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we recently moved into a new house which has loads of railway sleepers in the back garden but they are starting to look a bit faded and warn.

does any one has any suggestions on a stain or varnish which will give them a new lease of life?

thanks for any suggestions



I was desperate for our sleepers to look 'a bit faded and worn' .  They looked a bit garish and stood out from the plants when they were new - thankfully after a couple of years they're acquiring a sort of greenish patina of algae and moss - I was complimented on the way they blended into the garden just the other day   


I'm with you Dove, I love them when they've acquired a nice patination.

Marshy....lucky you.........if your railway sleepers are faded and worn, that should denote that you have original sleepers...............soaked in creosote and actually used on the railways.............they'll last you for ever


I agree with all the above, if you dont like their appearance you could always grow some trailing plants over them?


All of mine are looking worn and faded too and some have bits of metal strap on them from when they were part of the railway.    I use them as a retaining wall for my fruit and veg garden which would otherwise be a slope and also for raised beds in the ornamental garden at the front.   The ones for the veggie patch are lined wiyh black plastic to stop nasties leaching out into the soil and also to keep the sleepers protected from dampness in the soil.

A friend of mine who is a tidy freak painted his with some deeply black, gooey mixture and they look hard and unnatural and stand out more than the plants he has in his garden - all laid out like rows of soldiers and with bare soil between them.   My sleepers have faded and are growing a fine crop of moss and lichens.  Much more attractive IMHO.

I agree with others.  Mine too are now faded and worn and look like they have been in situ for years (which they have) rather than 'stand out new'.

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