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New merbau decks and screens - my journey

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  1. #1
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    Default New merbau decks and screens - my journey

    Just wanted to share my journey with you all, discuss ideas, suggestions, etc. Please do let me know if you have any, as I am an absolute beginner. It will be the first time in my life I will do something like this, and I wanted to increase the chances of doing it right. With that in mind, I will be a little bit detailed below - so others can take advantage of the information and also be able to contribute.

    Right now, I am preparing to coat the wood (most specifically trying to find out what I will use first). I will apply the same product to all of it. My guidelines/facts:

    F0) I've had 2 new merbau decks and 2 merbau screens built

    F1) I live in Melbourne

    F2) I have a total of 45sqm to coat. My decks were built using a hidden screw system called ekodeck quickfix (sold at bunnings). The screens were built using regular screws

    F3) 28sqm of it (one large deck) are in the northwest part of my property, with 3/4 of it covered (alfresco).

    F4) The rest is east facing, with the deck being 100% undercover (though it does get light in the morning)

    F5) I don't mind having to apply a new coat of product every once in a while

    F6) However, I want to minimise and/or eliminate more complicated tasks, such as sanding

    F7) I intend to use the best product I can - no point in saving 80 bucks a tin and then suffer grim consequences latter

    F8) I want to preserve as much of the natural merbau look I can, for as long as I can

    F9) If I am to use a tint, I don't want a dark finish. This is because I have timber windows and sliding doors, and they are already stained using intergrain natural finish (by the builder)

    F10) I prefer a matte or satin finish. I don't like gloss finishes


    The products I am looking at, at the moment, are

    O1) Cutek Extreme (non tinted or with one of the lightest tints possible - like sola brown)
    O2) Feast and Watson traditional timber oil
    O3) Sikkens BLX pro (still looking into the tint options)
    O4) Haymes UVEX

    The process I am thinking of applying, after reading here and on the internet (cutek extreme has been used for the below, as it is the most likely product I will use at this stage)

    ----- Materials I need to buy/arrange:

    M1) 10 L of cutek extreme. I am thinking this will be enough to do everything I need and I will still have a lit bit of leftovers;
    M2) ezee deck brush (sikkens)
    M3) some kind of recipient or bucket I can use during the work. any suggestions?
    M4) (if I decide to tint) 2 cans of tint in the selected colour
    M5) Staining brush (cut ins and screens)
    M6) Paint tape and big pieces of plastic (bunnings) to help isolate work areas
    M7) rags
    M8) generic woolworths / coles napisan (sodium percarbornate)
    M9) Will I need Oxalic Acid? Which product?
    M10) Deck broom to use with M8 and M9. Any suggestions on which?
    M11) Pressure washer
    M12) Garden hose

    ------ Process

    P1) I am already hosing everything every 2-3 days, and the decks have been there for about 2 months. I didn't know I might use cutek when I started this, but now that I have I think its better to finish removing the excess tannin so I can clean it all at once)
    P2) Once the weather is more continuously better, I will go ahead with some napisan washes (prob 2-3?) to remove the tanning on top
    P3) May have to apply oxalic acid? Specially because one of my tradies left a circular iron stain on the large deck (from a tin he left there over the weekend. The tin was not rusty, but it still left a very distinct gray circle) , and I think the acid will be necessary to remove it. By the way, which product to buy for this? Any other suggestions here?
    P4) Wait for 3-5 days of good weather according to the weather channelP5) Use paint tapes and plastic to isolate the work areas and

    (I've modified the instructions below from what I read in some other places here in the forum. I could find no clear, more mathematical set of instructions, so I decided to make my own)

    In a bucket, dissolve and mix a total of 100g of sodium percarbonate in 5L of hot water. In my case, I bought the woolies generic (280g of SB per 1kg of product, so that will mean about 1/3 of the container. this is the most unclear part of this process to me, as I don't know if the original steps I found referred to the 1kg napisan container or the 2kg napisan container. I also assumed the "half a bucket of hot water" in the original steps referred to 5L).

