Wood is the most popular material used for crafting furniture and cabinetry. It can be framed into any design or furnishing. But the protection of wood is another important thing for its longevity and maintaining quality. For this, the waterprooﬁng of wood can generate the desired results. It will protect the wood from exposure to high humid weather. High humidity may lead to swelling or even rotting of the wood. In this article about How to Waterproof Woods you will get the step-by-step guide and the detailed information.
How To Waterproof Wood – Three Different Methods
Lets look at different methods about waterproofing wood.
Method 1: Waterprooﬁng Wood With Oil
Total Time: 1 Hour
Step 1: Selecting The Oil
The ﬁrst and foremost step is to choose between the different kinds of oils available. There are three common oils used for waterprooﬁng wood: linseed oil, walnut oil, and tung oil.
Linseed oil is commonly used by crafters and for DIY projects.
The boiled linseed oil contains metal drying agents and is used on the outdoor balcony material. The raw linseed oil is used to get a safe coat on the wooden surfaces like the kitchen countertop.
Tung oil is more expensive than other oils and is used for smaller wood projects. At the same time, the walnut oil cannot be used commercially due to the nut allergy.
Step 2: Buying Oil
The next step involves buying the oil according to your wooden surfaces. You can purchase the oil for small wood projects such as tables, countertops, or cutting boards. For larger woods, you can buy the exterior stain and deck sealant.
Using oil is beneﬁcial because oil on the surfaces remains good, and the quality is maintained for several years.
Step 3: Creating The Mixture
The third step involves the creation of a mixture. You can develop a strong sealant by adding turpentine and apple cider vinegar with the oil. This mixture will preserve your oil quality and provides a durable ﬁnish to the wooden surface.
For preparing the mixture, you have to mix one-part oil (Tung, walnut, or linseed), one-part turpentine oil, and half-part of apple cider vinegar. Stir the ingredients thoroughly until everything is mixed.
Step 4: Preparing The Wood Before Application Of Oils
In this step, you have to remove all the unnecessary elements of the wood. It means that you have to eliminate all the imperfections before applying the oil mixture. For this, you can use thick sandpaper or a metal ﬁle. This will help in highlighting all the colors of the wood. Also, you have to rub them until the surface looks even.
You can ﬁnish the process by using ﬁne sandpaper. Finally, use a dry cloth to remove all the sand or scrap. The wood has to be dry before the application of oil.
Step 5: Start Applying The First Coat Of Oil
After the ﬁrst four steps, you have to start applying the ﬁrst coat of oil. But before this, you have to wear thick rubber gloves and arrange lint-free rags for removing the rough edges and preventing obstacles while spreading the oil.
Then pour a small amount of oil on the rag. Start rubbing the oil by moving from the interior to the exterior. You have to apply an even coat of oil on the surface.
Step 6: Applying Two Or More Coats Of Oil After The First Coat
Wait for about 30 minutes so that the ﬁrst coat of oil settles into the wood. Then, wipe the surface with a cloth. This will remove excess oil and provides a better ﬁnish. You can also rub the surface with very ﬁne steel wool. Leave the wood until it gets dry.
Follow the same procedure for another two coats of oil. Allow the wood to soothe by leaving it for a week and not using it for any purpose. When it gets ﬁnished, you can check the smoothness of the wood by rubbing your ﬁngers over it.
Method 2: Using Sealants To Waterproof
Step 1: Preparing The Surface
The ﬁrst step is to prepare the surface before applying the sealants. You have to remove all the traces of past ﬁnishing. For this, you can use the sandpaper and helps in proper absorption of the sealants.
This is the best method for the previously ﬁnished wood. It is because oil doesn’t sink through old surfaces. Use the rougher sandpaper for the highly-affected areas and then ﬁner sandpaper to get the even surface.
Step 2: Buying The Wood Sealer
The second step involves the purchase of a water-based wood sealer. The two common wood sealants are Water Seal and Stain Sealer. You can also buy the tinted sealant for this purpose.
If the wood is exposed to high humidity, water, and UV rays, then the marine wood sealant is the perfect choice for you. You have to read all the instructions before applying it. Also, don’t forget to purchase a paintbrush or paint sprayer.
Step 3: Apply The Even Coat Of Sealant
After buying the required equipment, prepare your brush, and start applying the sealant on the surface. You have to apply an even coat for better results.
You have to remain cautious while using the sealants. This is because it is essential to store the sealants at the right temperature and humidity. Otherwise, the product will get evaporate in improper conditions.
Step 4: Allow The Coat To Get Dry
This step involves allowing the sealant coat to get dry. The drying time of the sealant is comparatively less than the oil coating. Usually, it takes between 4 to 10 hours for the proper drying of sealant. You can also refer to the product details for further information.
