Using dense wood is a great idea for building a hardwood deck, since it will help make it more durable and resistant to insects and rot outdoors. Unfortunately, denser wood does tend to make the deck difficult to finish properly. This is because dense wood often has a closed grain and is naturally oily. The following are a few tips for finishing a dense hardwood deck to perfection:
Tropical hardwood, such as ipe, is too dense and oily to provide a good substrate for film-forming finishes. This type of hardwood will even have difficulty accepting penetrating oils. However, you shouldn’t have any issues if you use a penetrating oil that contains high trans-oxide pigment content. If you are using ipe hardwood, then one coat of finish is enough, even though many manufacturers recommend two. Sand down your wood using an 80-grit sandpaper in order to remove the old finish or the mill glaze that’s found on new ipe wood. Brush your finish on and wipe off the excess after 15 to 20 minutes.
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