Which is the best exterior wood treatment?


The sun is out and temperatures are on the rise. This is the time when we venture out to the garden to survey the surroundings and draw up the list of maintenance tasks.

When talking about exterior wood finishes, there’s always an assumption that it’s about treating your decking, garden shed or fence. Although these are indeed the most common garden features that need maintenance after a winter of wind, rain and freezing temperatures, wooden window frames, doors and porches should also be checked and given attention if required.

dulux trade-opaque-for-windows-and-doors
Dulux Trade Opaque Coating Systems

It’s all about the knowledge

A question we get asked a lot here at Wood Finishes Direct is “What is the best exterior wood treatment?”. Unfortunately, there’s no single product that is better than another for every project and type of wood. In fact, deciding what product should be used can be a complex matter. That’s why we invest heavily in the training of our sales and service team, or as we call them, the SAS team. All of our support staff are rigorously trained so that they’re familiar with the products we stock, their properties and their suitability for any number of given scenarios. This means that we’re always able to give expert advice and guidance on which products and brands are best suited to your project.

Just some of the top brands available at Wood Finishes Direct

Exterior wood finishing types

Essentially, there are two types of exterior wood treatments, those that are absorbed into the surface of the wood such as oil based products and those that form a protective coating on the surface of the wood, both of which have their own unique characteristics and benefits.

Penetrative Wood Treatments

Penetrative wood treatments are the type of products that soak into the wood and protect from within such as decking oils, shed & fence treatments. These products are predominantly oil and wax based. They work by penetrating then drying in the surface grain of the timber to provide a tough, durable, weather resistant surface.

Oil based products are popular for garden decking, sheds and fences.

The key benefit of this type of product is that they are very easy to apply and maintain. When the finished surface starts to look tired and worn, it’s simply a case of re-applying a fresh coat. No need to sand, strip back or remove the old finish. Wood oils are very forgiving for patch repairs meaning that localised areas of wear are very easy to repair and blend in with the surrounding areas. Leading brands that specialise in these types of exterior wood finishing products include Osmo, Ronseal, Barrettine, and Cuprinol.

Exterior coating systems

What was once the realm of paints and exterior wood varnishes is now dominated by an array of ultra modern wood coating systems. Whereas old paints and varnishes had a reputation for cracking, flaking and peeling, modern coating systems have been scientifically developed to withstand the effects of weathering and the constant movement of the timber as a result of moisture and temperature changes.

Sikkens Exterior Wood Treatments Seal and Protect.

Modern exterior wood coatings are flexible and durable meaning that they rarely need to be stripped back to bare wood if maintained correctly, a firm favourite for exterior joinery such as wooden window frames and doors. Brands such as Sadolin and Sikkens are designed in such a way that as the top coat wears over time, it starts to lose some of its colour and sheen. This is an indicator that the finish needs maintenance. Surfaces that require maintenance can be restored by following a few simple steps.

  • Wipe down with Methylated Spirit to degrease the old finish.
  • Lightly sand the surface to remove any ingrained surface dirt and debris. This also provides a key for the new top coat.
  • Wipe down a second time after sanding with Methylated Spirit to remove all traces of sanding dust and any residual grease from hands and finger tips.
  • Ones dry, a fresh top coat can be applied to restore the appearance and maximise protection of the timber.

Other brands that specialise in exterior coatings, translucent and opaque include Dulux Trade and Crown Paints. Also, see Sadolin’s Superdec Opaque Wood Protection finish.

Have a question about exterior wood care projects?

If you have an exterior wood care project to tackle and are not sure which product to choose, give our resident wood experts a call. They’re able to provide free, expert wood finishing advice, so that you can make a well-informed choice on which products are suitable for your project. Alternatively, visit our FAQ page which covers many of our most commonly asked questions.

We love to see before, during and after photos of any wood finishing project. If you would like to share your decking project pictures with us, you can either send us some photos or share on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.

