The dazzling beaches, rising temperature and blazing sun – everything echoes that summer’s here!

Now is the ideal time to unwind outdoors or connect with friends or family, perhaps on your rough-sawn timber deck, by hosting barbecue dinners at night. Like many Aussies, have you planned to transform your barren backyard into a wraparound or multi-tier deck in preparation for harsh weather conditions?

With various timber species and exterior paint options available, timber decking is the most popular among homeowners because of its exceptional durability, making it exceptionally durable, affordable and low maintenance.

One of the easiest ways to enhance the lifespan of decks made from timber is by applying traditional decking oils.

Now, there is no shortage of finishes regarding timber finish decks– so how would you know which one to choose? That’s what this guide is all about!

This guide will help you build a long-lasting deck that will serve for years by walking you through different finishes. So, let’s get started!

The Different Types Of Timber Deck Finishes

1. Oil

Oiling Timber Deck Finish

Using intergrain ultra deck timber oil on your decking allows the oil to permeate the timber, bringing out its natural colour and characteristics while helping to prevent dirt from thriving on the surface.

One advantage of decking oils is that they are resistant to alcohol and water, so your deck is protected from downpours. This clear oil imparts a natural finish to the timber surfaces, making it a suitable option for timber window frames and other exterior fittings and other exterior fittings.

Note that oils aren’t durable, so you’ll have to reapply them more often than not. And if you’re applying them for the first time, you’ll have to coat them multiple times for absorption.

Another thing to keep in mind is that oils don’t provide UV protection to timber decks.

2. Stain

Staining Timber Deck Tool

Want to coat your deck with a finish that offers good protection while enhancing its natural look? With all the different Merbau timber species available, staining your deck with deck stain would be the best decision you’ll ever make.

Available in multiple varieties, deck stain delivers a decorative finish, making it a perfect option to match with other outdoor timber pieces.

For best results, apply deck stain on clear wood with a brush, making your timber highly durable if used with another finish. Applying water-based deck stain is the preferred choice for many deck owners as it helps retain the original colour and dries quickly.

The only downside of using a deck stain is that you’ll sometimes have to apply a fresh coat over the existing coating because it isn’t weatherproof.

3. Wax

Despite being translucent, wax is highly versatile because it transforms dull surfaces into lively ones while protecting them from heat. That is why it’s most popular in sunny or hot regions.

You can use wax on bare timber or pair it with another oil or stain. Though heat-resistant, wax doesn’t offer long-term protection. Hence, we suggest applying a second coat after the first coat to maintain its finish.

4. Lacquer

Lacquer Timber Deck Finish

Lacquer offers terrific protection against water, dirt and other substances. It is also quick-drying and easy to repair if damaged.

Since lacquer is mostly sprayed, you must purchase or hire a spray system. You must note that lacquer gives off flammable fumes, so use a mask and eye goggles when spraying it. Also, it isn’t as durable as other timber finishes.

5. Varnish

You could never go wrong with varnish if you’re looking for a highly durable finish for hardwoods such as natural oak. Not only is it resistant to impact, but it also lends excellent protection against alcohol, water, heat and other substances.

While lacquer offers a slightly opaque finish, varnishes are transparent, so it doesn’t cover the grain of your timber deck. Excluding polyurethane type, varnishes are prone to yellowing. Besides, it dries slowly so dust can settle on the surface more quickly than on other finishes.

6. Shellac

Shellac Timber Deck Finish

One of the easiest finishes to apply is shellac, produced by female lac bugs. You can spray it or use a brush to apply a coat on the timber deck.

Remember that it blemishes the surface and soaks in moisture, so you mustn’t use it on parts exposed to heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Light Timber Decking Water

Q1. How long to wait before staining a deck?

Much depends on the climate, weather conditions of our outdoor area and whether the wood is pressure treated. On average, you should wait about four to eight weeks to stain your deck after installation.

Q2. Which finish is low-maintenance?

Toil-based finishes, which require minimal maintenance, are an excellent choice to protect timber decks, so they’re great for decks with high foot traffic.

A Guide to Choosing the Right Finish for Your Timber Deck

Oil, stains, lacquer, varnish, or shellac–coat and beautify exterior timber surfaces, enhancing their lifespan and preserving their beauty with finishes.

Armed with knowledge about the various types of finishes, including those that offer a mould-resistant finish, are you ready to install a deck? Before you move ahead, know that annual cleaning is a part of deck maintenance and an excellent mould-resistant practice.

Pressure washing is a new timber prep method that is excellent for keeping your deck clean. You can also use a pressure washer before doing your timber prep and applying your finish. However, we recommend checking the instructions first. Also, keep a putty knife handy to remove debris between the planks.

That’s it for today. Hopefully, you’ll select the right product to protect timber decks and the deck maintenance involved.

Please call our team for any assistance with staining for your timber decking or regular maintenance. At FTCC, our experienced Sydney builders can help you achieve your desired look while building solid and sturdy timber decking for your home.

All the best, folks!

It’s a Match

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