Do It Yourself UK/wooden workshop


hello, I have just had a workshop built can you tell me the best varnish for it and when I will have to do it, we live in Suffolk, the workshop was built by a professional company and the wood was treated before they built it.

Hi Keith

In your question, it doesn't state if it's all exterior timber surfaces or internal work as well or an indication whether it hard or soft wood. Personally, I don't like varnish as I feel there are better products. For internal timber I recommend a product called Treatex hard wax oil. Often I will seal the timber with a thin down version of Treatex then take the work to the clients place then apply the Treatrex hard oil. I really like this product but I do use Danish oil then paste wax, probably more for furniture pieces.

Treatex do external products  but I have not used these yet. More information can be found on their website;

I don't often do external finishes but when I have Danish oil has been a choice. You have to build up the coats and it does require doing often which can be off putting.  I like to use oil finishes on hardwoods and usually go for products by Osmo. If your timber is a softwood then I go for more wood stains, probably because my clients have colours in mind. One product that I have used is Liberon extreme wood stain but they are others. I have had my windows finished in products by Teknos. The windows were sprayed finished before being installed and after a few years don't show any sign of having to be re-painted. It works well with most hardwoods and softwoods. Oily hardwoods like Iroko may need to rub down with a white spirit before applying products.

Some useful sites; and I have purchase some of my timber finishes from a website; and for Treatex.

Hope this information helps you.


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Stuart Mawle


I can give advice / help on carpentry & joinery, health & safety, woodworking machinery, power tools, suppliers, timber and timber related products e.g. adhesives, finishes.


Carpentry & Joinery;I have served an indentured carpentry apprenticeship with a medium sized building contractor doing a wide range of domestic and commercial work. This has included office buildings, barn conversions, building extensions and renovations. During my career, I spent over three years as a wood trades technician at a college. My job involved joinery work, wood machining and helping CITB carpentry & joinery students' practical projects.I am all ready an voluteer expert in the wood working category.

I am a member of Institute of Carpenters

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