Exterior wood has a lot to put up with. The best wood preserver can dramatically limit the damage done by rain, frost, moss and UV rays, which can all wreak havoc with untreated wood.
Wood preserver helps to bring out the wood’s natural beauty as well as protecting it. But its main job is to sink deep into the surface of sawn or sanded wood to form a protective shield and vastly enhance its lifespan.
And let’s not forget indoors. A newly sanded floor is a stain magnet, and there may even be woodworm lurking in them there floorboards. Varnish, wax or paint alone aren’t enough to protect the wood, so you need to treat it with a preserver first.
In a moment we’ll reveal the best wood preserver you can buy for different jobs, indoors and out. But first, we’ll explain how to choose the right product for protecting the wood in your home and garden.
2. Osmo Wood Protector (clear): The best wood preserver for all indoor jobs
Price: £57 for 2.5l |
3. Cuprinol Ducksback 5 Year (coloured): The best one-stop wood preserver for sheds and fences
Price: From £25 for 5l |
4. Cuprinol 5 Star Complete Wood Treatment (clear): The best wood preserver for sanded floors
Price: £46 for 5l |
6. Ronseal Total Coloured Wood Preserver: High-quality waterproof wood stain for outdoor jobs
Price: £36 for 5l | Buy now from Wood Finishes Direct
Ronseal’s wax-enriched preserver is similar to Cuprinol Ducksback, but it’s solvent-based and more expensive. You may also find it to be a little more drippy and smelly than Ducksback, and to take longer to dry. But professionals hail Ronseal’s preserver as the best choice for a top-quality weatherproof finish, and they say it protects wood for many years without re-treating.
The preserver comes in black, green, light brown or dark brown. There is a clear version as well (£27 for 5l from Amazon), which doesn’t contain wax.
Key specs – Size: 5l; Exterior/interior: Exterior; Base: Solvent; Coverage: 8m²/litre; Drying time: 24hrs; Water-repellent: Yes
Buy now from Wickes
7. Briwax Shellac Sanding Sealer: The best wood preserver for upcycling old furniture
Price: £19 for 500ml | Buy now from D&M Tools
Turn old hardwood furniture surfaces into heritage showpieces with this pricey but seriously good-quality product, beloved by furniture restorers.
It can be a bit tricky to apply because you’re meant to use a rag rather than a brush, and apply it carefully to achieve a consistent glossy finish. However it dries very fast, and can be given a second coat after a couple of hours. It’s not officially waterproof but the finished result offers excellent protection from water spills, so for most projects you won’t need an additional topcoat.
Key specs – Size: 500ml; Exterior/interior: Interior; Base: Solvent; Coverage: 8m²/litre; Drying time: 1-2hrs; Water-repellent: No
Buy now from D&M Tools