We have just had pre-oiled merbau decking installed.
1 .When is the ideal timeframe to apply a topcoat? I've read the product information about doing it within 8-12 weeks. Is it better to leave it a bit longer, and allow it to "weather"?
2. To prep the surface, I have some left over Cabot's Deck Clean, is this an appropriate agent?
3. Ours is poolside - I've read that Intergrain Aquadeck is the preferred option, but read wildly varying reviews - does any one have any experience to offer on this?
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @cairi. It's wonderful to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about preparing Merbau decking.
Six - eight weeks is a sufficient amount of time to wait for the weathering to take effect. If there is limited rain forecast, you can hose it down once a week. I'm currently at about week four of the weathering process on my deck. Instead of waiting the full eight weeks, I'll be using Cabot's 4L New Timber Prep to cheat and accelerate the process.
After eight weeks, you can use the Cabot's deck clean to remove any contaminants on the deck before oiling. However, it doesn't have specific "prepping" or tannin stripping properties.
You might like to look at a product that is specifically designed for around pools like the Intergrain 4L UltraDeck Slip Resistant Decking Oil. The water-based Intergrain 4L Natural UltraDeck Timber Decking Oil would be another good choice or, for a budget-friendly option, the Cabot's Aquadeck. I'll be using the oil-based Cabot's 4L Merbau Natural Decking Oil on my deck as my father-in-law recommended it, and for no other reason than if something goes wrong, I can blame him.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
My main confusion was whether the fact that it’s pre-oiled changes what products to use before the topcoat? Will the new timber prep strip off the initial coat of oil?