Technical Info

The CUTEK® system is simple to understand and easy to use:

  • Step 1 > Prepare – clean and enhance your wood by preparing it for coating
  • Step 2 > Protect – powerfully protect your wood for the long-term

Need help? Our expert team is on-hand to provide technical support and clear, easy to understand, practical instruction and advice. Simply call 1-833-MY-CUTEK (1-833-69-28835).

Have a question about CUTEK® products, wood, or just need some helpful advice on your project? Explore our resources here or contact us.

  • Potable Rainwater Collection

    Wood is a hygroscopic (water loving) material. When trees are growing, the wood structure absorbs moisture and minerals from the soil, distributing these throughout the tree. In the tree’s growth process, it naturally synthesizes tannins for various reasons, including; defence against tree eating organisms, tree damage repair, UV protection etc. Some tannins are water soluble, that can leach out during the process of water absorption and desorption (rain). Some tannins including (phenolic compounds and alkaloids) can be harmful to humans when ingested.

    CUTEK® also contains various compounds that are not recommended for human consumption. Although the leaching of CUTEK® compounds is negligible because of its hydrophobic (water repelling) nature, there is a possibility that some components may leach out at a small rate. Because of this leaching, we recommend against using CUTEK® oils on potable water catchment substrates.

  • General

    CUTEK® is the trusted choice of design and construction professionals to powerfully protect wood. While CUTEK® products are manufactured to the highest standard, we are unable to offer any specific performance warranties (including for color retention) because of the wide variation of possible applications for CUTEK® products.

    These variables include but are not limited to: the age and porosity of the wood, species, situation, design and structure, aspect, differing exposure to the weather and adequacy of preparation. We always recommend testing our products prior to application.

    CUTEK® will not accept liability for:

    • the application of incorrect color to any substrate for any reason
    • the application of CUTEK® Extreme to wood with a moisture content greater than 17%
    • the application of CUTEK® Extreme to any substrate with a pre-existing coating
    • the application of CUTEK® Extreme to any surface exposed to chemical or environmental contamination

    Always used a Pre-Mixed Sample, or contact our friendly team for advice, to determine if CUTEK® is right for your project.

  • Color and Weathering

    The color and grain of wood can vary significantly. Wood coated with clear and/or Colortoned CUTEK® Extreme can fade, wear/erode, and weather at different rates when exposed to the weather.

    CUTEK® is unable to offer any specific performance warranties in relation to color retention for CUTEK® products because of many variables related to the weathering process including but not limited to: the age and porosity of the wood, species, situation, design and structure, aspect, differing exposure to the weather, method of application and adequacy of preparation.

    Specially formulated CUTEK® Colortones are available to mix with clear CUTEK® Extreme. This will help keep a freshly oiled look for longer while delaying silvering and maintaining the natural character of the wood.

    To maintain the wood’s natural color for longer, choose a CUTEK® Colortone similar to the natural color of the wood. Suggested CUTEK® Colortones that match the natural hue of your wood can be found on our Colortone page. Colortones can also help alter your wood color if required (e.g. make your wood look lighter or darker than its natural state).

    When choosing from the range of Colortones, allow for the Colortone you select to naturally lighten, slightly, during the first three to eight months after application, as natural weathering and leaching occurs.

    Make sure to use a Pre-Mixed Sample to see if CUTEK® is right for your project.

    New wood is milled smooth and often has a mill glaze which will greatly restrict the initial color adhesion. Better results can be achieved by preparing your wood for coating using CUTEK® Wood Reviver and removing with a pressure washer. This will clean your wood and open the grain for the Colortoned CUTEK® Extreme.

    Alternatively, greater color intensity and durability can be achieved by mixing in double the recommended CUTEK® Colortone for the can size. This will apply more pigment to the wood surface and increase the UV protection of your wood.

    Color will last longer on rusticated, or band sawn wood, and may be maximized by including the Colortone in all subsequent applications of CUTEK® Extreme. If your  CUTEK® Colortoned wood has faded over time, wash the wood with CUTEK® Quickclean or CUTEK® Wood Reviver and apply a single coat of Colortoned CUTEK® Extreme to restore the original look of the protected wood.

    Wood that has weathered and grayed can be easily brought back to its original appearance by using CUTEK® Wood Reviver.

  • Use only CUTEK® Colortones in CUTEK® products

    Use ONLY CUTEK® Colortones with CUTEK® Extreme. These are proprietary products designed to work together, and are also not compatible with any third-party product.

    CUTEK® does not permit or endorse the use of CUTEK® Colortones in any other third-party products.

  • CUTEK® Colortone and Colored Pre-mixed Sample Variations

    While we make every effort to ensure consistency of CUTEK® colored products, it is possible there may be an occasional color variation between made up product and Pre-Mixed Samples supplied. This may be due to a variety of variables including but not limited to: differences in Pre-Mixed Sample/Colortone storage times, transport and storage conditions, human error and/or variations in raw materials.

    It is the sole responsibility of the applicator to ensure the actual color being applied is suitable for the intended purpose. CUTEK® does not accept any liability for the application of any incorrect color to any substrate for any reason. If you discover a variation or have any doubts about the accuracy of a colored product, please contact us for advice and assistance.

  • Weather and Temperature

    Before applying CUTEK® Extreme, it is important that your wood is clean, non-greasy and dry with a moisture content of less than 17% and a moisture gradient of less than 1%.

    Do not apply CUTEK® Extreme to exterior wood if it is likely to rain within 48 hours of applying.

    CUTEK® Extreme can be applied in temperatures as low as 40° F, however, cold temperatures may increase the viscosity of the oil, which can slow down rate of diffusion (drying time). Keep the CUTEK® Extreme ready to apply by storing the oil in a warm place until you are starting your project.

    Because CUTEK® Extreme dries by diffusing into the wood, applying a second coat too quickly after the first coat, especially in cold weather will significantly delay the drying process. If this inadvertently occurs, remove excess oil from the surface with a rag. This will help the surface dry faster.

    You may delay the second coat of CUTEK® Extreme for up to four to six months with no detrimental effect to the efficacy of the coating.

  • Surface Contamination

    It is very important to ensure that wood surfaces to be coated with CUTEK® Extreme are free from chemical residues and are not exposed to environmental contaminants such as dusts while the applied CUTEK® Extreme is drying.  It is possible that contact with highly alkaline contaminants such as cement/fertilizer/other dusts or poorly rinsed cleaners may lead to chemical staining.

