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Stopping wooden garden furniture from rotting?

(5 Posts)
Splodgywoo Tue 11-Apr-17 08:55:00

To pre-empt my new garden bench legs from rotting, can I soak them in wet rot hardener whilst new? I know you're supposed to regularly apply wood treatments to garden furniture & I usually do but where I live it needs doing more than once a year to prevent rot & once a year is about my limit. I know wet-rot hardener is a kind of resin & this doesn't bother me as I'd intend to paint a colour over it. I just thought it might make the bench legs more impervious to wet. What do you think?

PigletJohn Tue 11-Apr-17 09:35:23

you also need to protect the feet from touching the ground, perhaps by adding plastic or metal feet or skids. Timber in contact with the ground is especially prone to rot as it is kept permanently damp and in contact with microorganisms.

You can soak the ends of the legs in a wood preserver such as Cuprinol Clear, putting them into, say, a tuna can and tipping the fluid in, let it soak in. There are a few own brands. The wood preserver contains chemicals that kill rot and insects. Although some of them contain dyes, there prime purpose is not decorative, and the colour tends to settle to the bottom of the tin.

You can apply decorative stains after the preserver has fully dried. This might take a couple of weeks. They are spirit based, not water. If brushing on, apply several coats, recoating after each previous coat has soaked in but before it is dry.

They are poisonous. Much more expensive than ordinary shed and fence treatments. You will need plastic gloves, goggles and skin protection.


Splodgywoo Tue 11-Apr-17 10:22:38

Hi Piglet, many thanks for that. I've used wood preservers for years on my old bench but the rot still managed to take hold despite this. I think my garden is particularly damp (north facing) & it's always the bottom 6 inches that takes the hit. & I had put metal feet under the leg ends & raised the feet on bricks!

I'm looking for a longer lasting solution. Do you think a wet-rot hardener would be ok? I thought if the legs are imbued with resin then they definitely couldn't rot? I plan on painting the bench with a cream exterior eggshell after the hardener has totally dried. This is a garden swing-seat we're talking about so the legs will ultimately have to touch the ground I think.. hmm

PigletJohn Tue 11-Apr-17 11:02:32

I don't know about the hardner, sorry.

Cuprinol used to make a green preserver for garden use, and their advertising used to show a fencepost, treated with their product, and other, treated with creosote, and buried in the ground for many years. When dug up, the Cuprinol one was sound, and the creosoted one had rotted away. The clear version is less smelly, so can also be used indoors, e.g. to protect against woodworm.

It is vital to soak the wood in contact with the ground, not just to brush it on.

specialsubject Tue 11-Apr-17 11:50:48


Creosote is banned for public purchase now , I think. You can get creocote but it isn't as good.

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