Top Tips for Sealing Painted Wood for Outdoor UseReal Milk Paint helps you transform plain wood into vibrant furnishings in a highly satisfying way, and this medium works well indoors and out for added convenience. If you want to use pieces with painted finishes in the great outdoors, the story of the piece doesn’t stop on your last Real Milk Paint brushstroke — you must also insert an “add an outdoor sealer” chapter to your book of DIY projects.

Taking the extra time sealing painted wood for outdoor use keeps the colors you use vibrant and enhances the durability of the painted surface by making it water-resistant proof and protected from UV rays, whether it’s outdoor furniture or decor. Using the best sealant for the job, such as our Outdoor Defense Oil, also makes all the difference, helping your painted wood go the distance in your yard, porch, deck, or patio. With that in mind, let’s explore top-notch tips for safeguarding your creations against the vagaries of year-round weather by simply sealing wood.

1. Know Why Sealing Painted Wood For Outdoor Use Is Essential

Decorating is fun when you have 56 beautiful colors of Real Milk Paint ready for your outdoor projects. With all the aesthetic appeal it adds to your painted wooden surface, though, almost every paint is vulnerable to inclement weather, temperature fluctuations and harsh UV rays without the proper wood sealant. Fortunately, using a wood sealer offers protection by making painted wood surfaces less susceptible to damage like peeling, fading and rotting, extending the life span of your outdoor projects further by shielding against these potential threats.

2. Understand the Enemy of Painted Wood: The Outdoors

You want the furnishings you create for outdoor use to look just as beautiful as those inside your home, but the interior has extra layers of protection that outdoor furniture doesn’t. Vulnerable to showers and storms, unsealed wood may also take on serious damage, including mold and rot, from mere morning dew. Exposure to the unrelenting UV rays of the sun often causes severe fading and discoloration, while temperature fluctuations can cause issues like blistering and peeling.

person finding out suitable sealant for outdoor woodHowever, knowing these challenges and understanding why they happen in outdoor conditions helps you decide how best to seal your painted wood surface. Painted outdoor wood needs a suitable sealant to protect your paint job from these environmental hazards. Outdoor Defense Oil handles the job beautifully with an environmentally friendly formulation that’s nontoxic and safe for outdoor use and food contact.

3. Know When to Seal Painted Wood

When you’re ready to seal painted wood for outdoor use, time is of the essence, but the paint needs to dry first. This means you need to follow the manufacturer’s suggested drying times to preserve the integrity of your wood for outdoor use by ensuring all moisture has time to evaporate out of the wooden surface. On the flip side, don’t wait too long to seal your painted wood or put it to work outdoors until you complete the sealing process, or you might expose the painted wooden surface to potential damage because it isn’t water-resistant until it cures.

You should also consider the type of paint you’re trying to seal. Some paints, like Real Milk Paint, are absorbent and will allow the sealer to absorb into and through. Other exterior paints are not absorbent and would not be a good choice to seal.

4. Choose the Right Sealant for Painted Finishes

One of the best things about Real Milk Paint is its striking appearance under the proper sealant with protective oils designed for sealing painted finishes onto wood for outdoor use. The environmentally friendly formulation uses nontoxic ingredients, including 100% pure tung oil, pine oil and zinc, to deliver superior waterproof qualities and dependable protection against sunlight and harsh weather conditions. Outdoor Defense Oil penetrates well into painted wood finishes for smooth application, maintains the natural look of your piece and offers a food-contact safe rating that makes this product ideal for sealing wood in outdoor dining spaces.

5. Follow Our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Seal Painted Wood

While slapping on a coat of paint may come naturally to you, sealing painted wood for outdoor use may not. This guide provides help for sealing your outdoor projects to maximize the beauty and protection of your wood creations. Here, we outline the key steps and considerations that help your outdoor furniture and furnishings with a painted surface endure time and the elements.

Preparation for Sealing Painted Wood

Applying Real Wood Filler before sealing wood with paintThe steps you take during the preparation phase depend on the condition of your painted wood project. For instance, if you’ve just painted wood and want to seal it, your first step is merely waiting for the piece to dry with a clean, dry cloth to ensure it’s free of dirt and debris.