Other great blogs that discuss exterior wood

  • 16 Exterior Wood Painting Tips
  • How to Use Exterior and Interior Wood Filler
  • To Paint or Not to Paint: Colouring Exterior Wood

    1. First off – thanks for all the great info!

      I’ve got a house in Massachusetts with wooden bulkhead doors. After 20 years, they’ve rotted away – and we have a local handyman rebuilding them. He’s built using #2 Pine for the framing and AC exterior grade plywood for the doors themselves (no pressure treated, which surprised me). This surface is sloped / not flat…but flat *enough* that it takes a pretty heavy beating from the elements in all 4 seasons. In the winter, we have to clear the snow off, so literally scrape the surface with our snow shovels when clearing up after a storm. These are also highly-trafficed doors because the laundry’s down there, and there’s multiple units in the house.

      I’m trying to figure out how the most durable method of finishing it. JUST paint? Or some combination of oil (to penetrate the wood) with paint applied on top of that? Any recommendations?

      Thanks so much!

      • Hi Wade,
        We would always recommend a wax-free wood preserver followed by paint for maximum protection. The paint will form more of a film on the surface of wood but please ensure that all parts of the door are coated including top and bottom.
        Hope that helps!!

    2. Hi,

      I have purchased some Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver which I am intending to use as a Base Coat under OSMO Natural Oil Woodstain. I just want to double-check this product is compatible. OSMO recommend their WR Base Coat but it is almost twice the price for half the amount. I have compared the data sheets and they appear to contain the same ingredients. I believe the wax within the Premier Preserver shouldn’t cause a problem since the top-coat stain is oil based. Also, will one coat of the preserver be sufficient with two coats of the OSMO on top?

      • Good Morning James,

        We have had many customers use this combination with out issue and so I would say yes this will be fine. As always I do recommend that important test area first. This ensures not only compatibility but also that you will like the result that will be achieved.

        If there is anything further that I can help with please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        kind regards Samantha.

    3. Our daughter and son-in-law had their entrance remodeled with 6×6 timber and want to know the best way to protect it. It is about 3 years old and they don’t know if they need to sand it first and then apply a finish or just apply a finish. What would be the best finish to apply, it is a natural look.

      • Hi David,
        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. Could you get in touch via our contact us page with some more details of the project please? For example is this an interior or exterior area of the entrance? What type of wood is the Timber ? And has it had any treatment at all applied? And what look and feel are you hoping to achieve?

        I will be happy to narrow down some options for you to consider,

        Kind regards Samantha.

    4. Hi
      I am replacing the balustrade on my decking with smooth planed horizontal planks. What product(s) would you recommend for preserving and staining these to a light oak colour?
      Many thanks

      • Good Afternoon James,

        My first recommendation will always be to apply a preserver first, this helps to prevent mould and decay on the wood, alo repelling wood boring insects. The Barrettine Premier Universal is a clear option that can have most top coat products applied over the top.

        I would then recommend considering a Decking oil, to apply. Decking oil can be a great all rounder for exterior projects, it will repel moisture from any wooden surface that you apply it to and if you go with a coloured oil this will also offer UV protection, slowing down greatly the silvering effect of the sun.

        Horizontal surfaces are more susceptible to weathering and damage, this is because they are often exposed to standing water as well as all the elements 365 days of the year. Decking oil is easy to top up when needed.

        For more help and advice why not get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    5. Hi,
      I have used a C24 4m x 145mm x 45mm treated timber as bench slats for a newly built outdoor space. I want to give them an oak finish. What sort of stain should i use please?

      • Hi Shak,

        I would recommend taking a look at the Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain This is a penetrating colour and protective oil in one, that makes the wood look and feel very natural, whilst offering great protection from the elements. Plus there are sample sachets available for test areas, I would recommend these as the wood type, age and condition will have an impact on the result that will be achieved.

        For application, just two very thin coats need to be applied to well prepared wood, and can then be topped up annually or bi annually when the wood needs it.

