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(NC)-Wood finishes can provide protection from the elements by repelling water and reflecting harmful UV rays. They are versatile and easy to apply, but care should be taken to ensure effective results.

Here are a few answers to the top questions on applying exterior wood stains:
 

Q: What is the ideal temperature to apply a wood stain?

A: Apply when surface and air temperature is between 10ºC and 35ºC.
 

Q: In which conditions can mildew grow on wood or the surface of a coating?

A: When the following conditions are present:

- 80% relative humidity.

- 21°C or above.

- 21% moisture content of the wood.
 

Q: What can prevent a coating from penetrating into wood?

A: It can be caused by mill glaze (planer crush). Examine the wood for these shiny surfaces and proceed to sand them where they are present before applying stains. It can also be caused by patina, the grey dead wood fibres on the surface of bare wood after sun exposure. It can easily be removed by using a wood cleaner.
 

Q: When using Cetol finishes, why is it always recommended to perform a test with the number of coats required on a sample of the wood?

A: Because the final colour may vary on each wood species and its opacity may vary with application. However, the days of applying several coats for some wood protection projects may be over. Some of the more progressive manufacturers are making more efficient products. Sikkens, for example, has introduced an innovative new wood care stain that contains a unique combination of water and oil-based materials to deliver both the strength and durability of an alkyd stain and the ease of use of an acrylic product.
 

Made from a unique alkyd (oil) and acrylic (water) hybrid mix, the new Cetol SRD line is a premium flat finish stain that requires only one coat on any exterior wood surface - from decks and fences, to rails, siding and outdoor furniture. It is specially formulated to deliver maximum penetration, colour retention, adhesion and resistance to ultraviolet rays, humidity, rain, sleet and snow.
 

More information is available online at www.sikkens.ca.

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