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Best Wood Protectors for Floors That Last

One of the reasons why we paint and varnish wood is to protect it. All types of weather have harsh affects on wood, ultimately destroying its natural beauty and utility if the wood isn't protected. This comes into conflict with our aesthetic desires at times, wanting to leave the wood unfinished, as to enjoy its natural beauty. This is especially true of exterior wood projects, such as decks, fences, and cedar shake shingles.

Sun and heat tend to dry out the wood in these projects. This is actually more of a problem than water causes, as the types of wood used for these projects withstands water damage well. However, there is no such thing as a wood that withstands the affects of sun and heat, without drying out.

Dry wood is more brittle, making it more easily damaged by wind, hail, heavy rain, and objects falling on it. Splintering is common, which can make surfaces like wood decks dangerous for inhabitants of the home.

The way to prevent wood from becoming damaged by sun and heat, without having to paint or varnish it, is to use a wood protector. These oil based products moisturize the wood and seal it, to hold in the moisture. With a wood protector applied, wood fences, shingles and decks last longer, with less splintering and cracking. The cost of the finish is more than compensated for by the cost savings of not having to make replacements prematurely.

At the same time, these products waterproof the wood, preventing water from entering in and causing water rot. Some also have bug inhibiting capabilities, which help keep termites and other wood eating insects out of the wood.

These products are usually sprayed on with an airless paint sprayer, although they can be brushed or rolled on as well. The main reason that airless sprayers are used is to save time. They don’t need to be applied neatly, although you should be careful of overspray.

In some cases, wood protectors are tinted slightly, although in most cases they are transparent. This doesn't mean that they don’t affect the color of the wood though, as the natural wetting action of applying them tends to darken the wood somewhat, bringing out the natural grain and beauty of the wood. Check out our list of the best wood protectors in 2021.

Here are the best wood protector of 2021

Roxil Wood Protector

OneTime is a very unique product in this category, in that it isn’t oil or water based. Instead, this is an acrylic resin product which is UV cured. When applied, the resin actually soaks into the wood, bonding with the wood fibers. There is no outgassing while drying and no VOCs, which should make the EPA happy. However, the curing process takes a full two days of sunshine to accomplish; so be sure to check the weather before using it. The product can be used on new or old wood, the only requirement is that previous paint and stain be removed. While the product’s color will fade with time, the protection for the wood is guaranteed to last a full seven years.

Thompson’s Water Seal Wood Protector

Thompson’s is a personal favorite of mine, which I have had very good results in using. This is an oil based product, which soaks into the wood providing what the manufacturer calls “three way protection.” It waterproofs the wood, so it won’t be affected by the moisture; protects the wood against rot and mildew; and has a UV absorber to retard fading from sunlight. I might add to that the protection it offers against the wood drying out and cracking. Thompson’s comes in various colors and can be applied to any wood, even if it has previously been painted, stained or is weathered. Oil based stains and paints can be used over it.

Olympic Maximum Clear Wood Protector

Olympic is another oil-based product, which soaks into the wood much like Thompson’s does. Although they offer tinted versions, this clear contains advanced UV inhibitors, which actually work better than the tinted versions. It also protects against mold, mildew and algae. It also has a “scuffguard formulation” which protects the wood from discoloration caused by scuffing and scraping. The product is guaranteed to protect water damage and graying for a minimum of two years on decks and three years on fences and siding. It is 100 percent VOC compliant.

Preserva Wood Protector

Preserva-Wood is a unique product in that it is intended for use in restoring weathered wood and not just preserving it (which it does also). This is a totally organic formula, which uses no acids, corrosives or bleach. The unique blend of resin and oil penetrates wood cell structure, restoring the cells and restoring the surface of the wood. Once treated wood returns to looking new again. Since it penetrates the cells, it doesn’t leave anything on the surface to peel or chip. The finish resists, mold, mildew and algae, as well as splitting and warping.

Luminos Wood Protector

This is a different sort of wood preservative, primarily intended to protect wood from termites and other wood eating insects. It gives the wood the green tint of being pressure treated, although that isn’t what it is doing. The green color comes from the copper oxide that is in the product. AT the same time, it protects the wood from rot and decay, like other wood preserving products do. This product is most effective when applied to wood before it is put in the ground.