        I hope that helps and if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    6. Hi i just got a new shed that is pressure treated what do i use to waterproof it and how much would i need to buy for a 6 x 12

      • Good Afternoon Sinead,

        Thank you for your question. I would recommend taking a look at the Log Cabin Treatment this is an oil that give a clear finish to the wood, it will darken slightly, much like water does. The oil penetrates the wood and give a moisture repellent protective finish that is easy to top up when needed.

        It comes in a 5 litre tin and will cover approximately 20 m2 with two coats. Coverage will vary depending on the wood type, age and condition. And I always recommend test areas first to ensure you like the result that will be achieved.

        If you are looking for something with a bit of colour then perhaps a Decking Oil is a good option, we have lots of Decking Oil products and wide range of colours and these oils are very versatile, they can be used for a wide range of exterior projects and adding colour, even a light one to the wood will increase UV protection to the wood. For more advice please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    7. Hi,

      I have horizontal panels of what I think is red pine. I have had to strip the varnish that was on there as it was blistering and water was accumulating. I want to make it watertight without changing the appearance. I have previously used Roxil wood protection liquid but am not pleased with the results as the water repellent only works up to a point and the colour has faded to gray within 6 months. What do you recommend to maintain the grain of the wood and add enough color to negate the effect of UV.

      Thanks, Nick

      • Hello Nick,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. Horizontals areas are difficult to protect in outside spaces, because they are so exposed to the elements all year round. There is also the issue of standing water on horizontals, this will make what ever product is applied wear quicker for sure.

        Varnishes and surface sealers can last longer, however the smallest break in the seal that allows any moisture to get underneath will result in the product lifting and flaking. You could take a look at a Sadolin product that has great adhesion and colour options the Sadolin Classic Wood Protection which gives a durable finish and because it penetrates the wood some will have better adhesion.

        The alternative is to consider an oiled finish, these are perhaps not quite as durable as sealers, however they have the benefit of being far easier to maintain, with a simple refresher coat when needed annually or bi annually, depending on exposure. It is a product that adds colour and still allows you to see the grain and texture of the wood.

        If you take a look at that and do feel free to get back to me if you have any questions at all via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    8. Hello,

      I have just purchased a playhouse made of soft wood – it hasn’t been treated yet so what would you advise I use to treat/seal it?

      Not fussed about painting it a colour as I like the wood finish
      Many thanks

      • Hi Hannah,

        The first thing to apply is a preserver, this will help to prevent mould and decay from developing. Once they are dry they are safe for humans and animals, its only in the wet state you need to ensure animals and kids are kept away. Barrettine Premier Universal Preserver is a product that can be used under most top coat products.

        For ease of maintenance I would then recommend a exterior oil, this penetrates the wood and gives a natural look and feel, it will repel moisture well and you are able to easily apply a refresher coat when the wood needs it. Decking oil is a great all rounder for exterior projects such as yours and again safe once dry, Barrettine Decking Oil comes in a clear of coloured option, clear oils will darken the wood a little. Application of a colour will give better UV protection to the wood, and slow down the silvering caused by UV damage.

        If you take a look at these options and do feel free to get back to me with any questions you may have via our contact us page and please always try a test area first.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    9. The untreated post for our fence, have rotted at the base so we have to remove them. I am about to buy 20 new 3″x6″ 8ft post to replace them. I have removed all the rails untreated 2″x3″ 16ft ( been up about 12 years) and most of them look in good condition. Could I treat the timber rails before I put them up again. And what advise would you give for a long life for the post which I will be putting down again.

      • Hello Declan,

        Thank you for your question. I think it would be fair to say that any wood that is submerged into the ground, will eventually rot. Constant contact with soil/mud and moisture will damage the wood. That said there are things that you are able to do to help slow this down. Metal casings for fence panels will help, and soaking the wood in a preserver before construction, and by this I mean literally filling up a bucket with preserver and standing the wood in there for a few hours. The wood will be able to soak up as much preserver as it can and then allow it the drying time needed before putting into the ground.

        For the rails, I would say yes, treat then on all sides before putting then back up, paying particular attention to the cut ends and the surface that will be the upside and will be the most exposed to standing water.

