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The difference between Green and Brown timber fencing

Jul 11, 2022 | Blog, DuraPost, Garden, Timber

When it comes to choosing products for your new fencing installation, you may be baffled with certain terminology.  When searching online, you may have come across timber fencing in ‘green’ or ‘brown’ variants. But what exactly does green and brown timber mean and what’s the difference?

It’s a common question the team at Worcester Timber Products are asked.  Find out as we explore the answers right here.

What is green timber?

Typically, when you think of green, you naturally associate the colour to the bright green leaves or grass in your garden. But that isn’t the case. The term ‘green timber’ is used because the natural wooden colour of the timber has a slight hint of green to it. Although green is not the intended colour, it is an organic result of the pressure treating process that most fencing products go through to ensure durability and a longer life.

The treatment is known as Tanalised, a copper-based preservative used in the vacuuming stage of the treatment that reacts with the air and oxidises to create a slight green hue on the surface of the timber. Because this is a mechanical process, the shade of each green timber can vary. The colour will weather over time.

What is brown timber?

Following the same principles as ‘green’ timber, the only difference is a brown dye that is added to the copper preservatives mix. Known as Tanatone, this gives the timber a traditional nut-brown appearance that most homeowners will be more familiar with. Though, it’s worth noting that because the dye is added during the preservation process, the colour will fade over time. This happens naturally to all treated timber but can be prevented with regular maintenance.

What is treated timber fencing?

Treated timber is wood that has been dipped in chemicals to help prevent insect damage, decay, rot and fungal attacks. Especially useful where timber is exposed to the elements and moisture. The treatment extends the longevity of the fencing and is highly recommend over untreated timber. Left in their natural, unfinished state, timber products can deteriorate quickly when exposed to outdoor environments.

Can I paint tanalised wood?

Absolutely! Painting tanalised wood not only makes your garden look great but also gives the timber an added layer of protection, which can only be a good thing. However, you are advised not to paint freshly tanalised wood, since moisture in the timber will mean that the paint won’t stick properly. Preservatives, paints, and stains do vary, so make sure to read the instructions. These instructions should tell you when it’s appropriate to paint, how many coats you need, and how long you need to wait before re-applying.

Worcester Timber Products are experts in Fencing, Sheds and Landscaping products, and have a full range of panels online, and a display area open to the public on Hartlebury Trading Estate, DY10 4JB.