How To Keep Birch Bark From Peeling (Season & Process)

Cutting the birch wood in the dormant season, driving brad nails, or applying a couple of coating shellac are the simple but super steps to keep birch bark from peeling. 

However, you have to follow all the methods to effectively and efficiently bond the bark with the wooden log. 

Otherwise, the bark will start peeling within a short time. In that case, your attempts will go in vain, as you won’t be satisfied with its outlook. 

Don’t fret! This post will discuss every ins and outs for keeping birch bark from peeling. So let’s get started.

Table of Contents

How To Stop Birch Bark From Peeling?

Isn’t it a good idea to learn at least a little bit about birch wood quality before taking action to stop birch bark from peeling? 

As it helps you to understand whether your time and energy investment in this job is worth it or not.  

Is Birch Wood Good Quality?

Yes, birch wood is good due to its exceptional qualities, strength, and more than 50 years of longevity with proper care. 

This hardwood is mostly used to make solid wooden indoor furniture. And the first step to preparing birch wood to make furniture is to peel its bark because this furniture will look elegant for the fine grain of the birch wood. 

Why Should You Keep Birch Bark From Peeling?

How To Keep Birch Bark From Peeling

Many people use birch logs with their bark to decorate their interiors or make outdoor furniture. 

If you are a person who wants to decorate your interior or make outdoor furniture, or crafts (Here you can make an internal link on tree bark for crafts) with birch wood logs. This is where you need to keep birch bark from peeling.  

At the bottom of our discussion, we’ll share 2 simple ideas on how to use birch log with bark to decorate your home.

Keeping Birch Bark From Peeling

There are mainly 3 parts that you can follow to improve the chances of keeping birch bark on the birch wood. And here, we show you the demonstrations step by step for your convenience. 

Part A: Cut The Wood In The Right Season

As you require to keep the birch barks with its logs. So it’s not wise to cut the birch logs any season. Late summer to early autumn is the right season to cut birch logs for maximum bark retention. 

The Things You’ll Need 

  • A Chainsaw
  • Respirator mask
  • Hand gloves

Step 1: Identify The Right Season

Late summer is the third week of August and early autumn is the fourth week of September. That means it is the ideal period to cut birch wood logs. Your first attempt is to identify the birch pruning season. 

See also  How to Treat Tree Bark for Crafts

Step 2: Wear Your Safety Gears

Using a sharp chainsaw like husquvarna to cut wood logs is risky, as one second of mishandling may badly injure you. So wearing cut-proof hand gloves is the safest option to prevent bloody injury. 

Heavy wooden dust will create when you cut the birch tree to collect wooden logs. If you don’t wear a mask, you may inhale that dust, creating respiratory problems like cough, sneezing, throat pain, etc. So wearing a respirator mask is great to ensure respiratory safety. 

Step 3: Cut the Birch Logs

The cutting length or diameter of birch logs will depend on your preference. However, in most cases, 1-2 feet’s length and 12 to 16 inches diameter birch logs are great for interior décor. 

Start on your Chainsaw and run it over the birch tree to cut logs. As soon as you cut one log, shut it off to avoid injury. 

Again start it on when cutting the next log and continue the process until your job is done. 

Part 2: Drive Some Brad Nails

Now, you have your required-sized birch logs. As birch tree bark is like human skin, it’s prone to peel. Driving some brad nails on several points of the logs helps you to keep the bark in its exact position instead of peeling. On top-notch, the nails are so small and won’t be noticed. 

The Things You’ll Need 

  • A power brad nailer or a hammer
  • 1-inch brad nails
  • A pencil 

Step 1: Mark the Birch Log

You have to maintain a good balance between the two nails. Because driving too frequently, brad nails make the log ugly to look at. On the other hand, not driving enough nails fails to keep the bark in the log. 

So, the best tactic is to mark the birch log with a pencil, maintaining a good sequence where you drive the nails. So there will be no chance of driving too many or few nails. 

Step 2: Drive the Nails

Now, it’s time to drive the nails on the marking points. If you use a power brad-nailer, it takes a maximum of 2 minutes to complete a log nailing. However, if you use a hammer, it may take more time, energy, and patience. 

Part 3: Apply Shellac Coating

The third part of the job is applying a thin coat of shellac on the birch log to protect it from moisture damage. This natural polymer enteric coating is highly used in the woodworking or carpentry industry to polish wooden surfaces. 

Shellac is available in two forms white flakes and orange. As birch logs are white, white shellac flakes will be the right choice to coat its bark and prevent it from peeling. 

