How to Oil Your Timber Deck

By Juliet D'cruz

Timber decks preserve the wood and its beauty in front of your house. However, over time they begin to tear down and wither away. There are a few steps that you can take to tune your timber deck back onto its feet properly. In this article, I will guide you through the process of how to oil your timber deck.

Clean your deck before applying the oil

Nothing improves your home’s curb appeal quite like a new deck. It’s the perfect place to barbecue and entertain guests, spend time with the family, or relax and enjoy the fresh air. The key to keeping your deck looking great year-round is regular maintenance. And that means starting with a good cleaning.

Whether you have an old deck or a brand-new one, we recommend cleaning it before applying any oil treatment. You can rent a power washer or use a scrub brush and strong detergent to get rid of mould and mildew and dirt and grime. Be sure to follow up with a water rinse to make sure your deck is clean before treating it.

Select the right oil

When it comes to choosing the right oil for your timber deck, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The most important of these is how exposed your deck is to the elements. If you have quite a sheltered outdoor area, then a simple, clear-finish oil will probably be enough to keep it looking great. But if your deck is fully exposed to the sun and rain, then you’ll need an oil containing extra UV protection.

Then there’s the look you’re going for. If you want a natural finish that lets the rich tones of your timber shine through, then clear-finish oils are ideal. But if you want a colour or stain, then decking stains and oils come in plenty of different shades—make sure that if you do use coloured oils or stains, they contain UV protection as well.

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Apply a test patch

If you want to prevent splitting, cracking, and warping—and protect your timber deck from the elements—it’s essential to oil and maintain it.

Oiling my deck will give it a natural, hard-wearing finish that’s super easy to clean. 

First, make sure there’s no dirt or grime on your deck. Use a pressure washer if necessary to get it nice and clean.

Then apply a test patch in an inconspicuous spot and wait 24 hours. If you see any signs of discolouration, don’t proceed with the rest of your deck. Go back to the drawing board!

If all looks well after the 24 hours, apply a thin coat of oil over the whole deck and leave for at least two hours. Then wipe off any excess oil with an old rag or cloth (you don’t mind getting ruined).

And now you’re done!

Apply your deck oil evenly

Applying deck oil is easy, but it can be tricky to know whether you’ve applied enough or evenly. 

– Apply the oil using a paintbrush or roller, and you should start in the corner and then work your way out from there for better results. Just like painting a wall, apply just enough oil so that the wood feels wet but not soaked.

– Let the oil soak in for about 20 minutes (30 at most). You’ll know that it’s ready for another coat when it’s dry to the touch. If you can feel any dampness or stickiness, wait until it’s fully dry to apply another coat of oil.

Allow drying before walking on it and replace furniture

Your deck has been through a lot—sun, rain, snow, sleet, hail, and all the other elements that can wear away at its surface. And while we know you use it all year round, it’s probably time to give it a little TLC.

Luckily, this is an easy fix. Just grab a cloth and some oil and apply a few coats to your timber deck. 

After oiling it, allow it to dry for about 24 hours before walking on it or replacing furniture.

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