How to waterproof wood

That pure magnificence requires security! Choose the merchandise and strategies that work most interesting alongside along with your wooden.

By Bob Vila | Updated Aug 11, 2020 3:26 PM

Among the many most nice furnishings, cabinetry, and trim work are crafted from wooden, the world’s oldest and best-loved establishing supplies. With out security, however, most wooden will endure from publicity to moisture and extreme humidity, resulting in swelling, warping, and even rotting. Fortunately, you presumably can merely avail your self of merchandise that defend wooden whereas enhancing its pure magnificence.

Waterproof Wooden

There are three surefire strategies to waterproof your wooden for years to come back.

  • Use linseed or Tung oil to create an exceptional and defending hand-rubbed finish.
  • Seal the wooden with coating of polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer.
  • Finish and waterproof wooden concurrently with a stain-sealant combo.

When deciding on the technique that’s greatest for you, bear in mind the truth that some methods of waterproofing are larger suited to inside or exterior objects, whereas others are geared in path of dark- or light-grained wooden.

For the whole particulars on each of the precept strategies to waterproof wooden, proceed learning beneath!

  • Linseed oil
  • Mineral spirits
  • Polyurethane
  • Pure bristle paintbrush
  • Rags
  • Top quality-grit sandpaper
  • See full itemizing «
  • Polyurethane sealant
  • Wooden varnish
  • Lacquer
  • Wooden stain and sealant

METHOD 1: Create a warmth, hand-rubbed oil finish

Linseed oil, derived from the seeds of the flax plant, and Tung oil, extracted from the Chinese language language Tung tree, are the concept for virtually all hand-rubbed (a.okay.a. wiping) oil finishes.

Employed for a whole lot of years, these oils beautify and defend such dark-grained woods as walnut and mahogany, and they also’re nonetheless in use in the meanwhile—with a few enhancements. Mixing the oils with completely different parts hastens drying situations and eliminates stickiness. You should buy pre-blended Tung oil and linseed oil merchandise— otherwise you presumably can mix your private for a custom-made finish. A standard hand-rubbed oil combine consists of one-part oil (each Tung or boiled linseed), one-part mineral spirits, and one-part polyurethane.

Proper right here’s learn how to apply yours:

  1. Stir fully.
  2. Apply with a pure bristle paintbrush to dark-grained wooden that’s been sanded and cleaned. (If wanting you’re waterproofing wooden that is lighter in coloration, comparable to pine or ash, skip this system in favor of one in all many subsequent two; hand-rubbed oils are likely to yellow over time.)
  3. Let the oil soak into the ground, and reapply to any spots that look dry.
  4. Wipe off the residual oil, rubbing properly with clear dry rags to remove all additional.
  5. Allow the wooden to dry totally. This might take anyplace from a few hours to in a single day, counting on the diploma of oil throughout the mixture.
  6. Sand flippantly with a fine-grit sandpaper.
  7. Repeat the tactic with as many additional coats as required to obtain your required finish.

As you develop to be accustomed to oil-rubbed blends, be at liberty to experiment with the elements. For a thicker product, in the reduction of the amount of mineral spirits. In the event you occur to’d like additional working time sooner than the tip dries, in the reduction of the amount of polyurethane. Or, on the flip facet, add additional poly for a glossier finish and sooner drying time. You’ll create a large number of custom-made blends!

Observe: Oily rags used to rub away additional oil can spontaneously combust—yup, even with out being near flame, on account of as a result of the oil dries, it generates heat. Take precautions by conserving a bucket of water useful whereas working; as a rag turns into oil-saturated, drop it throughout the bucket whereas and proceed with a transparent rag. Later, grasp rags out to dry individually. When totally dry, you presumably can throw them away with out hazard, nevertheless rags should not be reused.

METHOD 2: Use sealants for most interesting security

Polyurethane, varnish, and lacquer are tried-and-true sealants with superb waterproofing properties. They’re each brushed or sprayed onto clear, sanded wooden after which allowed to dry totally, previous to the piece being flippantly re-sanded and recoated.

For most interesting outcomes, apply your finish in a “room temperature” ambiance. And under no circumstances shake or briskly stir sealants sooner than utility; doing so might trigger air bubbles that can keep on the ground, even after the sealant dries.

Though comparatively quick drying (some in as little as 15 minutes), these sealants normally embody chemical solvents, so air move is necessary all through utility.