  • Wood pre-oiled or pre-coated with products containing natural/vegetable oils

    Wood that has been pre-oiled with products that contain natural/vegetable oils (e.g. linseed oil, etc.) generally cross-link to form a barrier which effects CUTEK® Extreme‘s ability to penetrate into the wood. These products can also promote or accelerate unsightly mold growth on wood.

    It is important that such natural/vegetable oil products are completely removed from your wood PRIOR to application of CUTEK® Extreme.

    Refer to our STEP 1: Prepare products for more information on how to prepare your wood for coating with CUTEK® Extreme.

  • Surface Mold and Fungus

    Even clean looking wood may be contaminated with mold spores that are not readily identifiable with the naked eye. If wood in this condition is coated with CUTEK® Extreme, it is possible that dark staining may occur. If this happens CUTEK® Wood Reviver may be able to rectify the situation.

  • Fastenings

    CUTEK® products will not adversely affect hot dipped galvanized iron, silicon bronze, stainless steel or copper nails. Colortoned CUTEK® Extreme may lightly stain lead flashing and other substrates contacted by leachate. Make sure you adequately protect fastenings prior to coating with Colortoned CUTEK® Extreme.

  • Leaching

    CUTEK® Extreme does not stop wood from leaching but can significantly reduce it. Exterior painted or plastered surfaces, like stucco, that sit below CUTEK® protected woods may become stained by leachate from above. If this inadvertently occurs, in most cases CUTEK® Wood Reviver can remove leach/tannin stains.

  • Cross Diffusion

    Where plasterboard, plaster, drywall, sheetrock, or any other absorbent material abuts wood coated with CUTEK® Extreme it is possible that cross diffusion into the porous substrate may occur.

    Please use a Pre-Mixed Sample to make sure CUTEK® is right for your project.

  • Adjacent Surfaces

    While CUTEK® products are safe and easy to use, always remember they are all professional grade and strength, so care must be taken to protect adjacent surfaces from inadvertent contact.

    CUTEK® Extreme may stain concrete, while CUTEK® Wood Reviver, CUTEK® Quickclean, and CUTEK® Wood Stripper may dull, damage, or remove adjacent paintwork or coatings.

  • Acetylated Wood

    CUTEK® products are not suitable for use on acetylated wood.

  • Plywood

    Applying CUTEK® Extreme to some decorative plywood with extremely thin top veneers may cause underlying dark veneer glue lines to become visible due to the penetration of the CUTEK® Extreme, rendering the top veneer semitransparent. It is also important to be aware that plywood designed for interior use with very thin top veneer is often used against design specification in exterior situations such as soffits.

    Please use a Pre-Mixed Sample to make sure CUTEK® is right for your project.

  • Knots

    When CUTEK® Extreme is applied properly, it diffuses deeply into the wood and displaces moisture. This reduction in moisture content may loosen some knots, particularly in very knotty woods.

  • Food Preparation Surfaces

    CUTEK® products are not suitable for use on food preparation surfaces.

  • Chemicals

    Wood surfaces coated with CUTEK® Extreme may show splash or spilling marks if contacted with chemically staining products such as wine, cleaner contaminated water, or strong chemicals. At risk areas include outdoor kitchens, and spa & pool areas. If chemical staining occurs, CUTEK® Quickclean may be helpful in removing the stains.

    Contact our friendly staff, or use a pre-mixed sample to make sure CUTEK® is right for your project.

  • Adhesives

    CUTEK® products have been successfully used on wooden joinery for decades. It is important to note that many silicones and rubber-based adhesives have poor oil and solvent resistance, and are incompatible with CUTEK® Extreme. We recommend polyurethane or flouro-silicone technology as a starting point for adhesive evaluation for use with CUTEK® Extreme. At all times, careful testing of glues and adhesives used in joinery manufacture should be undertaken to ensure compatibility with CUTEK® Extreme prior to use.

    Contact us, or use a Pre-Mixed Sample, to make sure CUTEK® Extreme is right for your project.

  • Rubber & Butynol

    CUTEK® Extreme will dissolve rubber-based glues and adhesives, and will affect Butynol and rubber surfaces if not wiped off soon after contact is made. It also may affect some silicones in a similar fashion.

    When CUTEK® Extreme is applied to wooden shingles, it does not normally affect the Butynol underlay. Wood protected with CUTEK® Extreme can become stained if it is in constant contact with bituminous type materials.

    Contact us, or use a Pre-Mixed Sample, to make sure CUTEK® Extreme is right for your project.

  • Garage Doors

    If the wood being coated is on a garage door and the glue holding the wood to the frame is a rubber-based adhesive (or you are uncertain), run a bead of adhesion sealer along the back of the door where the wood meets the frame. This will ensure the wood remains intact if CUTEK® Extreme comes in contact with the adhesive.

  • Preservation

    The CUTEK® product range is designed to protect wood by increasing its dimensional stability and the service life. However, it is in no way intended to replace licensed wood treatment processes.

     

     

  • Understanding CUTEK® Colortones

    It’s important to understand that CUTEK® is a unique penetrating oil system designed to enhance the natural color and grain of wood. CUTEK® Extreme is sold as a clear oil which can be used to protect the wood from moisture and moisture related movement such as cupping, warping and splitting. Using just the clear oil will protect the wood, providing stability and structural integrity while allowing it to naturally lighten to produce a silver weathered patina over time. The soft natural lightening and silvering of the wood represents a low care option and is becoming an increasingly popular way to leave wood in weather exposed settings.

    Wood projects using clear CUTEK® Extreme that have silvered can easily be returned back to the wood’s original color using CUTEK® Wood Reviver and high pressure washing, followed by further applications of CUTEK® Extreme clear oil.

    However, if you want to maintain the original color of the ‘freshly oiled’ wood then you need to purchase a Colortone to add to clear CUTEK® Extreme. It is important that the Colortone that you choose is suited to your selected wood as it should further enhance the natural color and grain and help to maintain its “natural” color over a longer period of time.

    What to expect when using CUTEK® Colortone

    Most wood care products on the market leave a build up of material on the surface of the wood. In the short term this provides more color, but in the long term the finish can be prone to peeling and flaking, which requires time and money to repair.

