How To Treat Wood

Woody Jackson | Last modified on January 5th, 2022

Wood is a very versatile material that you’ll find in various objects from furniture to boats. In order to keep it looking beautiful, you will need to treat it periodically, so we have put together this article which outlines the most effective ways to do so.

How To Treat Wood Guide

Why Should You Treat Wood?

Wood is a natural, living material and because of this, it reacts differently depending on the environment in which it finds itself. For example, if you live near the sea, your wood may shrink and swell more due to extreme humidity changes. For this reason alone, regular treatments are important because they can help protect your wood from unpredictable changes in its surroundings.

Why Should You Treat Wood?

In addition to its natural tendencies, your wood also absorbs and emits water and carbon dioxide from its surroundings. This can cause mold and mildew to form on your wooden objects, which is why it’s essential that you regularly clean any soft furnishings or boats with a soft brush and mild detergent solution. You should also pay particular attention to the areas where you get the most exposure from outside elements like the roof of your house or decking.

As far as the treatment of wood for its protection against moisture gain, there are a number of options available. The most effective ones involve treating your wood in order to keep it dry.

4 Proven Steps To Treat The Wood Properly

The steps we have laid out here are the most effective ways to treat your wooden objects, but there are a number of additional steps that you can take as well. These include scrubbing the wood before installation and sanding it after to remove any imperfections and blemishes, or buying wood that has been treated on account of any special requirements.

Strip Old Finish

If you are trying to clean off a large amount of old finish there are various products available that are designed specifically for this purpose. These include methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, and acetone. When using these, you should avoid soaking the wood in them because they can actually damage the wood itself by causing it to warp or crack.

Strip Old Finish

You should consider testing these chemicals on a small portion of the surface that you intend to treat and see if it achieves the desired results before applying them liberally over other areas of your furniture or boat’s hull.

Sand Wooden Surface

Once you have stripped off all the old finish, you will need to sand down the entire surface of your wood until it’s completely level once again. This will help prevent your wood from absorbing any moisture from the atmosphere, so you should ensure that you do this thoroughly without leaving any visible dust. You can achieve a level surface either by sanding with a grain or hand-sanding.

Sand Wooden Surface

Hand-sanding is recommended in order to maintain the beauties of a non-scratched surface as well as to save time. When sanding wooden surfaces, it’s essential to use appropriate sandpaper. You’re best off using a fine-grit paper because it’s more versatile in the kind of wood and finish you’re dealing with.

Replace Weak Wooden Elements

The most important step when it comes to treating your wooden objects is to ensure that any weak elements are replaced or fixed correctly. This will help avoid warping and cracking and stop water from pooling in the gaps between your wood, which can cause problems in the long run. The finish application can also help prevent water from being trapped in the wood.

Apply Wood Finish

Once your wood has been stripped and sanded, you can now apply the finish to protect it. If your wood is made from softwood like cedar, then you should use oil-type products because they are better at protecting your wood than water-based ones would be. You should dry the wood thoroughly before applying any finish to the surface.

Apply Wood Finish

How To Treat Wood With Oil

There are a number of options when it comes to dealing with wood and oil. The first and most recommended option is linseed oil. Linseed oil is a liquid byproduct of flaxseed and will help protect your wood from water damage.

To treat your wood with linseed oil, you should apply it liberally over the entire surface of your wood after it has been stripped and sanded down smooth. Now you can let this sit for at least 24 hours, but it can be left over more extended periods if desired.

How To Treat Wood With Oil

While the linseed oil sits on top of your wood, any remaining dust particles should be removed before applying a second coat. This will be your last chance to fill in any cracks or holes between your wood so that they can be protected from touching the surface of the wood itself. These cracks and holes will prevent water from being absorbed by the wood, which you want to avoid when treating your wood.

Once the second coat has been applied, leave it for a minimum of 12 hours before sanding off any excess oil with a fine-grit paper.

How To Treat Wood With Glaze

The glaze is similar to linseed oil because it is a liquid substance byproduct of the flaxseed. This treatment is also highly recommended for treating your wood for many reasons. It’s water-resistant, which will prevent it from absorbing moisture from the atmosphere, and it will also protect your wood from splitting or cracking.

You should use glaze in place of linseed oil because it’s easier to use and to apply correctly. You can achieve this by applying a thin film over the entire surface of your wood after you have stripped off all the old finish.

You should then allow it to sit for at least 24 hours before lightly sanding down to remove excess. This will ensure that your wood is water-resistant and will prevent water from pooling in the creases of the wood.

How To Treat Wood With Wax

Wax is also an excellent option for protecting your wood. Wax will provide the same protection as linseed oil, but it’s easier to apply correctly. You should use a thin layer of wax to the entire surface of your wood after stripping it clean and sanding it down.

How To Treat Wood With Wax

Allow this to sit for at least 24 hours before lightly sanding down any excess material from the surface of your wood. In addition to this, you should apply a second coat when first applying wax to your wood, which will ensure proper moisture resistance.

How To Treat Wood With Sealant

There are also some sealants on the market specifically designed for treating wood. This ensures that you have the best of both worlds when it comes to the qualities and safety of the finished piece of wood: You can maintain a water-resistant finish, which will protect your wood from absorbing moisture from the atmosphere, but you can also protect your wood against splitting and cracking as well.

How To Treat Wood With Sealant

The Bottom Line

There you have it, our top tips for treating your wooden objects. We have shared all the information you need to care for your things properly without stressing yourself out too much or spending a fortune on supplies. However, please keep in mind that we are not liable for any damage caused by following these instructions and that you should test each step before using them on any wooden objects.

FAQ

How Do You Treat Wood So It Lasts?

The main step to an effective maintenance strategy is prevention. Preventive measures such as applying finishes, waxing, and polishing can help keep your wood looking beautiful for years. Use high-quality materials to build your furniture, such as those containing UV inhibitors or other protective coatings that will shield them against rain and sun exposure.

How Do You Treat Raw Wood?

Raw wood is not considered a very stable material, so it is best to treat it by coating it with a protective substance. First, you should coat the surface of the raw wood with linseed oil. Linseed oil can be found at most hardware stores in small cans and does not require any specific skill or experience to apply.
To get this job done correctly, you will need an old rag and some cotton balls as well as a brush. Dip the rag into the can of linseed oil and use that to cover all surfaces of your project or piece of wood.

What To Put On Wood To Keep It From Rotting?

The best way to protect the wood from rotting is by applying a sealant. Sealants can be classified into three groups: lacquers that coat the surface of the wood, water-borne polyurethane or silicone coatings, and oil-based preventive treatments. Applying a sealant is the most effective way to preserve your woods.

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