Last Updated on June 22, 2021
Decking oil can be applied to different types of decks to preserve the natural grain. It also penetrates deep into a piece of wood to protect it from harsh weather conditions. Different types of wood weather naturally, and by using the right decking oil, you can minimise this weathering. While you can use other preservatives such as decking stain to preserve your deck, decking oil would be our first choice when it comes to preservation.
Whether you are planning on applying decking oil on a new decking or reapplying it on a hardwood deck to maintain the wooden surface, the whole process of oiling your deck can be quite simple when done properly.
In this post, we will show you how to apply decking oil to protect your deck all year round.
Step by Step Guide on How to Oil Your Deck
Step 1: Prep the Surface
The first thing you need to do is prepare the wooden surface to apply the thin coats of decking oil. While new wood planks might be clean, new wood might have chemicals that may interfere with the adhesion of deck oil to the wooden surface, even if you are using the best decking oil.
Step 2: Wash the Upper Surface Thoroughly
You can use either use sugar soap or decking cleaner to clean the surface of the wood. A decking cleaner is a special cleaner that cleanses the deck’s surface, priming it for the oil. While you can also use bleach to clean the surface, double-check the wood’s care instructions or check with your timber supplier if the surface is compatible with bleach. When preparing the surface, you will find that it makes it easier for you to apply thin coats of decking oil. Together with a clean deck, thin coats boost the adhesion between the decking oil and the wooden surface, giving it an even finish.
If you are planning on applying decking oil to an old wooden surface to rejuvenate it, the deck cleaner will eliminate the dirt particles that might be on that surface. Use a stiff brush to clean the wooden surface. Depending on when the last time was that you did this, you may need to give the surface a good scrub.
Step 3: Give It Time to Dry
Once you finish cleaning the timber deck with the deck cleaner, rinse it off with some clean water. After that, let it dry off to get a dust-free wooden surface.
Also, make sure that you get rid of all the flakes and peels on the wooden surface.
Step 4: Apply Decking Oil on the Timber Decking
Once you finish preparing the wooden surface, you can move on to applying decking oil. To get superb results, you should oil your decking board on a day with dry weather conditions, as applying oil during wetter seasons and in the long winter months can be quite cumbersome and not result in the sleek protection you may want.
Start by going through the manufacturer’s instructions. It helps you know the drying time of the decking oil.
Applying the First Coat
Put the decking oil in a large container or a tray. Dip the brush into the decking oil, then apply it on a single board, following the grain direction. Apply the decking oil on one board, then move to the next board.
To get an even and beautiful finish, make long and continuous strokes with your decking oil brush or foam pad. Once you apply the oil to the deck, it will penetrate the wooden surface, giving your timber deck a natural wooden finish.
Repeat the same steps until you apply decking oil on all the boards to get an even coat. As you’re checking to see if the decking oil has been applied evenly, you may find parts that have excess oil. When this is the case, wipe off the excess with a dry cotton cloth, as you may otherwise end up with an uneven surface.
Let the deck dry off for about 4-6 hours until the oil penetrates deeply into the wood grain. The drying time of decking oils may differ from brand to brand, so check the manufacturer’s instructions to know the drying time of your decking oil.
Applying the Second Coat
Once the first coat dries off completely, most manufacturers recommend applying another thin coat on the deck surface. However, in the second application process, you don’t have to use a lot of oil as the first applied coat will have already created a good barrier of protection. For the second application, follow the same method, and you will soon realise that less oil for decking is needed in many cases.
Some decks might need three thin coats, depending on the natural oil content. In such instances, you have to use more oil. The oil might take one day or two days to dry completely, depending on the weather conditions.
Decks made from Teak and other exotic hardwood might not require much oil, as most hardwood decks have a higher content of natural oil content than other boards.
The Benefits of Decking Maintenance
While decking oil might preserve and protect your deck, it might wear off after a period of time. It is why regular maintenance is essential and why you will have to reapply decking oil after a certain period (usually every six months) to maintain the wood’s firm texture.
Oiling your deck on a regular basis saves the timber surface from the effects of weathering, helping keep it physically sound. Not to mention, applying decking oil on a regular basis can preserve the natural colour of the wood’s grain. Decking oil also has components that minimise UV rays’ effects and protect decking boards from sun damage.
Moreover, applying decking oil means you have to clean your deck regularly to eliminate all the dirt particles that might degrade the surface. For instance, in the winter season, wet debris might fall on your wooden deck. If you don’t get rid of this, it might damage the wooden surface.
All of these factors maintain the surface of your timber deck, giving it an even and beautiful finish throughout the year.
Preserve Your Deck With Some Decking Oil
And there you have it, everything you need to know on how to apply decking oil.
To summarise, you should properly prepare the wood surface before you start the oiling process. Wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt components that may get in your way as you are oiling the deck. Choose a day where the sun is shining, and the oil can comfortably dry once applied.
In following the guidance above and the instructions offered in your decking oil’s manufacturer’s handbook, little will be in the way of all of the many benefits such a deck treatment can offer you.