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My benchtop has osmo oil and around the sink and in areas of high use, the finish is coming away. We have reapplied the oil, we have sanded and reapplied the oil and lastly throughly cleaned (with osmo cleaner), sanded and reapplied. Although the oil appears to be absorbed, almost immediately, it returns to the previous state. Any ideas?

Woodsolutions Answer +

It’s not possible for us to have a detailed understanding of all the finishes on the market. We don’t carry out our own tests and we are not familiar with Osmo Polyx. If you are not satisfied with its performance perhaps it’s something to take up with the supplier. Osmo Polyx appears to be an oil-based finish. As a general rule we don’t recommend oils or waxes for areas where contact with water is likely. In our opinion the most satisfactory treatment for timber benchtops adjacent to sinks is polyurethane, applied to all surfaces including the edges of cutouts and the underside of the bench, ie. a complete envelope. Polyurethane forms a barrier against water and liquid spills, can be wiped clean easily, and is resistant to heat. However, if you intend to switch to polyurethane, note that any residual wax or oil may interfere with its curing, so all traces of the previous coating must be removed.


I have a contract with F17 posts and beams specified which are above ground with some exposure - I am considering Gl17 Merbau. The engineer had asked for h3 or losp to exposed timbers. Is that possible with Merbau? - or does its durability class deem it unnecessary?

Woodsolutions Answer +

Merbau (kwila) is rated Durability Class 1 outdoors above ground and in our opinion does not need preservative treatment. In any event, being a relatively dense hardwood, preservative penetration would be difficult. As with all exterior timber it is advisable to avoid notches and housings that would collect water, and to seal any exposed end grain.


I have two decks: one in 35 mm blackbutt and one in 32 mm spotted gum. They are both oiled with Cutek CD50 Extreme. The blackbutt is tinted 'rustic gold', and the spotted gum 'new bronzetone'. Unfortunately, the stain has ruined (not enhanced) the natural wood look. The Spotted gum looks like a dark Jarrah or Kwila, the Blackbutt looks an unnatural orange colour. Neither deck shows the natural variation in the timber colour. Furthermore, the oils take *weeks* to dry. Is there a way to reverse the staining, and maybe a better product to use next time?

Woodsolutions Answer +

Finishes that form a skin on the surface of the wood can be removed with paint stripper but we understand Cutek oil penetrates into the wood. We suggest you try a deck cleaning product, combined with power washing. You will find information on the net about using power washers but the two main points are (a) not to use the nozzle too close to the decking, and (b) not to turn up the pressure too high. If power washing doesn’t work you might have to resort to sanding the deck, in which case make sure all nails are punched in otherwise the sandpaper will tear. Regarding a product to re-coat the deck we suggest a brand-name decking oil but without a heavy tint next time. If you can persuade a paint shop to coat up some samples for you, or to show you samples of their products on actual decking rather than colour cards, that will give you a more realistic idea of appearance.

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