Paint or Stain Exterior Timber

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Old 02-19-15, 11:41 PM
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Paint or Stain Exterior Timber

I've recently built a timber retaining wall with treated timber (pine) and I don't know what product to use to protect it from rain etc. and increase it's life. It's already started to warp in a small area, so I want to either stain or paint it and I'm not sure what best approach is?

Would just painting it a dark colour be okay OR would timber stain be better OR wood preservative?

I did stain my deck a couple of years ago and it looks good, but it still has splits along the railings for some reason.

Thanks for your help
 
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Old 02-20-15, 04:54 AM
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Normally paint lasts longer but it requires primer and often more prep when it's time to recoat. Most stains don't need a primer and just need cleaning prior to recoating. I'd use a stain.

What is on the backside of the wall? is it waterproofed? was any type of drainage installed? If the wood stays wet for any length of time on the backside it will make it difficult for any coating to hold up long term. What type of wood are these timbers?

It isn't uncommon for wood to split as it dries, especially with pressure treated wood.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 05:52 AM
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What size wood did you make this out of?
Makes me wonder when you say it's already warping.
If it's only 2X's there not even rated for below grade and will rot.
Got a picture?
Paints not going to stay stuck to new pressure treated.
Depending on location pressure treated should be allowed to dry out before treating with anything or your just sealing in the moisture.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 08:06 AM
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Once it's dry, you could try a deck stain but I wouldn't bother.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 08:14 AM
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The problem with applying coatings to any retaining wall is moisture that can migrate thru from the backside. If the moisture comes thru the wall - the coating will fail! doesn't matter what material the wall is made of. Sealing the backside of the retaining wall and providing drainage to deal with the water when it's built is the only way to guarantee any coating will last.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 01:22 PM
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I've attached two photos below - One of the wall and one of the warped bit.

The backside of the wall isn't coated with anything it's just the bare pine H4 treated timber. There is a a drainage coil in behind the wall as a lot of water flows down the hill and hits the retaining wall.

Maybe I could just wait for a few sunny days then apply a sealer to the capping on the wall and just leave the rest or something.

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Old 02-20-15, 01:47 PM
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Glad you provided some drainage behind the wall!
The bow in the wall has nothing to do with the wood being uncoated, it's caused by the pressure behind the wall. Maybe more or deeper posts would have prevented it, maybe not. The twisting of the top rail is mostly because when wet wood dries, it likes to twist and the nails/screws couldn't stop it.
 
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