Applying Sealant to a Gazebo

A gazebo next to pink flowers.
What You'll Need
Rough grade sandpaper
Fine grade sandpaper
Rotary sander or sanding block
Wood sealant
Outdoor wood stain
Fine bristled paint brush
Garden hose

A backyard gazebo adds an elegant touch while making your garden more usable. Since they are exposed to elements all year, gazebos need basic care from time to time to ensure they last. One of the most important things you can do for an outdoor gazebo is to apply a new coat of sealant every 2 to 3 years. This will protect the wood and keep it from rotting.

Step 1 - Remove Existing Stain and Sealant

Use a rough grade sandpaper to expose the wood of the gazebo. This process involves taking off any stain or finishes on the wood along with any existing sealant. This can be done by hand using a sanding block but a rotary sander is recommended to make the process easier and quicker.

Step 2 - Smooth Out the Gazebo

Use a sanding block or rotary sander with fine-grade sandpaper and resand the gazebo. When complete, the wood should have a nice smooth feeling. If any areas are still rough, sand these areas further. Try to avoid taking off too much wood.

Step 3 - Remove Dust

Use a rag or broom to remove the majority of the dust that was left behind by the sanding process. Use a normal garden hose to rinse the gazebo off completely. This will remove any remaining dust. Allow the gazebo to dry completely before proceeding with the next step. This will normally take around 24 hours. The total length of time will depend on the climate.

Step 4 - Apply the Sealant

Use a fine bristled paint brush to apply a fresh coat of sealant to the gazebo. Use smooth, even back-and-forth motions with the paintbrush. Try not to apply too much sealant. It only requires a thin layer of sealant to protect the wood. Too much can cause bubbling, which reduces the effectiveness of the sealant. Allow the sealant to dry for 12 hours. If necessary, apply a second coat of sealant.

Step 5 - Apply a Stain or Finish

Use a paintbrush and an outdoor stain or varnish to coat the gazebo. Pick a color which you will enjoy or use a clear coat of varnish. Allow the varnish or stain to dry for 12 to 24 hours.

Step 6 - Apply a Second Layer of Stain

Use a paintbrush and outdoor wood sealant to apply a coat of sealant over the stain or varnish. This is not required but it will help to improve the overall effectiveness of the sealant and reduce wear on the stain or varnish you used. It will also make the process of cleaning the gazebo significantly easier.