I think it's oak, but in any case, the elements (mostly the sun, judging
by the pattern) have turned some of it a lifeless grey.
Simply sanding it doesn't restore the original colour.
Is there something else that will help improve it?
I think we used to use a kind of thick oily substance that rubbed into the
grain. the snag is that you needed to do it regularly from the start or what
you found happens and unless you artificially colour it you are stuck as the
elements get into the wood.
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
Depends a bit on what colour you would like to achieve. Silver grey is
the natural colour for weathered oak (and if its English oak, then its
also durable and will last pretty much indefinitely if left in that state).
The colour will penetrate the surface several mm (much as the colour
from ammonia fuming does), and so you would need to remove a fair amount
of timber to get back to its freshly sawn appearance.
You could go darker with a dark oil stain or similar. You may be able to
lighten it a bit with several applications of oxalic acid dissolved in
warm water. (apply and scrub in, leave for a bit, wash off with clean
water. Repeat a couple of times, then rinse clean at the end).
Not really. Another also naturally durable wood with high natural oil
content (although IIUC lower tannins than ok). Rot and insect resistant.
I would go with an oil finish of some kind that will sink in (unless you
particularly want a glossy finish). You could combine the oil with a
stain yo get a different colour. A film finish will tend to fail in time
when exposed to the elements, and teak (being oily) can be difficult to
get a good finish on.
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