How to Minimise Tannin Leaching from Merbau Timber Fences


Merbau timber is a popular choice for fences due to its durability and beautiful appearance. However, one challenge that homeowners may face with merbau timber is tannin leaching, which can cause staining on nearby surfaces. In this blog, we will discuss effective ways to minimize tannin leaching from merbau timber fences, ensuring a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing result for your outdoor space.

Preventive Measures:

1. Drying Time

Allow the merbau timber to dry for at least 2 to 4 weeks before installing it as a fence. Store the timber in a dry, well-ventilated area, protected from direct sunlight and moisture exposure. This drying period helps stabilize the moisture content in the wood, minimizing tannin leaching. Please note, if accepting a quote by Eastside Fencing, request additional drying time when accepting the quote, as it may slightly delay the fence installation.

2. Hose Down Driveways/Pavers Regularly

To prevent tannin stains from taking hold, hose down driveways or pavers regularly. By removing any tannin residue or stains that may have accumulated, you can minimize the potential for stubborn stains to form. This preventative measure is particularly important after heavy rain or downpours, as they can cause more rapid leaching of tannins.

3. Seal the Timber

Applying a high-quality sealant to the merbau timber can help reduce tannin leaching. Look for a sealant specifically designed for outdoor use, suitable for timber and capable of blocking tannins from reaching the wood’s surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and reapplication.

4. Prevent Water Retention

Proper drainage and maintenance are essential to prevent water retention around the fence. Remove any debris, leaves, or dirt that may accumulate around the base of the fence, which can trap moisture and accelerate tannin leaching. Ensure the landscape and soil slopes away from the fence, directing water flow away from the timber.


With these preventive measures, you can minimize tannin leaching from your merbau timber fence and maintain its beauty for years to come. By allowing the timber to dry adequately, regularly hosing down driveways or pavers, applying a sealant and ensuring proper drainage, you can enjoy the aesthetic appeal and longevity of your merbau timber fence without the worry of tannin stains.

Remember, regular maintenance and following these preventive measures are key to minimizing the impact of tannin leaching on surrounding surfaces.