What is the best way to protect and preserve timber gates?
With the extremes of the British weather protecting your gates is key to their longevity. There are many ways in which you can do this; these vary from paints to stains and oils. Preservatives can be water or oil based.
Rubbing oil into the wood is the most common way to preserve it. A good oil will soak into the wood's pores and slow the absorption of water which can cause rot. Just a few coats of oil can protect wood for years, but this depends on the quality of the oil and environment. If you find that oil is absorbed quickly then the wood has already dried out. Even if you are planning on painting your timber gates you may want to use oil first to stop them drying out.
Stain or paint the timber in the same direction as the grain, don’t paint across the grain.
Paints should be obtained from a specialist manufacturer, some of whom give up to a 6 year warranty with their products.