New answers tagged sealing
Solution to painted areas - wait for them to flake off, or else wirebrush them with a sufficiently coarse wirebrush to remove the paint. Once they have all flaked off or been removed, insulate the exterior of the foundation to below your local frostline (MN, probably deep) with either spray closed-cell polyurethane or a combination of that and rigid XPS ...
The easiest thing would be to fill the gap with UV resistant silicone caulk. Before you apply the silicone, make sure the join is very dry.
I have always used boiled linseed oil on the handle of my garden equipment. Wooden shovels, rakes, pickaxes, and such. That's what I thought it was for. It lasts a long time and doesn't get slick or gummy. I just get a rag wet with it and wipe it on. It should look great on some outside furniture.
We used linseed oil on an outside door. Big mistake as it promoted mould as the doors got the sprinkler spray. Better to use one of the commercial outdoor furniture oil as it is non-organic.
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