Buyer's Guide

Be it for furniture or architectural exterior, wood can add unparalleled aesthetics to your home. However, maintaining it can be a bit of a headache. You want something that looks great but all it takes is water and heat for wood to get damaged. That’s exactly why wood protectors have paramount importance. They seal the surface and reduce the chance of disintegration by a large margin. This is why it simply isn’t worth it not to buy these.

Moreover, exposed wood may not seem like it would get damaged soon but you’d be surprised to see how fast that changes over time. Experienced carpenters would swear that the right kind of wood protector has helped them build reliability among their customer base. Why? Because it can increase the longevity of wooden structures altogether. However, if you’re not a carpenter nor a seasoned enthusiast, you might have a little trouble getting your hands on the best wood protector in the market.

The best wood protector can save you a lot of money down the line

The reason why most people prefer wood is that the material looks better than others. After all, nothing compares to that beautiful wooden chair settled in the corner of your living room. But what if your kids were to spill soda all over it? And then, a few weeks later, they made the same accident with water instead? Unless you plan on wrapping it all with plastic, investing in a can of wood protector is your only way to avoid expensive replacements and renovations.

Why you should buy the best DI wood protector ASAP!

Prevent rot

The most important reason to buy wood protector is to prevent your furniture, slabs, and décor items from rotting. Even if water doesn’t seep into the crevices of the wood, it can still rot at some point or the other. Wood isn’t ever-lasting and it will lose its aesthetic appeal over the years. But what matters is how slowly it will progress.

Water resistance

If you’re an over-ambitious homeowner who believes that they’ll be able to maintain all their expensive wooden furniture without a single water spill, you should let that thought go immediately. Even single-person households can have the most unexpected incidents sometimes. Nonetheless, it isn’t just about accidents. If you live in an area where it gets humid, unsealed wood is bound to swell, discolor and even smell!

Repel insects and bugs

Not many people know that wood attracts bugs. Yes, you read that right. Carpenter ants and powder post beetles are just two of the various species dying to nibble on some good old organic wood. With a wood protector, however, you can repel a fleet of these tiny insects from biting into your precious furniture, doors, and walls.

Prevent growth

Just like insects, wood, especially the type with a higher propensity to absorb moisture can encourage mold and algae growth. This not only looks disgusting but it can severely damage human health and lead to nasty odors inside the house.

Things you must consider before buying the best wood protector



There are plenty of options available online and in-store that you should check out. Of course, it isn’t always easy when the choices you’re presented with seem to have the same features. The best wood protector, however, isn’t just plain tint. The hue of the sealer is a valid factor for consideration but it shouldn’t be the only thing you base your choice on.

Drying Time

If you’ve ever tried sealing wood then you already know that it can take some time for the protector to dry. For people who live in humid climates, drying time is an incredibly important factor. Whether you’re buying a wood protector for a DIY project or something professional, make sure you’re aware of how long it takes for the seal to dry. Typically, most products take around 2 days for that final finished look.

Opaqueness

The number of coatings needed is just as important as the drying time. If you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a wood protector, make sure you buy one that doesn’t require double, or worse, triple coats. That will be a huge waste of both your money and time.

Finish

Besides choosing between a satin or matte finish, you need to check if the wood protector is actually durable. While wood protectors aren’t like paint and don’t chip off, poor-quality sealants can plunge the aesthetic of your wooden items. Thus, you should buy a product with a sturdy finish that looks and feels smooth.

Ingredients

You might not think about checking the ingredients of your wood protector but doing so can save you from getting the wrong one. One of the purposes of a good wood sealant is to prevent the growth of algae. Verily, most manufacturers add algaecides to the formula. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for every brand and buying wood stain without this essential ingredient isn’t a good idea. So, make sure you give the label a thorough scan before making a decision.

FAQs

Q: Do wood protectors come in spray cans?

A: Yes, there are various varieties of wood protectors available in spray form both in-store and online. However, most professionals recommend buying the traditional can and using a paintbrush to get the job done.

Q: What’s the cheapest wood protector available on the market?
A: Cheap wood protectors can be bought for less than $20 and even lower during sales.

Q: How often do I need to use a wood sealer?
A: A good wood sealer will protect your wood for around two to three years without the need for reapplication. You shouldn’t reseal wood too often unless you wish to change the color, otherwise, it’s just unnecessary.

Q: Will the wood protector make my furniture completely water repellant?
A: Technically, that’s not true. A sealer with a sturdy finish and quality application can definitely protect your wood from moisture but not forever. That’s exactly why you need to reapply the sealant every two to three years.

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