Back in 2013, I built some raised beds for my blueberry bushes and decided to try an experiment with surface treatments to see if I could find a non-toxic option that would still protect the wood from the elements. (See original post here; 1-year 2014 update here) As a reminder, I used Eco Wood Treatment, milk paint, and a mixture of olive oil and beeswax, as well as a control with no treatment at all. Here’s the update after three years:
The color hasn’t changed from the 1-year update. All still the same gray. They all seem to be holding up about the same, as well, even the one that had no treatment applied to it. The one with the Eco Wood Treatment has a big crack through the face of one of the boards, but I don’t know that I can blame that on the product. It was likely just a weakness in the board. I should probably treat the crack with something to reduce the board’s exposure.
I did the water test again. All four seemed to have the same reaction: no beading; the water just soaked in, even on the beeswax one, which had beaded when the others didn’t before.
I was initially disappointed that there was no difference. But then I noticed that the water that had splashed on the side of the board, as opposed to the top, did bead a bit–and only on the beeswax and oil boards. So it seems that that treatment might still be protecting a bit more than any of the others. Only time will tell.