        I hope this helps and if you need product recommendations please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    10. I had purchased a summerhouse 12 months ago and it was installed professionally and was pre-treated, unfortunately, I used Cuprinol Ducksback for rough sawn wood and not smooth timber to treat it, and the structure leaks through the roof & I’ve been told by the manufacturer that this is why this has happened, i.e. using the wrong treatment, but surely the structure was not watertight before I used the treatment if this is happening and me using the wrong treatment on the outside of the structure is immaterial?
      I have had sheds in the past and I have never had this type of problem so I am very confused, as to why this structure is leaking as I can’t believe it is down to condensation.
      I have a couple of racks in the building and they have mold on them, I have never experienced this either. Any thoughts or help you can advise would be very much appreciated. Many thanks, Darryl

      • Hello Darryl,

        How frustrating for you. I can confirm that any leaking or condensation problems that you have with the summerhouse are not to do with the product you have applied, even if it is not quite the right product for the job.

        When a wood treatment is applied to any project it is to protect the wood and not the structure. So application of paint to cladding on the side of a shed, for example will not seal and waterproof the joins or any gaps, this is the responsibility of the structure/design or the requirement for a specific gap sealer/filler provided by or recommended by the manufacturer of the project.

        The Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback is designed for use on rough sawn wood, and needs to deeply penetrate to protect the wood. For smooth woods, it is not able to penetrate the wood so easily and so the protection is reduced, however there will have been some protection to the wood over the last year and using it on smooth wood is not the end of the world.

        My advice now, would be to wash down the summer house with a pressure washer, to remove any remaining Ducksback. Holding the nozzle too close will damage your wood, so maintaining a distance with the pressure washer is advised. the Ducksback needs to be removed as it has a high wax content and will repel anything you try to apply over it. Once the wood is clean and dry a preserver followed by and oil to protect is recommended. These will protect the wood, but not the structure or prevent areas of leaks and these of course will need to be fixed.

        Depending on the extent of the gaps that are allowing water in I can recommend the Cuprinol All Purpose Wood Filler .
        This is ideal for long thin gaps, and has some flexibility for natural shifting of exterior woods. Although ideally the manufacturer/supplier of the Summer house should be resolving or advising on this for you.

        If you do have any questions or need any further help please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        All the Best Samantha.

    11. I have just had delivered a spruce wood summer house.
      The wood is untreated.
      Please could you advise the best action to take and treatment to use on this please?

      • Hello Debbie,

        What a great project for your summer, the first thing will be to ensure the wood is dry before application. If it has been stored outside or is currently outside in the elements, you may need to wait for a dry spell, allowing enough time for the wood to dry out well. Application of most products to wet wood will be problematic and fail quicker.

        Once there is a period of warmer drier weather the first recommendation will be for a preserver such as Barrettine Premier Universal . This will help to prevent mould and decay on the wood, a deep penetrating product for protection.

        Followed by a top coat product to repel moisture and reduce the silvering caused by UV. What to use for this will depend on the look you are hoping to achieve. I would recommend considering an oil as these work well for exterior projects and are easy to apply and maintain over time. A coloured product will always be better to reduce fading of the wood, The pigment act like filters and even the lightest colour will give a good level of protection.

        If you would like to get in touch for more recommendation please feel free to message us via our contact us page with some details of the look you want to achieve and we can help further.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    12. Hi

      I’m building a mud kitchen for my grandson, I’m using soft wood and have applied a coat of wood preserver, I want the worktop look like oak, can you recommend what would be best

      • Hello Neil,

        I would probably recommend a coloured oil such as the Barrettine Decking Oil this penetrates the wood surface and protects from moisture ingress and UV damage. And will be easy to maintain over time. Or perhaps the Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain which also penetrates the wood and comes in a wide range of colour options and sizes.

