How to Preserve Wood Slices

Here’s a quick guide on how to preserve wood slices so that you can enjoy them for years to come!

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Wood slices make beautiful rustic decor for both indoor and outdoor spaces. But to keep your wood slices looking their best, it’s important to properly preserve them. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

– Start with fresh, clean wood slices. If your wood is dirty or has any surface treatments (like paint), it will be more difficult to preserve.

– Use a preservative treatment specifically designed for wood. You can find these products at most hardware stores.

– Follow the instructions on the product label carefully. This will help you achieve the best results.

– Apply the preservative treatment evenly and allow it to dry completely before using your wood slices.

What You’ll Need

-A fresh log (or two, depending on the size you want your slices)
-A saw (a hand saw or a bandsaw will both work)
-Sandpaper (optional)
-Tung oil or another type of oil for finishing (optional)

1. Cut your log into equal-thickness slices. If you’re using a hand saw, it’s helpful to first draw a line around the log to use as a guide. Depending on how thick you want your slices, you may need to cut the log in half first and then saw each half into slices.
2. If desired, sand the slices to smooth out any rough edges. You can use any grit of sandpaper; just make sure to go in the same direction as the grain of the wood.
3. If desired, finish the wood with tung oil or another type of oil. This step is optional, but it will help protect the wood and give it a nice shine. To apply the oil, simply wipe it on with a clean cloth and then buff it off with another clean cloth.

Preparing the Wood Slices

If you plan on using your wood slices for serving food or drinks, you’ll need to give them a good wash first. I recommend using a mild dish soap and warm water. You can also use a light vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water). Just make sure you rinse the slices well so that no vinegar taste is left behind.

Once your wood slices are clean, you’ll need to dry them completely. I like to use a towel to pat them dry and then let them air dry for an hour or so before proceeding.

If you want to further protect your wood slices, you can apply a food-safe finish such as mineral oil, beeswax, or even pumpkin seed oil. Just Rub the chosen finish onto the surface of the wood slice, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Wipe off any excess and let it dry completely before using.

Applying the Finish

Applying the Finish
Once your wood slices are dry and sanded smooth, it’s time to apply a finish. This will help protect the wood from staining and fading, and it will also make cleaning up any spills or stains a breeze. There are a few different types of finishes you can use, but we recommend a clear polyurethane for its durability and ease of use.

To apply the finish, start by stirring it well to make sure all of the ingredients are combined. Then, using a natural bristle brush or a lint-free rag, apply the finish in long, even strokes. You want to make sure you get good coverage, but you don’t want to saturate the wood.

After you’ve applied the finish, let it dry for at least 24 hours before using your wood slices. Once they’re dry, they’ll be good to go!

Letting the Finish Dry

Whether you’re a crafter who likes to work with wood or you’re simply looking for interesting table decorations, wood slices are a great option. You can find these pre-sliced at most craft stores, but they’re also very easy to DIY. Once you have your slices, it’s important to seal and protect them so they will last. The best way to do this is with a clear finish that will let the natural beauty of the wood shine through.

There are a few different finishes you can use, but we recommend starting with something simple like Polycrylic. This water-based polyurethane is available at most hardware stores and it goes on clear, so it won’t alter the color of your wood. It’s also easy to apply and it dries quickly, so you can get started on your project right away.

Once you have your finish, simply apply it to the wood slices with a brush or a cloth.Start in the middle of each slice and work your way out towards the edges. Be sure to cover the entire surface, but don’t worry about being too heavy-handed – a thin layer is all you need. Let the finish dry for 24 hours before using or displaying your wood slices.

Applying a Second Coat

After the first coat of shellac has dried, apply a second coat using a fresh piece of cheesecloth. Moisten the cheesecloth with shellac and wipe it on in the same manner as the first coat. Work quickly so that you don’t miss any spots. It’s okay if the second coat is not as even as the first. Let the second coat dry for at least two hours before moving on to the next step.

Letting the Second Coat Dry

Now that the first coat of polyurethane has dried, it’s time to add a second (and possibly third!) coat. Be sure to let each coat dry completely before adding the next one. Depending on the temperature and humidity in your work area, this could take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.

Finishing Up

There are a few ways to finish up your wood slices, depending on how you want to use them. If you want to protect them from the elements or use them as coasters, you’ll need to add a sealant. For this project, we used Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Clear Sealer.

To seal the wood slices, simply brush on a thin layer of sealer and let it dry. You’ll need to apply at least 2-3 coats, letting each one dry completely before adding the next. Once you’ve sealed the wood, you can add cork pads to the bottom to prevent scratching surfaces.


To get started, you will need to gather some supplies. You will need a clean work area, a sharp knife a cutting board, sandpaper, sealant (oil or beeswax), and rags or paper towels.

Once you have your supplies gathered, you are ready to start preserving your wood slices. The first step is to choose the right type of wood. Some woods are better suited for indoor use, while others are better for outdoor use. For example, hardwoods like oak and maple are good choices for indoor projects like wall art or coasters, while softer woods like cedar and pine are better for outdoor projects like planters or birdhouses.

Once you have chosen the type of wood you want to use, it is time to prepare the slices. Start by cutting the wood into thin slices using a sharp knife and a cutting board. If the slices are too thick, they will be difficult to work with later on. Once all of the slices are cut, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges.

The next step is to apply a sealant to the wood slices. This will help protect them from moisture and prevent them from warping or cracking over time. You can use either an oil-based sealant or a beeswax-based sealant; both work well. Apply the sealant evenly across each slice using a rag or paper towel, then let them dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Finally, it is time to add your finishing touches! You can paint or stain the wood slices if you want, or you can leave them natural for a more rustic look. Once they are finished, you can use them for any number of projects around your home – the possibilities are endless!


If your wood slices are not drying evenly, try these troubleshooting tips:
-Rotate them every few days so that all sides get an equal amount of air exposure.
-If you live in a humid climate, try using a Food Dehydrator to speed up the drying process.
-Make sure the area you are drying them in is well-ventilated.