How To Guide On Oiling Your Deck

A timber deck can add significant value to your home but when it comes to maintaining the condition of your deck there are many options to consider: oiling, painting, or staining. However, in our opinion, oiling is the best product for coating your timber deck.

The difference between oil and a paint or stain is that it does not just sit on the wood’s surface, where it could potential bubble or blister if not applied correctly, it penetrates deep into the timber and between the joints of the timber. The penetrating nature of oil helps replicate timber’s natural defences against aging, saturating the cells to protect against drying out. It also gives the timber a resistance to moisture build up and UV. Oils generally turn the timber a darker shade of colour. Two brands of oils the One Stop Deck Shop recommend are CD50 Extreme Oil and Intergrain Natures Timber Oil.

Kwila decking stained with Intergrain (Jarrah)

Garapa decking stained with CD50 (Rustic Gold)

Cumaru decking stained with CD50 (Walnut)

The best-suited oil for your deck will depend on:

  • The amount of usage your deck gets
  • The amount of exposure to the elements it receives
  • The type of oil/paint/stain previously applied (if any)
  • The timber species

For example, if you have a new purple heart deck, which is a purple hardwood timber, depending on the look you want to achieve it may be best to weather it for 6-8 weeks to let the timber silver before staining it to try and achieve a more accurate colour of stain you are trying to achieve. Or better yet, apply a clear coat of oil to your new purple heart decking which will give it all the benefit of being oiled but will still allow the timber to season to an amazing driftwood grey colour.

Before oiling

It is essential to have a clean deck. Before oiling, make sure deck has not been previously treated with stain, paint or oil. If it has, any previous treatment it must be completely removed. After sweeping all debris from the surface, give it a thorough clean with a product safe for use on that species of deck. One Stop Deck Shop recommend using Intergrain Reviva, CD50 Deep Clean or Cabots Deck Clean.

These products will help remove:

  • Water marks and stains
  • Sap and resin stains
  • Deep fungal stains
  • Green stain from CCA treated timber
  • Oil, grease, carbon stains and many other chemical stains

Oiling your deck

You will need:

  • Decking cleaner
  • Decking oil
  • Decking brush, applicator or Cabots lambswool applicator
  • Paint tray or Cabots applicator bucket
  • Cleaning rag and turpentine or clean water (in case of any mess or spills)

If this is the first time you have oiled or used a particular product it is best to patch-test a small area to see how much oil needs to be applied for it to soak into the wood.

Stir thoroughly before and during use with a flat blade stirrer.

If project requires more than one can mix all cans together in one large container to achieve colour uniformity.

  • Apply oil using a brush or lambswool applicator
  • When coating large areas, such as decking, coat no more than three boards at a time with long, continuous strokes with enough oil on the applicator to soak in the wood. Complete an entire length or continue until a natural break occurs.
  • If oil pools and becomes sticky on the surface, remove the excess oil with a rag and turpentine.
  • Wait the recommended time on oil tin and apply a second coat.

Also note is it best not to apply:

  • during temperatures above 35°C or below 10°C
  • if rain or dew is expected within four hours of application
  • to hot surfaces or those in direct sunlight

Doing so may result in difficult application, poor adhesion and blistering.
Each brand is different so make sure you follow the instructions on the tin.
Oiling is not a permanent deck maintenance solution. To keep your deck protected, oil will need to be reapplied periodically. Check with the brand of oil you are using for a recommended timeframe.
Best of luck with oiling your deck. If you are unsure at any point in the process, do not hesitate to get some advice from the team at One Stop Deck Shop.

Recommendations for a new deck by Intergrain

Come in to the One Stop Deck Shop showroom to look at our coatings wall for colour ideas or go to to see our latest deck projects.