93 percent of all homes in the US are crafted from timber, meaning that timber preservation is incredibly important. From woodworm control to the prevention of rotting, there are so many stages that need to be implemented to preserve timber. Lumber that was once logs will inevitably decay and rot if not properly preserved, making this incredibly important when it comes to timber in the home. Similarly, unpreserved wood can fall victim to fungus, rodents, and insects, which no one wants for their home. Of course, the structures themselves will have been preserved during the building process, but what about wooden structures you bring into your home yourself?
Apply Oil When Dry
Natural wood is prone to drying out, but you can prevent this from happening by oiling the timber whenever it feels dry. Oil will soak into the pores of the wood, which will maintain the strength of the timber and absorb any water that may cause rot. Coating your timber can protect it for a significant amount of time; however, this is dependent on the environment and oil alike. You can tell if wood has dried out by dropping a small amount of oil onto the surface; if it absorbs rapidly, this means that the wood has dried out.
Before you begin the preservation process, you must ensure that your timber is clean. Therefore, it will need to be dusted using a clean, dry towel. Similarly, if you notice any imperfections in the wood, these will also need to be repaired ahead of oiling.
Choose a Commercial Product or Oil
Selecting the right product is imperative when it comes to timber preservation, and you need to consider the application of the wood as you do so. For instance, tung oil is one of the most effective solutions, but it’s rather expensive and has a lengthy drying time. If you’re looking to preserve a chopping board, make sure you use natural oils such as mineral oil, as this is food safe. There are plenty of synthetic products also on the market, it’s just a matter of doing your research.
Preserving timber requires various materials, such as clean, dry cloths, and newspaper to catch spills. Since oils are often flammable, a metal container should be kept close by to store these materials. Similarly, it’s wise to ensure that water and a fire extinguisher is within reach, just in case any materials do ignite; however, it’s worth noting that this is very unlikely. Upon the cloths drying, the flammability is significantly reduced, so air dry the rags and newspapers once finished.
Massage Oil in
Dab the oil on the wood, one splash at a time, and use a cloth to massage the oil into the timber.
Wipe Away Excess Oil
All excess oil should be wiped from the surface within a matter of minutes. Although the oil that soaks into the timber will provide protection, excess oil on the surface will not have this same effect. Instead, excess oil will create an unnecessary surface layer that will become gummy and discolored as time progresses. If it’s too late and the oil has already dried, you can dip your cloth in some more oil to wipe it up.
Apply Extra Coats and Sand
In order to preserve timber for a significant length of time, two or three coats will be required. Once the initial coat is dry, you’ll need to sand the surface gently before you massage in the next coat and repeat this process. This ensures that the oil soaks in and the texture remains.