Creosote - Which one and the best technique?

Now that the weather is finally improving I am looking to tackle the task of creosoting my fence.

Before doing so I thought it wise to ask if anyone knows the following:

  • Is there a brand that is better and longer lasting than others?
  • Technique:  Brush Vs Spray
  • Is using a spray much quicker, what prepping is required?
  • By using the traditional method of using a brush still the best, in way of finish and protection?

Any help  and suggestions will be gratefully received. Thanks.



  • ColinAColinA Posts: 164

    I have heard that creosote cannot be purchased for domestic use now, there is a local farming supply company who sell it in 205Ltr drums but only for farm use.

    Yet another ban by the EU i think

  • Earl20Earl20 Posts: 34

    Oh OK. I think I nned to rename the post to fence protection or something along those lines.

    Thanks for that Colin

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,089

    I think you can still buy creosote, but its had the harmful bit took out, (probably no good now) You can buy a good cheap wood preserver from your local wickes or B & Q.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • I think it may depend a bit on whether or not your fence has been painted with a particular product before.  If it's just the "normal" type of wood-preserver (rather than a type of paint) then creosote - or today's substitute - will work fine.  If it's solid panels e.g. no visible gaps, you could probably spray the larger part of it, but creosote type stuff can and does kill greenery, so where the spray falls (other than on the wood) be prepared for any plants or grass it touches to die off.  Having said that, I still wouldn't use anything else for a fence! 

    I like the way it fades and shows the grain of the wood - and there's nothing to peel off - some other products eventually do.  I use a 4" brush - quite a thick-bristled one - and put some cardboard or a piece of old carpet down below where I'm working in otder to catch and absorb any spills and drips.  It's far quicker to apply than paint, or instance, and easily gets into the cracks & crevices.  I think it does a far bettter job than other products as far as preserving the wood is concerned.



  • I use the current 'substitute' creosote that I get from our local ironmonger - can't remember the name right now and it's dark out there but will get the name and post back. Love the smell which it still retains. i use a brush but I must be a masochist 'cos it takes ages to do (now on its last legs) hurdle fencing....

  • BrummieBenBrummieBen Posts: 459

    I use a pump sprayer, cuprinol I think, and wood preserver, most important thing with fencing panels is to have a shamfered top, so water runs off and away, rather than down, and also so the panels aren't touching soil at the base. Spray the preserver on every few years, takes minutes per panel. I would also like to add, don't buy the rubbish panels from B&Q or Homebase. They charge 20+ per panel and the stuff is rubbish. I found a local place to me who made panels to order, 6x6' for less than 20 pound, they are vertically lapped, and set on 2x2" batons.. they weighed a tonne and were treated. Thinking I won't have to worry about rot for a longtime, and they were cheaper than the garden centres.

  • Earl20Earl20 Posts: 34

    Thanks for all the useful help and advice. BrummieBen I like the sound of minutes per panel but I think I will need to go with  hypercharleyfarley method of brush and newspaper, just because there are gaps and I am concerned about the next door neighbours pets, plants etc.

    So which one creosote or substitute is best?

  • Hi Earl - I don't think there's much to choose from in that they could all well be the same/similar formula but marketed under different names.  Obviously it'll depend a bit on how much fencing you have to deal with, but as the creosote doesn't "go off" in the container, you could buy whatever seems the best value per litre.  I buy it from a local agricultural supplies place in what I'd still call a 10 gallon drum.  Don't know what the metric equivalent would be.  I guess you could get it at a builders' merchant's place too, but haven't checked that.

  • Creosote Substitute as far as I'm aware has been removed from sale,  the product that's on the go now is called "Creocote" I use Wilkinson's own dark,  it smell like the old fashioned creosote £10.95 I think it was for a 4ltr container,  it's wonderful stuff and covers like magic,  I just use a 4 inch brush and just sweep the fence down before starting so I don't get the cobwebs in the brush don't think it will go in a spray gun but I don't have one so cant vouch for that.

  • Yes mine is also called Creocote and is about the same price as 'Rain''s (no sticker on this can). It goes on readilty but can drip so the idea to use newspaper is good.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,050

    Heard a story about spraying wood treatment on a fence. The neighbours car was on the other side. Expensive job.

  • Chris S.Chris S. Posts: 1

    Does anyone know  a wood covering / creocote beginning with 'S', something like Scrivvens, someone told me about how good it was and I never wrote it down?

  • Earl20Earl20 Posts: 34

    Chris S. was it Sadolin?

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115


  • Creocote isn't bad but not as good as the original. However, I have found that mixing creocote half-and-half with used engine oil seems to preserve the wood as well as Creosote used to. 

  • Ben MacBen Mac Posts: 1

    Hi, Ive just Creacoted some softwood sleepers in my garden and the smell is intollerable! you can smell it in the house, does anyone have any idea how long this might last for? Many Thanks

  • Someone has told me the best way to creosote a fence is use a sponge because it gets more on the fence than a brush and is alt easier. I haven't tried it yet but I've got 50metres to do this weekend weather permitting

  • I've been told the best way to creosote a fence is with a sponge, I havent tried it but weather permitting I've got 50metres to do so I'm open to any ideas to get the job done quickly and most effective.

  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    Before doing so I thought it wise to ask if anyone knows the following:

    • Is there a brand that is better and longer lasting than others?
    • Technique:  Brush Vs Spray
    • Is using a spray much quicker, what prepping is required?
    • By using the traditional method of using a brush still the best, in way of finish and protection?

    I use a god fence preservative - you can decide which is best.

    Brush is best - there is a fence brush the thickness of a typical vertical post. Spray goes all over the place and not enough on the wood. Same for roller IME.

    You need to wash off any green algae growth before staining. Should last 5 years when stained at least.

  • I use B+M's own Creocote which is very reasonably priced and for me is the best on the market unfortunately depending on your point of view it has to be applied by brush but I love the smell its no hardship to me,  I did the fence about 5 years ago so does need doing again.

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