Wood Oils work by penetrating deep into the timber and soaking the timber in oil molecules that repel water. The oily molecules do not form a film, and eventually wear off, so regular maintenance is necessary. This is achieved by simply cleaning with a ph balanced cleaner and applying another coat, usually on an annual basis.
Recommended: Livos Kunos: Hard wearing natural finish made from renewable resources
Stains stain the timber to a desired colour, often highlighting the grain and enhancing the natural beauty of the wood. They do not form a coating, and are usually overcoated with a longer-lasting oil or varnish.
Natural Timber finishes - flexible, ensures retention of of vapour permeability while protecting timber with natural oils, pigments and resins. Must be recoated once a year on exterior surfaces, fence and decking stains available.
Varnishes work by forming a water-repellant barrier. They often contain UV-resistant substances, as UV rays from sunlight damage the timber's cells, creating the familiar greying of exposed timber. Molecules in the varnish link up when exposed to air to form a continuous film. This enables them to have high sheen levels and greater water-resistance compared to Wood Oils, and less maintenance. However, unlike oils, when maintenance is undertaken the entire surface must be sanded. Recommended: Ecolour Polyclear: Zero-VOC highly durable clear finish
New Technology allows timber coatings to have the advantages of penetrating timber oils, with the environmental benefits and convenience of water-based products. These coatings are ideal for exterior timber such as decking, as they require lower maintenance, and are easily recoated.