Should I oil or stain my timber?

Oils and Stains are two totally different products, suitable for different projects or purposes. Both are pigmented, however Stains contain significantly more pigment than Oils. This is because a Stain is design to change the colour of a light coloured timber, while an Oil is designed to complement the natural colours of darker timbers.


For darker timber i.e Merbau, Spotted Gum, Jarrah – Cabot’s recommends using a decking oil – such as Aquadeck.


Aquadeck will compliment the natural colour of your chosen timber species, providing light pigmentation to protect and beautify.


For lighter timber i.e Treated Pine or Cypress – Cabot’s recommend using a decking stain – Such as Deck & Exterior Stain.


Deck & Exterior Stain will add richness and colour to your light timber. 


What if:

I’ve used Aquadeck Natural on Treated Pine: While some people like the look of Aquadeck on Treated Pine, in cases it can appear a little orange. While additional coats and time will reduce this appearance, a popular remedy is to apply 2 further coats of Aquadeck in Merbau tint, or one coat of Deck & Exterior Stain WB Merbau on top of Aquadeck to darken the colour.


I’ve used Deck & Exterior Stain on Merbau: While there is nothing wrong with doing this, it can make the timber look a little painted, and you’ll lose the underlying timber grain. Unfortunately you can’t really take back the colour you’ve applied (you can only go darker) unless you strip the finish off and start again with an oil. We’d recommend allowing the stain to weather off naturally, rest assured your deck is well protected, and once enough time has passed, you’ll be able to apply the new finish of your choice.

 Watch How to Oil a Deck

 Watch How to Stain a Deck

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