How to preserve wood carvings


Protection of wood from the weather for elements of house carvings can be carried out with a transparent finish or painting. Unprotected in one way or another, the wood gradually turns into a gray, unimpressive mass, which significantly deteriorates the appearance and loses the very purpose of home decoration. In addition, unprotected wood is much more susceptible to rotting and cracking when wet, especially when the moisture freezes in the already formed cracks.

Transparent wood protection for house carvings

However, a transparent finish has both advantages and disadvantages. The latter primarily include the complexity and high labor intensity of its performance. House carvings intended for a transparent finish require not only careful surface preparation with scrapers, files and burrs, but also the imperceptible sealing of defects (chips, cracks, imperfections, etc.).

To the advantages of a transparent finish should be attributed the lack of risk: you can always paint the elements of the house carving, and pre-treated with olive even more so, with the coloring will be even better.

Protection by impregnation

How to properly cover artistic carvings with transparent oils and varnishes? One of the proven “grandfatherly” ways – impregnation with sunflower oil. But treated by this method wood when exposed to moisture in some places may be covered with black spots. To avoid this, it is necessary, firstly, to reduce the amount of sunflower oil, secondly, to increase the time of its polymerization and, thirdly, to protect the wood from getting wet. But even better is to replace semi-drying, i.e. long-polymerizing, sunflower oil with fast-drying boiled linseed oil.

Boiled linseed oil is best used in places protected from the rain (for example, on a porch covered by a roof overhang).

Here the oil can dry indefinitely.

Protecting with varnishes

There is another method of transparent wood finish – coating with special varnishes prepared on the basis of film-forming agents. The most affordable of them is floor coating varnish. In this case, it is necessary to exclude any prior impregnation of wood with oils. Nitrolac can be used as a primer, for example HC-222.

Getting to finishing with transparent coatings, you should remember that the light darkens any wood, but to a different extent: to a greater extent – conifers, most redwoods, to a lesser extent – beech, aspen and birch. And another thing: oil-impregnated wood darkens more intensely than nitrovarnishes or other man-made varnishes.

It should also be recognized that commercially available so-called natural olives are not suitable for transparent coating of house carvings. They contain so many substitutes and additives, and so little linseed oil, that the coating does not result in a transparent film that protects the wood from precipitation. But its main disadvantage, besides opacity and lack of gloss, is that it is loose and sticky. It adheres to dust, soot and dirt.

Protecting house carving by painting

Before the first painting of house carving parts with oil paints, it is necessary to prime and putty the painted surface. When repainting, the surface is cleaned of dirt and old paint where it is flaking and peeling. This is done conveniently with a metal brush, knife, or scraper.

To remove old oil paint you can use an old recipe: mix slaked lime and potash (potassium carbonate) in a ratio of 3:1 mix with water to the consistency of paint, so it was easy to apply to the surface to be cleaned. The mixture is allowed to stand for 12 hours, after which the paint softens and is much easier to remove.

Facade paints to protect house carvings

In the spring, the biggest problem for wood homeowners is repainting exterior walls. Over the winter, facades fade, become stained and their appearance must be renewed. Use for the work of a transparent impregnation is no longer possible, since they can not hide the defects that have appeared.

Acrylic translucent paint that is suitable for wood can radically solve the problem. It can be used in the initial painting of the walls of the house, and for cosmetic repairs to the facade. Acrylic paint will emphasize the structure of wood and can maintain the uniqueness of its pattern, while successfully overlapping the color impregnations and antiseptics.

The coating formed by this paint, does not suffer from the effects of UV rays, winds and precipitation. It perfectly protects the material against aging and cracking, while allowing the wood to breathe. Fungicide additives in acrylic paints will prevent mold from forming on the wooden surface. Before repairing unevenly painted surfaces, conduct a test repainting on a small area.

Cost-effective wood surfaces with preservation of the structure of the material can be painted with silky-glossy glossy glaze varnishes. Colored mat glazes and colorless antiseptic primer are widely used for this purpose. Tinting varnishes form an excellent protective and decorative coating on the wooden surface. They are not affected by weather conditions. All compositions for wood works contain anti-mold additives.

Choice of varnish for wood protection

If there is a need to make any product or structure out of wood, the surface will need to be protected from premature deterioration. Varnishes with different bases are used for this purpose. They protect the structure of wood from the effects of moisture, rotting and mold.

How wood is protected from external influences

Wood as a building material has many advantages. It retains heat wonderfully and does not block the exchange of air. It is a practical material that can be processed well and is quite reasonably priced. Do not forget about its environmental friendliness, because this material has a natural origin. Despite these advantages, it also has a number of significant drawbacks: it is susceptible to combustion, destruction from exposure to precipitation, rotting and fungus.


Choice criteria for wood protection materials


Protective agents must be used on the basis of the planned result. Varnishes and impregnations are good at preserving wood grain. In addition, they can be supplemented with various color pigments. In order to hide any defects, paint with enamels or paints, both ready-made and with the addition of tint.

The greatest protection are transparent means, as their composition less pigments and it allows the product to absorb more deeply and provide the wood more effective protection. Besides, they contain antiseptics that protect the construction against rotting.


Some wood protection products are made on the basis of solvents. Their main feature is toxicity. They are quite suitable for external works, but for internal works are not desirable. More environmentally friendly paints are water-based and have in their composition oils of vegetable origin.

Wear resistance

The characteristic of wear resistance, is necessary for coatings having any kind of load. As they are a bit more expensive, there is no point in buying them without a need for it.

Fire resistance

When choosing a protection product, you should know exactly whether the treated surface will be affected by temperatures. There is no one hundred percent guarantee that flame retardants will protect against fire, because their resistance to heat, limited in time.

Drying time

This characteristic affects the processing time. The fastest drying time is for nitro lacquers. Water-based emulsion products, require more time.

Number of components

The most common two-component coatings on the market, which include hardeners and solvents. As a result of a chemical reaction, a film is formed between them.

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