How to Protect Wood From Weathering


Wood exposed to outdoor conditions can deteriorate greatly over the span of its lifetime. Outdoor wood is exposed to intense sunlight, moisture and other conditions, causing wood to rot, fade or grow dangerous mold and mildew. Between ¼ inch and ½ inch of wood can be completely eroded from an exposed surface each century, leaving old homes and other structures unstable and dangerous. There are a few steps you can take to protect your wood from these dangerous weathering effects.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Semitransparent stain
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Treat your outdoor wood to at least two wet/dry cycles before treating for weathering. If you are dealing with older wood, it has probably already gone through these cycles. Soak the wood completely with a hose and allow it to dry completely at least twice. This will allow the wood to strengthen before application.

  • Purchase a semitransparent wood stain from a hardware or home improvement store. These stains will protect the wood surface from intense sun and wind exposure, but will not trap water in the wood as some paints can.

  • Sand the wooden surface with fine-grit sandpaper before application. This will slightly raise the grain of the wood, making it more accepting of the stain to come.

  • Brush on a thin layer of stain over the whole wood surface. If you are treating a large area, you may want to use a paint roller or paint sprayer. Allow one coat to dry before applying the next. Apply at least two coats of stain.

  • Protect wood as much as possible from direct sunlight by storing in a shady area or installing overhead shading through tall trees or awnings. Even with the protective stain the wood will eventually fade from sun exposure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stain products will vary with their drying times and the number of coats required to create a good seal. Be sure to read all instructions and suggestions on your individual product before applying.

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