what is pine tar

What is Pine Tar? Uses and Benefits

What is Pine Tar? it’s a substance obtained from pine trees that has been used since ancient times for creating a water repellent, protective barrier on wood. Using it is quite a different experience to using modern paint but it offers a number of benefits as a natural wood preservative.

What is Pine Tar made of?

Pine tar is a dark, tacky substance produced when heat and pressure is applied to pine wood to decompose it. When you use pine tar on the exterior of outbuildings, barns, decks, porches or fences, it creates a stain-like finish. Depending on the species of pine used, tar may have a different color and odor.

what is pine tar

How to use it

All you need to do is mix the pine tar with 20% gum turpentine to dilute it and heat it up to 60 degree Celsius before use. You can also dilute it 50/50 with raw, purified linseed oil, and you can adjust the ratio depending on your preference and the type of wood you’re painting. Diluting the pine tar gives it faster penetration and less stickiness.

You need to make sure the wood is completely dry before application or the mixture won’t penetrate it properly. After making sure the mixture is well mixed, take a clean rag or stiff bristle brush and apply a thin coat. It’s better to use a wide brush as it helps to avoid an uneven surface as the mixture absorbs into the wood.

Two coats obviously offer better protection but you can delay the second coating for up to a year if you’d like as the first coat will protect the wood during this time.

The coats will typically take about two to three days to dry, depending on the weather conditions. They can take up to a week or two to cure fully. You will typically get about 500 to 600 sq ft of coverage per gallon of the mixture.

Remember that pine tar is only suitable for wood surfaces. If the wood has been chemically treated, the mixture may just sit on the surface as a sticky mess.

The benefits

The surface is easy to maintain because it does not bubble or peel. You may only need to apply more tar after about five or ten years. The frequency will depend on the quality of the timber and the weather conditions where you live.

The mixture protects the wood by creating a breathable surface that does not trap moisture or allow too much UV exposure. It deters mold and mold fungus and in doing so helps to prevent the wood from rotting. Wood will either dry out and crack or rot if it’s not protected properly.

The pine tar also repels insects, such as ants and termites which can be very destructive to the wood.

Using pine tar means you’re using a substance that occurs naturally in wood to protect your wood. To purchase high-quality pine tar, give us a call at (818) 308-8430 or (800) 997-6536. You can also email us at info@pinetarworld.com if you have any queries.