With time, your Merbau hardwood floor’s original finish wears and receives scratches from all the activity around the house. To maintain its lustre, it’s necessary to refinish it and you can do this yourself!
Merbau is a species of tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, which is native to the Indo-Pacific. It extends from Tanzania and Madagascar east through India and Queensland, Australia to the Pacific island of Samoa. It grows up to about 50 meters (160 feet) in height with a very strong trunk. It lives in the mangrove swamps.
The tree has a variety of common names including butuga itsiga ipil and kwila. In the Philippines, it is also known in some areas as such.
The bark and leaves of merbau are used in traditional medicine. The wood of the tree, called merbau or kwila, is a very durable wood and resistant to termites, making it a valuable material for floors and other uses. Wood can also be used to extract a dye. The Merbau may contain a golden vein, which is considered attractive by some.
Due to extensive tree felling, it is endangered in many places in Southeast Asia, and almost extinct elsewhere. Large quantities were acquired for the 2008 Olympic Games venue in China, which is the largest importer of wood. Wood is used for floors in the USA. and the European markets where it is commonly sold under different names.
In New Zealand, where merbau wood is known as kwila, attempts have been made to stop it from being imported. In 2008 retailers were divided on whether the sale of kwila should be prohibited. Jim Anderton, who was the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry at that time, did not support the ban and instead left the choice to the consumer.
Nowadays it is widely used for flooring and decking. If you are looking for experts that can help you install a merbau hardwood floor in your backyard and want to be left with a great feeling of satisfaction and peace of mind knowing you worked along the best ones in the market, do not hesitate to contact Brandon’s Building Material. Free quote on installation!
You’re going to need the following tools and materials:
- A buffer: If you don’t have one you can rent it for the task. The buffer is a powerful machine, if this is your first time, practice using it in the middle of the room or in a soft concrete surface.
- A vacuum cleaner: to clean all the dust in the room.
- White vinegar: for cleaning purposes.
- A mop: either a mop with a towel or a terry cloth mop.
- 180 Grit Sandpaper: to remove the old finish.
- A hammer: in case there are nails sticking out.
- A dust mask and a respirator: for health and safety purposes.
- A roller: a long-handled roller for the task at hand.
- A brush: for manual finishing of the perimeter.
The finish of your preference:
- Polyurethane: it’s one of the most used. It can be either oil-based or water-based and it gives a dark finish. Great for public areas.
- Varnish: varnish can darken with time but it’s easier to fix specific spots. There are plenty of different lustre varnishes to choose from.
- Penetrating sealer: not as durable as the previous ones but it gives a natural look to the wood and it’s easy to make spot repairs.
This task can take hours or a weekend to finish, so make sure you make time in your schedule to do a proper job.
Follow these steps:
- Clean the area
Remove all furniture carefully, and then proceed to clean the floor as much as possible. Use a mixture of 10 parts of water and 1 part of vinegar to mop the floor.
- Check the surface
Check for protruding nails before starting and make sure to hammer them down.
The buffer machine can’t reach all the spots of the room, such as the perimeter and corners. Use your sandpaper for this area. Rub 4 inches (10 the boards firmly until the finish becomes dull turning into powder.
- Buff it all out
This task requires you to wear your dust mask for safety measures. Install a maroon buffing pad on the buffer. Buff the room from side to side overlapping at least 6 inches (10 cm) of each path. The powder trail from the buffed finished will help you measure and know which areas you covered. Keep moving to buff all areas evenly, don’t stop in one spot.
- Clean all the powder
Use your vacuum cleaner to absorb all the powder from the old finish, follow the flooring strips to absorb the powder between the boards. Complete the cleaning task sweeping across the boards.
- Add the finish of your preference to the edges
Wear a respirator for this and the following step. Using the brush, apply a 2.7 inches (7cm) line of finish from the baseboard along the edges of the room. Make sure to read the instructions of the finish you chose to know how much time it needs drying.
- Roll the finish
Pour the finish and use your roller to spread it in even lines from the back of the room to the entrance. Overlap each line and continue until the whole floor is covered. Let the finish dry for at least 3 hours, then you can pour another coat and roll it for 10 minutes.
- Putting back furniture
The finish needs to dry and settle for at least a week before you can put all your furniture back in. This will ensure it is dry and strong enough to prevent scratching when moving the furniture in. However, be careful with any sharp objects.
You can do it yourself!
Remember that if you want to create a certain style or a colour scheme, you should go to a specialist. An interior designer can accompany you from the beginning of the project to the selection of furniture. And don’t forget to contact us to have a great deck that will make your entire house look way more elegant