    The CUTEK® system is unique because color is designed to fade, ware or erode slowly over time and with use, rather than peel or flake. New smooth wood that’s exposed fully to the weather will lighten faster as the wood acclimatizes after installation than older, rougher wood over the same time period. A follow up application of CUTEK® Colortoned oil after the initial weathering period will provide much greater color intensity and durability as the wood becomes rougher and more absorbent of pigment over time.

    How to increase color intensity on new wood

    New wood is milled smooth and often has a mill glaze which will greatly restrict the initial color adhesion of any pigment. Better results can be achieved by creating a rougher surface and preparing the wood using CUTEK® Wood Reviver in combination with a high pressure washer. Sanding the new wood with 80 grit paper will give even better results as it removes mill glaze and creates a much rougher surface which will enable greater color intensity.

    Note: The rougher the surface of the wood, the greater the color intensity and durability. Rough sawn or heavy brushed wood profiles will take more oil and color so much bolder color contrast can be achieved. The amount of mill glaze, if any, that is present on any job can vary significantly depending on species density, and the machining method used.

    Note: Sanded surfaces should be vacuumed or washed thoroughly to remove all loose wood and dust.

    Selecting the right CUTEK® Colortone

    Our CUTEK® Colortone system is designed to enhance the wood color and grain you select. With this in mind, you need to think about your original wood choice and the color it most represents. Is it Light to Golden, Brown, Red or a combination? Here are a few common examples to help you understand:

    • Western Red Cedar: Reddish to pinkish brown, so Rustic Gold is a nice choice.
    • Redwood and Mahogany: Light pinkish brown to darker reddish brown, so Terra Cotta or Autumntone will look similar on new smooth wood.
    • Douglas Fir: Light brown with a hint of red and/or yellow, so Espresso is a nice choice.
    • Eastern White Cedar: Light white to straw yellow, so Goldtone or Honeycomb will look similar on new smooth wood.

    For a good idea of what a Colortone will look like on your wood type, use our Colortone Visualizer.

    Changing the original color of any wood

    For horizontal walk on surfaces such as decking, we recommend you select a CUTEK® Colortone that is the closest match to the wood you have selected, rather than attempt to change the color. You can talk to any of our retailers for advice.

    For cladding and screening, a much higher intensity of color can be achieved which can completely change the original tone of the wood. Even very light wood colored species can become an almost solid Black, Gray, Red, Brown or Gold if the wood surface is suitably rough, and more coats or a higher pigment loading has been added.

    In some circumstances you can double your CUTEK® Colortone to achieve bolder effects on rough or brushed wood. We advise that you contact us to discuss this option in more detail as we want to ensure you have the best information possible.

    NOTE: We recommend using a Pre-Mixed Sample to see what your chosen CUTEK® Colortone will look like on your specific wood type PRIOR to starting your project.

     

    Application

    Stir and mix the CUTEK® Colortone well before adding into the clear CUTEK® Extreme. Continue to stir and mix well with a flat stirrer, lifting from the bottom, for about 2 minutes before use and give a quick stir about every 15 minutes during use to ensure even results.

    For best results, one coat of clear CUTEK® Extreme should be applied to all faces of the wood prior to installing, with a second and third coat of colortoned CUTEK® Extreme applied to the top surface once the previous coat is completely dry.

    If applying post-construction, apply two thin coats to all accessible wood surfaces, ensuring the first coat has completely penetrated/diffused (dried) before applying the second coat.

    Two or three thin coats on finished wood and hardwoods are better than one or two thick coats. CUTEK® Extreme will take longer to diffuse/penetrate into dense hardwoods so thin coats are best to avoid delayed drying of the oil.

    Maintenance

    Colortoned CUTEK® Extreme will lighten/fade faster in full weather exposed areas, whereas wood in protected areas will retain color with minimal maintenance over time.

    CUTEK® Extreme is designed to gradually fade, wear or erode, over time and with use, rather than peel, split or crack.  Rejuvenation of faded or worn, wood coated with CUTEK® Extreme is a simple, fast and cost-effective process.

    Clear or colortoned CUTEK® Extreme should be reapplied as frequently as necessary to retain the natural beauty and color of your wood. Assessment of this is subjective and it is important to realize that color durability varies widely according to many factors including the age and porosity of the wood, species, situation, exposure to the weather and how rough the wood surface is.

    Typically, horizontal exterior wood surfaces exposed to full weather, such as pool decks and handrails, will require recoating more frequently (initially after 6-12 months), while other surfaces, such as vertical rough-sawn cladding, will need recoating less often.

  • Removing Existing Coatings

    Exterior wood surfaces that have any previous coating products on it must be stripped bare, before protecting with CUTEK® Extreme. It is very important that there is NO barrier to the penetration, diffusion or migration of CUTEK® Extreme into the wood. All previous coatings must be COMPLETELY removed.

    CUTEK® Wood Stripper is the perfect choice to remove existing coatings in an easy and safe manner.

    Because of the wide variation in coatings to be stripped it is vital to test CUTEK® Wood Stripper before starting your project. This will help you determine how long you will need to leave CUTEK® Wood Stripper on the wood and how much product you will need for the job.

  • Using CUTEK® Extreme on Bamboo

    As a substitute for hardwood floors or decking, bamboo can be an attractive choice. It looks great and, as a renewable resource, is an environmentally friendly option. Engineered bamboo offers stability and good looks too.

    However, bamboo isn’t wood and behaves very differently. It needs a much higher level of care and a different approach to make sure it’s protected and stays looking its best for as long as possible.

    We recommend using CUTEK® Extreme on bamboo used for exterior applications.

    Bamboo is a grass and doesn’t contain the extractives that give durability to many woods. It’s also very hygroscopic, meaning it takes up moisture rapidly and can also dry out very quickly, especially in direct sun. This makes engineered bamboo very susceptible to unsightly black staining molds and significant surface erosion when exposed to rain and sun, meaning that it will split/check and go gray/black rapidly if not properly protected.

    Additionally, because engineered bamboo absorbs and releases moisture very quickly, most traditional wood coatings, deck stains and oils don’t last very long on fully weather exposed material.

    We have observed that what may work reasonably well on wood for 6 to 12 months can often fail on bamboo material inside 12 weeks from time of application.

    In our many years of testing, observation and user feedback, we have found that some engineered bamboo products are just not suitable for full weather exposed applications, despite manufacturer’s claims.

