Wondering how to preserve live edge wood? You’re not alone!
As woodworkers, we’re all drawn to the beauty and uniqueness of live edge lumber. Its wild and natural shape makes it the perfect medium to showcase our skills and create one-of-a-kind pieces.
The popularity of the round live edge dining table and other furniture has surged in recent years as people look for new and innovative ways to add natural elements to their homes. But how can you preserve that beautiful natural edge? Keep reading to find out!
What Is Live Edge Wood?
The term “live edge” is used to describe lumber that has not been cut into standard shapes, such as a tabletop or chair leg. Live edge lumber preserves the natural shape of the tree branch or trunk from which it was milled.
Live edge lumber can be used for a variety of projects, from functional to ornamental. Live edge wood furniture is known for its uniqueness and eye-catching shape, but live edge wood slabs are also used for wall art, accent tables, dining tables, headboards, mantels, coffee tables, or even sinks.
How to Preserve Live Edge Wood for Longevity
There are many ways to preserve live edge wood, but some methods are better than others. Here are a few tips for keeping that natural edge around for years (or decades!) to come.
Use epoxy or polyurethane to seal the wood. Epoxy and polyurethane are both good options for sealing the wood’s open grain, which prevents it from warping or cracking as a result of changes in temperature and humidity.
Alternatively, use boiled linseed oil to finish the wood. Boiled linseed oil is a traditional wood finishing product, and it can be used on all types of wood to enhance its color and add a subtle gloss.
How to Finish Live Edge Wood for Outdoor Use
Live edge wood that is meant to be used outside should always be finished with a good, exterior-grade finish. This will ensure that it can withstand the wear and tear of being exposed to the elements year after year.
The process for finishing live edge lumber for outdoor use is similar to indoor furniture: start by sanding your live edge wood down to the bare wood, then apply a stain of your choice. After that, use a high-quality sealant to give the lumber protection from UV and water damage.
How to Preserve Live Edge Wood FAQ
How do you seal live edge wood for outdoor use?
To apply a stain or sealant to wood, begin by sanding it down to the bare wood. Next, choose from linseed oil, tung oil, polyurethane, varnish, or a stain-sealant combination. Apply a few coats of finish in the direction of the wood’s grain.
Does polyurethane protect wood from water?
Yes, polyurethane does protect wood from water, and it is one of the best wood finishes for preserving live edge lumber.
Is polyurethane good for outdoor use?
For outdoor use, exterior polyurethane is preferable because it includes additives that protect the outside finishes from UV rays.
Closing on How to Preserve Live Edge Wood
Live edge wood is a unique and beautiful type of lumber that often draws the attention of homeowners. In order to preserve live edge for years, it’s important to take steps early on in the process. If you’re worried about how well your finished product will stand up to outdoor elements, be sure to use exterior-grade products from reputable brands.
Finally, keep in mind that if your live edge wood furniture will be exposed to the elements for a lengthy period of time, it might be beneficial to use a stain and sealant combination.
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