Looking for the best way to enhance and protect your brand-new decking? If so, consider using a decking oil or wood stain. Both offer their own unique perks. The best decking oil will provide both visual aesthetics and protection against the elements, including water damage, moisture, insects, and mould. On the other hand, wood stains focus primarily on strengthening your timber’s natural hue or completely recolouring. While stains don’t offer as much protection against water damage, they can be used to hide discolouration and imperfections within the wood.
Let’s take a closer look at decking oils and which may suit your project:
If you’ve recently built a brand new decking, chances are you want that beauty to last as long as possible and look as glorious as possible. Decking oils are a popular way to not only protect your timber from rot, warping, cracking, mildew, and mould — but also to accentuate your wood’s natural qualities and colour. It’s essential to understand the different types of oils and which are best for your chosen wood.
The difference between water-based and non-water-based oils
If you are using softer woods with stunning natural colour, you may opt for a water-based decking oil. This type of oil is gentler on the timber and will accentuate rather than alter the natural hue. The last thing you’d want is to use an oil that darkens or completely changes the colour of the wood you so carefully picked out. Water-based coatings can protect against moisture penetration, mould, and ultraviolet UV radiation; however, non-water-based oils tend to offer a higher level of safeguarding against said elements.
If you are after optimal protection and plan to darken or recolour your timber, then a non-water-based oil is the way to go. Non-water-based oils penetrate deeper into the wood, offering longer-lasting results.
Popular decking oils include:
● Danish oil is perfect for you if you’re after a hard-wearing finish. If your decking sees a lot of traffic, Danish oil will offer optimal protection against damage. Compared with glossy, shiny finishes, this type of oil seeps deep into the wood’s surface, accentuating its grain and leaving you with a beautiful satin look. Remember, it does require reapplication for the best results.
● Teak oil offers water and UV resistance and is known for its long-lasting qualities. Whilst it provides similar benefits to Danish oil, it isn’t 100% natural — made from a mixture of oil and solvent. Due to its deep seepage, Teak oil may not be the best choice for a softer wood.
● Tung oil, on the other hand, is a completely natural and non-toxic wood finish. Perfect for waterproofing and transparency, Tung oil won’t change the natural colouring or qualities of your wood while helping it shine with a subtle golden tint. If you’re environmentally conscious and wish to include these values in your purchasing choice, then Tung is the oil for you!
● Linseed oil is ideal for undercover or indoor deckings. This oil does not impact or alter the colouring of your decking and helps restore and repair slight damages. It can take as many as twenty coats to see the best results and usually takes longer to dry compared with other oils — something to consider if timeliness is important to you.
If you’ve built a beautiful Merbau decking, you may be looking specifically for the best decking oil for Merbau. This type of timber boasts a gorgeous natural dark red hue and a unique, coarse texture which is worth showcasing. Using a deep penetrating natural wood oil is recommended to ensure you aren’t altering or hiding its beauty. An oil with minimal pigments is ideal.
If you wish to darken or alter the hue of your decking without worrying about water resistance, a wood stain may be the best for your project. Your decking may be partially or completely sheltered, or the wood has already been treated to ensure protection. A wood stain can offer that extra visual pizazz!
Available in both matte and gloss finishes, you can use a wood stain to completely personalise the look of your decking. While some offer more natural-looking finishes, you can darken the hue of your timber quite easily. You may desire a warm, earthy colour or something moody and dark. The possibilities are endless.
A quality wood stain offers rot prevention, heat protection, moisture resistance, and optimal colour longevity — without fading. However, it offers a shorter timber lifespan compared with decking oils and is only suitable for certain types of wood.
If you have a Merbau timber decking and wish to accentuate its natural hue — you’re best to use an oil. If, however, you wish to darken the wood, a Merbau decking stain can provide a richer, bolder look. These stains are often water-based, can revive weathered or faded timber, offer UV protection, and are dust and dirt-repellent. If you’re using a Merbau stain, it’s recommended to conduct a 12-monthly inspection to ensure optimal colouring and mould resistance.
A water-based Merbau stain is known for its highly durable features and tends to last longer than other decking stains. Available in a wide range of colours, you can tailor the final look to your liking.
How can I repair minor damages and blemishes?
While it’s vital to stay on top of your decking oil and stain maintenance to ensure longevity, there are other ways to fix up minor blemishes, dents, and scratches. Using timber floor polish is a popular and fairly straightforward practice.
Timber floor polishes can restore and enhance your timber once your initial oils and treatments have been used. Polishes are usually only needed months or years after initial application to maintain your decking’s gloss finish.
Floor polishes can help mend:
● Dull spots
If aesthetic appeal is your first and foremost priority, you may opt for a wood stain which can accentuate the natural hue or completely alter and darken it.
If optimal protection against water, heat, mould and even insects is your top priority, then a decking oil is your best bet. Some oils are gentle on your timber, whilst others offer deep penetrative safeguarding.
It all comes down to the amount of protection desired and whether you’d like to enhance or change the colouring of your decking.