Designing and Building a Tiny House, and Everything In Between. 

Ribbons, Sails 

& Dandelion Fluff

May 2020 –

Building a Shelter

Steel Frames & Cladding

Apr 20 – Jul 19

Doors & Windows

The Beginnings of a ‘Tiny’ Project

Apr 19 – Aug 17

Succulents & Raspberries;

A First Foray into Gardening.

Oct 17 – Apr 15

How to Build a Door Part 2

Whilst I may have myself a very handsome, very solid timber door, it is still missing the vital components that will ensure that it is openable, swingable and lockable- all the redeeming qualities of the very best doors. In the next couple of posts, I will be exploring my options for weathering protection, hinges, handles, locks and the glazing of the glass pane. All areas which I know almost nothing about, yet..

The most pressing aspect to settle is how I am going to protect the door from the weather, because I will tell you, after all the effort of researching, designing and building this thing; there is no way I am allowing it to get eat up by rot, or weathered away by sun rays! Nope, none of any of those terrible threats Coating* companies are constantly harping on about will be happening to my lovely door. And yet as an individual who rates aesthetics very highly, I had been focusing my first attentions on how I wanted the door to look, struggling over colours and ideas. However, a couple of weeks ago I was (wisely) advised to prioritise durability and ease of maintenance- so to first decide on a product, then work within the confines of the colours and finishes available to achieve the appearance you are after. Find out what coatings are readily available to the DIYer and identify the ones that require the least amount of hassle for reapplication. List narrowed, select the best product that meets both those needs.

Accoya themselves recommend a coating of Teknos Aqua Primer 2907-02, followed by two coats of either Intergrain or Cabot’s. From what I could deduce Aqua Primer is a spray coating and not something I can easily get my hands on. Anxious to understand if this step was essential, I sent an email off to the supplier of my timber who pointed me in the direction of their own go-to coating expert. A few days later I received a very kind response advising that in a production sense, Teknos would be applied as a pre-primer. This was due to the vast array of top coat brands/products they use, some for which such a coating would be necessary. However, on an individual level this was not always essential, concluding that he hadn’t seen any issues when Intergrain or Cabot’s were used alone, as long as it was per the provided instructions. Good to know! 

[Let me just add that asking these questions was pivotal in realising the amount of time and stress that I spend trying to find all the answers on the big wide web. The habit stems from a long time worry of asking dumb questions and a fear of being viewed as ignorant. This was the week I finally recognised I needed to do something about this. I believe this is an area worthy of greater discussion so I think I will delve into this another day, but something shifted and it all seems less scary now.]

By asking a few experts, I was relieved of the worry of being unsure of my choices and decided to have a look into one of the products I was recommended; Osmo. I scrolled through Osmo’s site and though their exterior colours were limited, it appeared to match all my needs. A quick search informed me that the majority of their range was stocked in a local outdoor furniture store and so I made plans to go check this out. It took two visits to achieve success.

On my first trip I had set my heart on Osmo’s Natural Oil Wood Stain, colour: Larch. Source 1 had advised that the lighter the stain the better. (I realised later, I am not entirely sure why, I think the closer the tone to the natural timber, the more subtle the aging..but that’s just a guess, I could be completely wrong!) Accoya is only specially treated pine so the door has a very pale complexion. My thought was that Larch would warm it up to tone nicely with the windows, but wouldn’t be too great of a jump from its natural colouring. Yet this plan was dashed when I discovered that they only stocked the Larch in 2.5L tins- far, FAR more than I needed and super pricey! The helpful shop assistant proposed I look at the UV Protection Oil Range– a clear oil with a UV protection factor of 12 (whatever that means), recommended for vertical surfaces. Not convinced but not wishing to leave empty-handed, I accepted a few sachets of a UV ‘Cedar’ sample (slightly warmer than the clear pine) and went on my way.

Last week I finally got about testing the sample. Initially, I wasn’t impressed, the colouring appeared too yellow, something reminiscent of a cane Easter basket. Determined to find me some Larch I launched into another web search clicking through every Victorian stockist trying to find a smaller tin size. No luck! It seems no one in Australia stocks the 750ml, except for in Ebony- (which certainly would not be appropriate.) Undeterred I investigated Osmo’s Country Colour line, an opaque satin coating. Not precisely what I had in mind but…. Alas, again, I was thwarted! Sites only stocked Teak and Mahogany, both too dark, though I was almost tempted by the Teak. (I do genuinely wonder why only these two!)

I momentarily toyed with the idea of switching brands, but by then, I was entirely sick of stains and oils and honestly couldn’t be bothered combing through another single site. I went back to the shed and stared at the sample piece. Maybe it was alright? If I squinted my eyes and held it in the light… Perhaps it evoked images of golden hay instead of yellowing 70’s wicker furniture?.. I gave it a second coat and set it aside.

The wise proclaim that tomorrow will be kinder, and on a second examination, true enough, I was feeling more kindly towards the Accoya Sample, immediately deciding it will do. And so it has, for my door has now been treated to two coats of UV Protection Oil Extra- Cedar. Whether there will be any adverse effects for using the Clear Cedar stain instead of the Pine Clear? I do not know; however the sales assistant didn’t believe so, and therefore with goodwill I shall trust his judgment.

Not mentioned on the tin itself, but found tucked away in the brochure on their website, Osmo recommends an initial coat of Natural Stain or Country Colour. However considering all the trouble above, (and that they failed to think it important enough to slap it on the tin), I chose to disregard this step. My fingers are crossed that the two coats of clear will suffice and that I won’t be required to re-coat too regularly. It shall be interesting to see if and how quickly the colouring will fade. Only time will tell.

~~~~~~~~~~

(*Coatings- that’s a new term for me. I think it just a general word for timber finishes whether that be oil, stain, varnish or paint, but I am really not sure. If you know better, do let me know!)

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* In poor lighting my camera hasn’t quite captured the tone accurately but you get the gist. 

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