Railroad Ties for Raised Flower Bed


Old 08-06-12, 11:39 AM
CustomBuilt's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2
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.
Sponsored Links
Old 08-06-12, 11:47 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,724
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.
Old 08-10-12, 11:46 PM
CustomBuilt's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2
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.
Old 08-11-12, 05:40 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 44,633
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.
Old 08-11-12, 06:22 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
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.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes