Railroad Ties for Raised Flower Bed

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Old 08-06-12, 10:39 AM
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Railroad Ties for Raised Flower Bed

We have a large raised flower bed in our back yard that is built out of railroad ties that were previously treated with creosote. The yard was originally done 15 years ago and although the ties are still in really good condition, they are looking old and ugly. Anyone know how to treat them or how they can be updated/cleaned to look better? I plan to start planting in the bed soon and need to prep the ties first.
 
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Old 08-06-12, 10:47 AM
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I don't think there is much you can do to improve the appearance of old railroad ties. They are big old chunks of creosote treated wood. You could try covering them with some other, more attractive material like synthetic decking boards or redwood but that could get expensive and you'd have nice wood bolted to old railroad ties. Personally, I would just save up my money to replace them with something attractive when the time comes.
 
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Old 08-10-12, 10:46 PM
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Bummer. Thanks for the input though. I am sure they looked nice at one point. I am considering planting a variety of plants that will hang over the edge of the ties in hopes of maskingthem slightly at least for part of the year. It's an idea.
 
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Old 08-11-12, 04:40 AM
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You could apply a coat of oil base semi-transparent or solid stain to dress them up some. It would need to be a dark stain.

If you wanted to paint them [I wouldn't] you'd need to apply a good heavy coat of an oil base exterior wood primer and then finish with latex house paint. The creosote will bleed thru the oil primer but if the primer coat is heavy enough, it won't bleed thru the latex paint.
 
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Old 08-11-12, 05:22 AM
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You gotta remember these ties were probably 50 to 100 years old (or older) before you bought them. I like your idea of hangy down plantings to hide the front.
 
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