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Best Wood Preserver

A wood preserver does a whole lot more than bring out the wood’s natural beauty – it forms a protective shield which prevents damage from a number of different problems.

Outdoors, this will include a wide variety of weather conditions, such as rain, frost, and UV rays. Not to mention the likes of moss, mould and algae.

Indoor problems meanwhile include general rot and insect infestation.

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This protective shield from your wood preserver greatly increases the lifespan of the wood it’s preserving. Sometimes DIY-ers just pick up the cheapest wood preserver they can get, putting budget first. But cheapest doesn’t always necessarily mean best.

But not to worry, we’ve done our homework, and have identified our favourite wood preservers out on the market today, and have a few product reviews on them for you to look through. We’ve also put together a brief buying guide, complete with answers to your most frequently asked questions.

In a hurry? This is our winner!

Our rating:
Everbuild Wood Preserver | Penetrates and Preserves for Long-Lasting Protection - Suitable for Sheds, Trellis, Pergolas and Gazebos - 5 Litre - Clear
  • WOOD PRESERVER is a low solvent, low odour solution based on Micro-fine active technology. The fungicides and algaecides present in these formulations are finely dispersed so that wood penetration.
  • In addition the use of ultra light fast pigments on the coloured variants give an even fade resistant finish which will last for years.
  • WOOD PRESERVER is fast drying and non flammable; and application to wet timbers is possible without loss of performance.

Best Wood Preserver – Comparison Table

Best Wood Preserver – Reviews

Our Winner

Everbuild Wood Preserver | Penetrates and Preserves for Long-Lasting Protection - Suitable for Sheds, Trellis, Pergolas and Gazebos - 5 Litre - Clear

Everbuild Wood Preserver | Penetrates and Preserves for Long-Lasting Protection - Suitable for Sheds, Trellis, Pergolas and Gazebos - 5 Litre - Clear
Our rating:

This is a great wood preserver from Everbuild (AKA Sika) – after over 100 customer ratings on Amazon, it still comes out as a whopping 4 and a half stars out of 5 on average.

Again this is a wood preserver that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

This wood preserver is absolutely packed with features.

It has a specially designed formula to give it deep penetration into the wood for truly long lasting protection. Protection against wet rot, dry rot, decay and fungi.

To help with this it has Fungicides and algaecides which are finely dispersed throughout the formula, to make it that much more effective.

The coloured variants are designed to produce a fade resistant finish, and this is thanks to its use of ultra-lightfast pigments. The colour variants are understated and will not leave your wood looking garish or odd.

It doesn’t have that overpowering scent you can get with some wood preservers, making it that much more pleasant to work with.

It’s fast drying, it’s non-flammable, and can even be applied to wet or damp timbers.

Despite coming in such a large tin, 5 litres, it’s still a very reasonable price – and it qualifies for free delivery from Amazon.

  • Good well established brand
  • 4 and a half stars out of 5
  • Designed for deep penetration
  • Long lasting protection against rot, decay and fungi
  • Pesticides are finely dispersed for better efficiency
  • Coloured variants produce a fade resistant finish
  • Colour variants are understated
  • Low odor
  • Fast drying
  • Non-flammable
  • Can even be applied to damp timbers
  • Good price & good value for money
  • It’s not a waterproofer, for that you’ll need to apply a sealer or something similar on top

RONSEAL RSLWPCL5L 5 Litre Total Wood Preserver - Clear

RONSEAL RSLWPCL5L 5 Litre Total Wood Preserver - Clear
Our rating:

Now here’s a brand with a good reputation! And people who’ve bought this wood preserver from Ronseal certainly seem impressed with the results, earning an average customer rating of 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5.

It’s an all purpose wood preserver, meaning you can use it for both outdoor and indoor woodwork.

It goes beyond the normal remit of a wood preserver, and is specially formulated to kill any woodworm that may have already got into the wood. Then it will work to prevent rot and decay. This makes it a perfect pre-treatment for your wood.

You can use it on any type of wood or timber, and you don’t have to smooth it down first, it can be applied at any point before varnishing or painting.

This one is a clear wood preserver, and as such offers more protection than a coloured one (see buying guide). And not only that but a clear wood preserver acts to preserve the exact look of the wood, if not enhance it.

