DIY Doctor

Staining Creosoted Wood - What can i use?

Postby PaulWilliams1 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:15 am


We recently bought a second-hand summerhouse, which we have put up in our back garden. The structure is sound but it was treated with either creosote or substitute about 5 years ago and then left. I appreciate I can't get rid of the creosote but I would like to try and stain it a more pleasing colour, such as dark red. I have seen some advice from a site in the USA that recommends linseed-oil-based stains but I can't find any in the UK. Can anyone recommend a method or product that would allow me to stain the wood dark red? The wood and creosote is well weathered and has gone quite light in some places.

Any help or advice gratefully received.


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Simply Build It

Postby thedoctor » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:56 am

Hi Paul,

You willfind that most external timber paints will cover creasote that is 5 years old.This will have settled well back into the grain by now and its "oily" properties willbe done and dusted.You are not limited for colours but the lightre the colour you use the more coats you may need. Try these out ... tment.html

As a precaution it would be a good idea to wipe over all existing surfaces with a cloth dipped in white spirit. This will degrease the timber and open the pores slightly to allow better penetration of the paint. Please do let us know how you get on.
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Postby PaulWilliams1 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:22 pm

Thanks Doctor,

The advice you have given coincides with some other channels I have been exploring. Taking a combination of the most credible pieces of advice I had received, about 2 weeks ago I set about treating the wood using the following method:

1. Removed loose pieced of debris with a good wire-brushing all over the surface
2. Sand surface to smooth finish
3. Wash smooth surface with very soapy hot water, rinse and allow to dry
4. Rub surface with methylated spirit and allow to dry
5. Apply 2 coats of solvent-based Wickes Professional wood stain and preservative.

The process is time consuming because of the drying times in between (although much better in the current weather!). However, the results are extremely pleasing. The wood is now a smooth rich deep red colour. The heat is bringing out the odd blob of what I presume could be excess creosote still in the wood, but it's 30 degrees outside and this is far from the norm. I expect after the heat passes, there will be no more blobs.

Thanks for your advice on this matter. I think it reinforces that the approach I have taken is correct.

Best regards
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