I am going to be helping a kid at school with a goat playground type deal. I plan on using treated lumber where this playground touches the ground. But since this is done for the school we do have a budget, and doing the whole thing out of treated wood is not preferred, but maybe we can. I think by using regular wood it will quickly go bad, with the time were spending I want this to last. What can I put over the wood to prolong the life of the project? The only thing I thought of was the stuff used for coating a deck.

  • If cedar is not an option for any reason a homemade wood preservative can be made relatively easily, using borax as one of the chief preservative ingredients. See previous Answer which lower down also includes a list of other rot-resistant NA species you may be able to select from at your location.
    – Graphus
    Jan 26 '18 at 8:14
  • @Graphus Thank you for posting that link. I found that information to be very useful!
    – Ljk2000
    Jan 26 '18 at 19:45

Use a naturally weather-resistant wood like cedar. It is relatively cheap and easy to maintain. A lot of playgrounds, fences, decks, and outdoor furniture are made out of cedar for this reason.

Cedar weathers to a silver color, becoming more gray with time. Or you could stain and seal it, just like a deck, if you don't want the gray color.

There are other naturally weather-resistant woods out there (e.g., teak), but cedar is probably the cheapest and most widely-available.

  • 1
    +1. I'd avoid treated wood because of goats chewing and children getting splinters. (Yes, I know the industry assures us that this generation of treatment products are absolutely safe, but I'll note that they said that about the last generation -- CCA, which has been determined to be quite unsafe.) Jan 27 '18 at 16:34

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