As it comes in such a big tin, you’ll probably have more than you need for your project, and you’ll maybe find some left over for other projects!

  • Good well established brand
  • Big hit with customers
  • Good value for money
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Specially formulated to kill any woodworm
  • Prevents rot and decay
  • Can be used on smooth or rough wood
  • Clear, not coloured
  • Comes in a huge 5 litre tin
  • It’s oil based, not water based, so not the best wood preserver for decking

Cuprinol 5L Wood Preserver - Clear

Cuprinol 5L Wood Preserver - Clear
Our rating:

Here’s another great product from another great brand. And after over 100 ratings on it’s Amazon page there’s still an average customer rating of 4 and a half stars – so Cuprinol is obviously doing something right!

Cuprinol is a good well established brand with over 75 years of woodcare experience and expertise.

You can use it both indoors and outdoors, and it will actively prevent rot, mould, fungi and decay.

It makes a great base coat before painting, staining or varnishing (whichever takes your fancy).

It’s a clear wood preserver, meaning you get the extra protection you can only get from clear ones, and you get to keep the wood looking exactly as it did when you bought it should that be your aim.

It comes in a huge 5 litre tin, which should be ample for most garden DIY projects.

One thing we love about it is that it doesn’t have that overpowering smell that some wood preservers have, making it that much more pleasant to work with.

We’re going to level with you here however, it doesn’t dry immediately, and depending on the weather conditions (if applying it outdoors) it can take up to 5 days to dry.

  • Good well established brand
  • Rating of 4 and a half stars
  • Use it either indoors or outdoors
  • Actively prevents rot, mould, fungi and decay
  • Makes a great base coat
  • Clear wood preserver, not coloured
  • Comes in a huge 5 litre tin
  • No overpowering smell
  • Takes a while to dry

Ronseal TWPDB5L Total Wood Preserver Dark Brown 5 Litre

Ronseal TWPDB5L Total Wood Preserver Dark Brown 5 Litre
Our rating:

Here’s another great wood preserver from Ronseal, coming in a customer rating of 4 and a half stars out of 5, even after 100 customer ratings!

It was designed with exterior wood in mind to prevent rot and decay from outdoor conditions. But it can also be used indoors too.

This baby goes beyond mere prevention of problems though, and can actively kill woodworm and protect against re-infestation.

It’s a coloured wood preserver in a nice light shade, but if you decide you don’t like the colour, you can always paint over it.

You can use it on smooth planed wood or you can use it on rough sawn wood.

Being a solvent based wood preserver, it’s able to penetrate deep into the wood to ensure protection all the way through and not just the surface.

  • Great well established brand
  • 4 and a half stars out of 5
  • Designed for outdoors
  • Can also be used indoors
  • Prevents rot and decay
  • Actively kills woodworm
  • Protect against re-infestation
  • Nice light shade
  • Use on smooth or rough wood
  • Solvent based for deep penetration
  • It’s not clear, it’s coloured

Cuprinol 5 Star Complete Wood Treatment (WB) 5 Litres

Cuprinol 5 Star Complete Wood Treatment (WB) 5 Litres
Our rating:

Here’s a great wood preserver from Cuprinol, a good well established brand. So far the average Amazon customer rating is coming in at 4 stars out of 5, which is always a good sign.

It’s a clear water based formula, which penetrates deeply to provide long lasting protection against not only dry rot but wet rot too AND eradicates woodworm, whilst simultaneously preventing re-infestation.

We love it’s low odour formula, so much more pleasant to work with than your typical wood preserver.

Many users have found that you can paint over it no problem.

  • A good well established brand
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • Clear water based formula
  • Penetrates deeply
  • Provides long lasting protection against all rot, wet or dry
  • Eradicates woodworm, and prevents re-infestation
  • Low odour formula
  • You can paint over it
  • Premium product at a premium price (but delivery is free)

Best Wood Preserver – Buyer’s Guide

The most important thing to remember when buying a wood preserver is that you have to buy it according to its intended use. Wood preserver designed for use on outdoor features for example, can do a whole lot more than wood preserver designed for indoor use.

Oil or wax based preserver

Examples of exterior wood preserver include oil or wax based types. They are formulated with solvents such as wax, boiled linseed oil, and mineral spirits.

