How to Protect Exterior Wood

Wooden exteriors are a beautiful choice for any home. When properly cared for, wood cladding, roofs, decking and fencing will bring you many years of joy in the outdoor areas of your home.

Protection from the elements is important for outdoor timber, particularly in New Zealand where wood needs to withstand a harsh environment.

Weathering from the sun and rain, problems with outdoor life such as bugs, mould, and mildew can all affect the look, durability, and life span of your timber.

Read on to find out how Dryden WoodOil works and what wood to use it on.

Why does wood need protection?

Our wooden exteriors are working hard every day to protect us from the elements or provide an enjoyable and beautiful outdoor space.

The main elements that wood needs protection from are water, UV rays, and mould and mildew.


Wood is a naturally porous material and needs protection to keep moisture out from the inside of the wood. Without protection, rain and moisture, especially in shaded, damp areas, can cause expansion of the wood and subsequent shrinking as the wood dries out. This leads to splitting, warping, and rotting.

UV Rays

The sun is tough on our outdoor materials, particularly in New Zealand where we have strong UV radiation. Heat and UV cause exposed wood to fade, discolour, and break down.


Unprotected, damp wood is a perfect breeding ground for the fungi that cause mould and mildew. The porous surface combined with nutrients in the wood is a dream environment for spores.

Aside from being unattractive, mould and mildew can deteriorate your wood’s strength and leave splits and holes. Prevention is the best policy, as, once present, mould can be difficult to remove.

How to protect your wood with WoodOil

We can’t stop the elements, but we can stop them from affecting our exterior wood.


Moisture Resistance with WoodOil

Dryden WoodOil is a fantastic solution to protect against the harmful effects of water, mould, and mildew. Migrating from the surface of the wood into the inner cells, the water-repellent oil prevents water ingress, warping, and splitting.

Dryden WoodOil is a high quality, semi-transparent oil that enhances the natural warmth and grain of your timber, showing off the beauty and shine of your chosen wood.

Benefits of Dryden WoodOil

  • Migrating – good for thick profile timber
  • Versatile for use on most wood surfaces
  • Protect the strength and durability of your wood
  • Water-repellent
  • Contains a fungicide
  • Designed for NZ conditions
  • Can be coloured using Dryden ColourTone+

Adding ColourTone+ for UV protection

WoodOil does not protect against UV on its own, and wood treated with WoodOil will still naturally fade and silver.

Rather than having to use different products to protect and colour your wood, Dryden has a nifty solution. Add colour to your Dryden WoodOil with ColourTone+. Adding ColourTone+ means you can colour your wood to match the aesthetic you prefer, plus the added pigment sitting on the surface of the wood will protect your wood from the sun’s UV rays.

Using WoodOil on fences and cladding

Dryden WoodOil is a versatile product that can be used on old and new, rough and smooth wood surfaces. It’s also relatively simple to apply and maintain. It is best used on surfaces that do not suffer from high-traffic conditions, making it perfect for fences, cladding, louvres, and shingle roofs.

Dryden WoodOil can be used on most woods, including:

  • most softwood species, such as Radiata Pine, Macrocarpa, Western Red Cedar, Yellow Cedar, Larch, and Redwood.
  • most hardwood species, such as Purpleheart, Garapa, Vitex, Kwila, Tonka, Rosewood, Iroko and Jarrah.
  • other timber products, such as modified timber (e.g. thermal or acetylated), plywood and laminated timbers.
  • new and old, dressed and band-sawn timbers.

Protecting wooden furniture and decking

We don’t recommend Dryden WoodOil for hard-wearing surfaces such as decking and outdoor furniture; Dryden OilStain is the best product for these areas. Dryden OilStain nourishes and protects to help timber last longer. It is water resistant to help minimise warping, cupping, and splitting which occur from water getting into the timber.

This versatile product is compatible with most timber species, regardless of age, condition, or surface texture, offering reliable protection and enhancing aesthetic appeal.

How to apply Dryden WoodOil to your exterior timber

Now that you’ve chosen Dryden WoodOil, you’re ready to go! Oiling wood is easier than you may think and can easily be done as a DIY job. As with all wood projects, preparation is key to achieving a consistent, long-lasting finish.

Prepare your timber

Different types of wood will need different preparation to be ready for oiling.


New timber

Dressed timber will need to be sanded to remove any glaze. Use 180 grit sandpaper and sand lightly with the grain. Remove all dust before oiling

For undressed timber, use a brush to remove dust and any loose wood fibres before oiling.


Old timber

  • Uncoated weathered timber will need a good wash and scrub to remove any mould and dirt buildup.
  • Coated timber will need to be stripped of stain and then washed to remove mould and dirt buildup.


What you’ll need

Use any of these methods to apply Dryden WoodOil.

  • Fine-bristled speed brush (not lambskin or long pile)
  • Wide bristle brush (best for uneven or rough surfaces)
  • Medium nap roller
  • Airless spray


Applying the WoodOil

Apply in even, long strokes going with the grain. Keep a wet edge to minimise any streaks once dry.

We recommend the two-coat method, where the second coat is applied 30-90 days after the first coat (This time period only applies for Dryden WoodOil; however Dryden OilStain can be over coated the next day). This gives the oil time to migrate into the wood and leaves space for the second coat to soak in.

When applied, Dryden WoodOil will wet and darken the timber surface. The oil will soak in and look lighter within 24 hours. Be careful not to overcoat the timber with too much oil.


Need some inspiration?

Check out our timber colour gallery for the latest wood trends and colour inspiration.

Find stockists for Dryden WoodOil.