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Too dark Merbau Screen

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  1. #1
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    Default Too dark Merbau Screen

    I thought I followed everyone’s advice and thoroughly washed the Merbau screen with the NapiSan mix twice.
    The screen had previously been coated with Cabot’s oil based (some Merbau coloured and some Natural) Decking oil. When I had finished cleaning the Merbau, they appeared to be bleached and completely devoid of colour.
    i had done another screen with Intergrain (water based) natural, and it came out a lovely honey colour after two coats. The screens I am doing have also been done with Intergrain Natural, but are much much darker.
    My questions are, will the Merbau lighten ? Have I done something wrong or is it just a case of older Merbau ?
    Should I have bought the Intergrain Natural with the Merbau colouring in it instead of the Natural and is there anything I can do next time to lighten the finish ?
    Any opinion ornadvice appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Merbau-Kwila is naturally a dark red brown timber with sulphur colored flecks running with the grain. The best way to lighten its lightest stage prior to coating is too sand the oxidised -coated layer. After sanding just hose with fresh water and look at the colour of the timber. Water is clear and reveals the timbers true colour when a clear liquid is applied. Now coatings are not clear (because they need to block UV) but man made products given names in factories. Nearly all coating products have a natural in their range. You could put 6 different naturals on your screen & see 6 dfferent shades.

    Napisan(sodium percarbonate) PH 12 is just a detergent but does not brighten timber. Oxalic acid based products PH 1 slightly brighten timber. Sanding bypasses all of this quickly and gives you the best starting position prior to coating.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks jimj, because the screen is hinged and not fixed at both ends, together with the fact that it has been up for a few years with the oil based finish, I guess you can only clean the timber as best you can. I hand sanded as best I could, but given the screen was “wobbly” and a machine sand would probably have been better, but not practical, I probably have the best I can expect. Not disappointed, but curious since both screens (with different finished colours) are both in the same area. Thanks for your advice.

  4. #4
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Default

    The Napisan will strip the oil but won't lighten the timber as it not designed to do that, it really just attacks oil and dirt, if you want to lighten the boards use Cabots new deck prep, this will lighten the timber about 4 shades.

    It can only be used on raw timber, what intergrain product did you use ? if it was a waterbased product napisan will never strip this off in the future as it can only strip oil based product, so to get back to raw timber you will need to sand the coating off.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  5. #5
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    Sounds like you have it figured out. Exterior timber can be fraught with so many issues.

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