Can Pine Wood be used Outdoors? Pros and Cons

Wood is a natural product; we use it outside to make fences, garden houses, decking, and much more. Wood differs, all with its advantages and disadvantages and appearance. One of the types of wood is pine. Can pine wood be used outdoors?

Yes, impregnated (green) and white pine wood can be used outside. Treating pinewood extends the lifespan from 5 years to about ten years. You can oil, stain or paint the wood. Dyeing guarantees the longest life.

This is a quick summary of using pine wood outdoors. There is much more to tell than what has been briefly described. This article explains everything about pinewood for outdoor use, from its lifespan to the treatment of pine wood.

Can Pine Wood Be Used Outdoors?

Pine is a coniferous species, just like spruce. Pine is also known as Pinus sylvestris. Pine wood is also often used, mainly for furniture and garden wood. It is an easy-to-process type of wood, and the wood’s grain is flaming. It has a yellowish color.

Since I have already written that the wood is also used for garden wood, you can conclude that pinewood can be used outdoors. Note that we have different types of pine wood.

Different Types of Pine Wood

There are two types of pine wood that can be used outdoors, these are:

  1. Untreated pine
    This is the yellow pine. It is construction wood; you can make planters or garden furniture with it. You can leave this wood untreated or treat it to extend its life.
  2. Impregnated pinewood
    This is green wood and is often used for making fences, garden posts, and the like. Because it is pressure-treated, you no longer need to treat it.

Below is a brief explanation.

Untreated Pinewood

Untreated pine is white pinewood. It comes in planks or poles. With this, you can make many tunnel elements such as planters, garden houses or a roof.

The wood is easy to work with, such as drilling and sawing, and is easy to assemble.

How long will untreated pine last outside?

The lifespan of untreated pinewood is 5-10 years maximum. It is a soft type of wood that quickly loses quality under the influence of the weather. You can extend the life of untreated pine by treating it, for example, painting or staining. This extends the service life by 5-8 years.

Impregnated Pinewood

This pine wood has been treated under high pressure with an impregnating agent, which makes it highly resistant to sun, rain, and frost. The wood color is no longer yellowish but greenish, and this is due to the impregnating agent.

You can find this wood in garden centers and hardware stores in the form of garden posts and fences. And shelves to make borders or planters.

Lifespan of Impregnated Pine Wood

Impregnated pinewood has a lifespan of about 15 years. Impregnation makes it more resistant to weather influences and micromechanisms that affect the wood and reduce its quality.

Pine Wood Aging

When you use pine wood outside, it is exposed to weather conditions. Rain and frost influence the wood and sunlight, especially UV light.

Pinewood will age outside under the influence of UV light. This process can go fairly quickly because you will already see a clear color difference after one year.

However, there are also other methods for aging pine wood.

For example, you can use a gray transparent outdoor stain. Due to the transparency of the stain, you will continue to see the grain while the wood gets a gray color. If you wish to make it look even older, you can lightly sand the wood in some places after staining. Then you get ‘weathered’ spots on the wood, making the pine wood look old.

You can also age pine wood with vinegar and steel wool. You can read how this works on ‘How to Age Wood‘. The aging remains the same, regardless of the type of wood.

Pinewood Stain

You can stain impregnated or clear pine if the pine is used outdoors.

You can use a clear/transparent agent to stain pine wood so that the original color is preserved, but you can also use a colored stain.

What are the steps you can take to stain pine wood?

Steps to stain Pine wood

  • Protect the environment well. Apply plastic to the floor to protect the tiles from dripping. It is almost impossible to remove this later. It is also best to protect clothing; once the stain is in clothing, you (almost) can’t get it out.
  • You will first have to thoroughly clean and degrease the wood if it is new wood. If it is older wood, you must clean it and remove the gray wax with a wood stripper before continuing.
  • Always degrease pine wood before starting anything else. Grease and substances in the wood can cause stains after staining. It is possible that the stain is not absorbed well by the wood because there is a layer of grease on it. Then let it dry well.
  • Do all this on a day when the sun doesn’t shine. A cloudy day is perfect for getting started.
  • Before staining, you can sand the wood a little or at least the very rough or damaged spots. Then make it dust-free with a soft brush.
  • Start by treating the edges and seams. It will be done best with a round brush. Fill the seams well. Then you can get started with the flat parts. You can also use a brush, but a roller will also work fine. However, read the instructions on the packaging and use the tools recommended. This can differ per supplier.
  • Roll or brush the stain with the grain, and finish the plank/fence part in one go. So don’t stop halfway.
  • Leave the stain to dry for 24 hours between any coats of stain. The more layers you apply with stain/impregnation agent, the deeper the color becomes.

This is how you can stain the pine wood, extend its life and possibly give it a different color.

Painting Pine Wood

You can, of course, also paint the pine wood, impregnated or plain pine wood.

Painting completely covers the wood, providing optimum protection to the wood. However, painting is used less often outside because most people like to keep seeing the grain.

Since the paint is opaque, the grain will disappear. For processing the paint, you can follow the instructions described above for staining.

Read also: Wood Oil for Outdoor Furnitures

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