Choosing The Best Timber Decking Oil: Independent Review

Choosing The Best Timber Decking Oil: Independent Review

A timber deck is a significant financial investment. When you spend $60+ per square metre on timber decking, it pays to maintain its condition. You have to consider a number of options: oiling, painting, or staining, but there are a number of reasons why oiling is the best way to go. This article will supplement your maintenance research by determining which type of timber decking oil best suits your needs. 

What is so great about oil?

There are many products out there, but many of them do not live up to their claim of looking after your deck – mainly because they do not protect the wood against the elements.

What differentiates oil from paint is it does not just sit on the wood’s surface, where it can bubble or blister, it penetrates deep into the pores and between the joints and connectors of the timber, preventing moisture damage. Some oil-based wood preservatives also contain blockers that reduce the harmful effects of UV rays.

Oils on the market

The two main types of decking oil on the market are water based and non-water based.

Water based

Water based oils generally have a less dramatic impact on the natural colour of the wood. These oils block the pores and cover the surface with an acrylic film. In order for the oil to be effective, the deck needs to be cleaned of dust and other debris beforehand, or else there is a risk that the oil will not adhere to the surface and will peel off. One of the more popular water based products in the WA market is Intergrain UltraDeck, which we regularly recommend to customers.

Non water based

Non-water based oils penetrate into the wood fibre and protect the material from water damage and other elements. Non-water based oils provide similar protection to water based oils and  but require a longer drying time between coats. However, these oils generally turn the timber a darker shade of colour, similar to wet wood. Two examples we recommend are Cutek CD-50 and Intergrain Natures Timber Oil.

The best-suited oil for your deck will depend on your deck’s usage, the amount of exposure to the elements, the type of oil previously applied and what species of wood it is made from. For example, if you have a deck made from Merbau, which is a dark, hardwood timber, depending on the look you want to achieve it may be best to use a lightly tinted oil to limit a further darkening in the colour of the wood. 

When timber is sold, it often comes with manufacturer recommendations about which maintenance products (like oils) best suit the wood.  Check with your timber merchant to find out what products are recommended.

Before oiling

Oiling is not a permanent deck maintenance solution. To keep your deck protected, oil will need to be reapplied periodically. Depending on the product you use, you should consider doing this once every 6-18 months.

Before oiling, it is essential to have a clean deck. Remove all furniture, plants and decorations from the decking surface. If it is not possible to remove everything from the deck, place the items neatly in one corner. After sweeping all debris from the surface, give it a thorough clean with a product safe for use on that species of deck.

Oiling the deck

Things you will need:

  • Decking oil
  • Decking brush/applicator
  • Paint tray or bucket
  • Cleaning rag and turpentine or clean water (to clean up any mess or spills)

Before you begin, you will want to ensure that the pigments have been properly mixed in, so give the oil a good stir.

The best way to apply the oil is with long, continuous strokes with enough oil on the brush to soak into the wood. Try to run the brush/applicator along a single board without touching any of the others. When you have finished one row, move across the deck and start on the next, this is more important with non-water based oils to ensure a non-patchy finish

If this is the first time you have oiled/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.

Follow the instructions on the tin. It will tell you how long it takes the oil to dry and when you should apply the second coat. You will not need to apply as much oil on the second coat, as the wood has already absorbed some of the oil. If oil pools and becomes sticky on the surface, remove the excess oil with a rag and turpentine.

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 your timber decking merchant.

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What our clients say

Austim are a great partner and timber supplier. Our business is based on the East Coast of Australia and we partner with Austim for WA projects. We have had a long lasting and great working relationship with Austim for many years. Highly recommend them.
daniel wright
daniel wright
06:31 18 Jun 19
Austim is always the first place I try when I need timber and it’s rare that I can’t get what I need there. Stuart is a rare gem of a gent to deal with – quick to respond to any queries, full of good advice and goes out of his way to help get whatever project I’m working on happening to my schedule, even when all I need is a few sticks and a handful of fixings. Highly recommend Austim, the team and young Stuart.
Anni Lilford
Anni Lilford
00:51 16 Nov 18
Stuart went out of his way to make sure we got the product we wanted. He made suggestions on possible constructions and timbers suitable. Very knowledgeable friendly staff all around. Excellent experience, highly recommended.
Holger Butenschon
Holger Butenschon
05:14 22 May 18
Hi Ben,Just wanted to thankyou for your help and advice in our selection of the Millboard Vintage Oak decking also in you recommending Grant from Premier Hardwood Decking. Grant has just completed our decking and we couldn't have asked for a more professional, reliable and competent tradesman. The decking has been installed to a very high standard and the decking itself is stunning. Ian and Sue
susan smith
susan smith
06:27 08 Oct 18
I've used Austim on a few occasions for home projects like decking and pergola, etc and each time the response to my requests for price and delivery have been excellent, the deliveries took place as negotiated, the timber quality was great and value for money. The team at Austim do a great job and make dealing with Austim a breeze.
Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson
09:06 25 Oct 18
I have worked with Austim for around 8 years now and they are one of the best suppliers in perth to deal with. I would highly recommend to use them for any timber needs!!!
Art of Timber
Art of Timber
07:55 05 Mar 20
I had been looking for some cedar for my kayak project and had rung a couple of other places with no luck. When I contacted Austim they were very helpful, had the timber in stock and I was on my was in 20 minutes. The wood was very good quality and has really finished up beautifully. Thanks to Austim.
mark alderson
mark alderson
02:03 08 Apr 17
I"d like to thank Austim for there help in supplying me with material that firstly I thought I'd have trouble sourcing as it was marring up with originally 30 year old existing timber.My project was not a massive project but still needed the attention of an new build.The timber supplied by Austim was machined to size with absolute perfection, where I had to remove old pieces and replace with the new pieces they fitted perfectly.once the floors are re-sanded and varnished they will be back to there former glory. Thanks again to the staff at Austim.Regards Bob Heppenstall.I've just added a finished photo after the Floor Sanding was completed.Original timber was Tassie Oak, and the new is Vic Ash, as you can see there is only a slight variation in the final product.I hope this gives anyone thinking doing the same the confidence to proceed. Regards Bob Heppenstall.
Robert Heppenstall
Robert Heppenstall
10:05 12 Oct 18
Great service over phone and by email. Product supplied is high quality - no issues. Staff accommodating and friendly.
00:18 07 May 20
Good service with fair prices.
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Colin Della Bosca
08:14 04 Jun 20

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