HomeBuying GuidesLawn & GardenHow To Buy The Best Wood Preserver

How To Buy The Best Wood Preserver

Looking to buy the best wood preserver ? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the right one for you.

Protect and enhance the appearance of your woodwork.
Our buyer’s guide and reviews will assist you in selecting the best wood preserver for your needs.

Exterior wood has to withstand a lot.
Rain, frost, moss, and UV rays may all wreak havoc on untreated wood, but the best wood preserver can substantially reduce the damage they cause.

Wood preserver enhances the inherent beauty of the wood while also safeguarding it.
But its primary function is to penetrate deeply into the surface of sawn or sanded wood, forming a protective layer that extends the life of the wood significantly.

And don’t forget about the interiors.
A freshly sanded floor attracts stains, and there may even be woodworm in the floorboards.
Varnish, wax, or paint alone will not protect the wood, thus it must first be treated with a preserver.

We’ll show you the best wood preserver for various indoor and outdoor jobs in a moment.
But first, we’ll go over how to pick the correct product for safeguarding your home and garden’s wood.

How do you pick the best wood preserver for your needs?

What’s the difference between varnish and wood preserver?

A wood preserver is essentially a primer.
To stabilise the moisture content of raw, freshly sawn or sanded wood surfaces and prevent them from rot and decay, you brush or spray it on.

Varnish, on the other hand, is a topcoat.
It won’t be enough to keep the wood safe on its own.
Paint, wax, and wood oil are all examples of this.
So, if you want your woodwork to last, start with a couple layers of wood preserver, wait until they’re completely dry, and then apply your favourite varnish or decorative topcoat.

Is it possible to use wood preserver without a topcoat?

Yes, if you use a wax-based wood preserver like Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver or Cuprinol Ducksback.
Without the use of a finish, the wax helps to weatherproof the wood’s surface.

Wax-enriched wood preservers have the disadvantage of being difficult to paint over.
If you plan to paint or lacquer the surface in the future, choose a preserver that doesn’t contain wax.

Is it better to have a clear or coloured wood preserver?

The majority of wood preserver is a clear liquid that darkens the wood’s natural colour, but you may also acquire wood preserver that contains coloured dye and stains as well.
It’s a matter of your preference whether you choose for clear or coloured.

Cuprinol Ducksback and Ronseal Total Coloured Wood Preserver, two of the wood preservers on our list, both incorporate wax and dye in a variety of hues, obviating the need for a separate topcoat.

Regardless of the colour or lack thereof, you won’t have to deal with the fluorescent yellowy green colour of creosote, which was once the only wood preserver available.
Creosote, which is poisonous, toxic, and very flammable, is thankfully no longer sold to the general population.

Is it true that all wood preservers are solvent-based?

I’m concerned about fumes if I’m applying indoors.

Wood preservers exist in solvent-based and water-based versions, just like paint.
Each variety has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Most individuals find it easier to work with water-based wood preservers like Cuprinol.
They dry faster than other solvent-based preservers and contain far fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds), the molecules that cause petrol-like odours.
Brushes are also considerably easier to clean with water-based solutions.

Solvent-based wood preservers like Barrettine Premier and Ronseal Total soak more deeply into wood, according to decorators, and their effects stay longer.
They are, however, more odoriferous than water-based products and are less environmentally friendly.
However, Osmo Wood Protector, the most environmentally responsible preserver in our lineup, is solvent-based but contains only safe organic components, making it ideal for kitchen worktops.

Is it possible to spruce up my ancient shed with wood preserver?

The wood preserver is intended for use on newly sawn or sanded wood.
If you sand down whatever wood you use it on, or at the very least pressure-wash and clean it, you’ll get the most out of it.

So, you could use it on an old shed, but you’ll need to prepare the wood first.
You’ll be wasting your time and money if you don’t.

