Wood left exposed to the elements can last for centuries. This newly revised FinishLine explains how the type of wood and how it’s protected can make a big difference in how long the wood lasts. Two conditions influence the service life of outdoor wood: weathering and decay.
Tips for prolonging the life of wood finish include:
- Subject the wood to one or two wetting/drying cycles before you apply the finish; wet the wood (with a hose, for example) and let it dry completely each time.
- Sand the wood before applying the finish.
- Apply paint to wood soon after sanding. If possible, paint in a protected area, such as a garage, to protect the wood from the sun. Even 1 week of sunlight can weather unfinished wood and shorten the life of the paint. See the FinishLine “Before You Install Exterior Wood-Based Siding” for more information about sunlight on wood.
For more information on how to finish outdoor furniture, artwork, fences, and play equipment, see the following FinishLines: “Paint, Stain, Varnish, or Preservative? It’s Your Choice” and “Finishes for Wood Decks.”