Category Archives: Helmsman Teak Oil

Building a Wooden Outdoor Planter Box

Wrought Iron Planter Needs Wood Liner

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil
  • 5 Pressure-treated boards
  • Drill
  • Nails
  • Glue
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper

Last summer I built a garden shed behind our house for Leigh Ann. Scored me some major points, but also gave me more space in our garage for my woodworking workshop. Beneath these two stained glass windows that we had found in a salvage warehouse, she hung a wrought iron planter, and asked if I could build a wood liner for it.

1. Measure and cut pressure-treated board.

Cut Pressure-Treated Boards for Wooden Planter

I picked up an inexpensive pressure-treated board, took my measurements from inside the planter, then cut and laid out my boards.

2. Nail, glue and clamp five boards together.

Clamping Planter Boards After Nailing and Gluing Together

Knowing her window box planter will be subjected to both moisture and extreme temperature swings, I nailed, glued, and clamped the five boards together.

3. Drill drainage holes.

Drill Drainage Holes in Bottom of Flower Box

Naturally, the flower box needed drainage holes, so I drilled three half-inch holes in the bottom board.

4. Sand and apply two coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil.

Apply Two Coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil

While the pressure-treated lumber does resist water, I wanted to make sure it had some additional protection. After a light sanding, I applied two coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil, designed for exterior projects. As you can see, the Teak Oil also made the wood look more attractive.

5. Place the planter and add your plants.

Wooden Planter Box with Durable Outdoor Finish

All that is left is for Leigh Ann is to add the plants, safe in knowing that the wood liner will hold moisture longer and better than moss — and without soon rotting or falling apart.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Potting Shed Project for Leigh Ann

W-BeforeAfter several years of sharing space in our garage, Leigh Ann and I decided to build her an 8’ x 12’ potting shed in our back yard. I, of course, wanted to add some “extras,” starting with these two matching stained glass windows we found in a salvage shop.



Since the exterior siding will be cedar to match our house, I first made two simple frames from rough-sawn cedar boards, notching the inside of the window frames to hold the stained glass.


Teak OilThe rough-sawn side will be exposed to the sun and rain, so I protected it with two coats of clear Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil, which penetrates deep into the pores and brings out the rich, natural color of the wood.


StainThe inside of the cedar was smooth-sawn, so I gave it an additional sanding before staining it with Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Leigh Ann’s choice of “Deep Ocean.”


Poly CSince it will be on the inside of the potting shed, I sealed the stain with two coats of clear Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish using a synthetic bristle brush.


HeroEven though I still have some trim work to do, I naturally wanted to show Leigh Ann how the salvaged windows would look from the inside of her new potting shed.

Until next time,

If you wait until you have enough time, it will never get done.


PS – Here’s what her potting shed looks like before the siding, door and shingles.

Shed Windows

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

This One’s For the Birds

Old Birdhouse

Everyone loves to watch birds, whether at a feeder or around a nesting box. Putting up nesting boxes is a good way to attract birds year round. But as you can see by this bluebird house of mine, it doesn’t take long for unprotected boards to begin to swell, crack and warp. Before long they simply fall apart.


Last week, I picked up these two cedar bird houses at my local home improvement store. This time, however, I decided to protect the wood before I put them up.

Helmsman For the first bird house, I selected Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane, which has special “blockers” to ward off the damaging ultra-violet rays of the sun while also preventing moisture from soaking into the wood’s pores.

Teak Oil For the second, I chose Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil. Whereas Helmsman Spar Urethane dries on top of the wood, the Teak Oil is absorbed into the wood, where it dries and hardens. It also protects the wood from sunlight and moisture.

Teak App I prefer to pour the Teak Oil into a shallow container, then brush on a liberal coat, which the wood quickly absorbs. After it dries, I will apply a second coat the same way.


I purposely did not seal the insides of the nesting boxes, as birds prefer raw, natural wood near their chicks. But protecting the outside with either Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane or Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil will ensure that any birdhouse will be around for a long time.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Keep Your Workstation Clean with These Simple Tips

Here are some tips on how to maintain a tidy work station using inexpensive items you may already have around the house.


When finishing any project with legs, first place a discarded pie pan or cookie sheet under each one. Not only will it catch any drips or runs, but it will enable the bottom of the board to soak up additional finish, protecting it against water.


Sure, we never plan on making a mess, but even a little paste wax or stain can leave a permanent mark on your floor. Drop cloths provide an inexpensive layer of protection, so always have one nearby. And they can be re-used time after time!

Until our next time,

Thanks for stopping by!