We are often asked, ‘Should I seal my wall cladding after installation?’
And while much of our range is pre-finished (requiring no extra sealing after installation) we always recommend sealing any of our range that is supplied in its natural state. It not only will make cleaning easier, but will guarantee you a longer life out of the product, leaving it looking better for longer, and preventing any deterioration over time.
Amongst the most popular sealers are hardwax oil and lacquer, but which is better? Let’s take a look at how both of these finish types work, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Hardwax oil not only forms a surface layer of protection against moisture and water, but it also works within the pores of the wood itself to offer protection against the ingress of dirt and moisture.
Pro: offers both internal and external protection, very easy to patch repair.
Pro: Effort required to finish a surface is minimal compared to the sanding/prep required for lacquers.
Con: Needs replenishing on a fairly regular basis (although – very little effort required for this compared to lacquer).
Unlike hardwax oil, lacquer does not offer internal protection. Instead, it provides an impenetrable layer on the surface of the wood to prevent moisture, spills and dirt from damaging it.
Pro: last for a long time (i.e. between five and ten years) without needing replenishing
Con: does not offer internal protection against dirt ingress and spillage, you cannot successfully patch repair
Con: Tends to have a shiny finish, and for the purpose of much of our unfinished timber range, this is contrary to the natural aesthetic the timber is meant to provide
Con: Tends to disguise the natural features of timber such as grain, texture and colouring, often as it is a thicker, more dense covering.
So for the purpose of wall cladding, Hardwax Oil is the way to go. Why should you choose it? Because it gives the most natural looking finish, leaving all the timber grain accents and colouring. Over time, the effort needed to maintain a hardwax oil surface finish, is much less than required for a lacquer finish. Along with that, Hardwax Oil preserves the wood from the inside out, so you can be sure you will get a longer life out of your cladding using Hardwax Oil instead of Lacquer.