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How to Use Pine Tar Preservative

Gail Delaney

Pine tar, when mixed with linseed oil and turpentine, is sometimes called Old Down East Deck Coating or boat soup. Pine tar is a protective coating for wood and dates back to the nineth century Vikings. Pine tar helps to waterproof and protect wood. This pine tar mixture is also absorbed into the oakum, or rope caulking, and acts as a preservative. It dries in the open air and does not feel sticky when touched.

Step 1

Mix together 1 quart boiled linseed oil and 1 quart turpentine. Use a bucket large enough to contain the amount you need. You can pour it into smaller buckets when everything is mixed.

Step 2

Add 1 cup pine tar and 1 cup Japan drier. Mix thoroughly until well combined. If you want a darker color to the wood, add more pine tar to the mixture. For a lighter color, use less pine tar. If you use more boiled linseed oil and turpentine, adjust the amounts accordingly.

Step 3

Apply a thin coat using a mixture with a higher ratio of turpentine. This will soak into the oakum and the wood. The tar will seep through the pinholes and large gaps.

Step 4

Check to see where the tar is seeping out. This will show you where the wood needs attention. Make repairs to the wood before you proceed with the next step.

Step 5

Apply a thick coating of the pine tar mixture to the repaired wood.