How Do You Treat Wood For Outdoor Use?

Published On: June 17, 20200 Comments on How Do You Treat Wood For Outdoor Use?Last Updated: February 11, 20242.5 min read

Wood is one of the most common materials used to build outdoor structures. In fact, the material has been used for many centuries to build numerous outdoor and indoor structures. But the biggest problem with wood for outdoor use is the rotting and crumbling away you will experience after some time. The latest technology has allowed us to come up with many innovative ways to prevent the premature decay of wood. This article answers the question of – “How to treat wood for outdoor use?”
How Do You Treat Wood For Outdoor Use

There are different methods used to treat wood before you can use the material for outdoor structures. mentions some of the most common methods of treating wood for outdoor use. You can opt for the best method depending on your specific needs and budget.

Wood Sealing

Wood sealers are common out there. They are highly effective in preventing wood from prematurely rotting and decaying. A wood sealer consists of a type of plastic/acrylic compound. The compound is poured onto the wood and allowed to soak for some time and left to dry. Wood sealers are easy to apply and need reapplying only every 5 years to maintain the wood. When applying the product on softwood, you may need more sealer to give it adequate protection because softwood is more porous. Make sure you clean the wood and give a light sanding before applying the wood sealer. The wood should be left at least 24 hours to dry before using it for outdoor structures.


Varnishes are almost similar to wood sealers. But varnishes are made of polyurethane material. You don’t need to soak the wood in varnish similar to wood sealers. Use the varnish to create a watertight coating on the wood. Varnish will protect the wood from absorbing unwanted moisture and decaying over time. Use a well-ventilated workspace when varnishing the wood. Use sandpaper to give the wood surface some roughness.
How Do You Treat Wood For Outdoor Use - varnish

The roughness is important for the varnish to adhere to the wood. Remove all wood dust using a tack cloth before varnishing the wood. Mix the varnish with mineral spirits so that the solution cures harder. Use equal parts of both products to make the varnish solution. Use a soft-bristled brush to apply the varnish on the wood. Add additional coats until you achieve the desired thickness.

Oil Finishes

Most of the wood oil finishes are made of either Linseed oil or Tung oil. These oils will soak into the very grains of the wood and provide a waterproof surface. Linseed oil is mostly used for expensive wooden crafts and musical instruments. Tung oil is mostly used in China. Clean the wood surface and give it a light sanding before applying the oil finish. Apply the oil with a soft-bristled paintbrush. Let the oil soak into the surface of the wood. Use a dry and clean rag to wipe off the excess oil. Apply additional layers as desired.

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