Protecting wood from the elements is essential if you want it to last outdoors. Without proper protection, wood is vulnerable to damage from water, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. Even if you've invested in high-quality wood, you need to take extra steps to ensure it will continue to look and function as intended. Fortunately, there are a few simple and effective methods that you can use. In this complete guide, we'll show you how to weatherproof wood for outdoors. Read on to learn more.
Why You Need to Waterproof Wood
Wood is a natural material that is a perfect choice for outdoor projects. It's versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and can be used in a variety of outdoor applications, like decking, furniture, landscaping, pergolas, and so forth. However, wood is also extremely susceptible to damage from water, extreme temperatures and sunlight, which makes it unsuitable for outdoor use unless you take proper precautions.
Protecting your wood before you start your next outdoor DIY project is essential for ensuring its longevity. Without proper protection, even a small amount of moisture can result in serious damage to your wood. This can result in your wood rotting, cracking or becoming infested with insects. With proper weatherproofing, though, you can prevent these problems and keep your wood looking beautiful for years to come.
Preparing the Wood for Weatherproofing
Before you start applying the different types of outdoor finishes, you'll want to prepare your wood for weatherproofing.
- To ensure that your wood is ready to receive the desired finish, you'll need to sand away any existing finishes and clean the surface thoroughly before applying. This can be done either by hand or with the help of a power sander. Be sure to sand away any stains, paint, or any other materials. Don't worry, though; you won't be removing any of the wood's natural character.
- Next, you'll want to clean the surface of your wood thoroughly using a specialized cleaning solution. Now that your wood is prepared for weatherproofing, you can start choosing the right finish for your project.
Choosing the Right Finish
Choosing the right finish for your outdoor wood project can be tricky. With so many different types of finishes available, it can be difficult to choose one that is both effective and aesthetically pleasing.
To help you choose the best finish for your outdoor wood project, we've outlined a few important factors to keep in mind:
- The first thing you'll want to consider is the weather in your area. You'll want to choose a finish that is specifically designed to protect your wood against the harshest elements in your area. If you're not sure which finishes are best for your area, you can find the information online.
- UV protection is extremely important when it comes to weatherproofing outdoor wood. The sun's UV rays can fade and prematurely age your wood, which significantly decreases its lifespan. Select a finish that is specifically designed to protect against UV rays.
- Outdoor finishes are typically made with glue resin, which is a natural compound found in trees. Glue resin is a fantastic choice for weatherproofing wood because it is incredibly durable and can withstand all types of weather. However, glue resin does take a bit longer to dry, compared to other finishes.
- When choosing a finish, you'll also want to make sure that it will work well with your preferred top coat. Some finishes only work with certain top coats, so it's important to choose a finish that will work well with your top coat of choice.
Applying a Waterproofing Treatment
Depending on the type of finish you've chosen, you may need to apply a waterproofing treatment before your final finish. This treatment will help to protect your wood and extend the life of your finish. Look to Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating, a specialized wood waterproofing solution that provides up to ten times the coverage of any other application in just 3-4 heavy coats.
You'll want to apply this waterproofing treatment to all sides of your wood, including the ends that will be exposed to the ground. Don't worry if you've applied too much; you can simply brush or wash any excess off. For the best results, you want to use heavy, even coats, allowing for ample drying and curing time in between. A little bit of patience during the waterproofing process will result in a finish that looks great and protects your wood for decades.
Need Even More Tips?
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