    If you are using CUTEK ® Extreme on bamboo we recommend following this process for best results:

    1. Inspect your bamboo surface on a regular basis after protecting with CUTEK® Extreme. Clean with CUTEK® Wood Reviver or CUTEK® Quickclean at the first sign of mold or surface erosion/splitting, followed by the application of another thin coat of CUTEK® Extreme. This must be done as frequently as is necessary.
    2. If installing a bamboo deck that has been factory pre-coated with CUTEK® Extreme it will need at least one thin coat within one month of install. If mixing in a CUTEK® Colortone to alter the existing color, then two coats will be needed for adequate color coverage.
    3. New bamboo decking which has not been pre-coated with CUTEK® Extreme should be coated on all sides before installation, and given two further coats with a CUTEK® Colortoned oil within a month of installation, following the application procedure on the label.
    4. A further coat should be applied within 6-12 months and then annually.

    If you are using strand woven bamboo:

    Strand woven bamboo can contain glue which varies in quality. CUTEK® Extreme will not penetrate the glue in strand woven bamboo as it forms a physical barrier. Some products are very prone to surface expansion and can become very rough. If this occurs, sanding back to a flat surface using 80 grit paper is the best preparation prior to the application of CUTEK® Extreme.

    Clear CUTEK® Extreme can be used without a CUTEK® Colortone, and will fade to a very light natural matt color over a couple of months, and will resist graying for some time before needing to be recoated. To maintain a ‘freshly oiled’ look, more frequent oiling is required.

    NOTE: There are many engineered bamboo products on the market, of widely varying quality. CUTEK® Extreme may or may not work on your chosen engineered bamboo product despite following our recommendations.

    IMPORTANT NOTE

    While the procedures detailed above have proven in some cases to produce a satisfactory result in the decorative coating of engineered bamboo in many countries and are detailed in good faith to assist people, we do not, and are unable to, offer any warranty or performance guarantee of any type (including but not limited to any warranty or performance guarantee in respect of coating longevity, mold/fungi degradation, and splitting/delamination) for the use of any CUTEK® products on any bamboo substrate.

    This is due to the wide variation in the quality of products in the engineered bamboo market including variations in manufacturing processes, varying quality control, varying efficacy of preservative/treatment processes, origin of the raw bamboo, time of bamboo harvest, quality of the glues, place of manufacture etc.

    Some manufacturers choose to specify CUTEK® oils as suitable for their engineered bamboo product, but this does not mean that we are included or involved in any independent warranties issued or implied by a specific manufacturer or distributor in relation to their product.

  • Wood Discoloration

    Based on their causal factors and nature, wood discolorations can be put into two major groups, microbial and non-microbial discolorations. In our experience, non-microbial discolorations are not as well understood as microbial ones despite their common occurrence.

    Microbial Color Changes

    Microbial discolorations are caused by micro-organisms. Many wood discoloring fungi/bacteria such as blue stain fungi, mold fungi, and bacteria, may produce dark or colored stains when exposed to the right conditions of nutrient, moisture and light.

    Non-microbial Color Changes

    Non-microbial discolorations can be mechanical (e.g., burn marks, dirt), chemical, biochemical or photochemical but may also have both chemical and microbial involvement. Analysis of these stains can be complex as many factors may be involved such as exposure to light and oxygen, substrate/coating pH, species, external contaminants, presence of metal ions and moisture content.

    Discoloration and Extractives

    All wood contains “extractives” which are chemicals that are solvent and/or water-soluble compounds that can be highly reactive. Extractives are non-structural chemical components that are mostly produced during heartwood formation. Extractives are extremely varied in their chemical nature and embrace many different classes of organic compounds, including tannins and other phenolic compounds, resins, essential oils, fats, terpenes, flavanoids, quinones, carbohydrates, glycosides and alkaloids.  These extractives can be a major contributor to wood discolorations. For example, some common polyphenol extractives exposed to oxygen and light oxidize to form quinones and other complex polymers. Generally speaking, dark wood tends to lighten and light-colored wood tends to go yellow. Specific changes are very dependent on specific environmental conditions and species of wood.

    Water Stain Discoloration

    Exposure of raw wood to water can mobilize and cause leaching of water-soluble extractives presenting as unsightly water stain rings when the wood is dry. Water stain can be quickly and easily removed with CUTEK® Wood Reviver.

    Natural Silvering of Wood

    Uncoated exterior wood that is exposed to UV rays breaks down the lignin in the cellulose causing photochemical degradation. This is what causes wood that is bare or coated in clear CUTEK® Extreme to lighten/silver over time. The specific shade of gray and rate of change is dependent on species, exposure aspect and coating format used. If you wish to slow the rate of “silvering off” of your exterior CUTEK® Extreme coated wood then it is vital to add a CUTEK® Colortone to your CUTEK® Extreme prior to application in all coats. Exterior wood that has “grayed off” may be quickly and easily restored to fresh looking wood by using CUTEK® Wood Reviver.

    Discoloration caused by Alkaline Materials

    Alkaline substances and chemicals such as bleach and alkaline adhesives etc., can react with woods high in polyphenolic tannins to produce stains. These resulting stains can often be distinguished from iron stain as they are usually brown in color whereas iron stain typically has a black/blue appearance.

    Discoloration Caused by Iron Stain

    Iron stain is an unsightly blue–black or gray discoloration that is often incorrectly described as “mold” because of its frequently spotty appearance. Iron stain can occur on nearly all woods, however, some wood types are particularly prone to iron stain because they contain large amounts of tannin-like extractives. The discoloration is usually caused by a chemical reaction between extractives and iron content in steel products such as nails, screws, and other fasteners. Steel used in contact with wood must be protected from corrosion by using stainless steel or processes such as hot dip galvanizing. Problems with iron contamination can come from traces of iron left on wood from cutting, grinding or slicing; cleaning the surface with steel wool, wire brushes, or iron tools; using finishes stored in rusty containers; and using previous iron-containing or iron-contaminated finishes. Iron dust from metalworking and even plant fertilizers can be sources of iron along with removal of old rusted gutters, handrail construction and contact by steel capped boots. Merely striking wood with a hammer can cause iron stain on some wood. Urine on wood floors will also hasten the reaction with iron and wood extractives, producing the typical iron stain discoloration. Unprotected wood that gets wet on or off site prior to installation are particularly vulnerable as the water-soluble extractives are more readily mobilized to react with any iron contamination. Iron stain can be quickly and easily removed with CUTEK® Wood Reviver.

