How to Apply UV Protection Oil

Date: 6th June 2024
Categories: Barrettine, Products

The satisfaction of completing a beautiful outdoor project, whether it involves timber cladding around the home or exterior hardwood wooden window frames and doors, can fade fast once the wood is exposed to the elements.

Sun, rain, and wind can all take their toll, but one of the biggest threats to the longevity and aesthetics of exterior wood is ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Luckily, today there are methods of protecting timber against the damage caused by UV radiation.

As experts in woodcare, at Barrettine we understand the importance of getting long lasting results, and we have the expert solution to ensure your exterior timber retains its natural tone, colour and character for as long as possible.

So how (and why) should you apply UV protection oil to exterior timber?

How do UV rays damage wood?

Just like our skin, wood suffers under constant exposure to UV rays. The damage this causes may take a while to appear, but sun damage can wreak aesthetic and structural havoc on your timber.

UV rays degrade the natural pigments in wood, leading to a loss of colour and a silvery-grey appearance.

But the damage isn’t purely cosmetic. Over time, UV rays break down the lignin that binds wood fibres together, making it more prone to cracking and splintering. This can compromise the structural integrity of the wood and if left could eventually lead to having to replace timber with the associated costs.

The good news is that, by using a high-quality UV protection oil, you can significantly slow down this process, maintaining the beauty and integrity of your projects for years to come.

Do all types of wood need UV protection?

While hardwoods like oak are less susceptible to UV damage compared to softwoods, all types of timber will degrade over time due to UV damage. If timber is used in the outdoors, it will need protection to keep it looking and performing at its best.

Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil  

At Barrettine, we have been trusted by the professionals for decades to provide the very best woodcare and exterior products, and we know the importance of keeping timber looking at its best for as long as possible.

Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil is a high-performance specialist coating which combines natural oils, waxes, and advanced UV protection technology to shield exterior wood from the elements. This clear formula repels water effectively on both softwood and hardwood, creating a microporous finish that resists cracking and peeling while maintaining the natural character of the wood.

Ideal for high-end exterior cladding, doors, windows, and structural timbers, Armourflex® offers long-lasting protection and a beautiful final finish for your outdoor projects.

Preserving wood: protection against insects and fungal attacks

Even with UV protection, wood can still be vulnerable to attack from unseen enemies. Wood-boring insects and fungi can further damage your timber cladding, fencing or windows.  

To create a resilient barrier and protect the surface of the wood fully, you’ll need to use a high quality wood preserver as a primer before applying the UV protection oil. This will provide essential biocidal protection against destructive wood-boring insects and fungi.

At Barrettine, we offer a Universal ‘Primer’ Preserver which contains no waxes or resins so this can be overcoated once dry with the UV Protection Oil.

Preparation: the first steps

Before applying UV protection, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to get the most out of your protection treatments.

If timber is aged or silvered, firstly you’ll need to revive it – our Barrettine Wood Reviver is a great solution for rejuvenating weathered wood back to its original tones.

To eliminate existing mould or mildew and to future proof the would from mould spores, treat the wood with a suitable cleaner, like the Barrettine Mould & Mildew Cleaner.

Finally, if you're working with unpreserved and untreated wood, apply Barrettine Universal Preserver as a primer for added protection against fungal growth and wood-boring insects. Barrettine Universal Preserver offers a protective clear finish and can also be applied to vulnerable exposed end grain. It’s also important to note that while pressure-treated wood reduces the need for immediate maintenance, it's not maintenance-free. Pressure-treated timber will typically have a greenish tint and will require additional preservation for optimal protection.

Applying UV protection oil

It's important to test a small area first to confirm you like the final look, as the oil may darken the wood initially but always dry back lighter. Performing a trial application on a test area will ensure the UV oil finish is as expected.

To achieve optimal protection, apply 2 coats of Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil with a high-quality brush or roller.  

Apply the first coat generously to ensure saturation, then subsequently apply an extra thin coat.

Allow at least 4 hours between coats and 10 hours for complete drying.

Protect the treated surface from rain and frost until fully dry, as these conditions can affect the finish.

Finally, make sure you clean your equipment with Barrettine White Spirit, and remember to dispose of oily cloths safely by soaking them in soapy water and drying them flat outdoors. The final surface and coverage will vary depending on wood type, with a single litre typically covering 8-20 square metres when applying two coats.

What weather conditions are best for applying UV protection oil?

Timing is key when applying UV protection oil for optimal results, because you ideally want to apply these products outdoors.

The outside ideal application temperature is between 5-30°C to ensure proper drying and avoid application issues. Lower temperatures can affect the product's finish and ability to dry. Check the forecast – no rain should be expected for at least 12 hours after application, and ideally more than 2 days should have passed since heavy rain.

Finally, aim for a relative humidity level below 80%, with 60% being ideal. These conditions will allow the oil to penetrate effectively and create a long-lasting protective barrier for your wood.

 How long will the product last?

While the exact lifespan of Armourflex® UV Protection Oil depends on sun exposure, rain, and frost, our rigorous testing simulates harsh conditions to ensure long-lasting protection. In these "worst-case scenarios," reapplication is recommended every year. However, for most exterior projects with some shade, re-coating every two years is typical, ideally done in early autumn or after the last spring frost.

Find your local supplier today

Whether you’re a trade professional sprucing up your customers’ exterior timber fencing or a housing developer wanting to keep exterior timber cladding looking beautiful for years to come, at Barrettine we have the expert woodcare and surface coatings you’ll need.

Find your local supplier online, or get in touch with our expert team. 

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