Wooden gates like all timber requires some protection against the elements if it is to preform its function effectively and provide the years of service which we all expect.
Surface coatings, such as paint act to lie on the timber surface and prevent the ingress of moisture into the timber, which is the cause of rot and decay in timber.
These surface coatings are only effective as long as they seal the wooden gates effectively and also maintain their ability to stretch and contract with the timber. Failure to do any of these will result in water getting behind the finish and decay will then set in. Gloss paints are very susceptible to cracking and chipping which can let moisture in!
The use of oil on the timber solves these problems and has significant advantages over surface coatings:-
- Oil penetrates the timber and becomes part of the structure and therefore moves as the timber moves.
- Moisture cannot enter the timber as the oil will set inside the Timber and will repel the water trying to enter the structure
- Quick and easy to apply.
Therefore where wooden gates are concerned where they are in continual movement due to the changing weather, this solves the problem of protection.
The oils available today are varied but the most common ones are :-
- Tung nut oil
- Danish oil
- Teak oil
The best oil we have found is the Tung nut oil for wooden gates. Which we supply and strongly recommend.
This is a water proofing oil and has been used for many thousands of years. It is believed to have originated in ancient China around 400bc!
It is easy to apply and will sink into the timber and repel water that will fall onto the wooden gates keeping out the moisture and extending their life. Adding a solvent such as white spirit will make the oil even easier to apply and will penetrate the timber even further and therefore even better protection.
To apply the oil, just be generous with a brush , let the oil sink in and keep applications going on until the timber cannot take any more over the first few months after you have hung your wooden gates.
On subsequent years all you have to do is keep topping the oil up in the timber probably in the spring and autumn as we go into the winter, but remember that if we have a very hot summer then another application would be well worth applying. Occasionally the oil can leave a fatty residue (white crystal build up) which can detract from the look. It is best to rub down the affected area and reapply the oil.