Insect Proofing Wood Without Chemicals

wooden furniture 1

Although it’s important to treat all wooden furniture for protecting it from insects and the damage they forge, several wood preservative items are known to comprise noxious and toxic chemical ingredients. These chemicals are usually neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors that are also carcinogenic in nature. These chemicals have often been linked to various health complications. Fortunately, there are various natural alternatives containing harmless ingredients that are good for man as well as for the environment.

Here’s all about the harmless fluids to insect-proof your wooden furniture.

Oil and Oil-based products

You can choose from an exhaustive range of natural oils and oil-based products for insect-proofing your wooden furniture. One such item is raw linseed oil derived from flax seeds. This oil dries slowly and often takes weeks for soaking into the wood. Heat-treated linseed oil, however, dries more quickly. Besides being economical, boiled linseed oil comprises harmless chemicals that evaporate thereby helping the oil to dry faster. In fact, many linseed oils contain certain mildly toxic chemicals as preservatives. Thus, ahead of buying, make sure that the oil is natural and free from toxins. Oil-bound distempers are also used for treating wooden furniture against insects. It hardens the wood after penetrating it. These distempers have no harmful ingredient and are durable and economical. They come in the paste form and needs to be mixed to water. Natural colors can also be added to these distempers. However, it’s not washable and all stains and dirt have to be painted over.

Water-based products

With regard to water-based products, lime wash can be used as a simple paint for covering the wooden furniture. Made from water and lime putty, it’s similar to whitewash. A natural metal oxide mineral can be added to bring color. Lime wash is breathable and its alkalinity deters most wood-boring insects and beetles. Lime wash is also free from chemical solvents and inexpensive and if properly done won’t rub onto your clothing easily.

Another water-based item is soft distemper which is a natural paint that comprises natural glue derived from animal parts and pulverized chalk. You can use natural metal oxide with soft distemper for bringing color. Besides wooden furniture, it can also be used on stone, bricks and paper.

Boric acid in another popular agent used for insect-proofing of wooden furniture. It contains the related oxides and salts and has a low-level of toxins for humans. For instance, it’s also used in eye treatments. However, they can be used only for indoor furniture. Using boric acid for outdoor furniture could often lead to bleaching of the wood as the borates react to the sun. Boric acid must be prepared and mixed according to instructions. Apply it with a piece of cloth or brush. A borate solution can also be painted or sprayed onto the wooden furniture.

Remember, there are several woods that resist decaying and insects naturally. For instance, heartwood from certain types of trees would naturally resist pests and insects. Other trees in this category include some cedar, many cypress trees and coast redwood trees.

Source by Prabuddha K Neogi

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