These are the professionals and cons of essentially the most well-liked types of sealants:

  • Polyurethane sealants embody, in addition to to acrylic and polyurethane resins, quite a few completely different solvents, serving to you choose your favorite finish impression—anyplace on the spectrum from a high-gloss shine to a gentle, clean sheen. Proper this second’s polyurethane obtained’t yellow, so it’s a good choice for light-toned woods. Oil-based polyurethane affords the very best sturdiness, nevertheless brush cleanup requires mineral spirits or turpentine. With water-based polyurethane, cleanup is a snap with cleansing cleaning soap and water.
  • Varnish, a mixture of resin, solvent, and drying oil, supplies a hard-shell finish that resists scratches with out yellowing. To waterproof wooden that may be positioned open air, choose marine varnish, which accommodates UV absorbers to withstand photo voltaic harm. For inside use on end tables and low tables, spar varnish is an efficient choice to withstand pesky cup rings. Clear brushes with turpentine or mineral spirits.
  • Lacquer, a mixture of dissolved tree resin or synthetic resin in alcohol, is the sealant of choice for wooden furnishings. Whereas it’d develop a yellowish tinge over time that’s considered unattractive on lighter woods, lacquer brings out a rich, warmth, and uniquely scratch-resistant finish on deep-toned wooden. It’s on the market in numerous sheen selections and could also be thinned with lacquer thinner. For optimum outcomes, apply lacquer in a variety of mild coats. Observe: Lacquer emits off sturdy fumes, so air move is totally necessary; work open air or open house home windows and use followers.

METHOD 3: Work fast with stain-sealant combos

When time is of the essence in any other case you’re defending a giant enterprise, comparable to a wooden deck, go for a top quality stain-sealant combo. These multitasking merchandise add coloration whereas providing water resistance in a single step. Stain-sealant merchandise embody coloration pigments with the addition of binders, which can be oil-, water- or alkyd-based. Counting on the main focus of pigment throughout the product, the final word final result could also be clear, opaque, or in-between. If making use of a stain-sealer to exterior wooden, you’ll must reapply yearly or two to protect the wooden protected.

Besides alkyd-based merchandise, stain-sealants don’t assemble up on the wooden ground; as an alternative, they soak in and any additional evaporates. Alkyd-based stain-sealants go away a light-weight ground coating on the wooden, making them larger suited to inside wooden objects, comparable to indoor uncovered beams or rustic furnishings, that obtained’t require future capabilities. Outside, alkyd-based stain-sealers are likely to peel if the wooden isn’t fully clear and dry when utilized.

Although wooden is a reasonably good and sturdy supplies, we’ll’t deny the reality that water is doubtless one of many components which is able to set off it to deteriorate shortly.

To forestall this draw back, it could possibly be advisable to waterproof wooden. It can give it that added security, in the long run stopping warping, rotting, cracking and quick deterioration.

Wooden that hasn’t been dealt with will broaden as a result of it accumulates water. And when it dries up, it might contract. Sadly, such cycle of contracting and growing will lastly harm the wooden. It ought to set off cracks and warping, along with discolouration and completely different factors.

With that in ideas, listed beneath are some waterproofing concepts that you could be need to keep in mind:

Assess if the Wooden Has Been Beforehand Dealt with

To know if wooden has been beforehand waterproofed, splash it with some water. Wooden that has already been dealt with will likely set off the water to bead up. So, which means you obtained’t need to waterproof it anymore. However, must you see that it hasn’t been dealt with however, you presumably can select to use a wooden sealant to forestall water from seeping in.

Choose the Appropriate Wooden Sealant

There are a number of kinds of wooden sealants that it is best to use. Some are designed to penetrate the “insides” of the wooden, whereas there are these which had been designed to merely repel water.

The most common wooden sealants are:

  • Epoxy resin
  • Waterproofing oils, comparable to linseed oil, tung oil and specialised synthetic oils
  • Varnish and related merchandise, for repelling water from the wooden ground
  • Non-toxic waterproofing formulation, for an eco-friendly and safer waterproofing decision

Observe: In the event you occur to love to go the DIY route, you presumably can create a waterproofing mixture your self. A wonderful occasion will be using polyester resin with acetone, as these can shortly penetrate into the wooden, thereby giving it a longer-lasting and environment friendly security.

Apply Wooden Sealants Appropriately

– Sooner than making use of wooden sealants, guarantee to clear the wooden.
– Use sandpaper to remove earlier paint and coatings.
– Solely apply the sealant if the wooden is dry. Moreover, guarantee to make use of a material, brush or one other acceptable devices for larger outcomes.

