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best paint for raised beds ?

remi willis


Joined: May 11, 2010
Posts: 30
Location: Romania
Hello everyone , this is my first post so i'll do a very sort introduction first

My name is Remi , i'm 23 years old , biology student from Romania

I'm gonna build a few duzine raised beds and i would like them to be painted black but i'm not sure what to use

Here in Romania i cant find low VOC paint , i was thinking of using linseed oil mixed with coal powder but for so many raised beds i would need very much linseed oil and that's 3 times more expensive then if would buy normal paint

Any ideas or suggestions would be very helpful
Mekka Pakanohida


Joined: Aug 16, 2010
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
Have you thought of not painting the raised beds?  Are they made of logs so you can inoculate them with mushroom spores?  Have you thought of using milk paint if you really need to use paint?
remi willis


Joined: May 11, 2010
Posts: 30
Location: Romania
last year i made 3 raised beds and didnt paint them and the deterioration of the wood is quite visible and they would look much better painted black

milk paint ? wouldn't that wash off with the first rain ?

the raised beds are made from boards not logs

trying to make something like this :







with grass between them like here :



gary reif


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 34
the paint wii actually cause them to rot faster as now they will not be able to breath. the moisture on the inside and no breathing, they will rot from inside out
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
If the wood goes grey that does not mean it deteriorates. Paint can protect wood as long as the paint coat is intact. If it flakes, it is worse than without paint as the moisture goes behind the paint and cannot dry of. There are very few paints without any nasties and they are very expensive.
The other possibility is hardwood, which is expensive even second hand.
I don't know linseed oil as an outdoor protection for wood and I don't know what you will have in the soil mixing coal into it.
Old house timber was often painted with ox blood but don't ask me fir a recipe.
Or no timber at all. You could use bricks too. Your garden looks very neat btw.
remi willis


Joined: May 11, 2010
Posts: 30
Location: Romania
ediblecities that's not my garden lol , those pics are snapshots from a Gardeners world episode

most of the raised  beds i saw were painted (like in the pictures above)

if i were to paint them with normal paint would that be considered against organic practices ?

what nasties can there be in the regular paint ? 

thank you everyone for you feedback
gary gregory


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
From the photos you posted I can understand your desire for uniformity and neatness but I also think paint is ; expensive, time consuming, not organic, and will speed the deterioration of the wood.  Remember that you are looking at empty beds.  Once the plants are growing everyone's attention will be focused on them.


Gary
                      


Joined: Jan 27, 2011
Posts: 70
What types of paint do you have to choose from?

Water or oil based? What are they labeled?

I don't know about leeching from the wood (unless they've been soaked in wood preservatives), but paint may get into the soil as the wood eventually degrades over time.

My grandfather has used railroad ties in his raised bed garden for longer than I've been alive, and he has a very productive garden. Only had to replace some of the ties about 10 years ago.
remi willis


Joined: May 11, 2010
Posts: 30
Location: Romania
stewartrIL wrote:
What types of paint do you have to choose from?

Water or oil based? What are they labeled?



oil based but the lable doesn't say much more , not sure if i can find any low VOC paint , or what price range they're in

linseed oil would definitely be the organic approach but it's pretty expensive for this many raised beds
Mekka Pakanohida


Joined: Aug 16, 2010
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
k9 wrote:


what nasties can there be in the regular paint ? 



"lead white" was a very accurate term for a long time, and the paint is still made and slipped around today even though it is supposed to be made with titanium.

Other colors are made up of minerals, & / or dyes made from plant materials (originally) in a linseed (oil paint) or gum arabic base (watercolor).

Some of the minerals used are very toxic and artists have died just from mixing up paints, or experimenting to make new paints. ((As in the case of Prussian Blue and how oddly close it is to a Sepp Holzer recipe for keeping large mammals away)).

Be really careful of what you purchase.

