Oiling your Deck for the First Time? A Helpful Guide

Having a deck in your home allows you to create a unique space for yourself that is personalized to your needs and tastes. The beauty of these features allows you to add value to your property. Which is why it is incredibly important to ensure your deck is regularly maintained with a fresh coating of timber oil. A process like this may seem daunting at first, especially if you have a large deck or multiple decks, that is why we have provided this handy guide that goes over the why, how & when to do it!


Why Oiling Your Deck is Necessary

Oiling your timber deck is great simply to keep your property looking clean and proper. Oiling your deck is not only for aesthetic purposes, it provides a necessary coating that helps prevent the wood from cracking and splintering which will lead to structural damage in the long term. Other issues can include mold or rot which will eat away at the wood and can potentially lead to serious health problems if family members are exposed regularly.


How to Prepare your Deck for Oiling

Preparing for timber oiling is a crucial step in the process. It is important to know what materials you have and what type of oil you will be using.

You can find a variety of oils that are suitable for different surfaces. These include mineral oils, vegetable oils, and synthetic oils like silicone and polyurethane. Silicone oil is great for decks because it has high resistance against water, solvents, acids, alkalis, salt air, and UV rays. It is also important to note that older timber decks may require additional processes for oiling compared to newer timber decks.

Some brands we recommend to use include:

  • Cabots – Merbau Aquaback Exterior Decking Oil
  • Ronseal – Ultimate Protection Decking Oil
  • Cuprinol – UV Guard Decking Oil
  • Everbuild – Wood Preserver
  • KUNOS – Natural Oil Sealer
  • Cutek – Wood Preservative


New Timber Decks

Prior to oiling your deck, you must ensure that the deck has weathered as per your installers instructions. It takes at least six months before your new timber deck is completely weathered. It would be best not to apply anything to the wood during this period to give your deck sufficient time to naturally weather away. Decking oils penetrate the wood better when it is fully weathered.

Additionally, you should always check the day’s weather forecast before you decide to oil your deck. Dry conditions can help you achieve an even coat as the oil penetrates the timber better when there is little or no moisture in the deck surface. Clean the deck surface with regular soap water and ensure that it is completely dry before applying oil.


Old Timber Decks

Re-oiling is advisable for older decks every six to twelve months. Consider it as your regular maintenance to keep them looking good and to be able to extend their lifespan. Older decks require more thorough cleaning and extra processes before oiling. After clearing out your deck surface with furniture and other accessories, the next step would be the removal of molds and other dirt from its surface. Remove any mold from the timber with an appropriate type of bleach for the type of wood that you have on your deck. Clean the surface with soap and water or detergent to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on it.

Sanding is also advisable for older decks to remove dirt that has deeply penetrated your deck. You may also want to check for loose boards and nails on your deck surface before oiling your deck. Address repair if any before you proceed with oiling. Once your deck surface  is clean and dry, you can add the oil with a brush applicator. A pole extension with a pad applicator is ideal for larger surfaces. If this is the first time that you will be oiling your deck, seek advice from a professional to ensure that you are using the right type of oil for your deck.


How to Apply Decking Oil

Decking oil is a type of sealant that is applied on decks, patios, and other outdoor structures to provide a protective layer to the surface. It can also be used on boats, cars, and any other outdoor furniture.

There are plenty of deck oils available in the market. It would be best to choose a decking oil that is applicable for all types of wood, offers weather protection, long-lasting and has anti-UV properties. Oiling your deck also adds a new shine and tint on the surfaces giving it an instant improvement in its looks.

For small surfaces, brushing would be a good method to use when oiling your deck. You’ll be able to see tough spots that require generous coating. However, for even distribution, a pad applicator installed in a pole would be a convenient process to use when oiling your decks.

Some oiling decks can be spray painted. This process is the fastest but may require experience as you may end up spraying more on one area compared to the other. For DIY deck coating, brushing the surface or using a pad applicator are your best options for efficient deck oil application.

When Do I Know When It’s Done?

Different brands of deck oil require different processing time to completely dry. On average, it takes about four hours for most decking oil to penetrate and seal your timber decks. It would be best to check the application instructions on the packaging of your decking oil to be able to see the estimated drying time. The temperature is also a factor that contributes to how fast or slow your decking oil dries.

The deck is now ready for use after being completely dry. However, it can take up to seven days, or  more, after the decking oil application before your deck is completely cured.  This is why most homeowners oil their decks during the summer. They can keep the deck surface dry during the curing period, thus achieving better and longer results.

Regularly oiling your deck is a must if you want to extend the life of your deck. If you don’t, the wood will dry out and crack.

It is important to know that regular oiling is not just about keeping the wood in good condition. It also helps prevent insects and pests from damaging the wood. Regular maintenance also helps you maintain the beauty of your deck for years to come.

If you are still unsure of your abilities or you think the task may be too big for one man feel free to contact us at Portos Painting & Maintenance, for expert consulting & experience.