How to Creosote a Fence

Creosote is produced by the coal tar industry.
Use a stiff-bristle paintbrush to apply creosote.Use a stiff-bristle paintbrush to apply creosote.
Different varieties are available, but creosote is usually a dark, oily product. Creosote is used to protect wood from insects, weather, fire and animals. It is frequently seen on railroad ties and on farms because it increases the life of wood to about 30 years. However, creosote is a toxic product and so is being replaced by other wood preservatives. Creosote can be hard to locate because many local governments do not allow it in public areas or on residential sites. It can be found in some farm supply stores. Equestrian centers use creosote to prevent horses from chewing on wood fences.

Step 1

Erect your fence as usual. You can paint the boards and posts with creosote before they are erected, but this procedure is messy and not as effective as painting the fence once it's complete.

Step 2

Open the creosote bucket and dip a stiff-bristle paintbrush in the creosote. Wipe off the excess creosote on the rim of the bucket.

Step 3

Paint the fence as you usually would, being careful not to drip the creosote on the ground. Make sure you cover all the spots and crevices. Let the creosote run into the parts where the fence meets the post so they are all treated.

Step 4

Allow the fence to dry. Because creosote is an oily substance, this can take a few days, especially in damp conditions. If you are containing animals with the fence, you will want to check that it is dry before you allow them near the fence.

Things You Will Need

  • Creosote
  • Stiff-bristle paintbrush

About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.