DIY Wood Sealing Oil – Made Naturally | Home, DIY & Stuff

DIY Wood Sealing Oil – Made Naturally

June 13, 2013
The sealed top surface of raw Japanese Pine beads water after months of outdoor exposure.

The sealed surface of raw Japanese Pine wood beads water beautifully after application of home-made DIY wood oil sealer.  The side surface fibers show how deeply the oil penetrates into the wood, as only the top surface is treated.

Here is a fantastically cheap and easy way to make a home-made preparation of DIY wood sealing oil.  It seals, revitalizes and protects exposed wooden surfaces from the sun, wind and rain for prolonged periods.

It’s great to splash on aging garden structures, or on graying wood around the home.  The non-toxic, natural ingredients can also be safely used indoors on coated furniture and in areas where children may be exposed, to give wood grains and finishes a refreshed shine.

The Secret Ingredients – Raid the Kitchen!

All that is needed is:

  • a standard bottle of vinegar
  • a bottle of canola cooking oil.

Add approximately 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 canola oil and then shake the mixture well to emulsify the oil.

Using a dry rag or brush, apply the newly created wood sealing oil to whatever surface you wish to protect.

For raw wood, apply liberally and allow time for the excess oil to soak in to the fibers below the surface.  Don’t worry, the oily feel will disappear in a day or so to leave a beautifully sealed surface.  For a less oily preparation for rejuvenation of coated wood surfaces, thin the mixture to approximately 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 canola oil and polish the oil into the surface.

DIYWarning: Use caution when applying this DIY mixture to decking or similar walkway surfaces, as the wood may be more slippery than usual for a while after treatment.

When applying this preparation to raw Japanese pine slates and fencing which had been exposed to the outdoor elements for years, we found that fresh rainfall droplets beaded off beautifully for long periods afterwards.  The natural wood grain colors were also reinvigorated.  Surprisingly, this mixture offered a better lasting result than experienced with a commercial wood sealer.

Branded sealing oils and treatments from your local DIY hardware store may offer some advanced hidden benefits for DIY projects, but none we can see at present.  When the money is on the table, this home DIY mixture wins hands down for us, since all we specifically want is a reasonable level of protection for our Japanese pinewood projects against the outdoor elements to prevent drying, greying, rotting or splitting. All at the lowest project price possible!

This vinegar and canola oil mix is cheap; it goes on easily; it protects and as far as we can see, it lasts!

A wood sealer that is DIY natural, DIY cheap and DIY safe! Give it a try!

Stop Wood Mould Naturally with home made DIY wood sealer with natural ingredients.
Sept 2013 UPDATE:
Since writing this article, we have had many questions about whether this formula encourages mold and rotting of the wood internals. Check our experience and thoughts on that matter here.

DIY Aquaponics

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28 Responses to DIY Wood Sealing Oil – Made Naturally

  1. Nancy Crutcher
    June 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    This is fantastic! I will take note of those ingredients and will mix them later. We have stock of woods at our backyard because we are still making our patio. We have piled them up and I was thinking of sealing the woods while still not of use. Now, I see this as a great idea. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. S. K.
    June 21, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Do you know how long this mixture can be stored for in a glass jar or similar container? I’d like to make some for a small piece I’ve been working on and was wondering if I could save the leftover sealant for future use.

  3. June 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

    We always make the mixture up as needed, so unfortunately we cannot make a definitive comment on this. At a guess however, we believe the wood sealer should store relatively well. Afterall, it lasts and lasts on wood.

    We were recently considering what to do with a pine structure that has been sitting in the elements. It has been at least one year since it had the last coat of cheap DIY wood sealant applied. The pine wood still looks good and has not decayed or cracked, but is starting to look a little dry. The structure and sealant has lasted through a very humid Summer and an exceedingly cold, snowy Winter with super drying air and winds.
    We are preparing for the wet Summer season again so perhaps it is almost time for a recoat to provide extra protection from wood moulds that would otherwise grow within weeks on untreated wood in the typical humidity of a Japanese Summer.

  4. friend
    September 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and
    wanted to mention that I have really enjoyed surfing around
    your weblog posts.I will be subscribing in your feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

  5. sam
    September 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I am wanting to use this formula on a set of cornhole tables that I made. If you don’t know, cornhole is a backyard game sort of like washers. You toss bean bags at a small table on the ground several feet away, and try to make/slide your beanbag into a hole in the platform.

    My question is, does this formula leave the wood glossy/slick? My tables are made from plywood.

  6. September 15, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for your question Samuel. Initially, the natural DIY wood sealer will likely make your wood project look similar to what it would if it was freshly wet with a heavy morning dew. For our outdoor applications, the natural (pine) wood remains ever so slightly oily to touch for a day or two while the oil soaks into wood. The formula only ‘moistens and protects’ the grain and the piece should quickly have much the same feel to the touch as it did before application of the sealer. That moistened glow of the grain however, lasts for (at least) many months outdoors (and much longer indoors). After initial soak in, the finish is not at all glossy. If you are concerned about the bags sliding differently, I would recommend testing the formula on a small portion of comparable wood before treating the main project. Hope this helps.

