Fifty Shades of Stain.
What is the right treatment for your Hardwood Gates?
Any form of timber that is going to have a chance of withstanding the elements of British weather is going to have to be prepared for the barrage of environmental abuse ahead of it, when it is fixed or swung in its exterior resting place. When deciding which product to embellish and protect your exterior joinery there is often a great deal of thought that is needed. This thought process is something I have multiple times a day with my customers when they are considering their gates that are being ordered. Only yesterday I had a conversation with a potential new customer that was enquiring about two different sets of gates which needed different finishes on each set. “A clear sealant” is what was required on one set he requested. Of which my reply is “that is a very ambiguous request”. The conversation went on to arrive at the conclusion that teak oil was going to be the best product to use on one set of Iroko gates that he was after. The point that I have to arrive to with all orders we are providing a finish on is what does the end customer want to achieve with the over all look of the gates and most importantly what is going to look after the timber long term.
I have broke these down to three categories,
Over the years we have provided a large quantity of Iroko Gates with a Teak oil finish. On installation day there is nothing that looks as natural and as beautiful as a freshly oiled pair of gates. Long term though the inevitable will happen, GREY! That park bench and garden furniture silver grey. This is all well and good for rural locations in the peak district or in front of a period property where you need the gates to look like they have been there for some time and compliment the general look of the property and surroundings. Some people are of the thought as I am that the gates look shabby and neglected. There isn’t a product yet made that stand the test of time and keeps the clear natural colours of the wood while keeping out the harmful UV rays that break down the surface of the timber. A lot offer the ability to do this yet I have not found a single one. This is because it lacks a pigment or colour of which is the essence of what protects the timber. This leads me on to,
There are plenty of different qualities and types of exterior stains all boasting there abilities of looking after the wood. We use a professional stain called Remmers of which is delivered onto the product with an air assisted airless spray gun. I have seen fantastic results with this system with both quality of finish and ability to withstand weather. It comes with a base stain that has an anti fungicide, then a top coat with a UV protector. There are plenty of varieties of stain from your DIY specialist of which you can brush onto your joinery. All the popular colours from Light Oaks to Dark Ebonies. What ever suits your application or design around your house. The most important factor is what you want your gates to look like. Is it a natural wood look to match or a painted finish?
Again there is a large varied amount of different paints available. Painting wood???? I hear some of you shout! Yes there is a growing trend of painted timber work as products offer such a wide range of colours and finish types from high gloss to satin egg shells. Timber can still look very authentic and natural if painted correctly. Some of the conservation area stipulate particular colours to match in with the local village theme. When this is done tastefully it gives an all round classic look to your gates and general house joinery.
Always ensure what ever you use to look after your timber work please ensure that it is micro porous and allows the timber to breath.