15 Wood Stains That Are Safe For A Vegetable Garden

Gardening by using a planter box in your yard or on your deck or patio means that your entire family can reap the benefits of totally organic vegetables. Maybe you’ve built the planter box already, or perhaps you’ve purchased a pre-built box in unfinished wood.

Now you want that wood to look gorgeous and last throughout several seasons. But, how do you finish the wood and steer clear of harmful chemicals that could leach into your garden’s soil?

A vertical garden with vegetables inside a rectangular pot, 15 Wood Stains That Are Safe for a Vegetable Garden

Not to worry! We have found several all-natural wood stains for your vegetable garden. Not only will these finishes enrich the natural beauty of the wood, but many of these oils and stains also provide sealing agents to weatherproof planter boxes.

Considerations When Choosing a Wood Stain for a Vegetable Garden

When choosing a wood stain for a vegetable garden, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the most important:

Ingredients: Make sure the wood stain is made from natural and non-toxic ingredients. Avoid products that contain harmful chemicals.

Color: Choose a color that complements the natural beauty of your garden. Consider using a stain that matches the color of the wood or one that adds a touch of warmth to the garden.

UV Protection: Look for a wood stain that offers UV protection to prevent fading and discoloration over time.

Water Resistance: Choose a wood stain that is water-resistant to protect the wood from rot and decay caused by moisture.

Brand Reputation: Consider the reputation of the brand and read reviews from other customers to ensure that the product is of high quality and performs well.

Keep reading, and you will learn how natural oils and eco-friendly stains keep your garden organic and your planter lasting a lifetime.

Natural Oils

Non-toxic, natural oils deeply penetrate the wood. Not only do oils bring out the true colors and grains of the wood, but they are also water-resistant. Applying natural oils to unfinished lumber can help to prolong the life of your planter box with a weather-resistant finish.

Natural oils are food safe and safe to use near children and pets. Apply natural oils liberally to wood by using a brush or cloth and allowing the oil to saturate the wood. Wipe away any excess, dripping oil and let dry per the application instructions.

1. Pure Tung Oil

Natural tung oil is derived from the tung tree in Southern China. Tung oil is water-resistant and mildew resistant, so it is an excellent choice for sealing a planter box. As a stain, tung oil enriches the natural colors of unfinished wood for a lush finish.

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2. Dark Tung Oil

If you are looking for a rich, dark hue, try using The Real Milk Paint Co.’s dark tung oil on unfinished wood. Food safe, pure tung oil has added non-carcinogenic, PCB-free resinous hydrocarbon to leave a darker finish.

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3. Raw Linseed Oil

Linseeds in spoon and bowl with glass of linseed oil on wooden table

Linseed oil comes from flaxseed and is100% organic. It deeply penetrates unfinished wood, to enhance natural colors and protect with a water-resistant seal. Linseed oil is slow drying, so allow several days for it to penetrate the wood after application completely.

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4. Safecoat Naturals Clear Penetrating Oil

Enrich the color, and protect the unfinished wood when you use this plant-based oil blend to stain planter boxes. A combination of flax, linseed, hemp, and soybean oils deeply penetrate the wood for a lasting finish.

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5. Tried & True Original Wood Finish

Tried & True’s 100% natural blend of linseed oil and beeswax gives your planter boxes a rich color and a protective seal. After the linseed oil dries, durable beeswax hardens with age for long-lasting protection. Buff the waxy finish to a sheen, or leave a matte finish.

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6. Hemp Oil

Seeds hemp on the table with oil in a glass jar and cannabis leaves

Derived from hemp plants, this oil is 100% organic. The rustic, matte finish of hemp oil looks excellent on outdoor planter boxes, and its thin viscosity quickly penetrates unfinished wood to protect against the elements.

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7. Seal It Green Extreme Garden Box

Specially formulated for outdoor planter boxes, Seal It Green uses a blend of plant-based oils for ultra conditioning of unfinished wood. Enhance the wood’s inherent beauty. Non-toxic, safe to use for all types of wood and near children and pets.

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8. Hardwax Oil

A long-lasting combination of 100% natural vegetable oils and waxes protects unfinished wood with a water-repellent finish. Choose from lush colors like golden tea, espresso, walnut, and dusk grey, to name a few. Stick to a transparent finish to enhance the natural color of unfinished wood, and use Zero VOC’s, food-safe formula.

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Eco-Friendly Wood Stains

There are several biochemically engineered wood stains and sealants on the market today. Many eco-friendly formulas are water-based, so they do not chemically bond with the wood and might need to be reapplied more frequently than the alternative, chemical stains.

Eco-friendly wood stains and sealants are both food safe and safe to use near children and pets. Because these formulas do not contain solvents, contain no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and use plant or earth derived pigments, you benefit by keeping your vegetable planter organic.

9. Tried & True Wood Stain

The name says it all for Tried & True. With a base of deep penetrating linseed oil, this food-safe stain contains no VOC’s or solvents. Classic colors, including cherry, dark walnut, mahogany, and java, are generated using all-natural earth pigments. This stain is recommended for indoor use.

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10. Ecoprocote Eco-Poly Finish & Sealer

Protect your planter box from the weather, and add a touch of color for a brilliant finish, with Ecoprocote’s biologically based formula. Eco-Poly is free of solvents and VOC’s, with an added UV protectant.  Choose from gloss, matte, or satin sheen finishes.

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11. Vermont Natural Coatings Exterior Penetrating Wood Stain

Choose from earthy colors like sterling grey, acorn brown, and autumn red, to name a few. Vermont Natural Coatings penetrating wood stain for the exterior, unfinished wood waterproofs your planter box using a low VOC, water-based formula.

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12. Vermont Natural Coatings All-In-One Stain & Finish

Stain and protect vegetable planter boxes with one application of Vermont Natural Coatings’ water-based formula. Ultra-low VOC’s means this all-in-one stain is safe to use near food, children, and pets. Apply additional coats for a darker finish.

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13. Lifetime Wood Treatment

The non-toxic, nourishing formula deeply penetrates unfinished wood for lifelong protection. Valhalla Wood Preserves has been a leader in eco-friendly wood treatments for over 60-years, so you know your vegetables and family members are safe from harmful chemicals.

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Best Finish for Cedar Planter Box

Cedar is an excellent wood to use for organic, vegetable planter boxes because it is rot resistant and repels pesky insects. While you can leave cedar unfinished, adding a natural oil to cedar provides a long-lasting, water-resistant finish.

14. Raw Linseed Oil

Raw linseed oil, derived from the flax plant, has absolutely no additives. This 100% natural oil is safe to use for vegetable planters and in proximity to children and pets. Allow 2-3 days for the oil to completely penetrate the wood before filling your planter with soil.

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15. Pure Tung Oil

Originating in Southern China from the tung tree, this 100% eco-friendly oil leaves a lasting finish. Tung oil is commonly used for waterproofing on wooden ships. Not only will it protect your cedar planter box, but once it dries, it leaves a honey-colored sheen.

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Now that you know several types of wood stains that are safe to use for a vegetable planter, you can get that box finished and start planting!

Check out our blogs so that you can reap the benefits of an organic garden:

How to Build a Planter Box for Vegetables

13 Awesome Above Ground Planter Boxes

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