        If you take a look at these and see if they might suit your needs and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    13. I have a project made out of old barn wood that I want to hang outside. What is the best product to protect this wood that is very weathered and old from the harsh winter and Summers

      • Hello Scott,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. A good place to start for exterior projects is with a preserver, this help to keep at bay, mould and algae. You will find that because of the condition of the wood, it will be like a sponge and when you apply any product it will absorb more than the expected amount. It could also darken the wood considerably and so I would recommend a test area first, allowing the test to dry, to ensure you like the result that will be achieved.

        If you are looking to add some colour with a top coat product, please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page with details of the look you are hoping to achieve.

        kind regards Samantha.

    14. We’re hoping to build a raised deck (about 1m from ground level) with balustrade rails and steps down to garden, all in pressure treated softwood. The underside of the raised area to be clad and have access doors to under the deck storage space. The project also requires a new external entrance door (which comes as untreated oak) to access the deck from the back of the cottage. I personally prefer a natural-looking finish, but not sure if the natural colour of pressure treated softwood might need a little enhancing. Having got totally confused with the variety of products available, what product/s would you recommend?

      • Hello Amanda,

        It can be overwhelming with the number of products available for such projects. The first thing I would always recommend is a preserver, this will help to protect against mould, decay and rot. And a good all rounder is the Barrettine Universal Preserver it is a clear product, although will darken the wood slightly.

        Then two coats of a Decking Oil, this penetrates the wood and gives a moisture repellent finish, it is easy to apply, clean and maintain over time and will not peel and flake. You can simply top up with a fresh coat when the wood needs it, this could be annually or bi annually, depending on use and exposure to the elements. But no stripping back needed, just clean and re apply.

        You could have a look at the Manns Premier UV Decking Oil or the Barrettine Decking Oil both come in a clear or coloured finish and it would be fair to say that the addition of colour adds further protection to the wood, as it dramatically slows down the silvering caused by the sun.

        If you take a look at those and see if they may suit your needs, always try a test area first if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page, I will be happy to help.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    15. Hi there,

      I am planning to finish a garden room/office with (untreated) red wood tongue and groove cladding, which I will then treat with a wood preserver and finish with oil/paint.

      I see from other posts that you advise treating the cladding prior to installation, which makes sense. My concern is that, if I apply the wood preserver treatment to the ‘tongues’ and ‘grooves’ of the cladding boards, they might not slot together? Is there a way of avoiding this, or is it generally not an issue?

      Many thanks in advance.

      • Good Morning Keith,

        As long as the wood is not cedar or a naturally oily hardwood such as Balua or Iroko, then application before construction will be fine. Preservers penetrate the wood and should not make the wood swell in any way, however I would recommend a test area first to check for this before treating all of the wood.

        If the wood is a Cedar then a period of weathering is needed after construction, before you are able to apply a treatment, the natural oils will repel or cause adhesion issue with anything that you are looking to apply.

        For further advice feel free to get in touch with any of our Wood Wizards via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    16. Hi, I have just built a corner summerhouse which came as water based dip treated.
      I had some Bartoline light brown Creocote already in, so I coated the summerhouse to give it quick protection
      as we have lots of rain, a day later the Creocote has sunk right into the wood and the wood now feels dry.
      Do iI have to continue using more Creocote or can I now use any oil based protection, stain?

      Do you have and recommendations, the timber is smooth not rough cut, I love rich deep exotic woods and like to still see the gain but with maximum protection, aslo what would you recommend for protection on the interior wood?
      Thanks Stewart

      • Hello Stewart,

        Creocote is a product very high in wax or resins to repel moisture effectively. These will also repel any products that you now try to apply also. So it will be best to stick with the Creocote that you are already using.

        The alternative will be to allow the current application to naturally wear for a year or two and then consider alternative products such as preservative and perhaps a Log cabin Treatment or an oil based top coat.

        For more help and advice please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team via the contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

      • Good Morning Janice.

        We have a wide range of options for project like this and if you would like to get in touch with some further details, of type and condition of the wood? And the look you are hoping to achieve, clear or coloured for example ? Via our contact us page.

        And I will be happy to narrow down some options for you to consider.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    17. Hi
      We need to apply a preservative to a new, smooth finished, loglap style exterior wall. The wall is south-facing and has to cope with wind from the sea and plenty of direct sun. The wood is presure treated but not coloured, however we need to colour-match existing walls if possible. What would be the best option for all weather protection?

