How To Make Wood Waterproof

When water soaks into the porous surface of a wood structure, it poses several risks. Anything constructed of wood and exposed to the weather needs protection.

Your deck and boats are more common areas that come to mind, yet there are other areas around your home where wood needs waterproofing.

Many individuals think using a more water-resistant type of wood, they can skip waterproofing their project; however, water resistance varies depending on your project.

No matter what type of wood you use, long-term exposure leads to the same thing, and water-resistant wood is still damaged unless correctly waterproofed.

waterproof wood

Waterproofing treatments are helpful since you can offer protection against UV exposure.

In our guide, you can learn all you need to know about how to seal the wood, regardless of the area. (Find the Best Waterproof Paint For Shower Tiles)

By the end, you can see how to use wood for bathroom use, outdoors, or for any home DIY project, you want to take on.

What Is The Best Waterproofing for Wood?

Wood surfaces that are not treated are prone to rotting, warping, and cracking, yet here you can learn the best ways how to treat your wood with a waterproofing product to extend its life.

If your wood is exposed to the elements frequently, such as your deck or patio, or porch furniture, you need to regularly carry out the right procedure to protect the wood surface.


1. Waterproofing Wood with Oil

Linseed, walnut, and tung are the three most commonly used oils for waterproofing wood. Tung oil is commonly included in commercial products as part of a mix.

Because raw tung oil is more expensive, it is often reserved for smaller wood waterproofing projects compared to other oils.

Walnut oil is the same product you’ll find at the grocery store next to olive oil, yet you need to be careful if anyone in your home suffers from nut allergies.

Linseed oil you can find in most home improvement stores, however many of these products are sold raw or boiled. Note, the boiled type has metal drying agents and is toxic. While you can use boiled linseed oil products on your outdoor furniture, they shouldn’t be used in food preparation areas.

Raw linseed oil without metal drying agents is available and the one to use around the kitchen countertop.

2. Purchase the oil

Check the project you are doing and decide on the wooden surfaces you want to treat. Consider an exterior stain and deck sealant for larger projects such as your wooden deck. Any oil is more suited to smaller wooden objects like a cutting board, baseball bat, or kitchen countertop.

It is advisable to purchase too much as having excess stain sealer is better than not having enough.

3. Make Your Own Mixture

While you can buy ready-to-use products for how to waterproof wood, or you can make your own mixture and improve the effectiveness.

Mixing your wood oil with turpentine and apple cider vinegar.

Mix one part oil, one part turpentine, and ½ a part apple cider vinegar. You’ll find the mixture can preserve your oil supply and offer a robust, durable finish.


4. Prepare Your Wood

Before interior sealers, you need to get rid of any surface imperfections, as you can see these after you apply your treatment. (Read Gorilla Waterproof Patch And Seal Tape Guide)

Use thick sandpaper to remove visible surface imperfections.

Sand lightly to finish the entire surface using fine sandpaper (220 grit).

Wipe the area with a tack cloth to remove any dust.

5. Protective Gear

You will need some protective gear, and goggles and rubber gloves are advised. Also, it is best to do this in a well-ventilated area when using turpentine or products containing mineral spirits.

6. Apply the first coat.

Apply a small amount of oil to the surface of the rag. Do not apply the oil to the wooden surface right away.

Moving from the interior to the exterior, rub your oil in the grain’s direction across the entire wood surface. Make sure there is no residual oil on the wood as you run the oil into the surface of the wood.

7. Let Dry.

Let the wood oils soak into the wood for about 30 minutes. To remove excess oil, wipe the surface using a clean towel.

Let the oil soak and dry for 24 hours, as oil waterproofing takes longer than waterproofing with a sealant.

Rub the wood oil surface with steel wool.

8. Apply More Coats

Apply more oil as another couple of coats of wood oil finish onto your wood. Repeat the drying times and sanding with steel wool in-between applications.

Let the wood cure for several days to weeks before using the wood.

