Wood saturators: choosing your saturator

You've done it ! Your terrace, cladding, pergolas or other outdoor wooden features have been put in place around your house for a few weeks or even months, and the result is magnificent. The time has come to protect them to keep them in good condition for the long term. You've probably wondered about the most effective protection product for your wood? And by searching on the web you have chosen the term saturator. A good choice: it is indeed the ideal product for the maintenance of outdoor wood. But faced with the avalanche of products available, how do you make the right choice? To help you, let's take a closer look at the characteristics of this widely popular product.


The term "saturator" has been chosen by professionals in the wood protection and maintenance products market for its primary meaning: saturation. That is to say, the penetration of a liquid into the wood material in depth to the point where it is not absorbed..

The saturator is generally very fluid, so that it has the ability to penetrate porous materials such as wood. Often stained in wood tones, it can also come in more distintive shades towards the reddish brown typical of exotic woods or the more contemporary grey appearance. Its drying time should be relatively short. And ideally, it should not need to be wiped dry for ease of application.



When choosing wood for the construction of an exterior design, you should be aware that regular maintenance will be required if the qualities of this material and its original beautiful appearance are to be maintained. This raises the question of the choice of the product with regard to its simplicity of application but also its ease of maintenance..

That's why it's a good idea to opt for the saturator because it has many advantages:

- Stains the wood and revives its original colour.

- UV protection

- Preserves the natural grain and texture

- Impregnates, nourishes and protects from water

- Protects from spots and marks

- Quick and easy to apply

- Non film-forming, allowing easy maintenance without sanding

A saturator is the ideal product for the treatment of outdoor wood.


If you choose a saturator for the treatment of your exterior wood, the criteria for selecting the best one are as follows:

 Fluid, for good penetration.

Pigmented, in the shade of your choice, for good UV protection. Colourless saturators are available. Attention : Without pigmentation, the saturator will be much more sensitive to the sun's UV rays and will protect the wood less than a pigmented saturator. There are saturators that take up the natural colour of classic wood species, revealing an almost colourless finish on the wood species concerned. For example, Ipe, Douglas Fir or Autoclave Brown tints blend well with the corresponding wood species.

Does not require wiping! Many commercially available products need to be wiped off immediately after application. Imagine the extra work involved in wiping the entire surface with a cloth after carefully applying the saturator coat(s) with a brush... not to mention the extra cost!

Short drying time, to be able to apply the saturator in one or two days maximum. No more than a weekend to complete ! Ideally, it should be possible to apply the saturator in half a day. Preferably in the morning. This allows the product to dry in the afternoon and possibly apply a second coat the next day. This will also depend on the number of coats and the weather, of course. As a general rule, drying times for saturators range from 2 hours for the quickest to 24 hours for the longest. Drying time is defined as the dry "feel". This is because some products can be "dry to the touch" quickly, but achieve optimal deep drying later.

Non filmogenic. Attention, by definition the saturator is not film-forming because it is impregnating and very fluid, but some very quick-drying saturators can be applied in several coats. And when too many coats are superimposed, (3 or more) a film-forming finish is obtained. From then on, there is a risk of unsightly ageing through the formation of "blisters" of patches that flake off in an uneven manner. This happens with some low-end saturators. In addition, this will result in the need for very tedious sanding and/or stripping when maintenance is required..

Adapted to the type of wood. At Anova Bois, we have designed saturators for all types of wood. Autoclaved wood, exotic woods, classic softwoods, grey woods.

choose wood saturator


Nothing could be simpler. Make sure the surface is clean, well dusted and dry. Shake the can well when the product is pigmented. Apply the saturator with a brush or roller in the direction of the wood grain. And leave to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Find more details on the application of a saturator by going to our maintenance guide.

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