      • Hello Ian,

        I am happy to make some suggestions for you, can you tell me a little more about the colour result you are hoping to achieve and if you need an opaque, paint like finish or a more translucent one? The more details you can give me the better and you get send these via our contact us page with reference to this post.

        many Thanks Samantha.

    18. Hi, I’m just in the process of putting in place some brand new grade A scaffolding boards, they have been sanded to a smooth finish, I want them to look like a mahogany red to match our fence. We also don’t want it to cost the earth as its supposed to be a low cost seating option/bench, they are 5.3M in length by 0.45 wide, they will also be uncovered all year around. Can you please advise on what you would recommend we use for an easy maintainable finish?

      Thanks very much

      • Hi Deborah,

        To protect the wood from biological threats such as mould, algae, wood rot and insect attack we recommend treating the wood with 2 coats of wax-free preservative such as Barrettine Premier Universal Preserver. It’s worth paying special attention to any cut ends or end grain and ensure that they are thoroughly treated. Once treated and fully dry (approx 48 to 72 hours) the wood can be treated with a suitable wood stain.

        In terms of a Mahogany stain you could consider Polyvine Woodstain Oil or Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain. Both products are available in Mahogany, are easy to apply and maintain, and will protect your bench from weathering. When applying, ensure that cut ends and the bases of the feet that come into contact with ground are well protected.

        I hope the above helps but if you have any further questions about your project or which products to use, please feel free to contact us at any time.

    19. Is it okay to apply oil and wood preservative to rough sawn timber? I don’t want to have to sand the whole thing down (a potting bench)

      • Hi Madra,

        Is your potting bench bare wood or has it been previously treated? Bare wood can be treated with a wood preserver and then an exterior wood oil such as a garden furniture oil or decking oil. To maintain the finish, simply apply a maintenance coat of oil once or twice a year, usually in Spring and/or Autumn.

        I hope the above helps but if you have any further questions about your project or which products to use, please feel free to contact us at any time.

        • Hi, it’s rough sawn bare wood. I don’t have an orbital sander, so was wondering if I could apply the wood preserver and oil onto the rough wood without sanding, or does it need to be sanded for the oil to penetrate

          • Hi Madra,

            It is fine to apply a wood preservative and then a wood oil, once the wood preservative has fully dried, to rough sawn timber. Normal recommendation is for 2 coats of each. Pay special attention to any cut ends such as the bottom of the legs that are in contact with the ground.

            Kind regards,

    20. Hi
      Hope you can help, I have recently built a oak framed garage with softwood weatherboard,
      I was going to use something like Ronseal decking oil to protect it,
      Will this be ok on the rough sawn weatherboard ? As well as on the oak frame ?

      • Hi Ian,

        Decking oils can be used for a variety of exterior woodcare projects as they are durable, offer good weather protection and are available in clear and a range of shades and colours. Prior to oiling, we would recommend treating the wood with a wood preservative such as Barrettine Premier Universal Preserver first. A wood preservative protectes the wood from biological threats such as mould, algae, wood rot and insect attack whereas the oil protects protects and nourishes the wood, protecting it against moisture, cracking, splitting and warping.

        Where possible, treat all sides of the timber including edges and especially any cut ends with 2 coats of the preservative and then 2 coats of the decking oil.

        I hope this helps but if you have any further questions about your project, please feel free to contact us at any time.

    21. Hello,
      What would you recommand for the exterior summerhouse build? I prefer varnish, type long lasting weatherproof product.?? No harsh dark colours.

      • Hi,

        Thank you for your message.

        Is your summerhouse smooth planed timber or rough sawn timber? Exterior varnishes or coatings are better suited to smooth timber rather than rough sawn timber.

        Assuming that your summerhouse is currently bare wood and has not been treated previously, there are a couple of clear options, namely exterior wood oils and varnish or coating type products. Oils generally require slightly more maintenance but will never crack, flake or peel off. Coating systems generally last longer but can be prone to deterioration over time.

