Lovely old white painted woodgreenhouse in very sorry state

4 Mar 2011
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United Kingdom
Hi guys,

I have a very old painted white greenhouse,some wooden panels rotten and paint peeled away, its solid but in a very sorry state.
Having just moved into the house cannot afford some one to do the job. Apart from putty can anyone suggest anything else that is just as effective to get the glass staying onto the wood. I really need loads and putty is too expensive in these little tubs.
I would like to buy one of those fancy decorative strips like many spade shaped joined together to sit on the very top where the glass panels join up (right angle you find them onto of conservatories).... but I have not seen them anywhere, where can I buy a long strip approx 10 feet ? Any help most appreciated.

Thanks guys

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the best thing to do with an old wooden greenhouse is to take it down and put the money towards a new one
15 May 2007
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United Kingdom
Hi - it sounds nice but I don't think there is a cheap way out of restoring what you have - especially if you want to preserve it and make it look good.

In reality you need to strip the greenhouse down, firstly removing all the putty and glass sheets. If some break don't worry as greenhouse glass is cheap to buy bit remember to wear thick leather gloves, eye protecting and heavy weight clothes/protective jacket and trousers. Glass edges are not forgiving!!

Once you have stripped the glass out then you really need to strip the paint back - especially if it is peeling. A hot air gun and scraper will be good, or you could use paint stripper. Either solution will be messy!!. Once stripped then you need to identify the areas of rot and decide on a repair method - this really depends on how skilful you are. If the wood is really bad then you will have to cut out and replace rotten bits.

I expect the greenhouse is made of red cedar and this will be the best timber to repair it with, soft pine from a big DIY store will be OK but wont match, and wont last as long as the cedar I expect it was built with. If in doubt take a rotted piece to a timber merchant and they will help you.

If however the wood is soft then a wood hardener painted over it followed by a skim of good quality exterior filler will help.

Once stripped and repaired then you need to decide what finish you want. You could either stain it or repaint it. If stain then buy something decent/branded - you get what you pay for! If you decide to repaint then primer, undercoat and topcoat (x2) will put you in good stead for a few years to come. Once stained/painted then you can reglaze it. You could use beading to retain the glass along with silicon sealant but the cost of the wood and sealant wont be much less that the putty - which the greenhouse was designed for - so I would use putty (if you know how to apply it properly?) You can get it in brown or white so choose they colour that best matches you chosen finish.

Depending on how big the greehouse is there is a good couple of weekends work involved but it will be worth it in the end - if however you think you will use it thereafter and not just turn it into a place to leave you bikes and garden rubbish (which loys of greenhouses find themselves doing!!).

Either way good luck.


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