How To Protect Wood From Rain

For years, we have been using wood to make patio furniture, floors, stairs, beams, frames, and doors. But wood needs to be maintained and taken care of to make sure it doesn’t swell, crack, stain, become weak, or rot.

Many a time, we end up realizing this after the damage has been done. If you want to avoid spending on repairs, make sure you read and act on this -- Especially if you’ve just set up your deck, it’s even better to invest time in this NOW.

Read on to find the best methods on how to protect wood from rain.
  1. Use linseed oil and hand rub it on wood. 
  2. Use a varnish or lacquer on the wooden surface. 
  3. Use a water-based wood sealant, also called a stain sealer.

Before you start,

  • Different states in our country experience different weather conditions, and each will require a different level of care. Decide on the intensity that your home requires.
  • Measure the areas where you need to apply the sealant/lacquer as that will help you decide on how much quantity to buy or prepare.
  • Prepare your wood. Use sandpaper to rough out any imperfections and to smoothen the surface before using a sealant.
  • Find a comfortable area for your workspace. Make sure it is airy and spacious enough to allow you to move around.
  • Always test on a small patch of wood to ensure the look and end finish of the process.
  • Know that waterproofing with oil will take longer to dry than waterproofing with sealants.
  • Buy a paint sprayer if the area that you need to weatherproof is large.
  • Do not over-apply or leave puddles of oil on the furniture/flooring.
Let’s dive right into the different choices that we have.

How to protect wood from rain using Linseed Oil

  • What is Linseed oil? Linseed Oil is oil that has been extracted from flax seeds. It is readily available in hardware stores and can be used alone or even mixed with other ingredients.
  • A standard blend consists of one part linseed oil (BOILED), mineral spirits, and polyurethane. However, the thickness of this oil can be tailored to your taste.
  • Why do we add mineral spirits? It helps make the oil blend thinner and reduces the stickiness of the mixture.
  • Why do we add polyurethane? It helps make the oil blend dry faster while also aiding in giving the wood a glossier finish.
  • Stir the oil mixture thoroughly and use a paintbrush to apply it to the wood.
  • Ensure that the air bubbles are brushed away carefully.
  • Allow the wood to soak the oil. Reapply wherever required.
  • The oil needs to be soaked by the wood entirely, and this could take anywhere between 2-8 hours.
  • After drying, use a rough cloth to wipe off excess, if any.
  • You may repeat this process until you are fully satisfied.

KEEP IN MIND: Linseed oil tends to turn yellow over time, so make sure you use this only on dark-hued wood - mahogany, oak, teak, or rosewood. It may not be the best option for pinewood or ash wood.

How to protect wood from rain using Varnish and Lacquer


  • is a mixture of resin, solvent, and drying oil.
  • makes the wood scratch-proof.
  • does not turn yellow over time.
Marine Varnish works best when used on wood that will be exposed to sunlight or rain. 
Spar Varnish works best when used on wooden furniture that is indoor and not as exposed to sunlight or rain.

KEEP IN MIND: Start applying from the exterior and work your way towards the middle. Use turpentine to clean all your brushes before storing them away.


  • is a solution made by dissolving tree resin or synthetic resin in alcohol.
  • is available in many sheens and tones.
  • can be made thinner with lacquer thinner.
  • must be sprayed for a more even finish.

KEEP IN MIND: Lacquer emits dangerous fumes. So keep your mouth and nose covered while working or make sure you are working in an airy environment.

How to protect wood from rain using a Water Sealant

  • It gets absorbed into the pores of the wood and thus becomes the topmost layer of the wood.
  • It is used to preserve and protect the wood from rains.
  • It will not change the look of the wooden furniture or flooring.
  • It will protect your furniture from moisture.
  • If the wood is damp, the sealant will help it dry faster.
  • When applying the last coat, use more precision, as this will make for the final finish.
KEEP IN MIND: Make sure you shop and find the best sealant without compromising on quality. Be patient and allow the first coat to dry before starting to apply the second coat.

Read on to find some non-varnish but innovative methods on how to protect wood from rain.
  • For those who believe in DIY solutions, use three parts of canola oil and 1 part of vinegar to create a home sealant for wood. Truth be told, it does the trick.
  • Keep your wooden furniture on (hidden) wheels and move it indoors when it rains. 
  • Use a shade to avoid direct contact with rain or sunlight.
  • Paint your wooden furniture and wooden window frames. Paint protects your wood from rotting and chipping. Use latex paint over oil-based paint since it shall last longer.
  • While deciding on the furniture layout of your backyard, consider placing the wooden furniture in an area that does not experience heavy rainfall. 
E.g.: under the shade of a tree, under a shed
  • Consider using a type of wood that is less likely to get damaged in the rains. Use sturdy wood like Cypress wood or Red Cedarwood.

You do not need to be an expert on how to protect wood from rain to weatherproof your home. 

Just visit the hardware section of a home design store/home repair store and pick a sealant after considering all the pointers. 

Read and follow the instructions on the manual/outer packaging. Check and understand the application methods, drying time, and ingredients to help you pick the most appropriate one.
Happy DIY!

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