Treating a wet fence?

1 Aug 2008
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hiya all we have just had a new fence made and erected from floorboard wood(hope that makes sense!) but on the day it was finshed it poured down and the gate has swelled by about half an inch, meaning the catch wont fit on right.
The builder said to wait till it drys out and goes back to shape before treating it, but due to work commitments its either today or saturday , and what if it tips it down in the mean time?

so my question is can i treat a wet fence or should it be bone dry!

Sponsored Links
Are you saying you have a fence made from planed floorboards that have not been pressure treated?
basicly you need around 2 dry warm weeks to reduce the moisture brfore painting
then you need around 15mm gaps for expansion each side as your boards are going to keep moving

pressure treating wil have a green or brown tint

edit just realised its a fence and not a gate

any chance off pictures or description off construction including gaps
Sponsored Links
So is the fence made of untreated tongue and grove floor boards slotted tight together?

If so i'd imagine your fence will shrink and twist and bow and crack very quickly.
the fence consists of 3 concreate posts with hand made fence panels of tongue and groove screwed together?
Planed wood will not adsorb wood treatment properly that you apply yourself. Smooth wood needs to be painted or varnished to keep the wet out, or pressure treated before you buy it. It would have been better to have used sawn timber that you can treat yourself.
it does need to be dry before you treat it. Luckily fences are exposed to sun and wind so dry out fairly fast.

If it is planed them ordinary fence stains (water based waxy emulsions) will not stick :( because the surface is smooth

However Cuprinol do a Shed and Fence Preserver that comes in a 5-litre metal can, I think about £20, that is not water based, but spirit based and soaks in (which water-based stains do not). Note that it is called "Preserver" not "Stain"

I have used the brown one which I think is fine for a fence. You have to keep shaking or stirring it or the colour sinks to the bottom. use a good big brush and protect your eyes and skin from splashes. Don't use rubber gloves as they will dissolve but plastic ones are OK. You need three or more coats as you will see the first coat just soaks in and disappears.

By next year the wood will have weathered and roughened and will probably be rough enough to use an ordinary water-based fence stain (which is much cheaper)

BTW you would have got more effective protection if you applied preservative to the wood before assembly. Treat upward facing surfaces and anything near the ground very thoroughly to protect against rain and damp. Ordinary timber should not be in contact with the ground as this makes it rot.
cheers john very informative yeah the fence is on concrete bases so not on ground with go for that cuprinol one then thanx alot! :)
Could also use an opaque archtectual wood stain made by a solignum (not sure if that the company name or just a brand name)
comes in various colours and ive not found anything better but be warned its not cheap ;)

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links