Also, IMO, it is certainly not organic to paint your raised beds, just like you shouldn't use pressure treated wood for it.
Matthew Fallon


Joined: Jan 07, 2010
Posts: 307
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
    
    1
Salut Remi' , bine ai venit =) . i lived in cluj-napoca for about a year+ when i was younger,i miss RO,much different place in 93' though .

i can confirm linseed isnt a great outdoor protection,ive used it for my outdoor rustic furniture and it's OK but not great where wood touches earth.. better option is to use Cedar if you can.otherwise thicker beams like the 8x8's in your picture. most woods should last a few years though really. as mentioned bricks are a great option,  i even used cinderblocks for many years and they werent that bad,i planted flowers etc in the holes all around.

paint is going to deteriorate anyway and  look bad,all chipped away and such.
if you used oak you could ebonize somewhat with rusty water(turns the tanin in the wood black) but oak may be more $ than you want to spend on a garden bed.

if you can find a sawmil.they will usually sell you the "first cuts" very cheap. one sides roundish with bark maybe and other flat where it was sawn.i think that looks great in a garden but that's my aesthetic .

well, drum bun, si noroc!

Baldwin Organic Garden Share  Our home-based garden cooperative.  Tribal Wind Arts Rustic Furniture  & Artisan-Craftwork from reclaimed suburban trees
remi willis


Joined: May 11, 2010
Posts: 30
Location: Romania
Salut tribalwind 

ce bine ca nu-s singurul roman de pe aici 

Did you heat up the linseed oil before applying it ? i heard that helps a lot
Matthew Fallon


Joined: Jan 07, 2010
Posts: 307
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
    
    1
heh,, de fapt, sunt irlandez-american  , dar sigur ca-s Onorific Român i almost went back last year for a gypsy-music tour,it fell through .

i used BLO (boiled linseed oil)3 parts cut with 1 part mineral spirits.  heating it up could make it absorb easier maybe,but not as much as the alcohol will.
BLO has metallic driers in it so i wouldn't use it on my native-flutes,salad bowls or win goblets(anything i'd eat from)
i've heard it's safe once fully cured,but still, i prefer tung oil and beeswax mostly. 100% raw,edible and organic.
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3761
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  79
k9, I'm afraid the effect you're after might not be possible organically or financially!
The big problem is the wood SHOULD be constantly damp. If it's not treated timber or a hardwood, it will break down pretty fast whether you use paint, oil, or anything.
Do you have access to bricks/cocncrete blocks?
                  


Joined: Feb 22, 2011
Posts: 1
I wanted to add 2 things.

If you want to to farm organically do not use pressure treated lumber or railroad ties. They can leach chemicals into your garden.

As for trying to paint the wood, another option might be to lightly/mildly burn the out side of the wood. It should darken it a bit. Sanding before and after might also give you a nice look to it.
remi willis


Joined: May 11, 2010
Posts: 30
Location: Romania
tribalwind wrote:
heh,, de fapt, sunt irlandez-american  , dar sigur ca-s Onorific Român


i may have a little Irish blood in me as well , the problem is every time i try to speak with an Irish accent i end up sounding like a pirate
tribalwind wrote:
i almost went back last year for a gypsy-music tour

i wouldn't go to one of those even if my life depended on it

Leila wrote:
Do you have access to bricks/cocncrete blocks?

i actualy do have old reclaimed bricks but from what i've seen , raised beds made out of those wouldn't look as good , but maybe i'll try one to see how it looks

dmc wrote:

If you want to to farm organically do not use pressure treated lumber or railroad ties.



yup , i definitely wont use pressure treated lumber

dmc wrote:

As for trying to paint the wood, another option might be to lightly/mildly burn the out side of the wood. It should darken it a bit. Sanding before and after might also give you a nice look to it.



now that's an AWESOME idea , thanks dmc !!!, i actually saw that in an Grand Designs episode a few years ago and totally forgot about it , i even have a few screenshots of that episode (i like taking screenshots if i see a good idea )







and i also found out that i can buy eco-friendly varnish from a store not far away
 
 
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