4 Simple Steps to Treat Wood for Outdoor Use

There is nothing more gratifying than seeing your outdoor wooden furniture and features looking fresh and weathering beautifully. Keeping your outdoor wood at its best by taking the time to treat it correctly will protect it and help it withstand the elements for years to come.

By adequately treating wood for outdoor use, you can restore its resilience, enhance its natural beauty, and extend its durability. It's easier than you think, especially when you have the right tools. Follow these four simple steps and let WOCA's wood care products be your secret weapon in rejuvenating your wooden fixtures.

1. Identify Your Outdoor Wood

Not all wood species weather well; some may decay more quickly when exposed to the elements. Hardwoods like oak, teak, or mahogany can be more expensive but will naturally last longer. While softwoods such as pine and cedar can be more susceptible to rot, using a sealer or stain after cleaning will help protect your softwood for outdoor use.

Once you know what type of wood you have, there are some signs to look for to help you decide if it's time to treat it:

  • If the wood seems faded from how it initially looked
  • If it feels dry or it wants to break when touching it
  • If you notice any cracks or warping in the wood
  • If the wood is flaking or peeling off

Checking for these will let you know that it's time for treatment. Exterior wood generally needs to be treated around every six months, and that can change depending on where you live and the type of wood you have. A good practice is to perform an outdoor wood treatment once a year. Regular treatment will keep wooden furniture and fixtures looking great and protected from the environment.

2. Prepare the Wood Surface

Remove any visible dirt, grime, or stains by scrubbing with a stiff brush. If the wood has been previously stained or treated, you may need to sand it down to take off the old finish. WOCA Exterior Cleaner is an excellent choice for cleaning dirt, grime, and green growth from exterior wooden fixtures. Best of all, it's plant-safe, making it a great option to use around flower beds, landscaping, and potted plants.

It may be tempting to skip this step, but it's necessary to make sure the new wood treatment adheres correctly. It can seem tedious, but good preparation is the key to a successful application and will lead to a significantly better finish.

3. Choosing A Wood Treatment 

After preparing the wood with the Exterior Cleaner:

  • Wait at least 24 hours to let the wood dry, and follow it up with WOCA Exterior Wood Oil, specially formulated to penetrate deep into wooden surfaces.
  • Try for a day with mild weather—not too cold or hot—and if possible, avoid direct sunlight during application.
  • Saturate the wood well, but wipe off excess oil with a cotton cloth after no more than five minutes.
Exterior Wood Oil

After 48 hours, the oil should be dry and can then be further buffed or polished for an even harder-lasting finish.

To treat non-pressure-treated softwood species, use WOCA Exterior Wood Primer before applying Exterior Oil. It's a gentle, water-based product that helps make sure the oil treatment can bond correctly with the wood, which also greatly increases the durability of the oil finish.

Exterior Wood Primer

4. Treat and Maintain Your Outdoor Wood

Now that you know what type of wood you need to treat, the best products, and when to use them, it's time to start treating and maintaining your outdoor wood! Treating your wood and regular maintenance means your patio, fences, and furniture will stay in excellent condition and look their best. Make sure to regularly check your wood for signs of needing to be treated and do a yearly treatment to extend its life. WOCA's extensive exterior products have everything you need to clean, treat, and protect your wooden surfaces.

Quality Exterior Wood Treatments from WOCA

Learning how to treat wood for outdoor use is critical to maintaining your outdoor living spaces. It can help prolong the life of your wooden decks, furniture, or outdoor accessories, making sure they remain beautiful and functional for years.

High-quality, all-natural, and environmentally friendly WOCA products are an excellent choice for a full range of wood care needs. Learn more about caring for and enjoying your wooden fixtures with WOCA, and keep your outdoor spaces vibrant!

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