How to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use

How to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use

How to treat wood for outdoor use

No matter what type of treatment is used, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Different woods will need different types of treatments and some products might not be compatible with each other. It is also important to apply treatments evenly and allow them time to dry before using the wood for outdoor use.

When treated properly, wood can be a long-lasting and beautiful material for outdoor use.

1. Preparing the Wood

The best time to prepare wood for outdoor use is in the fall or winter when it’s cool outside. To prep the wood, inspect it completely and scrape off any loose pieces of surface. Remove all nails protruding from boards if they’re not sunk too far into the lumber (excessively deep nail holes will need to be filled with wood putty).

If the wood is severely weathered or stained, use a wood cleaner to brighten it up. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any type of cleaning product.

2. Sealing the Wood

Once the wood is clean and dry, seal it with a high-quality clear exterior wood sealer. Test the sealer on a small area of the board to ensure it won’t cause discoloration or fading.

3. Filling Holes and Cracks

Another step that is often overlooked when treating wood for outdoor use is to fill in any cracks or holes that might let water start to rot the wood.

Once the boards are sealed, fill any nail holes and minor cracks with exterior wood filler and let it dry completely before painting. For bigger cracks, use wood glue to fill them in and clamp the boards together until the glue dries.

4. Painting

After the filler has dried, paint the boards with an exterior paint designed for use on wood that will be exposed to the elements. A good coat of paint will help protect the wood from weathering and fading.

Be sure to paint the back of boards if they’ll be placed against a wall or surface where the front won’t be seen.

5. Preparing for Installation

When the paint on the boards has dried completely, you’re ready to install them. To make installation easier, drill pilot holes in each board before putting them up.

This will prevent wood splitting when you drive in the nails (nail punching). Also be sure that all of the boards are straight and level with each other so the deck or fence is sturdy.

The best time to prepare wood for outdoor use is in the fall or winter when it’s cool outside. To prep the wood, inspect it completely and scrape off any loose pieces of

6. Staining and Sealing a Wood Fence or Deck

Stains are another good way to treat wood for outdoor use. A stain will leave behind a color on the topmost layer of the lumber to help protect it from the elements. A good natural-looking option is an oil-based stain in a color that matches the wood the project is made of.

If you wish to change the color of your boards after installation, you can use an exterior stain, available at most hardware stores. Just be sure to choose a color that’s close to the original wood tone for best results.

After the stain has dried, seal the boards with a high-quality clear exterior wood sealer. Test the sealer on a small area of the board to ensure it won’t cause discoloration or fading.

If you have a wood fence or deck that’s been previously sealed, you only need to reapply a sealer every few years. Be sure to check the sealer’s label for instructions on how often it should be applied.

7. Waterproof sealant

The most important part of treating wood for outdoor use is to seal the wood with a waterproof sealant. This will protect it from the elements and keep it looking good for years.

However, when using stains especially when combined with sealants it can not be able to completely keep out rot and insects because neither penetrates very deeply into the wood.

8. Pressure-treated lumber

Most outdoor projects, like gates, furniture and decks are constructed from pressure-treated lumber. This is wood that has undergone chemical treatment to make it more resistant to rotting and insects. It can be treated with either chemicals (like arsenic) or copper metal combined with chromium.

Pressure-treated wood is one of the most common types of wood used for outdoor projects because it can be purchased in large sizes and treated to help protect against rot and insects.

Conclusion:

There are other things that you can use to treat wood for outdoor use. However, I’ve gone through the most popular choices in depth. I hope that my article has provided you with the information you need.  To care for your outdoor wood furniture for as long as you like. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you don’t need to treat the wood, or you will soon see greying of the wood before it eventually rots away. Instead, follow one of these techniques to keep it going for years.

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