    Dampen the deck with hot water (this part I changed, because I don't think it makes sense to use cold water in this step)
    Apply the mix with the deck scrub broom giving a light scrub at the same time
    Let sit for 15 minutes without drying ( best to do with sun off the deck ) add more cleaner or a light water spray to keep wet
    Once 15 Mins is up apply a small amount of extra cleaner to make it easier to give a scrub..
    Give a really thorough scrub
    Rinse really well (hose)
    Leave to dry usually 24-48 hours


    P6) Pressure wash it, using a relatively light pressure setting. I think it doesn't sound like a good idea to wash the napisan off with the pressure washer, as I might increase the chances of damage to the wood
    P7) Leave it to dry for another 24-48 hours
    P8) Apply the first coat. This first coat will probably require a bit more product than subsequent coats. However, do be careful about applying the least product you can so no cleaning up (and waste) is required
    P9) Wait until the first coat is dry. This will take from X-Y hours (trying to find out how long is that)
    P10) Apply another coat. This coat will probably require less product. Cutek recommends repeat thin layers instead of less and thicker layers
    P11) repeat P9 and P10 if a third coat is desired / required


    I may add more, but that's what I can think of now.



  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaussie View Post

    I may add more, but that's what I can think of now.
    I think you got it all. Maybe if you do another post, you call label it "Ben Hur"

    Welcome aboard BTW.

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    Probably worth saying that too much information can deflect interest.

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    Hopefully not! There's at least a couple important topics I wanted to try to cover - the product options and tint, given my situation and facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danaussie View Post
    Hopefully not! There's at least a couple important topics I wanted to try to cover - the product options and tint, given my situation and facts.
    Probably already covered in the decking thread if you take a read/search while waiting.

  6. #6
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    F&W traditional formula does very well under cover. Stay clear from Sikkens, the worst ever decking oil. Instructions about oiling and cleaning your deck, not necessarily in that order are covered ad libitum on the pertinent thread.
    If I want to read long poems, I choose "The Iliad"
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
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    you need to buy all the products and test them on your deck.

    that is the only way to know the best product to use.
    freedom of expression freedom from consequences...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavoSyd View Post
    you need to buy all the products and test them on your deck.

    that is the only way to know the best product to use.
    I *kind of* did that. Or at least the version of it which is doable. I actually went to a paint shop with pieces of my merbau and asked them to put some samples on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    Probably already covered in the decking thread if you take a read/search while waiting.
    I had answered this but deleted the post accidentally The "delete post" button gets hit almost no matter where you touch the screen on your mobile!! It is very hard not to select it.

    Anyway, I thought more information would help w/ the discussion. I did spend a fair while reading the other topic. But also thought posting my journey w/ pictures and raising some specific points would be an interesting - not only for me but for everyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    F&W traditional formula does very well under cover. Stay clear from Sikkens, the worst ever decking oil. Instructions about oiling and cleaning your deck, not necessarily in that order are covered ad libitum on the pertinent thread.
    If I want to read long poems, I choose "The Iliad"
    But maybe not. I could only find one picture on the internet of a merbau deck coated with the F&W traditional decking oil. Would you happen to have one, Marc?

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    Just as a curiosity for everyone



    From left to right (and bottom to top):


    Natural Stain Merbau (this is how the lady on the shop labelled it anyway)
    Sikkens BLX Pro
    Sikkens Cetol Deck
    Haymes UVEX
    Dexpress merbau
    Dexpress natural
    Natural Stain Merbau (again)
    Ultradeck Natural
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2017-10-10_10-06-25.png  

  11. #11
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    Mm ... the internet... I go by my own experience.
    F&W
    Sikkens

    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaussie View Post
    I *kind of* did that. Or at least the version of it which is doable. I actually went to a paint shop with pieces of my merbau and asked them to put some samples on it.
    wow - how much did that cost?
    freedom of expression freedom from consequences...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavoSyd View Post
    wow - how much did that cost?
    nothing. this paint shop I went to has this policy of keeping one can of each product open so they can sample it to the clients.

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    and what did they recommend?
    freedom of expression freedom from consequences...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavoSyd View Post
    and what did they recommend?
    the guy I spoke to was not very opinionated. He just kept saying: these are all great products. Which the more I spend time researching about decking, the more I understand why he would be like that

  16. #16
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Opinions are like navels.
    Experience, like hen's teeth.
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  17. #17
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    Sikkens BLX pro is the newly released ( 1-2) years WATER based coating. So in the same vein as Cabots Aquadeck, Intergrain Ultradeck, Intergrain Natural stain, Flood Spa&Deck

    jimj restore-a-deck.com.au

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    The paint shop had a 20% discount about to end, so I bought my materials. Ended up buying the Haymes Dexpress natural stain and the Haymes Oxalic Acid solution too (my main intention with this is try and remove the stain mentioned in step P3). Anyone ever compared the performance of napisan vs oxalic acid solutions?