If you’re working with an older piece of painted wood, you may need to wipe it down, fill in damaged spaces with Real Wood Filler, let it dry, and then sand the painted wood to even out surfaces for better penetration. Next, clean the painted wood surfaces with Tri-Sodium Phosphate using a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust and debris left behind after you sand. After this, apply a fresh coat of paint to cover the wood filler and make your surface evenly colored.

Outdoor Defense Oil only works on porous surfaces, penetrating and curing via oxidation. This means wooden surfaces painted with oil-based paint may require stripping with Soy Gel Professional Paint Remover before you begin. Best results require application in areas above 50°F, so be sure your project is in a space that’s both warm enough for you to work properly and shielded from the elements until the painted finishes polymerize.

Application Methods for Sealing Painted Finishes

A mantra to remember when applying Outdoor Defense Oil is Apply, Absorb, Repeat, Remove. These steps are clear-cut, so there’s no ambiguity when sealing wood. You just put on the oil, let it soak into the painted wood, add more oil to the painted surface and wipe all the oil away when it pools rather than penetrates. Before you begin, make sure the area where you’re using this outdoor sealer has adequate ventilation.

The application works equally well with a rag, brush, roller or pump sprayer, so you have versatility when protecting your outdoor furniture, furnishings and features. The coats of protection you add, especially the first one, require generous helpings of Outdoor Defense Oil, and penetration between coats usually takes up to 40 minutes. This period between coats gives you time to hang up potentially flammable rags rather than stuffing them into a laundry basket or garbage bag.

If you want to achieve improved results, save a couple of coats for the morning after your outdoor project. Waiting to apply the final coats lets the piece settle for deeper waterproof protective wood sealer absorption. Once you’ve added an outdoor sealer to your painted wood, it’s time for the painted finishes to cure.

Final Touches After Sealing Painted Wood

Curing takes time when using Outdoor Defense Oil to seal painted wood for outdoor use. Also, this Real Milk Paint Co. sealant doesn’t work well in freezing temperatures, so if you’re working during colder times of the year, let your piece cure in a space at least over 50°F. Conversely, don’t let painted wood that’s curing sit in direct sunlight for protection against flash polymerization. Also, if you must leave the piece outdoors, remove any moisture from the surface because it’s not waterproof until the curing process finishes.

No heavy metallic dryers in Outdoor Defense Oil’s formulation make it an environmentally friendly slow-drying oil. The curing process takes up to 30 days through natural polymerization, but that timeframe may be shorter in perfect outdoor conditions, such as in warmer areas with excellent ventilation. While your painted surface cures, keep other items off the painted surface to prevent suffocation that can leave uncured spots.

After 7 to 15 days, you can lightly use the painted wood surfaces you sealed with Outdoor Defense Oil. However, be sure to keep the painted wood surface clean and moisture-free. These vulnerabilities lessen once the surface expands and cures to repel liquids and dirt. Remember that some oil may rise to the surface during the curing process — just wipe it away with a clean rag, as this is entirely normal.

6. Prioritize Maintenance and Care for Painted Wood Surfaces

When you use the right sealant to seal painted wood and let it cure properly, the wooden surface is water-resistant, so it’s simple to clean and maintain outdoors. Wipe the surface with a clean wet rag and mild kitchen detergent for the best results. Outdoor Defense Oil penetrates the wood and paint rather than just sitting on the surface like harsh polyurethane paint finishes, reducing the risk of damage, peeling, or cracking on outdoor furniture and furnishings.

Painted Wood for Outdoors in Top Condition With Outdoor Defense OilAs with all exterior finishes, they will slowly be damaged from exposure to the elements. Fortunately, finishes like Outdoor Defense Oil are easy to maintain. A simple, thin recoat annually or when the finish looks worn will keep your outdoor project looking fresh and protected.

7. Keep Painted Wood for Outdoors in Top Condition With Outdoor Defense Oil

Created as a reliable yet nontoxic way to keep painted wood for outdoor use looking its best, Outdoor Defense Oil lets you seal painted wood on everything from log pine wood furniture and Adirondack chairs to raised garden beds and wood fencing. The all-natural formulation makes this oil for sealing painted wood finishes safe for food contact, so you can waterproof and better protect painted picnic tables from the ravages of time, the sun and temperature fluctuations. A beautiful matte finish lets the beauty of the Real Milk Paint beneath the sealed surface shine through, increasing the beauty of your space.