Nov 20, 2015

6 Things to Consider When Applying Decking Oil to Merbau Timber

As merbau timber has myriad uses outside the home, it is important that you have chosen an appropriate decking oil to protect it from the elements. There are a number of different oils to choose from, which can make the decision difficult if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. In this article, we have compiled a list of 6 things to consider when applying oil to merbau.
 1.   If the timber structure is brand new and you’re looking to apply its first oil treatment, we recommend a product in a lighter colour (such as Light Oak) followed by a clear coat. This is because lighter coloured products use minimal pigments, which helps to prevent further darkening of the merbau, and will showcase the natural colour effectively.

2.   If the timber structure is over 5 years old and has had a number of oil treatments throughout it’s lifetime, we recommend sanding the merbau timber back before application to ensure a nice finish. If you’re working on a budget, however, you can also opt for a darker pigmented oil that will hide any marks or patches of discolouration.

3.   You also have the opportunity to use an oil that has a strong merbau pigment. This is actually the most cost effective option in most cases, as it enables you to achieve a uniform look on even the oldest of structures. It is important to note, however, that such treatments are just delaying the inevitable – overtime, the coatings will build up on the timber.

4.   It is important that you clean the structure every 3 to 6 months using a high pressure washer. Don’t go out and purchase the strongest unit on the market, however, as it is likely to do more harm than good – ideally, use a pressure washer at 1000 PSI. Also ensure that you don’t get too close to the timber, as it can actually tear it apart.

5.   Before applying any oil treatments to your structure, it’s important that you give it a good wash and scrub using an oxalic acid solution. This product can be picked up at most hardware stores. It can be applied to merbau timber using a broom with tough bristles – let it sit on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with the garden hose.

6.   Once you have cleaned the merbau, it is essential that you let it sit for at least 24 hours (but ideally 48 hours) to allow it to dry. After this time has passed, you are able to apply oils and other treatments. You should also regularly rotate any pots and furniture regularly to help reduce tan lines (which are caused by irregular UV exposure).

If you are planning to use merbau timber around your property, we have that the above list of things to consider has enabled you to choose an oil treatment that best meets your needs. We also hope that you now have a better understanding of how to properly apply it and keep the structure in good condition. Do not hesitate to ask an expert for product recommendations if required.

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