How To Waterproof Outdoor Cabinets? (4 Methods)

Water or Air Moisturize can damage items like cabinets, precisely when the item is placed outdoors. It becomes necessary to waterproof outdoor cabinets, whether it is made of iron, steel, or wood.

Waterproofing can increase the last of an object. You will get many benefits if you do this work with your just-bought item. The best part of this guide is, you can use these methods for your indoor cupboards also.

You can waterproof outdoor cabinets by applying a protective coat of a chemical solution. If the material is wood, use oil, stain, or sealants, or in the case of steel or iron, use waterproof paint. First, prepare the cabin body. Next, apply a suitable solution according to the material.

We’ve described different methods step by step to waterproof outdoor cabinets. Use any one method according to your cabinet material. Let’s dive into the guide!

How To Waterproof Outdoor Cabinets?

Here’s How To Waterproof Outdoor Cabinets:

The following are methods to waterproof wood-made outdoor cabinets.

Method 1. Use Oil

There are three types of oils for waterproofing wood-made things; Walnut, Tung, and Linseed oil. You can choose any one oil from these three. 

As linseed oil is the choice of many Diy experts, we will use it for the next steps. You can also use tung oil, but as its expansiveness makes it hard to purchase it for Under-Budget projects, you can use linseed oil instead of it. In this process, three things are required; oil, one turpentine, and ½ part apple cider vinegar. Let’s learn how to use it.

  1. Prepare a mixture of oil. Add your selected oil(Walnut, Tung, or Linseed), turpentine oil, and ½ in a metal container. Mix well until you realize that the mixture is ready. Verify liquids are properly blended. You can use any metal container. Such as a bucket, material container, or Oil-Can.
  1. Prepare the surfaces of cabinets. Use thin sandpaper and scrub it on the surface where you want to apply the waterproofing solution. Keep scrubbing slow, but confirm no place is left from scrubbing. Grit sandpaper will prepare the surface to absorb oil correctly. Keep the space clean before applying the oil. Use a piece of cloth and clean the scrubbed area.
  1. Now, wear thin rubber gloves on both of your hands. Use some rags to apply the oil to the cabinets.
  1. Fold the rag and pour some oil on the surface of the rag. Start rubbing the oil on the wood surface. You can use more oil if you don’t want to rub the rag too hard. In the case of less oil, try to rub hard, so you can apply oil on all the areas. A precise coat will be better for the next coat. Check all the corners and sides to confirm oil is applied on all areas.
  1. Don’t touch the oil until it gets dry. Leave it for 30 – 40 minutes to fully absorb. If you see some excessive oil, use a cloth to remove it, but make sure the time is crossed 40 minutes after applying the first coat of oil. It will take a maximum of 24 – 32 hours to get completely dry.
  1. Recoat the cabinets. Use the same amount of oil and repeat the process. Apply two coats to get a great finish. Let it dry for the same duration to dry after each coat. Before applying the second coat, you must sand the already applied coat with thin sandpaper of steel wool, but don’t sand it too hard.
  1. Let the cabinet dry at least for a week. Don’t use it before you guess the oil is fully absorbed and dried. Once it gets dry, use it!

Method 2. Apply Stain

Sains can come in different types and specifications. To waterproof wood, use an oil-based semi-transparent stain. Don’t choose light stains as it is only best for exterior wood furniture. As we are waterproofing outdoor cabinets, use exterior-grade stain.

  1. Prepare the wood surface. Use fine grit(20) sandpaper for scrubbing the surface. Start from one end and go forward to the opposite end. Repeat the scrubbing until you realize wood is scrubbed from every part. Use a simple piece of cloth to clean away the scrub waste from every surface of the wood. Scrubbing is necessary to prepare a surface for even coats, and also increase absorption rates.
  1. If you want to wear rubber gloves, you can. Otherwise, gloves are not necessary for this process. Take a paintbrush and dive it into the stain container. Start applying the coat from any corner and cover all the areas. The first coat will take 3 to 24 hours to dry, let the coat dry.
  1. After the first coat is dried, use sandpaper to remove excessive oil from the wood. Sand all the areas where the stain is applied. Clean the surface before applying the next coat.
  1. Apply the second coat of stain on the outdoor cabinets’ wood. Apply in a slow phase to avoid expending excessive stains on the wood. Stain helps the surface to become shiner, clear and bright, applying its at least three coats is necessary. Let the cabinets dry for the same duration.
  1. Once the second coat is dried, apply the final third coat. Repeat the same process. Let the cabinet dry for at least three to a week. Use your outdoor cabinets after the wood gets cured.

Method 3. Use Wood Sealer

Choose a water-based wood sealer. Marine wood sealant helps outdoor cabinets and wood-made things to stand up to dampness and UV rays. As wood sealers come in different types, you must get a marine sealant.

  1. Scrub the surface of the outdoor cabinet with sandpaper. Verify all the sides are scrubbed well. Clean the surface with a cloth. Don’t skip the preparation of an item before applying any solution to it.
  1. Take a paintbrush and dive it into the water-based wood sealant. Apply the first coat. Don’t contain too much sealant on the brush since it can expand excessive sealant on the surface. We apply the first coat only to absorb the solution in the wood, the first coat must be thin. Leave the cabinet to dry for at least 4 to 12 hours.
  1. Sand the surface before applying an additional coat. Use steel wool(0000) or sandpaper for this work. It helps the next coat to be even.
  1. Apply a second coat. This time, try to get a more even coat and make sure all areas are covered with an additional coat. Let the cabinet dry for the same duration.
  1. Apply the final coat of sealant on the wood. Repeat the same procedure and let it dry for three to seven days before using it. After the last sealant coat, we have to give time to the cabinet to cure completely.

The following is a method to waterproof steel or iron-made outdoor cabinets:

If you want to waterproof your iron or steel-made outdoor cabinets, you have to use waterproof paint. Different materials stand with suitable solutions. If you try to absorb oil in steel, you will fail since oil cannot go into the steel surface. First, get waterproof paint. Spray paint will be best for fast application.

Method: Apply Waterproof Spray Paint

  1. Buy waterproof spray paint. You can find this paint in different colors online and offline.
  1. Prepare the outdoor cabinet iron or steel surface. Use sandpaper and thinner to remove rust from the surface. Clean the surface with thinner and let the surface dry. Clean the metal with a piece of clothing before applying paint.
  1. Take the waterproof spray paint Container in your hand, and start applying the first coat of paint on the surface. Keep the paint pressure low to avoid excessive paint drops on the surface. Leave the cabinet alone for at least 6 hours to dry.
  1. Reapply the second paint coat on the cabinet. Follow the same process. But this time, apply a thick coat than the recently applied paint layer. Leave the cabinet to dry for a day before using it.