Can you recommend a nontoxic waterproof wood sealer for my outdoor window boxes?

Question

Can you recommend a nontoxic waterproof wood sealer for my outdoor window boxes?

Asked by Sam Beck, Brooklyn, NY

I'm building and planting my own outdoor window boxes this year, and I'm having a hard time finding a nontoxic waterproof wood sealer that won't poison my plants or the environment, and that doesn't need to be reapplied every year. Any advice?

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Answers

Matthew Bremer's picture

While you're right that you still have to search hard among conventional wood sealers to find a clear finishthat's a healthy alternative, that is changing.

There's no need to subject yourself and others to toxic chemicals, or to poison your plants as they begin to grow.

  • Eco Safety Products offers a series of LEED-compatible nontoxic, low-odor, low- to zero-VOC sealers, made mostly from soy.
  • AFM Naturals offers other products; and
  • SoyCleanhas waterproof wood sealers too.

Reviews often point out that these products are not as durable and long-lasting as traditional sealers, and that they are hard to apply and costly, but with only planter boxes to cover, rather than a deck or fence, any of these products should serve you well.

For more information:

Read our backgrounder "Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Clear Wood Finishes" for detailed advice and comparisons of clear finishes.