Bang the wood up with blunt objects like hammers and crowbars, paying particular attention to any perfect edges. Strap on safety glasses and sling a bag of nails or screws against the boards to create a random pocking texture.
Drag a coarse wire brush or some steel wool up and down in the direction of the grain to leave striations. Tap an awl or 1/16-inch drill a bit with a hammer into the wood to mimic the look of insect damage from worms and termites.
Tear up one #0000-grade steel wool pad and stick it in a mason jar, along with 1-1/2 cups white vinegar. The darkness and color of the stain will vary depending on how much steel wool you use (more means more surface reaction) and how long it’s left to sit in the vinegar.
Set up sawhorses if you ’re weathering just a board or two of wood ; use drop cloths if you ’ll be working on a piece of furniture. Mix equal parts water and baking soda in any available plastic container, enough to apply it thickly over your wood.
If you want to either intensify the reaction or speed it up, spray the wood with white vinegar soon after applying the baking soda and water mixture. Some of the most delightful furniture, cabinetry, and trim work are crafted from wood, the world’s oldest and best-loved building material.
Without protection, however, most wood will suffer from exposure to moisture and high humidity, resulting in swelling, warping, or even rotting. Fortunately, you can easily avail yourself of products that protect wood while enhancing its natural beauty.
Wipe off the residual oil, rubbing well with clean dry rags to remove all excess. Or, on the flip side, add more poly for a glossier finish and quicker drying time.
They’re either brushed or sprayed onto clean, sanded wood and then allowed to dry completely, prior to the piece being lightly re-sanded and recoated. Though relatively quick drying (some in as little as 15 minutes), these sealants often contain chemical solvents, so ventilation is necessary during application.
Oil-based polyurethane offers the greatest durability, but brush cleanup requires mineral spirits or turpentine. Varnish, a combination of resin, solvent, and drying oil, gives a hard-shell finish that resists scratches without yellowing.
To waterproof wood that will be placed outdoors, choose marine varnish, which contains UV absorbers to resist sun damage. Note: Lacquer emits off strong fumes, so ventilation is absolutely essential; work outdoors or open windows and use fans.
When time is of the essence or you ’re protecting a large project, such as a wood deck, go for a quality stain-sealant combo. These multitasking products add color while providing water resistance in a single step.
Depending on the concentration of pigment in the product, the final result can be transparent, opaque, or in-between. Except alkyd-based products, stain-sealants don’t build up on the wood surface; instead, they soak in and any excess evaporates.
Outdoors, alkyd-based stain-sealers have a tendency to peel if the wood isn’t perfectly clean and dry when applied. Untreated wood is vulnerable to moisture as well as insect pests, such as termites.
Wooden steps and patios located outdoors can quickly absorb rainwater and snow, causing the wood to warp, erode and eventually rot. Sand the entire surface of the wood along the grain with a sander and 250-grit sandpaper to make it smooth.
Apply water seal evenly over the entire surface of the wood using a paintbrush, roller or sprayer. If working outside, check the weather forecast before applying water seal to make sure it won’t rain within two days of application.
| Family Handyman Skip to main content Different species of wood will “age” differently, so make a test board for how to weather wood using the type of woodyou'll be staining. Make sure the wood is clean and dry before you begin.
Pine timber aged outdoors in sun, rain and snow for 8 years. We'll show you how weather wood to achieve a strikingly similar look with just steel wool and vinegar and steel wool and vinegar stain.
Fill the jar with the steel wool and vinegar, the measurements don't have to be precise. Use 0000 steel wool (shown here) so it breaks down even faster in the vinegar.
Experiment with how long the steel wool is left in the vinegar. If you want an even darker finish, brush on a black tea wash before applying the iron vinegar (see slide for iron vinegar on pine).
Use a black tea wash first to get a grayer and darker effect: Boil water and add 2 black tea bags for each cup of water. It's made for exterior use and it is stinky until it dries, but it gives a beautiful silvery sheen to both cedar and pine.
The results are fast and predictable (unlike iron vinegar) which is a real plus if you don't like surprises. Pioneer Wood works quickly when learning how to weather wood on cedar, but pine still needs to sit outside in the weather after application, so it's unpredictable how much time it will save you.
Min wax Weathered Oak darkens the patina on pine slightly, but on cedar, it gives a soft gray overall tone with gold in the grain. Results for this how to weather wood project can look very different from what is shown on the label, so be doubly sure to test it first.
Thompson’s Water seal is a great choice for large areas like wooden decks and spar urethane is perfect for outdoor furniture. If you place untreated wood in the ground it will rot rather quickly and your project will not be any good.
