Wooden plant boxes and holders should have some sort of finish applied to them to protect the wood. Each time you water your plants you are adding more moisture. The moisture absorbs into unfinished wood and will eventually mold and rot it. Soil holds moisture so really the wood never has a chance to be dry. Refinishing your wooden plant boxes and holders will make the wood water resistant. It will also give them a decorative look.
To begin empty remove all soil from each plant box or holder you will be refinishing. Use a shop vac to suck off any remaining soil that sticks to the wood. Do not wash the dirt off with a wet cloth. You don’t need them perfectly clean because they’re going to be sanded. You also need to have the boxes as dry as possible and you don’t want to add any extra moisture. Once the planters are free of soil it’s actually a good idea to let them set in a warm dry area over night. This gives the wood a little time to dry. This is important because you don’t want there to be moisture trapped in the wood sealed in by your new finish.
Once the wooden plant holders and boxes are all dry it’s time to begin refinishing them. Get an electric handheld sander ready with rough grit sand paper. Go over the entire planter or box thoroughly. Do the inside and bottom of the box or planter too. Once you have finishing sanding them with the rough grit switch to fine grit and go over them again.
Use the shop vac again to remove all of the dust created from sanding. It will also come in handy to clean up the mess made from sanding. Use a soft cloth and wipe each box or planter down. This removes any missed dust which could flaw your new finish.
To give the planters beauty and color apply stain. Stain comes in various shades and colors. Choose to do your planters all the same or vary the colors doing some oak, some walnut, and some cherry. Use a clean dry cloth to apply the stain. Rub it on in a circular motion then quickly wipe it back off to avoid dark spots.
Once you have finished staining you can immediately go on to the next step which is to apply polyurethane. The poly will protect the wood and make it water resistant. The wood itself will not be able to absorb moisture because the poly seals and coats it. Polyurethane also gives the wood a gorgeous shine. Your planters and boxes will be not only protected but also beautiful.
Use a large foam paint brush to apply the poly. Give each box or planter four or five coats for maximum protection. Wait at least 20 minutes between coats so that each has time enough to dry before the next is applied.
Let the final coat of poly dry twentfour hours before placing any soil in the wooden plant boxes and holders. Once that twentfour hours has passed fill them up and add your seeds or plants. They will last for years to come and will add a little decorative touch to your garden area or home.