A friend has a farm with several old barns. He wants to preserve the
barns in their natural "weathered gray" state. The barns are in
otherwise excellent structural condition. Is there an applicable wood
treatment that could be used that would not require power-washing or
prepping the wood beforehand? Remember, he wants to keep the aged
patina of the barns.
I would think that doing nothing is the only way to ensure they continue to
look the way they do now.
Next closes would be a colored stain. I'll bet somone even has a color
called "Weathered Grey". Anything else is going to alter the color.
I would suspect that if they are old and in good condition then doing
nothing may be OK. Make sure there is zero earth to wood contact and that
all ground slopes away. Water will kill them. Ensure the roof doesn't leak.
Those things will go a long way in preserving the structure.
The various clear 'weather seal' products would do nothing or very
little to alter the color and patina of the wood. However they
also wold do very little to protect them and they only last six
months or so in sunlight. I've soaked the outsid eof a building
with waterseal and a year later the wood looked like it had
not been treated with anything.
At one time here on the rec a recipe for making your own weather
seal was posted. It was mineral spirits (paint thinner) mineral
oil and parraffin, IIRC. Cheaper than buynig the stuff pre-made
(maybe) and just as good.
I suppose thinned tung oil, might help a little. Tung oil is
expensive, but a volume discount may be had by buying from the
folks who supply it to print shops. If you buy a 55 gallon drum,
the [price/gallonis not that bad.
Linseed oil would be cheaper and not as good for protection and
it would blacken over time.
There used to be an outfit selling an oil finish called penofin, but
they were quite honest about it not lasting in direct sunlight unless
you bought a pigmented oil.
Perhaps your friend should consider that the barns were probably
not weathered gray in the first place. Maybe a bit of restoration
to their original (probable) rust red might be in order.
The most important thing, IMHO, is to keep a good roof on those
barns. Otherwise rot wil take the structure no matter how pretty
the siding looks.
On Thu, 28 Jul 2005 09:13:12 -0400, the opaque rich brenz
No, I don't believe there is any treatment which would leave the barns
looking like they do and provide continued additional protection. All
treatments require sanding and/or cleaning for them to adhere to good
wood and require cleanup/retreating on a regular basis. They got to
look the way they are by having no treatment and anything else would
alter that appearance plus causing a lot of extra work to no avail.
Tell him to leave them alone. They'll live for a long time, just
as they already have, as they are now.
"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things
over and over and over again for the truth to sink in,
How old is "old" and how are they constructed and of what material?
Where are they located (or, iow, what's the climate)?
Although that is interesting info and can help to assess how much longer
they may last, but as others have noted, the two desires are pretty much
mutually exclusive...you can have "patina" or you can protect the
wood--you can't do much about both simultaneously.
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