Furthermore, when placing wood underground the best thing to do is surround it with concrete or gravel, but that’s a whole other topic we aren’t getting into here. Waterproofing is extremely important for any outdoor materials, water mixed with other natural events can cause anything to break down over a period of time.
I set up six 2×4 pine posts untreated on my patio to hold hanging lights, the winter has past, and they are weathered. Weather mixed with direct sunlight can damage wood quickly and if left untreated it can happen in a matter of weeks.
If you are searching for a long term project you might want to stick with treated wood or make sure you treat it yourself. The major risks associated with using untreated wood is the possibility of rot and total weather damages.
When used for decking, the direct sunlight, along with rainwater, will damage its surface causing cracks and possible warping throughout. Some types of wood are quite resistant on their own, while others soak up water and rot fast.
They are easier woods for creating decks and fences, while the costs are much lower too. These are typical when buying wood at your local hardware stores like The Home Depot.
Different oils are an option, applying protective coats are also a preferred method, and it is very easy to order products that include both stain and sealing compounds to waterproof your wood. Water sealers are simply a combination of chemicals and oils that have various additions for better UV and mildew protection.
I remember growing up with a pool in my backyard surrounded by a wooden deck and fence. While living in Canada we had snow come around every year, and we had to keep the wood sealed properly.
My dad, brother, and I would apply Thompson Water seal on the deck surface and the entire surrounding wooden fence after each winter. Of course, some pieces needed replacing over time, but that’s because the pool chemicals damaging the wood.
Thompson Material offers so many options, you can apply their clear topcoat or choose a variety of stain colors too. In large areas I would highly recommend a paint pad, it is almost like a roller but it’s flat and provides a better sealing finish.
I have used Min wax Helmsman Spar Urethane and it is super durable and waterproof for outside. Many people use this product on some larger projects, which makes it quite reliable on smaller ones no doubt.
I made an outdoor sofa using untreated wood and I used this product to protect it. It is super easy to apply and it creates this thick coat that seals out water nicely.
I know many people like showing off the wooden look so paint isn’t the best option, but it could look great on certain projects such as: You can buy decking oil which is created to prevent UV damages and overall weather resistance.
However, if treating untreated wood I would go with stronger and more durable waterproof methods mentioned before oils, such as sealers. When deciding what product to use for treating wood outdoors I would recommend choosing one based on the direct project.
The natural oil may not withstand weathering as much as other options on our list, resulting is re-applying regularly. I would recommend a coat of spar or exterior wood oil on the project first, epoxy isn’t UV resistant and will fade over time if outside.
Epoxy can be a messy way to apply and treat your wood to last, but it could be your top option in certain aspects. I know many outdoor bars that have a nice tabletop fully epoxied for ultimate durability.
Also, the worst part is that after you are done applying the epoxy layers it is said that you should let it cure for 4 days or longer. An epoxy project is very time-consuming when compared to other options on our list of ways how to treat untreated wood for outdoor use.
Well, the dry climate will actually reduce moisture contents in the pinewood, which can warp the pine into an unusable building piece. Although, applying some sort of protection will help keep the wood in better condition from natural events.
Not everyone takes care of their outdoor items regularly, and choosing cedar is great for those people. Redwood is known to be slightly better in overall quality, it holds greater strength and is more durable against the weather.
If you live in the right place and want a top-quality product, teak is a luxury option that will not disappoint. When building a pine fence or deck, use a wood sealer for ultimate protection.
While other popular ways to treat pine are using clear coats, such as spar urethane or lacquer. Clear coats are great for smaller pine projects such as DIY furniture.
Don’t forget the easy way of applying exterior paints! Douglas' fir is prone to rotting when in the ground, just like most woods when not pressure treated.
The best way to treat Douglas fir for outdoor use is by either painting it or applying a water sealer. The best universal way to treat plywood for outdoor use is with spar urethane, which will make the wood protected from water, sunlight, and temperature changes.
Make sure to apply the clear coat on all corners and edges where water can easily enter the plywood. Linseed oil is a popular way to treat cedar for outdoor use, however, an easy option is to find a water sealer designed for cedar wood.
These water sealers have the proper oils and protective materials for all types of weathering and mildew issues. There are many ways to protect wood for long-lasting outdoor usage, but it's all about finding what works best for you.
Wood is used in so many ways, from wooden decks, houses, furniture, fences, and the list goes on. I feel that the best decision is what fits for you personally, this can relate to the cost, the area you live, and the project you are working on.