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Frequently Asked Questions

Protek & Interiors related

Where's my local stockist?
You can find your local stockist on the Retail Stockist PDF which is sorted by county. Please call your stockist first to check that the product and colour you are after is in stock. Not all stockists carry all of our ranges and with Royal, the colour range is so large that no-one stocks all of it. If you can't find what you're looking for at your stockist we can deliver straight to your door. Standard service is 3 days, or you can get next day delivery if you place your order before 12pm.
Can we collect from your factory?
Yes, you are more than welcome to come to our factory. Please refer to the Contact page for opening times and call in advance to make sure that we have your required product and colour in stock.
Where are Protek wood stains made?
We manufacture all of our wood stains and timber coatings at our factory in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK.
What's the shelf-life of your products?
Our products have an in can shelf life of 2 years if stored sealed and protected from frost. Pigments and raw materials will settle out over time so will need to be throroughly shaken & stirred prior to use. A handy tip for re-mixing is to use a cheap hand blender as this mixes the components back in thoroughly and quickly with minimum effort.
What is the difference between Royal Interior and Exterior
There is no difference between Royal Interior and Exterior and it is suitable for use inside.The difference in name is purely for SEO and marketing purposes.
Are there COSHH safety data sheets for Protek wood stains?
Protek wood stains aren't classed as toxic or hazardous but we do supply safety data sheets on request for information purposes.
Would Royal Interior be suitable for using on a dining table or kitchen work surface?
It is not suitable for use on items that come in to contact with food such as a chopping board, but are suitable for use on items such as dining tables and kitchen cupboards
What product can I use on my interior floor boards and stairs?
You can use Decking Stain as it is a hard-wearing coating designed to withstand foot traffic. Alternatively you could use Royal Interior but it has not been designed for flooring so we would recommend a top coat of a water-based breathable polyurethane varnish.
Do Protek wood stains have good eco-credentials?
We think they do as we use water as the carrier meaning that then they dry it is water that evaporates off, not an oil or white spirit. This also gives our products a low VOC rating and low odour. Our resins are a unique blend of acrylics, waxes, polyurethanes and alkyds sourced from renewable resources wherever possible. We also use a biodegradable fungicide to minimise environmental impact. All of our products are manufactured at our factory in the UK and we continually strive to improve the efficiency of our processes. Our packaging is made from recyclble material and we recycle as much waste as we can from our factory and office.
Are Protek wood stains available in Europe, the USA, Canada or Australia?
Sorry but we currently only ship to the UK and parts of Ireland. Chemical legislation & regulations plus exorbitant shipping costs currently make export prohibitively expensive.

Flora & Fauna related

What product should I use on raised vegetable beds?
For planters I'd recommend that you use Royal Exterior as it's a hard-wearing protective coating that is suitable for vertical and horizontal surfaces. It is suitable for use around plants and once dry, won't cause any harm. Alternatively you could use Wood Stain & Protector although being a softer coating you will have to apply maintenance coats on a more regular basis. The coating will be degraded by contact to soil so I would recommend using a liner internally to protect the coating. If you don't then the coating won't cause any harm if any of it is chipped to worn away by digging.
Are Protek wood stains safe for animals?
Yes they are but you are advised to make sure that all surfaces are dry and allow a minimum of 24 hours before allowing animals near any treated surfaces.
Are Protek wood stains safe to use around bees?
We haven't carried out any testing specific to bees. Our water-based wood stains are all suitable for use around animals, birds, children and plants with Shed & Fence being the most gentle of our retail wood care range. We know that our wood stains have been used around bees and haven't had any reports of any harm being caused, but you can check with the National Beekeepers Association.
What wood stain would you recommend to use on the outside and inside of animal housing such as rabbit hutches?
All of our wood stains are suitable for use around animals, birds, children and plants. As they are low in odour and VOC your animals can be returned to their housing 24 hours aftre the inside has been treated to ensure it is fully dry. The choice of product will come down to what finish you'd like, the colour and your budget. Please see the Retail Products Range comparison chart for help
Are Protek wood stains harmful if an animal ingests them by nibbling on their housing?
All of our wood stains are water-based, comply to EN71-3 and are deemed suitable for use around pets, plants and children. Once dry the wood stain won't cause any harm to your animal although we can't guarantee against any particular allergies that your animals may have if they ingest anything by nibbling. However in nearly 30 years we haven't heard of a single case so you should be fine.
What preservative or stain is safe to use on the floor inside a hutch?
We wouldn't advise using a preservative on the inside of a rabbit hutch or any animal home as the chemicals could be harmful to animals. We would recommend that you use Royal Exterior or Decking Stain as a water-re-pellent protective coating. Once dry they are not harmful to pets and we suggest that you leave the coating to dry for 24 hours before putting your rabbit back in to the hutch. Whilst we cannot guarantee against any strange allergies your rabbit may have from ingesting nibbled segments, in the decades of producing and supplying wood stains we haven't heard of a single case.
What is suitable for use on a bird nesting box?
We have had our Wood Stain & Protector range of colours approved by the RSPB for nesting birds.
Have your products and ingredients been tested on animals?
None of the products we manufacture have been tested on animals however some of our raw materials may have. In order to obtain some of the data that was necessary to bring some of the active ingredients to market, at some point in their history they could have been tested on animals. As a company it is our policy to obtain the most sustainable and environmentally ethical products we can that are available to us.
Are any animal products used in the manufacture of Protek's wood stains?
No, none of Protek's wood stains contain animal products and so they are suitable for use by vegetarians and vegans

