To line or not to line.


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Hello all, I have a new half barrel that I want to set up on the patio. It was bought last year but due to an ankle injury I haven’t been able to get get to work on it . It wouln’t hold water up to the top, but having sat through the winter it is now fully watertight. I would like to use it unlined but hubby thinks lined is better. Any thoughts?. Also would I need to seal the outside? Is it better to be raised from the patio ? Thanks.
 

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Hi June- If the barrel would not hold water before, it's best to line it. You would not want to put the work into it and have it start leaking. As far as sealing the outside of it, most of the barrels designed to be used as planters are already treated but an extra coat of sealant may make it last longer. Is your patio wood or concrete? If its wood , I would raise it up to keep the wood under it from rotting. Good luck and post pics!
 
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Not sure if you have Lowes in the UK, or something similar......we bought a fitted liner in the garden section for our wooden barrel :)
 

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Welcome to the forum @June :) I agree that it would be best to line, you'll prolong the life of it if you do. I've not seen fitted liners here in the UK, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Maybe take a look online and see what you can find.
 
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Welcome @June , I would line it as well. I would hate for you to get it all up and running and find out it doesn't hold water quite like you thought it would.
 
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Not all barrels are created equal... I have made some whiskey barrels in the past and each and everyone of them leaked at the initial filling. The wood had to swell / absorb the fluid this takes a little time but once they do swell they are extremely water tight. So it all depends on the barrel it's self but either way whether it's a true wood barrel made to hold liquids or if it's a decoration, lining them will not hurt either way.
 
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Not all barrels are created equal... I have made some whiskey barrels in the past and each and everyone of them leaked at the initial filling. The wood had to swell / absorb the fluid this takes a little time but once they do swell they are extremely water tight. So it all depends on the barrel it's self but either way whether it's a true wood barrel made to hold liquids or if it's a decoration, lining them will not hurt either way.
 
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Hi everyone, thanks for all your comments. I will probably use a liner as that seems to be the recommendation. My only problem with that is because the half barrel is huge and I can’t imagine what the top would look like and how I would finish it off. I have just come in from draining it and refilling with fresh water to keep it wet until I sort out the liner. I will post a pic when I find out how to! I’m new to this !
 
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Hi Tula, it’s quite big. I think it’s 40” x 25” deep. Not sure if I could find a barrel liner that size. It is quite watertight so maybe I should just use as is. Most of the advice has been to line to extend the life of the barrel. Not sure what is best. Will the wood last longer if dried out with a liner or kept wet without, will it rot if wet ?
 
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Shawninfirmity, last reply meant for you. Thanks for info. Any thoughts re dry or wet wood?
 
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@June I haven't found a preformed liner quite that large on the internet but that's not to say they don't exist. The other option would be to line it with liner material which would require folding and stapling or nailing it to the top of the barrel somehow. Maybe others will have advice or experience to speak on that option.

I am also not all that familiar with the barrels themselves but it would seem based on my limited research that the barrels that are meant to be watertight only remain that way when they are wet and/or are holding water.
 
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Hi Tula, it’s quite big. I think it’s 40” x 25” deep. Not sure if I could find a barrel liner that size. It is quite watertight so maybe I should just use as is. Most of the advice has been to line to extend the life of the barrel. Not sure what is best. Will the wood last longer if dried out with a liner or kept wet without, will it rot if wet ?
Hello June, welcome to the forum.
The barrel itself has to have liquid in it to be watertight as the wood is porous. The wood absorbs some of whatever liquid it holds expands and becomes watertight.
This brings me to a point you mentioned "oily film" in one of your posts. This is either from something was stored in the barrel or that it was treated with, which could very well be toxic to plants and fish. So I would definitely line the barrel. I am in the states so I have no Idea were you would find a liner In Britain, but I would try to locate a store that carries pond supplies or sells barrels as planter. Odds are if they sell barrels intended to be used as planters or ponds they would carry liners.
Also if you want fish in your barrel I would use mosquito fish. They stay small and would be a better fit for the barrel. I put goldfish in my barrel a year ago. They grew to large for the barrel in just a few months, and I had to build a pond for them. In the end that mistake got me into the hobby, so a happy mistake.
Hope this helps, cheers.
 
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