How to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use

How to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use: Easiest Guideline

Preserving your outdoor furniture and other wooden pieces such as shed, deck, patio and gazebo is very important. Using untreated wood in outdoors will damage your furniture easily. They need some kind of protection to keep away from the severe effects of sun, water, salts, moisture and other outside elements. 

All these elements together can ruin your wood pieces. In other words, it reduces the life of your outdoor wood. This is why treating your wood is very important.

If you are wondering how to treat wood for outdoor use, then you are in the right place. In this guide, we will tell all that you need to know to keep your outdoor wood pieces protected.

There are many ways of treating wood, but we are going to discuss the methods that can be easily done at home. So without wasting time, let’s get started.

Why is it Important to Treat Outdoor Wood Pieces?

Treating your outdoor wood pieces is important for multiple reasons. The furniture you use outside are exposed to various outside elements. They have to withstand harsh elements like rain, water, sun rays, insect damaged and what not.

When exposed to these outdoor elements for long, it reduces the lifespan of the wood. This is why it becomes increasingly important to get your wood treated.

You need to treat your wood in every few years to keep it in good condition. Failing to do this will damage your wood pieces. In that case, you will either have to spend more money to repair or replace them.

Instead of facing such things, it’s better to invest a little time and money in wood treatment. With the methods listed below, you can treat your wood pieces all by yourself at home.

How to treat wood For Outdoor Use?

How to Treat Wood

As mentioned above, there are many ways to treat wood and make it durable. But we have chosen only the methods that you can get done in your house.

These are easy to perform methods. Also, the items required can be bought from your nearby hardware shop. That being said, let’s walk you through the methods below.

Method 1: Creating a Warm, Hand-Rubbed oil finish

In the first method, we will be using tung oil derived from the tung tree and linseed oil derived from the seeds of the flax plant. These oils are popularly used in creating a warm, hand rubbed oil finish.

These oils are being used for centuries and they are known to protect dark-grained woods as mahogany and walnut. By mixing the oils with other important ingredients, you can make the perfect solution to treat your outdoor wood pieces.

You can either purchase pre-blended linseed oil and tung oil or buy them separately and mix them.

A standard hand-rubbed oil mixture consists of one-part oil of either of the oils, one-part polyurethane and one-part mineral spirits.

Here is what you have to do with the mixture:

  1. At first you need to mix and stir all the ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Take a natural bristle paintbrush to apply it to the wood pieces.
  3. Allow the oil to get absorbed into the surface. After that you need to reapply another coat to the spots that look dry.
  4. Now wipe off the residual oil using dry rags. This should remove all the excess oil from the surface.
  5. Once done, you need to let the wood dry completely. This can take up to few hours to overnight. This is dependent on the degree of oil in the mixture.
  6. After it becomes dry, use sandpaper and rub it lightly.
  7. You need to repeat the process till you get the desired finish.

Method 2: Treating wood with sealant/stain

Treating Wood with Sealant

One of the easiest way to treat your wood is to use wood stain or sealant. This will not only make your wood durable but also make it weatherproof. This means it will get less affected by the outside elements such as sun, moisture etc.

A sealant gives a transparent finish, whereas wood stain adds pigment that changes the look of the wood. However, both will make the wood waterproof. This needs to be reapplied every few years.

Here are the steps to be followed:

1. Prepare the wood

At first you need to prepare the wood by sanding the surface. You need a rough sandpaper to handle the imperfections on the surface. This will also help you to get rid of any previous treatment.

Make sure that you finish sanding with a finer sandpaper to give it a smooth finish.

Now clean the surface and remove the left sanding residue.

2. Select your stain or sealant

There are many brands selling stains and sealants. But if you want the best results, then you should go for a high quality one. Spending a bit more in the right place can save you repair or replacement costs in the future.

You need to choose your sealant based on the furniture you are going to use it for. For example, you can get deck sealant, furniture sealant and others.

Since you want to make your wood pieces durable against UV rays, moisture and water, you should go for marine wood sealant. However, if you want to use a wood stain, then make sure that it is meant for exterior use.

If you have a lot of pieces or large areas to cover, then it’s better to go for a product that can be used with paint sprayer. This will help you speed up the application process.

3. Apply the first coat

Now that you have everything ready, apply the first coat using your sprayer or brush. Make sure that you apply the solution evenly and cover all the portions nicely. No place should be left uncovered. Once done, you need to let it dry for about four to ten hours depending on manufacturer instructions.

4. Sand your pieces

In this steps, you need to sand your wood pieces after the first coat dries up. In many cases, you may have to sand it for the second time. This is important so that the next coat sticks better. You should use a very fine sandpaper to sand. You can also use a “0000” steel wool.

After you are done, wipe off all the residue from the surface and get it ready for the second coat.

5. Apply second and third coats

Apply the second coat and let it dry. You should be informed that each coat will take longer to dry than the previous one.

After the second coat is dry, use a fine sandpaper and sand the surface. Clean it with a cloth and then apply the final or third coat. You can now leave the pieces to dry.

6. Leave to cure

Once everything is done, you should leave the wood pieces to cure for at least 3 to 4 days, before you start using them.


From the above discussion, you know how to treat wood for outdoor use. After going through this guide, you should be able to treat your wood pieces on your own. This will help you make your furniture durable and weatherproof. 

Not just that but it also helps in increasing the lifespan of your furniture. However, make sure that you use high quality products for the task. This will give you guaranteed best results.


6 thoughts on “How to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use: Easiest Guideline”

  1. hi i was looking for pr-blended linseed oil and tung oil but couldnt find any. could you recommend some that are available on amazon please?

  2. Can the wood be painted with garden paint after oil has been put on or will garden paint do the same job in protecting the wood on it’s own without using the oil first?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top