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Frequently asked questions about decking stain
Should I use decking oil or stain?
Decking oil is a purely protective measure that helps to preserve wood decks over time; decking stain, on the other hand, provides some protection but also enhances the appearance of decking by colouring it. Use oil if you don’t want to alter the colour of your decking (and stain if not).
When to oil new decking?
You should wait four to eight weeks after the installation of your new decking before oiling it, allowing time for it to dry out thoroughly.
How often should you oil decking?
For best results, you should refinish your decking every two to three years (preparing, cleaning, and oiling it).
How long does decking oil last?
Once you’ve applied decking oil, the refreshed finish should last for at least a year before signs of wear and tear begin to show (and then a year or two after before it needs re-oiling completely). For some hardwood and composite decks, decking oil can last for two or three years without any physical wear.
How to apply decking oil?
To oil decking, you’ll need a pressure washer, a broom, a scrubbing brush, decking cleaner, a paintbrush, decking stain, and a belt sander with 80-grit sandpaper. Follow these instructions to apply decking oil:
- As with any kind of refinish, wait until there are several days of clear weather forecasted with low chance of rain throughout.
- Using your belt sander, sand down any splintered areas of the decking and sweep away any debris.
- Pressure wash the surface of your decking, then use the scrubbing brush and decking cleaner to clean the deck thoroughly.
- Leave the decking to dry out completely before continuing (this may take one to two days, depending on the weather).
- Once the deck is dry, protect the surrounding area by taping over any adjoining areas that could come into contact with the decking oil then sweeping clean.
- Stir the oil up, pour it out into a suitable container, and apply it to raised features such as railings using your paint brush – use long, even strokes as if you were painting a wall.
- Before moving on to apply oil to the floor, plan your way out and head in that direction as you oil. For example, apply from the outside in and move towards your back door, using long brushstrokes again throughout.
- Once you’re finished, leave the oil to dry out completely for around 24 hours, then repeat the process as necessary (two or three coats are generally required for the best results).
How to remove oil from a wood deck?
To remove decking oil, you’ll need a stiff brush, decking stripper, gloves, a paint brush or roller, and a pressure washer. Follow these steps to remove oil from a wood deck completely:
- Wait for a few clear days, with no rain, and temperatures of between 10°C and 25°C (the best conditions for stripping a deck).
- With your gloves on, shake the solution, pour it out into a suitable container, then stir it up using a paint brush.
- Divide the area of the decking up into strips of a few boards that you can complete in around 10 minutes.
- Apply the stripper to the first section using long, even strokes. Do not walk on a section that has stripper on it.
- Leaving a section free of stripper to walk on, apply a thin coat of stripper to the remaining areas of your decking.
- Apply additional coats to each section of decking roughly an hour after the first coat was applied.
- An hour after the second coating has gone on, test out a patch by scrubbing it thoroughly with a scrubbing brush – make sure that the stain has been removed completely.
- If the decking oil has not been lifted from the test section, apply a further coat to the deck.
- Wait for an hour and then scrub the entire deck with your scrubbing brush, followed by a thorough pressure wash to wash away all of the residues.
- Allow at least two days for the deck to dry before re-oiling.