See also  How to Preserve Wood Slices with Bark?

The Things You’ll Need 

  • 2:1 ratio of shellac and denatured alcohol
  • A 2 pounds glass jar 
  • A painting brush

Step 1: Crush the Shellac 

Shellac comes with 2-3 inches of big chunks or slices. These large sizes take a longer time to dissolve in denatured alcohol. It’d be nice to crush the big chicks into small pieces, which take less time to dissolve. Using your blender machine is excellent for this job. 

Step 2: Dissolve the Shellac

Leave 2 cups of shellac in the glass jar and pour 1 cup of denatured alcohol into it. Close the lid and thoroughly shake the jar for 2-3 minutes. 

Since the shellac pieces are solid, they require around 3-4 hours to dissolve. Leave the jar for this time frame to gradually dissolve. 

If you are in a hurry, shake the jar every 20-30 minutes later to elevate the shellac dissolving procedure. 

Step 3: Shellac Application 

When shellac dissolves, it looks like a little orange liquid. Dip your painting brush into the liquid and apply a thin coat of shellac on the birch log. 

This shellac coating will retain as much birch bark as possible by reaching all the small cracks and crannies. 

If needed, apply a second coat to reinforce the coating layer for the look you want. 

Note: You can also use cyanoacrylate (CA) or polyurethane glue to coat the brick wood log to make it stable. But, shellac viscosity is more worthwhile to easily penetrate the bark than polyurethane glue. 

Some Hacks To Keep Your Birch Bark From Peeling

  • After harvesting your birch pieces, preserve them in a dry, cool, and clean place. Otherwise, the heavy sunshine will burn the bark of the log. So the bark will easily come off the log. 
  • You can use disinfectant spray on the log surface to avoid growing bacteria or mold. Because once bacteria or mold grows under the bark, they will eat the wood. In that case, the bond between the wood and the bark will be reduced. So the bark will peel from itself. 
  • You should use the birch logs that you harvest as early as possible, or follow the above tricks to prevent bark peeling. So, if you don’t use the birch logs, they will be safe from immature bark peeling.

What To Do With Birch Logs

So, you are done keeping your birch log bark from peeling. Here are 2 simple decorating ideas with birch logs that most people use for bark art. All those will help you innovate new ideas to use your birch bark logs. 

Log End Table

Look at the above image; how nicely the ballroom is decorated with a white birch wooden log. The white bark with green art showcases your simple but creative sense. 

See also  Husqvarna Chainsaw 455 Rancher Problems & Solutions

The birch log table goes well with the white painting of the room and the white fabric sofa. The green living plant pot will give a natural vibe to the room. Overall that’s a nice home decoration with the birch log table. 

Blue Roof Cabin

Decorating your roof cabin with bark birch logs can also be a great idea. Adding lowlights around the logs will enhance the night’s beauty to enjoy the moment with your beloved. 

However, sipping a cup of coffee on the roof after a tiresome day and enjoying the clear sky’s sparkling view will refresh you even when you’re alone.

Prevent Birch Bark Peeling

According to most wood experts, keeping birch bark from peeling is a hit-and-miss job. But, if you know the techniques, follow them appropriately, and do the task with patience. We can assure you you’ll get a satisfying result with the wood logs or slices with bark.

In contrast, you may waste the wood unless you know the process, follow them as you like, and hurry. 

Why does birch bark peel in the first place?

Birch bark peels due to changes in temperature and moisture levels. When it gets too dry or too wet, the bark will start to peel off the tree.

How can I prevent birch bark from peeling?

The best way to prevent birch bark from peeling is to keep the tree healthy and hydrated. You can also use a protective coating or wrap to prevent moisture loss.

What kind of coating or wrap should I use to protect birch bark?

There are a few different options for protecting birch bark. Some people use a clear coat of polyurethane or varnish to seal the bark, while others use a natural wax or oil to protect it. You can also use a protective wrap made of cloth or plastic.

When is the best time to protect birch bark?

The best time to protect birch bark is in the fall, before the winter months when the tree is dormant. This will give the coating or wrap time to fully set and protect the tree during the winter.

Can I still protect birch bark if it has already started to peel?

Yes, you can still protect birch bark if it has started to peel. You should first remove any loose or damaged bark and then apply the protective coating or wrap. However, it’s always best to start protecting the tree before it starts to peel.

How often should I reapply the protective coating or wrap?

The frequency of reapplication will depend on the type of protective coating or wrap you use and the weather conditions in your area. Some products may need to be reapplied every few months, while others may last for several years. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific guidance.