FAQS

  • What are tannins?

    Tannins are chemicals produced by plants to help protect them against insect attack. Tannins can appear as brown stains on the wood and, being mostly water soluble, can be washed from timber by the rain, stained pavers and other surfaces. Tannin stains are often mistaken for a timber coating that has been washed off by the rain. New or un-seasoned hardwoods such as Merbau, Tallowwood, Spotted Gum, Jarrah and Ironbark all contain natural tannins. These tannins need to be extracted prior to coating. This can be done naturally by leaving the timber to weather in the elements for a minimum period of 6 months. As an alternative, this weathering process can be accelerated by applying Cetol BL Tannin and Oil Remover to the timber, which achieves a similar result within 15-20 minutes.

  • What's the difference between oil-based and water-based coatings?

    Oil-based coatings penetrate the wood better, they are also more durable. As this type of coating takes longer to dry, it tends to produce a more even finish. An advantage of using an oil-based coating is that it will not cause the wood grain to raise. However oil-based coatings emit a strong odour whilst drying and drying times are typically longer than water based coatings.  Additionally oil-based coatings require mineral turps to wash up brushes and equipment.

    Water-based coatings are more mildew resistant than oil based.  They also don’t produce as much odour or harmful fumes and are non flammable. As they are based on water they are naturally more environmentally friendly and emit low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).  They dry quicker and allow faster recoat times and retain their colour longer. Clean up requires only soap and water.

  • Can I apply a oil-based Sikkens timber coating over a water-based timber coating?

    Providing the previous coating is sound and not flaking or peeling and has been on the timber for a long period of time, do a small test patch with the new coating. If there is no reaction then it is fine to coat with your selected type of coating. Sample pots of Sikkens timber coatings are available for applying a test patch.

    If the previous coating is not sound then you will need to sand the old coating off the timber before applying.

  • How can I clean my deck if it has gone grey?

    The grey results from the reaction of the sun’s UV rays with the wood fibres of the deck. First, clean the deck with Cetol BL Wood & Deck Cleaner to remove the grey without damaging the wood, then apply your desired finish according to instructions on the can.

  • What is the difference between softwoods and hardwoods?

    The difference between timber from softwood and hardwood species results from differences in their cellular structure and chemical composition. The term hardwood or softwood has no direct relevance to the hardness or softness of the wood.

    Hardwood timbers are ideal for high strength structural applications, while their natural durability also makes them perfect for external applications, such as decking and cladding, and for interior flooring and stairs. Some species can also be naturally fire resistant making them ideal for bushfire prone areas.

    Softwoods have a wide range of applications and are typically less expensive than hardwoods. The most common type of softwood is treated pine.

    Both hardwood and softwood can be coated and stained.

  • What is reeded decking?

    Reeded decking has had grooves carved along the length of the timber. The grooves may be on one or both sides of the timber. Originally, the reeds were designed to be laid downwards to allow air movement around the joists they were laid onto to help prevent rotting. However, the reeds are often laid upwards as many believe they stop slipping. This is not the case as grooves trap water and encourage the growth of algae which makes the surface more slippery. Coatings applied to reeded decking have a shorter lifespan than those applied to smooth, un-reeded decks.

    If looking for a slip resistant option then try Sikkens Cetol Deck Slip Resistant.

  • How do I get the right stain colour?

    Before you apply the stain to your timber project, test it! Testing your stain is very important because the colour of a stain, unlike a paint, is influenced by the wood it is applied to. You need to see the stain colour on your particular species of wood before you can be sure of exactly what colour you will end up with. Our sample pots are a great and economical way of giving you confidence in the colour you choose.

    Before you apply the stain to your project, try it out either on an inconspicuous area or on a sample piece of wood. Stain it in the same way you plan to stain your timber project, following all the same steps. In this way, you can adjust the colour and get it right before you tackle the real thing.

  • Do I need to clean the wood before coating?

    Absolutely.  Even new wood needs to be cleaned thoroughly prior to coating. When the timber is clean it guarantees a strong adhesion of any top coats.

    New hardwood timber use Sikkens Cetol BL Tannin & Oil Remover then Sikkens Cetol BL Deck & Wood Cleaner.

    Existing timber use Sikkens Cetol BL Deck & Wood Cleaner.

    Timber furniture use Sikkens Cetol BL Garden Furniture Cleaner or Sikkens Cetol BL Deck & Wood Cleaner

     

  • How long will the coating last?

    It varies with each project.  However, colour can fade with general use and weather conditions.  For timber decks we recommend that you recoat approximately every 12-18 months to keep your timber looking its best.

  • Why can't I apply a clear coating to external timber?

    It is important to use a stain on external timber as the pigment in the coating is what protects the timber from harsh UV rays.

  • I'm not sure what coating was previously applied to my deck, can I apply Sikkens straight over the old coating?

    Providing the previous coating is sound and not flaking or peeling and has been on the timber for a long period of time, do a small test patch with Sikkens. If there is no reaction then it is fine to coat with Sikkens premium timber coatings. Sample pots of Sikkens timber coatings are available for applying on a test patch.

    If the previous coating is not sound then you will need to sand the old coating off the timber before applying.

  • What should I use to apply the coating on my timber?

    Apply Sikkens coatings with a good quality, long-haired bristle brush (EZEE Deck Brush recommended for decks). Bristles work the stain into the timber for better penetration and adhesion. Do not use rollers or lambswool applicator pads.

  • What is the best way of applying Sikkens timber coatings?

    Apply coating liberally with a good quality brush and work into the timber. Always apply coatings along the grain and never across the grain.

  • What are the best temperatures for applying Sikkens timber coatings?

    Ideal temperature between 10ºC and 30ºC for best results. Drying times are dependent on weather conditions. Check the information on the can to give you the best guidance on individual coating products.