How to Apply a Wood Preserver

Wood that will be exposed to the elements needs to be protected.

Although it seems like a lot of trouble, think about the time and money you'll save by not having to replace that lumber in a couple of years.

Strip the paint or varnish completely.

Follow up with a stiff bristle brush to remove debris.

Treat the wood first with a clear wood preserver to protect it from insects and fungus.

Paint a complete coat of preservative on the wood and repeat as soon as the first coat has soaked in.

Apply a total of three coats, paying special attention to covering the ends, sides, and joints.

Things You Will Need

  • Brushes
  • Face Mask For Painting
  • Stiff Brushes
  • Wood Preservatives
  • Buckets
  • Stiff brushes


  • Wood that comes in contact with the ground is in particular need of attention.
  • Give fence posts extra protection by soaking them in a bucket of preservative for 15 minutes or so.
  • Wood with previous varnish treatments or creosote applications can be preserved as long as it has been weathered.


  • Be careful with preservatives - they are very flammable. Use them in well-ventilated areas; wear gloves and a face mask when applying them.