        Clear wood finishes offer little in the way of UV protection so the wood will naturally loose its colour over time, turning grey or silver. This said, many exterior wood oils and coatings do contain UV filters which will slow this process down. Products that contain colour pigments offer better UV resistance than clear wood treatments.

        In terms of clear wood oils, 2 of the most popular are Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra (420) and Fiddes Exterior High Build Wood Oil

        For a coating or varnish type finish consider Sadolin Extra Tough Clear Coat or Dulux Trade Clear Gloss Yacht Varnish. Although designed for exterior joinery such as windows and doors, these products have been used on exterior, smooth planned timber constructions with success.

        I hope the above helps but if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.

        Kind regards,

    22. Hi
      We are painting our log cabin in Cuprinol shades but need to put a good wood preservative on first. Every company I have spoke to say I have to use a Cuprinol brand to match the Finnish coat but it says on your website that Cuprinol 5 star wood preservative is for interior use only? What do you advise is the best product to use? I want to give all the pieces a coat, let dry then construct it the Finnish off the coats.

      • Hi Chris,

        Any wood preservative used need to be wax-free. Many wood preservers contain a small amount of wax to provide a small amount of weather protection. Although this is generally fine if applying wood oils, it will cause adhesion issues with water-based paints such as Cuprinol Garden Shades.

        If you’re looking for a Cuprinol wood preservative that will work with the Cuprinol Garden Shades us Cuprinol Wood Preserver Clear which is suitable for both interior and exterior wood. Alternatively, Barrettine Premier Universal Preserver is a good alternative as it also does not contain any wax.

        Kind regards,

    23. Hello, I jus replaced 6 of my fence panels with custom made horizontal pinwood which is 1inch thick. It was bought from B&Q,so they been treated before. Being a softwood how do you think to care them to give them a coat a water or oil based ? The wood is quite yellow ish colour, I would like to keep it bright and outstand the grain. Could you give me some brand names as well. Thank you very much.


      • Hi Zoltan,

        If your new fence panels have been treated with a wood preserver there is no need to treat them again being new but there’s also no harm in applying an additional wood preserver if you wish to. Exterior wood oils are a good option as they help to nourish the wood and keep it supple, therefore helping to prevent cracking, splitting, and warping. Wood oils will also never crack, flake, or peel off, are easy to apply and maintain and offer excellent weather resistance.

        We have several wood oils that are suitable for garden fences or you can simply apply a clear decking oil which will also work well. The oil will enhance the natural colour and character of the wood and will also darken it slightly giving the fence panels a damp-like appearance.

    24. Hi,

      I have wooden balustrade decking post that I have sanded down to the original timber, Can you tell me what is the best way to prepare this for paint or oil ?

      Thanks David

      • Good morning David,

        It can depend on the type of wood, some hardwoods are naturally oily and would benefit for a wipe over with Methylated Spirits first. Then test areas to ensure good adhesion and that you like the colour. Depending on the paint your are using you may need a primer or undercoat, it is best to read the guideline with the products.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    25. Hi.

      I want to build a contemporary horizontal slatted fence using planed softwood timber, in 3×1 slats. Unfortunately this timber is untreated from my local builders merchant. What product(s) should I use after the initial build, and then on annual basis? We want the fence to have a painted grey finish, although we don’t mind if it is a light grey or a darker, more anthracite, grey. Can you help please?

      Thanks in advance,


      • Good Morning Leigh,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. If you are able to treat the wood before construction this will always give better and longer lasting result. Application before construction will mean that you can treat every part of the wood, from the exposed surface to the cut ends.

        Preserver and End grain Sealer are good places to start and for the finishing product I am going to recommend the Osmo WR Basecoat this will help to prevent mildew, rot and wood boring insects. End grain Sealing Wax which will help to reduce swelling of the wood over time.