Whenever you’ve received merely constructed a deck or patio and don’t must cowl the attractive wooden with paint, you’ll must take care of the wooden with waterproofing to defend it from moisture. An extreme quantity of humidity might trigger the wooden to broaden and warp, and untreated wooden can invite carpenter bees and completely different undesirable wooden burrowing bugs. Ultraviolet rays throughout the daylight may even harm and bleach untreated wooden.

We’ll go over a few fully completely different methods it is best to use to help defend your wooden and seal it from water harm. Maintain learning whereas we discuss tung oil, varnish, water repellents, stain sealers, and additional to offer assist to make the one choice in your enterprise.

Waterproofing Methods

We’ll current you a lot methods it is best to use to defend your wooden from extreme humidity and water harm, nevertheless it’s important to remember that there’s no good decision. Some methods work larger indoors, and some might match larger with fully completely different wooden grains or colors. We advocate wanting over each one to see which one most interesting resembles your circumstance.

1. Rubbed Finishes

Credit score rating: rafatar, Pixabay

Rubbed finishes are a good choice for indoor woods. They seal out water and make the wooden look additional attractive. It makes darkish woods brighter and gives lighter woods additional yellow coloring. Your selections for rubbed finishes are tung oil, linseed oil, and flax oil. Of these kinds, tung oil is the costliest nevertheless longest enduring. Linseed oil is essentially the most well-liked and is on the market in a variety of varieties which will embody parts to make it additional immune to ultraviolet mild and mildew to make it additional acceptable for exterior use. Exterior Effectivity Coatings Moist Wooden Stain is a perfect occasion of linseed oil with additional properties, though it moreover stains the wooden which is outdoor the scope of this dialogue.

Typical hand-rubbed oils tended to yellow with age, so woodworkers solely used them for darkish woods. However, trendy varieties shouldn’t be going to yellow, and it is best to use them with out concern.

  • Mix the reply fully using a transparent paint stick.
  • Apply evenly to the ground using a pure bristle paint brush.
  • Allow the oils to penetrate and soak into the ground, together with additional to spots that look dry until it not seeps in.
  • Wipe off the excess oil.
  • Allow it to dry totally in a single day.
  • Calmly sand with a ending grade sandpaper
  • Repeat until you have received the desired finish. Usually, two or three coats with linseed or flax oil, and as many as 5 with tung oil.

2. Sealants

Credit score rating: Halfpoint, Shutterstock

Sealants are time examined and have superb waterproofing traits. There are three kinds, along with polyurethane, varnish, and lacquer.

  • Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a thick resin mixed with acrylic and quite a few solvents. It’s on the market in a variety of sheens, from a satin to a gloss and it doesn’t yellow, so it’s significantly suited to light-colored woods. It’s on the market with an oil or latex base.

  • Varnish

Varnish moreover makes use of resins and solvent nevertheless leaves out the acrylic and replaces it with drying oils, which results in a thick, scratch-resistant finish that’s good for desk and completely different carefully used surfaces. It moreover is on the market in a variety of varieties, and you’re going to get one which’s immune to ultraviolet mild, so it is best to use it open air. The varnish is an oil-based finish.

  • Lacquer

Lacquer is a sealant that makes use of resins dissolved in alcohol. You normally see lacquer on furnishings on account of it does an important job of bringing out the wooden grain. It’s moreover on the market in a variety of sheens, from satin to extreme gloss, and chances are you’ll skinny it with lacquer thinner to make it less complicated to work. The draw again to lacquer is that it tends to yellow over time, so it’s not acceptable for light-colored woods, and it has a strong odor which will require a great deal of air move.

  • Mix the reply fully using a transparent paint stick.
  • Apply evenly to the ground using a pure bristle paint brush.
  • In case you might be using a sprig, protect your hand common and spray evenly over the ground, trying ahead to drips and puddles.
  • Allow it to dry totally.
  • Calmly sand with finishing-grade sandpaper.
  • Repeat until you have received the desired finish.

3. Stain and Sealant

Credit score rating: Halfpoint, Shutterstock

Combination stain and sealant merchandise add pigment to the reply to make your wooden surfaces additional attractive. It’s significantly helpful to darken the wooden so that you presumably can’t see the yellowing that comes with age in some finishes. Stain and sealant combos don’t typically go away a thick finish like varnish or lacquer and additional intently resembles a rubbed finish. In the event you occur to pick out one in all these finish for a deck or patio, you may seemingly wish to reapply it every few years to protect defending the wooden.

