26 Feb How to treat timber

How to treat timber

It’s coming up to the outdoor season, when daffodils bloom and our gardens are far more active and attractive. But, who wants rotten, tired-looking sheds, wooden driveway gates or decking spoiling their view and bringing the mood down? Not us. That’s why we’re giving you a helpful guide on how to treat your timber to keep it preserved and looking as good as new. 

Treating wood

Wood finishes can really add to your outdoor scenery and make for amazing garden decorations. Not only is wood brilliant for garden aesthetics, but it’s simple to use in construction and for DIY projects. It’s all in how you treat it. Being no stranger to the elements, you just need to make sure your timber is getting regular TLC. 


Keep it clean with regular washing. Don’t use harsh chemicals; normal soap and water with a cloth will be fine to get rid of any dirt or debris. You may find a simple rinse will do just fine too. 

Lubricating with oils

Look after your timber by applying oils (like mineral oil, baby oil or lemon oil) with either a cloth or brush to the dry surfaces. Oils are important for replacing lost essential oils in timber through weathering and for deeply nourishing to seal and protect timber from the inside out. 


After oiling your timber, you can sand it down to get a smooth finish. Oils act as lubricants to treat your timber with sanding also. You just need to apply a little bit of pressure when sanding the oily surface and in the direction of the wood’s grain. When you’re satisfied with a smooth finish, simply wipe the oil away with a clean cloth. 

UV protection

We all have to be careful when it comes to the sun’s UV rays, and it’s the same for our timber. Together with oils and resin, enhanced UV filters can protect your wood from splitting, drying and sun damage. 

Staining and dying

One of the best things about having timber is its ability to match whatever outdoor style you want, thanks to staining and dying. Not only is staining perfect for adding rich colours to your wood, it’s actually a great protective treatment too, due to its formula to help protect against weathering or active impacts (like with decking). 

With wood staining, timber surfaces are saturated making them resistant to blistering, cracking and peeling. With wood dying, the dye penetrates the timber to get that deep, rich colour. It’s recommended to refresh coats every two or three years, depending on the wear. 

Preserving wood

Wood preservers are similar to oils, stains and dyes, but they help protect your wood against rot and decay, as well as weathering and providing waterproofing. Wood preservatives also put up a fight against algae growth, UV, mould, woodworm attacks, fading and natural impacts on wood. Preservatives get right into the timber to offer a deeper protection from within with the application of a brush. They come in both coloured and clear options. Just make sure to apply generously with a high quality brush to get the best coverage to soak the timber well. 

All that’s needed is a fresh coat once in a while. Generally speaking you won’t need to sand it down, as long as the timber is maintained with treatment. 

Varnishing wood

Wood varnish is particularly effective against UV rays and water penetration. So, for external wood frames, gates, doors and windows, wood varnish is ideal. Once you’ve already stained and treated the wood, a varnish is the cherry on top. 

Varnishing also helps with resistance to cracking, blistering and peeling; it’s an added protective layer against weathering. You can get a stylistic range too, with matt, gloss and satin finishes, along with rich colours. Again, just make sure your wood is prepared with a smooth surface before applying, with cracks filled in, which shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve treated it first. 

Painting wood

To instantly renovate your gardens and driveways, a paint job will do the trick. Wood paint can also offer protection against peeling, weathering and fading. And when it comes to painting wood, the colour ranges are endless. From pastels to vibrant hues, there is so much out there to help make your outdoor projects come alive. 

Whether you need to spruce up a garden bench, kennel or driveway gate, a coat of paint over well-treated wood can turn any tired wood surface into an impressive and lively feature. Opt for non-drip paints with wax enrichment, so they’re friendly for both children and pets. Normally, to get the best result and for vibrancy, it’s recommended to apply a few coats, and you can use a brush, paint sprayer or pump – whichever is easiest for you.

If you’re looking to update your driveways and gardens, take a look at our wooden driveway gates for inspiration and bookmark this page on how to treat your timber to keep them maintained well. Speak to our team for more information.