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Thompson Waterseal, Clear

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 20-11-2011


Every year, round this time, I buy Thompson Waterseal to spray my cedar fence. Sometimes I spray it fall and spring which may be an overkill. However, I have neighbors who have never sprayed and one has put up three wooden fences since I installed mine. So I know it is best to spray your wooden fence. I use my weed sprayer to spray the sealant. This year I went to Lowe’s to purchase the Thompson Waterseal, a 5 gallon can, the same outward appearance container as other years. I got it home and it was a white paint looking substance, not like the sealant of years past, which always had been of the paint thinner appearance kind of. I called Lowe’s and they said I had the correct product and to go ahead and spray it as it would dry clear. Well, I did not want to screw up my fence so I sprayed a section of left over fencing behind my tool room. It spotted and left white globs that did not disappear. I took it back. Went over to Home Depot and asked the sales person if their Thompson’s Waterseal was clear or a white colored substance and if it was clear I would buy it but if it was white I did not want it.. Well, he didn’t know, and if he opened it he bought it, he said. I made the purchase, took it to the car, but before loading it,, opened the top to look at it. It too was white, like white paint again. I took it back. I came home and looked up Thompson Waterseal on line and sent them a message as to what in the world had happened to their CLEAR Waterseal. They sent me a nice note saying buddy, you live in a state that will no longer accept an oil base water seal, and that white crap that you refer to is the new WATERBASED Thompson Waterseal. The only way to tell the difference is in the clean up on the outside of the can. If it cleans up with water, its that white crap. If it cleans up with mineral spirits, it’s the type I like. Some states can still get the oil based type. I refuse to use that water base stuff folks. I can’t spray that stuff as all of it does not dry clear and to apply it would require me to roll it on. So, do any of you know of a product other than Thompson that I can use in my weed sprayer? If so would you leave me a comment or e-mail me at pete@hesterbooks.com. It’s not critical as water will still bead when sprayed on my fence. But I need to know about future sprayings…Thanks, Pete Hester

Comments (14)

It sounds like you have found out what it means to “go green”. Barack should be happy even if you aren’t. I see no other way out of your pickle other than to vote republican to help us “reform” the EPA, so we can stop this “green” garbage. Otherwise, you can simply replace your fence every few years and help the lumber industry. On second thought, you could simply use ole fashioned oil based barn paint and apply it with a brush like the “greatest generation” did. I bet it is still available.

I am not against the EPA. It only needs to be “reformed”, and its power reduced a mite. Our environmental problems are due to over population. They are not due to the use of oil based Thompson’s Water Seal.

I’m gonna keep looking…

Here’s an idea: let’s find it on Amazon.com, order it through the boyfriends account (shipping is free) and get you what you want. It sounds like Thompson’s still carries the stuff; just not in the lovely state of NM.

I’m sure we can find a work around and preserve your fence without it look like white paint globs threw up on it.

That may not be a bad idee, no. 2. But I don’t have a clue as to which state the oil base waterseal is ok to use. If you find out, please let me know. Thanks, Paps

I went through the same process. I stayed away from the traditional looking Thompson’s can because of the reveiws that said it looked like milk.
i boguth another brand that said “clear”, got it home and opened it. Looked just like,..ahh, milk!
Figured I ‘d try it anyway. Put some in my Thompson’s sprayer and fired away on a small fence section. Looked like i sprayed the fence with milk. Took it back and the clerk had no solution. He said they were all like that now/ And so i did a little researching on my own and as Pete said you have to look at the clean ip details. And with that in mind I found a solution to this dilemma. The product you want is Thompson’s Water Seal Waterproofer PLUS Clear Wood Protector 100VOC. I bought this, took it home, opened it and rejoiced that I di dnot buy another container of milk but instead something extremely reminiscent of the Thompsons original oil based formula. Loaded up my Thompsons sprayer and behold what sprayedout looked jsut like the vintage stuff and everywhere I sprayed the wood truned that grainy clear golden amber which gave me an instantly warm and fuzzy feeling. Hope this helps

Yes, you can find it but you are right, you must read the clean up instructions. If it says clean up with water, “forget about it”…..It’s that milky stuff….When it cleans up with mineral spirits or paint thinner, you got the right stuff. Thanks for writing, Chuck. Pete

Just bought the milky Thompson water seal thought it was clear, clean-up instructions said use mineral spirirts so cant go by clean-up instructions.

Dang, James, I don’t know what we have to do to get some good waterseal product. I’ll keep checking…Pete

Well fellas, I did the same thing. I used up two half full cans of the old stuff on a trailer deck. I bought a new can at the hardware store and just opened it to do the back steps. Milk. The only difference I found on the cans was the milky stuff calls for shaking well. Fortunately I am only using it on a couple trailer decks and the back steps which are old. Oh, by the way, voting Republican is no guarantee things will get better, just get worse more slowly. We must vote for people with integrity which means very few good candidates.

Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I
stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always exciting to read articles from other writers and practice something froim their sites.

I am impressed with this website, rattling I am a fan.

Can I store left over Thompson Waterseal Clear that you clean up with soap and water in a milk plastic gallon? I have some but threw the original can away. Thank you

I think you can store it ok in plastic milk carton, but I would not trust it very long, especially if it is inside the house. You can buy five gallon plastic cans at Lowes and Home Depot and I think that would be a much better choice….or if you have a gallon
tin can that can be cleaned might work. Be very careful with the milk carton as some products will eat thin plastic quickly.

Excellent post. I’m experiencing many of these issues as well..

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