How to Oil Your Timber Decking

Help your timber decking withstand the Brisbane climate while looking great and providing superior performance.

Timber decking is a unique situation due to wear and tear. It needs a hardwood that will withstand the traffic a typical deck receives. It also needs a finish that both looks good and is resistant to the extremes of the Brisbane climate.

Many homeowners are using a combination of a Merbau deck and decking oil as a solution. Merbau, or Kwila, is a beautiful, orange-brown timber that reddens as it matures. It looks great without being stained. In addition, it is durable. This makes it perfect for using decking oil as a finish.

How to Oil Your Timber Decking

Why Decking Oil?

Decking oil is made for outdoor use and is absorbed into the timber. This helps it “fill” and seal spaces that would normally be susceptible to dust and fungi. It also provides protection from swelling and fading which can occur on any deck over a period of time. The decking oil replaces natural timber oils that tend to dissipate over time. Oil doesn’t expand or contract with weather.

Decking oil binds to the timber fibres and connects them. This produces a better and stronger structure than individual timber fibres would. Basically, due to the absorption and adhesion, oil is integrated into the structure of the timber, while other finishes tend to wrap around the outside. While many deck owners get good results with other finishes, decking oil has become the gold standard of deck finishes.

Clean Your Deck First

Before you oil your deck, you must clean it. Failure to do so can negate the advantages of using decking oil. While you can purchase a special deck cleaner, you can also save money by using the main active ingredient: sodium percarbonate. This is found in Napisan. All you have to use is two cups of Napisan in a bucket, half filled with hot water.

You will want a stiff-bristled decking brush. First, you lightly apply the cleaner to the deck with the brush, much as you would “wet mop” a floor. After letting it sit fifteen minutes, apply more of your cleaner and use the wet brush to scrub the deck. Use a hose to thoroughly rinse the deck off and let it sit for a couple of days.

During the time the deck sits, old oils should come to the surface.

Applying the Decking Oil

Now that your surface is prepared, it’s time to start applying the decking oil. You will need a soft-haired brush, which is going to be used to apply two coats. Using a soft-haired brush allows for easy spreading and also allows you to sponge off excess oil and apply it to other parts of the deck.

Always adhere to manufacturer’s specifications, but on the average, if you have a 5 sqm deck, five litres of decking oil should suffice for two coats. Apply the oil in the direction of the grain in a thin layer. Be sure to brush out any puddles or bubbles that may form. This not only equalises the finish but it keeps the oil from collecting inside of the grooves if you are using grooved deck boards.

The first coat should dry in around an hour in ideal weather conditions, but drying time can vary a lot. It is important to make sure the first coat is dry before adding the second coat. The second coat not only enhances appearance, but it fills in any small spaces that were “missed” by the first coat. It also crystallises on top of the first coat, giving a stronger coating that is more resistant to wear and tear.

If you have chosen tinted decking oil, the second coat does wonders for bringing out the colour.

Call Narangba Timbers

We are the premier timber decking supplier in Brisbane. We have high-quality, Australian sourced Merbau. If you prefer another variety of timber, we have plenty to choose from. We carry a full range of hardware and accessories and we deliver them to your door.

Call (07) 3888 1293 today.

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Posted in Jack's Blog, Timber Decking Brisbane