Late summer or early autumn is a great time to think about what you need to do to keep your deck in tiptop shape for next season. It’s the right time to decide whether or not you’ll leave your decking furnishing out in the hope that you’ll snatch a few more hours or days of use, or whether you’ll store everything away in wait of the light nights and warm days that will come again next year. Either way, now is the right time to give your deck a good clean and a fresh coat of oil to protect it through the cold winter months.
Although oiling your deck isn’t particularly complicated or difficult, the preparation that you put into the job beforehand will pay off when you come to do the job itself. Here’s what you’ll need:
ü A stock of fine grit sandpaper (120 grit is about right)
ü A stock of coarse grit sandpaper (40 grit should be sufficient)
ü A soft broom
ü A reasonably wide paintbrush
ü A long handled roller and roller tray
ü Sufficient decking oil to cover your deck
ü A stick or paddle to mix the oil
ü Turpentine to clean your brushes
IF YOUR DECK HAS ALREADY BEEN OILED, here’s what you need to do:
- You need to start by clearing your deck of all furnishings and pots. Be careful when you’re doing this that you lift all heavy articles and don’t drag them because dragging them is likely to damage your deck’s surface. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a good idea of the scale of the job ahead.
- When your deck is clear, you’ll need to give it a good brush down to remove all leaves, dust and grime. The likelihood is that there’ll be a build up of algae in corners and around plant pots. The best way to remove this algae is using a ready mixed product. This decking cleaner is really easy to use and the end result will have your deck ready to re-oil really quickly. Alternatively, if your deck has traces of old finish on the surface it’s probably best to skip the cleaning process and simply sand away the old finish before giving your deck it’s new oil coating.
- Once your deck is clean and clear, it’s time to take a look around to make sure that there are no damaged areas that need to be filled or repaired. If there are chips or splits in the wood or if there are boards that have worked their way loose, now is the time to tackle their repair. Once you have reached this stage, you can follow the instructions below for a new, unfinished deck.
IF YOU’RE OILING YOUR DECK FOR THE FIRST TIME, here’s what you need to do:
TOP TIP: to avoid traces of footprints, work in bare feet or in socks that won’t leave tell-tale bits of fabric if they happen to touch the oil.
ü Start at the edges of your deck and work with a brush to get right up to the walls or decking boundaries.
ü Once you’ve worked all around the edges of your deck, pour the oil into the roller tray and using the roller, spread a thin and even coat of decking oil across the whole of your deck. Work from the least accessible to the most accessible point of your decking so there is no need to walk over any areas that you’ve already treated.
ü Leave the oil to dry completely between coats and apply 2 or 3 coats as necessary.
ONGOING OILING AND GENERAL MAINTENANCE
Once you have your deck looking great, it’s a good idea to keep its oil coating topped up and keep it nice and clean. Depending on the weather and conditions your deck has to face; for example if it’s in full sun or shade, you might need to do this process between 2 and 4 times a year. Either way, the time you spend on this type of ongoing maintenance will really pay dividends in the long run, because it’ll keep your deck stay in great shape for years and years to come.
APPLY DECKING OIL – STEP BY STEP VIDEO