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Natural Wood Apperance
Using Epoxy Clean Up Solvent

The weathered appearance of exterior wood is sometimes desired, but not continuing deterioration. It may be necessary to restore deteriorated wood shingles or siding, but at the same time maintain the "natural" appearance of the wood, to give that rustic look.

It is also possible to reduce the water absorption of old concrete, porous tiles or stone without any residue whatsoever remaining on the surface. There are many water-repellent "sealers" on the market that do this, but they weather away in a few months to a year. Epoxy-impregnated tile or cement lasts much longer.

If Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) were applied to a surface in the usual manner, a thin film of the cured epoxy resin system would be left on the surface. Being prone to attack by the ultraviolet of sunlight, as all commercially available epoxy systems are, this residual film can yellow and flake off in the months to come. Such a breakdown of the surface resin film will give an unnatural appearance and jeopardize the life expectancy of a stain the owner might wish to apply.

The desired natural appearance of wood may be obtained by a different application procedure of CPES.

A few hours after application of the CPES to saturate the wood, most of the solvents have evaporated, but the resin film on the surface has not yet cured. The resin system is a very unusual one, in that it cures very slowly. It is therefore possible to dissolve and clean up that surface resin film by wiping it with a rag or paper towel soaked with our Epoxy Cleanup Solvent. When the application is out of direct sunlight the resin system will be scarcely cured at all, even several hours later. The resin that has impregnated the porosity of the surface will not be dissolved in the brief time the surface is exposed to the solvent and wiped clean.

Our Epoxy Cleanup Solvent is a solvent blend that efficiently dissolves the resins that are used in CPES. Mineral spirits or turpentine will not work, and acetone or MEK evaporate too rapidly to be useful in this sort of application.

A stain may be applied a few days later. Oil-based stains with a mineral spirits solvent system will be compatible sooner than a waterborne stain, which may require some additional days drying time for the wood. Normally wood is stained before the CPES and a clear finish are applied. That is because stains need to bond to the wood surface fibers, and look unnatural when applied to wood with an epoxy film on the surface. Once the wood surface has been cleaned of the epoxy film as described above, then a stain may be applied as the final finish if desired.

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This article written by Steve Smith 2002, All rights reserved.