On many occasions at Hillbarn Sawmills we have been asked, by customers, for advice about whether our timber gates need treatment and if so what treatment they require, the product that we would recommend and how often gates should be treated.

Left untreated any timber will grey over a period of time. The rate at which this will happen will vary depending upon the species of timber and it’s exposure to sunlight and other climatic conditions. Some people are fine with grey timber whereas others wish to preserve the original colour of the timber as long as possible.

Another consideration for customers is whether they choose to use a natural product i.e. a blend of oils and waxes with a low solvent content. We now stock Osmo products at Hillbarn Sawmills which are a blend of natural products.

Osmo offer clear UV products which act like a suncream for timber which will slow down the progression to grey by a factor of 12, but not stop it. To preserve the timber colour there is the option of colour pigmented products which add colour to the timber upon application. This may be thought of as the colour pigment masking the effect of the UV aging process.

The density of timber is also a factor in choosing the appropriate wood finish. The denser the timber and straighter the grain then the more that timber will be suited to a higher viscosity finish. Thereby, an Osmo Decking product is more suitable for an Iroko gate.

The timber would need certain preparation to ensure they are receptive to the application of an Osmo finish which would involve leaving the timber for a time to season/weather in situ or by mechanically seasoning by using a low sanding grit and washing the surface of the timber several times with Methylated Spirits.

Softwood and Oak timber species however, can be finished with the Osmo UV Range which also comes in a clear and pigmented versions.

The only place the UV Protection Oil is not suitable for, would be any flat horizontial surfaces due to the intensity of the ray not having any angle to reflect the ray off. When the UV Protection oil is used on surfaces with than less a 15 degree angle; the maintenance intervals will be shortened and this would be area that will need to be checked more frequently.

The Decking Oil clear will offer no UV protection at all.

The use of a pigmented product would definitely aid in increasing the maintenance intervals of the coating system.


The Osmo finishes are extremely easy to maintain and will only need a thin coat applied once the initial coating feels dry and moisture is no longer beeding in the surface.

All Osmo coatings are microporous allowing the timber to breath and move through the seasons. As long as the initial coating is applied sparingly and the top coat is not allowed to wear unevenly, the end user needs to give the surface clean to remove any decaminations and then a thin coat is applied by brush

This is dramatically reduced from a traditional surface coating which is more ridge and prone to cracking and flaking making more preparation work needed on the maintenance coating.

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