If you're using driftwood collected from the ocean, either for a craft project or as a decorative piece for your home, you'll first need to properly treat and dry the wood. Soaking the driftwood and removing all bits of dirt, then drying it out and sealing it, will ensure your wood looks healthy and pristine. This technique requires a few basic items and materials, some of which you may already have on hand.
Soak the driftwood in a tub filled with water. Let it soak for an hour to soften caked-on dirt or debris.
Brush the entire piece with a soft-bristle brush; remove any leftover dirt or dried-up salt water.
Smooth the driftwood with a piece of fine-grit sandpaper, to remove any rough spots or splinters.
Lay an old sheet on the ground outside, in a spot that receives plenty of sun. Place the wood on the sheet and let it dry for at least 24 hours, or until the wood is fully dry.
Mix equal parts of beeswax and turpentine, and rub the mixture over the wood using a rag to give the driftwood a sheen and create a protective barrier for the piece.