Garden Fence Oil

Using a fence oil is a great way to protect and preserve fence panels and posts from the elements and weathering. Wood oils not only keep garden fences looking better for longer, they also nourish and feed the wood to keep it supple and water resistant. This helps to prevent fence panels from drying out, cracking, splitting and warping.

Why oil garden fence panels and posts?

As with garden sheds and decking, exposure to moisture, UV rays, heat and cold will eventually strip the natural wood oils from the wood of the fence panels. This can result in warping, cracking and splitting as well as water ingress, a contributing factor to wood rot, mould and algae.

Which wood oil can be used on fence panels?

Modern exterior wood oils are both durable and easy to maintain. Made from a blend of oils, waxes, resins and solvents, they’re designed to penetrate deep in to the fence panel timber to provide long lasting protection.

There are a variety of exterior wood oils that can be used on garden fences but the one needed largely depends on your preference for a clear or coloured finish, or one that contains UV filters or a biocide / fungicide to help combat mould and algae.

Fence oils with UV filters

Fence panels and posts that are exposed to a lot of direct sun light will naturally turn grey or silver faster than those that are not. UV resistant wood oils will significantly slow down this process.

Recommended Fence Oils

  • Holzol Weather Oil: A high quality, exterior wood oil available in a range of colours including Blue, Grey, Green, Cedar, White and clear. Is also available as a special order in any colour from the RAL colour chart.
  • Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment: A clear exterior wood oil specially formulated for log cabins, decking and other garden wood. Can be used on tanalised or bare wood fence panels to provide additional protection.
  • Osmo Country Colour: An extremely weather and UV-resistant opaque, coloured wood oil for long term protection. Ideal for garden fences and other garden wood
  • Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra: A clear or coloured UV resistant wood oil that’s suitable for all vertical wood surfaces that require protection from the suns UV rays
  • Fiddes Exterior High Build Wood Oil: A Tough, durable, UV resistant clear wood oil that is resistant to weathering. Contains UV filters to protect against sun damage

Creosote – the traditional fence treatment

Those of a certain age will remember when anything wood in the garden used to be treated with Creosote. The sale of Creosote is now regulated and can only be sold to farmers and for other industrial uses.

The good news is that there is a safer more environmentally version called ‘Creocote’. This oil based Creosote substitute is perfect for use on garden fences and sheds and is available in light and dark brown.

Clear or coloured fence oil?

Deciding on whether to use a clear or coloured wood oil may depend on the age, colour and condition of the fence panels.

  • To preserve the colour of new fence panels, treat with a clear wood oil that contains UV filters
  • To allow wood panels to turn grey / silver, use a clear wood oil that doesn’t contain UV filters
  • To stain fence panels treat with a coloured wood preservative then a clear wood oil
  • Alternatively, use a coloured wood oil or decking oil

Choosing an opaque or translucent fence finish

For most, keeping the appearance of the wood grain is important, that’s why most coloured exterior wood oils provide a translucent wood finish where the detail and pattern of the wood grain is still clearly visible. There are however a few products that give an opaque finish, these are generally used on smooth planed fences such as picket fences to give a paint like finish. The beauty of an opaque wood oil is that although it looks like a paint, it will never crack, flake or peel like a paint. An example of this is the excellent Osmo Country Colour.

Can decking oil be used on fence panels and posts?

In a word ‘Yes’. Decking oils are perfect for fence panels and posts as they are designed to be durable and weather resistant. As with decking they will keep fence panels nourished and water repellent therefore preventing cracking, warping and splitting. Available in both clear and coloured variations, with and without UV filters, there’s usually one that’s the perfect shade or wood tone colour for new or old garden fences.

Recommended coloured decking oils for use on garden fence panels

The following decking oils are suitable for use on fence panels and posts and are available in both clear and coloured formulations.

  1. Barrettine Decking Oil
  2. Ronseal Decking Oil
  3. Manns UV Decking Oil

A clear alternative to the above is Barrettine Log Cabin and Decking Treatment

Top Tip

The final colour of a wood oil on a garden fence is largely affected by the type, age, condition and colour of the wood that makes up the fence panels. If the fence panels were bought at a different time and from different places, chances are that they will naturally vary in colour to some degree even if they are the same type. Because of this it’s important to be aware that even by staining them with a coloured or pigmented wood oil, the end colour may vary from panel to panel and to that shown on the tin. For this reason. We always recommend that a test area is done before embarking on any large scale project to ascertain the final colour and finish of the product to hand.

For information and advice on other garden fence treatments click here.