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Performance of exterior wood coatings in temperate climates


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Davis, KJ ORCID: 0000-0001-6115-5530, Leavengood, S and Morrell, JJ 2021 , 'Performance of exterior wood coatings in temperate climates' , Coatings, vol. 11, no. 3 , pp. 1-26 , doi: 10.3390/coatings11030325.

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Wood used in exposed exterior applications degrades and changes color due to weathering. Expanded use of mass timber is resulting in architects increasingly designing structures with wood in exterior exposure. Coatings can reduce the effects of weathering and prolong the visual characteristics of wood. However, coating performance depends on a variety of factors including the blend of resins, oils, pigments, and binders. Coating manufacturers often claim superior performance for products, but data directly comparing different coatings on different species is rarely publicly available. Premature coating failure increases long-term building maintenance expense while potentially enhancing biological degradation and reducing service life. This study compares the performance of 12 exterior wood coatings on 5 wood species. Performance was evaluated according to changes in the components in the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) L*a*b* color space of images taken at 6-month intervals over 18 months of the wood samples. The analysis was performed using Welch’s ANOVA, Games-Howell pairwise comparisons tests, and a clustering procedure using distances between each pair of groups means for the 18 months ΔL*, Δa*, Δb* values. Most of the coatings lost their protective effects within 1 year of exposure due to combinations of biological and ultraviolet radiation (UV) degradation illustrating the difficulty of protecting timber in exterior exposures. This study provides a guide for users wishing to specify coatings for exposed wood in mass timber structures

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Davis, KJ and Leavengood, S and Morrell, JJ
Keywords: wood coatings, exterior exposure, mass timber coatings, wood weathering, UV degradation
Journal or Publication Title: Coatings
Publisher: MDPI AG
ISSN: 2079-6412
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/coatings11030325
Copyright Information:

Copyright: © 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

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