5 Top Tips for Applying Sikkens Filter 7
Got a job coming up that involves good quality outdoor wood? Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 plus should be your go-to product if your clients want to show off the natural beauty of the material. Its highly translucent, semi-gloss finish will help to highlight the grain and colour of the timber, while working hard to give outstanding protection against the damaging effects of the UV radiation sunlight. But perhaps even more importantly in our climate, Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 plus is also microporous and water repellent! It's suitable for exterior softwood and hardwood joinery, windows, doors and cladding and has a five year maintenance cycle. Our resident woodcare expert Chris Wingrove shares his top watch-outs for using the product for best results:
1. Because of its translucency, which highlights the aesthetic features of timber, it will also highlight deficiencies in the surface (e.g. staining, previous coatings, fillers), a high level of preparation will be required.
2. On new work and when any bare timber is exposed, a base stain of Cetol HLS plus should always be applied first. It is important to satisfy the absorption of the timber; the best way to do this is to apply the HLS plus quite liberally and then redistribute any excess after about 5 minutes with a virtually dry brush.
3. Do not over-brush the Cetol Filter 7 plus excessively, or the coating film will be thin. Because Filter 7 plus shows off the timber so well, the tendency is to apply it thinly, but this will only decorate the wood, it won’t protect it from the weather.
4. Resist the tendency to apply dark colours onto dark timbers. The shade 'Mahogany' is intended to make an inexpensive softwood look like mahogany. Paler shades such as Light Oak and Teak will help retain the natural appearance of dark hardwoods without making the timber look darker.
5. Finally, remember that if the finish doesn't look good before you use Sikkens woodstains, it is unlikely to good afterwards. For patchy surfaces it may be worth considering either using a darker shade of Filter 7 plus to disguise any imperfections, or switching to Dulux Trade Ultimate Woodstain, as its stronger pigments will help create a more uniform look. The last alternative is to go for an opaque or paint-like finish (unless you plan to remove all coatings!), and using either Sikkens Rubbol Satura plus or Cetol BL Opaque, or one of the Dulux Trade opaque finishes.