Best Wood Preservative for You – 2024 Buyers Guide

We really hope that you love the products that we recommend. Just so you know, ToolsReview may collect a share of sales or be compensated through the links on this page, but we think it’s a fair trade for the long hours of research that we put in.

Best Wood Preservative

It doesn’t matter whether you have wood inside or outside your home, it is going to need looking after with a wood preservative every once in a while if you are wanting it to stay in good condition. Preserving your wood is essential if you want it to remain rot and disease free – and be long lasting.

Wood that is left untreated will be much more susceptible to rot, which then in turn makes it weaker and more likely to break down. Not only that, but it makes it a perfect spot for wood eating insects, which will then further weaken and damage the wood. This is particularly the case for external wood – such as windows and doors, decking and outdoor furniture – that is going to be exposed to the worst of the weather.

A wood preservative is helps to provide the wood with the natural nutrients that it needs to stay strong and protected from the elements when it is outside, but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be beneficial for indoor furniture too as it can help to provide a waterproof barrier against spillages and keep the wood looking like new.

Here are some of the best wood preservatives for you…

In A Hurry?

If you have newly installed wood in your home, such as flooring or a patio area – then this is going to need a wood preserver quickly if you want to give it the best protection from the start. The type and level of wood preservative that you are going to need depends on the timber species and where your wood is being used, so we have outlined this below! 

Best Wood Preservative Pick – Sikkens Wood Preserver

Sikkens SIKCF7PLO5L Woodstains & Wood Preservers
  • Cetol Filter 7 Plus Translucent Woodstain Light Oak 5 Litre
  • Cetol Filter 7 Plus Translucent Woodstain Light Oak 5 Litre
  • Cetol Filter 7 Plus Translucent Woodstain Light Oak 5 Litre

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Best Wood Preservative Lotions and Potions 

There are different types of wood preservatives with different thicknesses and application rates depending on the type of wood that you are working on and exactly what you are looking for. Here are the pros and cons of them all – and some of the key things to look out for.  

  • Wax – Wood preservative waxes are going to be the thickest of options that you will have. These tend to be filled with different ingredients that will soak into the wood over time to provide a long-lasting finish. We particularly like waxes for smaller more detailed pieces of furniture, as they are easier to rub and buff into all the different crevices. Due to the solution being so thick, we wouldn’t recommend it for big jobs such as patios or fencing. 
  • Cream – Cream wood preservatives aren’t going to be as thick as the wax and therefore will be easier to rub into the surface, although still cannot be applied with a brush or a paint sprayer. However, the benefit of their thickness means that you will usually only need one layer so don’t have to repeat the job! 
  • Oils – These are going to be the lightest of solutions meaning that they are best for bigger jobs such as fencing or decking as you will be able to use a paint brush or a paint sprayer to quickly apply to the surface. They also tend to soak into the wood much quicker due to them being more liquid, so deeper grains in the wood will also receive a layer of protection! This helps to extend the level of protection from rot that the wood receives!  
  • Waterproof layer – One of the most essential features is that your wood preservative is going to come with a waterproof seal. We would even recommend this for indoor furniture as accidents can happen! These are usually best found in wax based products. 
  • Dustproof layer – Similar to the waterproof layer, these wood preservatives will form a smooth, shiny layer on the top of the wood making it much easier to clean and stopping dust from becoming trapped in the grains of the wood. 
  • Adhesive finish – This is only really necessary if you know that you are going to be painting over the top of the wood. Looking out for a wood preservative that is advertised as having an adhesive finish or a good undercoat will help the top layer of paint to “stick” to the wood. 

TOP TIP: If you are wanting a guarantee that your wood preservative is going to be up to the task then look out for the level that they offer under the British Standard BS 8417 (2014). This gives a score from 1 to 5 for the level of protection a wood preservative will offer. 1 is the lowest (so for wood that is never exposed to any kind of damp), up to 5 (for wood that is almost permanently submerged). As a guide, for most fence panels and decking you are going to want level 3 or 4. 

Best Budget – Osmo 4006 Wood Protector

Osmo 4006 Wood Protector Clear Treatment 750ml
  • Osmo wood protector is a preservative wood wax primer
  • Based on natural oils and waxes and produced entirely without biocides and therefore absolutely safe for indoor use
  • Water repellent
  • Ideal possibility to protect indoor (and also outdoor) wood when there is a danger of blue stain and mildew that i.e. pine and spruce floors and panelling
  • Osmo Wood Protector can be used in rooms and areas with high humidity and high temperatures which particularly further the growth of these wood pests

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Applying Your Wood Preservative

It is so important to check how the wood preservative that you are thinking of purchasing is applied – this will massively determine the finish that you achieve and the amount of time that it takes to get to that point. Most wood preservatives are just going to be applied using a paint brush, which is great for a wide range of jobs as you will be able to get into tighter corners and crevices of furniture or fencing but also cover larger areas relatively quickly too! 

But, if you know that you have a lot of decking of fence panels to treat and aren’t wanting to spend hours on the floor getting the job done then look out for an oil based wood preservative that can be applied using a paint sprayer! This will be much easier and quicker to help you get the job done. 

