Wood that is used for a deck, gazebo, fence or even outdoor furniture takes a beating from the sun, wind, and rain. It's a common fact that wood and water don't mix, and that the sun's ultraviolet rays can be punishing on wood surfaces. An oil-based wood preservative will keep exterior wood surfaces looking newer longer.
You can purchase wood preservatives at your local hardware or home improvement retailer, or make your own wood preservative at home. Keep in mind that even the clearest finishes will darken wood slightly. Apply some water to the wood to see how much your wood grain will darken from the preservative. It will look the same as it would with oil wiped on it.
This preservative is great for use on the deck, fencing, handrails, planters, outdoor furniture and other wood surfaces. You will need boiled linseed oil, mineral spirits, mildicide (to kill mildew), and pigment (the kind used to color paint). Mix equal parts of linseed oil and mineral spirits. Add pigment to the intensity you prefer, and then stir in a package of mildicide. Follow the instructions for the mildicide as if you were adding it to an equal volume of paint.
When weather conditions permit, preferably on a cool and not-too-humid day, apply your preservative. Coat surfaces moderately -- a little of this stuff goes a long way. Be sure to back-brush it and then wipe up any areas where the liquid may have pooled. Allow 24 hours for your preservative to dry, and enjoy your revitalized wood surfaces!
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