How to Preserve Untreated Wood Organically


Many people don’t realize that pressure treated wood can contain toxic levels of preservative chemicals, including pentachlorophenol, which can remain in the wood for as long as 20 years. Children whose play structures are made of pressure treated woods have been shown in studies to have unexpected levels of arsenic and other dangerous chemicals in their bloodstream, and gardens that are enclosed with pressure treated lumber beds are vulnerable to chemical leach in the soil and vegetables that grow there. These are all good reasons to find an organic alternative to preserving your untreated wood. Here is a recipe to help you keep your wood chemical free and long lasting.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 oz Paraffin Wax
  • 1 gallon Mineral Spirits
  • 1 ½ cups Boiled Linseed Oil
  • Melt the paraffin in a double boiler over a low flame.

  • Stir the mineral spirits thoroughly, and pour the melted paraffin into the pot.

  • Add the linseed oil, and stir.

  • Apply the mixture heavily to untreated wood, either by dipping it into the mix for at least three minutes or painting it on with a brush.

  • Allow wood to dry for 24 hours before handling or painting it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you like, you may paint the treated wood after it dries.
  • NEVER use a direct flame to heat paraffin!
  • Although this is an organic alternative to chemical commercial wood preservatives and should be considered safe for kids to handle, you should never allow any child to put wooden toys in his or her mouth because of the danger of splinters or dust.

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