There are a number of factors which compromise exterior wood. Sunlight, damp and frost are the main culprits.

Sunlight fades timber and also breaks down the fibres over time. Direct sunlight will crack untreated wood. Damp conditions can rot and discolour carvings.

Below are a few pointers to help you best care for your chainsaw carving.


  • Shaded spots are an ideal place for your chainsaw sculpture. If you cant find all day shade then maybe try to avoid the midday sun.
  • Moisture often gets trapped under the base of carvings so try to encourage air flow underneath (gravel, wooden baton etc). Try and make the air gap at least an inch. Avoid very damp spots in the garden if possible.
  • When winter comes, place your carving undercover or somewhere cool to protect it from the elements. This is a top tip for making your sculpture last.


It's best to keeping your eye on a new sculpture in the warm weather. Problems that would otherwise escalate can be nipped in the bud.

  • Your sculpture looks faded/dull - Brush off your carving and re-coat with your oil based product e.g. danish oil, decking oil, tung oil.
  • Cracks are appearing - Re-coat your wood sculpture and make sure that you work the oil into the cracks. If for example a crack is on the front, then it is best to lie the carving down and let gravity take the oil in when applying. Oil cracks at least twice. Once oiled , rotate/move the carving so the crack(s) are not in direct sunlight.

Wooden carvings benefit greatly from continued treatment throughout their life. As a minimum apply oil once a year. Ideally apply oil at the beginning and end of summer.


Good luck