How to Treat Untreated Wood for Outdoor Use | 6 Methods

Knowing how to treat untreated wood for outdoor use will not only improve its durability but also enhances its look. Regardless of the type of wood, either hardwood (ideal for outdoor furniture) or softwood (suitable for indoor use).

Generally, overtime of exposure to high humidity and moisture, untreated woods may start rotting, warping, or even swelling. Covering woods with protective coats will prevent this from happening, thus making the wood useable for a lifetime.

These coats make the wood resistant or proof to weather elements and insects for better durability. Our recommended protective coat is the ready seal for large areas like the deck floor and Thompson water seal for furniture.

These protective coatings are cheap and easy to use. Also, they are suitable for adding a nice finishing touch to your woodwork, thus enhancing the furniture’s look.

There are different ways to treat untreated woods for outdoor use, and without any further ado, below are some of the different ways to make your woods resistant or proof to weather elements.

How to treat untreated wood for outdoor use

There are different ways to treat untreated woods for outdoor use. Each of these methods calls for a different process of application. listed below are some of the ways to protect your furniture or wooden floor from weather elements

1. Varnishing

how to treat untreated wood for outdoor use

Wood varnishing is one of the best ways to make wood suitable for outdoor use. It makes the wood durable by being resistant to various weather elements. By varnishing, you can give a wood different appealing look types, including glossy, satin or transparent look.

Varnishing is oil-based but contains synthetic resin like urethane, phenolic compounds, and alkyd. The unique feature of wood varnishing is that you can apply multiple coats to it. This process is known as “film building.”

It contributes significantly in offering protection to the wood surface, therefore making it resistant to weather elements. This treatment is the best. However, it requires a lot of processes and some level of expertise to get a smooth finish.

2. Using a Sealer

how to treat untreated woods for outdoor use

Applying sealer to wood is one of the easiest ways to treat wood for outdoor use. These sealers are ready to use and purchasable in physical and online stores. Sealers, unlike varnish, which anyone can apply.

You need to clean the wood using sandpaper before applying the sealer with a brush for the best result. It’s important to apply this protective coating at room temperature and also required to shake or stir the sealant before applying.

Allow it to dry completely before slightly re-sanding again. Generally, sealers are ideal for giving the furniture a transparent and fine appearance. It is also the best way of restoring the waterproof feature of furniture or wood.

There are sealants for wooden deck floor, which is different from furniture sealants.
There are different types of sealer in the market, but our recommended sealer is the Seal once nano poly with hundreds of positive reviews; this protective wood sealer had been trusted by many buyers.

3. Applying a Wood Dye

how to treat untreated wood for outdoor use

A wood dye is also the same as a color sealant. This protects the woods from outdoor elements while giving some colorful finishing to your furniture. It is ideal to use a transparent sealer if you love wood in its natural color.

However, if you want to beautify the furniture, covering your furniture with this coating is ideal. It makes the wood waterproof and tough against weather elements. Wood dye is applied using a spray gun, sponge, or brush, and it doesn’t require any form of expertise.

4. Oil Treat

how to treat untreated wood for outdoor use

Another good way to treat wood for outdoor use is by applying a protective oil. There are different types of oil, and like sealers, they are easy to apply. These oils help to create a protective layer that makes the wood durable for a long time.

Oils penetrate the wood to protect against changes in humidity and scratches. Protective oils finish been used for many centuries to beautify, waterproof and make woods durable.

These oils are available in stores, and you can mix yours for the desired result. However, the latter requires adequate knowledge for a fine result.

5. Treating with Polyester and Acetone

to treat untreated wood for outdoor use

This is also another method of waterproofing and making it suitable for outdoor use.
The combination of these two products delivers one of the strongest results to weatherproof a wood. This protective coat will last more than 4 years without any problem.

Furthermore, this solution dries up super fast when compared to other woods sealers. Thus making your work super fast. Also, this solution does not create a thick layer over the wood. Unlike oils, this solution will make the layer consistent, and even, therefore, there is no need to sand after the first application.

How to apply Polyester and Acetone solution

Firstly, there are two types of resin, and you need to get the right. Although, the two can be used to achieve the best result. There is the laminating resin and the finishing resin, and you will have to pick one or use the two simultaneously.

The difference between these two resins is that the laminating resin takes a while to dry up and leaves a softer surface. while the finishing resin leaves a harder surface and dries up super fast.

If you decide to use the two, use the laminating resin for the first layer and cover it with the finishing resin. Then the acetone purpose is to thin up the mix. So, a little acetone is needed to make the resin easy to apply.

Then you’re ready to prepare the mixture.

  • Calculate the quantity of resin you are going to need and pour it into a bucket or bowl.
  • Then slowly add some acetone to the polyester resin while mixing till the mixture is a bit thicker than water. If it becomes too light, then add some resin to have a fine texture.
  • Then repeat the process for the second coat.

Apply the Resin

Here, you will need a paintbrush, a soft-bristled brush or a paint roller will also work, especially if they’re old, and you won’t use them again. Proceed like this:

  •  Spread the solution with the brush without leaving any area untouched.
  • leave for about 30 mins to dry
  • Before applying the second layer

And your wood is ready for outdoor use.

6. Wood preserver

Wood preserve is also a good way to weatherproof woods to make them usable for outdoor purposes. These wood preservers come in both clear and colored options, giving you various styles to finish your wood.

It works similarly to dyes, stains and oils by weatherproofing and providing protection against UV (ultraviolet rays), rot and decay. These wood preservers are also resistant to mildew, algae growth and woodworms attack.

Wood preserver works by penetrating the timber from within. These wood preservers are also applicable similarly to sealers, oils and wood dye by sandpapering the surface and covering the wood with a preserver using a brush. It is best used for wooden fences, planters, and other woods close to the soil.

How to apply sealers, oils, and dyes to wood

The process of applying the various methods is similar and highlighted below.

  1. Get your desired wood treatment
  2. Clean the surface of the wood by sandpapering
  3. Stir your desired wood treatment thoroughly
  4. Apply with a natural bristle paintbrush to dark-grained wood that’s been sanded and cleaned. It is important to know that hand-rubbed oils may change the color of some wood over time.
  5. Let the oil, dye or sealer soak into the surface and reapply to any spots that look dry.
  6. Wipe off the surplus oil, rubbing well with clean, dry rags to remove all excess. Sealers and dye don’t build on wood. They also leave a light surface on wood when compared to oils.
  7. Allow the wood to dry completely. Sealers and dye dey fast. However, oils can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on the degree of oil in the mixture.
  8. Sand lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper. For dyes and sealers, you may ignore this step.
  9. Repeat the process with as many additional coats as required to obtain your desired finish.


Nothing lasts forever, and this is also applicable to the various methods listed above. To keep your wood in good shape over a long period of time, there is a need for you to repeat this process after two years at least.

Having adequate knowledge about the various ways on how to treat untreated woods for outdoor use will give you varieties of options to keep your wooden furniture durable for a lifetime. While some of these methods are cheap and applicable without an expert, some need to be done them.

Nonetheless, we hope this piece of content guide and enlighten you on the various ways to treat untreated woods for outdoor use for better durability. Many of these methods do not only make your woods waterproof but weatherproof and resistant to various insects that may destroy the wood.