A good, cheap end sealant?

A discussion of the pros and cons of various sealants used on ends of boards in primary lumber processing. April 22, 2000

What is a good end sealant? I've read latex paint, also glue... Anybody use a cheap sealant?

If you want cheap ask all your friends for all their old, half-used paint cans, you'll be buried alive! Of those, I've found that oil based paint works best and if you have any base coat or wood primer, oil based is still the best.

For about $50.00 bucks per five gallons, you can get the real stuff from UC coatings, a water-based pariffin that is the best I've used.

I've used glue, pruning paint, anything I have on hand. One suggestion: don't use spray paint, it's too thin.

I used to sell paint years ago. Most paint stores have what is called "miss-mixed paint" they goofed while tinting the paint to a certain color. If you don't mind a hot pink or an ugly green on your lumber, it's normally a bargain.

End coating must stick to green (wet) wood. If the wood isn't wet, then you are too late to do much good. It must provide a vapor barrier -- latex does not do this. For the cost of about $3 per MBF, you cannot beat the real stuff -- UC Coatings. Why run the risk of cheap stuff that may not work?
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

I've used UC coatings for about three years. Started out with their free sample. It works great.

I haven't had lots of satisfaction with bargain paints. When I take the time to paint the ends shortly after sawing the logs, I've had really great results with UC. Also, they have a distributor just about 200 miles southwest of me, and when I call them, the coating is here in two days. Great service.

Dipping the ends of the boards in melted parafin wax works great.