For hundreds of years now, timber has been a material of choice for all sorts of construction projects. Fast-forward to 2022, though, and the timber trend is back on the rise – for very good reason. It’s natural, re-usable, sustainable and recyclable. It’s durable, eco-friendly, looks great and – according to some – promotes stress relief and a feeling of peace. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s a material of choice among those getting new verandahs, carports, decks and other outdoor entertainment areas installed – and it’s a very good choice indeed.

The next question, though, is just as important: What about those exterior timber finishes?

Luckily, you’ll find that you do have plenty of options. When it comes to those exterior finishes for timber, there’s a lot to know, so we’ve put together a guide that should be a big help:

1. Weathering

Your carport and verandahs will be exposed to plenty of harsh Australian conditions, so the right finish will give it extra life and protection. Your finish will work against moisture in the form of a barrier that guards against water absorption, designed to shield the precious timber from UV light.

2. Finish types

Weather resistance is the big one, but there are still a lot of options to get your head around. As well as those repellent barriers, a penetrating oil might also be used – and then there’s always paint. For the right choice, you’ll be walking a tight-rope between long life, how often you need to maintain it, and how ‘natural’ you want your timber to look.

3. Paint

As we suggested above, there’s always paint – and it’s always a good choice! Exterior paint gives great protection from environmental conditions – as is obvious from thousands of Melbourne homes with timber exterior house finishes that were consistently painted and still in great condition. The downside, of course, is that paint hides the lovely natural timber look and grain. Just make sure to buy quality products for outdoor use.

4. Clear finish

Why not, therefore, go clear? Whether fully clear or partially transparent, you’ll still be able to see that beautiful natural timber underneath – although the UV damage will be greater than with paint. Water repellence is still very good, although re-application will need to be done from time to time.

5. Transparent

Not quite as ‘clear’ as a clear finish, a transparent timber finish retains the look and feel of real timber but with greater suitability for environmental conditions but also resistance to the sort of foot traffic your new verandah will enjoy. Greater protection is thanks to the pigment, so your transparent finish will also last a long time.

6. Stain

Again, you’ll still see that beautiful grain and texture of your timber with a penetrating stain – and you can pick your colour, too! Exterior stains offer better protection than clear and transparent finishes, and require less maintenance – just give it a decent wash every now and then.

Don’t forget, it’s not just a matter of slapping on your preferred exterior timber finishes. You’ll need to make sure the surface is well prepared, is sealed, and then understand how many coats are required, the correct spreading rates, coat frequency, and more. Always read the instructions carefully regardless of which product you choose to use.

Ask Mr Verandah about exterior timber finishes

Need help? Mr Verandah is Melbourne’s stand-out builder of pergolas, carports, garages and verandahs – and we take care of the entire process, from initial planning and design to eventually putting your feet up!

With more than three decades of experience servicing Balwyn, Surrey Hills, Glenferrie, Burwood, Camberwell, Hawthorn, Glen Iris and anywhere in Melbourne Eastern and South Eastern Suburbs and beyond, we’ve seen and heard it all – so don’t be afraid to get in touch with your questions!