Draw­ing Board

Choos­ing tim­ber-frame ap­pro­pri­ate stains and sealants will en­sure your home is as strong as it is stun­ning.

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

Fan­tas­tic Fin­ish

Your beau­ti­ful tim­ber frame has come to­gether — a vi­sion in light, an­gles and el­e­gance. But its story isn’t over yet. Your home’s tim­ber frame is an in­tri­cate tale of art and sci­ence, and the fin­ishes you use are like the cov­ers of that book, bind­ing it all to­gether and pro­tect­ing the won­drous house you’ve built.

How do you en­sure your tim­ber home’s story re­solves with a happy end­ing? We turn to ex­pert Au­tumn Peter­son, who pro­duces fin­ishes for tim­ber framers across North Amer­ica and be­yond, to an­swer our most press­ing ques­tions.

Q ACan I use the same kind of fin­ish on my tim­ber frame as I would on a piece of fur­ni­ture? Not all fin­ishes are the same. While we of­ten com­pare a tim­ber home to a fine piece of fur­ni­ture, the re­quire­ments and ob­jec­tives are quite dif­fer­ent — there­fore, the fin­ish, it­self, should be dif­fer­ent. Reg­u­lar fur­ni­ture fin­ishes (var­nishes, lac­quers and ure­thanes) are im­prac­ti­cal for tim­bers, whose cells and fibers must “breathe” and shift, due to vari­ances in mois­ture con­tent and stress within the wood. For ex­am­ple, green wood needs to re­lease mois­ture, while “re-sawn” wood needs to draw mois­ture in. The seal­ing prop­er­ties of most fur­ni­ture-grade fin­ishes pre­vent ei­ther of those pro­cesses.

Q AWhat is the ideal fin­ish for a tim­ber frame? An ideal fin­ish for tim­ber frames should be free of “dri­ers” (metal­lic agents that speed up the dry­ing process) in or­der to al­low for ad­e­quate pen­e­tra­tion and ab­sorp­tion. Be­cause of the large sur­face area of tim­ber frames, the fin­ish also should be able to be ap­plied quickly and eas­ily, and the ex­cess should wipe off with­out leav­ing marks or gummy build-up.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the fin­ish should have a sol­vent-to-solids ra­tio of about 50/50 to give you a flex­i­ble fin­ish that is wellab­sorbed and will ul­ti­mately live “in” the tim­bers rather than on the sur­face. In the long run, such a fin­ish will pro­vide bet­ter pro­tec­tion and need fewer touch ups down the road.

QWhen should the tim­ber fin­ish be ap­plied?

AIdeally, a good heavy coat should go on prior to rais­ing, fill­ing all sur­faces and coat­ing all join­ery. Af­ter dry­ing, clean the sur­faces and iden­tify where touch-ups are re­quired; use a rough pad and more fin­ish to re­move scuffs and abra­sions.

QCan I use a sin­gle fin­ish for both in­side and out­side the house? (It is all wood, af­ter all!)

AJust as with paint, fin­ishes spe­cial­ize in in­door or outdoor ap­pli­ca­tion. An ex­te­rior fin­ish is ap­pro­pri­ate for out­side sid­ing, decks and ex­posed tim­bers and will of­fer the strongest pro­tec­tion and bring out the best fea­tures of hard­woods and other dense species that are ideal for tough outdoor con­di­tions. Look for an ex­te­rior fin­ish with UVA, which will help slow the nat­u­ral grey­ing process for ex­posed woods.

An in­te­rior fin­ish will not have UVA and will be ap­pro­pri­ate for any type of wood­work in­side. It should be thin enough for quick pen­e­tra­tion, but con­tain enough solids to pro­duce a wa­ter-re­sis­tant coat. Buff­ing and sub­se­quent coats will pro­duce a deeper, more beau­ti­ful fin­ish.

Top-coat the tim­bers with ad­di­tional fin­ish, fin­ish­ing oil or a liq­uid wax sealer and then power buff for a glossy, fur­ni­ture-grade ap­pear­ance.

QHow should I ap­ply the fin­ish?

AFor the smoothest re­sults, I rec­om­mend a lamb­swool ap­pli­ca­tor, pump-up or air­less sprayer, oil brush or even a cot­ton rag. I don’t rec­om­mend us­ing a con­ven­tional paint roller, but I do know peo­ple who have used high-qual­ity lamb­swool, short-nap rollers with great suc­cess. Clean the wood sur­face be­fore­hand, and then ap­ply two to four coats us­ing a wet-on-wet tech­nique (coats don’t have to dry be­tween ap­pli­ca­tions). While the fin­ish should feel dry to the touch within a week, it won’t reach its fi­nal cur­ing and hard­en­ing stage for an­other two to three weeks, so han­dle with care.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.