Caring for Your Wooden Gate

Whenever I pass a cottage, I always think a wooden gate stands out and definitely adds to the character of the property. One of my dreams is to live in a cottage with a wooden gate (a very specific dream I know!)

Of course, a wooden gate offers a practical purpose but also looks great from a design viewpoint. Natural ware kind of adds to the charm, but you don’t want your wooden gate to completely disintegrate! It definitely can happen, you’ll know if you have been to any abandoned cottages (don’t ask why I have!) With this in mind here are a few tips to help care for your wooden gate:

When thinking about your gates aftercare it it’s important to know what to avoid. Microporous finishes should be avoided as they can cause wrapping and they might also result in twisting of the wood timbers. For smoother planed timber you should avoid fencing paints and water-based finishes, too.

As a wooden gate is made from natural materials it’s crucial you consider its treatment with extra care. Weather will influence the condition of the gate, but take the right precautions and have the correct aftercare routine ready and you should be able to safeguard your wooden gate for a long time to come.

If you spot any marks on your gate surface, ie sanding marks, rub over the area using some sandpaper-make sure to follow the grain.

Now, think about the staining process. Pick a colour that works, if you do go too dark you might find you can lighten it by rubbing on some white spirit or cellulose thinners. When applying your paint find a suitable brush and apply gently, no need to rush and be too harsh with the strokes. Oh, and you might want to have something at the bottom of the gate to catch drips.

Applying oil will help waterproof the gate. Be liberal when you apply it and allow the substance to soak fully into the gate (only do this when a gate is completely dry, if it’s been raining it’s not the time!) Once you have completed one coat of oil it’s generally recommended to apply a second and third coat-in some circumstances you may need to do more. Just look at the gate and make a judgment.

Important reminder, the oil is inflammable, be careful with oil-soaked clothes, cleaning fabrics and brushes and don’t leave them near sources of heat. Never use oil in a confined space. Keep an eye on your gate and if it looks like you need to add another coat go for it. Experts generally recommend completing this process twice a year minimum.






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