How can I preserve driftwood?

Updated April 17, 2017

If you have returned from the beach with a gorgeous piece of driftwood, you will want to know how to preserve it so that you may display it in your home. Driftwood is often home to termites, ship worms and bacteria that eat away at it. You will want to protect your driftwood and your home against these creatures by following some procedures to ensure that your driftwood will last a long time.

Fill a bucket with room-temperature water. Put your driftwood into the water and leave it fully submerged for 48 hours.

Take the driftwood out of the water and scrub it down with an old toothbrush to remove any dirt or sand that may be hidden on it.

Cut off any uneven bark if you want your driftwood to have a very finished look, but you can leave it as-is if you choose.

Pour boiling water over all areas of the driftwood three times or four times a day for two days to kill any bugs or bacteria that may still be alive in it.

Mix one part insecticide one with part water and paint the wood with the mixture as a final precaution.

Leave the wood outside in the sun to dry. It will take at least three days for the wood to be fully dry and ready for a coat of varnish.

Paint the wood with varnish for a glossy finished look. Allow the varnish to dry for 24 hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Toothbrush
  • Insecticide
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Knife (optional)
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About the Author

Having graduated from Purchase College with a B.A. in creative writing, Corinna Ricard-Farzan has been writing professionally since 2008. As well as writing, she attends events and storefronts working to promote renewable energy and sustainable living in Westchester, New York. Her areas of expertise include but are not limited to physical health and fitness, nutrition, arts and crafts and pet care.