Wood preservations explained

To keep your wooden products looking their best you’ll need to treat them to preserve them better – Especially any you have for in the Garden. Here’s our guide to the different preservatives on offer.

What are best options for preserving wood

Oil based wood stains

These types of wood stains normally come with a mixture of both solvent and resin, much like many oil paints do. They normally take quite a while to dry, around 24 hours, so if you’re in a rush, they’re not the perfect choice. However, you can control the intensity of colour by redoing it, making it darker or leaving it lighter. You can get hold of faster drying stains, and this may be a better choice when you’re in a rush, because otherwise you’d need to set aside a whole weekend for it to completely dry in the required colour density. You should use a finish and it should be a solvent based one as this makes sure that it won’t flake or peel.
The advantages of oil based stains is that they can bring out the wood grain really well, enhancing it in a way that water based stains don’t.

Water based stains

These types of stains are similar in nature to latex paint because they contain a pigment inside a resin mixed with water. Unlike oil based stains, water based dry very quickly, so they may be a perfect choice if you don’t have time on your hands. If you want to refinish quickly before moving on to the next project, water based stains may be the one for you.

However, they do require a lot of care and attention so you get the colour you want, otherwise you may get a shade that simply doesn’t work. Sometimes, a water based stain is best for smaller pieces, so you have less to worry about and you can keep an eye on them. You may also find that if you’re looking for a really good wood stain to show up, this is not necessarily the best choice. At the end of the day, a water based stain is best for quick jobs on smaller objects.

Gel based stains

Gel stains don’t blotch and they do not penetrate the wood as much as oil based stains do, so if this is something you see as an advantage and you’re happy with that, then gel based may be for you. They won’t provide the same grain result, and this is because gel doesn’t penetrate the same, however the one thing it does have in common with oil based stains, is that it can take a long time before it dries, so again, if you’re looking for a fast job, then gel based stains may not be a great idea.

Oil based gel stains

These are great for vintage, upcycling furniture items. They’re quite heavy but don’t penetrate as deeply as liquid oil, but they do provide beautiful rich colours.

Water based milk paints

Water based milk paints are great for both indoors and outdoors and can give a really lovely old word feel to wood once its dried. It is UV resistant, so it’s great for outdoor use as it will be resistant to fading. You can use a spray or a brush to apply and it has excellent levelling and flow properties.

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