Waterproof Your Lumber in Seattle Ahead of Winter Weather

The wet season can wreak havoc on lumber in Seattle, including your deck, garden structures, and wooden patio furniture. Take the time to waterproof these items and seal them now, so they can withstand the onslaught of rain this fall and winter season. Here are three options for waterproofing lumber, wood furniture and yard embellishments so they will look as good in spring as they do now:

  • Oil: There are three types of oil used to waterproof wood: linseed, tung and walnut. Raw tung oil is the most expensive, and is usually mixed with other commercial chemicals. It is very effective, but you will likely limit it to smaller items. Walnut oil works well, but due to nut allergies, you may put other people at risk if you use it. It is no longer offered commercially, and you would have to use a food-grade variety if you insist on it. Linseed oil, meanwhile, is a popular option due to its effectiveness and cost. Be careful using it on wood dishes or other surfaces that touch food, because any metal drying agents in it can be poisonous. There are varieties without these agents if you would rather be safe than sorry.
  • Sealants: You can use sealant by itself or mix it with an oil treatment. It works great for previously finished woods, since an oil-based stain may not be completely absorbed. However, you will have to remove any trace of past finish before adding a sealant. Also called “water seal” and “stain sealer,” it is common for wood decks. If you want to complement the lumber of your structures better, choose a tinted sealant and sand the wood before you apply it.
  • Stains: If you decide to waterproof lumber with a stain, be sure you choose exterior grade stains for patio furniture and decks and interior versions for anything you keep indoors. Lighter stains have more oil content, and are often better for indoor projects or furniture. The nice thing about stains is that they can be found in most hardware stores, and they are offered in a variety of colors. If you decide you want your deck a deeper color or you want that garden bench to have a more natural look, stains can help you achieve either objective.

There are important tips to be aware of when waterproofing lumber. This is often a long process, because you will not only be applying several coats of oil, sealant or stain, but also have to wait for the surface to dry completely. So, first make sure you have plenty of time before you proceed. You must also consider preparation time, since sealants and stains require removal of the original finish before proceeding. This can be challenging, especially for decks and outdoor furniture, since you will have to be ready for a dry weekend to get it all done. Those will soon become few and far between.

If you are looking for waterproofing accessories or lumber in Seattle, visit Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. Besides the stains, sealants or oils, we offer other supplies for your waterproofing project, including sandpaper, brushes and drop cloths. We look forward to serving you today!

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