The Rot Doctor


Subject: What should I use?
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001


I have a large piece of driftwood that was taken from the roots of a tree. The driftwood is a really nice shape and I would like to preserve it the best that I can. I have plans on making it into some type of taxidermy setting for fish, but the wood has been sitting outside for nearly 5 years. What product would you recommend to help preserve the wood. I am going to be moving the wood inside for display and would like it to have a nice finish if possible. The wetter it looks the better.

Thank you for you help,
Jason D.

Assuming to wood is dry, your best preservation would be clean it, and then saturate it with CPES (Clear penetrating Epoxy Sealer). This will penetrate deeply, preserve the wood, and harden any soft or punky wood. I would then suggest coating it (after about a week or longer) with a clear polyurethane coating. There are several brands available in the home stores. This will give it a shiny, high gloss appearance.

CPES is basically a clear resin (very slight amber color) and it highlights the grain on wood. It is commonly used by boat and home people for treating wood prior to final finishing.

It's hard to predict how much of the CPES you would require, since wood absorbs the product in different amounts depending on its porosity. If you tell me the approximate size, I could make an educated guess.

And feel free to come back with additional questions.