Coating Decks: Everything You Need To Know About Applying Decking Oil

Coating Decks: Everything You Need To Know About Applying Decking Oil


Coating Deck Decking OilThis article is your complete guide to applying and treating natural wooden decks with decking oil.

Together we’ll go through the ins and outs of applying decking oil and detail exactly how to coat a deck to last in these tough Australian climates.

Before We Start Applying Decking Oil

There are a number of tools we need to correctly paint a deck with decking oil and it’s best to organise all your tools and products before hand.

  • 120 Grit Sand Paper
  • Soft Bristle Broom
  • A brush at least 63mm wide
  • Roller Tray
  • Extension Pole
  • Lamb’s Wool Decking Applicator
  • 4L Tin Of Oil Based Decking Clear Coat such as Solver Decking Oil (adjust amount as required)
  • A Broad Paddled Mixing Tool (something that can reach the bottom of the can)
  • Pair of Socks (or you can go barefoot if your prefer)
  • Turpentine (for cleaning the brush and applicator)

Preparing Your Deck For Coating

Depending on if you’re a do-it-yourself deck builder or if you’re using a professional builder and coating it yourself there will likely be a lot of pencil marks or chalk lines left over from measuring.

While there is really no need to sand the entire deck, it’s important to sand off all of these markings to ensure they don’t show through in the finished product.

Handy Tip: Using your 120 grit sand paper make sure you sand with the grain. This also goes for any nice timber surface you intend to clear coat.

Next, grab your soft bristled broom and give the deck a thorough sweep off to get rid of any dust or dirt.

If you’re on a second story, make sure you lay a sheet over anything underneath the deck you would want to protect from stray drips of decking oil.

Coating Deck Decking OilCoating Your Deck With Decking Oil

I recommend coating the deck in either your socks or bare feet. This tip alone could save you a lot of tears – the last thing you want on your lovely new deck is a shoe print!

Pour some decking oil into the roller tray trying not to overfill it.

First step, using your brush, cut in around the edges of your deck (cutting in means making a border). This means we don’t have to go all the way to the edge with the applicator which can cause runs.

Now using your lamb’s wool decking applicator, dip it into the decking oil in your roller tray and proceed to do 3 to 4 boards at a time going from one end of the deck to the other.

You should aim to complete at least 3 coats of decking oil with 24 hours between coats.

Maintaining Your Decking Oil

Due to weather, wear and tear, dirt and grime your deck will need recoating to keep it maintained to that new look.

If your deck is kept clean and stain free this will make it an easier job.

Depending on the positioning of the deck, expect to recoat approximately 2 to 4 times per year. Obviously a sunny spot will need recoating more than a nice shady deck.

You can reduce this, but expect more work to get it back to it’s original state.

Congratulations, You Now Have A Pristine Deck

A deck that’s been freshly coated in decking oil can really enhance the natural beauty of the exterior timber decking.

A good decking oil will be formulated to highlight the timber grain and produce a natural timber-look finish.

I hope this guide has been helpful and remember, I’m always just a phone call away if the job becomes too big or you are after a professional quality finish.

Next article: How To Clear Coat Your Stairs With Decking Oil


  • Joe Galasso says:

    February 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I’m building a 70m2 jarrah decking.
    Which natural decking oil would you suggest?
    Thank you,

    • Nick Keigher says:

      February 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

      I would be going for Wattyl Weathergard decking oil, it is designed to enhance the timbers natural grain. It also has UV protection, contains a water repellent to last longer in the harsh conditions and also contains mould and fungus inhibitors. I hope this has answered your question and if you would like further information please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Akhil says:

    August 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Hi There,

    Thanks very much for your amazing advise on how to apply decking oil. I’ve an open deck of about 6 x6 sqmeter. The deck was built 5 months before. Should I wait for couple of months more before i apply the decking oil for the FIRST time on the deck. And if I apply the oil, Do I need to wash the deck completely with high pressure water to clean it up or just a soft bristled groom is enough.

    Thanks very much.

    • trev weaver says:

      December 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      I have just completed a Jarrah deck. Can you tell me how long before i can put on the decking oil..birds are already leaving their calling cards..which i find stains the timber. Many thanks.

  • scott mather says:

    August 30, 2013 at 4:27 am

    my deck is a year old an was done with intergain ultra deck water base I would like to use an oil base to recoat my deck is it possible to use oil base product on a water base deck thank you

  • Kim says:

    December 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm


    I have been applying Sovler decking oil on my outside deck at least twice a year for approx 12 years. When I went to purchase some more this year I was told Solver did not make it anymore and I was sold Wattyl decking oil. Despite the same preparations as I had done previously the deck didnt look like it had ever been oiled even after three coats, especially where the sun or water hit the deck. Could this be imcompatible with Solver, a faulty batch or is there something else I should have done in preparation? many thanks

  • Jennie Wallace says:

    January 25, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Could you please tell me how I can get rid of water based decking oil off painted side areas of deck?

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