How To: Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Water Sealant

(Image credit: Laure Joliet)

Sure, it’s been nice, sunny and dry here in LA all summer. But any day now that pesky thing called “weather” will return and start dropping those near mythological raindrops onto your outdoor wood furniture. Now is the time to take the time to coat your patio furniture and other outdoor wooden accessories…

Kelly Smith of DIY Life listed this batch of ingredients to mix at home (and importantly, outdoors, the fumes can be dangerous!) to protect your furniture and save a few dollars while at it. Of course, the majority of people would rather purchase a pre-mixed solution, but we could see this being a viable solution for larger projects like wood decking where the sheer amount of solution needed requires a bit of investment upfront. Up for the DIY task? Here’s Kelly’s directions:

Mix together:
  • 2 gal. Mineral spirits, Turpentine, or #1 or #2 fuel oil
  • 5/8 qts. Boiled Linseed Oil
  • 3/16 lb. Paraffin Wax
  • 1 qt. Penta concentrate 10:1
  • 1 to 3 fluid oz Color Pigment / gallon of the above mix

The paraffin must be melted in a double boiler; if you try to use a regular pan, fire is a very real possibility (keep an extinguisher close.) Let your concoction age overnight before applying it and stir it well; the pigments will settle.

So what does each of the ingredients in this mixture do exactly? The mineral spirits or turpentine works as a cleaning solvent. Linseed Oil creates a shine and grain enhancer with minor protectant qualities. The paraffin wax is the main barrier between your wood and damaging moisture. Penta concentrate is pentachlorophenol, a preservative that prevents graying by inhibiting mildew (this stuff is a bit nasty from the health warnings, so take precaution). And finally the color pigment is a colour-enhancing additive that is optional, depending on your furniture’s finish.