Eucalyptus is one of the most popular outdoor furniture woods for its beauty. It’s also common in construction projects due to its strength and durability.
Unfortunately, the wood’s natural water resistance makes it extremely difficult to stain. It repels stains as it does water, often leading to poor adhesion and low-quality finishes.
So, today, we want to find out more information about staining eucalyptus wood and the best stains for a eucalyptus woodworking project.
Staining Eucalyptus Wood
The best way to stain eucalyptus wood is using a light-colored gel stain and a 2-4-inch natural bristled paintbrush. First, apply the stain along the wood grain, wait for 4-6 minutes, then use rags to wipe the excess stain. After that, wait four hours for the gel to dry completely.
Can You Stain Eucalyptus Wood?
Yes, you can stain eucalyptus wood. But, no, you cannot stain eucalyptus with typical wood staining products.
The main reason is that eucalyptus contains a high level of resins, making the wood extremely difficult to stain, especially with water-based stains. In addition, the resins block wood stains from penetrating the eucalyptus wood grain.
As a result, most woodworkers prefer color-adding oil finishes to traditional wood stains when working on eucalyptus projects.
What Happens if You Don’t Stain Eucalyptus Wood Outdoor Furniture?
All hardwoods have living, natural fibers which gradually transform due to weather and everyday use. For instance, the wood’s fibers begin to shrink and even change color as it dries.
Treating the wood slows the aging process, leaving wooden furniture and other woodworking products looking fresh and “revived.”
In addition, regular treatment with penetrating stains rejuvenates the wood’s grains, restores the wood’s natural color, and minimizes aging effects, such as warping and shrinking.
What’s the Best Stain for Eucalyptus Outdoor Furniture?
The best stains for eucalyptus wood outdoor furniture projects, including eucalyptus patio furniture and benches, are Linseed oil and Danish oil. (To know which one is a better stain, check out our article “Danish oil vs boiled linseed oil“)
Linseed oils are natural oils extracted from flax seeds and designed to protect wooden boards from scrapes, rot, and humidity. In addition, the oil works by deepening the natural color of wood without sunlight.
You have two choices – raw linseed oil and boiled linseed oil. Both work well. However, boiled linseed oil dries much faster.
Danish oil works slightly differently. It’s a mixture of linseed oil (or sometimes tung oil) and varnish, thus adding a more stain-like color to the wood. Moreover, Danish oil is available in many tones, from mahogany to oak and cedar.
Many people prefer Danish oil over linseed oil because it dries faster. In addition, Danish oil gives eucalyptus wood patio furniture a truly lustrous look.
Check out: Danish oil for pine wood
How to Restore Eucalyptus Furniture
- Teak oil
- Sandpaper (120-grit and 150-grit)
- Microfiber cloth
- Orbital sander
How to Stain Eucalyptus Wood Furniture: Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Sand the surface
If working on old furniture, mount the 120-grit sandpaper to an orbital sander and power the machine to thoroughly sand the surface. Then put aside the orbital sander and continue sanding by hand using the 150-grit sandpaper. Meanwhile, meticulous hand-sanding using 150-grit sandpaper is enough for new furniture.
Step 2: Clean the surface
For small projects, you only need to wipe the surface with a microfiber cloth. However, consider teak cleaner for larger projects. First, apply the cleaner and allow it to settle for five minutes. Then scrub the surface in the grain direction using a scrub brush and rinse off the surface with a dry rag. After that, allow the surface to dry for 24 hours.
Step 3: Apply teak oil
There are many teak oils to consider. However, we prefer Teak Station Semko Teak Sealer, which enhances the wood’s beauty while protecting it from external elements. Rub a thin coat over the surface using the cloth and allow it to dry for 5-15 minutes. Then apply the second coat and allow it to dry overnight. You only need two coats.
Related read: How to paint pine wood for outdoor use
Can I Use Teak Oil on Eucalyptus Wood?
Yes. You can treat outdoor eucalyptus furniture with teak oil. Applying teak oil to outdoor furniture annually preserves the wood’s natural color and enhances its weather-resistance properties.
You may also want to know that teak oils are some of the most friendly finishes for hardwood furniture.
Obtained from teak wood and often used on teak furniture, the oil boasts excellent penetration qualities, resists cracking, prevents graying, and restores the natural appearance of wood.
Do You Need to Treat Eucalyptus Wood Furniture?
Yes, you should treat your eucalyptus wood furniture if you want the furniture to both to survive and thrive. Danish oil, linseed oil, and tung oil are all excellent solutions. However, the most important thing is frequency.
Why? Because, though hard, strong, and weather-resistant, eucalyptus quickly becomes weathered and gray if you don’t treat it regularly. So, we recommend treating your furniture every 1-2 years for the best outcome.
This doesn’t mean untreated eucalyptus furniture easily deteriorates, becoming soft and weak. No. Indeed, eucalyptus wood is durable and remains very strong and weather resistant. It can stay up to 25 years without treatment.
Related Article: Best Stain for Acacia Wood
Do you need to stain wood furniture?
No. You don’t need to stain the wood if you like how it looks. However, you should stain it if you desire a darker color or a more pronounced grain appearance. Additionally, most woodworkers stain wooden items to shield the surface from weather elements and daily wear without blocking the wood’s natural looks.
How do you finish eucalyptus patio furniture?
Most woodworking professionals use teak oil with a commercially available protective chemical to protect eucalyptus wood furniture from weather damage. Doing so shields the furniture from rains, direct sunlight, and the harmful effects of UV rays. Don’t forget to oil the furniture regularly to enhance its beauty and prolong its life.
Should I seal eucalyptus wood?
Yes, you should regularly seal eucalyptus wood furniture to protect it from weather elements and keep the items looking vibrant and fresh. Fortunately, sealing is a quick process. First, clean the wood to get rid of dirt and mold spots. Then allow it to dry completely before applying a sealer such as polyurethane. Read our expert tips on “How long after staining can I poly?”
How do I seal eucalyptus wood outdoor furniture?
To seal eucalyptus furniture, begin by washing the surfaces with dish soap and water. Then use a dry towel to dry the surface and an exterior wood stain, such as a spar varnish or polyurethane product, to seal the furniture. You need 2-3 coats applied approximately two hours apart.
Can you paint eucalyptus wood?
Yes. You can paint eucalyptus woodworking items. However, it’s not a great idea because it’s an oily wood that makes paint adhesion almost impossible. Instead, lacquer is the best finish for interior eucalyptus wood applications, such as trim, cabinets, and woodworking projects.
What is the best oil for eucalyptus outdoor furniture?
The best oils for eucalyptus outdoor furniture are linseed oil, tung oil, and Danish oil. This is especially true for exterior applications, such as doors and tuck beds. These oils more readily penetrate eucalyptus furniture. Alternatively, use a soft cloth to coat the furniture with teak oil.
Also Read: A Comprehensive Tutorial on Hemlock Staining
Though strong and beautiful, eucalyptus wood quickly weathers into a not-so-beautiful grey, aged look that can take the shine off your patio.
Therefore, we strongly recommend regularly treating your eucalyptus patio furniture, chairs, and deck to replenish the wood, restore its natural colors, and prolong its life.