How to Restore, Treat & Protect Outdoor Wood

Date: 5th June 2024
Categories: Barrettine, Products

Restoring, treating and protecting outdoor wood isn’t as straightforward as simply choosing the right products; optimal weather conditions and proper application techniques are also key in ensuring that your timber looks and performs at its best for as long a time as possible.

Beautiful, durable exterior wood doesn't happen by accident. Barrettine was first established in 1879, and with over a century of experience in the chemical industry, we understand the challenges your exterior timber faces. Our goal is to provide you with all of the expert advice you’ll need to restore timber features and provide lasting protection for exterior wood, from cladding and decking to doors and fencing.

Why it’s important to protect outdoor wood

The great British outdoors is a joy to behold, but it can be harsh on wooden features. Fences, decking, doors, and furniture – all the beautiful timber features that grace residential and commercial outdoor spaces – are constantly under attack from the elements.

The good news is that with a little know-how and the right products, you can effectively protect outdoor wood, ensuring it continues to add beauty and functionality to your project for years to come.

What are the threats to outdoor wood?

Before diving into the restoration and protection process, it's important to understand what we're up against. Outdoor wood faces a range of threats, and each of these threats requires a slightly different method of protection.

Weather and water damage

Rain, snow, and fluctuating temperatures can cause wood to warp, crack, and rot. Water infiltration is particularly problematic as it leads to swelling and decay.

Fungal growth

Fungi thrive in damp conditions, and if untreated wood can quickly become a breeding ground for mould and mildew. This not only discolours the wood but also compromises its integrity.

UV radiation

The sun’s UV rays break down the wood’s natural fibres, leading to discolouration and a weakened structure. This process results in the wood looking tired and grey. UV damage can also cause structural issues in exterior wood, leading to further issues.

Treating your outdoor wood for best protection

Before applying any treatments, ensure you are working in optimal weather conditions. Aim for a dry day with temperatures between 10°C and 25°C. Avoid applying treatments in direct sunlight or if rain is expected within the next 48 hours, as this can affect the efficacy of the products.

Reviving the wood: Barrettine Wood Reviver

Before applying any wood protection products, you’ll first need to revive the wood.

Barrettine Wood Reviver is an excellent choice for this task, as it restores the wood’s natural colour and removes the grey, weathered look caused by UV exposure.

Containing oxalic acid, a biodegradable organic acid found naturally in plants, Barrettine Wood Reviver restores the original warm tones in wood and can also help remove stains from watermarks, rust and tannin runs.

To apply, first wet the wood being treated with water. Then apply Barrettine Wood Reviver generously, leave the product to work for up to 30 minutes, and agitate with a non-metal brush before rinsing.

Restoring your outdoor wood: Mould & Mildew Cleaner

Once you’ve revived the timber, you’ll need to clean the surface thoroughly. Use Barrettine Mould & Mildew Cleaner to tackle any fungal growth. This surface fungicidal wash contains biocides which can remove mould, mildew and light dirt, leaving the wood clean and ready for the next steps. It also kills any mould spores in the wood that you can’t see.

Simply apply this product with a brush or roller and leave for 15-30 minutes minimum (do not let it completely dry out) before rinsing with a sponge and water. You can also use a brush to release dirt and debris.

Applying wood preserver: Clear Universal Wood Preserver Primer

To protect outdoor wood from future damage, use Barrettine’s Clear Universal Wood Preserver Primer. This product penetrates deep into the wood, providing long-lasting protection against rot, fungi, and insect attack. Apply it generously and allow it to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step. For best results, apply 2-3 coats.

Adding UV protection: UV Protection Oil

To shield your wood from UV rays and sun damage, apply Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil.

This premium blend of natural oils and waxes not only enhances the wood’s natural beauty but also offers superior UV protection, preventing photodegradation. For best results, apply 2 coats evenly using a high-quality brush or roller. Subsequently, regularly re-apply (every year or two) to keep wooden features looking vibrant and healthy for years to come.

Expert tips: the best ways to protect outdoor wood

As well as using the right wood treatments, there are a few things that can also help in extending the life of exterior timber.

It's a good idea to inspect your outdoor wood regularly for signs of wear and tear. Address any problems promptly to prevent them from becoming more significant.

Regularly remove dirt, leaves, and debris from your outdoor wood features. This will help prevent the build-up of moisture and the growth of mould and mildew.

Why choose woodcare products from Barrettine?

Over 145 years, the Barrettine Group has built a legacy of excellence in chemical products.

This experience positions us as a trusted partner for trade professionals, and we’ve built a reputation in the industry for developing products that provide exceptional results, time after time.

 We offer a premium line of woodcare solutions, including preservers, finishes, stains, and varnishes. Our dedication to innovation guarantees you'll always have access to the latest advancements in woodcare technology.

Where can I get Barrettine products? Find your local stockist today

Give your projects the Barrettine treatment! Find a stockist near you and get started today. Our friendly team is also just an email away at if you have any questions.

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