A wooden swing set is one of the most popular backyard toys for children. Wood is a common choice for the structure due to its strength and the ease with which you can make additions. The one drawback is that it is more susceptible to damage from the sun, rain, and snow. Luckily these problems can be dealt with to keep the swing set in great condition.
Step 1 - Remove Existing Paint and Rotted Wood
Use a belt sander or a sanding block with a medium-grit sandpaper to remove any existing paint or stain. Sand it down until you see bare wood in good condition.
Step 2 - Finish Sanding Job
Change over to a fine-grit sand paper to smooth out any bumps or divots in the wood. Move in smooth even motions until the surface is smooth to the touch.
Step 3 - Clean Wood
Use a hose to remove any dust or wood chips still clinging to the surface of the swing set after sanding. Once you have fully cleaned the wood, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. This is to ensure that the sealant and paint adhere to the wood properly, and that no moisture is trapped underneath.
Step 4 - Apply a Coat of Sealant
Apply a coat of sealant to the wood using a fine-bristled brush. Use even strokes and move with the grain of the wood for the best result. Do not put a heavy layer as this can bubble and it will not add additional protection. When you're finished, allow this to dry for four to six hours. It is important to seal the wood to add extra protection from water.
Step 5 - Add Stain
Next, lay down a thin coat of stain using another brush. Move with the grain of the wood again in smooth up and down strokes for an even finish. Do not try to finish this task in one coat, as you will almost definitely have to add a second. Leave it to set for about three to five hours, and then inspect the surface thoroughly. Determine if a second coat is needed for full coverage before you go ahead with it.
Step 6 - Finish off with Sealant
It's time for another layer of sealant. Use the same brush and technique as before. This added coat will help to prevent water from gaining direct access to the stain and will build up more protection so the wood and the stain can hold up longer without further maintenance. Allow this to dry for at least 24 hours before anyone uses the swing set.
If you've followed these instructions correctly, you will be able to keep your children's backyard swings in great shape no matter the beating they take from the weather.