Home>Discussions>YARD & GARDEN>Decks, Patios, & Porches>Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oil
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Rivergull
Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oil

I'm a senior citizen (woman) and want to do this project the easiest way possible. Does this sound right?

My new front porch (mahogany boards) was installed a few years ago, and at that time the installer finished them using Cabot's Australian Timber Oil, Natural. It's time to apply another coat.

1. I plan to hand-sand a small section where winter ice-melt crystals caused footprints to appear leading to door.
2. I will then clean all the porch boards using a TSP solution; followed by a good rinse.
3. I will let the boards dry for at least two sunny days.
4. I will apply Cabot's Australian Timber Oil with a lambswool applicator, preferably using a pole style applicator,
so I won't have to get on my knees.
5. After one application I will let it dry completely over several sunny days before using porch.

Please reply with comments, as I don't want to mess this up, LOL !!!

A. Spruce
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi
Rivergull wrote:

I'm a senior citizen (woman) and want to do this project the easiest way possible. Does this sound right?

My new front porch (mahogany boards) was installed a few years ago, and at that time the installer finished them using Cabot's Australian Timber Oil, Natural. It's time to apply another coat.

1. I plan to hand-sand a small section where winter ice-melt crystals caused footprints to appear leading to door.
2. I will then clean all the porch boards using a TSP solution; followed by a good rinse.
3. I will let the boards dry for at least two sunny days.
4. I will apply Cabot's Australian Timber Oil with a lambswool applicator, preferably using a pole style applicator,
so I won't have to get on my knees.
5. After one application I will let it dry completely over several sunny days before using porch.

Please reply with comments, as I don't want to mess this up, LOL !!!

Your method doesn't sound too bad, however, I would wash first, then sand, sweep, apply finish, etc.

A couple things to keep in mind. As you sand, you will expose "soft" wood, which will take the finish more easily than unsanded (hardened ) areas, so, sand the spots you need to as lightly as possible, then give the entire porch a light sanding. This will help prevent splotchy areas. Always sand WITH the grain of the wood. A palm sander might be a good investment for this project, you want a vibrating sander, not an oscillating one, as an oscillator will leave behind swirlies.

Washing first will minimize water seepage and speed drying time. If you sand first, you will be exposing raw wood that will soak up moisture, and it will take more than 2 days for it to dry well, unless you are in an extremely warm and dry climate. Wash first, then sand, then simply sweep or vacuum the porch with a shop vac, any remaining sanding dust will simply blend into the deck oil, it won't harm the finish.

Definitely apply two coats, being sure to follow the directions on the label as to application and drying times between coats.

Rivergull
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi

Well, thank you very much, A. Spruce !! I will 'wash first' for sure!! since what you say makes perfect sense. Not looking forward to lightly sanding the entire porch (at my age) using a palm sander (which I do have), but I AM looking to saving funds, so I'll have a go at it. PS: Still roaring from your OCD comment at the end... bwah hahahaha.

A. Spruce
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi

You don't say how large your porch is, but you could easily break up your work into several sections when it comes time to sand. You don't have to do the entire job in one day, and maybe you can higher a neighbor kid to come help you for a few hours?

dj1
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi

" 1. I plan to hand-sand a small section where winter ice-melt crystals caused footprints to appear leading to door. "

Make your life easier, consider purchasing a palm sander with a supply of sand papers of different grits, and watch the job get finished in no time. Always use protection.

function
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi
Rivergull wrote:

Not looking forward to lightly sanding the entire porch (at my age) using a palm sander

Do you have a basic swiffer sweeper? You might be able to rig up some sandpaper to that and use it as a large surface sander, and it will allow you to stand while sanding. The padded part will keep you from using too much pressure.

caveat - I have never done this, just thought of it, and it might be a terrible idea or a very helpful one. Only experimentation will tell.

Rivergull
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi
dj1 wrote:

" 1. I plan to hand-sand a small section where winter ice-melt crystals caused footprints to appear leading to door. "

Make your life easier, consider purchasing a palm sander with a supply of sand papers of different grits, and watch the job get finished in no time. Always use protection.

Thank you "dj1". Yes, I do have a palm sander, although I've never used it. The pad is rectangular in shape...estimating 4" x 5" ?? and I'll need to get some sanding paper. Fine grit, I guess, as I really don't want to tear into the wood. I have safety glasses. ;o)

Rivergull
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi
function wrote:

Do you have a basic swiffer sweeper? You might be able to rig up some sandpaper to that and use it as a large surface sander, and it will allow you to stand while sanding. The padded part will keep you from using too much pressure.

caveat - I have never done this, just thought of it, and it might be a terrible idea or a very helpful one. Only experimentation will tell.

Thanks, "Function" ...I do have a Swiffer sweeper, and I would consider taking up your idea, but the head tends to swivel, and I wouldn't want the sand paper to leave swirlies on the wood grain. If I cannot find a stick-like device that holds sandpaper, I'll use my palm sander and will do the job in sections, as suggested by "A. Spruce."

Thanks to everyone for being so thoughtful !!

A. Spruce
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi
Rivergull wrote:

Thanks, "Function" ...I do have a Swiffer sweeper, and I would consider taking up your idea, but the head tends to swivel, and I wouldn't want the sand paper to leave swirlies on the wood grain. If I cannot find a stick-like device that holds sandpaper, I'll use my palm sander and will do the job in sections, as suggested by "A. Spruce."

Thanks to everyone for being so thoughtful !!

The only long handled sanding device I know of is a pole sander for drywall. You could use it for the porch, but personally, I think that will be way too much work, let the palm sander to the work for you. I would suggest investing in some knee pads or one of those garden kneelers, your knees will thank you for it.

When DJ said "use protection", he meant dust mask. Safety glasses are always a good idea, however with sanding, you are creating dust, and you don't want to breathe that. I would also suggest you resist the urge to swipe your hand across the material as you work, you never know when you're going to find a large splinter or sharp edge that will do some serious damage to you. We want to keep you safe, so don't do that, ok? :o

dj1
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi

More about the palm sander: sometimes you can find matching sand papers that fit your sander, but if your sander in an older model, the big stores may not have matching papers.

A Google search might give you results.

I cut my sandpapers from full standard sheets (I get 3 pieces per sheet of sand paper).

You can also use a sanding block.

It's a hard and messy job, but a very rewarding one for a DIYer like you.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Proper way to prepare porch flooring for 2nd coat of Cabot's Australian Timber Oi

Most palm sanders use 1/4 sheet of regular sandpaper, you'll see how to cut it. Some older ones use 1/6 sheet and those can be mis-cut into pieces which just barely won't reach the clips. I still do that with my ancient Ryobi occasionally. Use a mid-price-range sandpaper, with the cheap ones the grit will come off or the thin paper will tear. Use a soft kneeling pad from your garden shed to help the knees and get up and walk around frequently between spots too. Sit and take a beak if your knees or back tell you to- the job will still be there later. Sounds like you're on the right track with the rest!

Phil

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