Wondering how to weatherproof wood for outdoors? If you like building things out of wood and a dedicated DIYer, more power to you.
Being a carpenter, whether for commercial or personal use, can be very satisfying.
There is no feeling akin to creating your own furniture and then being able to sit in it.
Of course, there is also the fact that there aren’t many sturdy materials and as good looking as real wood.
However, wood has its problems, mainly because untreated wood absorbs moisture and doesn’t fare well in extreme temperatures. This can lead to your wooden projects bending, warping, splitting, cracking, falling apart, and fading.
Before you start building anything out of wood, go through this guide on weatherproofing wood for outdoor use.
How to Weatherproof Wood
Although you want to weatherproof your wood 100%, the convenient thing is that there are many different ways of doing so. We will discuss each of the methods.
Be aware that the best approach may not be just a single one, but the combination of the various techniques we are about to cover.
Only Use Pressure Treated Wood
We aren’t going to get into the nitty-gritty science of it here. Still, the fact of the matter is that if you are building anything that will remain outdoors, you need to use pressure-treated lumber.
This is lumber that has been treated with pressure and heat to ensure that it cannot absorb moisture. This is very important.
You can use wood that has not been pressure-treated. However, you will need to take extra precautions to ensure that your final project is not adversely affected by the weather.
Create Your Own Oil Finish
This method works well if you do not want to add extra paint or sealant to your wooden project after completion. You will want to get linseed oil, which a special kind of oil made from flax and tung oil.
These oils are both known for being extremely efficient at repelling moisture, making them perfect for this purpose. On a side note, keep in mind that this method looks best when used on darker wood and may not be ideal for lighter color wood, as the oil will darken and yellow over time.
Mix equal parts of the tung and linseed oils.
Remember that both these oils will absorb into the wood’s outer layer, so you will need a fair amount. Now, get a soft bristle paintbrush, soak it in the oil, and start applying.
You can be generous with how much you apply. Give it a couple of hours to soak in, and then use an old rag to remove the excess oil.
You may need to repeat this process up to 3 or 4 times to achieve the desired level of moisture resistance and the desired look.
Using Sealants – 3 Types
If you want the best results and don’t mind using chemical sealants, this is the way to go for optimal weather protection. The three options are polyurethane sealants, varnish, and lacquer.
Polyurethane sealants are nice because they won’t turn yellow over time, not the modern ones.
Moreover, keep in mind that you want to go for oil-based polyurethane sealant, as it is the most durable and the best for moisture resistance.
Many people like using these sealants as they come in many gloss levels and colors.
You may also use varnish, which helps provide a harder finish resistant to scratching and won’t yellow over time.
The best choice is marine varnish, specifically designed to resist moisture and UV rays (sunlight).
The other option is to use lacquer, which is, by all means, the best type of sealant to use for this purpose.
Lacquer may yellow over time, but that said, it also helps bring out the wood’s warm colors and rich textures underneath. It comes in many colors, sheens, and it is super resistant to all types of weather.
There you have the best ways to waterproof your wood for outdoor use. We would recommend using pressure-treated wood and then finishing it off with a high-quality lacquer.