All there is to know about IsoGuard®
What is IsoGuard®?
IsoGuard® is a high-performance treatment that we’ve developed to help protect all of the natural timber we use throughout our collections. It adds an almost unnoticeable, protective coating to the wood to help it stand up to spills and marks. Put simply, it makes life better for your furniture, and hopefully for you too.
With IsoGuard®, we’ve put just as much thought into how the end finish looks as to how it works as a treatment. That’s why we’ve created several IsoGuard® finishes with clever pigments that achieve the exact look we’re after.
Any exposed (unpainted) timber will be finished with IsoGuard®, whether it’s flooring, indoor or outdoor furniture.
How it works
This bit sounds high-tech, but that’s because it is. IsoGuard® penetrates the timber surface and bonds with each wood fibre at a molecular level. The special treatment has been designed to repel stains and marks without creating an unattractive, visible barrier, so the wood can still look natural. It does so much more than coating. It’s oil-based, so that it touches every inch that a staining liquid might find its way to./p>
Our IsoGuard® finishes
Our Natural Oak IsoGuard® finish replicates the original tones of oak, so it appears as though untreated.
We’ve also created two other finishes: Chalked Oak and Seasoned Oak, Chalked being slightly paler while Seasoned has a beautiful grey tone.
When you come to reapply IsoGuard®, always be sure to use the same finish as the one you currently have. And if you’re unsure, simply get in touch and we’ll easily be able to let you know.
Living with IsoGuard®
IsoGuard® is tough. It can repel water, and most other household liquids from wine to cordial, and leave the surface unblemished, but only for a time (up to 24 hours). Nevertheless, we’d recommend you wipe up any spills as soon as you can, as every piece is unique and may stain more quickly than another.
Caring for IsoGuard®
As a general rule of thumb, clean up any stains as quickly as possible with a dampened e-cloth followed by a dry one. Surprisingly, water is the liquid that’s most likely to stain your oak. This happens for two reasons, either from limescale staining or mineral reactions with the tannins in the oak. So be sure not to leave damp items on a timber surface – such as when you’re unloading the dishwasher and not-quite-dry cutlery and crockery is placed inside cabinetry.
When you do come to clean any IsoGuard® protected pieces, it’s tempting to buy supermarket cleaning products and wipes, but quite often they interfere with the wood’s surface and leave a film, which, like furniture polish, can end up attracting more dirt.
Instead, aside from a damp e-cloth, we suggest using our IsoGuard care kit that we’ve developed specifically. For direct stain removal, use our Stain Remover or LimeSpot Treatment, depending on the type of stain. For a deep clean, our Surface Soap is perfect.
Refreshing your IsoGuard®
Over time, IsoGuard®’s level of protection will gradually lessen. Friction from usage and day-to-day cleaning will wear down the fine protective coating, and so to maintain the highest standard of protection, we suggest you lightly sand back your piece every two–three years and reapply a new coat of IsoGuard® following the steps below.
It’s worth pointing out that our brushed oak finishes shouldn’t be re-treated. The reason being, that achieving the same brushed finish is almost impossible to recreate once sanded back. Instead, you can simply add a further thin layer of IsoGuard.
1. Sand the wood in the direction of the grain, never across it. The grade of sandpaper you use will have a great effect on the final appearance so make sure you use the same grade throughout to ensure a uniform finish. We suggest a grit of 150–180 (or 120 for flooring).
2. To remove all the dust, first vacuum the area with a soft bristle attachment then wipe with a dry e-cloth until there’s not a trace of wood dust left. The preparation part is really important, otherwise the dust particles will become trapped, leaving you with a grainy texture and forming a barrier that will prevent the IsoGuard® from working properly.
3. Now comes the application. Stir the IsoGuard® well and use a cloth or non-absorbent sponge to spread it across the surface, moving the oil around and keeping the surface wet for three–five minutes
4. Remove all excess oil for an even sheen and do so with a fresh, clean cloth. If this part isn’t done thoroughly, a layer can be left that won’t actually provide extra protection but instead could make the surface less durable and more prone to marking.
5. Once the IsoGuard® is applied, the molecular reaction happens only a few minutes later. It’s an oxidisation process, and to cure properly it ideally needs strong airflow and ‘normal’ room temperature (that’s about 20°C). The initial curing takes three–five days, but the full curing process is somewhat lengthy (21 days).
During this time, you should treat the area with care because it’s susceptible to marking. Colder environments and higher humidity will slow the process further.
So, for those 21 days, you’ll need to let it be as much as possible. You can of course still use your product after the initial curing, but be sure to use coasters and don’t clean the surface with any liquid until the end of the third week, at which point you can use a dilution of our Surface Soap solution if necessary. Be sure to not use washing up liquid though. It’s better to do it well every few years than to do it wrong and need to repeat the process much more frequently.
One final word
IsoGuard® application produces an exothermic reaction, which basically means it gives off heat. Make sure you don’t leave any used cloths in direct sunlight after use and dispose of them correctly (by submerging them in water until clean and leaving them to dry fully) to be on the safe side and to avoid combustion.