Oil Based or Water Based Fence Treatment: Which One is Best
When it comes to fence treatments, the most common debate among homeowners is whether to go for oil based or water based fence treatment products. These treatments play a crucial role in maintaining the longevity and appearance of your wooden fence.
In this article, we'll discuss the differences between oil based and water based fence treatments, their pros and cons, and how to determine which is best suited for your needs.
Table of Contents
- The Key Differences Between Oil Based and Water Based Fence Treatments
- Pros and Cons of Oil Based Fence Treatments
- Pros and Cons of Water Based Fence Treatments
- Tips for Applying Fence Treatments
The Key Differences Between Oil Based and Water Based Fence Treatments
Oil Based Fence Treatments
Oil based treatments are made up of natural oils, such as linseed and walnut oil, mixed with solvents like white spirit. These treatments penetrate deeper into the wood fibres and provide a more durable finish, protecting the wood from water ingress and UV damage.
Water Based Fence Treatments
Water based treatments, on the other hand, use water as their primary solvent, combined with various acrylic and alkyd resins. As they contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), water based treatments are more environmentally friendly and emit less odour during application.
Pros and Cons of Oil Based Fence Treatments
- Offers deeper penetration: Oil based treatments penetrate deeper into the wood, providing better protection from the elements and a more long-lasting finish.
- Enhanced protection from UV rays: The oils in these treatments help reflect harmful UV rays, thus minimising damage to the wood.
- Retains natural wood appearance: As they soak into the wood rather than forming a film on the surface, oil based treatments preserve the natural beauty of the wood.
- Longer drying times: Oil based treatments can take longer to dry compared to their water based counterparts, which may extend the overall project timeline.
- Stronger odour: The solvents used in oil based treatments can emit a strong odour during application, which may be off-putting for some homeowners.
- Requires regular maintenance: Oil based treatments may require more frequent reapplication to maintain their protective qualities.
Pros and Cons of Water Based Fence Treatments
- Environmentally friendly: Water based treatments contain fewer VOCs, making them a greener option for your fence.
- Faster drying times: As they contain water, these treatments dry faster than oil based treatments, allowing you to complete your project more quickly.
- Easier to clean up: Water based treatments can be cleaned up with soap and water, whereas oil based treatments require the use of harsh chemicals for cleanup.
- Lower protection levels: Water based treatments may not penetrate the wood as deeply as oil based treatments, resulting in less protection from the elements over time.
- Potential peeling: As they dry, water based treatments can form a film on the wood surface, which may peel or flake under extreme weather conditions.
Tips for Applying Fence Treatments
Clean your fence: Regardless of whether you choose oil based or water based treatments, ensure that your fence is clean and free of dirt and debris before application. Use a pressure washer, if possible, for a thorough wash.