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    Dex express is a water based acrylic . Oxalic acid will lighten the black marks from steel. It may even lighten enough so it looks removed from the timber surface. Sodium percarbonate is a mild alkaline detergent that will have little to no effect on iron stains. Oxalic acid is just that an acid with a PH of 1 and Sodium percarbonate is effectively a PH 12.5 alkaline detergent. Opposite ends of the PH scale

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    Note that Cutek promise you that if you don't use tint, the timber will fade to grey.
    There are free sample pots of tinted Cutek available. I tried three colours before deciding, but was surprised how the colour varied across samples that looked similar when bare.
    See my separate post for the difference Cutek made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Dex express is a water based acrylic . Oxalic acid will lighten the black marks from steel. It may even lighten enough so it looks removed from the timber surface. Sodium percarbonate is a mild alkaline detergent that will have little to no effect on iron stains. Oxalic acid is just that an acid with a PH of 1 and Sodium percarbonate is effectively a PH 12.5 alkaline detergent. Opposite ends of the PH scale
    Any concerns with that particular product? (dexpress) Also, the way you wrote your message made me worry that these iron stains may not go away. Is that the case you found in your experience or am I worrying too much? I actually found someone on the internet (https://diy.stackexchange.com/questi...d-by-a-tin-can) saying they used the product "Barkeeper's Friend" (which is oxalic acid), but I thought it would be silly to buy that for 10 bucks just to do this, instead of buying the deck washing oxalic acid solution (40 bucks), which would be more useful and usable for all my decks and screens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrism3 View Post
    Note that Cutek promise you that if you don't use tint, the timber will fade to grey.
    There are free sample pots of tinted Cutek available. I tried three colours before deciding, but was surprised how the colour varied across samples that looked similar when bare.
    See my separate post for the difference Cutek made.
    Ended up deciding to go with Haymess Dexpress. I tested cutek and didn't really love how the wood looks with it applied. Also, a coat took forever to settle!!

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    Just acid washed my 2 screens today, using Haymes's Wood Cleaner (oxalic acid). Planning to stain tomorrow. Do these look ready to you guys?

    1.jpg2.jpg

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    They both look clean but the smaller one appears to have a lot of stop &start marks from the pressure cleaner. This may show through your coating. Hence why I sand to avoid this.

    jimj restore a deck

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    They both look clean but the smaller one appears to have a lot of stop &start marks from the pressure cleaner. This may show through your coating. Hence why I sand to avoid this.

    jimj restore a deck
    Could it be because I just pressured washed it, and it is still drying? Here's another pic from moments ago

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    They both look clean but the smaller one appears to have a lot of stop &start marks from the pressure cleaner. This may show through your coating. Hence why I sand to avoid this.

    jimj restore a deck
    Looks most like finger jointed boards rather than stop start marks!

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    The pic I should've been able to include... And yes, they both are FJ screens!
    3.jpg

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    OK I was able to see a much larger photo on my computer this time and I would agree with Phil it appears to be finger jointed. Harder to tell when the photo was small. Looks as if your cleaning was successful.

    good luck

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    Thank you! I actually went outside and gave the small one a light manual sanding here and there, as there were indeed some not so clean spots (which I thought were water, but no) Will post a pic tomorrow as it's too dark now

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    Finally finished applying 2 coats of the dexpress natural to my merbau gate & screen. Here's how it was:

    1) Both of them just after sanding

    aftersanding_screen.jpgaftersanding_gate.jpg

    2) Both of them just after first coat

    afterfirstcoat_screen.jpgafterfirstcoat_gate.jpg

    3) both of them just after second coat

    aftersecondcoat_screen.jpgaftersecondcoat_gate.jpg

  31. #31
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    Well done!

    The litmus test is how they look in 12-18 months. But in the mean time just sit back & enjoy !

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    Being vertical, you'll get better life than if it was on a deck.

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    Like 4x better life in my experience. Just keep an eye out on the very top and bottom pieces they are usually the ones to go first.

    Dexpress is waterbased film forming product so you want this film to be intact and 'hole' free. Once water gets in then mould will be partying in your wood under the film. Keep it maintained.

    I would use Dexpress with somesort of tint in it as the first few coat then switch to Natural tint for the future. The tint will be better UV block which slows down the wood greying process if you wish to retain the wood natural colour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by forp View Post
    Like 4x better life in my experience. Just keep an eye out on the very top and bottom pieces they are usually the ones to go first.

    Dexpress is waterbased film forming product so you want this film to be intact and 'hole' free. Once water gets in then mould will be partying in your wood under the film. Keep it maintained.

    I assume this is Dexpress Natural? Non tinted?
    Yes it's dexpress natural - but from what I can see it's heavily tinted. The thing looks like a chocolate mousse, and leaves brown marks on your arms and everything it touches.

