I'm working on a large sandbox for my kid and the neighbours' kids to enjoy (it's a big Millennium Falcon). I've managed to design it so it's just wood, large 12" structural screws, and some large galvanized carriage bolt plus nut and washer couplings.

I chose to make the entire thing out of spruce 2x4 planks, since pressure treated pine wouldn't make sense, and I opted not to go with cedar since some kids might be allergic to cedar oil.

What is a good stain or resource for info on stains I could use on my masterpiece? My concern is small kids getting it on their hands and putting their hands in their mouths, so it has to be completely non toxic. For wooden utensils, I've used mineral oil and walnut oil, but for something going outdoors, I need something else, and I'm not too familiar with stains and protecting outdoor furniture.

Also, should I pre-treat each spruce board after cutting to length/shape, or can I just treat the finished product, and not have to worry about the unexposed areas?



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    I think we may need a photo of this Millennium Falcon sand box so we can be jealous...I mean make proper suggestions. I do agree with @iggy that some Poly or Poly like product may make the most sense, otherwise I was trying to think of something along the lines of a drying/curing oil. – BrownRedHawk Feb 25 '16 at 15:20

Polyurethanes are fine since they're on all furniture & all the kids are plastic poisoned anyway, but the poly's don't last to long outdoors. I'm a huge fan of One Time Wood Protector & it's completely different, lasts much longer & just needs to be re-coated & not stripped or sanded at the end of it's life. But, it's UV cured so the Sun has to bake your awesome project for a week before use & abuse.

Of course, ask One Time about your intentions & concerns...it's got an unlimited shelf-life so you just keep it & use it as needed. I've only used it on a 2-car garage door & multiple outdoor furniture items & I stopped licking & chewing on non-food products a few years ago, so I can't speak to its flavor or ingestion effects. Though, I was tempted.

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  • Though, I was tempted. - Honesty is under-appreciated these days :) I'll look into it ASAP. Thanks! – Cloud Feb 25 '16 at 5:14
  • Best of luck, it's gonna be great! – Iggy Feb 25 '16 at 5:20

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