Putting up a new wooden fence? You are going to need to treat it to prevent premature damage. When people want to protect their wooden fences, it is usually from the elements and pests. If you are looking for a way to protect your fence for years to come and stain them at the same time, there are a couple of alternatives. One you may have heard about is used engine oil.
**Note** – A quick hello to anyone reading this, I’m Alastair AKA Product Review Lad. I started this site to help people choose the best products to buy, and hopefully what you’re about to read will aid you in your choice. This page includes affiliate links to the likes of Amazon, which if you make a purchase I qualify to earn a (typically small) commission. Don’t worry as this won’t cost you anything, the likes of Amazon pay any commissions. Thank you in advance for your support as this helps Product Review Lad to create the best reviews.
Can You Use Used Engine Oil to Preserve Wooden Fences?
The short answer is yes. Old engine oil can be used as a stain and preservative on wood. Some people will use a mixture of motor oil and diesel fuel or creosote as a wooden fence protectant.
But how did this practice come around? During the early and mid-1900s, farmers would use whatever they had to get by. Sometimes, they would reuse engine oil from their equipment to protect their wooden barns and fences. The oil stopped insects, like termites and boring bees, from damaging the wood, too.
Does Motor Oil Rot Wood?
No, used oil doesn’t rot the wood. The oil soaks into the wood pores, reinforcing the material and halting the absorption of moisture.
Going back to those 20th-century farmers, when they used motor oil on wooden fence posts, they found that the oil deterred decomposition. Plus, the fencing would last much longer than average and gained a pretty golden sheen that didn’t fade. Sounds pretty good, right?
The Drawbacks of Used Engine Oil on Wood
As with anything, there are some disadvantages to choosing motor oil over natural alternatives, like linseed oil or stains.
The first negative is the smell. Whether you do a 50/50 oil and diesel mixture or go with straight used motor oil, the wood is going to stink for a long while—maybe forever.
Second, toxicity. Oil never dries or cures. It remains oily forever, and even if it sinks into the wood, it can be removed. When it rains, some oil will seep from the fencing into the ground, leaving a bare patch in the lawn where the ground has been contaminated. If you plan on using engine oil on wood, be sure to get the appropriate equipment, like a face mask, gloves, and construction-grade work pants.
Third, in a hotter, drier environment, used engine oil could be a humongous risk. In humid climates, oil-stained fences and barns are less likely to catch fire, because the wood would never dry. However, oil and wood in an arid climate are asking for trouble. Additionally, the heat could cause the used motor oil to release toxins into the air.
Yes, you can use used oil to preserve wooden fences, but it may not be the best option out there. Used motor oil looks nice and protects wood well, yet it will stink and can be toxic to the environment.
Best Reclining Camping Chair With Footrest
A great reclining camping chair can make any trip that bit better. We have spent hours sitting down and reviewing the best chair available.
Best Booster Seats With 5 Point Harness
We have selected the best 5 point harness booster seats to help you choose the best for your needs. Helping make your children safe.
Best Sewing Machine For Auto Upholstery
We’ve reviewed the best sewing machine for auto upholstery to help you get started, keep reading to find what to look for and what products.
How can I reset a Craftsman garage door opener?
Resetting Craftsman garage doors can be frustrating when you're not sure how, follow our simple guide to reset the door with ease.
Best Tailgate Pad for Mountain Bikes
A tailgate pad forms a protective barrier between your truck and your bike, saving both from expensive scratches. See the best available here
Moto G5S Plus Review – Motorola
I've owned the Motorola Moto G5S Plus for 7 months and can't recommend it enough. Operating android 7.1 with great specifications this phone is great value.
How Hard is Construction Work?
When getting into construction you may ask "How Hard is Construction Work?" we give you the detailed answers right here. It's a great job!
Best Generators for Hurricanes
After reviewing and assessing the best generators for hurricanes we whittled them down to two, the best and the best budget. See them here.