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    Most waterbased are milky wet then dries some sort of brown/red/orange hue when dry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by forp View Post
    Like 4x better life in my experience. Just keep an eye out on the very top and bottom pieces they are usually the ones to go first.

    Dexpress is waterbased film forming product so you want this film to be intact and 'hole' free. Once water gets in then mould will be partying in your wood under the film. Keep it maintained.

    I would use Dexpress with somesort of tint in it as the first few coat then switch to Natural tint for the future. The tint will be better UV block which slows down the wood greying process if you wish to retain the wood natural colour.
    too late, I've applied 2 coats and I didn't know the natural was not tinted at all... like I said, it doesn't look like it isn't and the product instructions don't really warn you to use a tint (like the cutek does, for example). I am a complete beginner.

    My builder used intergrain natural on my windows, sliding doors... Aren't those then in the same situation? Also, any advice? I do want to retain the colour - so should I re-coat these using a tinted dexpress (argh.... doing that work again so soon would be painful)?

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    Natural is tinted but it's minimal. Don't worry too much, just keep up with the maintenance coat.

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    Anyone got any strong opinion either way about Intergrain Ultradeck Natural ? I have seen a mates small verandah type deck and liked it. I have put the first coat on a 4 x 5 metre covered deck and it looks OK so far. Was wondering if anyone had any experiences good or bad with it ?

  39. #39
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    I prefer it.

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    Default New merbau decks and screens - my journey

    Although most water washup decking oil are much odour free compared to solvent based oil Ultradeck is one of the most smelly but not solvent based unpleasant. I can still smell it after two weeks of application when I walk pass my fence. Once it's fully cured the smell goes away. It's really not a problem and I am nitpicking.

    Also it's available plenty popular at many retailers means every of your mates is using it and your houses deck looks the same. Which its also good because they won't go bust at anytime. I find the Natural darkens the wood quite a bit after the 4th coat. Have a look at the dried 'sap' on the side of the used can you can tell it isn't transparent when it's in a blob.

    So if I use Ultradeck Natural on fence as base layers, I would do maintenance with UltraClear. To retain the color without going lipstick pig. Not sure if there's a suitable clear product for decks.

    I have my fair share of deck sanding and I had enough of film build-up products. I have high walls and this prevents my deck from drying quickly. Rain encourage mould and fungus growth on a lazily maintained deck. My neighbours are also incredibly 'allergic' to solvent polluted air, they bitch and whine everytime I use straight oil. This leaves me no choice.

    So I am trialling a waterwashup modified oil, it goes on damp surface, spreads ultra thin and dries fast. No film at all no build-up. It's only available at paint stores. I don't expect much longevity from it since its so thin. Will report back if it's any good.

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    looking forward to your report on this product. Especially as it is applied to a damp surface. Any chance of sharing the name of this product?

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    Default New merbau decks and screens - my journey

    Quantum Ecodex Quix. The coverage is 10-14m2/L. Which is very economical for 95m2 of deck and it feels water thin compare to Ultradeck. I haven't tried Spa and Deck. I got it tinted to Merbau but there isn't a huge difference compared to untinted base. So I can lay 4-5 coats and not worry about build-up.

    Please note I am no expert in decking products. I have little experience and tried limited types of solvent and water based products so my opinion is as useful as any Diy.

    The company has been around for some time, I have been using their product for my windows but this quick decking oil is a new product. I haven't had a non filming product that will last me more than 10 months in Melbourne. Anyway I will start a new thread if I have good news in 6 months time. I'll take lots of photos, I have decks all over my house, protected, fully exposed, exposed to rain no sun, etc.

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    Thanks for sharing

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    Guys, I applied acid, pressured washed and was now sanding my deck a bit with a rotary orbital grit 80 before finally coating. However , I accidentally oversanded a couple spots (beginner mistake), in a way the color of the merbau looks different. Should I worry about that or will the stain hide it?

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    any photos would help as what is described is hard to picture

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    Is it like a *burn* over sanding? (never push a sander too hard, and always renew the sanding pads)

    Or sanded too deep? (hard to do with a palm sander!)

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    Will take pictures tomorrow, during the night it is hard to see. Is there a test I can do to see how it would look like, like spraying water on top of it?

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    It looks a lot lighter than neighbourhood. It happened because I accidentally let just part of the sander stay on that area for a few seconds

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    here's a picture of the worst area, normal and wet. when its not wet you kind of can't see i've tried to make the white spot I created less visible by sanding around it. but when its wet you can see the whole area where I did the extra sanding
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pic1.jpg   pic2.jpg  

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    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
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    Default

    I think it's a case of "only you will notice"

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