All you need to know about oiling your timber decking
A timber deck is a great outdoor home improvement that can really add another dimension to your home and complement its look and character.
Outdoor decks can also last a long time – especially if you look after them properly.
Like many other things, a timber deck can look a bit tired after while. However, you can easily bring it back to life with some simple do-it-yourself maintenance.
If your timber deck is new, there are still some simple preventative measures you can take to ensure it looks fantastic for years to come.
You’ll need to oiled or stain your timber deck from time to time to make sure it keeps its lustrous look, so we’ve taken the time to give you a guide on how to oil a deck.
In this post we explain why it is important to oil your deck, when to do it and how to prepare your deck before you oil it.
Please note that oiling your deck for the first time after installation is a slightly different process to if you’ve had your deck for years.
When to oil a timber deck
For best results we recommend you oil your timber deck every six to 12 months. This will ensure longevity and keep your deck looking great.
If you’ve just had your new timber deck installed it may be tempting to oil it straight away to give it that glistening shine, but you may need to let it weather beforehand.
Before you get started it is recommended you check with your timber supplier as some timbers may need to weather for four to six weeks prior to coating. Some timbers may even require as much as two to three months!
Weathering your deck is important, because it will leach out any tannins and oils using exposure to the sun and rain. During this time the timber may go grey in colour, which indicates the deck is weathering successfully.
The weathering process ensures the oil goes deeper into the timber, offering greater protection against the elements.
Preparing your timber deck
Make sure you choose a day that is forecast to have dry conditions. The last thing you want is for it start raining halfway through oiling a deck!
Using warm soapy water and a stiff bristled decking brush, clean any dust or dirt from your timber deck then rinse with a hose and allow to dry.
If a deeper clean is required, some flooring manufacturers can recommend an appropriate cleaning solution. In this instance, the boards can be lightly scrubbed with this solution, left for 15 minutes, and then rinsed with a hose.
The deeper clean has also been known to strip old oil from the timber. This means you may have to wait a day or two before oiling a deck.
Once the timber is dry it’s time to oil your timber deck. Choose an oil that will highlight the natural grain, colour and texture of the timber.
A quality oil will be easy to coat, will repel water, offer resistance to mould and fungus and offer protection against harsh UV rays.
You will also have to consider whether to use a brush or a pad for application. For larger areas we recommend you use a pad with a pole extension to save you time.
Oiling a new timber deck
Once you’ve cleaned and prepared your timber deck for oiling, it’s time to apply the oil. Before application make sure you stir the oil thoroughly so you get an even application.
Instructions that come with the oil will give you the best indication for drying time and how long you will need to wait between applications.
To apply oil, run the brush or pad along the deck in a straight line for as long as you can. Be sure to try and avoid touching the boards on either side.
Once you’ve finished the first row, move over to the next row. Continue to do this on the remaining area of the deck. Apply an even amount of oil to each board using long, continuous strokes. Make sure you take your time to ensure even application of the oil.
After the first coat has dried as per the instructions, you can apply the next coat. You will need less oil for the second coat, as the timber will not be able to absorb as much. Too much oil can make the deck surface sticky and gluggy.
Have a rag and methylated spirits ready in case of any spills; the methylated spirits will also help thin out the oil.
Although you can walk on your deck after a short time, try to wait at least seven days before placing any furniture on the deck.
Oiling and restoring an old timber deck
If your timber deck has lacked a bit of upkeep or is looking a little tired, don’t worry! We have some simple tips to help get it back to its original glory.
Oiling an older deck is a similar process to oiling a new one; however, it does require a little more preparation. If you’re restoring an older deck that has been previously stained or painted, you may require a stain or paint remover.
Make sure that you always wear the appropriate protective equipment when doing this, and take appropriate measures to ensure any other aspects of your yard are not affected by toxic products you may apply.
Your deck might also require sanding. You can do this using a belt sander, palm sander or a sponge sander.
This is quite a dusty process so again, ensure you use the appropriate safety equipment to protect yourself and your yard.
Sanding your deck is important to prevent any future problems, so take your time and sand until it is completely clear of mildew, fungus or rot before moving onto the next step.
The final step to restoring your deck is finishing it off with a fresh coat of decking oil or wood stain.
Allow the timber to dry for at least seven days before placing any furniture on your deck.
For more information on how to care for your timber deck, get in contact with us today!
Get set for summer!
Did you know that outdoor home improvements can take up to a month to complete? If you require council approval, it can sometimes take even longer.
If you’ve been thinking about investing in a set of outdoor blinds, roller shutters, artificial grass, a pergola, verandah, timber deck or even a swimming pool, there’s no better time than now.
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