Eucalyptus wood is an incredibly strong hardwood that is also water resistant.
So this particular lumber is just the ticket for building outdoor furniture. Its durability will help to keep your furniture together for years. And its natural resistance to rot is going to be key in helping it ride out year-round weather conditions.
However, eucalyptus is so efficient at being water-resistant that it also refuses to take on wood stains.
Here’s the problem; the job of a good wood stain is to soak into wood and penetrate the grain. Yet Eucalyptus’ tight-grained lumber doesn’t allow wood stain to soak in evenly (if at all in some cases).
So, if you want add color to eucalyptus-made outdoor furniture, what’s the best stain for the job?
You will need to use a deep penetrating natural oil finish to add color to eucalyptus wood. A typical wood stain product will struggle to soak into eucalyptus wood grain. However, a natural oil finish such as danish oil can penetrate the wood and enhance the color of this lumber.
You see, stains are just one way to add a bit of color to that grain. You can also use natural finishing oils, such as Tung Oil or Danish Oil, to ‘stain’ eucalyptus lumber too. Plus, natural oil finishes protect wood both inside and out.
So keep reading to find out how you can give that eucalyptus furniture piece the perfect finish…
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Can Eucalyptus Wood Be Stained?
No, not with your typical wood staining solution. The reason comes down to resin; eucalyptus wood has a high level of resin inside of it. And it is this resin that makes it difficult for stain, (especially water-based stains), to soak into it.
So, when it comes to eucalyptus lumber, bypass wood stain and opt instead for a color-adding oil finish.
What Oil Is Suitable For Eucalyptus Wood?
The best oil you can use on eucalyptus wood is Linseed Oil or Danish Oil.
Linseed oil, (a natural oil extracted from flax seed), protects wood from scrapes, humidity, and rot. This oil is available both raw and in its more fast-drying boiled form, and both work equally as well. But, linseed oil doesn’t so much as ‘stain’ wood as it simply darkens it.
You see, in the absence of sunlight, linseed oil deepens the natural color of whatever wood it’s coated on. So if you want a finish that actively adds stain-like color, you are better off using danish oil.
Danish oil comes in a wide range of tones such as Mahogany, Cedar, and Oak. Also, it dries faster than linseed oil too, thanks to its baseline ingredient blend of linseed oil (sometimes tung oil) plus varnish.
Best of all, danish oil will do a fantastic job at giving eucalyptus wood a truly lustrous look.
You can learn more about it, (as well as discover the best Danish oil products on the market), by clicking here to check out our simple guide to Danish Oil Finishes.
Now, Linseed oil can often work wonders on improving the appearance interior furniture. However, you need to be selective about the type of Linseed oil you use when using it on exterior wood.
Boiled Linseed oil, for instance, is a solid option for exterior wood (such as on decks and garden furniture). It dries quickly, making it perfect for outdoor use.
In contrast, if you slap a few coats of raw linseed oil onto an exterior wooden surface, mold will likely to appear on that finish well before it dries and sets.
That is because raw linseed oil takes a long time to cure. And this presents a problem when using it as an outdoor wood finish. Especially as it can take up to ten weeks for this pure natural oil to cure.
During which time, this food-sourced oil wood finish can become the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Is Eucalyptus Wood Suitable For Outdoor Furniture? Thanks to its resilience, toughness and strength, eucalyptus has been used to create batten support beams inside building projects. So this wood is more than capable of handling the job of outdoor furniture.
Do You Need To Treat Eucalyptus Wood?
If you want eucalyptus wood to not just survive but to thrive in the outdoors, then you need to give it some added protection.
Applying oils like Danish Oil, Linseed Oil, and Tung Oil are all great wood treatment options. However, when it comes to outdoor furniture, you will need to regularly apply them.
Eucalyptus wood may be a natural when it comes to resisting decay, but its color will become weathered and gray if you don’t reapply your chosen oil treatment once every 1-2 years.
Still, needless to say, eucalyptus will already last a good long while even without repeat treatments.
The high oil resin inside eucalyptus makes it an exceptionally long-lived lumber. For example, if you placed an untreated item of eucalyptus furniture outdoors, it can stay upright for up to 25 years.
Some Final Thoughts
Stains are one of the best ways to add color to any woodwork project. But in the case of timber types that don’t take stain very well, an oil finish that adds color will do in a pinch.
And in the case of eucalyptus wood, this particular kind of lumber is going to require a natural oil finish if you want to amplify its burnished-brown grain.