How to waterproof marine wood

Updated February 21, 2017

Marine wood is used primarily for boat construction and other applications where water is certain to be involved. Marine wood can come in many different forms including plywood and regular boards. Waterproofing the marine wood will help it withstand the elements for longer periods of time and protect it from the water. With the proper materials, waterproofing marine wood is a task that can be taken on and mastered in a short period of time.

Clean the surface of the wood. Remove any algae, mildew or grime with soap and water. Scrub thoroughly to make sure the surface is perfectly clean.

Sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface of the wood to see if water penetrates it and to test its absorbency. If water penetrates the surface, the waterproofer is necessary. Lay out a tarp and place the board on top of it to prevent dripping onto the ground or table.

Brush on the first coat, covering the entire piece of wood. Apply an even coat and allow it time to dry before adding a second coat in the exact same manner. Turn the board over once the sealer has penetrated the surface. Repeat the process for all of the sides until the waterproofer has been applied to the entire board.

Apply a third and final coat. Spread out the coat evenly just like the previous two. Wait 24 to 48 hours to allow the wood to dry properly.


Do not attempt to waterproof the marine grade wood if the temperature is below -1.11 degrees Celsius. Do not apply when it is raining or if there is the potential of rain. The sealer needs time to properly dry before getting wet. Apply at night or away from direct sunlight for best results. When applying in direct sunlight, spray a mist of water over the board to dampen it and add the waterproofing sealer immediately afterwards.


Store the wood above 00 degrees Celsius once completed to prevent it from freezing.

Things You'll Need

  • Waterproofing sealer
  • Dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Brush
  • Sponge
  • Tarp
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.