Product Focus: Barrettine Wood Preservatives


It’s the truth: the better you look after your wood, whether it’s decorative or structural, the better it looks and the longer it lasts. Today we’re going to focus on Barretine’s Premier Wood Preservative and Universal Wood Preservative, both top class spirit-based finishes designed to keep wood looking really good.

Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver
Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver

We love Barrettine Wood Preservatives

Our customers rate Barrettine products highly, and so do we. So what’s the differences between Barrettine’s excellent Universal and Premier wood preservers?

  • Premier contains wax, Universal doesn’t
  • Universal comes with more insect and woodworm protection
Barrettine Universal Wood Preservative
Barrettine Universal Wood Preservative

Can you paint over the top?

Spirit-based wood preservers can be used on their own, but the effects last as much as five years longer when you add a protective coating. Exterior wood oils and decking oils perform best, but first you need to think about which kind of protection suits your project.

  • ‘No’ to a water-based final finish – Barrettine’s Premier wood preserving product can be used ‘standalone’, thanks to the water-repelling wax it contains. On the other hand you can’t over-coat the ‘Premier Preservative’ with water-based paints or stains, since the wax will repel the water content, stopping them from soaking in and bonding with the wood.
  • ‘Yes’ to a water-based final finish – The Universal version can be over-coated with water based products once it’s 100% dry, a process that takes around 4-5 days.

That all-important wood preserver and decking oil combo

Combine a good solvent-based wood preserver like Barrettine with a good quality decking oil for a finish that’ll look gorgeous and last for ages. It’s the ideal combination to protect garden decking, sheds, fences and more. You usually need two coats of each, which means you’ll need to set aside two or three weekends including those all-important drying times. But your patience and hard work will be rewarded by a fabulous end result.

How do solvent-based wood preserving products perform?

  • Solvent-based wood preservers like Barrettine Premier penetrate deeper into the timber for better protection against the elements
  • They’re touch dry in just a couple of hours and usually come in a wider range of colours than water-based alternatives – we stock Cedar Red, Holly Green, Golden Brown and more
  • Solvent-based products are a good way to colour sheds, fences and decking, either a clear preservative plus a coloured wood oil or a coloured preservative with a clear oil
  • It’s really important to make sure that the wood preservative has fully dried in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended drying times before applying the top finish. Applying a wax or oil too early, before the preserver has fully dried, means the solvent in the preservative and wood being treated can break down the wax or oil top coat. In short, you’ll end up with an ineffective mess

Protect bees, animals and children

Remember to keep wood preservatives away from beehives and other beekeeping equipment. By their nature, wood preservatives protect wood from insects and woodworm, so are harmful to bees and any other creature who likes eating wood, creating pulp nesting material with it or using it as home. Luckily, once the two Barrettine products we’re featuring are completely dry they’re harmless to people and other animals. All you need to do is keep your furry friends and small humans away from the area until then.

Take care around ponds and plants too, since solvents pose a danger to aquatic life. And never, ever pour solvents into the drain or into any other water course. Your local council website will provide advice about how to get rid of solvents safely.

About Barrettine themselves

Barrettine isn’t a household name. But they sell wood preservative to a wide range of shed and fence companies and have an excellent professional pedigree. You’d be surprised how often we hear about customers calling shed and fencing manufacturers direct to find out which product was originally used on the timber or pin down a particular colour. Once they know what they need, they come to us to buy it.

Our product pages come complete with detailed instructions, facts and information about application and performance:

Back next week…

More next week from the wonderful world of wood. In the meantime, we hope your wood is properly protected from all this rain!


  1. I’m new to all this painting business! I’ve applied one coat of the premier black wood preserver to my garden fence (1 litre of the stuff and I didn’t even finish one fence panel it soaked it in so much!). Do I really need to put a second coat on or can I get away with one coat? I was going to paint over my first coat once dried with Cuprinol black ash (2 coats). Does anyone know if I can use Cuprinol fence paint on top of this wood preserver.

    Thanks so much!!!

    • Hello Claire,

      It is likely that if the wood has absorbed more than the expected amount you may not need to apply a second coat, if you where looking to apply an oil over the top. You have used the Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver which is a great product, however it contains wax and this means that certain products can not be applied over the top, this includes paints such as the Cuprinol Garden Shades

      If you fence is a feather board or rough sawn wood then the Preserver you have used can be used as a stand alone product the wax repels moisture and the colour prevents UV damage. If you do not apply anything else a second coat may be advisable to ensure good protection and a second coat will intensity the black if that is what you require. The wood will absorb less with your second coat also.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get back in touch via our contact us

      Kind regards Samantha.

  2. If I apply Premier Wood Preserver, and then finish that off with Garden Furniture Oil, next year how will I maintain? Will it be okay to apply another layer of wood preserver over last years topcoat of furniture oil and then finish with another layer of furniture oil?

    • Good Afternoon,

      As long as the oil has held up over the winter, you will be able to apply a refresher coat of oil. You will need to ensure the woods surface is clean and dry and if all still looks sound a year down the line, a test area to ensure good and even uptake of a coat of oil is the first thing to do and if this proves positive then you can apply a maintenance coat.

      If the furniture is stored away over the winter you may even find that it is not required so soon and you can hold off, a test area is the best way to tell.

      The oil protects the preserver as well as the wood and as long as this hold up then so will the preserver for a few years at least.

      Kind regards Samantha.


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