As perimeters for our garden beds we use wood 4 x 4's. I would love to replace them with stone but it is simply not in the budget right now. To help preserve the wood and make it look more attractive, I apply a stain to the wood once a year in the spring.
We like Thompson's Water Seal in Honey Gold. I am a fan of this stain for three reasons: its inexpensive, you can pick it up off the shelf at your local home improvement store and it is really east to apply.
Because I only do this chore once a year and its not easy stuff to clean up, I make a stain holder out of an empty water jug. It has a sturdy handle so it is easy to carry and hold and is readily available in our house since we buy our water. It also easy to dip and wipe the access the stain off the brush. I also use these for paint holders around the house.
I simply cut a hole along the smooth plastic of the jug keeping the handle intact. Dispose of the cut portion and fill the container with stain. When finished staining, I toss the brush and container in the trash.
So, after the beds are weeded and fresh mulch is applied, I bring out the stain and apply it liberally to the wood with an inexpensive stain brush.
Here are a few before and after images of the wooden garden perimeters.
There is certainly a bit of sweat involved in applying the stain since we have 10 beds now and counting, but I appreciate the peace of mind knowing that the wood is protected for another year, and its one more item we can mark off our to do list!
Have you been staining any wood around your home lately?