You’ll know when it has cured, as you can slide your fingers across the smooth surface of the waterproofing oil.

Does Sealant Make Wood Waterproof?

When looking at how to waterproof wood, you’ll discover weatherproofing wood protects. It has UV protection and fends off frost and insect damage, besides preventing moisture damage.

Waterproofing wood doesn’t totally protect it from deterioration, but it extends its life.

A waterproof sealant will bring out the natural color of the wood surface on your deck and adding a pop of color while keeping it looking clean.

Even when covered by a porch, all wood exposed to the elements needs to be treated.

Waterproofing wood can help against the prevention of:

  • Cracks, warping and splits from moisture exposure.
  • Discoloration, wear, and tear because of UV rays.
  • Scratches from foot traffic and chairs.
  • Mold, mildew, and dirt from leaves and debris.

How to Waterproof Wood?

You already know how vital it is to protect and seal outdoor wood when it faces all the outdoor elements, so what are the best ways to waterproof wood?

Besides a waterproof wood finish as above, you can achieve exterior wood with other products and techniques. (Learn How To Clean Unfinished Wood)

You must first determine the wood surfaces, whether it is for indoor or outdoor use, and when it will be exposed to water.

Depending on your requirements, you can select the right wood and the best waterproof wood finish to prepare the wood for its location.

Knowing how to weatherproof wood gives it a longer lifespan and a pleasant look.

Prepare the surface before you apply any sealant, and ensure you remove any traces of the previous finish, or it could ruin the natural beauty.

Before applying any oil-based polyurethane sealants, sand down the surface as you can see imperfections in the coating. Sanding also gets rid of any finish that could stop your waterproof sealant from absorbing into the wood.

Since an oil finish or your oil mixture may not penetrate the wood correctly, it is best to use the waterproof wood sealer approach for previously finished wood.

For any areas that require additional attention, use rougher sandpaper. Then, to ensure an equal surface, sand the surface with finer sandpaper.

Purchase a water-based wood sealant from your local home improvement stores. Wood sealants also go under the name of Water Seal and Stain Sealer. If you wish to change the color, you can purchase a colored sealant so long as you sand the wood’s surface before application.

When you get an exterior grade stain, sealants are labeled with the product type for the wood sealer type in which they are used, such as deck sealant, fence sealant, and furniture sealant are some instances.

If your wood faces UV rays and water, invest in a good marine wood sealant. Some sealants you find can be applied using a paint sprayer.

Prepare your paintbrush or sprayer and concentrate on painting the entire surface with an even coat of paint. Otherwise, the product can evaporate too quickly if the ambient temperature and humidity are not within the product’s operating range.

Make sure the wood’s surface is clean before applying the sealant to the dry surface.

Allow for thorough drying of the product, according to the product’s recommendations for drying times.

The drying times will be much faster than when using oil. The drying time for many sealants ranges from 4 to 10 hours.

The first coat should be clean of blemishes. Use fine-grit sandpaper to improve the adhesion of the second coat, but only if the product instructions advise so. Do this when the product has completely dried. (Read Can You Sand Concrete With Regular Sandpaper)

You can clean the sealant using “0000” steel wool and be sure to run along the wood grain. Wipe with a dry cloth to remove dust.

If required, apply a second and third, and final coat of liquid polyurethane stain or epoxy resin to provide durability.

Some hardwoods only need one coat, whereas softwoods may need two or three. Softwoods are non-treated woods that are cheaper to purchase and include cedar, pine, redwood, and spruce.

Hardwood is a denser wood that is used for high-grade furniture and decks. Popular hardwoods include beech, hickory, mahogany, oak, and walnut.

Give the wood time to cure. Allow the wood to cure for several days before using it or placing furniture on top of it.

When water is applied to the surface of wood, rather than beading up and draining off, it darkens the wood.

Apply the sealant every few years to waterproof wood finish products and healthy wood upkeep and outdoor use.

How To Make Wood Waterproof (2)

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