Application of Cutek Extreme Clear Coat on Thermally Modified Wood

Unusual wear patterns have been observed on thermally modified woods which are not typical of Cutek wear on regular woods. We are still not sure why pigment has not adhered in some areas, but the usual fade/wear pattern is not apparent.  

It also appears that when too much coating/pigment has been applied, the result is a very “soft” coating that wears even faster.  We cannot over emphasize that as tempting as it may be, only a very thin coat should be applied.

 Exterior paints and stains in general, are labor intensive and certainly do not last when exposed to the elements.  Most brands require sanding and stripping between coats for maximum retention of color, however this is not typical with Cutek Extreme.  There is a general perception that color retention equals longevity of the wood below.  While this is the case with most other brands of stain, it is not true for Cutek Extreme.  Cutek Extreme is a wood stabilizer first and foremost.  The thermal modification has changed the very essence of the wood; silvering much more rapidly, making it very dry & brittle, with cracking common place.

We have found nothing that penetrates as well, or minimizes checking & cracking on thermally modified woods like Cutek Extreme CLEAR.  We even have contractors using it as end cut treatment instead of the messy liquid wax.  The Extreme is the only one that we have found that can be applied in the heat of the day, and with CLEAR, wood can be pre-treated and wet stacked.  1 gallon should be sufficient to do 300 – 400 sq. ft. of old cedar, PT, & thermally modified woods when properly applied, and sanding is not typically required between subsequent (maintenance) coats.  If maple keys, leaves, insects, pollen, etc. falls onto a freshly Cutek stained (& still wet deck) – they will not adhere to it!  Simply allow the surface to dry and sweep/brush the foreign matter off.  Combined, this makes Cutek Extreme the easiest and most cost effective choice.

It is when we get into the realm of color that the world becomes less perfect . . .   Pigment particles can’t penetrate into the wood, hence all color resides on the surface.  Smooth surfaces have less “face” material for the pigment to grab onto.  You can expect Cutek Colortone to last 2-3 years or more on rough-sawn siding, particularly in a protected area’s.  Exposed decking generally needs coating annually – even every 6 months in the first year to maintain color, provided mill glaze has been removed initially with #80 grit sanding.  Cutek Extreme with Colortone is to be power stirred /blended for min. 3 minutes prior to use, and every 10 -15 minutes during use as the tint oxides will settle out otherwise.  Do not relay on shaking the tins like paints – it is not sufficient!

We have only received rave reviews from manufacturers of outdoor structures made from Doug Fir, as well as log homes.  Cedar Shake shingles in particular benefit from Cutek Extreme as it can restore cupped shingles, and it dramatically reduces blackening & moss growth.  Sanding with #80 grit will provide more visible, “feel-able” surface roughness/area for pigment to adhere to, making the color longer lasting.  However, if too much product is applied at a time, or insufficient drying time between thin coats, the result is a softer than possible/desired overall finish and this will more easily rub off or erode.

 With most brands on the market, color will typically last 1 – 3 years before unsightly cracking & peeling occurs, and  this is when moisture penetrates into the wood causing rot.  This leads to mandatory chemical stripping and/or sanding prior to a new coat being applied.  I.E. Much effort!  With Cutek Extreme + Colortone, the pigments instead wear off.  A simple wash & dry followed by application of another coat provides a far less labor intensive resolution.  In year 1, you will likely need 2 thin coats early in the season [Please see Video 11:  How do I apply Cutek Oils? and depending on the situation, 1 maintenance coat, except in areas where there has been a lot of wear to maintain the look and depth of color you desire.

Remember, Cutek protects the wood from within, and provides longer life spans to exterior wood projects.  Cutek is not low maintenance, it is easy maintenance.

We want to thank Dave Bartnik  from Deck Source for allowing us to publish this article.

Novawood 4 Months Untreated and Cutek Extreme Clear 2 Coats
Cutek Extreme with a clear coat on thermally modified wood (on right side of picture) and thermally modified wood left exposed for four months with no coating (on left side of picture)

Comments are closed here.