How to Weatherproof Wood for Outdoors
Whether you are planning to build a wooden patio outside your house or investing in new furniture for your porch, you have to be sure that it’s going to withstand the wrath of the elements, thinking about how to weatherproof wood for outdoors purposes is an important thing to think about.
Untreated wood is prone to warping, rotting, and cracking, and the chances are heightened when you place it outside in direct weather.
As such, you should consider taking steps to ensure that your outdoor furniture will retain its shape for the long haul, come rain or shine. A great way to do this is to weatherproof it!
This way, you won’t have to worry about restoring the wood structure because of its deteriorating physical state or replacing it altogether after just a few years!
Why Should You Weatherproof Wood?
Weatherproofing goes a long way to preserve the integrity of your wooden structures. It not only keeps your furniture from rotting and wearing away in the rain but also protects it against harmful UV rays, frost, humidity, as well as damage from insects. While this won’t make your wood foolproof to all of these influences, it will be a long time before you start worrying about the troubling shape of your outdoor furniture.
Before you decide to leave any wood exposed to elements outside, you have to ensure that is treated.
This is because if left untreated, it could easily crack, or warp and cost you a fair chunk of money.The treatment will apply to everything from your deck to your shed and any other outdoor furniture you may have.
What Type of Woods are Best for Outdoor Use?
It will take longer for some woods to start decaying when compared to others. That’s why you must conduct your due diligence before buying your outdoor furniture. You want to start by checking the type of wood that has been used to make the furniture. Even though your desirable wood will require a higher initial investment, it will also stand the test of time and prove to be more economical in the long term.
Now, there are numerous kinds of woods that you can use to make furniture. However, the following are just a few examples that have shown to be more formidable and longer-lasting when used to create furniture meant for the outdoors: Cypress, Acacia, Black locust, and Cedar.
Weatherproofing Wood for Outdoors
There are various methods you can employ to protect your wood from harmful outdoor weather.
One of the easiest is to use oil; not only is the process easy and cheap but it should be able to keep moisture at bay for the benefit of your wood. The following is a step-by-step approach you can use to preserve your outdoor wood using oil:
Choose the Oil to Use
Now when thinking of how to weatherproof wood for outdoors, there are three common oils are used for waterproofing wood and these are linseed, tung, and walnut. Linseed oil can be bought at many DIY repair stores, and it is mostly sold in its raw or boiled form. Boiled linseed oil has metal drying agents that are usually poisonous if ingested.
This means you may use it for your outdoor furniture, but make sure that you won’t use the wood for anything to do with food.
Luckily, you can buy the linseed oil without its metal drying agents. Just look for raw linseed oil that will be safer to use on your outdoor wood. Meanwhile, tung oil is usually found as a mix in the majority of commercial products. Raw tung oil will often cost you more compared to other oils; it is more suitable for use on smaller wood projects.
Finally, walnut oil can easily be found in your local grocery store. It is the same item you’ll find sitting next to the olive oil. However, because of nut allergies, this product is rarely used commercially.
Getting the Oil
Assess your project and determine which wooden surfaces will need to be treated with the oil. If you’re undertaking large projects such as a patio deck, an exterior stain and deck sealant would be the viable option.
Oil is more suitable for smaller wood items like tables, countertops, and cutting boards. List down the number of surfaces you’ll need to treat so that you estimate the right amount of oil to purchase. Luckily, the oil will stay good for a number of years, so any leftovers won’t be a waste. Depending on your wood treatment needs, buy an amount that you feel will be enough for your project.
Make a Mixture
It is possible to create an even stronger treatment coat when you mix the oil with apple cider vinegar and turpentine. The mixture should comprise one unit of the oil, one unit of turpentine, and a half unit of the apple cider vinegar. This will preserve the oil supply, as well as offer a more durable finish. Put the mixture in a metal container and stir until you create a perfect blend. Even though you don't need to create the mixture, this will provide you with better results.
Prepare the Wood for Treatment
When thinking of how to weatherproof wood for outdoors there are a few things to consider.
Before you start treating the wood, you want to make sure that there are no imperfections on the surface, as this will be highlighted even further once you apply the oil on the wood. For this, find a metal file or thick sandpaper to level out the blemishes on the surface. Scrape until you confirm that everything looks good. Finish up the wood preparation by sanding the surface with fine (220) sandpaper so that it is good to absorb the oil when applied.
Clean the surface with a dry cloth to ensure that it's dry before you start treating the wood. However, if you’re buying the furniture, this will already have been done, so all you need to do is wipe it down to get a clean and dry surface.
Preparing the Tools
Take a lint-free rag and fold it while ensuring that you have other scrap rags on hand. This serves to remove rough edges and prevent possible snags when you start spreading the oil. Get a pair of thick rubber gloves to handle the turpentine and other products with mineral spirits.
Applying the First Coat
Pour a slight amount of oil on the rag; you don’t want to apply it directly to the wood. Spread the oil with the grain by starting from the interior and moving to the exterior. Remember to let the wood absorb the oil by avoiding to touch the surface. Instead, focus on achieving an even coat and use more oil when you see that the rag is getting drier. There should be no standing oil puddles on the surface.
Give the First Coat Time to Dry
Allow the wood to heal for at least thirty minutes so that the oil can properly settle into it then use a clean cloth to wipe the surface and remove any excess oil. Give the wood another 24 hours to cure and wait until when it’s fully dry. Using oil to waterproof will usually take longer than a sealant, so you have to be patient. Once it is dry, scrape the surface with very fine steel wool. This will make sure that the next round of coat sticks better to the wool. Wipe the wood dust with a dry cloth in preparation for the coming coat.
Applying the Other Coats
You’ll need two more coats to fully treat the wood. Using the same method, apply another layer of oil on the wood and let it dry once again. Note that each coat you apply will take longer to cure than the previous one. Repeat the cycle by sanding the wood surface with fine steel wool once it dries. Finally, apply the third coat to finish the weatherproofing procedure. This might take several days or weeks to fully dry. You can check whether it has fully cured by running your finger along the smooth surface. Only then can you start using the outdoor furniture.
Oil is just one of the ingredients you can use to weatherproof your wood for outdoor use. There are other alternatives you can get, such as a water-based wood sealer or an oil-based stain. Sealants and stains can easily be accessed at almost any home improvement store in your neighborhood; just ensure that you are picking those that are specially designed for outdoor use. If you are not an expert, remember to go over the product instructions to know the drying times and if at all there’s need to sand between coats. Generally, the process of wood treatment is more or less the same; the only difference will come in the period taken between coats as you wait for them to dry. In this case, the wait will be shorter.
Using wood for your outdoor projects can result in very appealing furniture and structures. It has the ability to take the outlook of your compound to a whole new level. But this will only be possible if the wood can stand the test of time, especially since it is directly exposed to the elements.
The best option you have is to weatherproof the wood before using it in the outdoors. Thankfully, this post provides you with all the information you need about how to weatherproof wood for outdoors purposes so that all your furniture and wooden structures can withstand the abuse from the elements.