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FAQ – How can I prevent wood surfaces greying?

The worn, silvered look is a trend which has risen in popularity in recent years. However, for manufacturers who want to maintain the natural golden colours and textures of a wood surface, preventing greying is an ongoing issue. In this latest blog, we discuss why this happens and what you can do to prevent wood surfaces greying.

Wood structure explained

Wooden surfaces lose their natural colour after exposure to the elements due to chemical changes occurring within. Wood surfaces contain tannins, which give the wood its colour and lignins act as the glue holding the wood fibres together. When exposed to UV light, the lignins break down into simple sugars and the tannins can slowly oxidise, causing dead wood fibres to grey and lead to unwanted discolouring.

While greying is a natural process which occurs over time, choosing the right coating and finishing products can go a long way to help overcome the issue. There are a several market leading Hesse Lignal products you can use which have been designed specifically to protect surfaces against UV damage:

Hesse PU Multicoat Lacquer DE 42900-0003 natural wood effect – a two-component PU lacquer, with special UV protection properties, which is suitable for priming and final coatings of maple, oak, conifers and other softwood surfaces.

Hesse DG 4717-0005 – a base coat for closed-poreand light fast coatingseven on critical wood species. This product has good body, dries to be very transparent and can also be used without problems on bleached woods. With the addition of the ZD9505 sunscreen, UV testing on veneers has proven the product to hold the colour without yellowing.

Hesse Proterra Natural Solid Oil GE 11254 – This easy to apply, fast drying oil has outstanding mechanical and chemical resistance, helping to keep the wood surface protected.

If you’d like to find out more about our wood finishes and lacquers with UV stabilising additivities, get in contact with one of our technical experts today on 023 9223 3310 or email us at