    Discoloration in Wood with High Leucoanthocyanin Levels

    Some wood types can contain high levels of naturally occurring tannins called leucoanthocyanins which normally appear colorless. In rare circumstances, the application of a higher acid value glue or coating (such as CUTEK® Extreme) can cause the leucoanthocyanin tannin to chemically change into anthocyanins and other derivative compounds. These compounds can then appear in the visible region of the light spectrum, showing more commonly as an attractive red note enhancement of the underlying substrate, however more rarely purple, blue, bluish green through black hues may be visible in some areas. The actual color of the stain is a function of overall pH and environmental factors such as heat, light levels, enzymes, and oxygen. Not all woods are susceptible.

    Natural features of wood types like this show why it is important to choose a suitable wood variety for the intended environment, coating format and end use application. If you suspect that this may be a problem for your project, please use a Pre-Mixed Sample to help determine the suitability of our products for your project.

    If you are unsure if CUTEK® Extreme is the right option for your project, please contact our friendly staff  for further advice.

    Remedial Treatments

    CUTEK® staff are experts in remedial treatment products and processes for many types of wood discolorations and stains. If you have a specific issue that you would like advice on, please contact us for further information.

  • Stains and Leaching

    Stains On Wood Due to Natural Causes

    Wood is a natural material that contains a wide variety of compounds that are termed “extractives”. While they are not part of the essential wood structure, they contribute to natural color, odor, durability and moisture absorbency of a particular species, and may comprise of polyphenols, terpenes, oils, fats, gums, resins and waxes.

    Extractives can leach to the surface of the wood and stain the wood.

    Stains On Processed Wood Arising from Damage To The Living Tree

    If the protective bark on a tree is ruptured the tree will respond by forming protective compounds. Any ruptures potentially expose the tree to invasion by a variety of organisms. If these compounds and organisms are exposed to oxygen and weather it may cause an unsightly stain on processed wood.

    Stains Due to Chemical Changes In Wood Extractives

    As trees grow, streaks or blotches of different shades in the wood can occur. It’s these variations that add character to the wood and enhance its decorative value. Wood placed in the environment and exposed to oxygen and light can cause these natural color variations to significantly change. Often blonde woods acquire a yellowish tint and red woods become browner.

    Stains And Leaching Due to Water

    If processed wood is exposed to moisture (e.g. rain, or high humidity) in the environment some of the extractive may leach to the surface, and dissolve, creating watermarks. If the extractives run off the surface of the wood they can actually stain surrounding surfaces like concrete, tiles and pavers.

    Tannins (polyphenols) in particular are likely to react with alkaline surfaces such as concrete to form an unsightly red/brown stain. If left alone to weather, the level of extractive runoff will reduce and result in a significant reduction in ongoing staining over time. Chemical cleaning and removal of these stains is a simple and easy process with CUTEK® Wood Reviver.

    Stains Caused by Chemical Reaction with Iron

    Many wood species have a high tannin content. If the wood gets wet the tannins can react with iron to form black and insoluble iron stain.

    This can cause dark discolorations that can appear suddenly. These stains are often caused as a result of contact with a steel blade or tool during processing or fixing. The stains are limited to the surface and can be cleaned and removed easily.

    More information on iron stain is available in the section labelled Iron Stain.

    Pre-Cleaning Susceptible Woods

    If you’re using wood with a high level of extractives and fixing it in a wet environment, we recommend a pre-clean using CUTEK® Wood Reviver prior to coating with CUTEK® Extreme.

    While we can’t offer a 100% guarantee due to the varied nature of wood, in our experience a pre-clean helps reduces the chance of stains and helps minimize any stains that do occur.

    Removing Stains and Leachate

    Easily remove iron tannates on wood and leachates on adjacent surfaces with CUTEK® Wood Reviver. Follow the procedures in the CUTEK® Wood Reviver factsheet for the best result.

  • Iron Stains


    Iron stain is an unsightly blue–black or gray discoloration that is often incorrectly described as “mold” because of its frequently “spotty” appearance. Iron stain can occur on nearly all woods, however some wood species are particularly prone to iron stain because they contain large amounts of tannin-like extractives. The discoloration is usually caused by a chemical reaction between extractives and iron content in steel products, such as nails, screws, and other fasteners. Steel used in contact with wood must be protected from corrosion by using stainless steel or processes such as hot dip galvanizing. Problems with iron contamination can come from traces of iron left on wood from cutting, grinding or slicing; cleaning the surface with steel wool, wire brushes, or iron tools; using finishes stored in rusty containers; and using previous iron-containing or iron-contaminated finishes. Iron dust from metalworking and even plant fertilizers can be sources of iron, along with removal of old rusted gutters, handrail construction and contact by steel capped boots. Merely striking wood with a hammer can cause iron stain on some wood types. Urine on wood floors will also hasten the reaction with iron and wood extractives, producing the typical iron stain discoloration. Unprotected wood that gets wet on or off site prior to installation is particularly vulnerable as the water-soluble extractives are more readily mobilized to react with any iron contamination.

    Testing For Iron Stain

    A simple test can be used to determine whether wood discoloration is caused by iron. Apply undiluted CUTEK® Wood Reviver, scrubbing into the stained wood surface. If the solution removes the stain after approximately one hour, then iron is present on the wood. If the solution does not remove the stain, contact your CUTEK® representative to troubleshoot your issue. If the iron stain is spotty, try to view the stained wood under a 10x magnifying glass. “Chunky” discoloration is usually a result of molten metal and looks like clinkers from a grinding operation. Stain that resembles slivers or flakes could be from steel wool. An even discoloration throughout the stain indicates that the iron was in a solution when it contaminated the wood, probably in a contaminated finish or iron contaminated water.

    Removing Iron Stain

    It is easy for iron to contaminate wood, as there are so many possible sources of iron contamination on a building site that are often not initially recognized. To remove iron discoloration, scrub stained wood with undiluted CUTEK® Wood Reviver and leave to soak for one hour. After one hour, thoroughly rinse the surface with a pressure washer to remove the CUTEK® Wood Reviver. It is very important to rinse the CUTEK® Wood Reviver off thoroughly because if all sources of iron are not removed or protected from corrosion, staining will occur again. In other words, treatment with CUTEK® Wood Reviver is only a temporary solution if iron remains on or in the wood. CUTEK® Wood Reviver reacts with iron tannates to form a colorless complex. In time, the residual unrinsed CUTEK® Wood Reviver/iron complex will break down, permitting the iron to react with the extractives to form a dark-colored stain again, which is why it is important to rinse thoroughly.

