Wood is like skin – it needs moisturizer and sun protection to remain beautiful and healthy.
“Homeowners are fairly conscious of walls and roofs when it comes to maintenance,” says Jacques Marais at AAA Paint, “but wood in and around the house is often forgotten.”
Wood needs some maintenance work every 18 months, whether it’s indoors or outside. The first step is a cleanup by sanding down old layers of varnish and wood fibres that have died. Once the sanding is done, you have a choice between two types of protection.
A range of oils is available in the market and comes in an array of wood-like colours. Oil provides both protection and nourishment as it is absorbed by the wood itself. As oil gets old, wood starts to appear dull and unattractive. A major advantage, on the other hand, is that only a light sanding may be necessary before applying another coat.
Varnish differs from oil in that it lies on top and doesn’t penetrate the wood. Drawbacks are that it starts to peel over time and prepping involves thorough sanding before a new layer can be applied. An advantage is that varnish provides an attractive shine whereas oil gives wood a more matt look.
Modern manufacturing methods have also ensured that varnishes are water-based and ozone-friendly. They don’t contain lead or emit strange smells and dry fast enough to allow for the application of three coats in a single day.
Jacques stresses the importance of always applying three coats of oil or varnish. This will provide a protective film that’s adequate in thickness and UV-stable. The obvious outcome: better protection against the elements.
When having to cover brand-new wood, the first coating should be mixed with about 10 to 20% turpentine. This will effect some absorption into the wood and nourishment from within. After the first coat has been applied, sanding will be necessary to get rid of dead fibres which will become more pronounced with moisture application. Skipping this step on brand-new wood will result in an unpleasantly rough surface. Once the sanding is done and a smooth surface is achieved, the second and third layer of oil or varnish can be applied.
Indoor wood should preferably be treated with varnish, as oil doesn’t usually dry indoors and retains a “fattiness” to the touch.
How to shop
Both oil and varnish come in a variety of wood-like colours specially developed so you can select the tint that blends into the rest of your building’s colour scheme. You will need roughly one litre of product for every three square metres you need to cover. This calculation will allow you to apply the recommended three coatings. Great news as that the formulation of oils and varnishes are quite similar, which means that quality is good across the board.
For more information and expert advice, feel free to visit AAA Paint and talk to our experienced sales assistants.
Visit us at 43 Porter Street, Worcester or phone 023 347 3987.