Many hardwood timbers being sold today for the construction of “Decks” & other External structures (even though kiln dried) may not necessarily be suitable for the immediate application of a Timber Finish. In particular are hardwoods with either a high Moisture or a high Tanin content. As a result we have developed Woodguard as an interim wood preserver and seasoner.

Brand new external hardwoods should NOT be left to weather – once exposed to the elements for even a few weeks without protection your timber may develop cracks, checks (small surface cracks) as well as lose colour. Therefore an allround application prior to construction of either 1 coat of Ecowoodoil Woodguard or 1 coat of Ecowoodoil Decking Oil is highly recommended. After all, once your construction has been built, the majority of the surface of your expensive new timber may never be accessible again.

The information below is to help you determine whether to apply Woodguard as an interim seasoner, or whether to apply your preferred Ecowoodoil Timber Finish.

Hardwoods with a High Moisture Content

The moisture content of timber is extremely important for an oil to penetrate & cure. 10-12% is the Industry recommendation for stable timber. Many timbers supplied today are kiln dried to only 18%. Should the moisture content be above 12% Ecowoodoil could remain at the surface, making it tacky, whiten or simply wash off.

ADVICE : Wash all timber surfaces using “wash down” procedure. After “wash-down” and the timber has dried completely (2 to 3 days), apply a single coat of Ecowoodoil Woodguard 2 to 3 months prior to applying your preferred Ecowoodoil product.

Hardwoods with a High Tannin Content

Most imported Malaysian / Indonesian / New Guinea Hardwood timbers, Merbau, Kwila, Kapur, Belian, Balau, Kempas & some Australian timbers have a high content of Tannin, this becomes a problem when the timber is exposed to moisture.

The tannin can leach out causing staining not only on your timber but also on any surrounding surfaces i.e. concrete, painted surfaces, tiles etc. A good example of this can be seen in the photo.

Tannin Leach New Hardwood Timber

Timbers which have a relatively high tannin content are also prone to discolouration with black stains when it comes in contact with iron compounds i.e. iron filings, ferrous nails & screws. Cement dust & soil high in iron can also leave black spots if particles fall on these timbers when wet. Tannin stains are not only unsightly but can also clog the pore structure of the timber - preventing oil from penetrating evenly, not only causing it to remain tacky but also in some cases giving an overall dull / patchy appearance.

ADVICE : Wash all timber surfaces using “wash down” procedure. After “wash-down” and the timber has dried completely (2 to 3 days), apply a single coat of Ecowoodoil Woodguard 2 to 3 months prior to applying your preferred Ecowoodoil product.

Why Woodguard

The highly penetrative light plant oils combined with Bee’s wax in Woodguard will assist in the reduction of weather–staining, tannin and other nutrient leaching, as well as structural/shape problems arising from the rapid loss and intake of moisture. Woodguard provides 3 months protection under full UV whilst allowing the timber to “season”.

Woodguard is cost effective, as the Tung Oil and Bees Wax remnants of Woodguard still reside in your timber after 2 to 3 months. This results in superior coverage rates for the finish from your advised Ecowoodoil product, allowing Woodguard to somewhat pay for itself.


Prior to any application of Ecowoodoil, including maintenance coats:

1. Wet the timber thoroughly

2. Mix a solution of an ALKALINE salts cleaner i.e Tricleanium as per directions on container OR Napisan Laundry Soaker (If using Napisan use 2 capfuls in a bucket of warm water). This diluted formula is far safer for your plants and pets than Oxalic Acid.

3. Apply to wet timber surface & agitate with a stiff bristle brush or broom. Allow to stand for 20-30 minutes before hosing off. Repeat wash down if seen to be necessary.

4. Allow timber to dry for a minimum of 2-3 days in good drying conditions before applying oil.

5. Prior to applying Ecowoodoil, remember to follow the detailed instructions printed on the can of your specific product.

Important Note: MAKE SURE you remove sawdust, nails, metal filings and other construction debris from on or near the timber’s surfaces prior to and after washing & application of Woodguard. These materials contain elements that can leave unsightly marks on your timber should any moisture react with them! If your new Timber has been mishandled or rust marked, you may need to follow the procedure for Weathered Timbers.