  • Moisture in Wood

    Wood is divided, according to its botanical origin, into two kinds: softwoods from coniferous trees and hardwoods from broadleaved trees. Softwoods are generally simple in structure and lighter, whereas hardwoods are generally complex in structure and heavier. Softwood (like pine) is much lighter and easier to process than the heavy hardwood (like oak). The density of softwoods generally ranges between 22-44 lbs./ft³, while hardwoods are 28-78lbs./ft³. Both consist of approximately 12% moisture. Due to the more dense and complex structure of hardwood, the permeability is very low in comparison to softwood, thus making it more difficult to dry. The lumber of living trees and freshly felled logs contains a large amount of water, which often constitutes more weight than the actual wood. Water has a significant influence on wood. Wood continually exchanges liquid and gas phase moisture (water) with its surroundings, although the rate of exchange is strongly affected by the degree wood is sealed. Dried wood that is coated with deeply penetrating hydrophobic (water resisting) CUTEK® Extreme demonstrate a dramatically slowed rate of moisture exchange.


    Hardwood


    Softwood

    Why Do We Dry Wood?

    Drying, if carried out promptly after the felling of trees, protects wood against primary decay, fungal stain and attack by certain kinds of insects. Organisms, which cause decay and stain, generally cannot thrive in wood with a moisture content below 20%. Several, though not all, insect pests can live only in green wood. Dried wood is less susceptible to decay than green wood (above 20% moisture content). Apart from the above important advantages of drying wood, the following points are also significant:

    • Dried wood is lighter, thus the transportation and handling costs are reduced
    • Dried wood is stronger than green wood in most strength properties
    • Woods for impregnation with products have to be properly dried if proper penetration is to be accomplished, particularly in the case of oil-type products
    • In the field of chemical modification of wood and wood products, the material should be dried to a certain moisture content for the appropriate reactions to occur
    • Dry wood works, machines, finishes and glues better than green wood. Paints and finishes last longer on dry wood
    • The electrical and thermal insulation properties of wood are improved by drying

    Fiber Saturation Point

    Fiber saturation point is a term used in wood mechanics and especially wood drying, to denote the point in the drying process at which only water bound in the cell walls remains – all other water, called free water, having been removed from the cell cavities. Further drying of the wood results in strengthening of the wood fibers, and is usually accompanied by shrinkage. Wood is normally dried to a point where it is in equilibrium with the atmospheric moisture content or relative humidity, and since this varies so does the equilibrium moisture content.

    Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC)

    Wood is a hygroscopic substance. It has the ability to take in or give off moisture in the form of vapor. The water contained in wood exerts a vapor pressure of its own, which is determined by the maximum size of the capillaries filled with water at any time. If the water vapor pressure in the ambient space is lower than the vapor pressure within wood, desorption takes place. The largest sized capillaries, which are full of water at the time, empty first. The vapor pressure within the wood falls as water is successively contained in smaller and smaller sized capillaries. A stage is eventually reached when the vapor pressure within the wood equals the vapor pressure in the ambient space above the wood, and further desorption ceases. The amount of moisture that remains in the wood at this stage is in equilibrium with the water vapor pressure in the ambient space, and is termed the equilibrium moisture content or EMC. Because of its hygroscopicity, wood tends to reach a moisture content that is in equilibrium with the relative humidity and temperature of the surrounding air. The EMC of wood varies with the ambient relative humidity to a lesser degree with the temperature. EMC also varies very slightly with species, mechanical stress, drying history of wood, density, extractives content and the direction of sorption in which the moisture change takes place (i.e. adsorption or desorption).

    Moisture Content Of Wood In Service

    Wood retains its hygroscopic characteristics after it is put into use. It is then subjected to fluctuating humidity, the dominant factor in determining its EMC. These fluctuations may be more or less cyclical, such as diurnal changes or annual seasonal changes. In order to minimize the changes in wood moisture content or the movement of wooden objects in service, wood is usually dried to a moisture content that is close to the average EMC conditions to which it will be exposed. These conditions vary for interior uses compared with exterior uses in a given geographic location. The primary reason for drying wood to a moisture content equivalent to its mean EMC under use conditions is to minimize the dimensional changes (or movement) in the final product. Dried wood that is coated with CUTEK® Extreme is less susceptible to dimensional changes because the deeply penetrating hydrophobic (water resisting) nature of CUTEK® Extreme minimizes the free absorption and desorption of liquid and gas phase moisture.

  • Shrinkage and Movement

    Shrinkage and swelling may occur in wood when the moisture content of wood changes. Shrinkage occurs as moisture content decreases, while swelling takes place when it increases. Volume change is not equal in all directions. The greatest dimensional change occurs in a direction tangential to the growth rings. Shrinkage from the pith outwards, or radially, is usually considerably less than tangential shrinkage, while longitudinal (along the grain) shrinkage is so slight as to be usually inconsequential.

    The longitudinal shrinkage is 0.1-0.3%, in contrast to tangential shrinkages, which is 2-10%. Tangential shrinkage is often about twice as great as in the radial direction, although in some species it may be as much as five times as great. The shrinkage is species dependent and can be typically 5-10% in the tangential direction and 2-6% in the radial direction.

    Dried wood that is coated with CUTEK® Extreme is less susceptible to dimensional changes because the deeply penetrating hydrophobic (water resisting) nature of CUTEK® Extreme minimizes the free absorption and desorption of liquid and gas phase moisture therefore assisting with maintaining the dimensional integrity of moisture stabilized wood.

    Factors Affecting the Dried Appearance, and Dimensional Integrity of Wood

    Factors that significantly affect the drying, appearance and dimensional integrity of dried wood are:

    • The species; because of the variations in physical, mechanical and moisture transport properties between species
    • The thickness of the wood; because the drying time is approximately proportional to thickness and, to some extent, is also influenced by the width of the cut wood
    • Whether the boards are quarter-sawn, back-sawn or mixed-sawn; because sawing pattern influences the distortion due to tangential and radial shrinkage. This leads to warping, cupping, bowing, twisting, spring and diamonding (see image)
    • Defects that arise due to uneven drying such as rupture of the wood tissue, checks (surface, end and internal), end splits, honey-combing, case hardening and collapse
  • CUTEK® Extreme

    Step 2 > Protect

    Before you protect

    Before you begin, note the hazards and precautions on this website and the can labelling, and ensure that you use the correct safety equipment as detailed in the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

    Weather

    Once applied, CUTEK® Extreme generally requires 3-5 days of dry conditions after coating to facilitate full penetration/diffusion and an even color finish; so check your weather forecast before coating.

