View Full Version : Painting over old creosote.

4th Dec 2020, 09:28 AM
Hi All,
I have built a raised garden bed from some old power poles. Some of them have been treated with creosote and I'm looking for some type of paint to seal them. Does anyone out there have any ideas? The bed is 9m long.

Old Hilly
4th Dec 2020, 08:17 PM
Before he moved to Australia, my father was involved in a family painting concern back in England. One of the things he learned was to cover a strange type of paint we had out here back then (Calsomine) and stop it bleeding through whatever you painted over it was to first paint it with Aluminium roofing paint or, more correctly, roofing paint containing Aluminium particles (Silverfrost).
I have never tried to paint over creosote and having worked in the power line industry many years ago a lot of that creosote contained chemicals like "Heptachlor" and "Chlordane" amongst other things, intended to keep termites at bay for a while so I would be cautious about handling the timber and breathing the dust. That stuff never goes away so take care.

4th Dec 2020, 09:23 PM
Is this bed for edible items if so don't use Creosote anything anywhere near them it is toxic. To answer your question it is a sealant in itself there is nothing I can't think of that it won't bleed through. Wear gloves a respirator and cover your skin when handling them, it has been shown to cause skin cancer and cancer of the Scrotum.

5th Dec 2020, 09:25 AM
Thanks all. I think I will test a small piece with some leftover solaguard. I have a fence that has the posts creosoted on the bottoms. The fence has been painted with solaguard and also
the creosote on the bottom painted over. It doesn't appear to be bleeding through. I am covering the inside of the garden with heavy plastic liner.

5th Dec 2020, 06:45 PM
Creosote is actually the main ingredient in many cold and flu medications, people who work in creo treatment plants never get a cold or flu. Creosote posts are also very common in vineyards.

sorry can’t help with your actual query.

cheers Andrew

Old Hilly
5th Dec 2020, 07:28 PM
Quite right AJ, Koppers K55 "low temperature" creosote is used in many cough remedies. The creosote used to treat timber is almost always the "high temperature" stuff which has some added "herbs and spices" designed fo kill both bacteria, fungus and repel insects like Termites. Things like power poles are actually "envelope treated" where the treatment extends perhaps 50mm into the surface and a bit deeper into the end grain. If you cut a pole into shorter lengths you will end up, eventually, with the middle of the pole rotting away leaving the hollow tube of treated timber behind. Treated poles are invariably "durability class 2" timbers that rely on the chemicals to extend their life. The same applies to the newer CCA treated poles as well.