To keep wood garden sheds, arbors, or trellises looking their best, consider using a wood finishing product such as sealer, stain, or outdoor paint. Wood finishing protects exposed wood from sun, water, insect, and fungal damage.
Here's a list of some common wood finishing products:
Wood Sealer: Wood sealer blocks the pores of the wood, while still allowing natural fading and weathering.
Stain: Stain penetrates the wood, and unlike paint, it does not trap moisture and cause blistering or peeling. Stains come in many colors, and in transparent or solid applications. Reapply the stain every other year to keep the color fresh.
Paint: Exterior paint protects the wood surface and is available in every conceivable color. The garden shed or arbor must be sanded and primed before application. Remember that aging paint flakes and cracks, so you'll need to scrape and sand again to refinish the wood down the road.
If none of those appeal to you, there are some other low maintenance wood finishing options:
Vinyl Siding: For wood garden sheds, you can use vinyl siding instead of wood siding. Vinyl siding is ultra low maintenance, comes in many colors, and only requires periodic cleaning (once a year) with water to keep its fresh appearance.
Unfinished Cedar: If your wood garden shed or arbor is made from cedar, (such as Western Red Cedar), you can choose to leave it unfinished. Cedar does not warp, and it contains natural preservatives that prevent rot. Natural weathering over time turns unfinished cedar a lovely sliver-gray color.
Applying wood finishing products is easy with the right tools Stains and sealers can be applied with a brush roller, pad, or spray gun. Check the wood finishing manufacturer instructions. Apply two coats and expect to reapply every two the five years.
Leanne Tremblay is the author and publisher of http://www.gardensheds.greenhouses.arbors.learnabout.info where you can find great ideas on garden sheds , shed plans and shed kits, greenhouse kits, arbors, and trellises.