    CUTEK® Colortone

    Clear, un-tinted CUTEK® Extreme will allow your wood to naturally lighten/silver/gray when exposed to sunlight while retaining its protection characteristics. Unless you want a clear finish that will naturally lighten/silver/gray off in a few months, it is important to mix in a CUTEK® Colortone to your can of oil before use. Adding a CUTEK® Colortone provides UV color protection and slows the lightening/silvering process.

    To choose which Colortone suits your wood and project, visit our Colortone page.

    Note: CUTEK® Extreme diffuses deeply into your wood and will continue to provide moisture protection and improve dimensional stability even if a CUTEK® Colortone is not added and your wood becomes weathered and grayed.

    Application

    After preparing your wood, it will need to be completely dry prior to coating with CUTEK® Extreme. It is very important that your wood is clean, non-greasy and dry with a moisture content of less than 17%. It is also very important that the surface of the wood is free from chemical residues and is not exposed to environmental contaminants such as dust while the CUTEK® Extreme is drying.

    Stir the CUTEK® Extreme oil thoroughly (with the added CUTEK® Colortone if desired) before and during use. Make sure you stir from the bottom of the can to ensure active ingredients are properly mixed throughout the oil.

    Apply thin, even coats with a brush, or paint pad applicator.  CUTEK® Extreme works best when applied as a THIN COAT – two or three thin coats on finished wood and hardwoods are much better than one or two thick coats. For best results, ONE coat of CUTEK® Extreme should be applied to all faces of the wood prior to installing, with a SECOND coat applied to the top surface once the first coat has completely penetrated/diffused.

    If applying post-construction, apply two thin coats to all accessible wood surfaces, ensuring the first coat has completely penetrated/diffused (dried) before applying the second coat.

    Drying time

    Unlike traditional wood coatings, CUTEK® Extreme needs to penetrate/diffuse deeply into your wood. After coating, CUTEK® Extreme will slowly migrate into your wood to repel moisture, improve dimensional stability and lengthen the service life of your wood. This penetration/diffusion process varies in time for many reasons including differences in wood type (species, density, porosity, age of wood and residual moisture content) as well as environmental factors (temperature, humidity, weather).

    Sometimes this drying process can take several days to complete. You will know when your wood is ready for an additional coat of CUTEK® Extreme when it is completely dry and non-greasy. Please note the second coat of CUTEK® Extreme will take longer to migrate into your wood than the first coat.

    Clean-up

    Equipment (including brushes) may be cleaned with CUTEK® Quickclean, mineral spirits or soap and water. If not correctly cleaned or disposed of, oily rags and other oily materials may cause combustion fires. After use you MUST immediately spread all oily material outside to dry by flattening them out to their full size in an airy spot at temperatures above 39° F, or wash them thoroughly with water and detergent and rinse. Remove all oil from all clothes, tools, rags and any other materials contacted during use or as a result of an accidental spill. Ensure wash water is disposed of in accordance with local regulations.

    Coverage
     New hardwoods (sanded) 400-800 sq.ft/gallon
    Old restored wood (sanded) 250-350 sq.ft/gallon
    New wood (rough sawn) 250-300 sq.ft/gallon
    Old restored wood (rough sawn) 150-250 sq.ft/gallon
    Shingles and shakes  84-212  sq.ft/gallon

    These figures represent typical averages for common decking and cladding wood species and are to be used as a guideline only.

  • CUTEK® Wood Reviver

    STEP 1 > PREPARE

    It is important for the user to determine the suitability of the CUTEK® Wood Reviver for its intended application. ALWAYS test the product on a small test area before to applying to any large areas. As the species and condition of wood can vary significantly, testing will enable you to accurately estimate the dilution, working time and amount of CUTEK® Wood Reviver required to complete your project.

    Safety and precautions:

    Before you begin to Prepare and Protect your wood, note the hazards and precautions and ensure that you have obtained and know how to use the correct safety equipment as detailed in the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

    When using CUTEK® Wood Reviver, all adjacent surfaces and vegetation must be adequately protected. It is also important to be aware of the potential for wind drift into areas with cars or pedestrian traffic when rinsing. Water flush all equipment, vegetation, paths, concrete, asphalt and other adjacent surfaces before and after contact.

    How to Apply:

    Dilution and Coverage:

    Purpose Dilution (Recommended) Mixed Vol Coverage
    Restore lightly gray, weathered and/or stained wood

    1:4

    1 part CUTEK® Wood Reviver to every 4 parts water

    5 US gal.
    1,000-1,600 ft²
    Remove stubborn stains and/or restore severely weathered or grayed wood and mill glaze
    Undiluted CUTEK® Wood Reviver
    1 US gal.
    200-320 ft²

    IMPORTANT: These figures represent typical averages for common decking and cladding species and are to be used as a guideline only

    CUTEK® Wood Reviver is a powerful wood restoring agent and can be used diluted or undiluted. Dilution and coverage can vary depending on the smoothness and density of your wood, as well as the severity of staining and/or weathering. Always test to determine if your chosen dilution is effective in the restoration of your specific wood.

    Application:

    If required, dilute the CUTEK® Wood Reviver concentrate with water; refer to dilution guidelines and complete a test patch to ensure the right dilution for your wood.

    Wet your wood prior to applying CUTEK® Wood Reviver. Apply CUTEK® Wood Reviver liberally to wetted wood with a brush, roller, broom or low-pressure garden sprayer.

    Let CUTEK® Wood Reviver do the work by leaving it on the surface for 1 hour to 24 hours depending on the severity of staining or discoloration. It may be necessary to scrub stubborn stains moderately with a stiff fiber brush.