Don’t forget to check how many layers of wood preservative you need to apply. Most will need either one or two, but remember that if you are wanting to paint your wood afterwards then this is probably going to be another two layers as well! So applying two layers of wood preservative and waiting for each to dry could massively increase the amount of time it takes to get the job done! It is also worth checking whether your wood preservative can be applied to wet wood. Most are only going to be able to be applied to dry wood (which can be quite difficult to achieve with the weather that occurs most of the time in Britain), so if you are short on time then look out for one of the solutions that can be applied even if the wood is still damp! 

Best Wood Preservative Colours

Wood preservatives come in a wide range of colours depending on the finished look that you are wanting to create and the colour of your wood at the start. Most wood preservatives are going to be used as a base layer before you varnish or paint your wooden surface – so a neutral solution is going to be your best option in this case. However, if you are wanting to reduce the amount of time it takes, there are coloured wood preservatives that you can choose. 

There are now a wide range of coloured wood preservatives to choose between – the one main thing to consider is that the actual colour that you are finished with is going to be largely impacted by the start colour of your wood. It is always easier to go darker than it is to go lighter, so if you are wanting to darken your wood using a wood preservative with dye and colourants in, then make sure to do this gradually. 

Your other option – if you are wanting to keep the colour of your wood exactly the same – is to go for a clear, or colourless, wood preservative. These are going to have all the goodness and protection of a normal preserver, but without the colour that will stain your wood. Many “natural” coloured wood preservatives still have some colour in them due to their natural yellow ingredients, so can alter the colour of your wood without you wanting it to! So to avoid this make sure a colourless wood preservative is selected! 

TOP TIP: Not only wood preservatives will actually be compatible with paint – which you want to find out sooner rather than later if you are planning on painting your wood afterwards. Non-compatible wood preservatives will prevent the paint from soaking into the wood and drying after they have been applied so make sure to check for this! 

Additional Wood Preservative Factors 

We understand that you are going to be wanting the best value for money from your wood preservative. Not just that, but if you are taking the time to treat and protect your wood, you want to know that the solution is doing the job properly! So here is what you need to check for…

  • Fungi and algae protection – If you know that your wood has already become slightly “infected” in areas with fungi or algae then look out for wood preservers that will stop the growth of fungi before it dries. This helps to prevent any damage continuing to occur under the surface.
  • Decking Preservative – Obviously you can just use standard wood preservative for your decking, but due to the amount of exposure to surface water and the footfall that most decking is going to see, we would definitely recommend opting for a more specific product. These wood preservers will offer an additional coating over the wood that will last for longer in adverse weather conditions. 
  • Guarantee – If you really want to know that you are getting the best value for money they look out for wood preservatives that come with a guarantee. Some of the best products that we found claim to protect your wood for up to 5 years, offering the best protection and also reducing how often you are going to have to treat the wood. 
  • Drying Time – Always check how long it is going to take for the wood preservative to dry. Remember that if it rains whilst your wood preservative is drying then full protection will not be achieved so a quick drying time is advantageous. 
  • Coverage – Look how many layers and the amount of area that your tin/bottle of wood preservative is going to cover. Most give this information in metres squared. This will help you to know how much you are going to need to buy and the value for money that you are getting. 
  • Toxin and odour free – If you have pets or children that you are sharing the garden with then it is definitely worth checking for a wood preserver that is going to be toxin and odour free. This is usually more water based products and will be specified in the product description. 

Best of the Rest

Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver 5L - Summer Tan
  • A high performance, solvent-based exterior wood preservative
  • Superb Quality Water Repellent Resins
  • UV Fade Resistant Colour Pigments - High Level, Long Lasting Protection & Preservation
  • Perfect for use on sheds, fences, decking, summer houses, kennels, stables and other garden wood

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Cuprinol 5L Wood Preserver - Clear
  • Actively prevents rot and decay
  • Colourless Preserver for both interior and exterior use
  • For use as a basecoat before painting, staining or varnishing
  • Up to 5m2 per litre with 2 coats
  • Drying time: 1-5 days depending upon the nature of the surface and the weather conditions

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Everbuild Wood Preserver – Interior And Exterior Use – Low Odour – Quick Drying – Long Lasting Protection – Clear – 5 Litres
  • TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED – Micro-fine active technology to ensure the protection fully penetrates the wood.
  • QUICK DRYING – This ready-to-use mix is low odour, non-flammable and dries quickly, so your DIY job can be completed quickly and safely.
  • SUITABLE FOR INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR WOOD AND JOINERY – Can be used on a range of rough-sawn or planed wood, including floorboards, joists, roofing timbers, window frames, doors and more.
  • IDEAL FOR EXTERNAL PREP WORK – When used on external wood, it's recommended to wait 48 hours and then overpaint or varnish for a protected finish.
  • PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR FINISH – When used indoors, it delivers a clean, protective finish to wood without the need for additional painting.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does a wood preservative last? 

This massively depends on the actual wood preservative that is used and the conditions where the wood is situated. Some wood preservers claim to be able to last for up to 5 years whereas some recommend being reapplied every 12 months. We would recommend for exterior wood that is exposed to the elements, you should definitely aim to apply a treatment every 12 months.

Do I have to prepare the wood before applying a wood preservative? 

If you are wanting your wood preservative to be the most effective then we would recommend sanding down the wood slightly before applying the solution. If your wood is relatively new and hasn’t been painted or varnished previously then you may not need to do this, but any painted wooden surface is going to need the layer of paint to be removed for a full waterproof layer to form from the wood preservative. 

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.