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How to protect a wine barrel outside?

Buzzsaw's picture

We received a wine barrel (as a decorative item, not to put wine in) a few years back which is made of oak.  We recently moved it outside and I was wondering what was the best way to keep it protected from the elements? What should I finish it with? Thanks.

Regards,


Buzzsaw

Regards, Buzzsaw "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Gil Bailie

budreaux's picture

(post #107556, reply #1 of 8)

Wine barrels are made out of white oak.  It has good weather resistant properties.  It will grey a bit but it will take years to rot.  Is this going under a cover or out in the elements. 

Buzzsaw's picture

(post #107556, reply #3 of 8)

This is under a pergola that I built but it still is wide open to the elements. I think what I will at least do is cover the top when it rains so that the water will not build up in the cavity on the top.  When you smell inside the bung hole you can still smell the red wine that was in there and this barrel hasn't held wine for about 5 years.

Regards,


Buzzsaw

Regards, Buzzsaw "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Gil Bailie

hammer1's picture

(post #107556, reply #2 of 8)

No wine? Shucks, I was going to volunteer to babysit for ya. Folks around here use oak barrels or half barrels for planters. A favorite is to lay them down and have colorful flowers growing as if they were spilled from the barrel. Direct ground contact will shorten their life but they will last many years outside with nothing on them. The staves stay a lot tighter if they are kept wet, after all, they were designed to hold liquid for many years. Any surface coating will peel and blister. Perhaps a penetrating clear preservative would work. I have some wooden planters that I made a lining for out of aluminum flashing, they've lasted long enough, I'm tired of them.

Out in my junk pile I have some oak ladder racks from my 75 GMC. They have been out there for 20 yrs. still solid but very grey. I think I could clean them up and put them back in service if they hadn't changed the stake pocket lay out. If you can get it to hold water, by soaking it all summer, you could make some hard cider come apple harvest time.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Buzzsaw's picture

(post #107556, reply #4 of 8)

Hammer,


  The barrel is on cement and the steel surrounding the bottom of the barrel (there are circular steel rings surrounding sections of the barrel) is what is sitting on the cement.  So, there really is no contact of the wood with ground or soil.  Maybe I'll let it be and let it grey.  We did have it outside for one summer in all the elements and we then brought it inside.  It still looks good...


Regards,


Buzzsaw

Regards, Buzzsaw "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Gil Bailie

hammer1's picture

(post #107556, reply #5 of 8)

Buzzsaw, it wouldn't hurt to put a couple of thin pieces of something underneath to keep it off the concrete. Concrete contains lime and that can be corrosive, plus the steel may stain the slab. What are you going to do with it?

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Buzzsaw's picture

(post #107556, reply #7 of 8)

I built a pergola years ago with grapes growing up the posts and now the grapes have extended enough where the leaves fully cover the top and give you shade from the sun. The wine barrel is strictly for decoration.  It gives you the feeling of being in Italy.  I just want to make sure it will not decay.

Regards,


Buzzsaw

Regards, Buzzsaw "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Gil Bailie

stancalow's picture

(post #107556, reply #6 of 8)

Buzzsaw, I have a pair of whiskey barrel halves that have been outside in the hot sun and cold winter of about seven years with no significant deterioration, with only two coats of spar varnish (McCloskey, I believe).  The color has weathered, but they are intact.  But the best tip I got is that unless you reinforce the steel bands, they will eventually slide off from the movement of the wood.  What I did was drive 3 or 4 short deck screws through the metal bands into the wood in 3 or four inconspicuos places around the each band.  I agree with the other advice to keep them directly off the deck or whatever surface.  I found that black plastic round disks that they sell for water heaters are about the right size, and not to obtrusive. 


I got the barrel fresh from a local distillery, and by the time I got them home in my hatchback, I was impaired. 

Buzzsaw's picture

(post #107556, reply #8 of 8)

Stan,


  That's what I did this past weekend.  I ran screws through the steel rings because the wood had contracted and the rings had fallen down the barrel.  I didn't make them real inconspicuous but I did match the steel.  They look like the barrel came with them. Thanks for the advice about the black plastic round disks for the bottom and the McCloskey spar varnish.


Regards,


Buzzsaw

Regards, Buzzsaw "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Gil Bailie