How to Treat Wood

Wood is a beautiful material used for building a wide variety of items.

Treat WoodTreat Wood
However, its main limitation is the fact that it is prone to rot, insect and water damage. All of these problems can be minimized or completely avoided by the proper application of a variety of products designed to cover or soak into the wood. Depending on the look you desire, you might choose paint, stain, oil, polyurethane or varnish.

Cover your work area with drop cloths to avoid paint and varnish drips from damaging any flooring or plants (if you are working outside).

Sand your item, if desired (this is not typically necessary in the case of fence boards and other outdoor applications), to remove any rough spots or burrs on the wood.

Apply primer to the wood with the paintbrush (only if your finished item will be painted).

Apply an even coat of your chosen wood treatment (paint, oil, polyurethane or others) to the wood with a paintbrush or other paint application product.

Allow the covering from Step 4 to dry overnight, and re-coat.

Top coat paint or stains with polyurethane if desired to improve durability.

Things You Will Need

  • Sandpaper or steel wool
  • Dust cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Primer (only if you are painting)
  • Drop cloths (optional)


About the Author

Shelley Kishpaugh has written numerous articles for Demand Studios and Helium on a wide variety of topics, and she is currently writing a children's book. Kishpaugh received a B.S. in psychology from the University of Colorado and has been writing professionally since 2007.