Technical & Application related

Do Protek's Clear wood stains contain UV blockers?
No. Our wood stains offer UV protection as the resins and acrylics will filter UV and slow down colour fade but timber will still grey naturally over time. Please see Wood Greying Advice for further information.
Can I mix colours together?
Yes you can but we would recommend that you only mix within the same range and use a cheap electric hand blender to make sure that pigments & waxes etc. are fully mixed together.
How can I change a dark colour for a light colour?
Changing a dark colour to a light shade can be tricky especially with wood stains such as Shed & Fence. Ideally the old dark coating should be sanded back to make application of a lighter shade easier. The best ranges to use for over-coating dark colours are Wood Stain & Protector or the higher grade Royal Exterior as it creates a solid (opaque) coating within 3 coats.
I have new and old fencing of different shades. What do you recommend will protect my fencing and match up all the colours?
A couple of coats of a dark Shed & Fence stain such as Nut Brown, will tie in new to old in a uniform colour. For best results or when trying to match up dark to light we would recommend you use Wood Stain & Protector or Royal Exterior as they create solid colour coatings.
Why do I need to apply a water-repellent coating on top of pressure-treated timber?
Wood preserver chemicals are used to protect timber against rot and fungi attack. Pressure treatment chemicals do not offer any protection against the weather so you need to apply a top coating to protect your timber from damage caused by rain and the elements
I want to protect my new timber building but the weather isn't very good. What should I do?
Please refer to our Winter Weather Advice sheet for information and advice on applying wood stains in bad weather conditions.
Do I need to apply knotting agent to pressure treated timber?
The pressure treatment chemicals won't prevent knots from bleeding resin out so we would advise you apply knotting agent to knots if you don't want any resin bleeds to stain the coating.
What knotting agent should I use?
We recommend using a good quality knotting agent that is specifically for exterior use.
How many coats should I apply?
Our products are designed to work most effectively on a 2 coat application basis. On rough sawn timber one coat is usually enough, unless you are treating a building in which case a second coat will improve the waterproofing. A 3rd coat will enhance the solidity of the coating and depth of colour. Further coats may de-stabilise the coating as coats will start sticking to each other rather than the timber and could lead to premature peeling.
I want to apply a light colour from the Wood Stain & Protector range on my fence/shed. How many coats will I need?
You will be applying a light colour on to a wood surface that will be of a darker bfaqrown shade compared to the stain, even if it's new fresh fairly light timber. This means that you will need 2 - 3 coats as opposed to when you're applying a darker shade where the colour is a lot stronger so you'll get the true colour within 1 - 2 coats.
What sprayer should I use?
Protek is best suited to low pressure spraying or airless spraying. The type of pump up garden sprayers that are common in most gardens, knapsack sprayers, electric fence and shed sprayers are all ideal. As Protek's wood stains create a water proof coating it is important that you keep the nozzle clean. Rinse them with water if they are not going to be used for a while and after use to make sure a film doesn't build up and block the sprayer or nozzle up. You can use a standard high-volume low-pressure pump-up sprayer for all ranges bar Royal Exterior which due to its thicker consistency, requires a spray gun set to low-pressure.
Are Protek wood stains waterproof coatings breathable?
Yes, Protek use acrylics and waxes that leave a microporous coating that allows timber to breathe.
Can I paint Protek wood stains over old wood stains?
Yes you can paint over old treatments even if they were spirit based or creosote. The coating must be well weathered and the surface must be cleaned as much as possible. For new wood stain treatments to work to their optimum performance and longevity it is advised that old coatings are sanded back to bare wood prior to new treatments being applied.
How long do I need to leave pre-treated timber for before applying a water-proof coating?
If your timbers have been freshly pressure treated the industry recommend that it is left to weather and settle down for up to 12 months before applying a stain or coloured top coat. This is for 2 reasons; (i) there may be salt residue from the preservation chemical on the surface of the timber that needs to come off. If you apply a coating on top of these salts the coating won't be able to adhere fully to the timber and when the salts come off, they could take the coating off as well. You could help speed up this process by rinsing off the surfaces then allowing them to dry. (ii) depending on what preservation chemicals have been used, there may be waxes that need to weather off as they may block new coatings from adhering fully to the timber. Again this could be speeded up by washing surfaces with water and detergent. You can check with the manufacturer to see whether the preservative used on the timber has wax additives. Please read the document To Stain or not to Stain? for further advice.
Should I leave staining new decking until the sun has weathered it?
The industry recommends that decking is allowed to weather naturally for 12 months before applying a stain or an oil. Decking is pressure impregnated with chemicals to stop it rotting and this treatment needs time to settle before applying any top coat.
What kind of fungicide is used? Is it dangerous?
Protek wood stains Wood Protector and Shed & Fence contain a borate fungicide. This is a natural borate mineral salt. This natural form of boron is actually good for plants and harmless to people and animals. This borate is said to be only half as dangerous for humans and animals as table salt but effective against fungi and insects.
Will a wood stain stop pressure treated timber from shrinking?
No. Our wood stains are designed to be flexible and move with timber as it expands and contracts. It will not freeze the timber solid so when new timber is drying out the movements can be quite extreme so timber may split causing the coating to split too.
How much do I need?
Coverage depends on surface porosity but you can expect to get between 8m2 and 12m2 per litre. For further details please refer to the Retail Products Range comparison chart.