  7. October 19, 2014 at 4:34 am

    This sounds like a great simple sealer and I am going to mix some up and try it this evening. Have you tried coating over it with other finishes? I am trying to figure out a cheap and simple way to seal pine before I stain over it with a dark oil based stain. The product I used to use was cheap and worked great, but is apparently no longer legal here in California because of the high VOCs.

  8. October 20, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Thank you for your question Kevin, but unfortunately I can’t really help on what might happen if you use a stain over the top. I haven’t tried that at all.

  9. December 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    here is the vid of the bees wax and oil sealant I made, it works great actually!

  10. Kate
    May 1, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Hi – I’m anxious to try this for my fence. I’m wondering if you have ever experimented with adding some natural colouring to it. Also, I have a lot of fencing around my house and was wondering if the solution could be applied with a roller?

    thanks – kate

  11. May 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Kate. We have never tried putting coloring into the solution so unfortunately, can’t help you there. If you were to try it, we assume it might have to be a stain color (eg: rust, tea, etc) rather than a particulate color though. The sealer solution doesn’t have any real substance or binder to it to hold the color like paints do, so any type of particulate type coloring would like powder and rub/wash off very quickly? Just guessing really.

    As far as application goes, a roller may work, but since our structure was smaller, we applied ours with a rag (old toweling) and basically just slopped it on liberally.

  12. May 30, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Thanks for the video micah. Bees wax and olive oil. An interesting alternative as a natural wood sealer. How has it been working out for you as a protective coating now that a little time has passed?

  13. Randolph
    June 8, 2015 at 9:41 am

    How well will this work with fence posts to prevent rotting?

  14. Luke
    February 25, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Is the vinegar causing saponification of the oil? Soap has some similarities to wax. I’m wondering if removing the glycerine would make it better.

  15. lyndsay robins
    March 14, 2016 at 7:40 am

    You can use instant coffee and water as a stain too!

  16. Lucas
    April 23, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    So, this is intersting! Thanks! I’m wondering though, why do you need to add anything like vinegar to the oil? Also, why not coconut oil?

  17. April 28, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    From our experience, adding the vinegar helps kill organic growth in the oil. The idea of using coconut oil? We’ve never thought of it before. Let us know how you get on if you try it!

  18. April 28, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    It should work similarly well as our experience we’ve imagine, above ground at least.

  19. April 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I am sure the formula can be improved with more technical consideration. We didn’t really go that deep into the chemistry past mixing ingredients and slapping it on the wood.

  20. May 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I am delighted with this! Thank you so much! I am sensitive to chemicals like wood varnish and have a deck and railing that needs help! I am doing it today… I thank you for your blog!

  21. Duane Casey
    June 26, 2016 at 2:24 am

    Can I apply this with a sprayer ?

  22. Kristi Josephine Gregor
    August 24, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Is this DIY sealant ok to sit on? I was considering it for my benches but was wondering about the oil staining clothes..

  23. August 25, 2016 at 12:23 am

    After a day or three after allowing it to soak in, yes.

  24. Derek
    October 9, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Apple Cider vinegar or white vinegar? Can’t wait to try this stuff!!!

  25. October 11, 2016 at 12:21 am

    I used white vinegar, but either may be ok???

  26. Birashanuman
    November 2, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    For many years I have been making a preparation of 50/50 diesel and cooking oil . When this is well mixed using a spatula or an electric whisk I add several large dollops of very thick, dark brown, heavy duty axle grease and agitate until it becomes an homogenous fluid .If it becomes too viscous more diesel and or cooking oil may be added .
    I apply this annually on exterior woodwork, window frames and carved wooden doors ,shortly before the monsoon season arrives here in Thailand .The houses stand exposed to the torrential wind driven rains in the isolated rice padis and untreated wood very soon deteriorates and rots. Many neighbours’ window frames have simply collapsed and their doors developed gaping cracks but mine have withstood the lements of extreme summer heat and monsoon saturation very well. I use the axle grease mainly as a means of darkening the preservative but I’m sure it has other benefits such as deterring insects and the perennial problem of spiders.

  27. Bob Shipley
    November 28, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I am in Japan and I have an old 2 meter fence around the patio of my restaurant. The side that faces the sun all day is dry as a bone and needs protection. I would really like to do this and add some color at the same time. I wonder if adding some old rusty nails or steel wool to the mixture and let it sit would work?

  28. June 30, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks you so much Bob for such a great idea. I am looking for a natural sealer for a while, being very sick with an immune system illness, I do not want chemicals in my environment.
    Thanks again

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