  • Mix the reply fully using a transparent paint stick.
  • Work shortly and apply evenly to the ground using a pure bristle paint brush.
  • Allow it to dry totally.
  • Calmly sand with a ending grade sandpaper
  • Repeat until you have received the desired finish.

When using any sealant product, it’s important to protect safety in ideas. Remember to have a great deal of air move when working indoors. Maintain a fan working ought to you may and open the house home windows. In case you might be using a sprig finish, it’s most interesting to placed on a masks along with eye security.

One of many important important points to keep in mind when working with any of these sealants is that they create heat as they dry, which could set off rags soaked in these liquids to catch on fireside spontaneously, significantly in the event that they’re crumpled up or piled on prime of each other. We advocate conserving a pail of water shut by to soak the rags immediately after use. After you soak them throughout the water, it’s best to know the rags on a line to dry totally sooner than disposing of them. On no account reuse a rag.


We advocate a sealant for most people on account of it’s easy to use, and there are varieties for indoor and outdoor use. They provide a thick defending coating that seems attractive and holds up for just a few years. In the event you want a pure seek for your indoor wooden whereas defending it from moisture, the rubbed finish should serve you high-quality.

We hope you have received cherished learning and found somewhat bit additional regarding the quite a few waterproofing measures it is best to use to defend your wooden. In the event you occur to imagine it’d help others, please share these three quick and simple strategies to waterproof wooden on Fb and Twitter.

Inside or outdoor, wooden is on a regular basis one of many important pretty provides to make use of throughout the home. From flooring to furnishings, wooden surfaces provide a singular pure enchantment that seems just about nearly as good because it’s wise. The one draw back is that wooden, when untreated, could also be merely affected by moisture, daylight, heat, and on daily basis placed on and tear. Ending and waterproofing wooden is important if you would like to guard and defend your useful wooden for an prolonged lifespan. In case you might be to know how to waterproof wooden, we’ll uncover the topic intimately beneath.

Why is Waterproofing Wooden Important?

The very very first thing to understand is the excellence between water-resistance and waterproofing. If the wooden is waterproof, will most likely be prepared to withstand a restricted amount of water/liquid. It can help to defend it from small spills which could merely be cleaned up. If waterproof wooden is constantly uncovered to water though, it might soak into the wooden and set off lasting harm.

A water-resistant wooden finish creates a difficult ground that water merely cannot soak into. Proper right here there is not a hazard for water penetration. Waterproofing wooden is used on points like boats or decks which have prolonged contact with water. Water-resistant wooden will work for points like kitchen counters or toilet cupboards.

Wooden is a porous supplies, so any moisture that penetrates into wooden will be absorbed. It can result in a damaged wooden development. In actual fact, that’s one factor that differs between a number of kinds of wooden. In the event you occur to plan on having any wooden open air, then it should have some kind of remedy. In another case, it might lastly warp, crack, discolor, or rot.

Merchandise that offer the simplest waterproof wooden finish typically produce different benefits too. This consists of points like UV resistance, and security in opposition to scratches, mildew, or one other potential threats to wooden. Understanding learn how to waterproof wooden is important for extending its lifespan and look.

However, this doesn’t make the wooden totally invincible to the climate. You will nonetheless need to normally maintain accomplished wooden to protect it at its most interesting.

Waterproof Wooden?

You know how important it is to defend and seal wooden that is used open air, so now the question is learn how to waterproof wooden? There are quite a few merchandise on the market that may be utilized to current a water-proof wooden finish. First, you’ll have to arrange whether or not or not chances are you’ll be using the wooden indoors or open air, and what the extent of water publicity will be.

You then presumably can choose the simplest waterproof wooden finish primarily based in your explicit needs. Understanding learn how to weatherproof wooden will current an prolonged lifespan for the wooden, along with a higher look.

Oil Finish for Waterproofing Wooden

Using a wooden oil finish is one selection for waterproofing wooden. There are numerous fully completely different wooden oil selections on the market. The kind of oil that you simply simply choose should be based mostly totally on the sort of wooden that you simply’re working with. Ome good and customary wooden oil selections embody linseed oil and tung oil for regular use.

Previous pure oils, it is also attainable to get wooden oils which will be combined with mineral spirits and polyurethane. This combine helps to velocity up the drying time and take away any tackiness from the tip. Wooden oil is straightforward to use and may help to current a rich finish that enhances the pure implausible factor concerning the wooden. It’s a sensible choice for lots of wooden surfaces – considerably furnishings and indoor surfaces. Among the many advantages and drawbacks of using wooden oil are listed beneath.


