Need help rehabilitating old greenhouse


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We recently moved into a house that has a detached wood&glass greenhouse in the back yard. Cue dreams of year-round veggie gardening and flower pampering.

We just spent a pretty penny restoring water and electricity to the GH (all pipes had been rusted through), and now we'd like to get the structure itself into better shape. Total novices in this area, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Obvious first step is replacing the hinges, as they're completely rusted.

The main issue is how to seal the wood. We are located near San Francisco, and have fog rolling through most mornings. All the moisture has caused the door to expand, making it difficult to open or shut completely. I guess planing it is our only option. But how to prevent this from happening again? Seal the wood? Paint it? What are the best products to use? How often to apply/re-apply them?

 
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Well, I'm green with envy! That is a beautiful greenhouse--functional yet a lovely addition to your garden/yard.
There is a product called Thompson's Waterseal that will work well on the wood of the greenhouse. We use it on our deck and garden table, both exposed to our extreme humidity here in central Texas.
It does have to be re-applied after a few years. We have applied it twice in 10 years--two applications the first time because nothing had been done to the existing deck, and then another after about six years. With your climate conditions, you'll just have to use your best judgement as to when another application is needed.
Get galvanized hinges if you can--they last a lot longer and don't rust. Not terribly pretty, but they are functional!
 
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What a fantastic Greenhouse and there's a lot to be said for that old rustic look....it cant be replicated, but if you wanted to keep it looking the old way I would use clear poly varnish or yacht varnish...but if you must detract from its utter good looks then rather than using wood preserve I would undercoat it first and the paint it with an exterior non gloss in a colour befitting your garden space....but for me I'd be using clear varnish :)..the door will need planing back a little but not much try waiting until a really dry day to gauge the shrinkage if its ok then get your choice of coating on...you will probably need a few coats.
Regards
C
 
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Well, I'm green with envy! That is a beautiful greenhouse--functional yet a lovely addition to your garden/yard.
There is a product called Thompson's Waterseal that will work well on the wood of the greenhouse. We use it on our deck and garden table, both exposed to our extreme humidity here in central Texas.
It does have to be re-applied after a few years. We have applied it twice in 10 years--two applications the first time because nothing had been done to the existing deck, and then another after about six years. With your climate conditions, you'll just have to use your best judgement as to when another application is needed.
Get galvanized hinges if you can--they last a lot longer and don't rust. Not terribly pretty, but they are functional!
Thanks for the recommendation. Looks like the wood needs to be cleaned first with a heavy-duty cleaner, prior to applying the seal. We've got our job cut out for us :)
 
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What a fantastic Greenhouse and there's a lot to be said for that old rustic look....it cant be replicated, but if you wanted to keep it looking the old way I would use clear poly varnish or yacht varnish...but if you must detract from its utter good looks then rather than using wood preserve I would undercoat it first and the paint it with an exterior non gloss in a colour befitting your garden space....but for me I'd be using clear varnish :)..the door will need planing back a little but not much try waiting until a really dry day to gauge the shrinkage if its ok then get your choice of coating on...you will probably need a few coats.
Regards
C
We also like the rustic look and would prefer a clear seal to paint. Do you know if we'd need to deep-clean it before applying primer + paint?
 
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I would give it a good clean and fill or replace the timbers which need it...Any ironwork I would also replace. then seal her all round with a clear exterior varnish..(non gloss) Should look real nice once completed, best of luck with the project
 
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Bluesamurai

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I’m here to tell you rehabilitating old greenhouses is a lot of work! Not that you shouldn’t do it. You probably need a few more people on the job. There’s a lot of pulling out weeds, washing tables, painting tables,restoring heating systems,and the like. I actually know from experience.
 

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