Remove tannin from timber. It is important!

So you’ve finally got that new deck built and it’s starting to look like it’s time for a bbq! Your visions of entertaining guests in true Australian style are starting to take shape and you’re in a hurry to get it finished. You think: Slap some oil on and let’s fry up that snag!

Put those matches down mate!

New timber is not new plastic. You can’t just take it out of its wrapping and bingo, you’re all done. A quick rinse and off you go!

Timber is a natural substance, and within the timber there is a natural chemical called Tannin. Tannin is a natural extract found in many types of wood, and when it leaches out, it can cause unsightly stains on surfaces, discolouration, and even affect the surrounding environment. It’s darker and richer in some timbers, lighter in others.

Tannins are water-soluble polyphenols found in various plant species, including trees used for timber production such as merbau, blackbutt, western red cedar, and tallowwood. These compounds serve several purposes for plants, including protection against insects, fungi, and UV radiation. However, when timber is exposed to moisture, tannins can dissolve and migrate to the surface, leading to undesirable staining.

Once you’ve laid the timber and exposed it to the elements, within only a few weeks you will start to see tannin leach out and leave a bit of a mess on surrounding concrete or pavers. A lot of people think that this colour run is from the coating that’s been applied. It’s not the oil coating that is sliding off the timber. It’s tannin from deep within the timber.

That’s why you need to remove tannin before your coat the timber. Without using a specialised formula to draw the tannin out of the timber before you coat it, you will experience this leaching for quite some time. It makes a mess and is hard to clean off concrete and pavers.

Check out this awesome article by logic-bespoke

As they say, tannins, because of the structure of the fibres in timber, leach most from the cut ends of the wood. So you will see the colour running particularly on the short cut edges.

Timbers that offer amazing performance for decking, such as Merbau, are also known for their heavy tannin content.

This is why Equisol developed Equisol Prime to extract tannins from the timber prior to coating. Using Prime offers a superior result especially if your decking timber is new.

How to fix a deck that has been oiled, and is leaching tannin?

  • Clean with Equisol Prime.
  • Clean with Equisol Vitalise.
  • Let dry.
  • Sand down surface to smooth timber from powerwashing
  • Recoat with Equisol Pro E365 and Colour Tone.

A couple of useful tips from our experts…

  • Pay particular attention to cleaning the sawn ends. This is where a high concentration of tannin will leach from.
  • Always follow the instructions exactly as written on the label. Short cuts equal shoddy jobs.
  • Use both Prime and Vitalise on new timber decks. Then coat with Equisol Pro E365.