The best wood preserver to buy

SaleBestseller No. 1
Everbuild EVBLJCR05 Wood Preserver, Clear, 5 Litre
  • Based on micro fine active technology and uses ultra-lightfast pigments on the coloured variants to give an even fade-resistant finish which will last for years
  • Fast drying, non-flammable and is suitable for both internal and external surfaces including damp timbers.
  • Ideal for use on rough-sawn or planed timbers such as floorboards, joists, roof timbers, window frames, doors and more
  • Can be used as a pre-treatment which once left to dry for 48 hours can be overpainted, varnished or stained
  • Can be left as the final finish on indoor surfaces, when used externally overpainting or staining is required
SaleBestseller No. 2
Everbuild LJCR01 Wood Preserver, Clear, 1 Litre
  • Based on micro fine active technology and uses ultra-lightfast pigments on the coloured variants to give an even fade-resistant finish which will last for years
  • Fast drying, non-flammable and is suitable for both internal and external surfaces including damp timbers.
  • Ideal for use on rough-sawn or planed timbers such as floorboards, joists, roof timbers, window frames, doors and more
  • Can be used as a pre-treatment which once left to dry for 48 hours can be overpainted, varnished or stained
  • Can be left as the final finish on indoor surfaces, when used externally overpainting or staining is required
SaleBestseller No. 3
Sika Sikagard Wood Preserver - Prevents Wood Rot and Decay, Clear, 5 Litre
  • Fast-drying, non-flammable and can be applied to all wood and joinery in damp or wet conditions without loss of performance
  • Specifically formulated to be a low-odour and solvent-free solution based on Micro-fine active technology
  • Fungicides and algaecides present in this formulation are finely dispersed to provide improved penetration into the wood compared to standard solvent based preservers
  • Suitable for both internal and external use ideal for use on rough-sawn or planed timbers such as floorboards, joists, roof timbers, window frames, door frames and much more
  • Covers 3 - 4 sq. per litre
Bestseller No. 4
Cuprinol 5L Wood Preserver - Clear
  • Actively prevents rot and decay
  • Colourless Preserver for both interior and exterior use
  • For use as a basecoat before painting, staining or varnishing
  • Up to 5m2 per litre with 2 coats
  • Drying time: 1-5 days depending upon the nature of the surface and the weather conditions
SaleBestseller No. 5
RONSEAL RSLWPCL5L 5 Litre Total Wood Preserver - Clear
  • Colour: Clear.
  • It is an ideal pre-treatment for interior and exterior wood and suitable for overpainting
  • Perfect to use on rough or smooth timber
Bestseller No. 6
Rustins AWCL5000 Advanced Wood Preserver, Clear 5L
  • Low odour
  • Non-flammable product based on micro-emulsion nanotechnology
  • Quick drying and can be applied to wet or dry timbers
  • The ultra fine particle size allows deep penetration of the preserver to take place, so that the performance of the product is much greater than standard wood preserver products
SaleBestseller No. 7
Cuprinol 5330417 Wood Preserver - Clear - 1L
  • Actively prevents rot and decay
  • Colourless preserver for both interior* and exterior use. *Occasionally wet or interior wood with risk of condensation.
  • For use as a basecoat before painting, staining or varnishing
  • Water based
Bestseller No. 8
Roxil Wood Preserver (5 Litre) Clear, Odourless Formulation Providing Protection Against Wood Destroying Fungi and Beetles Such as Dry Rot, Wet Rot, Fungal Attack and Woodworm
  • Roxil Wood Preserver is a solvent-free liquid wood preservative designed to penetrate deeply into timber and defend against dry rot, wet rot, fungal attack and woodworm infestation.
  • Easy to apply - this powerful formulation can be applied by brush or roller to help protect outdoor wood such as: fence, decking, sheds, garden furniture and more.
  • Clear, Odourless formula – Increases the lifetime of timber by preventing wood destroying, wood discolouring fungi and woodworm.
  • HSE Approved. Tested to European standards EN 152, 113 and 46-1. Designed to be used as a pre-treatment before application of Roxil Wood Protection Cream.
  • Apply by brush onto timber at a rate of 5 m2 per litre. Apply in 2 – 3 coats depending on the porosity of the wood species. Do not apply if rain is forecast in the next 48 hours to allow time for Roxil Wood Preserver to dry and the application of a top coat.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Nourish & Protect WOCL005 Clear 5 L Wood Preserver
  • Good Quality low odour oil/spirit wood preservative giving a semi-transparent matt/satin finish allowing the natural wood texture to be visible
  • Long lasting protection against wood destroying fungi (wet Rot), wood discoloring fungi and wood boring insects
  • No subsequent top coat required unless for aesthetic purposes
  • Deep penetrating oil/solvent formula
  • For use on most external timbers and interior joists and rafters
Bestseller No. 10
Palace 1101900 Langlow Wood Preserver, Clear, 5 Litre
  • Effective against dry Rot
  • Dual active fungicide
  • Deep penetrating solvent based formula
  • Protects against blue stain
  • Available in a range of colours

Do I need to use a wood preserver when oiling exterior wood?

While you can oil outdoor wood without first applying a preservative, we recommend that you do so. While wood oils protect the wood from weathering, rain, and sun damage, a preserver protects the wood against mould, algae, wood boring insects, and rot, which a wood oil alone cannot protect against.

Can I paint over wood that has been treated with a wood preservative?

This is dependent on the type of preservative and the type of paint used. For example, normal tanalised wood can normally be painted with any exterior wood paint. If the wood is to be treated with an outside wood preservative before being painted with a water-based exterior wood paint, make sure it doesn’t contain any wax, oil, or silicon, as these will resist the paint’s water content and prevent it from staying or adhering to the wood. When preserving and painting wood, we recommend treating a test area first to ensure product applicability and compatibility.

Will a coloured wood preservative produce the same colour finish on my old fence panels and newly replaced panels?

Even when treated with the same product, the colour of the new fence panels is unlikely to match the colour of the old fence panels. This is, unfortunately, the nature of wood. When a wood finishing product, such as a coloured wood preservative, is applied, each piece of wood is affected by its type, age, and condition, and will react differently. If the older panels appear to be a lighter colour than the new treated ones, an additional coat of preservative can be applied to strengthen the colour and obtain a better colour match to the new or vice versa. After a few weeks of weathering, the colour of the newly applied preservative will fade.

Can wood preservatives be used to preserve animal enclosures?

When totally dried, the wood preservers are safe for humans, animals, and plants. They can be used in dog kennels, horse stables, and other animal enclosures because of this. Wood preservatives are designed to preserve wood from wood boring insects and are hence unsuitable for use in beehives or insect houses. Choose a product that is free of biocides and insecticides if you want to protect your beehive or bug home.

Honest Bob is committed to providing genuine guides from a panel of experts. As an Amazon affiliate Honest Bob earns commission from any qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

Must Read