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Get ready for the wet season! How to waterproof wood and brick for outdoor use

With this guide, we’ll share tips for wood and brick waterproofing to protect your home and garden during the wet weather and beyond.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

wallpaper damaged by water

Key steps

  • Clean wood and brick first.

  • Allow the surfaces to dry.

  • Always apply your product in thin, even layers.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Allow your product to dry.

  • If needs be, apply additional layers.

  • Don’t forget it may take time to become effective, so factor this into your plan.

The rainy season is upon us! Here we’ll show you top tips for exterior wall waterproofing and wood waterproofing to ensure your home and garden remain in good condition throughout this period.

Waterproofing brickwork and wood in your garden can be a big project, so be sure to set aside enough time to get it done properly.

How to waterproof plywood: 6 simple steps

Decided to add some raised flowerbeds or other landscape gardening features to your back yard? Plywood is ideal, and you can help it last for longer by treating the wood for outdoor use. Here’s how:

  1. Before learning how to waterproof wood, check your plywood isn’t already waterproofed. If you're not sure, check with the shop you purchased it at.

  2. Clean the plywood. Make sure you remove all traces of dirt and grime.

  3. Don’t apply the waterproofing solution unless your wood is 100% dry.

  4. Choose a good quality waterproofing solution. Apply it in thin, even layers following the manufacturer’s instructions.

  5. Leave it to air dry.

  6. Ensure the surface is fully covered. Repeat steps 4-5 until it is.

Waterproofing brick walls: Your simple guide to brick waterproofing

Waterproofing exterior brickwork is another job which can help to protect your home. With these steps, we’ll show you how simple the process can be:

  1. Did you know? There are a variety of products available from creams to silicone resins.

  2. Make a trip to your local DIY store. If you need extra help, don’t be afraid to ask a member of staff for advice when looking at the different options.

  3. Chosen your product? Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves:

    • Cleaning the brick first

    • Applying the product

    • Leaving it to dry

  4. Always patch test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of the wall first to ensure it won’t cause any damage.

  5. Always ensure the bricks are secure and wear protective shoes, just in case there are any loose and falling bits of brick!

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How to make wood waterproof: A step-by-step guide

Knowing how to weatherproof wood for outdoors is important for garden maintenance. From fences to garden furniture, these simple steps will help you make sure they’re all protected.

  1. Clean the wood first.

  2. Make sure it is fully dry before waterproofing.

  3. Purchase a good quality, water-based wood sealer. You can find these in most local DIY stores.

  4. Apply a layer of your wood sealer using a soft-bristled brush.

  5. Leave it to dry.

  6. You may wish to apply more than one coat depending on how much water is likely to get on the wood.

Answering FAQs

  • Do I need to clean first? Yes! As you are adding a layer of sealant to your wood and brick, if you don’t clean first you’ll lock in dirt and grime.

  • Can I waterproof over paint? If you have paint on your brick or wood, we recommend removing it first before applying your waterproofing product.

  • How long does the product take to become effective? Whilst each product will work slightly differently, all waterproofing will take a little while to become effective. Always check the label and factor in the time to your plan.

  • Can I seal the wood with oil? Although the answer is generally yes, always use a product which is designed for this purpose... not the one you use for cooking!

With our simple guide, you now know how to waterproof wood furniture for outdoors, as well as how to look after your exterior walls. Protecting your home garden during the rainy season isn't the only thing you need to think about.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published