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How to handle Merbau Decking Stain?



Merbau Decking Timber around the Pool

Merbau is a beautiful timber. It does not only looks extremely beautiful, it is also a remarkably durable timber with a Class 2 ' natural durability rating ' which makes it highly resistant to decay and insect infestation.


There is one disadvantage. MERBAU Timber contains tanning that when you install can "bleed" from the timber. Please ensure that any spilled tannin is immediately washed away with water to prevent staining.

Merbau Timber's tannin washes out on exposure to rain but When it comes into contact with any liquid or chemical such as paint, even if it does not come into contact with rain, Merbau Decking Timber can bleed. Especially when there is a fresh cut and the end grain is left unprotected or bare.


Because of the bleed from Merbau, you can see white painted Merbau becoming pinkish, which is why Merbau is recommended to be natural or dark brown stain to prevent bleeding visibility.


The time it requires for the tannin to wash out depends on how much rain you have in the coming months and assuming your decking is exposed to the weather.


It is advisable to leave the decking for a few months so that the tannin can wash out naturally, but in the process it will start to lose its color and turn gray.


If you want to maintain the color, scrubbing with a deck cleaner, enabling it to dry and then applying oil would also seem to be an alternative.


Using deck cleaner to remove tannin is not something we recommend and we do not make any claim that it will completely stop bleeding but you might want to discuss it with one of the decking oil manufacturers.


There are few things that we can recommend.

  • Wash the timber 3-4 times before installation to help flush the tannins out.

  • Let it weather for 6-8 weeks.

  • Seal the wood on all sides with a high-quality decking oil or sealant and trimmed ends before installation.

  • Avoid installing close brickwork, above light colored paving as the tannin leaked is probable to cause continuous staining especially if left to dry out.

  • Please ensure that any leaked tannin is immediately washed away with water to prevent staining.

  • Ensure that any fresh cut is coated or recovered by nailing or sawing with a barrier or decking oil.

  • Before installation, make sure to cover all sides of the decking, especially back and end grain, because it will absorb the most moisture and water and cause bleeding.


Is there any way to remove tannin stains?


The best way to take away tannin stains from concrete, render or pavers is by washing affected areas with water and cleaning with a stiff brush or broom. Severe staining might need a small amount of ‘elbow grease’, together with multiple washes. for tiny areas, a wet cloth can be used and bear in mind to get rid of the ‘wash’ water and wash quickly for all horizontal surfaces, to avoid the re-depositing of tannins.


Bleach is also one of the best option to remove timber stains. Scrub vigorously with chlorine bleach then rinse the surface. Cover stain with a cloth soaked in bleach, repeating this process until a satisfactory result is achieved. Scrub regularly between bleach treatments. Rinse thoroughly.


To learn more, Contact Us.


Important - Please read

None of the authors, contributors, administrators or anyone else connected to the Ligneum can be held liable in any way for the use of the information contained in this blog. Use this blog as a general guidance only.

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