Product & Wood Type related

What product should I use on oak?
For all hardwoods you should use Royal Exterior or Royal Interior as other wood stains won't penetrate the dense grain of hardwoods.
What is your advice for treating green oak?
Due to the high levels of moisture in the timber and the fact that the grain is so tight, it's very hard for the wood stain to penetrate the timber and fix properly. We would recommend that it is left to weather prior to treatment allowing it to dry out and the grain to open. We would then recommend the use of Royal Exterior for colour and protection.
What should I use on plywood?
If your plywood item is to be used in a damp garage or externally we'd recommend that you pre-treat the plywood with our Wood Preserver as ply is susceptible to mould. I would recommend that you use Royal Exterior as a protective coating. Royal bonds well to plywood and will produce a hard-wearing water repellent coating.
What should I use on my cedar climbing frame?
Cedar has natural preservative qualities meaning that it won't start to rot for 20-30 years. Because of this there's no need to use any preservative treatments on it until much later in its lifespan. For further protection against the elements or to change the colour we would recommend a water-repellent coating of Royal Exterior
What wood stain should I use on garden furniture?
We would recommend that you use the Royal Exterior range as other coatings are too soft to withstand sitting water and higher levels of wear & tear. For general product advice please see the What Wood Stain guide.
Are Protek wood stains safe to use around a pond?
Protek wood stains and coatings are suitable to be around a pond but only when dry. We do not recommend that any of our products be painted in-situ if there is a possibility for any liquid product to run off into the water course/pond. Our paints are safe and suitable once they are dry and then placed back over the water, or if the water can be fully covered from any possible drips and splashes.
Can I use Royal Exterior on decking boards?
We would only recommend Decking Stain for use on decking. Although Royal Exterior is hard-wearing it is not designed for decking so would prematurely wear away and lift off.
We really like the colours of the Wood Stain & Protector and Royal Exterior ranges & would like to use them on our children's play equipment. Are the wood stains safe for children?
Yes. Once dry the coating is perfectly safe for children's play equipment. We don't suggest that you allow children to use the wood stain or paint with it but it does conform to BS EN-71 and is suitable for use on products carrying the CE mark. Protek retail wood stains have been tested and show that they do not contain any elements of antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and selenium
What product would you recommend for a beach hut?
Royal Exterior should be used as a beach hut will be prone to high levels of exposure and attack from the sea spray.
What should I use on rough sawn timber?
All of our wood stains are suitable for both planed (smooth) and rough sawn surfaces. The only difference is that rough sawn surfaces are a lot thirstier so coverage rates will go down. The first coat will be very thirsty then the second will be normal.
Can I use Royal Exterior finish on rough sawn fence panels?
Yes you can use Royal Exterior on any timber product you like. For fencing one coat should suffice with a second coat extending the lifespan of the coating and depth of colour.
Can I overpaint Shed & Fence with Clear Stable Coat?
No, our Stable Coat isn't very compatible with Shed & Fence although works well as a top coat with Wood Stain & Protector and Royal Exterior. Clear Top Coat will go over the top really well and give you a far greater level of water repellency than just with Shed & Fence.
What product would you recommend on planters?
For planters I'd recommend that you use Royal Exterior as it's a hard-wearing protective coating that is suitable for vertical and horizontal surfaces. It is suitable for use around plants and once dry, won't cause any harm. The coating will be degraded by contact to soil so I would recommend using a liner internally to protect the coating. If you don't then the coating won't cause any harm if any of it is chipped or worn away by digging.
 

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