Tap to Read ➤

Waterproofing Wood

Bidisha Mukherjee Dec 01, 2018
Waterproofing wood enhances the lifespan of the furnishing. Here we tell you about the process.
Wood is a natural material which when used for making furniture, floor or deck adds warmth and beauty to the interiors and exteriors of the house. Being porous, it readily absorbs moisture thus expanding in humid conditions. But in hot and dry summers the wooden surface contracts to its original form.
This continuous expansion and contraction of the wood causes it to buckle or develop cracks on its surface. Excessive moisture absorption may lead to rotting and be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. To protect the wood from these harmful effects, applying a protective layer of sealant is a must.


Waterproof sealants are widely used to protect fences and decks not only from moisture but also high temperature and excessive heat. Most of these products have either a silicone rubber base or an acrylic latex-base, making it adhere to the surface well. A single application is sure to provide protection for several years.

Wax Polish

Application of wax polish is another effective way of protecting wooden surfaces. Its components are mostly beeswax, carnauba, etc. that are highly water-resistant. Besides, it also keeps away dust, dirt and grime and can be used on painted surfaces.
Another advantage of wax polish is that it covers up minor defects like scratches and dents on the surface. Both these waterproofing materials are available in clear and tinted varieties. While a coat of clear polish tends to highlight the natural color and features of the wood, tinted polish allows you to breathe new life into your old furniture.


Latex-based paints are suitable for indoor application while alkyd paints are better options for the outdoors. This is because such paints on wood flooring are easier to clean.

Steps for Application

  • Clean the surface with a wet sponge dipped in a soapy solution.
  • Rinse off with plain water and allow it to dry.
  • Sand the surface and remove flaking bits.
  • Using a brush, apply a coat of the sealant.
  • Allow it to dry.
  • Apply a second coat of the sealant.
You can also use a sprayer for the application of the sealant or paint. Bear in mind that softer woods soak in the sealant and thus require multiple number of applications. Remember to treat the furniture with waterproofing products after regular intervals of time.
To check if a surface needs waterproofing sprinkle water on it. If it forms beads, the sealant is still good. Absence of beads means that you have to take up the task of sealing the wood immediately.