for the job.

5). Pressure Treatment

This is a business procedure that DIY projects cannot do because of the expense. The wood is impregnated with preservatives by combining hot water, pressure, and several preservation agents. To avoid any possibility of internal rotting, the pressure drives it deep into the wood grains.

Copper azole, an alkaline copper quaternary, or some other copper compound are frequently employed as preservatives. It’s not surprising that this ingredient would be used since copper is quite resistant to weathering. Don’t be concerned if you purchase pressure-treated wood that appears damp; the water will vanish, and the preservatives will remain.

By applying pressure and heat, pressure treatment effectively kills pests and prevents them from passing into the wood. It also effectively seals the wood pores, preventing moisture from reaching the wood. Overall, pressure treatment is an effective way to treat wood for outdoor use and prevent it from deteriorating over time.

Also read: Basswood vs. Balsa

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you preserve wood for outdoor use?

There are a few ways to preserve wood for outdoor use.

Some of the best methods include using sealants or coatings to protect against the weather, using polyurethane or varnish to seal in the wood’s moisture and protect it from the elements, and taking care when handling and storing wood.

Does wood need to be treated for outdoor use?

Yes, wood needs to be treated for outdoor use in order to prevent it from deteriorating. There are a number of ways to treat wood for outdoor use – each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

The most common treatments include applying a sealant, using a water repellent, or using a weatherproofing agent. It is important to choose the treatment that is appropriate for the wood type and climate. Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions before treating wood.

What is best to protect wood outside?

The most common way to protect wood outside is by using a sealant. There are a variety of sealants available on the market, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

It’s important to choose the right sealant for the type of wood you are protecting. Some sealants are oil-based, water-based, or hybrid, and each has its own unique properties.

Sealing wood can help protect it from moisture, insects, and rot. Additionally, sealing wood creates a surface that is resistant to staining and weathering.

How do you keep untreated wood from rotting?

There are a number of ways to treat wood for outdoor use. Some popular methods include applying a sealant, using a paint or stain, and applying a protective coating.

Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions before applying any treatment to wood. Keep in mind that treated wood may not be suitable for all applications. Always use caution when working with untreated wood.


When it comes to outdoor wood furniture, sealing the wood is the best way to protect the surface of the wood from moisture and exterior elements. You can also use oil-based or water-based sealers to protect the wood surface against moisture, weathering, and acid-based exterior elements such as stain or paint deterioration.

The best wood sealer for outdoor wood furniture will be a durable finish that will not stain the surface of the wood. Our body also produces a natural oil coating on the surface of its cells. This coating protects the body’s external tissue from moisture, age, and decay.

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