House Week 39: Prepping the Merbau Boards for the Porch

Having made the decision about the what, now all that was left to get started was picking them up. This was made easy as they come in 12’ lengths, so with a smile a request was made to have them cut in half and in half they were cut fitting perfectly into the truck!  Thank you Ashby Lumber!  Once we had the boards back at the house it was time for some planning on where and how we wanted to position them for the best look (the porch isn’t quite square…).  We decided to align the first board with the inside edge of the front steps so we could work our way towards each end from a central starting point.  This allows us to adjust the spacing for each board as necessary to accommodate the shape of the porch.

The board to the far left is our “starter” board, the first board we positioned for the porch and what all of the other boards will be spaced from.  To the right we have started to trim the other planks to fit recessed in the porch.

House Wk 39: Merbau Decking - Positioning

After each of the boards were cut it was quittin time so piled high into the garage they went to await tomorrow when they would begin their path to “sealed”-ness.  Luckily we had a bit of good weather allowing me to get a coat of wax along each cut end to seal the boards from a future damage.  Even through they are kiln dried they still need to be sealed to prevent moisture from entering the wood, which is done all over the boards at the factory so i only had to touch up the spots where we had trimmed them to fit in the space.

After the sealing is done and dry, another day, then it’s time to begin the multi day process of staining each of the surfaces of the planks for added durability.  Yes they have a crazy warranty and yes they are already sealed, but this is one of those things you do so you don’t ever have to do it again…ever!  Here are the boards laid out after i have applied the stain to the top.

House Wk 39: Merbau Decking - Bubbly!

Once the stain has been on the board for 30 minutes or so what is going to sink in has and it’s time to wipe the excess off and allow the wood to begin drying.  Be careful what type of rags you use as a) if it has fuzzies they will be permanently left behind on your wood and b) after this it’s going in the trash (no favorite dish towels please).  I found painters cloths to work well and my father swears by microfiber cloths.  Oh, almost forgot, wear GLOVES!  THis stuff will totally eat your hands, even the eco friendly ones.  When they called them “green” they must have been thinkin of piranhas!

House Wk 39: Merbau Decking - Removing the excess stain

Once you get the excess off its back to waiting, something i have found i spend a lot of time doing with this house.  I gave each side the full day with applying the stain by 10am and then leaving them to dry in the sun until i brush my teeth for bed about 10pm, only doing a single side each day.  It has taken four sessions, but they look great and haven’t stuck to each other once!  Here is a shot of a board in the sun after it has dried for a few days from the stain.  Pretty yellow flecks…

House Wk 39: Merbau Decking Stained

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