Step 5: Cleaning The First Coat And Applying Two More Coats
When the ﬁrst coat gets dry, you can use the ﬁne-grit sandpaper to get proper ﬁnishing before applying the second coat.
You have to apply two to three coats to the softwoods, whereas for hardwoods, a single coat is enough. Softwoods are those who are not treated in the past. Hardwoods are denser woods used for building high-quality furniture and patios.
Step 6: Leave The Wood To Cure
You have to leave the wood for a week before using it. Allow the sealant to get absorbed properly, and don’t hustle for using it. You can apply the sealant in a gap of a few years to maintain the quality of the wood.
Method 3: Using Stain To Waterproof Wood
Step 1: Selecting The Oil-Based Semi-Transparent Stain
The ﬁrst step involves choosing the stain for the wood surfaces. If you want to waterproof the exterior wood, then you have to use the exterior grade stain. Light stains have more oil content and are suitable for interior furniture or indoor wood furnishings.
Step 2: Preparing The Wood Surface
In this step, you have to prepare the wooden surface for waterprooﬁng with stain. This is because the uneven surface will be visible after applying the stain. For this, you can use the sandpaper or metal ﬁle to clear all the imperfections of the wooden surface. You have to rub it until the surface looks even and perfect.
You can scrape the surface with sandpaper of 220 grits. This will help in the even application of stain. Finally, you have to clear the dust and clean the area before staining. Also, you have to ensure that the wood is dry.
Step 3: Apply The First Coat
After following the ﬁrst two steps, you can start applying the ﬁrst coat of stain. You have to use a good paintbrush for this purpose. Apply it in a consistent manner and cover the entire surface. Then, allow the wood to dry for at least a day before applying the second coat of stain.
Step 4: Remove The Excess Stain And Clear The Surface
When the surface gets dry, then you have to use the ﬁne-grit sandpaper for good results. Also, you can clean the surface with a cloth. You have to ensure that the surface is dry and clean before applying the second and third coats.
Step 5: Apply The Other Two Coats
After the fourth step, you can apply the second coat. This coat will take a longer time to dry. So, you have to ensure that you will provide enough time to it and allow the proper absorption of oil. If the wood is not sticky, then you can go for the third coat.
You have to follow the same procedure for the ﬁnal coat. Always apply even coats of stain to get the perfect ﬁnishing results. You can do the same staining work after a few years to maintain the quality of the material.
Things You Would Need To Waterproof Wood
Here is the list of things you will require at the time of waterprooﬁng the wood:
- Oil (Linseed, Walnut, or Tung) or Sealants or Stain: For coating on the wood surface and making it smooth and clear.
- Paintbrush or paint sprayer: For the application of oil, sealants, or stain to the surface.
- Sandpaper and ﬁne steel wool: For removing the imperfections on the surface. This makes the surface even and suitable for the application of other coats.
- Gloves and lint-free rags (in case of applying oil): To protect hands and proper application of oils.
- Piece of cloth: For removing the dust and excess of oil from the surface. Also, for making the surface dry.
Tips For Better Results
- Always know the quality of the wood before the beginning of the waterprooﬁng process.
- Choose the most suitable oil for your work. Also, wear safety gloves while working with oils.
- Remove all the uneven things or imperfections of the wood. Use the sandpaper for this purpose and level the surface.
- Apply a single coat at a time. Never rush to make the other coats. Allow the previous coat to get dry and then apply the second and third coats.
- Applying an exact quantity of oil or stain helps in getting the smoother ﬁnish in the end.
- Read all the instructions of the products before using them. This will help you in getting the proper results.
- Keep the wood surface dry before the waterprooﬁng process.
- Sealants also come with the label of the product to which they can be applied. So, it will help you in selecting a proper sealant for your wood materials.
1. I am facing the problem of the uneven surface after doing the waterprooﬁng of the wood. What should I do for this?
You can rub the surface with ﬁne-grits sandpaper. Also, you can rub the surface with “0000” (very ﬁne) steel wool.
2. Which is better- painting or waterprooﬁng?
You don’t need to waterproof the wood before the painting. This is because the paint won’t be able to hold for more than a couple of years. So, it is better to go either for painting or waterprooﬁng.
3. How many coats are required to get the proper ﬁnishing on the wood materials?
You have to apply two to three coats to the softwoods, whereas for hardwoods, a single coat is enough.
The protection of delightful wood furniture is a necessary thing. The high humidity weather leads to the warping and swelling of the wood. But the waterprooﬁng technique is beneficial for overcoming this condition. You can easily do this with the help of some simple steps. You can follow these steps and achieve the desired results. You can also take the benefit of the tips mentioned above to complete your tasks without any hassle.