  • Oil fills in any cracks and dries laborious
  • The oil penetrates deep into the wooden
  • A pure decision for ending wooden
  • Restores and maintains the pure aesthetic of the wooden
  • Easy to work with and apply


  • Doesn’t current full waterproofing
  • Requires latest capabilities every couple of months
  • Oil doesn’t current a shiny, clear finish as varnish does

Waterproof Sealant for Wooden

Waterproof wooden sealers will be present in numerous fully completely different varieties. Among the many hottest merchandise embody lacquer, polyurethane resin, and polish. Making use of a water-proof wooden sealer could also be completed with a paintbrush, or sprayed with a paint sprayer. Sooner than you apply a coat of sealant, the ground of the wooden should be prepared. This consists of sanding it down so that the wooden is completely bare. You’ll then add numerous sealant coats until the right finish is achieved.

Utterly completely different sealers embody fully completely different parts, nevertheless they’re all chemically formulated. Due to this you wish to take a few safety precautions sooner than working with them. Attempt to placed on gloves, defending goggles, and even a respirator masks when making use of chemical sealants. Its moreover on a regular basis most interesting to work in a well-ventilated ambiance to steer clear of inhaling the fumes.

As there’s pretty quite a lot of numerous waterproof wooden sealers, choose a product that is significantly formulated in your use. As an illustration, you’re going to get a specific waterproof sealant for wooden decks, marine wooden, furnishings, fences, and so forth.

Outdoors wooden sealant additionally must be UV enhanced for canopy in opposition to the photo voltaic. When wanting into learn how to Cwood with a sealant, a marine selection is usually most interesting. It’s as a result of it has waterproofing and UV-resistant properties.

Anyone who’s maintained a home for a really very long time is conscious of what happens when wooden turns into waterlogged. It turns into rotted, weak—principally ineffective. That’s why it’s no secret that the wooden in your boat should be appropriately sealed and waterproofed to take care of the marine ambiance. Proper right here’s a quick data on learn how to waterproof wooden for a ship.

Why You Wish to Seal Your Boat Wooden

You’ll uncover a great deal of “learn how to waterproof wooden” articles in the marketplace. So why is it so explicit if the wooden happens to be on a ship? Expert boaters know that the marine ambiance is a really fully completely different animal than the ambiance spherical a model new deck, for example. Wooden for marine use must be ready to take care of the following:

  • UV Rays. Going out on a ship means broad entry to the sky. With that comes direct contact with UV rays—and UV rays don’t merely harm pores and pores and skin. They will moreover do long-term
    harm in your boat wooden must you’re not cautious.
  • Water. That’s the apparent distinction: put wooden on a ship and it needs to be sealed off from water as tightly as doable. Prolonged-term publicity to water can result in
    rot and completely different harm when your wooden isn’t appropriately sealed.
  • Humidity. It’s not merely water in lakes you wish to concern about. Water throughout the air can impact wooden even whereas your boat is dry and lifted out of the water.

Since you’re waterproofing wooden for a boat, don’t buy merely any sealer. Buy sealer significantly designed for marine use. Our End Grain Sealer Tools consists of two fundamental parts for utility—A and B—which is ready to lock out water and cease rot, making it good to make use of on docks along with boat wooden.

Waterproof Your Boat

With our End Grain Sealer Tools, you presumably can waterproof your boat’s wooden in three simple steps:

  • Put collectively your wooden by rubbing off any earlier finish with sandpaper. You could use two fully completely different sandpaper grits—robust to get the robust parts after which high-quality to offer the wooden a uniform finish.
  • Apply the End Grain Sealer Tools in accordance to the instructions. You’ll typically want to make use of a paintbrush, taking explicit care to get a uniform coat on the wooden. Use the bundle throughout the order prescribed, allowing it to dry as essential.
  • Make certain that the wooden has a great deal of time to treatment. Regardless that our End Grain Sealer Tools is a quick treatment, you under no circumstances know when humidity might get in the best way during which of a fast treatment. You want your wooden to be appropriately dry and sealed the following time it touches the water.

Whereas these steps will assure you have received an accurate seal, don’t overlook to set a reminder to revisit the wooden yearly or so. Research it to make sure there usually are not any indicators of waterlogging or rot, and re-apply sealer as essential. It can help forestall it from absorbing water and cease humidity and UV harm over the long term. The result is a lot much less money spent repairing your boat—and additional time spent having enjoyable with it.