These have a distinctive (sometimes overpowering and a little unpleasant) scent, and usually leave a shiny finish, and can often change the colour of the wood and can affect how easy it is to paint. It prevents cracks from forming in the wood, as well as swelling and separation at the grains.

Water based wood preserver

Water based wood preserver on the other hand features small amounts of chemicals, suspended in water, which are able to deeply penetrate in the woodwork. This enables it to work from the inside to kill any woodworm or algae.

Water based wood preserver is best suited for ground woodwork, such as decking. They produce no odor and are safe to use around plants and pets.

Waterproof finish

Some wood preservers can provide a waterproof finish, which can help to prevent rot and decay. As to whether you need a waterproof finish depends on matters such as not just whether or not the woodwork is outdoors, but also when whether you wish to varnish it afterward or paint it. Some wood preserver brands also produce waterproofing sealers.

Clear or coloured wood preserver?

Choosing between clear and coloured wood preserver is not just about aesthetics. Clear wood preserver offers greater protection against UV rays and are better able to repel rain water and resist fungus growth.

Of course looking into coloured wood preserver may seem to provide more colour options, but clear wood preserver allows for overcoating in your choice of varnish or paint.


Ever heard the phrase “buy cheap, buy twice”? That applies here. The high end wood preservers offer a truly great and long lasting performance. Whereas cheaper options don’t have the same level of quality. If in doubt try to go for a brand you’ve heard of.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you look after wooden furniture?

The first step to looking after your wooden furniture, whether indoors or outdoors, is to apply wood preserver. This prevents it from wet rot and dry rot, and sometimes includes pesticides to kill off any woodworm or fungi.

You should avoid any heat damage which can be caused by placing hot mugs or plates on it. You should also keep your wood clean by dusting regularly and clean it by using cleaning products that are designed to be used on wood – do not use all purpose cleaners. You can find such products on Amazon. Polish helps too.

Always treat any wear and tear, for example by using a scratch cover if you get a nick or a scratch. The same goes for tough stains, the quicker you are to deal with it the easier it will come off. When it comes to how to remove tough stains there are a lot of home remedies that can usually do the trick.

Are wood floors easy to maintain?

Wooden floors are very easy to maintain when you use the right products. Even areas that have become dull or worn in highly used areas can be easily restored without the need for any sanding. Our recommendation is to apply a hard-wax maintenance oil every 6 to 10 months. This should get them looking like new again.

What is the best sealer for wood?

Once you’ve treated your wood and applied your wood preserver it’s a good idea to seal it, especially for any outdoor wood such as on fences, sheds or decking. Sealing wood prevents moisture from seeping in through prolonged spells of heavy rain and condensation.

Many people prefer to seal wood rather than to paint it in order to maintain the original appearance of the wood. Everbuild does a good water seal, and you can find it on Amazon. Here is the link.

How long does wood preserver last?

If your outdoor wood (shed, fence or decking) has no other covering other than wood preserver, then you should reapply wood preserver once a year to keep it in top nic.

How many coats of wood preserver do I need to apply?

The general rule in applying wood preserver is to paint 2 coats altogether, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second coat.

What are the 3 types of wood preservatives?

The 3 types of wood preservatives are water-borne preservatives, oil-borne preservatives, and light organic solvent preservatives.

What can you put on wood to protect it outside?

For outdoor wood (shed, fence or decking) we strongly recommend that you apply wood preserver as soon as possible once bought.

But protecting your wood from damage does not have to end there. You can apply a waterproofing sealant, or you can stain it, or varnish it or even paint it.

Is wood preserver waterproof?

The short answer is no, not usually. There are some wood preservers which offer waterproofing but these are generally few and far between.

If you cannot get a waterproof wood preserver, that shouldn’t present a problem as there are a myriad of different things you can do to the wood which can alter the extent to which the wood is waterproofed. The best advice we can suggest however is to buy a waterproofing sealer from the same brand as your wood preserver, so you can be assured that the 2 are compatible and that each will compliment the other.

Can I paint over wood preserver?

You certainly can paint over wood preserver, but you must ensure that the wood preserver has set first.

How long does wood preserver take to dry?

How long wood preserver takes to dry very much depends on the weather conditions. Most wood preservers recommend that you apply two coats of it altogether.

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