Having recently been left livid by the sheer uselessness of a Ronseal Power Sprayer (please see my review / rant about this item), I needed to find another way to treat my fence panels.
After the nightmare with the sprayer, I decided to opt for the good old fashioned "apply it with a brush" method and set out to source a suitable timber care product. Because I had wasted a small fortune faffing around with the sprayer, I went to my local Homebase with a view to purchasing the cheapest product available. I ended up buying a 5litre tub of Homebase Shed and Fence Treatment in a Red Cedar colour priced at just £6.49, almost half the price of the Ronseal stuff I had bought for the sprayer.
The information on the container says the treatment is fade resisting, water repellent and quick drying with painted surfaces touch dry in 1-2 hours. It has a low VOC content and 1 litre can cover up to 6 square metres depending on the porosity of the wood.
The lid of the plastic tub is easy to open, you just snap and curl it up all the way around the top edge of the bucket and then it simply lifts off; no need to prise it with a screwdriver, and it is just as easy to re-seal again after use.
The Fence treatment itself doesn't smell unpleasant and appears to have the viscosity of lumpy custard. With regards to colour, the red cedar shade I purchased looked no different to the more expensive Ronseal stuff I had been using previously.
I gave the treatment a good stir, as recommended on the tub, and began the application using a fairly stiff 4" brush. I must point out at this point, that it is worth your while covering the floor where you are working because the treatment is a bit prone to dripping and blobbing, especially when you're at that fed-up stage where you are just slapping it onto the panel!
Although drippy, the actual coverage is quite good, as you only need to brush over the wood once for it to stick, even on previously untreated panels. At this point it is also worth mentioning that the colour of the treatment dries darker, so there is no need to panic when your fence looks an offensive Tango orange colour, because when dried, the shade does accurately resemble the colour displayed on the tub.
I can confirm that the treatment does dry within a couple of hours and I found that one 5 litre tub just about covered seven 6'x 6' Waney lap fence panels. After use the brush can be washed out easily with warm soapy water ready to be used again next time. Any drips or spills on the patio or driveway can easily be cleaned up again using warm soapy water, but you have to be quick and sort out any mess before the treatment dries.
Although application of fence treatment by brush is a time consuming pain in the proverbial, I found that using the Homebase branded treatment resulted in a visually good, even, colourful finish. I would recommend it, as it is no worse than the other brands on the market, and best of all it is a lot cheaper.
*Stop press: although marked up at £6.49 per tub, I have just bought another 2 tubs, and they went through the till at £10:00 for the two - the assistant checked the price with her supervisor, and even though there is no promotional deal that they are aware of, the price is on the system at £10:00 per two tubs - hurry while stocks last!