How to Waterproof Wood

There’s nothing as aesthetically pleasing as the natural beauty of wood but it requires good care and protection. Wood is one of the most preferred building materials primarily because it retains its natural beauty for years.

However, if wood is not treated and protected the right way, it is susceptible to damage from a wide range of causes, both natural and manmade. It gets damaged by exposure to moisture and high humidity, food and liquid stains, and sunlight. Untreated wood will easily warp, swell, crack, and rot.

You need to waterproof your wood to prolong its life while maintaining its beautiful natural look. Porch and back patio furniture is regularly exposed to the weather and should, therefore, be waterproofed using the right materials to make it durable.

You’ll also need to waterproof your interior based wooden items and especially kitchen surfaces which are susceptible to water damage.

It is important to waterproof wood but keep in mind that not every waterproofing product you come across is compatible with every type of wood. There are waterproofing products designed for exterior wooden items such as decks and outdoor furniture while others work best with light grained wood and interior furniture.

It is therefore important to choose the right wood waterproofing products and techniques for the type of wood that you want to preserve.

In this guide, we look at three ways you can use to waterproof your wooden items and make them last for many years while maintaining their natural appealing look.

You can use Tung oil or linseed to create a protective finish on your wood, seal the wood with a beautiful and protective coat of lacquer, varnish, or polyurethane, and lastly you can use a good stain sealant and wood preservative product such as the Eco Advance EAWOD128PD Exterior Wood Siloxane Water Repellent to maintain the high-quality look of your wooden items and extend their durability.

Some of these methods work for most types of wood products but make sure to choose the right one for your exterior or interior items or for dark or light grained wood.

waterproofing wood

Waterproofing Wood Using Linseed and Tung Oil

Linseed oil and Tung Oil are popular ingredients in most hand-rubbed or wiping oil finishes. Linseed oil is extracted from flax plant seeds while Tung oil is a product of the Tung tree which is grown in China.

These two types of oils have been used for centuries to waterproof and protect furniture made of dark-grained woods such as mahogany and walnut. They are still popularly used for the same purpose today but with more modifications for better results. They are blended with other ingredients to eliminate stickiness and speed up drying times.

You can either buy ready-made Tung oil and Linseed oil wood preservative products or you can create your own mix and give your wood a custom finish. Your custom hand-rubbed oil mix will be made of one-part Tung or boiled Linseed oil, one part polyurethane, and the last part containing spirits.

Hopes 100% Tung Oil

Hope's 100% Tung Oil

  • Made in the USA
  • Hand-rubbed low gloss finish
  • Made of 100% tung oil

I used this to protect the outsides of a couple cedar beehives I built. They look beautiful! It was easy to apply – much less fussy than stain.

How to Apply the Mixture

Start by stirring the mixture thoroughly before applying it on the wood surface using a natural bristle paintbrush. Only use the mixture on dark-grained wood that has already been sanded and properly cleaned. This method is not recommended for light colored wood because hand-rubbed oils tend to turn yellow when used on light-grained wood such as pine or ash.

Allow the oil to soak completely into the wood surface and look for spots that appear dry. The next step is to wipe off the residual oil with dry rags and then leave the wood to dry for a few hours or even overnight.

Once it is completely dry, sand the surface lightly using fine grit sandpaper. You can repeat the process with as many coats as you can until you achieve your desired finish.

If you want a ticker finish, you can use less mineral spirits and if you want more drying time use less polyurethane. However, the more polyurethane you use the glossier finish you get and the faster the mix dries. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients to get your perfect blend.

Here's a video to walk you through the process as well.

Waterproofing Wood Using Sealants

You can also waterproof wood and extend its lifetime using sealants such as varnish, lacquer, and polyurethane. These are proven sealants with excellent waterproofing properties.

Applying varnish, lacquer, or poly is quite simple. Simply brush or spray the sealant on clean, well-sanded wood surface and let it dry completely. Then re-sand it lightly before applying another coat.

To get the best results, apply the coat in room temperature instead of a hot or cold environment and avoid shaking or stirring the sealant vigorously before applying it on the wood. Shaking or brisk stirring creates air bubbles which remain on the surface when the sealant dries. Leave the wood to dry in a well-ventilated place to dry even though the sealants come with chemical solvents for quick drying. The wood takes around 15 minutes to dry.

Waterproofing Exterior Wood Using the Eco Advance EAWOD128PD

This is a highly recommended waterproofing option for your exterior wood furniture. It is a commercial grade 1-gallon ready-use water-repellant product designed to protect your patio and other outdoor furniture items from damage caused by exposure to moisture and weather.

Eco Advance EAWOD128PD Wood Waterproofer

Eco Advance EAWOD128PD

  • Commercial grade quality
  • Can be applied with a standard garden pump sprayer
  • Can be used on new or old wood
  • Safe for plants, people and pets

I sprayed the product on several outdoor projects and we have had several good showers of rain with the water beading. So far I am a happy camper.

The Eco Advance EAWOD128PD is also extremely easy to use. Just spray the ready-to-use formula on your exterior wood projects to waterproof them and extend their lifetime. You can use the formula on all types of outdoor furniture including decking, wood siding, gondolas, plywood, wood fence, wood shingles and much more.

One thing that sets the Eco Advance formula from other wood preservatives is the fact that it has excellent vapor transmission ability which provides long-term performance and prevents moisture from getting trapped on the surface leading to rapid degradation.

It is a ready-to-use formula that can be applied using the standard garden pump sprayer. It's also safe for your family, pets, and plants and has a low odor that completely dissipates in less than two hours.

If you are looking for the best ready-made formula to waterproof every type of exterior wood, the Eco Advance EAWOD128PD 1 Gallon commercial grade water repellent is your best option.