        Then for your grey finish the Osmo Country Colour which has a selection of grey tones to consider. Sample sachets are available and I would definitely recommend these as the wood that you are applying to will impact on the over all finish. As this is an oil it will penetrate the woods surface and will not peel and flake over time. Top ups are easy, just apply a fresh coat of the Oil when it is needed.

        Another alternative and to keep the project quite simple is the Protek Royal Exterior which is a great exterior paint again with a few grey options to have a look at.

        I hope that helps and do feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    26. Hi there
      At our Church we have a small set of small double entrance old oak gates into the cemetery which over the years are now grey and showing slight signs of decay. We are quite happy with the colour but could you please advise what is the best way of preserving the oak gate from deteriating any further. Perhaps the Barrittine premier timber preservative would suffice
      Many thanks

      • Good Morning Alan,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. I would recommend giving the wood a really good clean, the Barrettine Mould and Mildew Cleaner Spray is good for this. Any areas that are rotten or decaying may need to be removed or replaced to avoid this spreading further and any rot can be treated with the Ronseal Wet Rot Wood Hardener and Ronseal High Performance Wood Filler

        Once the wood is clean and sound a wipe over with Methylated Spirits will any stubborn dirt and grease ready for application of a product such as the two coats of this can give a well protected surface, it comes in a clear or colour finish and the colour will help to reduce further UV damage, although the colour will vary to that of the swatch as you are applying to silvered wood and this can dull down the colours appearance on the wood.

        For a further step of protection you could also consider the application of an oil, this will repel moisture far better than the preservative and so in turn also protect the preservative. A Decking Oil is a good option and if the gates are small then you could have a look at the Barrettine Decking Oil which has a 1 litre size that would better suit your needs.

        If you take a look at these products and feel free to get back to me via our contact us page if you have any further questions. Always try a test area first.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    27. Hi Sam. I’ve build porch veranda roof from treated soft wood. Would like to give the best weather protection before putting the polycarbonate sheets on the top. Now I do prefer keep natural wood look and try avoid varnish or any oil base stuff. So question one-
      Do I need treated with clear wood preserver and then decking oil? Or just preserver? Or just oil? I bought cuprinol preserver all ready.
      Question two-
      Can I treated the wood with oil/preserver when is no completely dry and night temp close to zero? Its December and it’s terrible out there. Or paint now and repeat in spring?
      Many thanks in advance

      • Good Afternoon Lako,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. You could take a look at a couple of products, although we do not supply products specifically for protection of roof areas. So any product recommended will not come with a guarantee, but with the added protection of Polycarbonate sheets will help to protect the wood for a period of time dependent on over all exposure to the elements.

        The Barrettine Cladding Preserver provides a clear finish and contains resins and oils for water repellency and protection against weathering. It is a stand alone product and does not require a top coat.

        Alternatively you could have a look at application of a preserver followed by a decking oil. This combination will also give a good, moisture repellent finish to the wood. The oil can be topped up regularly to maintain the protective qualities, if you are able to make the sheeting removable.

        And finally I would wait for better weather. Most products can not be applied if the temperature drops below 10 degrees during the curing process and if the wood is wet then definitely wait for a drier period. The wood must not have more the are 10-15 % moisture content for application of most products, the wood can appear and feel touch dry however it may still contain high volumes of moisture and at this time of year it is unable to disperse into a wet atmosphere.

        I hope all that helps but if you do have further questions, please do not hesitate to get int ouch via our contact us Page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    28. Hi

      I am wanting to use Cuprinol garden shades paint on a new exterior wooden garage door, should i use a wood preservative first, if so which one.

      • Good Morning Daniel,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. If using a wood preservative prior to painting the garage door with Cuprinol Garden Shades, it’s important to choose a wax-free preservative such as Barrettine Premier Universal Preserver. this is a clear, wax-free preservative that will help to prevent mould and decay. And can be used with the Garden Shades. Wood preservers that contain wax will repel the water-based garden shades paint.

        Both are suitable for application to bare wood and if you currently have any product on the garage door then this may need removing first.

        For further advice please feel free to get in touch with one of our friendly advisers via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.


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