Can I seal my new fence posts even if they are wet?
October 28, 2012 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I didn't seal my new fence posts and now the forecast is for rain all week. Can I seal them in the spring?

I'm confused about what to do now. Should I go ahead and seal them now even though they are wet? Or would it be better to wait until spring? And wait until they dry out.

I'm going to put some kind of painted seal on the top. Probably something used to patch roofs. Do you have a suggestion for sealant? It would be nice if it was not black color. I think I can get some roof sealant in white.

I bought some liquid wood sealant (spelled something like namptha....) but I think it's just too toxic for me to apply without a gas mask, which I don't want to buy today. I'm going to take it back. I think the roof patch can be applied without a gas mask.
posted by cda to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
What kind of posts are these? Plain pine 4x4s?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:12 AM on October 28, 2012

My husband built a treated wood picket fence gate probably 6 years ago and we didn't bother to paint it until this summer. It was fine. We use opaque white exterior stain and the rest of the fence is 14 years old now and is in great shape. Some of the parts aren't treated and they're still in good shape. (The gate is newer because the original one was an ancient one we found in the backyard that broke when a paperboy hit it with a newspaper.) We bleached the heck out of the gate before painting it.
posted by artychoke at 9:49 AM on October 28, 2012

If you used treated lumber, you shouldn't have any problems leaving it unpainted/stained for now.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:53 AM on October 28, 2012

Cover the tops of the posts with upside-down tin cans or something. They will stop absorbing additional water, but they will be able to dry out a bit too. (and wait to paint when the posts are dried out)
posted by misterbrandt at 9:59 AM on October 28, 2012

Neater than tin cans would be plastic squares or circles cut from ice cream lids or the like. One small nail will keep them in place until you can treat them with sealant.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2012

Response by poster: The wood is already treated for outdoors. I like the idea of covering them now. I was wondering if that would help. Thanks.
posted by cda at 12:13 PM on October 28, 2012

I wouldn't use any tar-type roofing product, as it may end up running down the sides of the post when it gets heated by the sun later on. Just use the stuff they make for wooden decks. It's best to wait until the wood is dry, so that you don't trap the moisture inside.
posted by orme at 3:05 PM on October 28, 2012

If they're already treated, they'll be just fine over winter. In fact, it's probably best to let treated lumber weather a season or two before considering coating them with anything.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:01 PM on November 1, 2012

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