    Removal:

    Once CUTEK® Wood Reviver has cleaned the wood, it must be rinsed off thoroughly with water. For best results, rinse using a pressure washer set to approximately 50 bar (750 p.s.i.) with a fan jet pattern. REMOVAL WITH A GARDEN HOSE IS NOT SUFFICIENT.
    CAUTION must be used to avoid damage to the wood fiber and ‘furring up’. Adjust your cleaning process by reducing the pressure or your operating distance from the wood. DO NOT use “turbojets” on wood.

    Rinse from the highest point and work down methodically using long even strokes in the direction of the grain, until there is minimal to no sudsing. The longer that CUTEK® Wood Reviver is left on the wood, the greater the rinse time required.

    Note: certain types of wood surfaces may leave a raised grain effect after pressure washing is completed. Sanding or poly pad scrubbing may be required to smooth out this condition.

    Clean Up:

    Equipment may be cleaned with water. Ensure wash water is disposed in accordance with local regulations.

  • CUTEK® Wood Stripper

    STEP 1 > PREPARE

    Before Applying

    It is important for the user to determine the suitability of CUTEK® Wood Stripper for its intended application. ALWAYS test product on a small test area. The coatings to be stripped can vary significantly, testing will enable you to accurately estimate the working time, and amount of CUTEK® Wood Stripper required to complete your project.

    NOTE: CUTEK® Wood Stripper may need to be applied more than once to thick paint or film form coatings with many layers.

    Safety and precautions

    Before you begin to Prepare and Protect your wood, note the hazards and precautions and ensure that you have obtained and know how to use the correct safety equipment as detailed in the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

    When using CUTEK® Wood Stripper, all adjacent surfaces and vegetation must be adequately protected. It is also important to be aware of the potential for wind drift into areas with cars or pedestrian traffic when rinsing. Water flush all equipment, vegetation, paths, concrete, asphalt and other adjacent surfaces before and after contact.

    Coverage

    Spreading rate of CUTEK® Wood Stripper is approximately 120 sq.ft./gallon.

    NOTE: this can vary significantly depending on the type and thickness of the paint or wood coating being removed.

    Application

    CUTEK® Wood Stripper should be used as supplied. Stir/shake well, then apply CUTEK® Wood Stripper evenly with a brush, roller or paint pad applicator to dry wood, rubbing into the grain. Reaction time is approx. 30-60 minutes. Keep area wet and activated by applying more CUTEK® Wood Stripper or by agitating the application area with a brush or roller for the duration determined by testing.

    Test periodically with a paint scraper to determine when the old coating is stripping cleanly off the wood. When this happens, the stripped surface is ready for rinsing. We suggest that you try to strip only 10 ft² first.

    Removal

    Rinse off thoroughly, using a pressure washer set to approximately 50 bar (750 p.s.i.) with a fan jet pattern. REMOVAL WITH A GARDEN HOSE IS NOT SUFFICIENT.
    CAUTION must be used to avoid damage to the wood fiber and ‘furring up’. Adjust your cleaning process by reducing the pressure or your operating distance from the wood. DO NOT use “turbojets” on wood.

    Clean from the lowest point and work upwards methodically using long even strokes in the direction of the grain. If cleaned from the highest point first, the product below can become sticky and difficult to remove.

    After stripping the wood, clean it with CUTEK® Wood Reviver to remove residual CUTEK® Wood Stripper and rejuvenate the substrate and enhance the grain. See CUTEK® Wood Reviver for instructions.

    Certain types of wood surfaces may leave a raised grain effect after stripping is completed. Sanding or poly pad scrubbing may be required to smooth out this condition.

    Clean Up & Disposal

    Equipment may be cleaned with CUTEK® Quickclean or soap/detergent and water. All wash water, containers and contents should be disposed of in accordance with local regulations

  • CUTEK® Quickclean

    STEP 1 > PREPARE

    It is important for the user to determine the suitability of CUTEK® Quickclean for its intended application. ALWAYS test product on a small area, referring to the dilution guidelines, before making a full mixture and applying to any large areas. As surface types and conditions can vary significantly, testing will enable you to accurately estimate the dilution, working time and amount of CUTEK® Quickclean required to complete your project.  It will also enable you to perfect the cleaning technique that works best in your situation.

    Safety and precautions:

    Before you begin to Prepare and Protect your wood, note the hazards and precautions on the can label and ensure that you have obtained and know how to use the correct safety equipment.

    When using CUTEK® Quickclean all adjacent surfaces and vegetation must be adequately protected. It is also important to be aware of the potential for damaging wind drift into areas with cars or pedestrian traffic when rinsing. Water flush all equipment, vegetation, paths, concrete, asphalt and other adjacent surfaces before and after contact.

     

    How to Apply:

    Dilution and Coverage:

    Purpose Dilution (Recommended) Coverage
    Remove grease, oil, dirt & grime 1:8

    1 part CUTEK® Quickclean to  every 8 parts water (approx.)

    850 sq.ft/4.5gal

    (mixed volume/diluted)

     

    Important: CUTEK® Quickclean is a powerful general-purpose outdoor cleaner that should be diluted. Dilution and coverage can vary depending on the type of surface being cleaned and the build-up of dirt/grease on the substrate. Always test prior to making a full mixture to determine if dilution being used is effective in cleaning on your specific surface.

    Application:

    Dilute the CUTEK® Quickclean concentrate with water as required and complete a test patch to ensure the dilution being used is effective in cleaning.

    Wet your substrate with water prior to applying CUTEK® Quickclean. Apply diluted CUTEK® Quickclean liberally with a brush, roller, broom or low-pressure garden sprayer. Let CUTEK® Quickclean do the work by leaving it on the surface for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the severity of dirt/soiling/grease. It may be necessary to scrub stubborn stains moderately with a stiff fiber brush.

    Removal:

    Once CUTEK® Quickclean has cleaned the substrate, it must be water rinsed off thoroughly. For best results, rinse using a pressure washer set to approximately 50 bar (750 p.s.i.) with a fan jet pattern.
    CAUTION must be used to avoid damage to the wood fiber and ‘furring up’. Adjust your cleaning process by reducing the pressure or your operating distance from the wood. DO NOT use “turbojets” on wood.

    Rinse from the highest point and work down methodically using long even strokes in the direction of the grain

    For situations where pressure washing is not practical, rinse off the CUTEK® Quickclean with clean water from a bucket or a garden hose using a light scrubbing action with a stiff brush.

    Clean-Up:

    Equipment may be cleaned with water. Ensure wash water is disposed of in accordance with local regulations.