Wheelbarrow Handle Finish ?

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Forum topic by Dragonsrite posted 11-20-2009 07:40 PM 2390 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dragonsrite's profile


136 posts in 2820 days

11-20-2009 07:40 PM

Last fall the handles on my wheelbarrow were in pretty rough shape so I decided to replace them. I picked up some new ones from the local HW store.

The “finish” on these new pieces were less than stellar covering only about 90% with several runs … like they were mostly dipped and left hanging to dry. Cruising around the ‘net and this site it seemed like the “proper” finish was BLO (boiled linseed oil) for “outdoor tools”.

I sanded the handles down to bare wood and applied the oil as per the directions. Since this was late fall I applied the finish in the basement of the house. This is also where they spent the winter months.

‘Round about April I finally got around to reassembling the wheelbarrow. Now, today I actually looked at them and practically all the finish is gone.

Understand the wheelbarrow has, does and always will spend life outside (except last winter and apparently this winter).

I plan on sanding to wood again and applying a different finish.

What is the best finish for this application?

-- Dragonsrite, Minnesota

3 replies so far

View LesB's profile


1228 posts in 2866 days

#1 posted 11-20-2009 07:47 PM

No finish will last long it continuously exposed to sun, rain, and snow. Linseed oil is good but probably should be re-applied every 6 months to maintain it. I good deck sealer would also work and probably last a couple of years between applications. I would definitely not apply a surface finish like spar varnish or varathane to a wheel barrow handle because it will get scratched and worn quickly. Another choice might be a good quality exterior house paint, flat finish so it won’t be slippery.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1509 posts in 3548 days

#2 posted 11-20-2009 08:31 PM

Yeah, the beauty of oil finishes is that they’re renewable, and outdoor finishes need regular renewing. Give it another coat or two of oil every few months, and after a while they’ll start to last longer and longer.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3121 days

#3 posted 11-22-2009 12:04 AM

You have a shop and the tools why not make your handles?

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